We had the good fortune of connecting with Korrie Renee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Korrie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
How do I think about risk? Risk must be taken along this journey of life. You are not living life if you haven’t taken any risk. There are risk that you take every day whether you realize it or not. Life is not error or danger free – never has and never will be.
I have taken a number of risk in my life. Some that gave me fantastic results like quitting corporate America to start my own business; KoKo Kares Doula Services in Atlanta, GA, which is now a flourishing birth doula business. Then other risk taught me a lesson and was not all that fun to experience or a desired memory to recall.
There is always a benefit to taking a risk. There is always a lesson to learn that can assist you along the way. Or the risk that you took and the end result of what you felt may have been bad – was exactly what you needed to push you onto the right track.
Now granted, there are risk that you know full well you should not take so you have to be wise. However, don’t be too scared to take a leap of faith sometimes. When you take that leap – be ready to fly! Nothing bad happens to you, it is all for your good. Just do your best to be the best version of you.
Really and truly: Life is too short to not take risk. Take the risk, live, love and enjoy life. You only have one shot to make this life your best life.
What should our readers know about your business?
KoKo Kares Doula Services is my little baby that was konceived after the birth of my second son, Kingston. It was after his birth that I heard the term and watched the services of a birth doula on television that I was influenced to do my research on how to become one myself.
I sat with the idea from 2009 until 2017 when I finally took my birth doula training. In 2017, I did my training, registered my business, and joined the Atlanta Doula Collective. That was the foundation for KoKo Kares Doula Services.
Through the collective, in 2019, I was introduced to Marsha Ford, CNM, who owns a practice in East Point, GA and is now providing homebirth services in addition to the prenatal and gyn care that is provided through her practice. Ms. Ford’s practice has an open-door policy to doulas. Ms. Ford welcomed me in to serve her patients time and time again as well as taught me along the way how to support her patients. This same support is provided through the Atlanta Doula Collective. We are constantly able to bounce ideas or problems off of one another to best assist our clients.
In the beginning getting clients was not that easy at all. However, time, social media and COVID have increased the awareness of doulas, which helped to increase my business. With COVID hospitals placed strict restrictions on how many people can accommodate a laborer to the hospital. With the non-patient attendee numbers being one or two a number of women were electing to take doulas with them to feel safer when going through the labor and delivery process. The ability to translate what the doctor is saying to the client and help them to feel confident in their decision making is essential in helping people feel that they are making the correct decisions for themselves and safe during this process.
It is no secret Georgia has sometimes the highest maternal death rate in the country. Georgia in recent years has ranked number one in the country for highest maternal death rate. Black women are four times more likely to die due to childbirth related complications across the United States of America – yes in 2022.
Doulas have been found to have a positive impact on birthing outcomes. Less cesareans, lower epidural rates in addition to increased breastfeeding rate when families are supported by a professional doula.
No, my work is not easy. Kudos to all the nightshift people out there; that includes Black Hollywood. Working a twelve hour plus job, working a job where you may have to get up in the middle of the night or leave a party is a dedicated worker. That’s birthwork life so, shoutout to all the midwives and OBs out there helping to safely deliver our babies.
I feel I am a pretty standard doula. Not much is special about me. I am an around the way girl from Boston, Massachusetts with a public-school education and community college degree. I strive to take care of each of my clients to the best of my ability.
Through my work I’ve learned that birth is not all flowers and candy, but the variety makes each one special. I’ve learned how important doulas are to positive birth experiences. I wish I had a doula when I was going through my pregnancy and birthing journeys.
I just want everyone to tell someone that every birth deserves a doula. Currently, the majority of people have to pay for doula services out of pocket. We have lucked up with a few grants, corporations, and insurances to cover the cost of doulas, however every insurance company should assist with the cost of a doula as they do all other members of the medical team. Doulas are essential workers too.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Eat: Tassa’s Roti
Visit: MLK Mausoleum
Walk: Kennesaw or Stone Mountain
Hang Out: Main Event
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to the Atlanta Doula Collective! I would not be the birth doula I am today if it were not for this fantastic collective of dope black doulas supporting me and guiding me along the way!
Marsha D. Ford, Certified Nurse Midwife and her team at OB/Gyn Midwife & Associates for taking care of a majority of my moms and blessing me with a number of waterbirth experiences.
Of course, much love to all the families who have selected me to be apart of their birth stories. It truly is an honor to serve you.