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I love to see the responses from my students for this assignment. They are usually very personal and beautiful, in my opinion. So, I wanted to share some here. (I did get permission first:)).

From Helen:

“The first time I gave birth, I thought I was prepared. I had hired a midwife, taken natural birthing classes and had read a lot of birth stories and books. In the throws of a very long two-day labor, I felt alone and like I was dying. My midwife was off delivering other babies, my nurse was charting the whole time and my husband was doing the best he could. Not only did I fear something was wrong and that I was dying, but I was robbed of the joy of letting my body birth and not being afraid.

“My number one goal as a doula is to constantly affirm my birthing mothers that what they are going through is normal, that there isn’t something wrong. I also want to help partners feel included and harness their nervous energy into positive affirmation and helpfulness towards the mother. I want the mother to feel like they are fully surrounded by people who believe in her and who care for her. In the end, I want my mothers to come away from whatever birth they had feeling empowered and that they were able to make informed decisions regarding their birth.”

Follow Rachel Leavitt:

Rachel has worked as a register nurse (BSN from University of Utah) since 2004 with a work history in Labor and Delivery, NICU and Postpartum Care. She is also the founder of New Beginnings Doula Training which she organized in 2011. When she's not busy being a mother and grandmother, she can be found reading research papers related to some aspect of childbirth.

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