Heather Self, Birth Doula & Mindful Coaching
I first became interested in birth when a friend gave me a copy of Spiritual Midwifery when I was 19. I was amused by the “psychedelic” language but I read the birth stories over and over again. In the intervening years, I found myself acting as a “doula” to friends who had babies. I had not considered a career in birth until 2009, when I was finishing my training in Hakomi. I needed to do practicum work so I put the word out that I was seeking clients. A midwife friend suggested I come work with some of her clients. I jumped at the chance and it changed my work forever.
That first bit of work I did with pregnant women really showed me that birth can be a portal for profound transformation. I saw the earnest self inquiry (especially in first time parents) that comes with pregnancy: what kind of parent am I? What parts of myself need care as I enter this new realm? I created a series of birth sessions with pregnant women (and their partners) to help them dive into the deeper realms and examine their concerns. I soon realized that I needed to learn a lot more about the landscape of modern birth, so I took a toLabor doula training and before long, started attending births. I have most recently been exploring how mindfulness practices and a Hakomi inspired approach might help support women cope with pain in labor.
Ten years in, I am still fascinated and enriched by my work. It brings countless blessings to my life and to my own family. When I am not working, I love taking walks on the river, sitting in really hot saunas, making art, and traveling with my sons and husband.
“Her calm demeanor and her background in the Hakomi method of mindfulness training were just right for me.”TG