Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I worked in public health non-profits for about 8 years, with an expertise in women’s health, specifically sexual and reproductive health. I also took some graduate level classes focused on Maternal and Child Health. As a program manager and health educator, I learned about how important pregnancy and the postpartum period can change our lives for better or worse. I especially saw the impact that it has on families of color, since the maternal and infant health outcomes are bad for these communities in the US. In that work, I saw the power in women's voices. I learned to listen and support people while they found their own solutions without judgment. I believe that support for our choices can improve a family’s life.
What led you to become a Doula?: Once I learned about sexual and reproductive health, and maternal mortality rates, I knew that I wanted to make an impact on this time in family's lives. I was sitting in an office all day, writing fact sheets, and felt so removed from real people. The workshops that I taught didn't feel like enough. So I trained as an abortion doula, and then a community birth worker with a non-profit focused on serving women of color. When I knew that I wanted to go all in, and make this a career, I found my way to ProDoula.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
I’ve been told that I have a soothing voice and calm presence, and that I’m very trustworthy. I also have been told that I’m brave, and good at confronting difficult things and not backing down. A client said recently that I gave her “wise counsel”, and even though it was really about trusting her instincts, I’m really proud of that.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: I love the articles on matermea.com. I think that the stories in the book "A Good Birth" are valuable in seeing what we should prioritize while supporting birth. Many of my clients get a lot out of the book "The Informed Parent".
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I usually think that pregnancy makes people gorgeous, and new babies are adorable. I always hope that people are well (physically, mentally and emotionally), and loved and supported. I hope that there is more excitement and joy than fear during this time, and that every expectant and new parent has someone to talk about challenging things with.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Sometimes doulas are the only people in parent's lives who wish them well, and care, but have no agenda at all for how things should go. I am a completely blank slate, and able to give my delighted, unbiased attention. That's such a rare thing in life.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: My current favorite TV show is Jane the Virgin. It’s hilarious, and well-acted, and I love the relationships between the women on the show.
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Costa Rica, Greece or New Orleans are my favorite trips, so far.
What is your favorite food?: Impossible to choose! Seafood, mac and cheese or kale salad come to mind. I'll eat anything but bok choy.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: As a doula agency owner, I'm terrible about taking days off (yet I'm always preaching self care to clients. Sorry for the hypocrisy!) On days off, I like a run, and go to brunch with friends in DC. If it’s a day where I have stamina, then after that, dancing in the evening is great. But also I’m a huge fan of Netflix.
Who lives in your house?: My mom and our dogs. I know, I know, #typicalMillenial. I'm incredibly grateful to have been able to move home and start and grow a business, with family support. I’m a birth worker without babies or a committed partner as of yet, which gives me the chance to be totally dedicated to my clients.