Today we’d like to introduce you to Anja Akhile.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Anja. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I always knew I wanted to work with women, I just didn’t know in what capacity. When I became a mom, I made it my priority to find other young black mothers to befriend and connect with. In getting to know these other women, I heard their birth stories that were full of trauma, fear and what seemed like unnecessary c-sections in many cases.
I didn’t understand why so many were experiencing birth that way when I knew that it could be liberating, blissful and all-around a beautiful moment. By the time I got pregnant with my second daughter, I was fed up with the stories, and reading articles about black women dying that I decided to become a doula. I thought this was the perfect place for me to start. It would allow me to start doing something about the issues I cared about but it would also allow me an opportunity to see if I was passionate enough about birth to really dive into the work. After my first birth, I ran to the car and called my husband. I told him I wanted to be a midwife. I was on a high! I immediately enrolled in midwifery school and my first year of being a doula, I had done 15 births.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a smooth road with a couple of speed bumps. I had to quickly learn how to balance the demands of my family and still manage my client load. While pregnant with my third, I attended two births so even that called for me to prioritize myself and resting in a way I had never done before. I have had births where I needed to take pump breaks, and I have had client meetings where I needed to bring my baby. I have also had to deal with some financial struggles. Paying for school is difficult especially since a lot of my clients aren’t paying my full fee. Lastly, while attending in person classes for school, I experienced some racism and a few times it left me feeling like I should just quit. Luckily I have a husband who is extremely supportive and talked me through what I was feeling. He reminded me why I got into this work and that our community needs more midwives who look like them. I always say that my drive for being a midwife is to give back to my community. This is me showing up and showing out for my people. It is a big warm hug letting them know they are safe and they will be ok.
Please tell us about Tres Leos Doula.
I am a doula and a student midwife. The name Tres Leos doula was inspired by my grandma, my mom, and myself. All three of us are leos August 1st, 3rd and the 11th. We often referred to each other as “the tres leos.” My grandma passed away and while birthing my second daughter, she came to me. As I pushed my daughter out, I felt her presence watching over me and my mother was there waiting to physically embrace her. This is how Tres Leos was born. My grandma was a postpartum doula without even knowing it, taking care of me while my mother worked or needed rest. My mother was present at every birth of my child and after helping me every step of the way. I carry their wisdom with me when working with clients and weave in my own experience mixed with intuitive direction.
If I had to say, I specialize in anything it would be focusing on a birthing person mindset. I trust a woman and her body even before she may. It is my job to get them to trust their body and themselves. I do this through affirmation work and encouraging them to tap into their own intuition.
In my work, I am most proud of the fact that my clients become friends.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
- Birth doula $1500
- Virtual doula services $100/ month
- Placenta encapsulation $300
- Website: www.anjaakhile.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anja_akhile/?hl=en