Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I've given birth to five children - four of them grown, experienced postpartum depression and anxiety, lead a breastfeeding support group for a rural community, organized meal trains for new families, 10 years experienced teaching yoga - 3 years teaching prenatal and postpartum yoga, participate actively in my local birth community;s online support forums, attended to friends and family members as a labor support person.
What led you to become a Doula?: My own experiences laboring with and without support, with the challenging postpartum period and with postpartum depression and anxiety ignited a desire to meet women and families in these spaces to offer support and service for the health and well-being of both mother and child. I have a heart for service and a passion for supporting women.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
You have a calming presence. You are a good listener. You have a soothing voice. You boost my own confidence and help me trust myself.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Anything written by Ina May Gaskin, Birthing From Within, Mindful Birthing, Yoga Birth Method, Kellymom.com, Dr. Sears books and website, La Leche League meetings and online support groups.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: She probably needs a shoulder rub, a foot massage, a tall glass of water and someone to listen to how she's feeling, rather than someone commenting on how she looks or assuming what her experience is based on appearances. She needs to hear that she's doing a good job. She needs acknowledgment that what she is doing/experiencing is hard. She wants someone to share her joys and hold space for her to tell the truth about what isn't joyful. She needs a nap.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Unconditional, non-judgmental presence. Physical and emotional support with respect for her dignity as a human and strength as a mother. New motherhood can be both overwhelming and incredibly isolating.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Sherlock
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Family cabin or Mount Desert Island, Maine
What is your favorite food?: I love food in general...my favorite is when someone else cooks for me.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: Lazing around the house, reading.
Who lives in your house?: Myself and my husband and 4 or our 5 children, ages 18, 15, 14 and 2 (the oldest is away at college). We also have two loud, obnoxious companion dogs and two skiddish cats.