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29 Dec 2017

Meet educator Jenny Bennett, leader of DTI’s Washington DC doula training

By The DTI team

[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]This blog is part of our Meet the Trainer series. Over the next few weeks, we will be showcasing DTI’s talented trainers. Right now we want you to meet Jenny Bennett, leader of the DTI DC doula training. Many of you probably know Jenny from a training, retreat, or her engagement in the DTI community via our Facebook group. Jenny will host DTI’s DTI2 In-Person training in Washington DC February 8-11, 2018. You can register HERE.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][image_with_animation image_url=”6540″ alignment=”center” animation=”None”][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]We know that now you are a DTI Educator but what first attracted you to DTI as a doula? When you yourself were looking into taking a doula training how is it that you ended up with DTI?

I was practicing as a childbirth educator for about a year when I started looking for a doula training, so it wasn’t an urgent decision for me. I knew I could wait until I found something that really resonated; DTI’s modern look, feel and messaging spoke to me as soon as I found it. The more I learned about their organization and unique certification process, the more excited I was about getting involved. I reached out to provide some marketing ideas based on my prior professional experience. The founders responded with warmth and enthusiasm and that really solidified my decision to register for their training. I attended an NYC training in 2014 and my involvement in supportive roles has been expanding ever since! My DTI colleagues have always encouraged me to dream big and that support has been a great source of inspiration and friendship as I’ve grown my practice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Since your doula business launched what have you learned? What would you look back and want to say to your less experienced doula self?

Comparing yourself to other doulas is counterproductive. Reflect on your personal values and goals and get really clear on what those represent in the area where you practice. Let those answers guide the steps you take in working toward your goals. You will probably have times when you feel stuck and that’s when it really helps to have a support system, a doula or two (or a whole community like DTI) whom you really trust, to turn to for ideas and encouragement.

What can you tell us about your local DTI community?

Since relocating from Atlanta to the Washington DC area I haven’t yet built a solid DTI presence, but Malika and I are working on that! (She’s in Maryland and I’m in Virginia.) We have some really strong doulas here who’ve certified through our online program and a few who were a part of the DC doula training in 2016 as well, so I feel we are well-primed to see our local presence grow. The DMV area in general has an amazing variety of doulas and birth related businesses and so I would say that while it is competitive, it is a healthy competition which serves a lot of families well.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]If someone hasn’t quite immersed themselves in the DTI community in your area how can they get out there and connect with others?

I’ve noticed that if you’re feeling disconnected, there are bound to be other doulas who are feeling the same way. So often, simply extending the type of support you are hoping to receive to other people will have great results. Human connection is at the core of what we do, so it’s really easy to get depleted, leaving no time for ourselves or our professional growth. Making it a priority has such a positive impact on your practice though, so making a commitment to meet for coffee or even just chat on the phone with other doulas is really key.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][image_with_animation image_url=”8255″ alignment=”center” animation=”None”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]If someone is thinking about registering for a DTI training in your area but hasn’t quite made their mind up yet what could they do to figure out if DTI is a good fit for them?

Sometimes folks have this sense of taking a chance when they register for one of our programs, maybe because DTI hasn’t been around as long as some of the other training organizations. When our participants experience what DTI has to offer they are totally blown away by the quality and community. One of the best qualities of DTI is that we are always listening to our members. Leadership meets regularly to discuss how to best implement the ideas and needs that we are hearing about, while also maintaining the consistency and integrity of our programs. Our team is very friendly and excited to talk with anyone who has questions, so I would encourage you to reach out and make those connections before registering!

How would you describe yourself as a trainer? What is your training like?

I’m a big believer in collective learning from the experiences that each member of a group brings to the space, whether it’s a monthly video call for one of our online cohorts or an intensive training in person. In my trainings you can expect to have a lot of open dialogue with your fellow students, with guidance from me on what has worked well in my own client interactions. I view every teaching moment as an opportunity to expand our understanding of what it means to approach doula work with an open curiosity. I believe this strengthens our capacity to walk beside our clients with even more empathy and compassion.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][image_with_animation image_url=”8256″ alignment=”center” animation=”None”][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Can you tell us something about you that even the DTI community doesn’t know?

I feel like my life is pretty much an open book when I’m with my DTI family, but maybe people don’t know that I really hated being one of the smallest kids in school and never tried out for any sports because of it. Until a lack of exercise started to really affect my energy levels postpartum, I avoided it altogether. Giving birth to my babies was probably the beginning of a journey towards self-confidence (and the DTI Sexology retreat didn’t hurt either)! I was the doula for my local CrossFit gym owners and somehow they convinced me to give weight-lifting a try. (Maybe it was my client’s 3-hour labor that had me intrigued by all the squatting.) It was truly terrible when I first started and I wondered what I had gotten myself into, but the profound difference in the way I felt was quickly apparent. I try to balance with yoga twice a week and am working out all sorts of kinks in my body that I never knew were there. I have never felt stronger and am enjoying the community aspect of seeing people in their 50s, 60s and even older who are in the best shape of their lives.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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