Guys, I am so excited about this week’s post! April 11-17th is National Black Maternal Health Week, and if you have followed me for any time, you know that I have expressed concerns about the staggering 234% mortality rate of black women in childbirth (like here) and the decision of so many in the black maternal community to seek medical professionals who look and/or think like them, who will advocate for them when they are unable to do so for themselves. So, when I found out the sister of a great friend is not only an amazing nurse, but a certified birth doula, AND is an author on the subject…I absolutely had to have a Q&A with her!
Meet Kesha Grant
Kesha Grant is a Registered Nurse and Certified Birthing Doula with over 10 years of health care experience. She specializes in labor and delivery and pain management.
What’s good being knowledgeable if I don’t share it?Kesha Grant, RN CBD
What made you choose being a doula?
I left labor and delivery for better work life balance and I knew I wanted to shift from bedside nursing after 5yrs, but I felt a constant pull within that my job was not complete. I wanted to be able to help close family and friends with their delivery process with hospital privileges because they’ll sign contracts stating I’m their doula. What’s good about being knowledgeable if I don’t share it?
What does a doula do?
A doula is a non-medical support person for pregnant women. [Your doula will] assist in different laboring positions, comfort techniques, birth coaching, affirming, teach breathing techniques, effective breastfeeding techniques, and much more.
Could you explain the difference between a doula and a mid-wife? Are they the same?
No. Midwives are medical professionals. Doulas are non-medical so they do not offer medical care or procedures. Doulas strictly offer emotional, informational, and physical support. For example, midwives can perform vaginal exams and a doula cannot under their scope of practice.
What are hospitals’ opinions of doulas?
Honestly I’ve seen it shift from not wanting the hippy doula with essential oils who get in the way to actually accepting doulas because they help at the bedside with things such as ice chips, distraction, position changes without the patient constantly ringing the call light for a nurse. You don’t need a medical professional for those things.
I’ve also heard that doulas assist in birth plans. Can you explain what that is for the readers?
A birth plan is a written blueprint of your labor and delivery process. You can outline your preferences for who will be in your room while you push, who will cut the umbilical cord, how you’d like your pain relieved, and the list goes on. The plan is tailored to the client.
What else would you like our readers to know about you and how can we connect with you?
I am not a full time doula (YET!) because I am a full time registered nurse. However, I didn’t want to wait to help people now. That is why I wrote the book and I plan to write more because more black women need to be informed on what right and what’s available to them. I want them to recognize things that are wrong or don’t feel right and to trust their natural instincts. I want my good sisters to understand hiring a doula isn’t just for the wealthy or privileged it’s for us too. I also currently offer birth planning assistance. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
Kesha Grant’s book, Doula Granted: Intro to Doula 101: A beginner’s guide to why Doulas are key to your birthing experience, is available here on Amazon.
Doula Granted LLC was created by Kesha Grant as a platform and service for women’s health before, during and after childbirth.
“I want to do my part as a doula to ensure that anyone in my care has an extraordinary birthing experience.Kesha Grant, RN CBD