God’s Helping Hands

Jul 28, 2010
God’s Helping Hands

Spotlight on Business-Heather Haywood

“You have to be passionate about what you do to be successful at it!” quote from Heather

Interview by Andrea Macie

On June 25th I had the pleasure to sit down with a true servant of God. Heather Haywood is a certified birth doula and has been practicing unofficially since 2001, but received her certification in 2006, through DONA (Doula’s of North America). What is a doula you might be asking? “Doula” is a Greek word meaning “woman servant” or “handmaiden”. A birth doula is a woman trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and her family before, during and after childbirth. While talking with Heather, I really got a sense that she truly loves women and babies and is honored to be a part of this miraculous time in a woman’s life. The following is the interview that transpired:

Heather Haywood - Doula in Syracuse, NY


Q: How did you know that this was your field?

A: I knew from a young age, as a witnessed woman around me giving birth. I was awed by the entire process and wanted to see women get the support they need before, during and after childbirth. A few years ago I was with a friend going through pre-term labor and my friends mom suggested to me that I find out about doulas and what they do. I wanted to fill in the childbirth process with love and support.

Q: What were some of the preparations you made, spiritually and naturally, to go forward with your vision?

A: Naturally, I pursued my certification. This included a 17-hour course, reading many books, getting client evaluations and writing essays. Spiritually I prepared by praying a lot. I had to pray a lot about the timing of pursuing this career because at the time I had 2 small children, a home to maintain and my husband & I were running our own construction business. I also prepared by making sure that my husband was in full agreement with this vision for my life. This was vital and he has been my biggest supporter.

Q: How did you know it was “time” to go forward and pursue having your own business?

A: As I started to certification process, it was effortless. Not that I didn’t have to work at learning and studying, etc, but there was a grace on the process because it was in the perfect timing of God. I felt like I was walking out a path that had already been prepared for me.

Heather Haywood - Doula in Upstate NY

 Q: Did you ever get discouraged, and how did you bounce back from that?

A: I trusted the Lord at every step. I have to say that discouraged was minimal because the Lord had already surrounded me with such a great support system that continuously encourages and loves me.

Q: How did you handle road blocks that came your way?

A: I would ask for help for the Lord, from my doula mentors, from my spiritual mentors and my family. One of the main roadblocks in this process was the finances required to get simply get my certification. I was gaining training but not making any money and as I mentioned before, my husband had his own business. We really learned in that season to TRUST GOD TO PROVIDE EVERYTHING.

Q: How do you maintain the balance between work and personal?

 A: I have to lean on my support system. In the birthing process, anything can happen at any time and in order to be available to my clients I must have laborers for my family that are willing to step in at any time of day or night and care for my boys. I truly have to trust God in each birth that all will be covered.

Q: How has being a doula enriched your life?

A: Getting to see the fruit of the womb and the heritage of the Lord come forth! I am a witness to seeing women grow in strength and courage. I am inspired by these women believing in themselves and the birth process. And I get to see “little miracles” all the time.  I also get the joy of living the life and purpose that God has designed for me in His timing and grace! 

Q: Can you share a testimony about how God has used your business to bless your family?

A: God always seems to provide the finances (births) when we need it the most. His timing is always perfect to meet a need that we have.

Q: Do you have some words of wisdom that helped guide you through the process of starting your own business?

A: My advice would be to make sure that you know that you know what you are pursuing is your passion and what you really want to pursue. You have to be passionate about what you do to be successful at it! Make sure your heart is totally in it!

Q: What would you say has been the greatest lesson you have learned through this process?

A: Patience, patience, patience. And accepting that I am not in control.And learning how to be prepared for anything!

Doula for Baby Birth and Delivery in Central NY

Q: What are your long-term goals for your business?

A: I would like to see every woman that desires the services of a doula to have one, despite their economic status, marital status or ethnicity. We also have a need for bi-lingual doulas and doulas of diverse ethnicities.  

Some statistics that show the benefit of having a doula:

Shortened Labor by an average of 25%

Reduction of the need for a c-section by 50%

Reduction in the use of drugs to stimulate labor by 40%

Reduction in the need of various forms of intervention by 40%

For more information, or if you have a question, you can contact Heather @ www.HeavensDoula.blogspot.comor .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Through her blog you can access the Doulas of Central New York website and obtain much more information.


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