Janae is a mom of three and a birth doula serving clients in the East Bay. We're so happy to learn more about her today!
What line of work were you in before becoming a doula?
I worked in special education for almost 15 years. During my career in SPED, I worked with children from preschool to high school, with a variety of special needs.
How did you decide to become a doula?
I am a mom of three. I was induced with my first birth and I felt like I was not in control of what happened to me in the hospital. I felt like things were being done to me and I didn't have a choice. I thought I had educated myself about birth, but I really wasn't prepared for an induction and I didn't know that I could say no. With my next birth, I did not want to repeat that experience. When labor started I did not tell my husband. I did not want him to take me to the hospital. I labored alone until I couldn't take it anymore. When I finally did get to the hospital there was no time for anything. No vaginal exam, no time to meet the nurse or doctor. I was literally in triage with just my husband when my water broke. I felt something with the pop of the water breaking. So I felt in between my legs and my baby was crowning. I told my husband to go get someone. He walked out into the hallway and the first person he saw happened to be a midwife. He pulled her into the room. I told her I was ready to push, I was going to do it on my hands and knees and I wanted to do it my way. She told me she would follow my lead, and just a few pushes later my daughter was here!
This experience was so much better than the last. I thought, "If I can have a baby unmedicated anyone can!" This is one of the reasons why I became a doula. The other reason was that with the birth of my son I experienced racism in the hospital during the induction. I wanted to help others to not have the experience I had the first time.
What is the most satisfying part about being a doula?
I love the moments immediately after the baby is born and the birthing person is glowing!
What is the hardest part about being a doula?
Dealing with the trauma that sometimes happens during birth.
The most surprising thing you’ve learned about birth?
I love how amazing the placenta is, and how hard it works.
Do you have a favorite hospital or provider?
I don't think I have a favorite just yet, but I've had some nice experiences with midwives in Kaiser San Leandro.
If you could wave a magic wand and experience your own births all over again, anything you'd do differently, or the same?
I would say no to the induction.
Tell us about a favorite birth moment.
I feel like every birth is my favorite until I attend the next one, then that becomes my favorite. I love when families are happy after their birth and when they advocate for the birth they want.
Why did you become a BORN doula?
The education that Born Doula clients receive really spoke to me.
What part of birth gives you the most joy/excitement/fulfillment?
I love when the birthing person realizes they can do it!
Read even more about Janae here.