Monday, April 16, 2012

Childbirth Professional Day - Meet Tammi Chaney

~ What is your Childbirth Profession?

I am a seasoned childbirth educator, doula, lactivist, birth nut, photographer, Mom. My clients generally refer to this set of skills as Super-doula, but this just makes me laugh.

~ Describe your profession and why someone would want to choose your profession for support in pregnancy and/or childbirth.

A doula is a hired professional support person, available during the pregnancy, birth, and newborn period. She agrees to be available to you throughout the pregnancy, and exclusively during labor and through the early postpartum time, providing physical and emotional support. Doulas have a wide variety of backgrounds and skills they offer. Finding a good fit for you is important.

Generally I am available as a birth doula, but clients also contact me for private childbirth classes, birth photography, pregnancy-related questions, postpartum and breastfeeding support. I recommend when searching for someone to support you during pregnancy, you find someone knowledgeable, trustworthy, and inspiring, who is on board with your philosophy. I honestly believe most Dad's-to-be want to be (and do make) great doulas. Supporting him supporting her is my favorite type of birth.

~Why did you get started in your profession?

I grew birth-wise in the rich environment of Washington state. DONA was just forming, everyone used midwives, La Leche League meetings abounded, and you had your pick of childbirth classes from any direction and philosophy. I started teaching classes, but found it much more rewarding to work as a doula. The knowledge gained in class is good, but turning that into action during birth wasn't always as successful. I found even if things didn't go as planned, couples who hired doulas ultimately had a positive perception even in less than desired outcomes, if they received appropriate support and feedback during their experience. Studies have since proven this true. I've seen the difference and believe strongly that everyone needs (and deserves) a supportive, nurturing environment at birth.

~In detail, what is your personal childbirth philosophy?

Personally I believe every birth is as unique as every person giving birth. Some women hope to avoid all medical intervention during a healthy normal birth, while others desire the exact opposite. Each may desire a doula for the same reason (support) but different paths, and that is okay. Whatever the couple wants is what is best for them, and supporting them in their decisions or providing them with the knowledge they desire is my job. 

There are times we all need a little nurturing. Birth is one of those times.

~If you could tell all pregnant women in the world something, what would it be?

Choose those who surround you in pregnancy carefully and wisely. It is an important, empowering idea. Birth is a part of your significant history, one you recall well beyond the sleepless nights and diaper changes that loom in your future. Choose knowledgeable, inspiring people to encourage and support you on your journey toward parenthood. Surround yourself with these same types on the rest of your journey as well. It makes such a difference. 

Also, food will never taste as good as the week after birth, particularly if someone else cooks. (Just my helpful tip.)

~ How long have you been in your profession? Are you certified? If yes, by who?

I have been working with expectant couples for almost 20 years. I have held a wide variety of certifications including ICEA and DONA, but am not currently listed with any of these organizations.

~Do you have a business name? How can people contact you for pregnancy and childbirth support?

Mother Nurture Doula Care
Tammi Chaney
Platte, SD
(605) 491-3661

~ Where do you practice?

I live in south-central South Dakota, but travel well. I have attended local, Sioux Falls, out-of-state, and west-river births.

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