Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I have been actively working as a Birth Doula for 2.5 years, serving clients with all different experiences and birth preferences. I have supported clients that chose unmedicated home births, hospital births, clients who have used narcotic and epidural pain relief, twin birth, and planned and emergency cesarean births.
What led you to become a Doula?: I have been interested and fascinated by pregnancy and childbirth since I was a little girl. Nurturing and caring for others has always been a strong attribute I’ve possessed, and I always knew it would be a part of whatever work I was in. My own birth experiences, as well as listening to the stories of the experiences of my friends, led me to want to support women through this incredibly transformative season of life. After the birth of my second, the chance to train as a Birth Doula can up, and I jumped at the opportunity at 8 months pregnant, and attend my first birth 3 weeks before my baby was due!
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
“Before meeting Andrea, my husband and I had decided to go through the birthing process without a Doula. We were skeptical of the value of having yet another person in the delivery room, and honestly, we weren’t really sure what doulas did. Not long after we made that decision, our paths crossed with Andrea. Our first impressions were of a calm, warm, knowledgeable, and open individual, and then we found out she was a Doula…Before meeting with Andrea, I was nervous about giving birth, and felt the experience was one to be endured. After our first meeting with Andrea, however, I was actually excited about giving birth, and looked forward to the challenge… For me, her knowledge of comforting positions and pain relieving techniques were invaluable. For my husband, having her there meant he didn’t feel burdened by what he did not know, and he was able to focus on being a loving and supportive partner. During contractions, my husband and Andrea were at my sides, encouraging me and taking care of needs I didn’t know I had until they were met.” – Alli and Matt
“Now that we have gone through the experience of having our baby girl, I can tell you that having a doula is the best thing we did to help us personally navigate the actual labor and birth. Andrea was amazing, she was informative, supportive, and supplied us with much needed simple, practical support outside of what you will get or could expect from a doctor midwife..This allowed me to be present physically and mentally, which allowed me to be there for my wife when she needed me most, helping us create an epically awesome experience for both of us, individually and as a couple; it wouldn’t have been the same without Andrea.”
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Evidence Based Birth (evidencebasedbirth.com) is one of my favourite pregnancy/birth, online resources. It offers evidence based advice for common issues that come up before and during labor. The Birth Partner would be my most highly recommended book; regardless of the birth you are planning for it gives all of the tools and information that both the woman and her partner need to help with all aspects of the birth experience. kellymom.com is one of my favourite resources for simple, clear information on any questions related to the early days, weeks and months with baby. The Happiest Baby on the Block is one of my go-to books for help with infant soothing and sleep.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: When I see a pregnant woman, I often wonder if she has a doula! Birth is such an unpredictable event, and I truly hope that our industry has portrayed the incredible benefits that having trained birth support for women and their partners can add to an empowering and satisfying birth experience. When I see a new mom, I admire the incredible strength that is carrying them; it may look like they’ve got it all together, but I remember well and witness regularly the daily struggles of becoming a new parent.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: The best gift I can give a new mom is to listen. I don’t need to re-iterate my experience, or the experience of others, I need to hear how she feels, what she wants, what her struggles are, and then respond in a way that meets her where is in her journey that helps her feel confident that she is more than enough.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: My most recent favourite TV series would have to be, “Call the Midwife”, and “Bones”. My all-time favourite is the 10 seasons of FRIENDS from the 90’s - there’s nothing else like it! My favourite movie is, “It’s a Wonderful Life” - a Christmas classic.
What is your favorite place to vacation?: I love hot destinations like Mexico and Vegas, but I’m also an Island girl that loves camping and the outdoors.
What is your favorite food?: I love a good, spicy Indian Curry with a side of garlic Naan, and some hot mango pickle!
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: If I have a day off, I love to SHOP. I have a slight addiction to growing my warddrobe, and i’m even happy to window shop if my wallet’s asking for a day off.
Who lives in your house?: I live with my high school sweetheart and husband of 11 years, and my three boys: Jacob - 7, Lincoln - 4.5, and Cyrus - 2.