First up is Jami Yaeger, owner of AustinBorn. She's responsible for all things happening behind the scenes and is also on the birth and postpartum doula teams. When not with her team and clients, you can find Jami at home with her boys, finally reading books again, enjoying long baths (Please Do Not Disturb Mama Self-Care Time, Thanks.), and geeking out on AustinBorn's Instagram page.
She's originally a Mountain Mama from WV, has lived on both coasts and in between, has a squishy nose (cool + weird), and loves a good charcuterie and cheese board.
What color represents you best?
Variations of purple. This became my color during pregnancy and definitely in labor, and I've been deeply connection to it ever since.
What do you do in your free time?
Oy, 2017 was the year of minimal free time. It's a big goal of mine in 2018 to prioritize self-care and be present with my husband and son. We're homebodies who also love to travel, so we're trying to find that balance this year. In between work and adventures, I'll be hanging on Lake Travis, reading more books (I just finished #2 and it's only January. Who am I?), monthly hangs with the badass women in my life, and exploring more local spots in TX. (Leave your recommendations in the comments!)
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Liberated. It's challenging, especially as a woman, to live a truly authentic life. Unrealistic expectations set by social constructs, social media, and our own damn minds, have most of us living so far from our true reality (the one we're afraid to embrace). My 30s have brought a great deal of clarity about who I am, and am not, and I hope to continue the work to walk toward my True North.
Tell us about your last job. How has it influenced your work as a doula?
I'm a theatre grad and had a voiceover business before giving birth to my son and becoming a doula/CLEC. One beneficial skill from my previous work is the ability to navigate different roles and effectively communicate. It's been vital in helping me create solid working relationships with clients, with care providers, wth my team at AustinBorn, and with other birth professionals in my community.
What's one thing people may not know about a doula?
We don't catch babies. We will if we have to in an emergency, but that's way outside of our scope. (Our tagline is "We do everything but catch the baby" and that holds true to this day.)
If you had 5 minutes to teach a new skill to a birth client what would it be?
We would chat about releasing the fear of childbirth and trusting themselves. This massive fear of labor and birth is too prevalent in our culture and it's deeply influencing the way parents in our country birth and raise their babies.
The door to the room you're in right now opens. Who do you want to walk through it?
My husband. We're about to celebrate 12 years of marriage (and many more prior to getting married) and that feels like one hell of an accomplishment. When I look back on all we've done together (deployments, 9 moves, becoming parents, buying a business after just moving to a new city), I'm proud that we're still doing the work to evolve. We can do just about anything together (Except yoga. He won't do yoga.) and that feels pretty damn good.
What do you think about on your way to a birth?
First, I run through my checklist to make sure that all of my systems are in place at AustinBorn while I'm away. #bossladythings Then I either sit quietly and clear my mind or I'll put on some music and zone out -- anything to let go of my own stuff before walking into the birth room.
What's one of your favorite tips to give to postpartum parents?
Please trust your instincts and follow your intuition. Your family, friends, and Google are great, but look inward first before asking anyone else. You probably already know the answer.
You're favorite song comes on right now. What is it?
Anything by Florence + The Machine.