Our "Meet the Doula" feature is back. This month we are featuring Laura Pruett, MT-BC. I met Laura at a Doula Care meeting for active doulas. I am so pleased to introduce her to our students and readers today. She has much more than traditional doula skills to offer her clients.
SPB: When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
LP: The first time I heard the word “doula” was when my friend found out that our mutual friend was a doula. She asked if, as a doula, she could take out her IUD for her. Our doula friend educated us both that a doula is not medically trained.
SPB: How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
LP: I have been working as a board certified music therapist since 2011, and came across a Continuing Education Class about incorporating music therapy into childbirth education. I was intrigued, and took the course. The more I learned about pregnancy and childbirth, the more I realized how much it impacts us as individuals, and as a society. A few months later, I took another continuing education course about how to use music therapy in labor support. I was fascinated, and took a DONA doula training. I now combine both of my trainings to offer doula music therapy support. I truly believe that if we want positive change on an individual, community, state, national and global scale, we need to treat each other better, starting from birth. My goal is very similar to Dr. Sarah Buckley’s statement – “heal birth, heal the earth”.
SPB: Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula?
LP: I work as a birth doula. I have not taken a postpartum training as of yet, but that is something I look to do in the future.
SPB: How long have you been a doula?
LP: I have worked as a doula since May 2014. I was trained through Sound Birthing Music, DONA and ProDoula, and I am working on completing my certifications.
SPB: What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
LP: I enjoy seeing a family come together, and being strengthened.
SPB: What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
LP: I am there to support the mother and her birth team in whatever way I can, within my scope of practice as a doula and music therapist. I am not there to “take over” the birth, or to make decisions for the mother. The birth is not about me – it is about a family coming together.
SPB: How do you work with and involve the Coach?
LP: I encourage the coach to be as involved as they and the mother are comfortable. If I see that the coach wants to support the mother, but does not know/forgot how, I offer suggestions to help them become more involved. Again, the birth is not about me, it is about a family working together.
SPB: What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with? How did you handle it?
LP: I have not had too many tough situations present themselves in my doula work. The toughest situation I have come across so far was when my first client was given Pitocin. She handled her contractions beautifully for the first hour or so of the Pitocin, but then the contractions became very intense very quickly, and she could hardly move. I suggested she change positions, and then try walking around. Shortly after starting her walk, she asked for an epidural. She expressed relief after the epidural kicked in, and we continued working together for the remainder of her birth experience. Since her birth, I have learned more about how to better support women who receive Pitocin and epidurals. If that situation were to present itself again, I would be a lot more hands on in providing physical relief (massage, counter-pressure, etc.).
SPB: What keeps you working as a doula?
LP: Knowing that strengthened and empowered families are important to positive societal change is what keeps me working as a doula. I have music students and music therapy clients (outside of birth work) in addition to my doula work, to prevent doula burn-out.
SPB: What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours? Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
LP: My fee is the same no matter how long the birth experience. It includes 2 prenatal visits, continuous support once I join the mother in labor until 1 hour after the birth, and 1 post-partum visit within 72 hours of the birth. It also includes 24/7 support via email, text and phone calls. And, it includes a back-up doula, just in case unforeseen circumstances keep me from attending the birth. The doula I work with is also a music therapist, and has been trained to provide music therapy in labor and birth.
SPB: Do you offer any other services to your clients?
LP: Yes. I offer Creative Arts Birthing childbirth education classes (next class starts July 11, 2015), and Personalized Lullabies. I also offer Birth Music Consultations, which for women who already have a doula (or do not want doula support), but want to learn how to use music effectively in their birth.
SPB: Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
LP:When I am not doula-ing, teaching music lessons, or providing music therapy sessions, I enjoy running, and I am currently training for a marathon. I also enjoy playing with my 2 cats, and playing music. I have a blog and YouTube channel where I upload weekly videos of random music stuff.
Huge thanks to Laura for taking the time to introduce herself to us!! AKK - now I want to have another baby so that I can have a birth with a music therapist on our care team...a mama can dream I guess...
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It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.