Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Childbirth Professional Day - Meet Suzanna Hardin

What is your Childbirth Profession?
I am a doula and a natural childbirth educator

Describe your profession and why someone would want to choose your profession for support in pregnancy and/or childbirth. 
I have found that as a birth advocate for the last 10 years of my life that I am constantly amazed and impressed at the power of a pregnant and laboring mother. Families who choose a doula or myself as their support person are normally looking for someone who is informed, supportive, compassionate, personable and intuitive during the birth process. The more births I attend the more I realize that we are connected in so many ways and that birth experience change us, positive birth stories are such an encouragement to families.

Why did you get started in your profession?
I had wanted to be a doula long before I actually became one.  I filled that need by reading as much about birth as I could wrap my head around.  I have been a practicing doula for 3 years.  It is such a (pardon my pun) labor of love.

In detail, what is your personal childbirth philosophy?
Birth support is one of those life events that I believe that we as doulas have to be purposed for, to attend, and befriend. The passion I have for the natural process of birth, in my mind, is a gift from God. Fear surrounding birth is something that is prevalent in our country, and this natural process is really done best when the mother is supported, loved and empowered to embrace the natural progression of the birth process. I believe with my whole heart that we as women are capable of having babies, and that most of the battle is allowing our bodies to take over and to shut our minds off. This creative process, birth, cannot be taught but must be experienced.

If you could tell all pregnant women in the world something, what would it be?
I would say, first of all, make sure you implicitly trust your doctor or midwife with your physical and emotional needs during your pregnancy and birth. Trust your instincts – it is never too late to find someone who really supports your wishes. Read and listen to positive birth stories, practice relaxation daily (or take a natural childbirth class), and of course hire a doula!

How long have you been in your profession? Are you certified? If yes, by who? 
I have been attending births for three years and I am DONA trained and ICEA postpartum trained. I decided to forgo the certification process for my doula career although I have met and exceeded all of the requirements. My time and money are being spent on obtaining my credentials through ICEA for childbirth education.  I love the ICEA philosophy on childbirth, “The freedom of decision based on knowledge of alternatives”.

Do you have a business name? How can people contact you for pregnancy and childbirth support?  
My business name is Natural Progression Birth Services and I have a page on Facebook and a blog, and all of my contact information are listed on those sights.

Where do you practice?
I am normally willing travel a 2 hour radius from Brookings South Dakota. I have been happy to attend births in Minnesota and South Dakota. However, by some lucky chance I have attended births in South Carolina, and Arizona this past year.  I really love my profession and the people I meet at such a miraculous time in their lives.

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