Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I believe that an in-person training, first aid training and a reputable certification process is essential for anyone working so closely with new families. Pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period can be an extremely emotional and challenging time in a person's life. Those three things (mentioned above) should be the absolute minimum background/experience for someone who choosing to work with families during this time.
What led you to become a Doula?: Since about 10 years old, I knew the thing I wanted most in the world was to be a mom. Since then I was always interested in pregnancy, babies and toddlers. When my husband and I finally started our own family, it was like a dream come true, but it was also a tumultuous time in my life and the adjustment was far harder than I expected. Each pregnancy and birth I experienced opened my eyes to different difficulties and different joys of parenthood. I thought about several career paths where this passion could take me, but I always came back to becoming a doula so that I could support pregnant and new parents, as well as their families.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
When I asked my friends, they said I was kind, compassionate and down to earth.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: People! Whether it's Memphis OB/GYNs, pediatricians, local doulas, midwives and lactation consultants, or the community support that ProDoula provides, most of us have the resources of a thriving community within reach if we dare to ask for help. I also enjoy a good book and "Breastfeeding Made Simple," by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett has been a great source of information for new or expecting parents (even if they're not planning on breastfeeding).
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I usually get excited and hope she has the support she needs to feel confident as a woman and a parent. It's far too easy for us to feel overwhelmed and burdened with doubts as new parents and I just want to help new parents overcome those feelings and trust themselves.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: I believe the best gift I could give to new parents would be confidence and trust in themselves as well as the understanding that none of us has to do this parenting thing alone. If a new parent gains any of those things, I'd definitely consider that a success!
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Doctor Who, Star Trek, Sherlock, and so so many more!
What is your favorite place to vacation?: The Redwoods of Northern California. There's nothing like being surrounded by giants that are centuries old. There is a special kind of wisdom in those trees and they'll share it with you if you're still and you know how to listen.
What is your favorite food?: Watermelon baby! I could eat it every day!
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: Day off? What does that even mean, really? ???? I suppose, if you mean a day not working, I usually spend the morning doing a family activity (go for a walk at Shelby Farms Park or visit the Memphis Zoo or CMOM) and then the afternoon and evening watching a TV show on Netflix. I enjoy reading, but it's been a while since I read "for pleasure."
Who lives in your house?: I live with my best friend/spouse, our three kids (ages 7, 4 & 2 at the time that I write this), and our pets: 1 dog and 1 cat.