ThrowBack Thursday Uncategorized

Throwback Thursday

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.

Teaching Aids

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.

Birth Swap

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.

Fall Retreat

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.

Clay Birth Art

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!

Birth Doulas Business ThrowBack Thursday UDA Membership Uncategorized

ThrowBack Thursday

By: Andrea Lythgoe, BS, LCCE

Bill Clinton began his first term as president, Sleepless in Seattle was packing the movie theaters, Whitney Houston crooned that she would Always Love You, and Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears & Christina Aguilera were all Mouseketeers. It was 1993.

The Utah Association of Childbirth Companions, founded by Kristi Ridd the year before, began publishing a newsletter. Some things that were happening in this group that would eventually become to be the Utah Doula Association:

Donna Peterson and Jan Black were congratulated on becoming the first Certified Childbirth Companions by the organization. Other members were encouraged to take the certification exam in October.

An article encouraged members to sign up for a pager service so they could lead active lives while on call. The association had arranged for discounts on paging service as well.  

The semi annual membership meeting would be held at a pavilion at Sugarhouse Park, and members were to bring their own dinner and come prepared to learn more about second stage. At that meeting, the 1994 board was elected, with Alisa Dudley as president, 6 area reps, a newsletter editor, and a DONA representative. Annual membership cost $25 and included membership in Doulas of North America (DONA)

Members were invited to use their personal computers and modem to join “Birth” – the first world-wide computerized forum about childbearing. The instructions to access the forum:

“To connect with BIRTH for the first time, call channel 1 in Cambridge, Massachusetts at (phone number) You will be asked online to give your name and select a password. Then you’ll see a menu. Type J-BIRTH, then leave a message. The next time you phone, you’ll receive a response online with the telephone number of a board in your area.”

Members were invited to join in the local ICEA conference. It was held on a Saturday afternoon, with Holly Richardson and Kristi Ridd speaking and a panel of care providers and parents. Cost was $5.

Can you imagine trying to do doula work without a cell phone? How would you go about marketing and connecting with potential clients without a web site, social media, texting or email? Or connecting with other doulas to find backup and community without the internet?