Doula in Sugar Land, TX
We are so excited to introduce you to Kristi Keen. We love this gal! She is both Birth Boot Camp Doula in Houston and Sugar Land, TX. Plus, she plays the flute in real symphonies. How many people can say that?! Welcome Kristi!
First, introduce yourself!
My name is Kristi. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Robbie, and together we have 3 beautiful children. We met in high school band. He played trumpet, and I played flute.
We both earned degrees in music. He is an elementary music teacher, and I teach private flute lessons in Sugar Land and perform in several symphony orchestras in Louisiana. I’m also a Birth Boot Camp Instructor in Sugar Land and a Birth Boot Camp Doula. I attend births in Sugar Land and the Houston area.
What first got you interested in doula work?
I became interested in doula work after I had my first birth. My birth was incredible! It set the path for all of my future births and how I feel about myself as a mother. About a week after I had my first baby, a good friend of mine was having her baby in another state.
As people like to do these days, she was sharing her struggles with labor over social media. I felt an urge to jump through the screen and hug her, assure her that SHE COULD DO THIS! If I could do it, ANYONE can.
I told my husband that I wished I had decided to be a doula when I grew up. He told me it’s never too late. I took my first training in 2011 and have been attending births as a doula in the Houston and Sugar Land areas ever since.
Do you have any particular passions concerning birth, if so, why?
While I have loved working with all of my clients and their unique personalities, I have a special passion for first time parents. Like I mentioned before, I feel like that first birth sets the tone for all future births and how you feel about yourself as a parent.
My hope is that my clients will feel on top of the world after their births. I want them to think, “I gave birth! I can do ANYTHING!”
With so many doula trainings out there, why did you choose Birth Boot Camp DOULA training?
I was already a certified birth doula when I took my Birth Boot Camp Instructor training. I remember thinking while I was preparing for that, “I wish my doula training had been like this. This is making me a better Doula.”
I remember several of my fellow trainees would talk to Donna and Sarah during our breaks about how we wished our doula trainings were like the Birth Boot Camp Instructor training. At one point during my instructor training, Donna let us know that a Doula training was in the works. Based on my experience with the instructor training, I knew the doula training would be incredible. I knew I HAD to do it. Birth Boot Camp is top notch!
Tell us about your training experience and your favorite parts.
I traveled to Dallas for my doula training. I’d never had to travel out of town for any other training I’ve taken because Houston is a big place. We have tons of doula trainings here.
It was well worth it to travel, knowing I receive a fantastic education. I adored my roommates. The pre-certification work was intense, and left me feeling extremely prepared.
I appreciated that EVERYONE was on the same page by the time we made it to training. I loved the business training we received as well. I love the continuous support I receive even though it has been over a year since my training.
How is doula work going for you? What is your favorite part about it?
Doula work is going well. Of course, I would love to attend so many more births and help so many more people have amazing births, but I have a limited amount of space available each month.
My favorite part of doula work is watching couples work together and blossom right before my eyes. They are so strong, confident, and prepared to make choices that work for them. They are empowered to take charge in the delivery room, and beyond.
That look that parents give each other when they first meet their babies and that look of, “I did it!” moms get on their faces after the birth is what keeps me going.
How did your training prepare you for actual birth attendance?
I had been a doula for several years before I attended the Birth Boot Camp Doula training. After my first training, my first birth felt like that Jim Gaffigan skit where he talks about what it is like having a 4th child. “Imagine you are drowning… and someone hands you a baby.” I felt like a deer in headlights after my first training.
After Birth Boot Camp Doula training, I felt like I had just received a Master’s Degree.
I felt so uplifted and confident that I could make a positive impact for my clients, and I hadn’t felt that way until I took the Birth Boot Camp DOULA training.
How do you feel you are having a positive impact with your doula clients?
I am so proud of my clients. I feel like I am helping them to have experiences that they are proud of. No matter what choices they make, I always want them to say, “No regrets.” That way they can own their choices and can feel proud of their accomplishments.
Every single one of my clients has completely blown me away with how amazing, confident, and strong they are. There is always a moment during their births that I look at them, and tears just come to my eyes with admiration for them.
Just for a moment.
They never notice. But I notice, and I just witness, and feel honored, that I get to be there with them at that exact moment, seeing how incredible they are.
To close, how do you believe is the purpose of a doula and how they make a positive difference in the birth experience for women?
In my experience, doulas help to remind women of what they already know. Giving birth requires tapping into our body’s ancient wisdom.
Doulas serve as a reminder that, “Yes! You are capable of doing hard things! You can birth your baby with confidence. You can have an incredible birth.” Doulas remind women that they have a voice, that they have choices, that they have what it takes to have the birth they desire.
They are a positive voice in a sea of, “You can’t do it. You’re crazy. Why would you want to do it that way?”
Doulas are the ones saying, “You CAN do this. You WILL do this. You ARE doing this. I believe in you. I’m here every step of the way. I support you. Birth your baby however you need to.” Families may not remember every vaginal exam or every intervention they received during labor, but they always remember how they were made to feel during labor. Doulas provide amazing relational support. Doulas bring the reassurance that there is going to be at least one person in the room that is 100% on their side. I believe that reassurance is priceless.
How can we find you?
I work as a doula in Sugar Land and Houston, TX. Find me at my website www.keendoulacare.com, my facebook page www.facebook.com/KeenDoulaCare, or email [email protected]. I’m looking forward to working with you!