Birthing a Business
I’m Kaitlyn Breederland, labour doula and co-founder of Heritage Birth Services, an Edmonton-based doula agency. I married young, and shortly after became a mom. Before having kids I worked with seniors in a long-term care facility, but I never really found a traditional career I was truly passionate about.
After my first daughter was born, I started to think about becoming a labour doula. It all started so naturally, having become a mom before many of my friends, they came to me for support and encouragement during their first pregnancies and births. I became passionate about nurturing that relationship and found real joy in empowering them in the months and days leading up to their births. Then, a friend asked me to attend her birth as a support person. I knew it was time to embrace this calling and take doula training. So I did.
Ever since, I have never doubted that I was created to do this. When I started out, I just knew that I wanted to be a doula. What I didn’t realize, at first, is that to practise my passion I also had to embrace being a business owner. I would have to do the “business stuff” first in order to be able to get to the part that I was super-passionate about.
Birth work is a heart-centred industry, so turning my passion into a profitable, sustainable career was easier said then done. I quickly realized, however, that if I wanted to do this (and do it well!) I had to treat it like a business. I had to give it my all, and I had to charge my worth. I can empower women through birth and postpartum till the cows come home, but the turning point for my business was when I firmly decided to empower myself. I decided to charge my worth and in so doing have turned my passion into a career.
This does not mean there have not been times when I wanted to quit! Absolutely I have had moments when imposter syndrome has hit me like a ton of bricks, when my inner critic tells me “I can’t do this! I can’t be a boss and run my own business … are you kidding me?” But. Just like when a woman in labour looks at me in the eyes and says “Kaitlyn, I can’t do this” and I reply “It’s too late, you’re already doing it. You’re in it, and you’re doing amazing!” Just as I encourage women in that moment, I too have to encourage myself. Like a woman giving birth, I’m too far into it to just up and quit, so I do the only thing to do and just keep moving forward! And it’s been a beautiful, thrilling, eye-opening experience.
My goal and my dream now is not just to work with and empower women in birth, but also in business. Heritage Birth Services has blossomed in the past year to become a doula agency where women—labour doulas, postpartum doulas, childbirth educators, and lactation consultants—can come alongside us and work with mothers and mothers-to-be without ever doubting that their work is a viable career and that they deserve to earn a living doing it.
I’m not really in a place to give advice. This is all still so new. But one thing I know to be true is this: Value yourself and always charge your worth. And when you doubt yourself and your abilities doula yourself through it. Look in the mirror and tell yourself “I’m doing this, and I’m doing awesome!”
Well, there you have it. I’m Kaitlyn, a doula, turned accidental business owner, turned passionate entrepreneur, and now a #bossbabe!