by Sara Paules
Alexis Edwards, LCSW & Certified BEST Doula, is the owner and founder of Birth360 as well as the witty blogger of Mrs. Mombie where she writes the truth about motherhood. She also is the director of the doula training program through pphatx.org. This girl is all about empowering other women through the entire pregnancy from conception through postpartum and we’re so excited to have her at Launch Wellness as a member!
Read more about Alexis in our recent interview together:
How did you get into blogging?
Honestly, I just started blogging after my daughter was born. At the time, I was sleep deprived and felt like a zombie. [Thus her blog title: Mom Zombie/Mombie!] Writing was a great tool at the time to help me get out a lot of what I was feeling inside and really helped. I started blogging more professionally afterwards but I didn't initially start out with that in mind.
Tell me about Birth360.
I opened Birth360 last January 2017. I wanted to work with women surrounding birth, hence the name, Birth360. My passion is serving the link between new parenthood and our mental health. As a doula I can establish relationships with parents during the prenatal period which allows us to develop trust and makes it easier for parents to reach out should they need additional therapeutic support postpartum
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being able to normalize and validate that the early parts of parenthood aren’t very supported in our culture and that it’s totally normal to struggle. Even at it’s best, new parenthood can be hard.
What’s something you talk to your clients about often?
Signs of postpartum depression to look out for and how to know if it’s baby blues versus a mood disorder. I also encourage both partners to go to birthing and breastfeeding classes because it helps the partner understand what the mom is going through and they can help support them a little better. Breastfeeding can feel overwhelming for a lot of women so it’s nice to be able to have someone who isn’t as overwhelmed to help them like a partner.
It really is true that it takes a village to have a baby and raise a family. Back in the day, there were other women around who would both educate and support the new mom through taking care of things like household chores so she could be more present with her child. Our modern culture these days is very individualistic and puts so much pressure on moms to do it all on their own. So I also start planting the seed early on that we need to think ahead of time and prepare for our postpartum period too.
How would you define what a doula does?
They really serve as a support person that provides relational, emotional, physical and informational support for the whole family and are there to help you feel more empowered in your choices.
I am also very passionate about trauma-informed care and encourage all birth and postpartum professionals to approach their work through a trauma-informed lens when working with our clients. The birthing process can be triggering for trauma survivors and many providers and support professionals don’t ask if their clients have a trauma history. I am passionate about educating other professionals on the unique journey trauma survivors might face during the prenatal and postpartum periods
What is the difference between a birth and postpartum doula?
A birth doula relationally, is another person that you can trust. Informationally, they help you with your birth plan and in normal language vs scary medical terms. They help you understand what all your choices are so you can make an informed decision. Physically, they help with different labor positions and techniques that help with pain management. They show your partner how to support you the whole time and encourage the partner to go take care of self during the birthing process (like go to bathroom, eat something, etc.).
A postpartum doula, emotionally helps with processing birth, breastfeeding, and being a mom. Informationally, with breastfeeding, postpartum healing and physically, by offering and encouraging mom to take some space for self-care in addition to helping her come up with a routine, with sleep, setting up breastfeeding station in house, help with cooking, and pretty much anything to help with the transition afterwards. This role also helps with giving her the tools and knowledge she needs so that she feels like she doesn’t need a doula anymore. Basically, I’m always trying to work myself out of a job.
What is a resource out there related to what you do in your career that other people should know more about?
“The Business of Being Born” documentary. It’s actually what really got me initially interested in becoming a doula. I also recommend the book, “When Survivors Give Birth” for birth and postpartum professionals.
What are you currently reading?
Honestly, I never have enough time to read and I have a stack of books I need to get around to looking at. If I do have the time to read, it’s usually fun versus professional books. Right now I’m reading “The Unmumsy Mum” by Sarah Taylor and “I’m judging you” by Luvvie Ajayi.
What’s a food you’ve been craving lately?
Definitely a peanut butter cup milkshake from Hat Creek.
You can learn more about Alexis on her website at: https://www.birth360.net/ Find her on Instagram at ww.instagram.com/birth360atx.