Some days I feel extremely unproductive. Almost to the point of tears. But, I have to put it into perspective.
When a pregnant woman experiences abuse, so does the baby inside her. During the 1st trimester, physical and emotional abuse can cause miscarriage. During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters baby hears the yelling, the sirens, the crying, the chaos on the outside. This can lead to PTSD after birth. The woman’s high stress levels release cortisol, which can cause harm to brain development in utero.
There are many negative effects domestic violence can have on a developing baby. These are just a small few. If caught early enough the effects don’t have to be permanent.
Victims of domestic violence need to be supported. They need to feel safe. They need their voices heard.
For both woman and baby, it could make the difference between life and death. Please hit SHARE to broaden the awareness.
Need Help? The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
#OctoberIsDomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth #DVAM #DVAM2018 #TakeAStand #BreakTheSilence #PurpleRibbon #YouAreNotAlone #NoLongerAVictim
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tenáj. I am a long-time wife to my high school sweetheart, homeschooling mom to three amazing human beings, wearer of many “hats”, a Labor Doula, and sole owner of Pasadena Doula Associates.
So, with all the aforementioned, how is it that I came to be a doula? Well, honestly, I was always a doula in my own rite. Prior to officially becoming a doula, I’d attended and supported many births of family and friends. After working in the medical field for about seven years and then with children at the Boys & Girls Clubs, I began to entertain the idea of becoming a Labor & Delivery Nurse. I knew birth work was where I was supposed to be.
Fast forward to the end 2012, I was pregnant with my 3rd baby. I wanted this birth to be different. I’d seen some documentaries, read way too many books, and decided this time, I would have the birth I wanted. My birth on my terms. It wasn’t until that time that I’d learned what a doula was. I also wasn’t convinced that a doula was for me since this wasn’t my first time “at the rodeo”. So, I went through the birth of our baby girl “alone”.
Needless to say, after having my 3rd baby, I knew I had needed a doula. Not because she was necessary for birth. But, she was necessary for me. I’d needed someone to support me through my birth experience beyond what my husband could provide. I had needed someone there to help me to focus on my goal of an unmedicated birth, who knew when and how to physically help me cope with the pain, and to reassure me there was a light at the end of this tunnel and I wasn’t far from seeing it. I needed someone to give my husband the tools to help me as well. He needed someone to guide him on how he could have been more helpful and supportive to me in labor. Having a doula present just might have allowed me to understand why he wasn’t very present for this birth and helped me to be ok with that.
When a friend of mine, who was a new doula at the time, suggested I become a doula myself, I was hesitant. Who would want to hire me to be their doula? What do I have to offer a laboring woman? Well, when this friend highlighted for me all the things I had to offer and had offered her when she was pregnant, I became convinced. And so, in 2015 I took my first Labor Doula training and was on my way!
It was my own experiences with pregnancy and birth, as well as those of family and friends, that awakened and solidified my belief that all women should have the right to feel supported, to be encouraged and empowered to make informed decisions, and an opportunity to labor and birth in a manner that will leave them with positive feelings, no matter how their child is brought into the world. This is my passion and the mission of Pasadena Doula Associates.
For a birthing woman, there is nothing like knowing your spouse or partner is IN this with you. The labor and birth process is an incredibly vulnerable and intimate time and space. Most often, up until the latter part of pregnancy, women aren’t focused on the actual birth. There is far too much preparation to take place to focus on something SO BIG.
But, right around 30 weeks, or so, this labor and birth process gets real. It is coming! We begin to question whether or not we can do this. Even if we’ve done it before, we can question our abilities this time.
“Can I do it this time? I want a natural unmedicated birth. Can I handle the pain?”, “I had a cesarean the last time, but want to try for a home birth. What if my body “doesn’t work”?”, or better yet, “I want the drugs! Give me the good stuff right away! Is that okay?”
Through this process, there is a relying on our partner that might be a bit too much for you to handle. At least, that’s what you think. But, let me give you the Top 5 things to say to your wife, mother of your child, lady that will give her the boost of confidence she needs when she’s having her internal, and sometimes external struggles with this birth that seems to be coming quickly.
I love you. I trust you.
You’ve got this.
I’m here. You’re safe.
Not only will these five statements take you through the end of pregnancy, they are PRICELESS GEMS during the labor process and into the parenting journey. If you want to be the hero, don’t try to save her from what is a natural process. Instead, comfort her with these few words and whatever other tools you happen to have in your toolkit.
You’ve got this! And if you need back-up, there’s ALWAYS a doula.
It’s been three months and I still don’t quite have the words to unpack and process what I experienced in Kansas City.
I am an African-American woman. I am a mixed race, African-American woman. I have light skin, hazel-green eyes, and curly hair.