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Partner Spotlight: Everyday Miracles

Interviewed: Ashley Kidd-Tatge with Everyday Miracles

Interviewed by: Regan Lindholm MNPQC Intern

November, 2023


Everyday’s Miracles’ mission is to support families during their birthing years by providing doulas, car seats, breast pumps, and childbirth education in an attempt to reduce health disparities and increase health access. 

Why did you join?

I was immediately drawn to the mission, to be able to say that I help support birthing people, who may have been through it (the birthing process) alone, or who may have had support. Who may have a different life than I do, or who may have a life just like mine. You’re never really gonna know what you’re going to get when you’re a doula with Everyday Miracles; that’s what drew me in. As well as the opportunity to help make a difference; the whole picture, making the difference for family or just one person. Making a difference in reducing maternal mortality, and overall making sure I’m able to walk the walk and talk the talk by doing things that better the world starting in my backyard.

How are Everyday Miracles’ resources and treatments different from traditional healthcare?

We are nonmedical professionals. We don’t consider what we do treatment, we consider it support. Support has many different facets, specifically physical support during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum, emotional support, and evidence-based emotional support. It’s making sure that people have a well-rounded understanding of what their options are with general healthcare, but more specifically childbearing, labor, and birth. And it’s making sure that people feel as though their providers are working in collaboration with them. Speaking with them, rather than to them. So that people can take charge of their bodies and their babies.

What are the challenges you face in providing alternative care?

Sometimes we run into a misunderstanding with clients where they think we’re medical professionals so we’ll be able to give them medical advice. More often, I think the biggest challenge is making sure all providers truly understand what our role is and what it is that we bring to the caretaker. We view ourselves as another member of their care team, the non-medical side, but a member of their team nonetheless. Some providers believe that doulas are there to disrupt, when in actuality our job is to help our clients advocate for themselves so that they feel empowered and confident to ask questions and to make choices.

How does partnership work with hospitals and other healthcare facilities?

While we are not in direct partnership, all of the hospital systems, clinics, and free-standing birth centers know who our organization is and know what doulas are. Medical institutions can then refer patients, or say “Hey I think a doula might be a really good fit for you, check out this organization.” Whether or not a patient ends up working with our organization or working with the doulas in our organization, we are still able to give them information, because our job is to work with folks who are on state-sponsored insurance or medical assistance. If somebody is coming to us for support, but their insurance doesn’t cover us, we can also help get them matched with a doula for private hire as well, so we’re a little bit of a match-making service, but we’re a whole lot of direct care.

As a certified doula, what is your role in the birthing process, both for the birthing person and the baby?

My job as a doula is to provide consistent, and that’s the keyword, emotional, physical, and informational support to my clients so they can make decisions for themselves and for their babies. Sometimes that means helping them understand how a certain medication is used in labor, sometimes that’s in discussing the pros and cons of induction, sometimes that means asking my client what their provider has to say and if they feel that they are being heard. Our job is basically to gently probe our clients along the process to make sure they feel as though the care that they’re receiving is not only good and ethical, but matches the trajectory that they are hoping for in their birth. That also bleeds into when the baby is born, making sure that parents understand the options they’ll have for their babies right away, making sure that they’re set up in the postpartum period, not just in the hospital or birth center, but when they go home over the next several weeks and months what that will look like. Our approach is really to capture this unique time in somebody’s life. Where they are pregnant, where they have the baby, and where they bring their baby home. To make sure they’re set up as much as they possibly can be, or at least possess the information and have that knowledge to be able to adjust accordingly.

How did you decide to be a doula?

I chose to become a doula because I already had my bachelor’s degree in a related field and I didn’t want to go back to school for midwifery or nursing, which ended up being a blessing in disguise because midwifery and nursing aren’t actually the thing I want to do. What I love about doula support is that while I am still present for birth, while I am still watching the process unfold, my job is not to ensure health and safety. I’m there to make sure that is happening, but as a non-medical provider, I don’t have to be the person concerned with the baby’s heart tones or with my client’s blood pressure. My job is to say ‘Hey, here are the questions we should ask, here’s why this might be happening, here’s what’s normal and here’s what’s not, here’s how we can successfully have your baby.”

What is the initiative for Everyday Miracles’ future?

Our initiative is to grow and continue to have incredible doulas who are passionate about this work, and passionate about helping families. To have them come to us so that we’re able to serve more and more families and not only that, we want our organization to reflect the community that we serve and our community is every shade and color of the rainbow, every culture, we want that represented in our organization so that we can better serve the families that come to us.