"I raise up my voice - not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back."
- Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist and youngest Nobel Prize laureate
Today is International Women's Day 2018, it is not just a day, but the first day of a year long campaign to #PressforProgress. As I read about this years theme, I reflect on where I am in life and the path I'm now on. Becoming a Doula has been at times, scary but mostly, absolutely freaking amazing! Everyday I become more confident about who I am and what I can offer to the world. As I work to empower women to use their voices, I become empowered to use mine.
Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood should be some of the greatest experiences of someone's life but for many, it is filled with fear, trauma, disrespect, and a lack of trust in oneself. As women, many of us spend our lives being told not to trust our instincts and emotions. We are made to feel ashamed of our bodies. We are abused and disrespected. All this is often even more true when a woman is pregnant. It is no wonder there is so much trauma around birth. I think one of the most important jobs as a Doula is to listen. I work to create a safe space for the birthing person to express themselves with how they feel, what they are thinking and what they desire for there birth. I help educate and I help them discover their vision for their birth experience and feel empowered to voice what they want. Witnessing the birth of a little human being is pretty amazing, but witnessing a woman empowered by her body, her soul, and her voice is life changing!
My plans for the next year will be to continue to grow as a person, and as a Doula, but I also want to help others grow. We need to lift each other up. Empower those around us. To defend and to believe each other. To use our voices to fight for ourselves, our fellow women and all those still to come. Together we can #PressforProgress.