We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Susan Spells. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Susan below.
Alright, Susan thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. We’d love to hear the backstory behind a risk you’ve taken – whether big or small, walk us through what it was like and how it ultimately turned out.
My story of why I walk this walk and why I choose to become a doula looks very different from the typical doula’s story. It all started in 2017, I had just made a big girl decision to NOT pursue that nursing degree but to do something I knew my heart was set on and it was to be around, love on, and teach children.
What I didn’t know when I walked away from nursing, I was walking into my gift and my purpose. I decided to go where my heart was set and at the time that was a preschool teacher.
Becoming a preschool teacher allowed my natural caring, loving and nurturing spirit to flow and create bonds I never knew I could create with children. With creating bonds with the children, along came the parents surprised at how their children acted towards me I knew ultimately, I needed to do something to create this beautiful bond from the start.
By July 2018, I found out about what a doula was, right there and then I KNEW this was my calling. It was like the perfect fit for me. You know how you have that one dress that fits you perfectly? Lol yeah that was how becoming a doula was for me. Once I had my heart set, I researched the many different organizations, I picked up and moved to Little Rock, Arkansas to be closer to some trainings held in surrounding areas and by the end of 2018 I was able to find the organization just right for me and by November 2019 I was trained and certified.
I say all that, to say this…. Yes, my story may be different but my skill, my knowledge, and my passion for this work speaks volumes. Children or no children. I love what I do! I love being able to support birthing mothers, I love being able to be trusted by my client, I love them being able to share all parts of their lives with me as I share the same with them. My passion comes from having a real love for children and families.
My name is Susan Spells, I am a Birth Doula and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, and this is my story of becoming a doula.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I am a Certified Birth Doula, and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist. I specialize in labor and postpartum advocacy, education, and support for recent and expectant moms-to-be. I support mothers through all types of births – hospital, home, water, medicated, and non-medicated births.
I have always played a significant role in the care and support of families and children, starting out my career as a teacher for small children. Even as a teacher, it was clear that I had a gift of bringing joy and ease to mother and child.
When I, embarked upon the world of doulas, I knew I found her purpose! I desired to have a closer, more significant connection with families. I believe there’s nothing more significant than supporting a new or seasoned mom through the transition into motherhood and baby’s arrival into the world!
I advocate for the safe and healthy maternal heath of all women! However, I am dedicated to doing my part to eliminate the inequalities black woman experience, as it relates to pregnancy, labor, and postpartum care. Tp also have a positive impact on our community at large. I am committed to providing the highest quality of support, education, and advocacy for women in the Black community, whose needs have historically been ignored.
My services include:
Labor Support Packages
Placenta Encapsulation Packages
Meal Preparation Services & More.
What sets me apart from other doulas is my drive and passion. I think my positive attitude and calming spirit is one of my biggest assets, especially in a birth setting. I offer an array of services to meet the needs of any birthing mother. I’m extremely motivated and dedicated to educating the women I work with. I believe my ample experience has given me insight on different ways to support different women during their pregnancy, labor/delivery and postpartum period.
The problems I solve for my clients is helping them advocate for themselves throughout pregnancy and delivery, I educate them about how to ask for a second opinion, ask a medical provider to talk through potential outcomes and side effects, or insist that providers take their pains or worries seriously. I educate them on the things their providers may not, giving them the option to choose what’s best for them. My presence and support can be incredibly calming and empowering to the families I work with which allows them the freedom to birth in a peaceful setting with the support needed just for them.
I am most proud of all of my client! No matter how their birth unfolded they were able to advocate, and feel seen, valued and heard during their pregnancy, labor/delivery and postpartum period.
To my potential clients, I look forward to guiding you through this amazing and intimate time in your life. Are you ready for your birthing journey?
Training and knowledge matter of course, but beyond that what do you think matters most in terms of succeeding in your field?
Passion. This field is more than just watching a women give birth. As a birth doula, I wear many hats, sometimes I am a therapist, a marriage counselor, a nanny, a life coach, a mentor and so much more. The time I spend with my clients can be as long as 7-10 months, during this time I am available to them 24/7 from the start of our journey to weeks into the postpartum period. I am open available to join them for birth during the on-call period which is 2 weeks prior to estimated due date, during birth, and the postpartum period. I care about my client’s wishes and are willing to fight for them to have the birthing experience they want.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
The COVID-19 pandemic was a major time where I had to pivot my business, due to hospitals restricting the amount of people who could be inside the delivery room. This change in the policies made it difficult for expectant mothers as they were left feeling fraught with stress, worry, and anxiety.
I was able to create a virtual doula service that allowed these expectant parents to get their voice and power back.
- Website: www.susanthebirthdoula.com
- Instagram: @susanthebirthdoula
- Facebook: @susanthebirthdoula
Susan the Birth Doula – Susan Spells