Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"TO DO" Tuesdays: Birth Doulaing

Some of you know that I (Jessica) am a birth doula. Some of you know that I am birth doula but are utterly confused as to what that means. Allow me to shed a little light on the subject!

I first became interested in becoming a birth doula while volunteering at Asheville Pregnancy Support Services (APSS). I knew that Kyle and I would eventually be heading to the mission field and I really wanted some type of tangible skill to add to whatever ministry God might lead us too. Through the ministry at APSS God showed me that pregnancy opens up the door for very personal ministry. Being a birth doula gave me the practical skills I need to fully support expectant women!

A birth doula is a non-medical birth assistant that provides emotional, educational, physical and (in my case!) spiritual support to a pregnant woman and her partner.

That means that I am there for them prenatally, during the birth and through the postpartum period. I have had the blessing of being a part of some absolutely beautiful births!

Here is me after one of my client's births...long hours...but totally worth it!

Now, I don't know what capacity God is going to use my doula skills in Liberia but I am going prepared. Liberia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. There are several reasons for the alarmingly high rate of maternal mortality. The most common reasons are poor medical care and sanitation problems that lead to infection particularly after a prolonged labor. Equip Liberia is working closely with native midwives to improve this situation and encourage rural women to deliver in well equipped prenatal clinics.

Read more about the recent Mama Kit's project on Equip Liberia's website.

As I said earlier I don't know exactly what I will be doing in Liberia, but I am hoping to put my doula skills to good use! If you are interested in reading more about birth/postpartum doulas check out DONA International for evidence based information about the benefits of a trained birth companion!


  1. That sounds very rewarding & exciting! I will be praying for you guys!

  2. Thanks for your prayers, Heather! I love being a doula and I am excited to see how God uses my skills in Liberia. I'm praying for ya'll too. That little one will be here before you know it and I just know you are going to be a wonderful mommy!


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~Kyle and Jessica Hoover

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