'When I walk in it's like a part of me extends to her. I put my own stuff in a box. It's like my heart grows for her.'
I spotted Doula Katy Hemmus leaving wise and insightful comments about birth in The Secret Community. After following a few threads knew I wanted to talk to her properly.
The way she describes entering the birth space is so inspiring - Katy doesn't use the phrase 'birth magic' but the way she talks about supporting labouring women makes it clear it's transcendent for her.
In this interview we cover:
- How to tell if you have the right temperament to be a Doula
- Katy's experiences with other birth workers; sometimes tricky but overall good
- Why Katy enjoys working with midwives
- Why women might choose a Doula
- Why it seems to be mainly white women who employ Doulas at the moment (a huge shame and problem as Doulas are associated with better outcomes and black and ethnic minority women are three times more likely to die during birth than white women)
- How to become a Doula, with practical suggestions
I was going to clip this audio off at around 35 minutes and start to say thank you and goodbye but then Katy started to talk about parenting her kids, who range in age from 2-12.
Her thoughts on balancing motherhood, paid employment and on-call Doula work are profoundly helpful - it's a circus act!
Click play to listen to the interview:
Or follow this link to the interview here to put on a device. (Use the three dots on the right hand side to bring up the Download option).
Thanks so much for this Katy!
Always inspiring to hear joy from birthy people.
We'd love to hear from you - what were your thoughts?
1. Have you had a Doula?
2. As a midwife have you worked with one - how did you find this?
3. Are you a Doula, any insights to share with midwives?
I think women choosing to have a Doula is a great thing. It shows they're making choices on their own terms.
P.s. Thanks for all the support for New Walk announcement day last week. Any writer will tell you having your work discussed in public is terrifying so I'm deeply appreciative of all the comments and messages!