Who is Richmond Doulas: Katie Painter

Doula Spotlight
Katie Painter
"as labor becomes more intense, instead of fearing the discomfort… embrace it and allow it to bring your baby here. The pain has a purpose and it’s temporary."

Business Name: Katie Painter Fitness
Facebook, Instagram: @katiepainterfit
Services Offered: Birth Doula, Registered Prenatal & Postpartum Yoga Teacher, Certified Prenatal + Postpartum Coach, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, CPR + AED certified (infant, child, and adult)
Years in Business: 1
Clients Served: 16

Katie is the fourteenth doula featured for Who is Richmond Doulas. If you want more info on what the series is about, click here.  

What do you love most about doula work?
Watching someone realize how incredibly strong they are through the birth process (no matter what that looks like). Also watching the partner or family members’ eyes the moment Baby makes his or her entrance. Magic!

 What is your least favorite aspect about doula work?
Not knowing when I’ll be back to cuddle my own babies.

Favorite thing to do when you are not on call?   
Eat pizza, ice cream and have a beer! I’m borderline lactose intolerant so I don’t eat foods that might make me sick or drink when I’m on call.

What does your partner think about your doula work/job?
He loves that I love my job and recognizes how special this work is, but he definitely doesn’t love doing solo bath and bedtime with two toddlers. (And I don’t blame him at all!)

Do you think it’s important to have your partner’s support and why?
Absolutely! I do better work when I know he’s got my back both literally and emotionally. I can be fully present at a birth knowing he’s got things on the home front.  

If you have children, how many do you have?
Two girls!

What is the most difficult part of parenting regarding being a doula?
Missing things or being afraid of missing things. My first birth was with a mama who was due around Christmas and I was so afraid I would miss Christmas morning with my kids. I didn’t, but it definitely was a more stressful morning than it would have been otherwise. Also… having to wake up and parent at 6:30am after getting in from a birth at 4am.

Do you have any certifications or degrees?
BA in Journalism from University of Richmond
Registered Prenatal + Postpartum Yoga Teacher (RPYT)
ACE Certified Personal Trainer with a specialty as a Certified Prenatal + Postpartum Coach (Girls Gone Strong)
Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)

What drew you to doula work?
My births were such beautifully empowering moments in my life and I feel I owe that to my doulas. They believed in me, supported me, and even better, helped my husband support me in a way that made the birth of our babies a bonding experience. I wanted to give that gift to others.

Do you do anything besides doula work?
I teach group fitness classes (yoga [both prenatal and “regular”], cycle, barre, bootcamps, etc.), childbirth education classes, and do personal training.

Do you have a favorite birth you attended? What made it special?
If I had to pick just one it would probably be the first birth I attended. You never forget your first and she labored so beautifully… it really was absolute magic. I rode that birth high for weeks! But every birth is magic to me and I definitely have favorite parts of every birth I’ve been to.  

If you could have one super power, what would it be? 
The ability to see/pop in and out of different timelines to see how things would be different with different choices.

Chocolate or Vanilla? 

Dogs or cats? 

Favorite seasons and why:
I was always a Spring/Summer person, but I’ve turned into a Fall/Winter person. Probably because it’s too hot to lug two small kids around in the RVA summer heat. Ask me again in 5 years when I can take them both to a pool by myself and see if the answer changed.

What’s in your doula bag?
Christmas lights, essential oils, mints, jolly ranchers, gum, a rebozo, a sweatshirt, extra contact lenses, hair ties, and a Bluetooth speaker.

Number one book moms should read before giving birth:
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

Number one book moms should read before breastfeeding:
Not a book… go talk to relatives/friends/strangers who breastfed and ask them their best tips. Those first few weeks can be really tough even if everything is going “well” so find people who will support and encourage your journey.

Best labor advice you offer:
There are very few – if any – other experiences in life where pain doesn’t mean something is wrong, but in birth the pain is good! The “pain” means your body is doing exactly what its supposed to be doing. So as labor becomes more intense, instead of fearing the discomfort… embrace it and allow it to bring your baby here. The pain has a purpose and it’s temporary.