Over the next few months, DTI will be introducing you to our fierce team of educators who will lead doula trainings across the country from Brooklyn, NY to Fairbanks, Alaska. This week, we introduce Jenny Bennett who will be hosting the Alaska doula training April 9th-12th.
Jenny specializes in hypno-doula services and teaches Hypnobabies childbirth classes in Atlanta, Ga., where she lives with her husband, two kids ages 7 and 4, their old, blind dog and a few backyard hens. We asked her to share a little about her journey towards becoming a DTI educator.
When and how did you first know you wanted to be a doula?
At the time our children were born I had a corporate job that I enjoyed. I always knew I wasn’t cut out to be a stay-at-home mom and I was OK with that! It was during my pregnancy with our second child that my perspective began to shift a little. Being a big fan of the Hypnobabies childbirth education program as a pregnant mom and experiencing birth as both enjoyable and unmedicated, I felt called to attend the upcoming instructor training in California. I started teaching classes when our son was about 10 months old while continuing to work full time. It was a lot to handle at once, and I also knew that I wanted to start offering doula services to my students. At this point I began the transition away from the 9 to 5 life and into doing doula work full-time. It was a scary leap and difficult for our family at times, but in my heart of hearts I never doubted this was what I was supposed to be doing.
How did you become a DTI educator?
I attended the DTI training two years ago in Brooklyn, and that’s where I met Kassandra Ryan, who had traveled all the way from Fairbanks to attend. After helping DTI to host a couple of trainings in Atlanta, Tara and Gina asked if I would like to lead a training on my own. I was excited and terrified! It has been an extremely fulfilling leg of the journey. I can’t wait to visit Alaska for the first time next month and I’m just in awe that I get to travel to such cool places to help further this profession. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
What do you love most about being a part of DTI?
I love that DTI dreams big for us. The founders are always looking for opportunities to encourage doulas to draw out their unique strengths and talents. As an introvert it’s always been a challenge when I’ve fallen into leadership roles, but somehow that keeps happening so I guess that means I’m a leader! DTI has given me the support that I needed to grow in this field and it’s happened in a way that I never even knew would be possible. I’m also very proud to be a part of an organization that believes in autonomy for all people above all else. It’s so freeing and inspiring to dwell in a relationship with your fellow doulas with that as our foundation.
What is your favorite aspect of DTI’s 4-day doula training?
I would simply say the energy at these trainings is bar none. When you start with a curriculum based on the tenets of autonomy, social justice and business acumen, and you’re teaching both birth and postpartum care to a room full of both new and experienced doulas, you have a learning environment that is just incredibly dynamic. It’s too hard to pick just one aspect. I love every minute of it!
What’s a (non-doula) fun fact about you?
Well, some of you may know I joined CrossFit recently. This is an extreme form of exercise that really did not appeal to me. I have never been an athlete of any sort. But when the owner’s wife has a baby and they trade you private sessions for doula services… you know the rest. I drank the Kool-Aid. Our CrossFit gym is owned by incredibly humble and encouraging coaches, and they motivate me to keep getting stronger. I can now front squat more than my own body weight. I’m pretty proud of that! I just have to remember to keep it balanced with stretching and yoga.
I’ll be hosting the Alaska doula training in April as well as an Atlanta training in August. Hope to see you there! Register here.