A few months ago, my neighbor Eric Falk introduced me to a woman named Ariel Scott, saying that he thought we'd really hit it off. He was right— after thirty minutes and one iced soy latte, Ariel and I were buddies. Although Ariel is based in Colorado, we speak frequently and email each other ideas, inspiration, and just to say "hello."
Ariel, like a lot of us, manages to keep herself busy working a full-time job that she loves with Boulder-based GoodBelly Probiotic Juice Drinks but also spends time after hours and on weekends fulfilling her real passion — empowering women to experience the childbirth they desire, serving as a Doula and breastfeeding educator to the Denver and Boulder communities. When Ariel first shared this information about being a doula with me, I was intrigued. I wanted to learn more about why she made the choice to work with expecting women and what purpose it served in her life. Below is her story. I think you'll find it fascinating and inspirational.
Helping Women Give Birth With Confidence
By Ariel Scott
There’s nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to the buzz of my phone and hearing the long-awaited words “I’m in labor.” My adrenaline starts pumping, and I’m off!
My name is Ariel. I am an organic probiotic juice marketer by day (go GoodBelly!), and a Doula by night. In all ways, I am a girl on the go, and in the midst of this busy life, it’s witnessing a woman’s first birth that reminds me to pause and realize how profoundly awesome it is to be a woman.
What is a Doula? Simply put, it is an individual who provides non-medical support to women and their families during and around childbirth. While there are various types of doulas, I originally entered this field by becoming a public health Doula through AmeriCorps. Four other women and I devoted one year to support pregnant clients in Denver who were identified as high-risk, whose first language was not English and those who arrived in labor at the hospital alone. After receiving a month-long Doula training and a certification in breastfeeding education, our team quickly hit the ground running. We taught childbirth and newborn care classes in local community health clinics during the day, provided breastfeeding support to women who had already given birth, and also spent much of our time in the Denver hospitals supporting laboring women.
It has been seven years since I saw my first birth, and while I now only provide support to a few clients each year to balance with my day job, it is something near and dear to me. It is a constant reminder that while women experience countless inequalities in this world, we are truly remarkable creatures. We as women can grow babies, we as women can give birth to them, and we as women can nourish them with milk from our own breasts.
Having been a lucky witness to 46 births, I am compelled to share the strength I’ve observed every single time. I have supported a homeless teenager as she gave birth to her first son, women laboring with no family beside them, and those who had so many loved ones in the room we had to stand on tiptoes to fit. No matter the circumstances that led them to that moment, or the fear and exhaustion they felt at points during their labor, they reached into the depths of their womanhood to birth their babies into the world.
When sufficiently supported, there’s an intuition that reminds them at the right moment, “Yes, I can do this, I was built for this,” and from that point forward their lives will never be the same.
When I have moments of uncertainty and fear while I’m navigating this chaotic world, I just think, "My mother birthed me courageously." I must live courageously as a tribute to her and want to remind you that we are profoundly stronger and more capable than we often think.
Signing Off Courageously Living Life,
Renee and Ariel
Ariel Scott heads up all aspects of Boulder-based GoodBelly Probiotic Juice Drinks online communications strategies and social media marketing in her role as the Manager of Online Marketing and Consumer Communications. As the “virtual face” of GoodBelly, Ariel leads the company’s presence online, serving as the liaison to help energize the GoodBelly community. Prior to joining the company, she served in a variety of marketing and consultant roles for companies including Applegate Farms, Kallari Chocolate, and Traditional Medicinals, and ran the SNAP! Conference for executives in the natural products industry. Ariel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Skidmore College and Master of Science in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research from the London School of Hygiene and Topical Medicine. She enjoys spending her free time snowshoeing, cycling, cooking and digging in her garden. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.