Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: My background is a little unusual for a doula. I’ve been a case manager for children going through hard times, I’ve managed teams of case workers, I’ve been a lobbyist and policy analyst, and I managed the advocacy program of a large non-profit organization. The common thread in my professional career has been working in “helping” professions and finding jobs that allow me to use my skills as a listener and supporter of people. It’s those skills that serve me best as a doula. I’m also a mother. And while I don’t think having children is a pre-requisite for being a good doula, I do think that parenthood is the ultimate exercise in non-judgment. And being able to support families without bias or judgment is essential to this work.
What led you to become a Doula?: Initially, the spark came from a pretty typical place for many doulas – my own first birth experience. Since then, my passion for this work has grown and evolved. I am a doula because I find great joy and satisfaction in supporting families as they go through big changes: birth, new parenthood, and all the twists, turns, and celebrations that they bring. Becoming a parent is one of the biggest transformations many of us ever go through. It’s an incredible honor to be along for that ride to make it a little less scary and a lot more supported.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
My friends and colleagues have described me as calm and caring, a great listener, and level-headed under pressure.
Here’s a few tidbits from people who have seen me in action: “…Initially, we hired a doula to help mitigate our fears associated with childbirth. What a wonderful surprise it was to look back and find our experience was empowering, beautiful and even joyful. We believe we owe that, in large part, to Christine’s work and skillful support.” (doula client)
“During labor and delivery, Christine read and anticipated my husband’s and my support needs perfectly, even with our different personalities and needs. She stepped in when we needed her but also gave us space to have our own intimate moments as a couple, all seamlessly and without us having to say a word.” (doula client)
“Christine was calm, caring and knowledgeable about labor support. My clients benefited tremendously from her presence.” (CNM of doula client)
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: “Breastfeeding Made Simple” by Nancy Mohrbacher, PhD in Parenting, www.nancyholtzman.com (Nancy is an amazing IBCLC and newborn-care guru), and my “village”: my mom, sister and friends who I go to for advice, recommendations and sometimes just to vent. Oh, and Amazon Prime ;)
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I think about how much her life is about to change in ways she can’t even imagine and I hope for her that she has the support she wants as she goes through those changes.... And then I think about all the things I do now I said “I’ll never” to before I had kids ;)
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Unconditional support and confirmation that what she feels is best for herself, her baby and her family is indeed what’s best.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: I tend to watch lots of drama and suspense type shows, but if I could only watch one show for the rest of my life… it would probably be Friends :)
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Anywhere I can get some sun! I love tropical beaches, but since moving to Asheville I am becoming a big fan of the mountains, lakes and waterfalls that make this part of the country so beautiful.
What is your favorite food?: Give me all the pasta…..
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: Replenishing my introvert bank with alone time, reading/walking/gardening/binging tv.
Who lives in your house?: I live with my husband, Mikey, our 2 sons (Brooks & Frankie) and our rescue pit-mix, Oscar.