Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: For me, being a doula is a natural offshoot of my work as a therapist. I spent 10 years working with people who have survived sexual assault and domestic violence, and another 7 (almost 8!) years supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Because all of the above people often can and do become pregnant, I feel like I have a unique skill set to support people during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
What led you to become a Doula?: I’ve already finished my training to be a loss doula. Loss doulas are a little different from labor doulas. A loss doula supports people who are miscarrying, having a stillbirth, or whose child is not expected to live long after birth. When I’ve talked to people about this aspect of my work, one of three responses occur. Either 1) they react with horror, “Why would you ever want to do that?” ; 2) they recognize it as a necessary service, “I’m glad you do that, but I couldn’t handle it.”; or 3) they join the club of people who never wanted to be in that club. “That happened to me. I needed someone like you.” (Or, hopefully, “I had someone like you, and they helped through an incredibly tough time.”) Combining these two fields, plus my role as a therapist, will allow me to support people through a pregnancy after loss, something that many people are not necessarily prepared for (medical professionals included!). Because I’m a therapist, some of my services are billable to insurance, which sets me apart from other doulas.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
Clients have told me that I have been a great asset to their families. I hope that I leave every encounter better than I found it, and that clients and I have all learned from each other.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Pregnancy: "The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy," Vicki Iovine "The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth," Genevieve Howland "The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth," Marshall H. Klaus Parenting: "1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting," Thomas Phelan "No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind," Daniel Siegel "Positive Discipline: The First Three Years," Jane Nelson & Cheryl Erwin
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: "I hope they're being supported the way THEY want to be supported."
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Time and understanding
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: "Call the Midwife" (obviously!), "Bob's Burgers"
What is your favorite place to vacation?: I love cruises!
What is your favorite food?: Anything chocolate!
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: On the couch, with my pets, reading myself into a stupor.
Who lives in your house?: I live with my husband, Jeff, our black cat, Elphaba, and our black Lab, Oliver Ignaz.