Interview with Paula Mallis, Photo from homebuildlife.tumblr.com
Insightful excerpts from our afternoon with Paula Mallis/Doula/Founder of WMN Space
What is a Doula?:
Paula: "Doula" the Greek word means, "servant to a woman". So, I look at being a doula as opportunity to be of service to a woman, and because my work has now expanded into creating WMN Space, I feel like I am a doula in other areas too. But my passion and my private practice is doula-ing women through conscious conception, through pregnancy, through the birth process and then through motherhood.
If I came to you wanting to conceive, what would you tell me?
Paula: I offer a conscious conception workshop which is a two hour workshop. We work with what someone is called to "birth" into their lives. I open it up to anything, because as women, we all have a womb and we all have the capacity to birth. Sometimes it’s a human, sometimes it’s a book, sometimes it’s a business.
But when I work with a women specifically who is trying to conceive a baby, and maybe someone who is doing IVF or IUI or whatever their story, we try to connect with the soul of the baby… And it's always just a matter of time before they all eventually find out they’re pregnant…
I try to empower the mother to connect with her own baby, and there is information there for each woman and it is usually a lesson that they are carrying.
There are always lessons that come with pregnancy and birth, so it usually becomes a theme, or a message or a learning that goes throughout the whole pregnancy, it ends up becoming a thread and a through line, but every woman is different and every pregnancy is different.
I support women in connecting with their baby and their own sense of intuition.
Do you find most of your clients are women who are choosing a natural birth?
Paula: I get every mom, I get everything. Actually, I mainly work out of the hospital. I’ve had plenty of home birth’s that I've attended, but I've mostly worked in the hospital.
How do you find your place in a hospital? How do doctors view your position?
Paula: I have gotten to a place where I am only working with certain doctors…They are calling me in because they are wanting to bridge the worlds. Mothers want that home birth vision, but for whatever reason, they can’t or don’t choose it. Instead, they hire me, because I am all about creating sacred space wherever we are.
How did WMN Space come to birth?
Paula: I started facilitating women's circles just out of wanting to get women together for the new moon. Everyone just kept coming back at each new moon, and four years later I've missed maybe 4 new moons. Now I do the full moon too, so I'm committed twice a month to facilitating these moon circles. And the transformation in my life and other women's lives is the addiction to just want to continue to offer it. I looked around one moon circle and there were 50 women in my living room, and half of them were sitting under my dining room table, and I thought, “What’s next?” And I was finishing my MA in Spiritual Psychology, so I opened up WMN space as my final project at USM. I put it on paper, and then it manifested. It is a space for women to gather and give and receive.
Have you seen a birthing technique that has the most success?
Paula: Yes. The breath. And trusting the intuition. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth. Intentional breathing. Inhaling what you need, exhaling what you don’t need. Just coming back to the breath, coming back to the intention.
What is the importance of telling your birth story?
Paula: Sharing our birth story is our right of passage, it doesn’t matter if you adopt, hire a surrogate, however you bring a baby into this world, the birth story is the story that allows for the transition from maiden to mother. It is so important to honor it. Most of the time there is something there to process even if it “goes well.”
How did you come to discover your path as a doula?
Paula: Through the birth of my daughter. I found out I was pregnant the same weekend as I went to my doula training. As a model and actress, I was looking for a new life. I knew I was here to be of service, I didn’t know how or what, so I just started taking workshops and trainings, and I signed up for the doula training. And that was my initiation into motherhood and doulahood. I knew if I could just be of service to one other woman, I felt my own birthing experience would be complete. But then I just didn’t stop.
I feel called to bring back something that’s ancient, not on trend. We are on the planet at this time when there is this feminine consciousness rising, and it is present. As the divine Feminine, it manifests in different ways, whether it be the women’s march or creating WMN SPACE, there is a reason why we are all being called to wake up, it's such a huge opportunity to align ourselves with a shift that is already happening. This is where can we meet each other on the soul to soul level, where can we meet each other on the heart to heart level, where can we meet each other in love, and that is more important to me than any of the details.
For MORE on Paula: check out her website or her Instagram....and check out WMN Space too (we're obsessed!)!!!
THANKS, PAULA!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!!
Did you have a doula for any part of your pregnancy journey? Let us know in the comments!