We are launching a new platform on our blog that will be interviews with Madison area birth service providers. Our mission is to help moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life and hopefully these posts will help put you in contact with another service or contact that can help you. First up, meet Lumos Doula Services- Lumos is fearlessly run by a trio of Doulas- Riley, Alli and Lea. Last week, we introduced you to Riley, this week it's Alli's turn!
In their words, “We are a safe space. When it comes to options, we encourage you to explore, consider, try on- and we encourage plenty of space to change your mind too. We care about how you feel about your decisions more than that you find the ‘right’ answer. We know you value your time, and we strive to make this experience stream-lined and personally tailored to your needs. We are experienced. We are organized. We are responsive. And we absolutely LOVE what we do”.
First off, tell us your name and who you are a mom to.
I'm Alli Ryan and I've got two kids at home, Scarlett (9) and Jude "The Dude" (5)
And we start each of our classes with an icebreaker.. sooooo, if you could hire a personal chef or a housekeeper which would you choose?
I'm one of those people that cleans when they are stressed/wanting to feel some sense of control over the chaos, so I don't need a housekeeper. However, a personal chef sounds lovely. We all have very different eating styles and preferences so someone (that isn't me) that could cater meals to each of us would be a dream.
How did you choose your path as a doula?
It's going to sound cheesy but doula work doesn't feel like a choice; it feels like who I am. Initially I channeled this care-giving spirit into education and enjoyed working with children and students in my classrooms as a teacher. When we were pregnant with Scarlett we were suggested a doula by our care provider. My husband and I left the interview and both realized 1. were were def hiring this doula and 2. I was a doula. I gradually made the transition from teaching to full time doula work and have loved the ways in which this work compliments my passions and skill sets, as well as allows for growth as a person and professional
What training is involved for initial certification and for ongoing continuing education?
My answer is similar to Riley's except that I choose to train with DONA but certify with another organization. I've added many trainings and certifications over the years, including Certified Lactation Counselor, Certified Childbirth Educator, postpartum doula training, and infant sleep educator.
How do you and your partners manage your schedules as moms yourselves?
Phew, managing schedules is hard! I'm incredibly grateful to be surrounded by friends that have become family as they are willing to jump in and support us anytime. We created Lumosfor so many reasons but balance was at the top of the list. My classic line is, "You can't pour from an empty cup" and we wanted to practice the advice we were so often giving new families.
What percentage of work time is split between pre-birth, actual birth coaching, and postpartum on average?
What's lovely about doula work is we get to meet families where they're at in terms of support. We have a framework built upon our hundreds of births and education hours but we also have the ability to individualize support in a real time way. Maybe you don't totally understand why we put so much time into talking about newborn sleep when you're pregnant because getting this baby out is taking up the most brain space at the time. However, knowing you have the support system around you in which you can rely upon when sleep does get hard is important. And we'll know as your doulas that you've gotten some sense of the discussion prenatally which makes the learning curve in the moment so much less complicated (well, usually).
How do you recommend clients interview doulas and figure out which one is right for them?
Pregnancy, birth, and parenting is a time of significant transition and most people don't love transitions/change. We find ourselves feeling vulnerable, afraid, excited, worried, joyful, and about 1000 other emotions. A doula that you feel safe and comfortable feeling any/all of these emotions with (for many of the reasons listed above) is ultimately what makes the relationship and support work most effectively.
If you had to pick one thing, what is your favorite part about being a doula?
The love and hard work it takes to grow a family is awesome. It's powerful to be with folks through the good and bad minutes/days/hours/weeks/months; doing this work gives me a tremendous feeling of connection.