Two years ago, I was a new Massage Therapy graduate. Throughout my Registered Massage Therapy (RMT) schooling, I had always been interested in pregnancy and pediatrics. I thought I wanted to be a midwife- I loved the idea of helping women feel empowered bringing their infants into the world. I quickly realized how difficult midwifery school is to get into (in Ontario they only accept about 10% of applicants). I had recently heard of Doulas, and thought that becoming one would look good on my midwifery application.

About a week after hearing about Doulas I found myself applying for a position at a local maternity studio that was searching for an RMT to provide massage to six clients per week. I based my cover letter and resume off the fact that I was planning to be a Doula and would be a good fit for the company. Little did I realize that my interview was with Shaunacy, a then-instructor for the Healing Arts Learning Organization (HALO); a Doula training company. She quickly convinced me to take my certification through HALO. I had the lovely benefit of one-on-one training with Shaunacy. A couple months after beginning my certification, HALO became Doula Training Canada (DTC), with Shaunacy as director.

After going to a couple births, I realized that being a Doula was more fitting for me than a midwife. As a Doula, I can choose when and how often I want to be on-call. I appreciate that it allows me to easily run my business as a Massage Therapist and Doula simultaneously. I also appreciate that we are non-medical support. The only thing I feel responsible for is supporting the birthing person. I know that I am not responsible for the baby, an IV, a monitor, checking dilation, etc. and this frees me to focus all my attention on the person giving birth. I love that fact, and that it allows doulas and midwives to work harmoniously alongside one another.

Throughout my training with DTC I have experienced the lovely, close-knit community of students and alumni that offer true support to one and other as we navigate the profession. DTC incorporates Education Units as part of its certifying process which is wonderful because it places value on continued learning. Since becoming a doula, I have taken courses in the pelvic floor, pediatric massage, prenatal massage, advanced comfort measures, breastfeeding, business, water birth, birth trauma, belly casting, and henna belly blessings. I have also begun teaching Childbirth Education Classes, started my Childbirth Educator Certification through DTC. I plan to teach infant massage classes and prenatal massage classes in the Peterborough area this summer/spring. I am always interested in learning and growing within my profession and DTC provides me with avenues to do so- while working it into my certification.

I have learned that being a doula is the right fit for me and I am so appreciative that Doula Training Canada is the community that taught me that.

Kelly is a Doula and RMT as well as practices Henna, and teaches childbirth education classes in Peterborough and the surrounding area. She enjoys spending time furthering her education, so you can often find her attending workshops, reading books, teaching classes, etc.  http://kellyswiftdoula.wixsite.com/kellyswift

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