Debbie Hull, CCE, Doula
I am a doula and childbirth educator in the Houston area where I have been learning about birth for more than 16 years. My bachelor’s degree in psychology, my minor in training and development and my work as an interpreter way back when my children were small, as well as many other of my life experiences have, I believe, prepared me to do the work I now do with pregnant women and their families.
I got involved in the local birth community after the birth of my first child and I became president of the local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) group. As I began to work with moms planning their births, I wanted more formal training. So I certified as a childbirth educator (my certification is with BirthWorks) and designed and developed a unique curriculum for my childbirth classes. I apprenticed with the most experienced monitrice/doula in the area and we became partners for many years.
My classes are a great source of pride to me for a few reasons. I expected that women would enjoy sitting around talking about their uteruses, but I did not plan that dads would enjoy the classes so much. I am very pleased that men leave the classes feeling confident about their abilities to support their wives and I am pleased that they enjoy our time together in class. Couples in my classes tell me that, from the very first class, they leave talking about their births. Women grow up hearing about birth, men do not. The classes equip couples with the language and tools they need to begin talking about their upcoming births (moms are always thrilled about that). And I am most honored and pleased that many local care providers refer to my classes exclusively and that several area midwives make the classes a requirement for their clients. Classes prepare couples for their births whatever their desired birth place: home, hospital or birth center. I believe that it is the right and responsibility of every pregnant couple to become informed and educated about their birthing options. The best decisions are made from a place of being wide-eyed and informed, rather than a place of fear or ignorance. I am proud that the couples who take my classes leave feeling confident and prepared for their births.
As a doula, I have attended birth in a variety of settings, including homes, birth centers and over 25 hospitals. I believe that every woman deserves to be treated with respect, reverence, tenderness and dignity during her labor. I believe, also, that every dad deserves to be treated with respect, reverence, tenderness and dignity as he becomes a father. My work with pregnant and laboring couples has taught me that pregnancy and birth are sacred, unimaginably precious processes. It is the most amazing honor, the most profound bestowal of trust to be invited to attend another family’s birth. I am both humbled and proud that I have been entrusted with this work.
My articles have been published in both Special Delivery (publication of the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators) and The Clarion (publication of the International Cesarean Awareness Network). I have been a speaker at each of the twelve annual BIRTH Fairs, a frequent guest and host on KPFT radio’s Whole Mother (90.1 FM, Mondays, 6:30 a.m., listen at KPFT.org or visit our site to hear previous shows, www.wholemothershow.com ), popular guest speaker at Baylor College of Medicine and I had the great privilege of portraying Jillian in each of the Houston productions of Karen Brody’s play, Birth. I am privileged to be involved with ICAN again, this time as co-leader of Houston’s newest chapter, ICAN of North Houston.
My most loved role is being mother to my fabulous, formerly breastfed, currently homeschooled son and daughter, both of whom are in high school now.
Please visit my site, www.debbiehulldoula.com, to learn more about birth and me and to hear some of the radio shows I have hosted.