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2017 International Doula Month Member Spotlight

Maggie Jennings, CD(DONA), Evidence Based Birth Instructor, LCCE

Where do you live?IMG_8941-cropa.jpg

Temecula, California, USA

How long have you been in the childbirth field?

8+ years

Why did you become a doula and childbirth educator?

It is actually my children who took me along the path of providing doula and birth services. Their very different births led me to do a lot of research on childbirth, and as a result I often became the “go-to” among my friends for information. When I came across the role of a birth doula in my research, I felt like I had struck gold! Providing support for mothers and their partners is a role that I am passionate about, and I am excited to help others in their own birth experiences.

Providing additional birth services came naturally. I love teaching, and the role of childbirth educator is one that I was eager to take up. I searched high and low for an appropriate childbirth training program, and I hit the jackpot when I found Lamaze’s Passion for Birth program with the esteemed Teri Shilling. That workshop showed me what I needed to do to ensure that my classes are actually interesting and fun! I love that I can use my experience as a doula in my classes, because although evidence is the core, anecdotes really help make the info stick!

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

No matter how the birth journey goes, the look on parents' faces is always euphoric when they look upon their new babes' tiny features. That "I DID IT!" expression on a mom's face though? I love it! It's always my favorite.

My favorite moment from my career so far though was getting to watch my doula partner, Alicia, in action at MY fourth birth. I had actually never had a doula at my prior births, believe it or not! Although I generally prefer to labor alone, I was excited to have someone to take pictures and write down a timeline. What I (surprisingly) didn't anticipate was how much she would help my husband remain relaxed. At my third birth, he had stood in the doorway with the car running, encouraging me to get. in. the. car. And I arrived at 6cm. With this fourth labor, my husband trusted me more - because Alicia trusted me. We showed up pushing, and he was actually very calm about the whole thing. I was amazed at how much her presence helped him, and I loved that I got to personally witness how much a doula can make a difference.