I decided to interview one of my good friends, Jessica Trunk, who happens to be a doula.
She actually gave me the idea for the interview. :) She’s been very passionate about it for quite some time and it’s obvious that she loves what she does so I thought it’d be great to share that with y’all.
I admire people who are able to do what they love as their career. And I envy them. Some people have no clue what they want to do — it took me what seemed like forever before I figured it out — and others can’t do what they love for various reasons. It’s a real gift when you’re able to do what you love.
I came up with 10 questions to ask Jessica and she responded with her answers rather quickly. Here they are. :)
1. Tell us a little about yourself on a personal level.
My name is Jessica Trunk. I’ve been married for 6 years and have three beautiful children, of whom I am slightly biased at them being the smartest and most gorgeous babies ever. Two of them are biological, and one of them we adopted. I also have three fur babies. I have been a doula for a little over a year now, but only recently decided to gain certification as one.
2. Some people reading my blog may not know what a doula is, much less the benefits of utilizing one, so, tell us…What exactly is a doula?
A doula means “a woman who serves”. She is exactly that. A doula will help a mother during her pregnancy and labor by providing answers to questions, information to present to a doctor, support, guidance, pain management, and often simply just a friend. We do NOT do anything medically related. You can read more here for a more detailed description of what a doula does: Information on doulas.
3. How can a woman, and, really, a family that is about to be blessed with a child(ren), benefit from having a doula? How is it different than giving birth in a hospital?
Doulas help assist with many things. Most mothers like to have a doula for extra support, either because of lack of a significant other or just someone extra to help around, especially for pain management to assist in a mother having a more natural delivery. Doulas don’t just work in home births, they are a great tool to have in the hospital as well. Studies have shown women who have doulas have a 28% decrease is cesarean births!
4. What degrees/certifications have you earned and when did you earn them?
Since starting my training, I have also become TTPS, or a Trained Tranquil Placenta and Postpartum Specialist in April of 2014. I am trained to encapsulate placentas, as well as help women postpartum.
5. Do you plan on continuing your education at some point in the future?
I absolutely plan to continue my education once I am certified. I want to be a midwife when I grow up. :)
6. How long have you known that you wanted to be a doula?
I have wanted to be a doula since the birth of my second child. I never utilitized a doula with either of my deliveries but once I began learning more about them, the idea of becoming one just kind of lined up with my dreams!
7. Was there a defining moment as to when you decided to become a doula? If so, would you mind describing that moment to us?
I wouldn’t say there was a defining moment, other than hearing stories about how women wished they had a doula present at their births. It was just kind of, “Hey..I can be that person. I can do that!”
8. What is something significant that you’ve learned — whether it’s about pregnancy, the birthing process, children, women or some or all of the above — since you’ve become a doula? You can list a few things if you’d like.
I have learned an amazing amount of information since I became a doula. The knowledge about placentas during my training for that was amazing. I didn’t realize how many potential benefits there are to taking encapsulated placenta like increased milk supply, reduced risk for postpartum depression, and helping restore iron stores! Part of my doula training also taught me Maslow’s Hierarchy concerning ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ in able to prioritize for a woman’s birth plan.
9. Tell us about the most rewarding experience you’ve experienced thus far in your career. Why do you consider it to be the most rewarding?
So far, my most rewarding experience was helping a mother successfully have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesearan). It was so amazing to be able to be part of that experience for her and her family. She thanks me, but I can’t thank her enough for allowing me to be there! There is just something about seeing someone accomplish their goal that makes you feel humble about helping them.
10. Do you have any tips for moms-to-be? It can be related to anything — important research that needs to be done before baby gets here, good health practices, new parenting tips, etc…
As for tips, GET A DOULA! Seriously! We are a wealth of knowledge and can help you more than you think. Otherwise, question everything and then go with your gut. You may not think it, but you do know best!