By: Andrea Lythgoe ,BS, LCCE
As we prepare for the current UDA conference, I thought it might be fine to look back twelve years ago to 2007, the year I was the conference committee chair. It was also a year with a lot of “firsts” for the UDA: The first Fall Retreat, the first mentoring groups, and the first time the UDA honored a care provider. Angie Rosier served as president, and had a well staffed board that worked hard at expanding the UDA’s reach into the community and building connections with hospitals and care providers. Our annual membership drive, held in conjunction with the conference, brought the UDA up to a record 58 members.
The Utah Doula Association conference that year had the theme CSI: Clients Seeking Information, and most of the sessions were hands on sessions about how to create and use teaching tools to help their clients understand the concepts.
43 people attended the conference, which was held in a rented conference room at the Stevens Henager College in Murray. We made models of the layers of anatomy used in cesarean birth, foam dilation models, and discussed different styles of presenting information to clients, teaching in a mentoring style, and how to best use videos as teaching tools.
One regular feature of conferences during this era was the Birth Swap, where any UDA member could bring birth related items to sell silent auction style. It was really popular and happened at every conference for nearly a decade.
2007 also marked the start of the Mentoring groups, and six of them were held that year, with the topics of premature birth, the DONA certification process, breastfeeding, VBAC, marketing techniques and a field trip to tour Bella Natal (the first birth suite opened by Suzanne Smith, later became Better Birth Orem). IMC in Murray opened that year, and there was a lot of discussion and planning about doing a mentoring meeting there, but ultimately the hospital declined.
The weekend after Labor Day, each area representative of the UDA planned an “After the Labor Day” picnic in the park for doulas and their clients. Picnics were held in Taylorsville, Fruit Heights, and Orem.
2007 also brought the very first Fall Retreat. This was, by design, a day of relaxation and self care for doulas. Topics included a yoga session, story telling, guided imagery, an exploration of spirituality and birth, and a very fun birth art session with clay! It was held in the basement of the building where the Midwives College of Utah is, and 30 people came. The very first provider honored by the UDA was given to RaeAnn Peck. A potluck lunch was a highlight of the day as well. After the end of the retreat, all were invited to join in at dinner at Buca di Beppo in Midvale.
And that brings us to the end of this particular walk down memory lane. It’s great to see how the UDA has grown since then!