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?