Every doula seems to have a story to tell about how they chose this line of work. It’s never really for the money or because it’s something simple and easy, it’s usually a labor of love and passion. My story is no different.
I was a sexuality educator for several years before I became interested in being a doula. I answered many questions and wrote articles on a variety of subjects pertaining to reproductive health and relationships. I began to realize that I was getting a lot of questions about pregnancy, birth, and childcare that I just didn’t know the answer to. I started taking online classes and doing research on the subject to be more informed. I was there for my little brother’s birth and then again for my nephew. Both were induced due to health problems and both were long labors. As I began to learn more about how pregnancy and birth worked I realized that my loved ones really needed way more support and education than they got. As I heard more people’s birth stories I came to similar conclusions. Just like I was supporting people through other reproductive health procedures as an educator, I saw a need for more people to receive assistance during birth. I wish I could say I was helpful during my loved ones’ births but I was basically paralyzed in a corner out of fear. It made me want to learn how to help people going through that experience.
I wasn’t interested in becoming a midwife or OBGYN but, in my research I learned about people called doulas. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to me. I just wasn’t sure how to become one, so it got put on my “things I want to do someday” list. One day I saw a car drive past with an advertisement for a local doula organization on it. I now knew there were doulas in the area! A quick google search led me to find a “Meet the Doulas” event so, I went to the next one to answer questions. I was the only one there besides the doulas who wasn’t pregnant. They told me about the leading organizations that certify doulas and I picked one and the rest is history. I love my job and I’m so glad I get to serve the great people of northwest Arkansas.
–Lydia Nelson, Labor and Postpartum Doula