Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I am an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and have worked with a local WIC project for over 7 years. During my time with WIC, I have learned valuable communication skills and the importance of active listening. It is crucial to meet a mother where she already is and support her in meeting her goals. Years ago, my major in college was Early Childhood Education. I love to teach!
What led you to become a Doula?: I heard my mother (a retired RN) talk about not only her work, but also her grandmother’s work as a nurse-midwife. After I had my first son, my interest in women’s health and birth grew and became a passion of mine.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
Funny; thorough; calm; “remembers everything” or alternately, “has probably heard of that and can explain it”; encouraging.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: KellyMom.com; NativeMothering.com; The Nursing Mother’s Companion
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: Pure joy! I often wonder what kind of support she has at home, and if she has at least one person in her life who can help her out when she needs it without judgement or pressure.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Affirmation and encouragement. Affirming a mother’s feelings, whatever they are, gives her power to own her experience without shame. By doing so, it demonstrates to the mother that the listener hears what she has to say, instead of what she believes she “should” say or feel. Every individual needs positive encouragement and I believe that new mothers are in a season of life where they especially need it. It feels good when someone else can recognize what hard work parenting is!
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Roseanne, hands down. It is like watching my own marriage! M*A*S*H is a close second. My favorite movies are “Life Is Beautiful” and “The Big Lebowski.”
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Wherever there are mountains and historic preservation sites. I want to go see and do things!
What is your favorite food?: Peanut butter. Or eggs.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: With my family, usually making a short day trip to explore or to the bookstore.
Who lives in your house?: My husband Jason and our three surviving sons- Logan, Leonidas, and Luke. (Our second son, Lincoln, passed away due to complications from HLHS.) We also have a black, one-eyed cat named Thirteen.