BLA Postpartum Doula
11th November 2020
Why did you want to become a Doula?
I wanted to become a Doula, I felt like it was my calling. My previous employment roles were in residential children homes, young offender’s institution and homeless supporting housing. I’ve always worked in a caring role that involved face to face contact supporting others.
Becoming a Doula just felt right for me. After my own child’s birth and postpartum period I did not have the best experience. Being a black woman and disabled gave me a totally different postnatal experience, then other cultures. I feel that this was to do with my race and disability, I want to advocate for women that think or feel that they are unable to do so themselves.
I don’t want other women to have the injustices that I had, partially those women with chronic illnesses. I want women to know that they do have options, they will be listened to, supported and encouraged, I want to help women who have chronic health issues like myself, show them they are capable even though they may feel that their bodies will not allow them to care for a baby. Empower women so that they can totally care for a baby with a bit of support, love and understanding.
Why a Postnatal Doula?
I wanted to be a postnatal doula because I feel that I can be most helpful in this sometimes difficult transition when becoming a mother. When you come home after giving birth, you must remember the importance of rest in order to heal, eating nourishing food etc. The after effects of having a child when you have chronic health issues can have a huge impact on the mother’s health and the way she cares for her baby. At times is very scary. It is afterwards that you start to question yourself, if you can do this despite your daily health struggles.
Mothering a baby whilst in immense pain is truly difficult, the pain can be so invisible to others around you, that they can forget about you and the pain because they can’t always see it unless the person is in pain feels able and confident to tell you so. I want to be that buffer the in between person between yourself and everybody else who is enabling the women to care for her baby. Who understands and shows compassion giving you a safe space to be the best mother you can possibly be.
I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.
Why apply the Postnatal Sankofa doula scholarship?
I applied for the scholarship because I was craving something new a opportunity or a chance to educate myself, I had ideas of what I wanted to do but had no idea of how I was going to achieve them with no money. I have no regular income; I hadn’t been employment since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis since 2013. I could actually see myself in role of a Doula and applied for the scholarship which I hoped was going to help me. I saw this opportunity and just went for it, even though I completed the scholarship form I was filled with so many doubts to why I wouldn’t get the scholarship. I kept thinking no way would they choose me, absolutely not. I consumed myself with negative thoughts that I was not going to get it. After I sent I the form back I forgot about it, I do not get good luck.
How did it feel receiving it?
Then I opened the email and saw congratulations, I remembered screaming, my dog started barking, my son said mummy what’s wrong? why are you screaming?. I just looked at my son and burst into tears and told him someone believed in mummy son. My son’s response was “mummy you can do anything, that’s what you tell me all the time.” I gave him a big hug and phoned my sister to tell her the good news. I was beyond happy I couldn’t believe it. my life was going to change forever. I was so grateful for the opportunity.
My experience of being on the course
I absolutely loved this Postnatal Sankofa course it is filled with so much information. The tutors are fantastic, so honest and open. My tutors Mars and Lorna really gave me food for thought. I loved the group of ladies I was studying with. Everyone is so supportive and understanding. We all learnt something from one another, sharing our own experiences in a safe place.
I didn’t know what to expect from the course as it was going to be on Zoom. (As the last time I studied was over ten years ago in classroom filled with people) The course touched on every subject in regards to becoming a Doula for example- nourishing food, boundaries, breast feeding, advocating, relationships and so much more. The reading material provided was so beneficial to my learning. I learnt so much and gained priceless knowledge from this course. I felt it was a very safe place to learn not just for me but for everyone involved.
I think that if you are really serious and passionate about becoming a Doula then this is the right course for you. I partially loved the fact that is run by black females which is a bonus for me as I can easily identify myself and relate to them through the work they do. Also the fact the course provides mentors is even better, which is so helpful when you feel unsure the encourage and support that mentors give are second to none. I made some good friends on this course and will continue to keep in contact with each other for extra support and our highs and lows. This course really did nourish my brain I wanted to know everything, the Postnatal Sankofa course has changed my life, I know what I want to achieve in terms of the type Doula I want to become. I’m working out my pathway which is a work in process I’m excited for my future in helping others. Doula was a world I didn’t know much about but I confidently now know that it is exactly what I want to do. I want to be part of a Doula lifestyle, becoming a Doula has made me changed my thinking that anything is possible.
By Nevean Bryce
To donate to the BLA (Black Lives Abuela) Scholarship Fund
One off donation: https://tinyurl.com/BLA-Scholarship
Regular giving: https://www.patreon.com/abueladoulas