Open Arms Perinatal Services doula loves making a difference in King County’s indigenous community.
COMMUNITY-BASED OUTREACH DOULA
What do you do? I educate, support and care for my clients from early pregnancy, their birth and up until their child is 2 years old. This includes pregnancy and childbirth education, labor and birth support, postpartum support and education, breast-feeding support, parent education, bonding, attachment, early literacy support and education.
How did you get started in that field? I started out as a breast-feeding peer counselor trained by Open Arms Perinatal Services and absolutely loved making a difference in my indigenous community, so I inquired about more training. My previous supervisor informed me that Open Arms was going to be hosting a doula training. I was lucky to be a part of the training, and after the training was over, a community-based outreach doula position became available serving the indigenous community in King County.
What’s a typical day like? A typical day for me is networking with organizations to learn about resources that my clients could benefit from. Board meetings, routine client visits all over King County and routine paperwork. Processing orders for supplies that my clients need. If I have a client due, then I am on call two weeks before due date and two weeks after because, as we know, babies arrive when they are ready to. If my client needs a nap, I will care for her baby so she can get some uninterrupted sleep.
If my client needs help with housework, I will clean and do laundry for her. If my clients need emergency diapers, I make sure they get them because I know what it is like to be in that situation — and if I can relieve a little stress from my clients, then I am more than happy to do so.
What surprises people about what you do? People are most surprised that my services are free. Open Arms thrives off of an annual luncheon fundraiser that is coming up April 5 at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion.
What’s the best part of the job? Welcoming precious babies into the world and being a part of their growth and development.