What is your name? Amanda Rhodes
What is your doula business name? Beyond the Bump
And my non-profit: It Takes a Village
Where are you located? Cape Girardeau, MO
When did you finish your doula certification? November 2019
Why did you decide to become a doula?
To help mothers truly understand their options, and feel supported and confident once they decide their course of action, and have attention and support before, during, and after birth.
Tell us about the most impactful birth you have attended.
My first client was the complete opposite of how most media portrays birth. She was calm and quite nearly the entire time. She barely moaned or made any noise until just before the baby arrived. Even during pushing she was almost silent….just very focused on breathing. She had prepared ahead of time by reading hypnobirthing; I was amazed by how quiet and focused she was, with barely any coaching from me. No pain meds, just focus. She was basically a poster child for natural birth. It was awesome to see, and it’s great to be able to share with women, so they know that it is POSSIBLE.
What advice would you give to aspiring doulas?
Ask questions, and find answers. Provide mama with information, but once she has made her decision, step back. It isn’t about you or your own preferences or beliefs – it’s about supporting and validating her, whatever path she chooses, and working within her choices to help her have the best experience possible.
What is something you always day to birthing mothers?
Before labor starts, when we are discussing her options – I tell her that I will support her in whatever comfort measures she asks for, including intervention for pain management, but let’s talk about it after the contraction is over.
During labor – when you think you can’t go on – breathe…it often seems like you can’t make it JUST before baby arrives.
What is your favorite labor comfort measure?
Double hip squeeze!
Scalp massage! I have one of the spider-looking things…feels great! (unless mama doesn’t like it of course! 😛 )
What is your best advice to give to new expecting mothers?
Research, and ask yourself WHY are you leaning towards the decisions you are making. Are you truly making that choice, or do you feel like you have to? If you ask yourself what you TRULY want and feel is best, and you come to the same decision, then that is what you have truly chosen. So many people do what “that’s just what you do” instead of considering their options and actually CHOOSING something.
Extra info – The non-profit that I have started is interested in prenatal and postpartum education and support for women and families in Southeast Missouri and surrounding areas. We are working to increase access to doulas, accurate breastfeeding information and support, and education on many different subjects related to everything from preparing for pregnancy to dealing with children. We hope to partner with local businesses to sponsor births and put together programs for all women to have access to doula services, especially ones who could not otherwise afford it.
Check out Amanda’s social media for her businesses!