Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Kelly.
Hi Samantha, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My journey into birth work started after the birth of my son in 2017. With that pregnancy and birth, I had no idea where to begin. I found a provider on Google, I took no birth education classes, and when I was offered an induction on my due date, I jumped at the chance. I had a very positive birth experience with an epidural, lots of family and friends in and out of the hospital, and a pretty short labor. However, after my son was born, he spent a few days in the NICU due to some relatively minor complications, and I got my first taste of what it means to advocate for your family. We learned very quickly after that experience that we didn’t know a lot of things, and I found myself wondering more and more if I had been given all of the information throughout my pregnancy and birth if I would have made different choices, and if it would have had a different outcome. Fourteen months later, I found myself pregnant again, and this time I was determined to have a different experience. I wanted to have all of the information, and I wanted a little more control over my experience.
After doing a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of research, I decided to give birth at Austin Area Birthing Center in south Austin, and I decided that I wanted to hire a doula. I did not know much about what doulas did, but I did know that everyone said having a doula was the best way to have an unmedicated birth, and I knew I wanted all the support I could get. Throughout my pregnancy, I had this amazing woman to lean on, to complain to, to help me advocate for myself when I didn’t quite know how, and to point me to resources when I needed them. When I was about 30 weeks pregnant, I remember saying to my husband “What she does is really cool, and I think I want to do that too!” and he kind of laughed and said we should probably get through the birth before we make any more life-changing decisions, which I totally agreed with. At my birth, I felt so much calmer, just having this other person in the room to reassure me, to give me new positions to labor in, to remind me that I could use different coping techniques. During the transition phase, when I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore, she reminded me that I was almost done and that I could!
After I had my daughter, I was pretty certain that I wanted to pursue birth work as a birth doula. I did what I do best and dove into research, trying to decide which training organization was best for me, what the next steps were when was the best time to move forward in this new pursuit, and after much agonizing, decided that I would pursue training and certification with DONA in spring of 2020 when my youngest would be old enough to sleep through the night, and I would be a little further removed from the postpartum experience.
Then, of course, came covid-19. The world shut down, and with it, my plans. Like many others, my husband lost his job, and my income from nannying was what was keeping us afloat. In almost all ways, we were extremely lucky, and when my husband started a new job six months later, he encouraged me to start the process and get the ball rolling on my new career path. I chose a training date for January of that year and set to reading, researching, and getting a certification in childbirth education. I completed my training in January of 2021, and immediately launched my business, and started working on booking clients.
This past year has been a complete whirlwind, learning how to start and run a business, working with so many amazing families, and connecting with all the robust Austin birth scene!
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Picking an entirely new career path as an adult, with two small children, in the middle of a pandemic is not for the faint of heart! If it wasn’t for all the love and support of my family and friends, I do not think I could have been as successful as I have been this year. With covid, I have spent 18 months home with my children 24/7, so I think the adjustment for both them and I was really hard when I started leaving them with people and being gone for extended periods of time. Additionally, the birth doula profession was hit hard by covid, with hospital regulations changing all the time on if we will be allowed into the hospital or not, the ever-changing safety guidelines, plus the ever-present fear of bringing something home to our own families.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Beautifully Made Doula Care?
Beautifully Made Doula Care offers pregnancy and birth support to expectant families throughout Austin and surrounding areas. As a doula, I walk alongside parents throughout their pregnancy, offering emotional support, educational resources and helping them learn how to best advocate for themselves. During the birth, I support both the birthing parent and their partner throughout labor, helping them to have the most positive birth experience they can! For me, the most important part of my job is building a relationship with my clients so that I can get to know them and their preferences well and have a solid foundation of trust in the birth room. This is what I have seen to be the most helpful thing in pregnancy, both through my own birth experiences and in my professional career. In addition to my birth services, I also offer childbirth education. I feel that it is vitally important to know what to expect during labor and birth so that my clients can understand what their bodies are doing and make informed decisions surrounding their care. I work to make my classes fun and educational and to give a lot of different ideas for comfort techniques to use during labor.
I aim to make my business inclusive and welcoming to everyone, no matter their family setup, their birth preferences, or their background. My passion is to support, educate, and love on families, and I try to make that accessible to all!
Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
As a young family, it was a big risk choosing to invest time and money into starting my own business. The money it takes to start a new business, to train, to purchase the supplies I needed, all of that was very scary for me. I’m someone who was taught growing up to be frugal and never had much in the way of extra money for passion projects. So choosing to take this financial risk was a huge leap of faith, and it has been absolutely amazing to see that pay off. I have grown as a woman, a business owner, and a mother through the confidence that this venture has given me!
- Birth Packages starting at $1000
- Birth Classes starting at $395
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.beautifullymadedc.com
- Instagram: @beautifullymadedoulacare
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeautifullyMadeDC
Image of couple holding hands and baby shoes – Country Anchor Photography All others – Beautifully Made Doula Care