Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I received my BA in developmental psychology, from the University of Michigan, and I have been working as a professional nanny for over 14 years. My education has provided me with the foundation I've needed to be a passionate and skilled caregiver. Being a birth worker has allowed me to extend my support to parents so that I can provide them with caring, informed, non-judgmental support within the first hours of becoming parents and bringing their new babies home. I enjoy staying current with the latest parenting approaches, as well as advances in research and technology so that I can provide families with a unique and better understanding of infant and toddler development.
What led you to become a Doula?: When I was working as a nanny in Seattle, I would fly back to my home state of Michigan whenever my friends and family would have a new baby, and I would support them in all capacities that they needed, for about a week. After returning to Seattle after one of these visits to Michigan, I was telling someone about my friend and their new baby, and this person said to me "Oh, so you're a doula?". I had never heard of a doula before, and after some research, I realized that the support I was offering out of love, actually had a name, and that I could make a career out of becoming a birth worker. Becoming a doula really has been my calling!
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
Clients often tell me that I bring a very calm and peaceful presence with me when I walk into a room. I always feel honored when working with a newborn, and parents call me a “baby whisperer”. My friends and family will often say that I am fiercely loyal and willing to do anything for the people that I care about.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: When pregnant clients reach out, I often point them to ACOG and evidencebasedbirth.com. To support families wanting to breastfeed, I direct them to kellymom.com and www.NancyMohrbacher.com. For general parenting tips and tools, I usually reference askdrsears.com, positiveparenting.com, and the book Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I always hope that she is doing active research about the kinds of choices she has when it comes to her birthing experience. I also wonder if she has a doula. With new moms, I am hopeful that they have a "village" of other strong women to walk beside them on their journey through motherhood.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Unbiased, non-judgmental support, along with confidence to know that in the end, she will always make the right decision for herself and her baby.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: The Goonies
What is your favorite place to vacation?: I love to travel internationally, but my happy place is on the shores of the sandy beaches, of west Michigan.
What is your favorite food?: Fried Chicken
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: I aim to start my day with some restorative yoga and a hearty breakfast. I enjoy being active outside and exploring the city of Chicago as I am a relatively recent transplant, but when I find myself outside of the city, I really love to make new memories with my grandparents in rural west Michigan.
Who lives in your house?: I share a peaceful space with my spouse and cat, Princess Nadia.