While I have only been studying to become a barbell coach for the past year and a half, I have experience being another kind of coach that has aided in my career transition. A coach for when families welcome their babies earthside. I trained as a doula in 2013 when I started entering the labor and delivery rooms as a birth photographer. Since my clients knew I had attended more births than they have, they often looked to me for a reassuring smile, a small encouragement to get through the moment of the delivery, or provide options to aid in comfort measures when discomfort presented itself.
There are times when I have coached a birthing mother on how to push her baby out more effectively by coming up with unique cues, which has transitioned over to uniquely communicate people to squat more effectively. The biggest carryover I think that will follow in how I operated as a doula is how I will treat my clients. They are in the driver seat and I am simply an aid. I am there for knowledge sharing, resource information, encouragement to get through the tough spots, to listen carefully for unmet needs, and help get them filled. I want to be asked questions and provide resources for the answers. I want my clients to be active in choosing their path to the variety of strength goals possible and assist in building it with them. While barbell coaches are more responsible for creating the programming and plan to strength goals than doulas are in developing birth plans, I have found there is a significant amount of carryover in these professions.
Now unlike giving birth, strength is something everyone needs to consider working towards. We use our muscles on a daily basis to get us through life. We bend over and pick things up, squat down to the toilet, place things overhead, and push and pull things closer to us. It is important to have strong bodies and to work for it as we age. Increasing our ability to do these things more efficiently, and well into our golden years, helps make life easier. Like giving birth, strength development is important to plan and manage the varying options. This process is made easier when you have someone by your side rooting for you and provide help along the way – like a strength doula.