I like to believe that I’m a person who is strong yet flexible, self-directed yet connected, motherly yet childish, eager yet patient, detached yet empathetic, practical yet strive for an ideal. My personal journey of self discovery and motherhood have helped me grow comfortable and gain strength from these dualities that exist within me.
In 2011, when my first daughter was born, I went into childbirth with rose-colored glasses. My husband and I didn’t prepare much beyond reading a few books. Being under the care of a close relative as my OB, who I fully trusted, I didn’t feel the need to know more. I knew that I was in good hands and my doctor and hospital would take excellent care of me during the labor and delivery process.
But I soon realized that this was really my body, my journey, my baby and it for me to own it. As natural as it should be childbirth and parenting nowadays are subject to an ‘information overload’, more often than not, leaving us anxious and fearful. In todays age of information technology and instant gratification, having a child has only become harder. I realized that it’s a conscious investment… a process of self discovery, a conquest of fear, learning & unlearning, making your own choices and opening your heart.
I faced my own set of challenges. And in the course of that, met so many other parents who had struggles of their own. Pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting left many of them with a feeling of guilt or dissatisfaction. I knew I had to something about this. Having a baby should be one of the most memorable & joyful experiences of your life.
So I eventually decided to exit my corporate career and deep dive into learning more about the subject. I completed my Lamaze childbirth educator certification under the mentorship of the inspirational Dr. Vijaya Krishnan who is a professional midwife and runs her own natural birth center in Hyderabad. Then I took up a professional membership at the Evidence Based Birth Academy US and learned a lot about the latest and best evidence on the subject. I started with helping parents be better prepared with the relevant information and best practices that they can use to make the right choices during pregnancy & birth.
Soon, I felt the need to do more and started to hand hold some of my clients up until birth and postpartum - I found myself doing the work of a Doula. So I attended a DONA International training and started formally working as a professional Birth Doula. I’m privileged to be mentored by India’s first doula, the lovely Divya Deswal and have learned the nuances of birth support from her.
For now, conducting birth workshops for eager new parents, supporting moms during births and holding this sacred space for moms and babies drives me like nothing ever has. I feel the impact of the work I do when I see a baby come gently into this world into happy loving hands and a mother feeling blessed and empowering by what she just experienced. The gratification that my work gives me is incomparable to all those years of corporate achievements.
I am also working on some other related projects. I am a scholarship holder for the SheCreatesChange program 2018-19 by change.org and am involved with NGO Birth India and the Midwifery Coalition to help advocate for better care for childbearing women.