Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I grew up in what many consider a big home, I was homeschooled and most of my friends came from families with at least 10 children. Homebirth and childbirth were something that was just so natural in our circle. As I grew older my love of birth and babies grew, it grew more when I had my 5 babies. As I began my journey into becoming a Doula I discovered there is so much more to Doulas than just babies. Over the last 3 years I've grown and expanded, not only am I a Full Spectrum Doula, which means I don't just support birth and postpartum, I also am a Doula for those going through death or miscarriage or even those seeking an abortion. I am also a certified lactation consultant, with 5 years of breastfeeding and tandem nursing experience myself.
What led you to become a Doula?: Birth in my home as a child was always talked about in such a way that it was normal and exciting and it was always something I was interested in. Whether it was getting to attend a friends mom's homebirth or waiting up all night for one of our farm animals to go into labor, I always had a fascination with birth. As I grew older and started my own family I learned just how unique each birth and pregnancy was/is. I was pretty lucky in that all of mine were wonderful experiences. When I was pregnant with my fourth I learned about Doula's and the roles they play, I didn't really think much about it until after I had my baby though. When I became pregnant with my 5th was when I really decided I wanted to look more into it, knowing it was going to be my last birth I wanted the birth experience I had always dreamed of (and I got it for the most part, but as we all know babies are unpredictable sometimes!). After her birth I started my journey into my journey to become a Doula, as a newly single mom I knew I needed to work hard and that's what I've done. I've met some inspiring women on this journey, all have helped me in their own unique ways. Becoming a Doula wasn't just a career change, it's become a life changer. I now have this community of bad ass birth workers growing and supporting one another, working to make a positive change in the birthing world.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
That I am very passionate and empathetic.
I am open-minded and accepting.
I make people feel their voice is being heard and that their choices are respected.
I am always kind.
I am quiet but I can be firm and assertive when necessary.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Books: The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin Your Pregnancy & Birth The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn The Doulas Guide to Empowering Your Birth by Lindsey Bliss (this one is my absolute FAVORITE book) Websites: https://rockstarbirthmagazine.com/ https://www.birthkweens.com/
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I'm reminded just how amazing women are, my hope for that person is they are able to enjoy their pregnancy or new baby and are receiving all the love and support they deserve. Sometimes I'll strike up a conversation, even if it's just letting that person know I'm sending good vibes their way. I've found some people need that little "hey friend, I see you, you're doing amazing" pick me up.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Unbiased love and support while they try to navigate through this new journey. Being a new parent can be hard, no matter how much you study it can be a scary first few weeks/months. I've found most people just want to be reassured they aren't (for lack of better words) completely f*cking things up. There is no one size fits all, every family and baby and parent is completely different. Just validating someone's feelings and choices can make a huge difference, helping them have the most up to date information on the things they aren't 100% confident in and letting them know they're doing good.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Documentaries are my jam, Netflix movies, Harry Potter I can binge watch those movies every day.
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Anywhere with good hiking trails, I love being outdoors and getting to explore new places.
What is your favorite food?: This changes daily!
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: On my days off (what are those!?) you can find me doing some self care and spending time with my kids.... and catching up on the mile high laundry pile.
Who lives in your house?: Myself, my 5 children and a roommate and her 2 children. (we're a modern day Brady Bunch)