Sunday, July 9, 2017
INTERVIEW: Sara Regan
Written by Rocky Walker
Sara Regan is the founder of the business "All Families Doula Services", a doula service with an adamant belief of inclusivity of all types of families, queer or otherwise. Earlier this week I got to sit her down so I could gain more insight about her and her business...
What in your words is a doula?
A doula is someone who helps and supports families as they start the journey into parenthood. There are different types of doulas, there are birth doulas which help with the process leading up to birth as well as the birth itself, and there are post-partem doulas which help with the process after the birth.
What led you to this career path?
A couple years ago I had this "health thing" which really made me reevaluate my life; I realized how short life was and I just really wanted to do something that made me happy. I've always loved babies, I'm really passionate about newborns and child development; I even majored in child development in school, and when I had my son a few years ago I got really interested in pregnancy so I started researching everything. So when I had that "what am I doing with my life " moment I started thinking to myself, "I need to do something that I love, so what makes me the happiest?," and the first thing that came to mind was babies so I thought " I'm just going to do it".
What is your belief behind the use of doulas, Why is it necessary for birth and the people involved?
Well birth is really medicalized now; in our culture we treat birth like its something to "get through" as if it's an illness and its really not, its one of the most natural things there is. So one, it's nice to have someone there that knows that and understands that we can go through this. Second of all when you go into the hospital to have the baby there are so many different providers and people involved, typically women don’t know the doctor or nurses delivering the baby; so it's nice to have a doula that’s been there the entire time, someone that you know and that knows how to relax and help you.
Are you exclusive to being a birth doula, a post-partem doula, or do you tackle the responsibilities of both?
I tackle the responsibilities of both.
What does being a doula entail altogether?
Well it's a lot *laughs* it really depends on the client and what they want. We really try to support them in a way that fits for them. Its very individualized.
So, you and your wife have a child together, did you guys use the assistance of a doula during that process?
We did not. I didn’t think I'd need a doula, but honestly I wasn’t as educated about doulas as I am now. If I'd known then what I know now I probably would have made different decisions, but I feel like I made the best choices with the information that I had at the time.
What in your opinion, is the most rewarding aspect of being a doula?
There's so much, really it’s the feeling of facilitating something as sacred and beautiful as the beginning of life. It’s when two people are at one of their most vulnerable times in their life, just being there to support someone through that; the love in that moment is very contagious, its unlike anything in the entire world.
When and how did your business, All Families Doula Services, start?
About a year ago, I started it myself. I studied to learn how to be a doula, and went through doula training to become a certified doula, and about a month after that I started my business. I pretty much had no idea(in terms of starting a business) what I was doing so I started with a Facebook page and started getting involved in the doula and birth professional community as to better myself and my business.
Just how long are you usually someone's doula, or does it differ from person to person?
It differs from person to person, I've had people call me a week before their due date because they're panicking, and I've had people who are only 12 or 13 weeks pregnant want to hire me. Typically if it’s a birth client they’ll hire me around 20 to 28 weeks. They see me a couple times and then I'm their for the birth, however long it takes, then I stay after the birth to get them situated, then I follow up about a week later to see how they're doing and help with breastfeeding and issues like that, but then again it differs from client to client; some like a lot of follow up and some are good to go on their own.
How long after the birth do you guys usually maintain close contact?
Again it depends on the client, some clients you just bond with in a way where there's a connection where they want to become your friend, while some clients see it as more of a professional relationship, and only contact you when they need help or assistance.
How does a doula benefit the partner of the one giving birth?
Well it depends... really on how scared they are. If they're really anxious we can help and calm them down, and if they have it handled we can be there to support their partner, where we focus on the partner and all they have to focus on is loving them. We really enable them to remain calm and enjoy the birth so when they look back on it it’s a beautiful experience they can remember.
I know that your business, All Families Doula Services, is very centered around inclusivity of all styles of families; have you noticed other doulas not really care for domestic partnerships?
Yeah sadly I have, I've noticed some doulas that aren't welcoming to different demographics, but I've also seen other doulas that are just fabulous when it comes to catering to the community. I personally just like to be super loud and actively finding that community, and bring them to me so they know that they're okay.
Over the duration of our interview Sara constantly displayed her passion and love for not only childbirth but also helping other people. She is actually trying to start a nonprofit, at the moment, to help pregnant teens and women of color. If you'd like to contact her for her doula services you can reach her at: http://www.allfamiliesdoula.com/ .