We had the good fortune of connecting with Kailah King and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kailah, what do you attribute your success to?
Authenticity and persistence. Comparison can often be a thief of joy, and you have to learn to trust YOUR process, be diligent and consistent in building your brand/infrastructure, invest in continued education and development, and find a balance between being adaptable to the changing landscape of your field but also staying true to yourself, your personality and your values. Accepting that the road to success is not a linear journey, to not be discouraged by setbacks (i don’t consider anything I’ve experienced to be a failure) but instead to take each experience both favorable and unfavorable as opportunities to affirm your system/practices, or learn and strengthen your system/practices.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My education and prior work experience certainly sets me apart from other birth workers. I have a masters degree in public health, so while I have an understanding of the healthcare system and some of its benefits, I (as a black woman) also have experienced the flaws of said system(s). For my 9 to 5 work I am in the HIV and sexual health/education field, so being able to educate folks on STDs/STIs and also normalize conversations about sex and sexual health is a helpful skill to have (you’d be surprised at how uptight some people get when sex is included in the pregnancy and labor conversation).

I love normalizing the conversation about empowered labor and birth. For so long we’ve been told that doula support is only for natural/unmedicated home births and that simply isn’t true. The reality is that majority of people giving birth in the United States will birth in hospitals; there are still ways to navigate hospital births and have pleasurable outcomes with low/minimal medical intervention. While I do promote/encourage minimal intervention I also make it a point to educate moms/birthing people on not being ashamed if they choose more interventions. My goal is to see parents making informed choices and to not be scared or coerced by their doctors. So many people choose to blindly navigate their healthcare and we MUST take action.

Getting to where I am today has been a journey, and I’ve learned to accept that this journey will never end. As a life learner and someone who is in the public health field it is important to stay up to date; things are always changing! On the business side of things it is also important to keep an open mind and be willing to learn skills AND know when to delegate responsibilities and hire someone to help you. Taking things one step at a time, exercising patience, and not being afraid to invest in yourself are truly the keys to success.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE; Philly is a gem for sure. I think the city gets a bad rep sometimes but if you know the right people and take the time to step out of your comfort zone there are SO many things to do. Our food scene is excellent. We’re a hub for musical talent, sports, history, and medicine. I like to think of my city as the rose growing through the concrete.

Of course I’d have to take my visitors to get a cheesesteak (and no, we’re not going to Pat’s or Geno’s). I’d also take them to get some water ice. We basically have any and every cuisine you can think of (and I know spots for all of them). Tell me the cuisine you’re looking for and I’ll show you a few places! For the touristy things I’d take them down South street, ride down Broad Street, let them see the sports stadiums, and of course to the Art Museum (so they can see how underwhelming the Rocky Statue is in real life). I’d show them Main Street in Manayunk, the Parkway, City Hall, and Rittenhouse Square. I’d take them to a few rooftop places (I don’t want to name drop because I don’t want the masses overcrowding my spots!). If my friends aren’t too afraid I’d also take them to some of my favorite ‘hood’ spots haha; hood spots always have the best food. Philly has a few museums, and there are also cool pop up exhibits that come to town. We could go to a concert at the Fillmore/Foundry or TLA. We could head downtown for a cute happy hour. We can catch a Sixers or Phillies game; or do karaoke and japas at Yakitori Boi then stroll through Chinatown. We could go to the Italian Market around 9th street; the options are endless!
When friends express interest in visiting, I always encourage them to come during the warmer months.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There is one person I’d like to give a shoutout to. Her name is Nhakia Outland and she’s the CEO/founder of Prevention Is Key Consulting as well as Prevention Meets Fashion. Nhakia was my supervisor at my 9 to 5, and one day we were having conversations about careers in public health. I shared my desire to work in maternal/child health but I wasn’t sure where to start. She told me about what a doula was (before our conversation I had no idea what they were). I did my research and decided that this was EXACTLY something I wanted to pursue. To this day she continues to encourage me, share resources, and even offer opportunities to collaborate and get my business’ name out there.


Website: https://www.emeraldbirthwork.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theemeralddoula/

Image Credits
Lindsey Johnson Instagram: @lens_lou https://www.instagram.com/lens_lou/?hl=en

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