I’ve been a fan of Cool Mom Jamie’s Instagram feed for quite some time now. First off, the name is catchy – I mean, who doesn’t want to be friends with a cool mom?! Secondly, she lives in the San Fernando Valley & highlights fun photos of her family adventures. Last, but not least, Jamie is a doula, which is a profession that I’ve always been intrigued by.
I have a general idea of what is a doula but I thought my readers would like to hear about Jamie’s career in her own words.
Please meet the latest Real Mom of the SFV – Cool Mom Jamie!
How/why did you begin your business?
Jamie: I became a doula after I became a mother. My own birth experience was OK, not traumatic, but not what I wanted. I felt like if I had someone there who was knowledgeable and confident beside me, I might have spoken up for myself more when the medical team wanted to try methods I was uncomfortable with to speed up my labor.
After that experience, I found the postpartum period to be the most trying and difficult time of my life. I felt like I was failing every single day and had no idea what help I needed, let alone the confidence to ask for help.
I learned through blogging about motherhood and cohosting Who’s Your Mama Bear that there were women who help with the birth and the postpartum period and they are called Doulas. What started off as research for our podcast and my website became a full-blown passion as I learned more and more.
When I learned that the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world and that 60% of those deaths are PREVENTABLE, I knew where I was needed. If more than half of the maternal deaths are preventable in our country, our mother’s need help, their lives depend on it. I immediately looked up how to become a doula and found myself studying under Ana Paula Markel, the President of DONA International. Any pregnant woman in San Fernando Valley should take her Childbirth Education Class at Bini Birth before giving birth, regardless of if you’re hiring a doula or not.
After I became a doula, I noticed a lot of pregnant women experiencing mental health challenges who were pregnant and learned that they have different needs from women not experiencing mental health challenges. New moms who have never had mental health challenges can experience them in the postpartum period, more than just Postpartum Depression (which is now finally getting the attention it deserves). Now, I am pursuing a master’s degree in Psychology so that I can be of further help to my clients during the transition from me to mom, both during their most exciting day and the tumultuous period after a newborn comes home. I want to create a safe place for new families as they adjust to all of the changes, challenges and thrills of expanding a family.
As working mothers, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Jamie: I am really a combination of a working mom and a stay at home mom. There are days when I’m at the television studio all day taping something and on those days my partner steps in for childcare coverage and then there are days when I have no clients and no appearances and I’m able to attend all of my daughter’s activities. To me, life is all about saying “yes” and then making it work. I come from a place of “yes” and figure it out from there. My partner is my biggest supporter and fan, so when I call and say “client in labor” or “I got asked to appear on this show” he is very cool about pivoting to help make it work.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Jamie: I love living in the Valley because it’s less hectic than “the city.” I can’t believe I typed that – I’m a New Yorker, there is only one “City” to a New Yorker. What I like over here in the Valley is parking is easier, the people are more relaxed and I find there are a LOT more activities for young kids over here. I can say that as a Mommy Blogger who travels all over to check out places, the Valley has the better stuff!
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Jamie: The only thing I wish I knew before I built my business (and continue to build it by adding a psych degree) is that I wish I had started sooner. Yes, I know in theory I wouldn’t know what I know without taking every step I took to get here, but I truly wish I started sooner to help more women. How many women could I have helped if I started in my 20’s instead of my 30’s! I don’t beat myself up over this per se, but it’s always in the back of my head. As an add-on, I wish there were more women in my profession. How many businesswomen say that? Probably no one wants more competition, but in the doula space I don’t care if I’m hired or not, I want you to have the best experience possible. So if that’s with me great, if that’s not with me, great – but you should have options. A lot of women stick with their first doula simply because doulas can be hard to find. If you read this and say hey she’s cool but not my speed, I’m beyond happy to refer you to my network of cool doulas.
For more information on Cool Mom Jamie, visit her website here. Also, don’t forget to check out her Facebook page so that you can get the latest updates AND if you want to listen to her podcast, click here to get more info!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.