Ruth (Rudy) – she/her 

Doula

I had the pleasure of speaking with Ruth, the community doula at Vitality. I had never heard of a doula, so this was exciting for me! I’m not sure what rock I was under, but now I wonder why not everyone has a doula, or at least why they don’t have Ruth as one 🙂 This was my first time meeting Ruth and she completely energized me by her infectious positivity. She also shed some truth on the horrific discrimination within the hospital scene, sharing her personal account that led her to want to be a doula. 

First off, what is a doula? 

A doula helps with all the non-clinical sides of pregnancy, which is what differs them from a midwife. They are your friend, therapist, advocate & confidant. They are whoever you need them to be while you embark on your journey of motherhood. It could consist of needing a massage, more water, affirmations, aromatherapy, a listening ear~ whatever it is, they are your rock. (What an amazing, yet heavy role to have in someone’s life). Ruth’s help goes beyond just pregnancy, and into the postpartum stage as well. She essentially assists with taking care of the mother after birth. This can mean assisting with things such as making schedules, meal prepping, providing breastfeeding support and even aiding the father to find his place within the new routine. During our interview Ruth made the comment, “Everyone wants to hold the baby, but who’s holding the mom?” Ruth is training to be a CLC, a certified lactation consultant. This allows her to share tips and tricks to make the breastfeeding experience more enjoyable for the mom and baby, furthering her assistance after childbirth. 

So how did Ruth get into being a doula? 

Ruth was victim of institutionalized racism with the hospital while birthing her son. Rather than experiencing the beauty of bringing another life into the world, she left the hospital wondering if she had just been abused or if she gave birth. Ruth has lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes medications to metabolize quickly in the body. Because of this, the rounds of epidural Ruth had received weren’t staying in her system long enough to assist with the pain she was feeling. The nurses told her she wasn’t feeling this pain, that all she wanted was more drugs. They talked behind her back, dismissed her words, and left her helpless as they made assumptions and deemed her as a drug abuser. Little did they know, Ruth would actually prefer to take herbs and tinctures all day rather than use allopathic medicine. The nurses stereotyped Ruth instead of asking any questions as to why she was feeling so much pain. It wasn’t until later that someone actually checked her chart and saw that she had lupus, explaining her situation. She was left feeling so defeated that she vowed to never have kids again. 

Ruth has an unbelievably beautiful soul, and that is translated in her work as a doula.This experience sparked her flame to advocate for birthing parents. She decided she was going to use her power to protect as many parents as possible. She never wants a mother to experience the emotional abuse she did, so now she is their personal advocate. Ruth was a feminist before, and her work as a doula only strengthens her conviction. Being an advocate for women has moved her to lead life with raw expression. She saw just how valuable being outspoken is for the journey of those she helps, so now she never hesitates to speak her truth.

That is my short introduction to you on Ruth, but her true nature can only be felt by experiencing her presence for yourself. Maybe you or another will find themselves in need of a doula, and when you do, Ruth will be waiting to grace your experience with love.