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Mom Moments: Raising Kids & Being a Doula

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New Mom Moments is a new series where we feature real stories from new moms.

We sat down with Kim Borchurt, a doula, to discuss navigating motherhood, raising a large family and some insider tips on preparing for birth.

How many kids do you have? 6 wild things total, 5 on earth, and one beyond.

How old are they? 13, 11, 9, 6, & 4

What are their names?
Emma (forever 8 months), Seth, Amelia, Liberty, Elliott, and Zachary

Where are you from?
I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, Coffeyville, Kansas, and Kaysville, Utah. Met my husband in Lawrence, KS (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!) and now live just outside of Austin, TX.

When did you decide to become a Doula?
After the birth of my first child, I knew this was my calling in life.

What inspired you to become a Doula?
My plan for my first birth was to be unmedicated in the hospital with a midwife. I had grand plans, my baby had other plans. My water broke at 37 weeks 3 days and she was a footling breech (meaning her feet were coming out first) so my only choice was to have a Caesarean birth.

After her birth, I did a lot of reading and realized how birth could have been. My sister-in-law had just trained to become a doula, so we spent a lot of time talking about it as well. I was preparing to do my doula training when my oldest daughter passed away very suddenly. It was too difficult for me to focus on birth work at that time.

Over the next 11 years, I had 5 more babies (all at home) and continued to learn about birth. When my youngest was 16 months old, I was finally ready and signed up for my doula training.

What is the role of a Doula in childbirth?

As a doula, much of what I do is prenatally. I want my clients to walk into birth with more answers than questions. I want them to have confidence in their decisions. During the actual birth, I am there with them, working side by side with nurses, doctors, and midwives, to ensure they have the best care possible.

If a doctor or midwife comes in and wants to perform an intervention, I might look at my clients and say, “do you have any questions about that?” or “did you want to talk about that for a minute?” So while I don’t talk directly to the care providers for my clients, I will prompt my clients with questions or asking for time. That is one of the things that most people don’t understand, you usually have time to make decisions in birth. IF there is a true emergency, the care providers won’t have time to explain what is happening to the Partner, so I will.

I offer physical and emotional support during labor as well. If a client is having an unmedicated birth, I will be there to encourage them, and keep them as physically comfortable as possible. I am also going to be helping the partner know what to do. They are often the forgotten person in the room and they never should be. I will make sure they are being taken care of as well and normalizing things along the way.

If the birthing person chooses pain medication and are restricted to the bed, I still make sure they are drinking water, we are moving them in the bed, and using other comfort measures as needed.

Doulas “hold space” and that looks different for each doula and family. Sometimes I am actively doing physical comfort measures, other times I am standing in the room just watching the couple work together. My job is to be intuitive and see what needs to be done without being asked.

What is the best part about being a Doula?
I actually have 2 favorite parts - the fiirst is witnessing life. It never gets old, watching that baby emerge (either vaginally or Caesarean) and take their first breath. That moment the birthing person realizes they are done and that they did it!!! It is intoxicating.

My second favorite part is watching these people become parents. Watching their confidence grow and seeing the look on their faces when they realize, “I’ve got this”, is pretty amazing. I have the absolute honor of watching babies enter this world and grow into amazing humans.

What is your best advice for new moms?
Take it easy. It takes 6 weeks for your uterus to shrink back to its original size. It also takes that same amount of time for your pelvic floor to regain strength, regardless of how you gave birth. There is a reason babies want to eat so much in those early days and weeks, it is the biological way of keeping us down and helping us heal and recover from birth. If you do too much, your body will tell you by increasing your postpartum bleeding. SLOW DOWN. Everything and everyone will still be around in 6 weeks. You might miss some fun parties or activities, but the health and integrity of your pelvic floor and uterus are more important.

Second - make a postpartum plan. Know who is going to be bringing you food (care calendar!!), put a cooler on your front porch for people to leave meals, wine, chocolate, etc. in. That way they don’t need to come in and disrupt the flow of your day. Most of the time you will be walking around with your shirt off, so it’s nice to have food dropped in a cooler and not have to worry about getting dressed!! Let people help you. It is the only way to TRULY slow down for that first 6 weeks.

What are some of your favorite baby products?
Oh there are so many cool things that have come out recently. I love the Haakaa silicone pump. It is really great how it allows milk to be collected without much effort.I love soft swaddle blankets. I also love the Dock a Tot. It allows for baby to sleep close and takes the worry away from parents of rolling over baby.

Being a new mom can be exciting, overwhelming and sometimes a little lonely. This new blog series from Under the Nile is designed to showcase real stories from new moms. Twice a month, we will introduce you to a new mom and give you an inside look at her world. Our goal is to add a little inspiration to your already busy lives. Check back regularly to explore more stories from new moms.

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