Friday, June 12, 2009

Public health doula is BACK!

This has been quite the radio silence! There's been a lot going on - moving, traveling, settling into my new city and my summer internship...and then my computer died. More accurately, my hard drive. So after getting it replaced, trying to get the data off the old one (note: back up your hard drive, or you will regret it), and formatting and installing everything on the new one...I am back.

I have a crazy backlog of posts in mind and will probably never ever catch up on all of them. So for now I'll just share a little bit about my work this summer. My internship is in a large metro-area county health department - keep in mind that this is a county that has more population than most states, so it's not a typical county health department! I'm working with the data people - that means a lot of taking big datasets and running the numbers to generate reports and answer information requests from outside. The data that we're working with is MCH-related, so that's been very interesting for me to work with - playing around with breastfeeding stats is always fun. It's also educational to see how the sausage is made, statistically - for example, how information from birth certificates is transformed into usable data. My co-workers are very helpful and I'm already learning a huge amount about statistical analysis software, how large surveys are run, the ins and outs of survey design and data collection - all things I know I didn't have experience with, and wanted to add to my skill set.

Still and all, after a few weeks in front of the computer crunching numbers, I can tell that this work isn't about to jump out and seize my interest. It's challenging and interesting to figure out how to get the data someone needs, and it's incredibly important and useful, but I'm not a big one for abstractions. I like people. As a doula, that's a helpful asset. I hope to locate my public health career somewhere in between the one-to-one of direct service as a doula, and sitting in an office cubicle analyzing hundreds of thousands of births. The next step is to figure out exactly where in that in-between space I'd like to be.

As I left off with a link dump, I'll do another one to clear out some of the (many great) posts that have been getting starred and stored in my Google Reader. Mixed in here a couple of really lovely birth stories/videos/photos - I am renewing my vow to post the good and not just the bad!

Jive Turkey tells her birth story:
Part One and Part Two. She has a pretty funny take on the experience. She's also posted a "what you need to have a baby" and suggests that to the hospital, you bring "YOUR BALLS". Amen.

Guestblog on Radical Doula about ICTC Doula Training. It makes me wish I'd taken my doula training with them! If you're interested in doula-ing with a social justice/community focus, check this out.

Birth Faith talks about why giving birth without medications doesn't make her a hero. The "don't be a martyr" line sets my teeth on edge because no woman has ever said to me, "I'd like to give birth unmedicated because I've always dreamed of being a martyr."

Preggy Blonde's birth story with a couple of really lovely photos.

Amazing birth story in photos via Birth at Home in Arizona, who also posts a link to a a beautiful home birth video.

That's all for today!


Jill Arnold said...

Jeez, I was checking my feedreader to see if I'd dropped your feed into the wrong folder or something. I haven't even read what you wrote yet. Just commenting on the fact that I'm glad you're back!

OK, now I'll go read.

Rebecca said...

Thanks, it's nice to be missed! :-) And nice to be back.