Pacelines and Postpartum Doulas

Tulsa Postpartum Doulas

Authored by Kelley Mather, Postpartum Doula for Tulsa Family Doulas

A Cycling Doula's Observations From Life On The Trail

Last month, a major item was marked off my bucket list when I rode in the Louisiana MS 150. This is a two day, 150 mile bike ride that raises funds for Multiple Sclerosis. Preparing for this event required me to ride my bike ... a lot!  I rode in the heat, I rode in the rain, I rode on trails and roads in towns in every direction around Tulsa.  I met some amazing new people, saw some incredible wildlife (minus the tarantula somewhere in Bixby, OK!)   

cycling doula

For several months, I rode the trails, mostly by myself - afraid to venture out on the roads and intimidated by joining one of the many group rides that happen weekly - I was scared of the motorists, I thought I would be too slow for the group, that I couldn’t ride that many miles, or ‘those hills’ - my excuses were as endless as my rides were beginning to feel.  One Monday, I finally joined up with a group of all women cyclists for a ride. My evening with them was great - they took turns riding along side of me, encouraging and teaching me different things about riding in a group and giving me tips on how to make things easier by changing position of my hands, shoulders, pedal stroke, etc. I learned so much and although the rides were longer and harder, they were easier since I was with a supportive group! 

Riding With A Partner

I came to learn that riding alone is nice, but partnering with others is invaluable when you are a newbie and trying to go the distance.  Riding in a pack not only provides greater safety, but the camaraderie made me more confident and the ride more enjoyable.  An added benefit is increased speed. Groups of riders form pacelines, which maintain a constant speed by rotating leaders so that no one bears the load for long, or alone. Traveling in a paceline requires closeness and allows a group to move faster because riders draft off one another - as a new rider, you are literally carried along by more experienced riders - do you see where this is going? 

Kelly Mather Doula

How Cycling Mirrors Motherhood

My summer cycling, training and riding with others showed me how much easier learning new skills can be when done alongside caring and knowledgeable mentors.  I was very fortunate to have had amazingly uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries, but my recoveries were not easy. I felt blindsided by emotions, physical side effects that no one had bothered to mention and unexpected feelings of loneliness.  So a career devoted to helping others through this wonderfully exciting, but overwhelming time in life, became my new calling.  Time spent on the trail and as a recent empty nester has given me much time for reflection. Here are some of the things I have discovered about myself:

  • I love being a mom.  I loved it when our girls were little, and I love seeing them develop into the amazing women they are becoming. I love spending time with them and even growing, stretching and changing alongside them. 
  • I love being a wife and experiencing the ever changing relationship I have with my best friend and husband. I am glad that we have ridden the obstacle course of parenting alongside one another!
  • Confidence comes from within but it blossoms when cultivated and nurtured alongside others. 

Find a passion, find a paceline and pursue your dreams with the love and support of people who want to share their experiences with you, people like the women of Tulsa Family Doulas. The journey will be easier, faster and a lot more fun!  

Postpartum Help For New Mothers In Tulsa

I hope you will contact us at Tulsa Family Doulas. We’d love to be your paceline and encouragers during your pregnancy, delivery and transition into parenthood. A postpartum doula is a newborn specialist and specifically trained to assist you with things like breastfeeding and newborn care.