Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: Many years working in the health field along with a background in nursing and clinical nutrition has given me an inside look at the medical world. I am able to help clients navigate all the decisions they face in pregnancy, birth and beyond and do that without fear. Informed consent is vital to women having a safe, healthy birth and postpartum experience! I have always worked hard to foster respect in the medical community to elevate our entire doula profession and I believe this is vital to our success.
What led you to become a Doula?: I had a truly unplanned delivery with my oldest child back in 1998. I had things done to me that I never consented to. I came away from that experience feeling overwhelmed and a little like I had PTSD. I knew in my heart that things didn't have to be that way! It was a time before the internet but somehow I learned about what a doula was and what they can do to help women. I began my journey as a birth doula because of my own experience. As I have raised my own children, I have found a new passion for helping women after delivery in the postpartum period, when many women need us MOST! Eventually, I became a childbirth educator as well as a birth and postpartum doula. I have truly discovered my purpose on this planet and absolutely love the work I get to do with women every day.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
That I am a wealth of knowledge. That I am a calming, soothing presence. That I have a special gift!
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: There are so many different resources available to parents these days. Some of my favorites include any books by Ina May Gaskin, Penny Simkins books like the 'Birth Partner' and 'Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn.' I also love the book 'The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth' by Henci Goer. I try to keep parents away from Google as a resource, as much as I can, and instead steer them to specific websites like www.llli.org or www.yourwholebaby.org or www.bradleybirth.com and even to the University of Michigan's research about parenting styles and healthy development.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I am always so excited when I see a pregnant person or someone with a new little one. Such a joyous, exciting and yet intimidating and sometimes overwhelming time! I have had to stop myself from going up to someone I don't even know to give them a hug and tell them it's all going to be ok. I want to tell them that they're doing an amazing job with their newborn or that the birth they are about to experience - it's all going to be ok! I want to be a resource for and lend strength to everyone I meet.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: The best gift I can give new parents is whatever they need in that moment. Sometimes it's sharing knowledge about what lies ahead so they can feel confident in their abilities. Sometimes, it's just to take the baby in my arms for long enough for them to get a shower or a nap. Or it's about making them a meal and truly just loving on them or just listening to them for a brief moment so they know they're not alone.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Favorite movie is Out of Africa....I am a romantic at heart!
What is your favorite place to vacation?: I lived for a while in Hawaii so a piece of my heart remains in Hawaii....love to hike, soak up the sun and just be outdoors.
What is your favorite food?: I am a salad junkie! I live for greens, avocado, cabbage...I take my salads seriously!
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: Never underestimate the healing power of a good nap! I do adore time off to rest and reset. A little reading, maybe a yoga class and then more rest. Sounds heavenly!
Who lives in your house?: My husband, 2 beautiful almost grown daughters with very full lives, our Corgie named Griffin and one spoiled kitty named Smokey Rajesh. (Smokey attends all my childbirth education classes as our beloved mascot!) and now a new kitten named Billie has joined our crew. Our house is full :)