San Antonio: the land of tacos and Rodeo. The land of tacos and the Spurs. The land of tacos and the Riverwalk. Also, the land of tacos. While I didn’t grow up in San Antonio, this city has become my home…the place where we put roots down and watched them grow. This city is the birth place of my three children, and also the place where I have seen many others give birth.
I’ve been a doula for a few years now. My training has taken me to Vancouver, California, and Washington State. I’ve spent time with doulas from the four corners of the world, and my relationships with these amazing birth professionals has given me a deeper appreciation for what it means to be a doula and childbirth educator in San Antonio.
San Antonio is a city of immigrants. It seems that very few people I meet in San Antonio were actually born here. This makes the Alamo City a wonderful blend of people from all walks of life. On any given day you can hear multiple American accents and multiple languages. I have had the privilege of working with families who are very diverse in the languages they speak, the religions they practice, the way their families look, and the places they hail from. Forming these deep, meaningful relationships with so many different people has been incredibly enriching for me. I learn as much from the families I work with as they do from me.
Speaking of diversity, we have an amazing array of birth options available in San Antonio. You can find an OB/GYN, a hospital based midwife, and a birth center/home birth midwife within a couple mile span. You can give birth in a hospital, a birth center, or your own home. In fact, you can give birth in one of several hospitals anywhere from west to east, north to south, or downtown. The greater San Antonio area has mutiple independent birth centers, and several home birth midwives. There are so many cities around the world who have just one hospital where people can give birth. We are truly blessed with the range of options we have available here.
Beyond the options for diverse birth spaces, we also have many options for the type of birth you can have in San Antonio. Vaginal birth, cesarean, VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), unmedicated birth, epidurals, inductions, birth tubs, and many more options are all on the table for birthing mothers. We even have doctors who provide family centered cesareans in San Antonio, where birthing parents can watch the birth and have immediate contact and connection with their babies. Birth professionals in our city have worked tirelessly to bring more and more options to help families find support and encouragement through any kind of birth.
I’m proud to be a doula in San Antonio. I can’t wait to see what the coming years bring for our wonderful birth community and the families they work with.
Nikki Shaheed CCE(BFW) CD(DONA)