Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I provided childcare for 11 years for one family. The baby boy was three months old when I began caring for him. I mothered without being a mom. I am a sensitive, intuitive, calm person. I naturally tune in to people and their needs and people naturally relax around me. This is who I am and have been my whole life. My doula training gives me the tools to use my natural talents most effectively for people giving birth.
What led you to become a Doula?: When I first found out what it means to be a doula, I knew it was a natural fit for me. I am a calm person. I speak softly. I am comfortable with emotion. I can be with people experiencing their own experience and be quiet. I use active listening and validate feelings. It’s like breathing, I don’t think about it, I just do it. I am attuned to the feelings of others, and I naturally know how to *just be* with someone and allow for the experience of feeling feelings in the moment, not fix, discuss, judge, criticize, or anything else, *just be*. I have no sense of time, things take how long they take, however long that is. When my very first client told me “You helped me have the healing birth I wanted.” I thought “Oh yes. This is it for me.” It was incredibly satisfying to do nothing more than be myself with this mother through her labor and delivery and learn later it was exactly what she needed.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
“She is just so “even,” that’s the only way I can describer her. She listens, she values, she helps, she’s calm….” L.H.
“With the arrival of our second child, I was looking for a birthing experience where I felt empowered and in control. Martha was very receptive in helping us achieve this goal….Martha was a wonderful addition to our birthing experience and we would have been lost without her support.”
“ We highly recommend Martha as a birthing doula as she is so relaxing in her demeanor yet strong in the comfort she provides. She helped me have my “healing” birth since my previous births had been traumatic.”
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Birth preferences app: http://mybirthwishes.com/mybirthwishesapp/; Midwife finder: http://massmidwives.org/; Breastfeeding support: http://www.valleybreastfeeding.org/home/breastfeeding-help.html; Books: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin; Birth Partner, 4th edition, Penny Simkin
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: Hope, optimism about the future, joy, love….I can’t help but smile….and then also, I wonder how she’s doing? Is everyone in her life telling her what to do or making judgements about her parenting? Is she suffering? She’s so perfect the way she is, I hope she really knows that and there’s someone in her life reminding her.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: My phone number...for her to call when she is feeling overwhelmed, scared, or has questions or just needs someone to listen and not say anything. The phone number comes with a “it’s never possible to bother me” rule and no expiration date.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Little Miss Sunshine
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Truro, MA on Cape Cod. I like to hike, ride bikes, go to a drive-in movie, eat delicious seafood in casual restaurants, swim in a pond only the locals know about, browse in funky shops, and the best part is the sand in the road. Once I see sand in the road, I relax immediately.
What is your favorite food?: Macaroni and Cheese...with bacon. Wait. I changed my mind. Bacon. Bacon is my favorite food.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: Reading, knitting, riding my bike, going for a walk in a nearby park, relaxing at home.
Who lives in your house?: My husband and I