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I’m kicking off this “All about Pregnancy Providers and Support Roles” series by chatting with Jaely Turner, owner of Our Village Circle and a local Northern Virginia doula. She’s an all-around birthing nerd and birthing/postpartum advocate extraordinaire. We chatted about Northern Virginia midwives and obstetricians but first, we learned a little bit about Jaely herself!
Jaely is a mom of two littles, a loving wife to her husband and partner, residing in Manassas, Virginia. Authenticity matters a lot to Jaely. She is a big advocate for authenticity and trusting in our intuitions as pregnant and postpartum people.
Jaely moved around a lot as a child. Every two years, she moved somewhere new and that’s hard for any kid. You want to be liked and to fit in. But there was a constant feeling of having to start from scratch with everything. As a result, Jaely became a human chameleon, capable of fitting in wherever she moved. She even grew up to find a profession in the performing arts as an actress and professional singer. So for much of her life, she constantly transformed into character.
Slowly, Jaely set down foundational roots for the first time in Virginia. She shed a lot of her chameleon habits to become who she is today, someone who is authentic to herself internally and externally. And this drive for authenticity (and advocacy!) informs a lot of her work as a doula as well.
8-year-old Jaely was exposed to a raw birth video of a woman giving birth. That experience stayed with her through her childhood and beyond. It wasn’t until she turned 26 that she realized she wanted to have kids. Once she became pregnant, the prevailing fear of giving birth came back to her full force so she dove into headfirst learning about pregnancy, birth and the birth process.
The more she learned, the more fascinated she became with birth, the body that can grow a baby, the biomechanics, all of it. Her first experience with birth that originally made her fearful about it slowly shifted through the process of being pregnant and through her research. Jaely just knew that her body was going to grow the baby, to birth the baby and that there was something innately intelligent about the whole process.
Fast forward to postpartum. That period hit her like a ton of bricks, as it does for quite a few parents out there (myself included in all honesty). The transition to motherhood for her was difficult and she had intrusive thoughts, feelings of hopelessness and guilt for the first seven months postpartum.
So Jaely wrote candidly about her postpartum experience and found many who connected with her experience and feelings. From there, she simply started “doing the doula things”. Jaely checked in with friends during pregnancies, after they gave birth, suggested birthing classes, listened to their birth stories. Quite a few friends told her that she should be a doula. But with her singing career, her thought was “maybe after I retire from singing”. And then Covid hit. The work that had her booked solid for the next 3 years slipped away just like that. So what did she do? Like many others during that time, she pivoted. Jaely decided to dive into doula work and honestly, she has yet to look back.
Are you looking for local Northern Virginia midwives or obstetricians? Here are a few blog posts that might be helpful!
Have you given birth? Are you interested in having these newborn days captured? Click here to start the conversation!