Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I am a certified nursing assistant and have worked with many types of families from all different backgrounds. This aids in my ability to relate to many walks of life and support any and all families. I am able to use my medical background to partner with doctors, midwives, and nurses to support families holistically.
What led you to become a Doula?: My entire life, I have been preparing for birth work, even when I didn't know it. You'll read below about my "mothering" abilities early on in life. In my early 20s, I became a single mother. I was scared, unsupported, uneducated about this experience, and basically alone. There was one friend that stuck with me through it all. She was my doula without even knowing it. She supported me through pregnancy, labor and birth, postpartum, and still to this day, 7 years later. She reminded me that I have a voice and I want to provide that for others. I became a doula to remind parents-to-be that they have a voice too, it matters, and this experience is their story to write.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
Since I was 18 months old, my family has called me “Mother Amanda” because I would take care of everyone in the family. It started with just my little cousins and any animals within the family. As I grew older, I grew to “doula” adults too. They say I provide intense support with a desire to make their lives easier and without judgment. The saying “it takes a village” isn’t just a saying to me. It’s a way of life and inspiration I strive to live by.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Of course, my first and favorite resource is ProDoula. They are always pouring into our education and providing any resources needed to us as Doulas. Secondly, the benefit of living in the Chicagoland area is there is an abundance of resources available. It's wonderful that no matter the need, I will be able to refer my clients to high quality services that are near by.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: Within all parents there is beauty, strength, and courage. Of course, many other things come with a new baby but these three always remain. There is something astonishingly beautiful about creating another human being, no matter the circumstances. It takes great strength to bring them into this world and courage to raise them within it. My thought when I see a pregnant person or new parent is a mental (and literal) high five.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: The best gifts I can give as a Doula is clarity, consistency, and a strong bond. During pregnancy, I want my clients to feel they are educated and clear about their decisions. During labor, your doctor and midwife are at your birth to ensure a safe and healthy mother and baby. I am at your birth to consistently facilitate a focused mind and empowered voice. Postpartum, my best gift is a strong family bond that is facilitated through support and guidance.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: This is Us
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Indiana - My family and my heart are there.
What is your favorite food?: Hungarian Spaghetti or really... any noodle.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: I love to spend my free time with my daughter and my husband. We enjoy; picnics, drive ins, pizza, bowling, Chicago Fire Games, and The Cooking Channel. That or one day away in the mountains somewhere with a hot cup of tea, peace, and quite :-)
Who lives in your house?: My daughter Hailey (age 7), my husband Mr. Justin Dlouhy, our two cats Batman & AppleJack, and myself. My favorite thing, in the whole world, is snuggling with all of them on the coach at the end of a hard day.