This master doula is fulfilling her calling by helping women everywhere have better birthing experiences.

By Jennifer P. Barthole
August 16, 2019
Jessica Morrisy

Latham Thomas gave birth to her son Fulano in 2003, and it set her on a mission to help women reclaim the birthing process. As a master birth doula, one of Oprah Winfrey's Super Soul 100, founder of Mama Glow and author of Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to a Fabulous and Abundant Pregnancy and Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within, she's making entrepreneur mom life look easy. Here, her advice for finding—and fulfilling—your calling.

Turning Her Calling into a Career:

“My work in maternal health is not a passion, it’s a calling. I came to this work after the blissful birth of my own son 16 years ago. I delivered in a birth center and I saw an opening where I could provide more hand-holding and support for women.

As a doula, I founded Mama Glow to provide hand-holding to women along the entire reproductive continuum from menstruation through birth to new motherhood—incorporating yoga, lifestyle coaching, mindfulness, and self-care techniques. At the time, I was really branding an area of women’s health that wasn’t seen as 'cool.' When I started Mama Glow, the word 'doula' was not a household term. I knew I wanted to help change the way our popular culture perceived birth.

I want birth to be safe for all women and to educate the next generation of birth workers who will lead the maternal health movement. I opened our women’s space, Circle by Mama Glow, in Brooklyn last year, to create a place for women to learn, connect, and reclaim self-care.” (Related: Fostering Mindfulness, the Essence of Meditation)

Words to Grow On:

“Anything we desire takes patience, faith, and an ideal environment for growth. Create community as you build your brand. Energetically and spiritually mother yourself, using the tools of self-care as a pathway to empowerment.” (Related: How to Make Time for Self-Care When You Have None)

What Keeps Her Committed:

“I am a mentor to so many, and that keeps me going. Serving alongside women during this most powerful time in their lives at the moment of birth is also is so fulfilling. Ultimately, we are striving to democratize birth and postpartum support so that every person who would like to work with a doula has access to one.

We currently run the fastest-growing doula immersion program in the USA, and we have hubs in NYC, LA, Paris and are launching in Miami this fall. Our doula trainees come from all over the USA and six continents, some as far as Thailand, Madagascar, China, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, UK, New Zealand.

Birth equity is at the pulse of our training and we are deeply committed to educating the next generation of birth workers who are empowered and equipped to support all women/folks, especially those who are most marginalized. We're working in hospitals in New York City and beyond, educating doctors as well as medical students about the value of doulas and working together to improve birth outcomes and effect clinically important reductions in inappropriately high cesarean rates as well as maternal deaths. This is a dream that I am so thankful to be living." (Related: Amy Schumer Opens Up About How a Doula Helped Her Through Her Complicated Pregnancy)

Want more incredible motivation and insight from inspiring women? Join us this fall for our debut SHAPE Women Run the World Summit in New York City. Be sure to browse the e-curriculum here, too, to score all kinds of skills.

Shape Magazine, September 2019 issue
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