In the Blog
Sam Leeson: Pregnancy, Birth, and babyREADY
Every other Thursday I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!
So without further delay, let me introduce the amazing Sam Leeson…
Owner of babyREADY, Sam Leeson believes that women need to know their choices when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, and their own bodies. A doula and educator, Sam has been involved with the births of over 200 babies, taught over 4000 couples, and now takes time to answer our questions and tell us why it’s so important for children to “know how overwhelmingly important they are in this world.”
What drives you to do what you do?
I had a horrible birth experience with my first child which I believe was the result of there being very few people who thought to take the time to let me know why decisions were being made on my behalf. It was all new to me (and I was just a number to them of course) so I didn’t know what control I had the right to want to implement. I want every mom and couple I meet to have a fantastic birth and parenting experience and to feel safe enough to make the decisions that will help them have a great time as their family evolves and grows!
How does being a woman empower / challenge you?
In this particular profession I think it gives me a lot more power than it would if I were a man. That said, there are many “old school” couples I meet who feel as though their best information comes to them from their male obstetrician; because he is a man and a doctor. I can speak from the birthing perspective in way that a male doctor, nurse or midwife will NEVER be able to do. I do think that if these moms are ready to think about the whole process rationally then they will understand that womyn in my role are one of their best resources.
What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?
I would encourage them to learn as much as they can about the power of the human body. I would want them to take the steps they need to take in order to truly believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that a womyn can do ANYTHING. They also need to be able to stay calm in stressful situations. One of the comments I hear most often is, “you are always so calm.” In my job I have to be.
Name one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?
From where I stand and in the line of work I do I really believe that the best answer is that every single womyn should intimately know her own body. I don’t just mean spiritually, although I think that is imperative as well. I mean physically. When I first started working in the Standardized Patient Program at UWO in 1995 I was amazed by the number of womyn I met who had never explored their own bodies. I don’t mean it has to be for a sexual reason, although everyone I meet through babyREADY has had sex in order to come to me. I mean how can I truly trust that my body can birth a baby, that my cervix will thin, soften, become stretchy, and open if I have no idea where my cervix is or what it feels like? How many womyn don’t know what their pelvic floor looks like? There is a significant sense of power that comes from within when you know what you look like from without!
What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?
We can love our children unconditionally and whole-heartedly. That means showing them respect all of the time. That means listening to them and giving them a chance to have a voice. That means dialoguing with them so that they understand where to look when they need to find answers. That means making sure they know how overwhelmingly important they are in this world; so they never feel like they are simply a number. When they know that they have a role to play and that they have responsibilities to themselves, their families, their peers, their communities and their planet and they see us leading by example then they want to be the very best they can be and will work towards making the best place this world can be.
You can find out more about Sam and babyREADY on the website www.babyready.ca.