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Meet Britany Bleistein of Doula DFW in Arlington

Today we’d like to introduce you to Britany Bleistein.

Britany, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I became a doula after the loss of our second child in August 2014. I’ll never forget the day my husband, Jason, and I were supposed to find out the gender of our baby but instead, at 18 weeks, we found out that our sweet little girl would be with her heavenly Father much sooner than we knew. That day, I experienced every ounce of joy leave my body. It’s interesting how the “I don’t know how I’ll ever get through this horrible thing that has happened to me” times of our lives can actually be turned into something great that you never thought possible for your life.

Needless to say, going back to work after losing our baby was difficult. While I worked in nonprofit, it was now proving much harder to find purpose in my work. Every morning I dropped our daughter off at her little Montessori school and watched someone else spend the day with my only living child. I was unhappy, and I couldn’t do it anymore. Five months after our loss, I quit my job as the Vice President of Development for a symphony orchestra and became a stay at home mom to our then nearly two-year-old daughter, Cora (she’s almost 5 now). It was the most healing decision I’d ever made and I am so grateful to my husband for taking this crazy leap of faith with me. If he hadn’t, it never would have led me to the joy of doula service.

Don’t get me wrong, being a stay at home mom is hands down harder than my fundraising nine-to-five ever was. That said, I needed something else that was all my own outside of my daughter and husband. So when my husband asked me, “what would you want to do that still allows you to be home with Cora?” being a doula popped right into my head. In January of 2015, I started my nine-week doula training and mentorship program and attended my first birth that February. I was hooked. After twelve long hours of words of encouragement, sandwiched between sips of water, nibbles of food, prayer, hip squeezes, counter pressure, and you name it, I watched a wife and husband transform into mother and father as they welcomed their son into the world.

Becoming a doula wasn’t completely out of left field. Our doula, Meg, who attended the birth of our daughter in 2013, was invaluable to our birth experience. Without her, I would never have walked away from my 30+ hour birth feeling so strong, proud, and satisfied. One of the best reasons to hire a doula is there so much you cannot control in birth, so having an expert by your side can help you and your partner navigate the detours instead of feeling like you are in a boat without a paddle. As the saying goes, if you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
When the timing is right on something, it just goes a little more smoothly. I began my first year of doula work as part of a doula agency. It was great! I learned so much from my mentors, and the agency took care of sending clients in my direction. I was able to build an invaluable network of other doulas across DFW. After that first year though, I really wanted to spread my wings and try the business out on my own. A week after setting up my website I got my first call from someone that had found me online! God just opened the door, I gave Him a high five, and I gratefully walked on through. And when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I was pregnant again. So I guess if there was any struggle at all, try doing hip squeezes and counter pressure on a laboring mama when you are 34 weeks pregnant!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Doula DFW – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Doula DFW is exactly that – your doula serving all of DFW. I’m am strategically located in North Arlington so I am able to serve clients easily on both the east and west sides of town. I offer both birth and postpartum doula services. I think what sets me apart is there is not an abundance of doulas in the area that do both. While I am often hired as one or the other, I love serving parents in both capacities, especially first-timers.

Birth is supposed to be a rite of passage, an unforgettable life experience, not a medical transaction. The birth experience is unique to each and every parent and I don’t come in and tell you how to have your baby. I meet my mothers where they are and support their decisions. I’m here to help my clients discover the kind of birth that will make them feel strong, proud, and accomplished. I’m here to ensure they are aware of all of their options in birth and postpartum care, even the ones they didn’t know existed.

It’s a little more obvious what a birth doula does, but not everyone knows why a postpartum doula is not just an overpriced babysitter. A babysitter is ONLY focused on your baby; a postpartum doula is focused on both you and your baby. Your babysitter isn’t likely to sit at the foot of your bed and listen to you recount the events of your birth, down to the tiniest detail, but a postpartum doula does. Your babysitter probably has no idea how to troubleshoot the breastfeeding obstacles that most moms experience, but a postpartum doula does.

Your babysitter does not know how to recognize signs of postpartum depression and help you find local resources for recovery, but a postpartum doula does. Your babysitter probably doesn’t do meal prep and light housekeeping, but a postpartum doula does. Sometimes new moms need an extra set of non-judgemental hands on deck after the baby is born. Maybe you don’t have any family in the area to help. Or what if you and you and your husband desperately need a night of sleep? That’s where my postpartum services come in. I enjoy being able to love on parents so they are free to do what they do best – snuggle their babies.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Doula DFW will be offering childbirth education classes in summer of 2018 – if not earlier! It’s another step toward offering complete support to my clients, all the way from pregnancy to birth to baby. I really do love what I doula!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Birth Unscripted, A Sacred Project

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