Our History Informs Our Future
By: Angie Rosier
When my daughter was nine years old she had a fascination with fish. We learned about and purchased all the components for a fish tank then filled it with guppies, platys, and mollies. She is nearly fifteen now and we still have that fish tank in our home. Toward the beginning of this venture she bought a small red fish. This little fish is still with us, swimming strong, and thriving. If you know anything about the life expectancy of guppies, platys, or mollies, you understand it’s truly remarkable that (I’m gonna say it’s a “she”) she has survived so long. She has experienced a lot of change during her little fish life. She’s lived with frogs, shrimp, snails, and countless other fish. Sometimes she’s been the only inhabitant of her tank, another time she was inundated with 30+ baby guppies when we unknowingly bought a pregnant fish. She is a survivor and has witnessed much change.
As I consider the Utah Doula Association I am also impressed by her endurance and how she has experienced much change. Founded by Kristi Ridd-Young in 1992, the UDA has an impressive history, tied to some significant influences: Karl Jones, Penny Simkin, and DONA on a national scale and countless doulas on a local level. The UDA is older than some childbirth methods and older than the internet. She has seen change in policy and birthing trends, has been here as many new hospitals have been built, and watched the role of doula from its inception. Technology has changed dramatically and it’s been years since the UDA needed a sizeable budget for postage stamps.
The Utah Doula Association remains the largest and oldest local doula association in the United States. Imagine if she wasn’t here. Consider the role she plays in our birthing community. The UDA provides a solid foundation for its members including education, marketing, networking, and mentoring– an influential body that elevates and supports the doula profession. She has been and continues to be a resource for thousands of families along the Wasatch Front. She champions each member and supports the individual doula in her own business. The Utah Doula Association has been fortunate to have many amazing women serve on its board and in leadership roles.
What the UDA has and continues to accomplish could never be done by one or two women. It takes the thought, talent, and work of many to ensure her success. These are women who have volunteered their time for the benefit of all. Serving on the board takes work, but the work has a great reward. The UDA has weathered some challenging times and has nearly ceased to exist, but today she is a strong and thriving organization thanks to the work of many incredible women. I think the jewel of her accomplishments is CONNECTION. The UDA connects doulas to clients, and, perhaps even more importantly, connects doulas to doulas. Utah’s doula market has long boasted a collaborative and congenial doula community which fosters connection and friendship, not competition. Some of my closest friends over the last 14 years are doulas. The UDA connects a doula in Ogden with a doula in Provo and offers them opportunity to interact in meaningful ways.
This year will be the third time I have been president of this amazing organization and I am reminded how much I love the Utah Doula Association, its founder, and its members. It has been led by impressive leaders and continues to expand and improve each year. Karina Robinson and I have some goals for the organization that we are excited about as we continue to grow and strengthen together. Thank you for being a member, and thank you for your support of this great organization. We hope to see you at one of our events this year.
Angie has been a doula in Utah since 2003, attended nearly 1,000 births, and lives in Salt Lake with her awesome, supportive husband and 5 kids.
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