Business partners bring Indigenous birthing traditions to light
- EFN Staff | March 20, 2020
Two friends turned business partners are hoping to spread more awareness and educate others on Indigenous birthing and the use of doulas. Jessica Dieter from Okanese First Nation and Kelsey Moore of Regina have launched a new business called From The Roots: Birthwork and Education.
“We just wanted to work together because we crossed paths so many times and had so many interests,” said Dieter. “We both have a big passion for empowering women during birth.”
Dieter emphasized on the old Indigenous ways of birthing and wants to bring back the customs that aren’t practiced anymore.
Prior to launching their doula partnership, Dieter and Moore have worked together in running birth education classes.
Dieter and Moore launched their doula partnership at a recent health fair held in Okanese First Nation.
“We had varied responses from the launch. People questioned ‘what is that?’ and some would shy away,” said Dieter. “That’s one of the things we want to do. We want women and young women to know that what their roles are as women and also for men too on how expecting mothers need to be honoured and taken care of. A lot of women did share their birth experiences…they do wish and want to know what it would be like to have a more natural birth experience and more empowering opposed to being scary.”
The duo met in university as they were both studying Indigenous Education at the University of Regina. They combined their dedication and passion for education and Indigenous birthing where they worked together in running birth education classes after receiving specialized training on it.
Even though Dieter received the doula training, she wanted to get the feel of having a doula present throughout her pregnancy and during her last birth. She requested for Moore’s doula’s services.
“At first, even though I took the doula training, I had even more tools that I could utilize myself,” she said. “It turns out the day I got [to the hospital], I realized how much of a support she really was. My other two children were taken care of [by my partner] while Kelsey took me to the hospital. She helped me stay relaxed and she reminded me to not be too tense. It was a sense of calm and it was that environment that she was able to provide. It was a good experience.”
Moore has attended quite a number of births as a doula. What sparked her interest in becoming a doula was having a doula present at her first birth.
“It’s important for women to feel empowered throughout their birth experience,” said Moore. “Doing more research and realizing of how many options that pregnant women actually have but we just don’t know about them. It’s important for me that women feel empowered throughout their birth experience. That’s why I wanted to get into is to help women to have that realization and help them achieve that.”
Doula services can cost anywhere from $600-$1,000 depending on the services they offer. Moore and Dieter have yet to discuss what they plan to charge for their services but they hope to have that figured out before their business starts to bring in clients.
“We’re not funded at the moment. If we could find some funding partners to help us with some of the costs associated with,” said Dieter. “Having a doula present at your birth is not covered through any insurance so it’s usually out of pockets. We do want to put more of a presence out there on social media. This is something that we hope can grow. At the moment, we’re wanting to grow, learn more and to get out name out there.”