Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I have a Masters degree in Cultural and Medical Anthropology. For my research, I traveled to South Africa, where I worked with the amazing community health workers at Afrika Tikkun, a primary health care NGO that offered access to health care and health education to impoverished communities near Cape Town and Johannesburg. Most notably, I worked with new mothers who were HIV positive and who were part of a nation-wide initiative to analyze the role ART (antiretroviral therapy) played in their lives throughout their pregnancies and within the first 6 months after the birth of their babies. I am also a yoga teacher and am teaching prenatal yoga classes regularly. I love this work so much as well.
What led you to become a Doula?: I have always been interested in maternal health which is why I conducted the research described in the previous question. After withdrawing from a PhD program in which I would have continued my focus in maternal health, I was ready to step out of the research role and into the application of my knowledge. Luckily, I met some inspirational people along the way who helped guide me to doula work specifically.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
That I am the sunshine in their lives, that I light up their days, and that I bring a sunshiny, brightness to any moment no matter the situation. Sunshine and light seem to be the overarching pattern. Overall, people enjoy having me in their lives exactly because of the person, or sunlight, that I am.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Currently, I am really enjoying the work produced by Positively Birthing. The new website is both informative and inviting and it has been one of my go-tos for many resources.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: Pure joy! I want to make happy, squeaky sounds every time I see or meet a new mama. Initially, I want to invite them all to a nice cup of tea and tell them everything I know yet at the same time, I realize that each woman is navigating her own journey and I trust that she will make the decisions that are right for her.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Love. I truly believe that if all intentions are steeped in love, support and compassion/non-judgement, that everything a birth worker does or says is a gift.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Friends and Love Actually
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Positano, Italy
What is your favorite food?: Artichokes, raspberries, and anything in Thai cuisine
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: If the sun is out, anything outside, in nature, basking in the sun rays. If the sun decides not to show, anything cozy and warm inside such as a friend-date at a coffee place or curling up with a good book with my dog nearby and with a big cup of "sleepy time" tea.
Who lives in your house?: Just me and my dog, Lulu, at the moment.