Wow! The feedback from part one of this series has been AMAZING! Thank you all so much for taking the time to read it.
Next is Ray McAllister, doula and massage therapist in Barrien Springs, Michigan. Something that also sets him apart is he is totally blind.
-Tell us a little about yourself and your work.
On an airplane, the pilot directs the plane, while the flight attendants see to the comfort of the passengers. The midwife or OBGYN is like the pilot, getting the baby born, but the doula is like the flight attendant. I see to the comfort of the client and her family. I do everything from instruction in good labor management skills to massaging the aches and pains of pregnancy, labor, and post-partum existence. I am a licensed massage therapist, and trained as a “massage doula.”
-What do you like to be called?
Doula. Nothing else. A female president of the USA is not a female president, but the President.
-What led you to become a doula?Turning 40, no children, totally blind, want to witness the miracle of birth.
-How does your spouse feel about your work?Very supportive, getting up at any hour of the night to drive me to the hospital. She is an aromatherapist, and made a special labor oil blend as well as a pregnancy blend.
-People don't hesitate at the thought of a male OB/GYN, but often scoff at the idea of a male doula. Why do you think that is?
Doulas are more of a relational role with the mom, and people don’t think a man can do that.
-Are dads uncomfortable with hiring a male doula? / Do men ever feel insecure about having another man support their wife or girlfriend?
In more conservative areas, dads are more uncomfortable with another male, although I’ve talked with men who would rather the balance of another man in the room.
-Do you have a hard time finding clients comfortable with a male doula?
Yes. I’m finding I do best, not in my own area, but reaching out to the less fortunate, those who don’t have much support and are open to any helping hand.
-Do you feel that you can offer something different from a female doula?
I can offer strength, and the position of a male role model, which for many of the less fortunate single moms out there, it’s important to see how a man is supposed to treat a woman with respect. I have also resolved small conflicts with boyfriends causing problems in the delivery room by being rude. I am not certain if another female would have done as well as a “man-to-man” communicator.
-Do you provide hands on help with breastfeeding?I have given verbal counsel concerning breast feeding which did help a woman increase her milk production.
Find out more or contact Ray here: https://www.facebook.com/HealingsRaysMassage
If you could ask a male doula any question, what would it be?