RN Doula: Being the Best Of Both Worlds!

Written by: Shanita Joy Murray, RN BSN CD CPD CBC CBE CPNE
Posted: July 03, 2023

I am Shanita Joy- certified birth and postpartum doula, registered nurse, certified breastfeeding counselor (IBCLC intern) and certified childbirth and perinatal nutrition educator.

As an RN and doula, my practice is a one stop shop for clients seeking the best of both worlds. My passion for mothers and babies began at age 10. I went on to pursue a career as a registered nurse 15 years ago and graduated with a bachelor’s of science in nursing in 2015. I took a leap of faith in 2021 and started my business, Choosing Joy®️. Doula work was just the niche I was looking for in women’s health.  

Switching gears from working as a labor & delivery RN in the hospital to becoming a self-employed doula was quite the task initially.

For a while, I viewed the two as very separate. Due to the miserable time I had trying to get my footing on the labor unit, I couldn’t fathom the two disciplines cooking down nicely into the gumbo that has become my framework of care: clinical competence, sharp assessment skills, compassion and education without the pressures of trying to uphold hospital policy and my client’s wishes. 
There are many benefits to having a doula that is also a registered nurse! As a woman’s-woman and extroverted-introvert, I desire a more personal connection with my clients than what I could establish in one shift. I want to make them feel comfortable by knowing that they have a rapport with someone in the room. A true advocate that prioritizes their well being and interests over that of the institution that they’re delivering in. 

My model of practice focuses heavily on the incorporation of teaching evidence based information that’s accurate and digestible for my families.

Despite how cliche the saying is, knowledge really is power! In addition, I marry my experience as a mother of four girls (19, 10, 7 & 4). There’s a great chance that I’ve experienced similar concerns as my clients during pregnancy after all, I’m parenting across the lifespan. My anecdotes are relatable and give perspective to my families. 

I pride myself on having knowledge of the physiological nuisances of birth.

One of the most critical parts that I find to be missing in the labor process is the correlation between the mother’s position and the baby’s as they attempt to navigate the pelvis. Knowing how to reposition a mother at just the right time can decrease the length of labor, ease pain and minimize unnecessary interventions. As a nurse there’s so much focus on charting and reading the fetal monitor that there’s little attention to this major detail. Even though I’m not there in a clinical capacity, I understand the lingo. I can read the room and assist my clients by putting high level medical jargon in a manner that is less alarming. 
#RNDoula, It’s a catchphrase and perhaps my favorite hashtag currently because it’s the basis of my practice. It’s what makes me stand out in a world full of capable and awesome doulas. Most importantly, being both increases the quality of care and adds to improving patient outcomes.

You can learn more about Shanita and her business at www.iamchoosingjoy.net
Find her on Instagram right here!


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Category: Tips From BeHerVillage Providers & Partners
Tags: birth support , hospital birth , doula business , labor and delivery nurse


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