Teresa Howard’s Training
How Do I Know What I Know?
by Teresa Howard
Experience is something that comes from many sources. I feel that I learn something from each birth I attend. I have personally given birth three times unmedicated. I think my experiences were good ones and I want that for others. I have breastfed all three of my children and was a La Leche League leader for many years. That too is an experience that I cherish and love helping new moms make this a good experience for them as well. Experience comes in many ways- personally having done something, training by other in techniques and being involved with someone else while they are doing it.
I began as a doula in May of 1992 when a friend asked me to come and be with her as a companion to her and her husband. I did this again for a friend in February of 1996. Later that year, in July, I was asked by a friend to be there for her at her fifth birth, my third as a companion. In 1997 I again offered to come and offer guidance to two friends in April and again in November. Then a special invitation to accompany a mom who was my second birth came in January of 1998. I offered my help to a teen friend in March of 1998 and soon after took my doula training as I was hooked at being at births!
My first professional doula birth was in May of 1998. By year end I had attended my 27th birth. The year 2000 allowed me to attend my 100th birth on Christmas Day! In February my youngest daughter gave birth to a son- I attended as her mom and she had a doula- but I feel I used my doula skills at that one for sure! In May 2003 I had the privilege of doulaing my oldest daughter at her birth – that was my 200th birth! At the end of 2008 I had completed my 400th birth as a doula. I average three births per month now and stay really busy.
In the past I have enjoyed being the state representative for CAPPA as well as a labor and postpartum doula trainer and a lactation educator trainer with them. I now stay quite busy running a company of a dozen doulas who cover most of the metro area. I really get affirmation after each birth, after each childbirth class I teach, I know what I am doing now is definitely what i am supposed to be doing. I have found my calling! So many people don’t enjoy their work or don’t find it fulfilling. That is certainly not my situation!
As a company we have done close to 900 labor supports as a group!
• DONA Labor Doula Training, Anne Tumblin, RN
• When Survivors Give Birth, Penny Simkin, PT
• Precipitous Labor, Emergency Childbirth, Debbie Pulley, CPM
• Birthing From Within, Pam England, CNM
• Joy of Labor, Northside Hospital
• Prenatal Parenting, Frederick Wirth, MD
• Lactation FastTrack
• Midwifery Workshop, Ina May Gaskin, CPM
• Psychotropic Medicine during pregnancy and lactation, Z.Stowe, MD
• Infant and Child CPR
• Another Look, Breastfeeding and HIV, Miriam Thompson
• Physiologic Closure of the Cord, Anne Frye, CPM
• Spinning Babies, Gail Tully, CPM
• Advanced Doula Training- Massage and Reflexology, Donna Johnson, CMT
• Advanced Lamaze Training- Mission Impossible, Ann Tumblin, RN
• Supporting Women through Perinatal Death, Miriam Maslin
• Escorting Women on their Inner Journey, Miriam Maslin
•1st Advanced Skills for Birth and Postpartum Professionals with Leadership from CAPPA
Advanced Doula Training in Acupressure Techniques for Pregnancy, Labor and Postpartum 2014
• Dancing For Birth Trainer Certification Workshop with Stephanie Larson
- BOLD Training for Childbirth Facilitator Training and Certification
• LLLI conference 1980
• DONA conferences 1998, 2000
• CAPPA conferences 2000, 2001, 2002* 2004*, 2007, 2008, 2014
• Georgia LLL Conference 2001
• Summit for Safe Motherhood 2001
• Gentle Birth World Congress 2007
• International Cesarean Awareness Network 2009
• Georgia LLL Conference 2001
• Joy of Labor Training, Northside Hospital 2001
• Stillwater Yoga Prenatal Workshop 2002
• Prenatal Yoga in Athens, GA 2002-2007
• Natural Mama Expo 2002, 2003
• Interviewed and Appeared on REAL MOMS, REAL STORIES, REAL SAVVY Leading the Way in Women’s Health Programming on Public Television
• Panel for questions and answers Birth, the Play by Karen Brody
• International Cesarean Awareness Network:Concurrent Session 2009