Q & A about JMS Births Anchorage Doula Partnership
I’m so excited to be transitioning my private birth doula practice into a partnership with my friends and long-time backup doulas, Jamie Scearcy and Morgan Turner. We know this model is new to Alaska and our past and future clients and colleagues may have lots of questions about what collaborative doula care looks and feels like.
As we explore the nuances of what will make our team approach feel fantastic for our clients, and help us to be sustainable in birth work long-term, I wanted to take some time to share more details about what this means for clients and the many benefits a partnership will provide.
JMS Births. Who are we?
We are a team of birth workers committed to consistency in care. Passionate about supported pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, our mission is to come alongside women and their families with education and support to guide them through their transition to parenthood, or parenting their newest child.
- J – Jamie
- M – Morgan
- S – Shanna
Jamie, Morgan, and I are not new to running a business together! Several years ago we launched and continue to co-own our non-profit Alaska Birth Collective, working to connect Alaskan families with the providers of care, services, and products they need from pregnancy through raising a young family. We share similar and complementary training, skills, and education, and we are close friends who support each other through our lives and our work.
Why join forces in our birth work?
We want to provide birth support long-term.
We want to provide the best, most comprehensive care available.
We believe we are truly better together.
Did you know that the average “life-span” of a private doula is 2 years?
This breaks my heart. But I get it! The doula life is an interesting one. Consider this: Even with just one client, a private doula is on call, non-stop, for up to 4-5 weeks. That means she must be willing and able to run to a birth at any time, and make arrangements in advance to be able to leave her life at a moment’s notice. She has to have her phone at all times, and be within about an hour of her client’s birthing location. She has to commit to the possibility of missing important events in her life. She knows that she will potentially be gone for an average of 12-24 hours or more when a client calls, supporting her continuously throughout her labor. She has to have the stamina and the clarity of mind to support her client physically, emotionally, and informationally, no matter what direction her birth may take.
Burnout in the doula profession is very common.
We refuse to burn out
By partnering our services, we can promote a healthy work/life balance for ourselves and our families. We will support our clients with a call schedule, so that we can be fully present when we are on call and with our clients in labor, and also present for the important events in our personal lives.
Because we share call, and backup doula costs are worked into our service package, there is no hesitation in calling in one of our partners to take over during a long or difficult birth, so clients can feel comfortable and trust a seamless transfer of care to a fresh, well-rested doula that they already know.
Clients will have the opportunity to connect with the three of us regularly throughout their pregnancy and postpartum – through topical group prenatal visits and private in-home visits, we will help them determine their birth preferences, discuss and practice comfort measures and techniques, talk about postpartum plans and newborn care, and get to know each other well. Our goal is that our clients will know all of their doulas and through our consistency and comprehensive care, clients can trust that whomever is on call when they go into labor will provide just the support they need.
Clients also benefit from our combined experience, training, education, and skills. Our offerings include many classes and various educational opportunities for childbirth, postpartum, and newborns. Besides birth doula support, we offer postpartum doula support, lactation support, birth and newborn photography, placenta care, and birth tub rental. We also host free prenatal and postpartum groups and events. We approach birth support holistically – supporting families from pre-pregnancy through raising their children in community.
We are thrilled to offer what we believe is the very best, most trusted and experienced care in doula and birth support services in South Central Alaska.
If you’d like to learn more, please reach out! You can also check out our collaborative website at jmsbirths.com. We host free Meet the Doulas events monthly, and welcome any questions you might have.