Although it was the births of my own two daughters that led me to doula work, it is the sheer joy of witnessing couples become families and women become mother’s that keeps me embedded in my work as a birth doula and childbirth educator. When the families I serve start out searching, learning, and being actively engaged in their birth choices, it is an absolute honor to then see them claim their child and exclaim to the world “I did it!”
When asked about my philosophy of birth – I struggle to give a one sentence answer, because it is so multi-layered. I think birth works awesomely when left alone. I believe in women’s bodies, intuition, and strength. I believe you can do it and that you WILL do it. Does that mean you need to have a natural birth to be able to feel satisfied and victorious? No. I believe that when women look into themselves and are honest about what they want from their birth, even when that includes epidurals and medical pain management, we all end up with workable expectations and ways to help the mother through whatever method she has chosen. When fear is present birth gets tricky, which is why I work closely with families on dispelling fear and building confidence. I want to hear you say, “I did it!”
Birth can be beautiful, amazing, loving, and empowering if you educate yourself and pick a provider, location, and birth team that believes in the type of birth you envision yourself having. When your provider and place of birth match the ideals and beliefs you have surrounding birth, you are setting yourself up for success! There are only a few things that we have control over in birth. We can’t control how long your labor is, the obstacles you might face, or even the outcome. What we CAN control is where you will birth and who will be allowed into that sacred space. I truly believe with knowledge and a supportive birthing team every woman can claim their child and we will all say “YOU did it!”
Liz Hochman holds a BA in Mass Communications from Augsburg College, is a certified birth doula with DONA International, and a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator offering monthly classes at Blooma. She lives in Hopkins with her husband Michael and daughters, Lilly and Lucy.