This past weekend all the doulas of Two Hands Birth Services attended a Savvy Birth Pro Workshop which was developed by Evidence Based Birth. The workshop was taught by Cat LaPlante of Birth Freely Birth Services and was held at The Village in Haddonfield, NJ. The THBS doulas were excited to attend this private workshop Cat held just for us. We were excited for all the information and enjoyed being able to learn together and strengthen our bond as a doula co-op. This opportunity to attend this training and have access to all the information from the Evidence Based Birth website is truly tremendous and I know I am grateful. I always want to learn more so I can better serve the families that choose me to share their births but also to help change the culture of birth and build a more united community of birth workers.
Cat began the workshop talking about what is evidence based care, using a stool as a prop she showed that research, provider expertise and the pregnant person's values & preferences were the 3 legs of the stool. Each of these needed to be equal so that evidence based care was received. She further went on to say that everyone's goals and values would differ and everyone's care might look different. This is exactly what doulas preach, there is no one size fits all, only what fits you! We talked about the evidence practice gap in this country and the shortage of midwives in the U.S. It was really wonderful being educated by a fellow doula and being able to talk about birth in our own community during this workshop.
We then broke into 2 groups and took a little quiz on some statistics for birth in our area. I have to say that I am shocked at the stats for New Jersey and am grateful to live in a more friendly pocket but know that we really need to get out there to help improve these numbers, these families deserve better than what they are getting, not only in New Jersey and Pennsylvania but across the country. High cesarean rates, low VBAC rates, low percentage of pregnant people using midwives, low breastfeeding rates, this is so backwards. After all this depressing information Cat turned it around and offered us tickets out of the predicament we were in. Cat challenged us to choose the one ticket that was most important to us and gave us some ideas on how we might make change personally, in the community and in our country. My ticket was to change the culture of birth and I am excited to take that on!
I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and hope that all pregnant families can take a Evidence Based Birth class or at the very least visit their website. As a pregnant person you owe it to yourself to be as educated as possible to achieve your best birth. Ask your care provider all the questions you need to get the best care for you and make sure the legs of your stool are equal. As birth workers we owe it to all the families we serve to educate them about all their options and talk with others about maternity care and what can be done so we can turn the page on routine care and fully embrace evidence based care.
“If you don’t know your options,
Jessica is wife, mother and doula currently converting a school bus into a tiny home and preparing to travel the country with her family. You can learn more about Jessica here or by following her journey on Facebook and Instagram as The Nomadic Doula.