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2017 International Doula Month Member Spotlight

Charlie Foust, CD(DONA), CLEC, Level 1 Reiki Practitioner, LCCE

Where do you live?1fabb4_1d8011be60344b9e8975eb4aa6c23b71.jpg

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

How long have you been in the childbirth field?

7 years

Why did you become a doula and childbirth educator?

Like many others, I came to birth work from the births of my own children. From that, I knew I had to support families the way that my husband and I had been supported. When I pursued doula training and was blown away by the honor of attending births. Being chosen to witness the strength and surrender, and to help navigate the twists and turns of birth was just incredible. It was in those experiences that I recognized how childbirth education impacts a pregnant person's ability to surrender to the process of birth. Families who were educated and supported had the ability to make really good choices based on good information. If something did come up where a decision needed to be made, they could do it without fear. I pursued Lamaze education because I could teach evidence-based information that families need to make those good choices. In my classes birthing families get to know what normal physiologic birth can look like and what their options are if it isn't normal. Educating families on healthy birth practices, ways to navigate birth choices and how to decide what was right and important to them feels like the most honest way to do birth work. It is still an the classroom and in the birthing space.

What's your favorite moment from your career so far?

It's so hard to choose, as there have been so many moments in my career that have impacted who I am as a doula, educator and human being. These moments range from triumphant birth experiences to the small shifts in a students perspective that I know will impact their ability to make good choices for themselves in birth. I will say that there is one moment that repeats itself time and again, exciting me every time. It is when I teach the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices and we discuss the role of having a loved one, friend or doula for support. I will get one or more families from every class, who hadn't thought of how a doula can help them before, ask where they can find one. I can see in that second, that they have shifted into owning their own birth experience and I love it!