Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I worked at my university's Child Development Center (CDC), as I earned my BA in Sociology with a minor in Family Studies. I then worked briefly in business, before returning as a full time lead infant teacher at the CDC. I loved working with a variety of families during that time and their children (both typical and atypical developing). I got to observe firsthand how each child develops in their own way and in their own time. While working full time, I earned my Masters in Counseling Psychology with a certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. Then I switched gears and worked in the mental health field, primarily with parents and families of generational poverty, abuse, and neglect. I started learning more about the work of Magda Gerber (RIE®) and Emmi Pikler, and decided to move to California and nanny while I continued my training with RIE®. I provide a respectful, responsive caregiving relationship with the children in my care. I continue to nanny, and look forward to using my Postpartum and Infant Care Certification, and Infant Feeding Specialist training with a variety of families.
What led you to become a Doula?: I have always had a passion for caregiving, and started babysitting in 5th grade. I also have a passion for mental health. When working as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I realized I wanted to focus more on preventative care, instead of families and individuals in crisis. One of the best forms of preventative mental health care is a rock solid start to life with secure attachments.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
From a previous co-teacher/colleague: There are many words I have long used to describe Amanda and her work: respectful, responsible, thoughtful, dedicated, thorough, gentle, organized, dependable, and a clear communicator all immediately come to mind. Amanda has been always consistent and patient even when in the midst of stressful situations. She strives to do her very best, and it shows. I believe her unique combination of experience and education make her an ideal postpartum doula.
From a previous family: Amanda is on time, easy to communicate with, patient (with both us and the kids), tidy, open-minded and warm-hearted. We’ve recently taken her with us on a work trip to New York and her flexibility and patience never wavered even though we faced cross-country flights, daily outings, illness, and a serious disruption to the kids’ internal clocks. It made our trip much more relaxing and fun. We could not recommend Amanda enough.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: I really like Visible Child and Janet Lansbury for parenting blogs. They both see infants as full, competent human beings, who are learning to navigate this world. They believe in, and share how to create, relationships based on respect, trust, and authenticity to help a child feel confident, secure, and nourished. For information on brain development and parenting I turn to and respect Dr. Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I just want to say hi, and see how they are doing. Everyone's experience is so unique, and this time brings up a lot of thoughts and feelings. Some expected, some not, some wonderful, others painful. My hope is that no matter what their experience, they don't feel alone.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Non-judgmental support, a listening ear, and meeting them where they are at. I do not come as an expert to rescue a family; rather I want to engage with them to increase their parenting confidence and skills as it aligns with their values and strengths.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Big Fish. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it (with tissues nearby if you are like me).
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Back home to Minnesota to visit family and friends. I also love to travel internationally. Next on the agenda- Cuba!
What is your favorite food?: I love a good cheese and carb combo: deep fried cheese curds, mac and cheese, grilled cheese. I've been primarily gluten free (sensitivity, not celiac) for years and started eating plant-based in 2020, so they look a little different now, but I can make 2 out of the 3 of those favorites at home.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: At the beach with my pup, at home with my cat and dog, out for a hike, or exploring the greater LA area.
Who lives in your house?: Me, my cat (Sophie), and my dog (Besos).