I’m a DONA certified birth doula, a trained post-partum doula, a lactation consultant, a professional placenta encapsulator, and a supporter of all mothers/babies/birth/women. Pregnant women and babies are kind of my jam.
I first started my doula business in my hometown, a mostly rural city in the Deep South. There was not a huge demand for pro-birth professionals there, but I did well. I attended more births than anyone expected for such a small town. Becoming a professional there was hard work, but wholly worthwhile. But Fate and a recent move to Atlanta this past May has pushed me to really become more involved in the social media aspect of being a doula. It was easy to get away with business cards and word of mouth in a small town, but to my chargin, that won’t cut it in ATL. Living in a urban area has really changed the way I run my business. For instance, I have discovered many of my potential clients are saddened when I tell them I don’t have a blog. (I’m pretty sure they are just trying to manipulate me into giving out free advice and information on birth—the devils) So due to popular demand, here I am, preparing to spout my advice and words of wisdom freely. This one post, just this once, will be about me. The others will cover topics on birth, parenthood, pregnancy, female empowerment, and how to prepare for new life.
About me: The one question I am asked most often (after “what’s a doula actually do?”) is “what led me to the world of birth”. The answer isn’t simple. But I’ve always been drawn to babies. I worked almost full time as a nanny from the age of 15 until I decided to become a doula in my mid-twenties. It never occurred to me while I was getting my bachelor’s degree in English that working with mothers and children could be an actual career. It was just what I did to keep myself from starving as I worked my way through college. But I loved every second. I preferred nannying to school. If I had been more self-aware I might have saved myself some trouble. It wasn’t until a few years post graduation, struggling at jobs I disliked, that I realized I needed babies back in my life to be happy. And after all, don’t we all deserve to be happy?
Looking back, it makes sense that becoming a doula was the right path for me. I grew up in a small town with one hospital that was not pro-birth. I had several high school friends who had babies young and I remember the first time I was invited into a delivery room. I felt like I was meant to be there. I immediately wanted to change things–to make the mother more comfortable. I was confused on why they couldn’t get up and walk, or eat something when they were hungry. I kept thinking, “there has got to be a better way!” after seeing my friend strapped for 12 hours on her back with no food, finally give in to an unnecessary cesarean section. That was an eye-opening experience. There was so much to learn. Even witnessing birth in a less than baby friendly hospital, I felt so much joy from just being present. Birth is terrifyingly beautiful. I knew this from the first time I ever saw a baby take a breath. It was magic. I can’t say for sure when the exact moment I realized I wanted to be a birth professional was, but I know that it’s been inside me for many years. I’m honored to be apart of such an intimate and wonderful time in a person’s life.
Some more information about me:
- I’m married to a wonderful woman who is a massage therapist. We moved to Atlanta to find a place for ourselves amongst the more liberal and diverse population. We are so grateful to have found a community of loving people to support us here, including a great church family.
- I love Mexican food, French films, and watching Parks and Recreation.
- I curse like a sailor. I can reign it in when around children, but I’m likely to find it difficult to keep myself from using my colorful vocabulary here. Sometimes the only word that fits the situation is “fuck.”
- I am very open-minded and equally opinionated. I can promise you that you will find no shaming here. I do not believe in body shaming, mommy shaming, slut shaming, or race/sex/gender/age/religion/sexuality shaming. At the same time, I am very forward about my beliefs on equality and anonymity. All of my posts will be written in a genuine feminist spirit.
- When I’m not helping mothers cope with pregnancy and birth, you can find me reading, sleeping as much as possible, coloring, marching for women’s equality, painting my toenails, or eating too much pizza.
- I love ice. I prefer to be cold to hot, always. Which is strange because I can’t seem to leave this beautiful swamp state.
- If you ever need birth assistance or have questions about doulas, feel free to contact me. I will always respond.
So, since I was an English major in college, I actually love writing. But my issue with having a blog is… people read it. I have no doubt that I have good knowledge to share, but letting everyone critique your writing on the internet is a little different than writing a college paper. So please, excuse my language, the plethora of typos, and my over-usage of commas. That being said, truly I am very excited to start this new journey with you, Reader. I feel like I have a lot to say on birth, pregnancy, motherhood, feminism, the healthcare system, and other deep subjects I’m sure we will delve into. If you’re willing to read this blog, I can promise you one thing: I will never bullshit you. I don’t believe in lying to my clients or friends. There is no point. But please remember, I’m only human. I am likely to mess up sometimes. If you can accept that I won’t always be perfect, I will keep my very sacred promise to always be real with you. I want every parent, every mother, every woman, every person to know all the facts about what their bodies can do. You are capable of beautiful and powerful things. Let’s discover our power together.
Hannah Hitchcock, CD(DONA)