Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I am a certified birth doula and a certified postpartum doula. I have experience serving in hospital as a birth doula as well as serving many clients of my own. I have worked as a nanny for many years including infant care, which was always my favorite. I am a birth photographer as well. I have taken breastfeeding courses, comforting touch classes, baby massage classes, and more! I am always learning and expanding my knowledge and skills in order to be the best doula I can be for my clients.
What led you to become a Doula?: I was working as an Au Pair in Italy when I stumbled upon a Ted Talk by Ina May Gaskin. The way she spoke about birth, and the culturally instilled fear surrounding it, got me fired up about how to positively impact the birthing world. I was on a nursing path because I wanted to care for people, but I decided to shift to birth work instead. Realizing how I could care for my clients as a doula inspired me to change my path! I am so glad I did. After becoming a birth doula, I realized that challenges, anxiety, fear, and judgement do not stop after a baby is born. The experience of becoming a parent and bringing a child into this world reaches far beyond labor and delivery. I saw that postpartum mothers need support, information, and encouragement just like birthing mothers do. With that, I became a postpartum doula so I could meet mothers where they are at and support them as they navigate parenthood.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
I am easygoing and “chill”. I have been told that I am a calming, encouraging, and gentle presence. But also firm in a loving way when I need to be. I’ve been thanked for being thoughtful, kind, and genuine. Slow to speak and quick to listen.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Evidence Based Birth, Spinning Babies, childbirth and newborn care classes just to name a few!
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: When I see a pregnant person I get excited about newness and life. I realize that she is strong and incredible. I wonder if and hope she thinks she is strong, too. I wonder how she feels, what she is nervous about and what she is most excited for. I am excited for her to meet her baby. When I see someone with a brand new baby, a thought that often comes to mind is "That baby is exactly where they need to be. That mother/father is exactly who their baby needs."
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: The best gift I can give new parents is a kind, non-judgmental, supportive presence. Just letting them know that they are already wonderful parents and that I see how hard they are working. That I know they are making the best decisions for themselves and their baby. With all the pressure and bias and judgement they are facing from the rest of the world, they are grateful to have someone just sit and hold space for them.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: The Office, Planet Earth (Our Planet is also amazing. Nature documentaries are probably my favorite thing!), and Call the Midwife (because, ya know, I'm a birth worker and love this stuff)
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Anywhere I can relax and/or explore with someone I love! I love traveling and experiencing new places.
What is your favorite food?: Pasta
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: My favorite way to spend a day off is to take it easy and slow. Wake up early, have a slow morning. Make myself coffee and go for walk. Maybe bring my camera along and take some photographs. Do some yoga, read my Bible. Make my way downtown to read or edit photos on my laptop at my favorite coffee shop. If I'm feeling more adventurous, I'd drive to the beach with friends and load my Minolta with a fresh roll of film.
Who lives in your house?: In my house is my mother, my grandmother, my grandfather, our two cats, and our dog. It can feel a little full at times but I am grateful!