Why hire a Montgomery AL doula? Have you ever experienced “white coat syndrome”? This is a phenomenon where a persons blood pressure or heart rate is higher than normal when taken at a hospital. This happens to me. It’s ridiculous and yet I have no control over it. I’ve spoken to many mom’s over the years and many of us agree that when sitting in front of a medical professional, somehow we become like a little child not able to speak up and just nodding our head and saying yes. Among many other things, a doula is your advocate. Ambuir Clary is one of the best doulas in the area and I am asking her all the questions you want to know before hiring a doula!
How long have you worked as a Montgomery, AL doula?
I have worked as a doula for the last 2 years but have been doing advocacy work for years as a nurse for mothers and babies. This career chose me and all my career paths have been leading me up to this point.
What locations do you provide doula services to?
I previously travelled a 2 hour radius for clients but have recently shifted that to a 1 hour radius from my Wetumpka home. My clients have mostly come from Prattville, Wetumpka, and Montgomery, AL but I hope to reach more local mothers soon.
What is your training background?
I started out my career as an LPN at 19 who was passionate about Pediatrics. I took my first job at a Pediatric office and worked there for 2 years while I got my RN degree. I did my preceptor in Postpartum where I floated back and forth between Labor & Delivery, Well Baby Nursery, and NICU as well. After marrying my high school sweetheart and moving to this area, I found another Pediatric office job where I worked for 3 years before starting a family of my own. I stayed home with my children after my first was born in 2014 and had two more children. After the birth of my third child in 2019, I decided to pursue my doula certification with International Doula Institute and have since continued to keep my nursing license along with providing doula services and continuing to be a stay at home mom. I intend to pursue certified professional midwifery in the near future.
What inspired you to become a Montgomery, AL doula?
My inspiration came from my own very unique birth stories. My first child was born via planned cesarean due to a complication known as vasa previa where I was unable to deliver vaginally. While I was grateful for the technology to find this, I also felt a sense of loss from my birth. With my second pregnancy, I knew I wanted an unmedicated vaginal birth but was met with tons of opposition. I ended up having a medicated VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) but that birth came with its own trauma that I was not at all prepared for. For my third birth, I hired a doula and his birth ended up being exactly what I had envisioned: unmedicated, mostly at home, and fast. I told my doula that I had to help make this happen for other mothers, and I started my doula training shortly after that.
How does a doula differ from a midwife?
A home birth midwife and doula have two very different roles, but we work well together as a team. A midwife is hired to provide prenatal care much like an obstetrician would but in the comfort of your home. During labor, they are very valuable and highly trained to know when birth is veering from normal physiology and intervene only when necessary while accessing your vitals and your baby’s heartones. They come equipped with tools needed in the event your birth did veer from normal. They provide birthing women with the medical aspect of their care and doulas are there to fill in all the gaps. Doulas provide emotional, physical, educational, and informational support to families during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. We assess your needs in all those aspects and meet you where you’re at. Some mothers find they need lots of information and all the tools to feel secure in their birthing choices while others just want an advocate and emotional support. As a Montgomery, AL doula, I try to gauge what each client needs from me and that differs for everyone. It is very beneficial that I do have a medical background and understand the medical aspects in a way that I can easily explain whatever turns my client’s birth takes.
How soon should a Montgomery, AL mom book your doula services?
I have had mothers reach out to me that were trying to conceive and mothers that have reached out to me in their third trimester. I would say the sooner the better mostly because I charge a flat rate whether you hire me late or early. The earlier you hire, the more time we have to get to know each other and build that trusting relationship. Also, the more time we have together the more information you will be able to gather for your upcoming birth especially if that includes switching providers or birthing locations which can be tricky later in pregnancy.
What is your birth philosophy?
I believe that birth is a normal physiological process that happens whether we know anything about it or not. I believe that our current medical culture is not set up in a way to support normal physiological birth and that giving women information to maketheir own informed decisions about their care puts birth back into the hands of women where it belongs. We live in a culture that sees birth as dangerous, and I want to change that narrative and show women that birth is not inherently dangerous and given the right tools, you can have a satisfying birth experience even in a broken medical system.
What variety of birth experiences have you supported as a doula?
I have supported all types of births: medicated and unmedicated hospital births, home births, and cesarean births. My job is different at each one, and I value what the woman chooses for herself once she is given all her options.
Do you offer postpartum doula services?
I am currently offering postpartum follow up services which includes staying with my client after birth for a couple hours depending on the client’s needs to help with initiating breastfeeding, skin-to-skin, and other early postpartum care. I do offer one to two postpartum follow up visits either in the hospital or the home to help with breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and newborn care. This allows for time to reflect on the birth experience and to evaluate whether a referral is needed for additional breastfeeding support, pelvic floor therapy, or family counseling.
What equipment do you bring to a birth?
Along with my birthing knowledge and reassuring presence, I bring an array of tools for labor. In my doula bag you will find: massage tools, rebozos, birthing stool, kneeling pad, hot/cold packs, string lights, flameless candles, affirmation cards, a mirror, a birth comb, a donut pillow, essential oils, eye mask, scrunchies, mints, chapstick, snacks, honey sticks, the clients birth plan, handheld fan, peanut ball, birth ball, water, and most importantly my hands.
What is your favorite part of being a doula?
My favorite part of being a Montgomery, AL doula is seeing families find their voice and power while releasing fears associated with birth. Their birth experience isn’t measured by the outcome, whether it is unmedicated, medicated, or a cesarean, although it does help when things go exactly as planned. What really matters is when they feel heard and respected in their choices. When I am able to facilitate conversations that help them achieve their goals, that is what makes me truly happy.
What do you wish all expecting parents knew before birth?
My wish for all parents is that they know that they have choices regarding their birth and that following their instincts can be the most important part of becoming a parent that will provide them with a firm foundation that will shape their parenting for a lifetime.
Montgomery, AL doula services for the best birth experience
What an amazing summation of the value of a Montgomery, AL doula. I wish I had known of this resource when I was having my babies. I know Amber is as passionate about serving her expecting mamas as I am in my photography. If you would like to contact Ambuir about her birth services you can visit her site “Birth Your Way Doula Services”.
While you’re here you might also like this post:
5 Montgomery Pediatricians You Need to Know About
To inquire about a newborn session or to learn more about a photography experience with me click here Virginia Schultz Photography.
Virginia Schultz is a published Birmingham newborn photographer specializing in motherhood storytelling and custom heirloom artwork for busy and stylish moms in central Alabama and the River Region. From handmade albums to exquisite, museum-worthy frames, her passion is to serve clients by designing artwork for them that will last generations. From handmade albums to exquisite, museum-worthy frames your memories deserve to be seen.
Currently serving Jefferson, Shelby, Autauga, Elmore, Montgomery, and Pike counties including: Hoover | Vestavia Hills | Homewood | Marbury | Wetumpka | Millbrook | Prattville | Montgomery | Pike Road | Auburn
You can see my work featured on the cover of the August 2022 magazine and the September 2022 magazine.