Get to Know... Psalms Frye
'I have a passion for broken people'
Psalms Frye must be an expert multi-tasker. How else would you describe a home-schooling, stay-at-home, mother of five, who volunteers in the community with her husband, and is also a doula on the side?
RIC: What is a doula and how did you decide to become a doula?
Frye: A doula is a professionally trained birth and labor support person who provides evidence-based information, emotional and physical support before, during, and immediately after childbirth. I decided to become a doula because, as a mom of five, I know first-hand how important individualized support was during my child-bearing experiences. Also, I became aware of the racial and ethnic disparities in maternal healthcare. My mission as a woman of color is to advocate for the needs of every birthing mother regardless of her background.
RIC: How does this differ from the in-hospital birth experience most people are familiar with?
Frye: A doula can support a birthing mother in the hospital, at home, or at a birthing center. Labor can take many turns during the delivery of the baby. One way a doula can enhance the birthing experience is by translating medical terminology from the hospital staff to the birther who otherwise may not understand what the doctor is telling them. Doulas also further explain the family’s options, leaving the final decisions to the family. Additionally, a doula will offer several comfort measures and encouragement to the mother which makes pain management possible.\u0009
RIC: What advice would you give someone looking for a career as a doula?
Frye: I would advise anyone looking to become a doula to make sure you have a passion for birth (including the well-being of the mother, family, and baby), look for an accredited training in a city near you, and look to see if there are scholarships available to fund your training fee.
RIC: You are originally from the Chicago area, correct? How was the transition from a much larger city to Rochester?
Frye: I transitioned from Chicago to Rochester in the Spring of 2010. The transition from Chicago to Rochester was a unique experience. One thing that made Rochester different from Chicago, for me, was leaving family and navigating a city where I really didn’t know many people. Most people were kind and welcoming, which made it easier to settle in. Another thing that stood out to me as a foodie was that there were few restaurant options. On one hand, it helped because after a while I just decided to eat at home, which led to potentially eating healthier meals. On the other hand, I missed having several restaurant options just a stone’s throw away. We also had a larger variety of shopping venues in Chicago. Nonetheless, I’ve learned to adjust and bloom where I’ve been planted.
RIC: What do you like most about Rochester?
Frye: I love that Rochester is a great place to raise my family. My husband and I have five amazing children and I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I currently homeschool through a co-op here in town and I get to serve our children each day as their mom and teacher.
RIC: What changes do you think still need to be made?
Frye: I think there are already great changes being made in Rochester and more to come. As a wife of a preacher and community activist, I get to see how there are many opportunities to serve those in need whether it's at the National Day of Prayer, The Landing serving the homeless community, or ringing the bell for the Salvation Army during the Christmas season, as our family usually does each year.
RIC: How did you get your name, Psalms?
Frye: I was adopted by my aunt after my mother was found mentally unfit to care for me by the hospital staff after she gave birth to me. She named me, but according to my family, the Holy Spirit instructed my aunt to rename me Psalms. Unfortunately, my aunt passed away when I was five years old, therefore, it is a continued quest to find out why.
RIC: What is one thing other people may not know about you?
Frye: One thing many people may not know about me is that I have a passion for broken people. I have had my own experiences with rejection, being misunderstood, and various kinds of trauma. Becoming victorious over pain (and yet being on a healing journey), gives me great compassion for people who suffer in silence. To those people, I would like to express that there is hope for you if you decide to never give up.