Friday, March 25, 2011

A Thank You Letter to My Mom/ Why Birth is Relevant to Me

Because of my mom's profession as a doula (A doula is a person who is trained to provide emotional and logistical support during the pregnancy, delivery or postpartum of a baby), my sister and I have been given a lot of knowledge about childbirth ever since I can remember. I knew about birthing postures and pregnancy exercises long before I was ever given "the talk". My mom also teaches natural childbirth classes, so models of pelvises and conversations about cervical dilation have always floated around our house. My mom was one of my main teachers growing up. Because I was home schooled more than I was in school, she was a huge influence in my education.

When I was sixteen, I asked my mom if I could go to midwifery conferences with her and attend births as a sort of an apprentice. Thankfully, I have the most awesome mom ever and she let me tag along. Since then, I have examined placentas, held hands during contractions and seen the most beautiful exchange of "first" meetings between the mother and the baby.

I have thought about becoming a doula or a midwife someday. I don't know if that will happen... but, at the same time, I feel that I could be a really great doula even if not as a profession. Wouldn't it be great if all women knew enough about birth to be a doula for their sisters, daughters and cousins?

My mom and I meeting Ina May Gaskin (world-renown midwife and childbirth professional) two years ago
I feel that this is an important part of my identity as a woman- even though I have not yet had a child. Additionally, this birthing community of doulas and midwives offers a lot of invaluable knowledge about female sexual health and protection. I feel that, as a woman, it is my right to know as much about my body as I can.

"We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong."
-Lara Stavoe Harm

I have very little fear about childbirth and am looking forward to the day when I am a mother; partly due to my awareness and partly due to the support I know I would have from my mom and sister.

So, if my mom is reading this-
Thank you.

PS My mom, Jody Milholland, is a Bradley certified natural childbirth teacher and twenty one year doula veteran in the birthing scene. Her website is

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