Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: With several years of experience in the healthcare field from public health to clinical research to patient and mental health advocacy, I thought I was both educated and prepared to enter motherhood. My science training and medical background allows me to sometimes separate emotion from fact, analyze options and possible outcomes, and make educated decisions. So, when I struggled to get pregnant and began infertility treatments, I felt confident in approaching this new realm. After several unsuccessful IUI's and finally finding success during my second round of IVF, I learned that there was in fact many things that I didn't know about the fertility industry, the impact of fertility treatments, and how those things combined to impact my entrance into pregnancy. Because I have Crohn's disease, I worked with both a Maternal and Fetal Medicine physician and a labor and delivery doula. I took every childbirth, labor and delivery, and child education class my hospital offered, and honestly thought I was ready for whatever was to come once the baby made her entrance. My daughter arrived 4.5 weeks early via natural childbirth and had a NICU stay, and once we arrived home I realized I couldn't have been less knowledgeable about or prepared for postpartum life. Our labor doula connected me with a postpartum doula, and both of their help was vital in maintaining my sanity and enabling me to emerge out of "survival mode." When my daughter was 5 months old, I participated in a virtual group titled Postpartum Together, which gave me a really incredible opportunity to walk through each section of my own postpartum experience - mentally, emotionally, physically, relationally, and with my identity. Doing this work made me feel really passionate about helping women navigate this vulnerable time in their lives - one that they're generally skipped over during. Doctors and family ask about the new baby in every sentence, but often forget to or gloss over asking about how mom is. I want to be the helpful, best friend to new moms in the days, weeks and months postpartum - making sure they're remembering to practice self-care, answer their questions and normalize the postpartum experience.
What led you to become a Doula?: I have wanted to be a mom for as long as a I can remember. After struggling with Infertility and conceiving through IVF, I had my first child in 2019. Between her being a preemie, and being a new mom living with a chronic illness, I realized that there were so many things I didn’t know about taking care of myself (and my daughter) in the months postpartum. I did a deep dive into research, support groups and my own postpartum doulas in order to come out thriving, and now feel adamant about giving that support ready and willingly to new moms & families! I've spent a great amount of time in the past working in both patient and mental health advocacy, and becoming a postpartum doula gives me the opportunity to really love on and support new moms, saving them the headache, stress and anxiety that I experienced by having valuable resources and advice readily available for the questions nobody even knows they need to ask.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
Since I was young, people have referred to me as a natural nurturer. People tell me I’m compassionate, passionate, persistent, patient and kind, that I’m a fierce advocate, eloquent with expressing words and feelings, and a loving mama/wife/friend
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: KellyMom.com, Taking Cara Babies, Bumble Baby Chicago with Kate Arquilla, Postpartum Together with Chelsea Skaggs, What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood by Dr. Alexandra Sacks, Hatch Baby App, Baby Shusher App
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: When I see someone who is pregnant or with a brand new baby, I feel overwhelming excitement and joy for them, but I also am immediately transported into my own postpartum period, empathizing with the feelings of exhaustion and being overwhelmed that they may be experiencing/about to enter into. I immediately wonder how I can support this new mom/mom to be. My next thought is oh gosh, I wish I could mother this mother a bit. New moms deserve so much more nurturing then our society typically sets them up for, and having the opportunity to step in and offer this for new mamas and new families feels like such a privilege.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: I'd like to give new parents : Peace of Mind Support The feelings of being seen, heard and understood Reassurance Patience Encouragement Resources
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: TV: The Masked Singer, Chicago PD, Arrow/Flash/Supergirl/Batwoman, Movies: The Holiday, Aquaman, Avengers Endgame, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
What is your favorite place to vacation?: The Outer Banks, NC
What is your favorite food?: Chocolate - Milk or dark, with or without nuts, I usually don't turn chocolate down. Favoritest favorites: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups & Sea Salted Caramels
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: As a mama of a little, I like when I get to take my girl to music or art class, when we can explore new places and get some good playtime in. I also love taking long walks down the aisles at Target, doing some journaling/writing at Starbucks, sleeping in, and snuggling with my pup.
Who lives in your house?: My husband Rick and I, my 8 month old daughter Brooklyn, our 2 year old Pomeranian Ollie, and our friend/Brooklyns Personal Assistant Mackenzie.