The interview this week is from one of my favorite humans in the birthy world - Sharon Muza. I met Sharon when I was a newer doula through networking in the birth community, and through one of her amazing class offerings for birth professionals. I think what I love most about Sharon is that she is so unapologetically herself (my VERY favorite side of her is "Cranky Sharon"!), and she's also so warm, funny, and supportive - of both the families she serves and the birth professionals who learn from her. I hope you will find some time to read Sharon's answers to the 5 questions she chose and get to know this awesome doula/teacher/human a little better!
How would you answer these questions? Do you appreciate or have thoughts about Sharon's answers?Leave a comment here on the blog and let us know.
What are your thoughts about consent? How does consent show up in your work?
I work with pregnant, birthing and postpartum people. Consent is a key factor (dare I say, *the key factor* in a positive experience for a family that is welcoming a new baby. Shared decision making, evidence based information delivered simply and respect that each family makes the decisions right for them. Respectful treatment and communication and centering the parent’s voice is key to being able to provide consent for care during the childbearing year. In my childbirth classes and when working with my doula clients, I keep this front and center.
What are 3 things someone should know about you at the beginning of a friendship or relationship that would help them understand you better?
I love that I care about the earth, people and animals. I love that I am a hard worker and I am willing to challenge myself to do hard things. I am not afraid of failure - but I do not like to fail. I love that I am generous with my time and my knowledge and I love that I believe that others can do hard things too.
What are some things you have done in your life that you are truly proud of?
I have raised and supported two daughters to young adulthood, mostly as a single parent. I have created and grown a successful business made up of many moving parts and I do every single task, myself and I believe I do it well. I have become a “neat” person after a lifetime of being a horrible, messy person whose messiness created great stress and turmoil. I vote. Every single time. Without fail.
Is it easy or difficult for you to ask for help? Has it always been like this for you?
It is hard to ask for help. But I learned that I can do hard things, including asking for help, shortly after I became a single parent and had to ask a friend for a very big favor. I felt horrible in asking, but they were so gracious and helpful and the end result was so positive. I learned the lesson that it is OKAY to ask for help and while I still try and be as independent as possible, I do ask for help when I feel it is necessary.
Sharon Muza (she/her/hers) has been an active perinatal professional since 2004, teaching Lamaze classes to thousands of families and doula-ing in Seattle, WA. Sharon is also a trainer of new birth doulas and childbirth educators. She blogs professionally on perinatal topics. Sharon enjoys facilitating discussion around best practice, current research and its practical application to maternal-infant health and community standards. She also loves creating and delivering engaging and interactive learning sessions both in person and online