Making a Difference in My Community as a Doula

By Grace P. ’24

During my sophomore year, I decided to pursue a STEM concentration regarding aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. I didn't know what I wanted to focus on, but Dr. Tuttle, my mentor, helped me figure it out when she suggested becoming a birth doula. As a birth doula, one provides pregnant women with emotional and physical support throughout their pregnancy and labor to ensure a positive birthing experience. Although I didn't know what a doula was or how it could benefit the birthing process, I was determined to pursue it to make a difference in my community and contribute to the medical field. My ultimate goal is to become a certified doula, which involves extensive reading, writing, and attending three births, among other requirements.
Last Thursday, I presented my "Doula Seminar" to the Foxcroft community, educating them on the importance of doula work. Assuming that many of them would be in the position I was in sophomore year, where I had never heard of a doula, I focused on the fundamental aspects of doulas: their benefits and what they do. I made the presentation interactive by creating three different "scenarios" a doula may encounter and asking, "What would you do if you were a doula?" After a few answers, I revealed a few specific options doulas could employ in each situation, further educating the community on the scope of the field. After the presentation, I had many girls come up to me and explain their newfound interest in the field, which was very empowering.

I attended my first birth in September, assisting the mother pro bono, providing my knowledge and aid by helping her find new positions and breathing techniques and maintaining her confidence in an unmedicated birth. It was amazing to witness, to see the female body's capabilities, and to watch a new life enter the world. Over Christmas Break, I attended my second birth, and just last week, I attended my third. 
Through my STEM Concentration, I have explored and discovered my passion for childbirth and obstetrics by becoming a birth doula. In my seminar, I had the opportunity to educate my community. Hopefully, I inspired some of my classmates to pursue passions outside the box, no matter how difficult they may appear.
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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.