Baby in Berlin
I had the great pleasure and privilege to interview Gem Kocher (previously Annie) for this episode.
Gem Kocher is a white non-binary queer feminist doula based in Berlin, Germany. Birth work called them shortly after graduating from Brown University in 2014, and they’ve been a full-time birth and postpartum doula since, caring for families in English & German. In 2020, Gem began offering gender transition doula care.
Gem’s mission as a doula is to create meaningful change in people’s lives through inclusion, information liberation, and grassroots care work. Gem is on Earth to hold space for a more radical, more just, more healed world to be born.
We discuss many topics with Gem, our goal was to answer a lot of the initial questions that parents and people in general have about doulas. We wanted to make it a go-to resource for everyone who just heard about doulas and wondered whether it was something they wanted for their families.
Here is a sample of the questions we answer in this episode:
What is a doula?
What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
How are doulas viewed in general and in particular by the medical staff in Germany? How well accepted is it to bring a doula to a birth in Germany?
Does it make sens to have a doula if the partner is present?
What is the role of a doula at birth with regards to advocating for the parents vs translating?
Is a doula only for natural births?
What has been Gem’s experience of accompanying birthing mothers during Covid in Germany? How can a birth doula support the parents with the current restrictions?
How can I find a doula? When should I look for a doula? How much does a doula cost in Germany? are also questions we cover.
I really hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did, it covers so much ground and will be such a useful resource for the international families in Germany. Gem has also such a calming voice, pop your earphones on and enjoy!
Some resources Gem shared (clickable links below)
List of the EPISODES
Moving to Berlin as a family
Interview with Emily Archer
We are talking about moving to Berlin as a family with Emily Archer, a relocation consultant who has been assisting expats moving to Berlin since 2015. Berlin has become increasingly popular the last decade and Germany can be very bureaucratic. If you don’t know what to expect in advance, you may end up in a tricky situation unable to find either a school or a kindergarten or even a home. Emily will share her tips for moving to Berlin as a family.
Ep5: everything you ever wanted to know about doulas
Interview with Gem Kocher
In this interview, I had the pleasure and privilege to interview Gem Kocher. We wanted to make a useful resource for all international families in Germany who may hear about doulas and wonder whether they would want one for their family. We tried to answer all the typical questions they and I get from our clients about doulas.
Episode 004 - Interview with Jessica Strickmann - part 2
In this episode Jessica will go into more detail about her work as a Beleghebamme.
Listen as Jessica explains what a transfer from a home birth to hospital really look like and how she makes sure she’s always available when on call. Jessica will talk us through the details of her work like when should a couple get in touch to secure a spot with her, how much her services cost and what can you do to have the best care if you cannot get a Beleghebamme. Finally, she will reveal to us what she really thinks about doulas and how one can get involved politically to ensure as many parents as possible receive 1-to-1 care at birth.
Episode 003: Interview with Jessica Strickmann, Beleghebamme in Berlin - part 1
In this episode I talk to Jessica Strickmann, an on-call midwife, a Beleghebamme, working in Berlin Sankt Joseph hospital.
She is the founder of the Erdmutter Kollektiv, a collective of on-call midwives offering prenatal care, birth care and postpartum care to families all over Berlin. She lives in Berlin with her three children. I was really excited to have Jessica agree to this interview, because she is nothing less than a rockstar in the pregnancy and birth world in Berlin. I had to cut this interview in two parts as we had so many topics to discuss. In this first episode, listen as Jessica explains the difference between a Beleghebamme and a “normal” midwife. She will also talk us through the pregnancy care the midwives offer as well as the relationship between midwives and gynecologists during pregnancy, and what you can do if they don’t get along. Jessica will explain the various options in terms of birth places when you have a Beleghebamme and how Covid changed the way parents want to give birth.
Episode 002: The first steps of your pregnancy in Germany
Are you an expat in Germany and just found out you are pregnant? Are you excited but a bit lost as to what to do now? Listen in...
In this episode I go through topics like: - confirming your pregnancy - finding a midwife in Germany - what type of care do midwives offer - the various types of midwives in Germany - finding a gynecologist in Germany - where to give birth in Germany and how to register - what you may think you need to do but you don't - what to do if your work is too taxing during pregnancy
Episode 001: Presentation of Elodie, the voice behind this podcast
In this first episode I tell you a little about my experience as an expat mum in Germany and how it shaped my current career. I share why I decided to offer these services and what my goal is with my business and with the podcast. For anyone who’s never met or talked to me, start here.