Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: Every job that I’ve had in my life, from administrative assistant to preschool teacher has been a support role. I’ve supported executives with my clerical and organization skills, I’ve supported babies and preschoolers as they transition to spending time in the classroom, and I’ve supported the parents of those children as they navigate parenting young children for the first time. I have spent time as a seamstress, working from home, and making custom garments for clients. We spent time together creating their vision from fabric and notions, working to get the perfect style and fit. I am also a missionary to Rwanda, and our program supports pregnant moms or moms with babies under the age of 1. We provide prenatal and postpartum support and education and are actively reducing infant and maternal mortality rates. My love for women, specifically pregnant women and new moms, made becoming a Doula a natural choice and is a dream come true. Being a Doula allows me to love and support women throughout their pregnancy and postpartum with compassion and without judgment. Birth is a truly beautiful thing.
What led you to become a Doula?: I have loved being near pregnant women and new mothers beginning when I was just a little child of 3 or 4. I sat near them, asked lots of questions, held their hands, and couldn’t wait to have my own babies someday. Now that my children are a little older, I began asking myself what a career for me might look like. Several women friends suggested that I look at becoming a doula. A lightbulb was lit in my brain after that conversation, and I began researching what a doula did and how to become one. Every door opened as I began my training, and I am so honored to now be invited in to pregnancy and birth with clients in my area.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
“Tanya is kind, beautiful and smart. She is loving and full of life.” “Tanya has a calming presence, and she makes people feel assured that they can trust her.” While practicing comfort measures…”The wonderful thing about slow dancing with Tanya is her calm and steady breathing. My own breathing slows down and I feel much more relaxed.”
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: For pregnancy, I love the book The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. There are also Facebook groups that are great places to ask questions and dialogue with other pregnant women or new moms. Having a community of support is so important! For breastfeeding support, I love La Leche League. I also surround myself with providers that can advise and assist in supporting women through pregnancy and through the postpartum period.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: My very first thought is “Awww!” followed directly by “I would love to support that woman!” As a mom myself, I know that those months can be challenging and frustrating, and I know that loving support really helped me through. I love to talk pregnancy and babies and my friends call me a baby whisperer. It’s so much fun!
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Update
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: My favorite TV shows are Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, and Bones. My favorite movies are Pirates of the Caribbean and the Lord of the Rings movies.
What is your favorite place to vacation?: I love to go anywhere with a sandy beach and ocean waves, and I love it even more when my family is near.
What is your favorite food?: I love southern comfort foods of all kinds, but especially mashed potatoes.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: I love to spend my days off with my family. We love to go to the parks with a picnic, paint pottery, go to the movies, or just relax at home.
Who lives in your house?: My husband Jon, my four kids, Andrew (17) Rebekah (16) Matthew (14) and Timothy (11) and our two dogs, Captain Jack Sparrow (we call him Sparrow) and Elizabeth Swan (we call her Swan).