Today’s installment in the Doing What You Love series features Aimee Karr – Postpartum Doula, Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher and Childbirth Educator
My wife first met Aimee at one of the prenatal yoga classes that Aimee teaches in the neighborhood. She was really enjoying Aimee’s classes and telling me how talented Aimee was at leading the class.
I began to think Aimee must do what she loves, in order to be so good at it, as I do believe that in order to truly excel in what we do, we must have a passion for it.
I reached out to Aimee under the assumption that she does what she loves and guess what, it turns out she does 🙂
I met Aimee shortly after that, at the series of Childbirth Education and Partner Yoga for Labor and Birth that Aimee teaches. Attending the classes, it was immediately clear to me that Aimee truly does what she loves. The classes were well-organized, thorough, fun and left us with a lot of very relevant and actionable information and tools to use during the child birth process.
I’m feeling grateful that Aimee was kind enough to complete a Doing What You Love interview for readers of Just Rolling With It!
Here it is –
1 – What is it you do that you love?
I feel so lucky to surround myself with pregnant ladies and their partners in my work as a labor and postpartum doula, prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher and childbirth educator. I love helping new families feel empowered and knowledgeable as they transition into parenthood.
2 – How and when did you realize what it is you love to do?
I began as a yoga teacher and in my initial training they gave exactly 4 words to the subject of working with pregnant women–”don’t squish the baby”.
Although accurate, it was not quite enough information for me to feel confident if a pregnant woman walked into my yoga class. I did a very thorough prenatal yoga training and in the process fell deeply in love with pregnant ladies–the immense power our bodies have to transform and bring life into the world–and very concerned with the immense amount of fear based “education” regarding childbirth.
I knew pretty quickly that I was no longer interested in teaching yoga to “regular” people, but wanted to focus my energy on these amazing mommas.
Soon after having that realization, I became a prenatal yoga teacher. I also completed the training required to become a doula, not thinking that I would attend births, but just thinking it would make me a better, more grounded teacher.
When a student asked if I would be present for her birth, I agreed and was absolutely hooked. I knew this was it.
3 – When did you decide to make a commitment to doing what you love? What does that commitment look like, e.g. full-time job, part-time hobby, etc.
After teaching prenatal yoga for 5 years and working as a doula occasionally for 2 years, I became pregnant myself. Throughout my early years of teaching, it was clear that birth work was my passion, but I was also working other jobs to make ends meet.
It was really after I became a full-time momma myself that I focused all of my extra energy into being a birth worker.
4 – How long have you been doing what you love?
5 – What was the toughest decision you had to make when making a commitment to doing what you love?
Well, part of my job as a doula is to be on-call for pregnant mommas whenever they may go into labor or whenever they need me. This can be really challenging for a person who has other work or family commitments.
I am so fortunate to have married an amazing man with a flexible schedule and a lot of love for me and understanding for my passion, so that when I get a call at 2 am and have to say, “Honey, my client’s water just broke, and I need to go. I’ll probably see you tomorrow. Thanks for holding down the fort,” I know that everything will be taken care of on the family front.
I have attended births on my own birthday, on several major holidays, but I do let my client’s know my two black out days/year: my husband’s birthday and my son’s birthday.
6 – Was there a time that you had doubts about doing what you love? If so, how did or do you overcome those doubts and keep doing what you love?
In the beginning it was definitely challenging financially. For my first couple years of teaching I would have 2-4 students in my classes, so was maybe making $20/class.
Additionally, births for a new doula are also not a great money maker. But I was truly passionate about this work and fully committed, so I made it work by working at other side jobs, until I was at a point where I could support myself fully doing what I love.
7 – What are some of the things you enjoy most about doing what you love?
I love watching mommas-to-be grow into motherhood, both physically and emotionally.
It is so fulfilling to teach a partner support techniques and see a great sense of relief when they leave my class, knowing that they have tangible tools to support the woman they love.
I adore helping women feel like they are empowered to make the decisions to stand behind what they want, to have the birth that they are hoping for.
8 – Do you have any advice for people who are struggling with making a commitment to doing what they love, even if they know they want to make the commitment?
Keep doing it.
Maybe in the beginning it can’t be full-time, but make the time and increase the energy you put into it as time goes on. You may need to supplement that work with additional job(s) to make ends meet, but stick with it. Following your passion is always a worthwhile endeavor.
Surround yourself with people who are supportive of your happiness and your dreams.
9 – Is there anything else you’d like to add about doing what you love?
It would never be possible for me to do what I love without the support of the people I love the most. My heart is overflowing with gratitude to my husband and to my son for understanding that I sometimes have to leave for a day or more to help another family.
Here’s Aimee’s Bio –
Aimee Karr is a Zen practitioner who brings her years of yoga and meditation training to support women throughout their pregnancy, birth, and post-partum period.
As a certified prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher, she creates a warm and open atmosphere to explore safe movements to promote optimal positioning for babies and relieve many of the discomforts most common during pregnancy. She utilizes her training as an Integrative Therapist to support women and their partners into parenthood through continuous labor (doula) support and childbirth education.
Having used the tools of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness training in her own pregnancy, labor, birth, and in the raising of her toddler, she is delighted to share any benefits from her practice with you throughout your journey.
Aimee lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with her husband and toddler son and is expecting her second son this fall.
You can reach Aimee through her Zen Mommas website or directly via email – aimee (at) zenmommas.com