Experience & training

I began attending births as a professional photographer shortly after my son was born.  Being a witness to about half a dozen births prior to also pursuing my DONA  certification has been an incredible learning experience.  I’ve attended about 30 births total, ranging from unmedicated, medicated, and cesarean births (though they would not allow me in for the actual surgery).   I am fascinated to see how each birth is different & how the birth attendants handle things.  I have been able to freely ask them questions & each birth has taught me a new way to be flexible & learn about the birth process in a very direct way.

picture of doula in springfield-branson mo

Doula Rebecca Block doing relaxation techniques with pregnant mother & father. Image Credit: Lacy Tomlinson Photography

Besides various continuing education workshops related to birth and breastfeeding support, I regularly attend Friends of Missouri Midwives meetings, where I learn from other mothers, doulas, and midwives on a broad range of topics relating to pregnancy & natural living.  As much as possible, I attend Tokology 101, a class for those interested in midwifery.  I am not planning on becoming a midwife anytime soon, but I am keeping my heart open to the possibility for using those skills with midwives in Haiti someday.  (I’m part of the Hope for a Village team & we are dreaming & planning on helping start a birth center/clinic in the southern town of Cotes-de-fer.)  I find the information I learn in the Tokology classes extremely beneficial to build my knowledge base for my doula clients.  (Note: I do NOT perform any medical services for anyone, including blood pressure, vaginal checks, diagnosis, etc.  My scope of practice includes NON-medical techniques such as various relaxation methods, massage, and informational, emotional, & spiritual support.)

In February 2012, I attended my first birth as a doula this time, and it confirmed that I wanted to continue down this path.  I LOVED IT.  I know now more than ever that this is the ministry God has called me to.

In 2016 I let my DONA certification expire to switch over to CAPPA, another organization that has been around a long time. (Just have a few papers to send in to CAPPA to wrap that up.)

I’m currently working on the requirements to become an IBCLC and have already finished the 90-hour breastfeeding-specific coursework for that process.