Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: Prior to taking my doula training, I was working in the social work field for seven years. I took special interest in front line work with addictions and mental health. This included case management and counseling using Empowerment Practice and Trauma Informed Care. Aside from my work in the community, I have two daughters who continue to teach me every day.
What led you to become a Doula?: My interest in birth work started after my eldest daughter Charlie was born. My husband and I had her while living in Edmonton, Alberta. We didn't have any support and was unable to physically or mentally prepare for the delivery and postpartum period. After essentially "winging it," I told myself I didn't want another family to feel as unprepared or or uncertain in their journey to parenthood as I did. I took my training as a labour and postpartum doula right away and been supporting families ever since. With my special interest in teaching and facilitating, I also took my child birth education course so that I could provide the best prenatal classes.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
I think the thing that resonates the most with people is that they feel they can be their genuine, authentic selves when I am around. I like to think that I can make people laugh and feel comfortable, even in challenging situations like pregnancy and child birth.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: My favourite pregnancy resource is a book called "The Birth Partner." This was the first real book I read about being a doula but I found it so helpful for my own labour and delivery as well. In regards to parenting resources, my favourite go-to is other parents! I think we can learn the most from the people that are going through the same (or similar) trials as we are. That is why I started a parent and tot drop in group in Norfolk County; new moms and new parents need an outlet, a space to feel safe and to laugh at all the ridiculous things that come along with raising children!
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I often hope they are having an "easy pregnancy" and that they are trying to take some time to really enjoy and appreciate their pregnant bodies. I know I didn't do this enough myself and it is something I regret. When I see a person with a brand new baby, I feel over-joyed! Although, the postpartum doula in me wants to make sure they feel rested and ate a good breakfast; I often just congratulate them and hope they are adjusting well to life with a newborn.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: The best gift you can give new parents is a baby wrap. I've used this tool (either a good stretchy wrap or structured carrier) with almost every postpartum client. Not only does it allow the new parents to use BOTH hands throughout the day, but it's a wonderful way to bond with your baby.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Jurassic Park
What is your favorite place to vacation?: British Columbia - we took a road trip there when we were expecting and it changed our lives forever.
What is your favorite food?: Pizza
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: Any day spent outside with my husband and our two girls perfect. We have access to some beautiful trials in Waterford, Ontario where we live and we hike them often.
Who lives in your house?: I live in my house with my husband, our daughter Charlie-May and our younger daughter Arlowe. We have a husky named Roxy and a cat named Senna.