HEY! I'm Steph! Co-owner and doula here at Hello, Baby!.
Jenn's making me do this interview style so here we go! :P
J: Why did you become a doula?
S: Oh man! I'm sure it started after the birth of my first. My partner Matt and I felt really traumatized. Here was this baby in our arms, and we were shell-shocked by birth. No one talks about all the things that aren't warm and fuzzy. So - with that experience - I knew, I never wanted another family to feel this way.
It was lonely in Halifax with no family and supports in place, so we moved back to Peterborough. I was pregnant with our second and I knew I would do things differently. We had midwives and a home birth and it was a game changer! I had met Jenn and found a group of mamas who loved to babywear. 5 months after she was born I started working with other mamas in our community and photographing motherhood. Through Matt + Steph, my photography business, I felt compelled to tell these untold stories, like ours, especially from a female perspective. Once I started photographing births, I KNEW I had to finally go for my doula training. Behind the lens was an awesome experience but I could literally feel my body lurching forward, wanting to help! Supporting women had suddenly become such a clear pattern and thread in my life and everything was calling me here!
J: What do you hope to bring to the community?
S: The thing I want most is for mothers of the world to stop feeling so alone. We meet and share such incredible intimate moments with women in our community and although each experience is different, we all end up feeling such loneliness and guilt. I hope to bring women together and encourage each other to LIFT each other up and shed the guilt. Women working together is an incredibly powerful thing. I feel it at every birth I attend. Without being super cheesy, it's magical! It is! It's like nothing else you've ever experienced.
J: What is one thing you have learned working with people during pregnancy, birth, or postpartum?
S: I think it would be that we are so incredibly capable. We are so powerful, our bodies are amazing, and we can do amazing things.
J: Anything else you want to share?
S: I'm currently pregnant! I'm a surrogate for the first time for two amazing baby daddies as I call them! This journey has really connected me with the experience of being pregnant and preparing for our eventual birth of this beautiful baby. I'm thankful I get to have my very own doula this time around! Thanks Jenn! Haha! It's been hard and refreshing and has really connected me back to why I wanted to be a doula :)
Steph Hayes is working towards certification as a a prenatal educator with ProDoula and birth doula and postpartum doula through Bebo Mia. She is a photographer and filmmaker, who is passionate about sharing women’s stories, especially about birth. In her off time, she is tending to the garden and chasing the cat, the chickens or her two young children.