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H E A L T H

A Mother's Advocate

Edinburg doula devoted to bringing clients’ babies into world

RGVISION MAGAZINE

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SEP/OCT 2017

b y Am y C as e b i e r & p h o t o s b y N o r m a H e s s

When Sofia Aleman assists with births in the Rio Grande Valley, she remembers exactly what happened at each of them. “I can totally recall every single person’s birth, detail by detail,” she said. “You just invest so much time and that’s something that I would not trade. I just take so much heart into my clients. I can honestly say at the end of every single birth that I love them. They become my friends and I still think about them.” Aleman is one of a handful of doulas operating in the region — and the only Spanish-speaking one in the Valley. Through Intricately Woven Birth Services, she offers Bradley Method birth classes as well as her expertise as a doula during clients’ birth experiences — whether they choose natural births, home births, or even Cesarean sections. According to DONA International, a Chicago-based

organization that offers instruction and other resources for doulas, a doula is “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.” The continuous part is essential for the relationship between doula and mother. Aleman sometimes finds herself staying up for 48 hours straight with clients. “I know that some people think that the doula’s role is extra, but I just feel it’s so vital because I’m the only person there that doesn’t leave,” she said. “I don’t change shifts. I’m literally there from start to finish.” During births, Aleman provides direct support to mothers, which can include conducting counter pressure massage,

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September / October 2017 - RGVision Magazine  
September / October 2017 - RGVision Magazine  
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