Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: My entire career has been in health care. I have ten year's experience providing labour support, I have a significant amount of training as a midwife and am also a shiatsu therapist. I discovered that I especially thrive in a supportive role. I have focused on training related to breastfeeding, mental health during the childbearing year, with trauma-informed practice and advanced training in perinatal bereavement. I am devoted to nourishing people through birth and new parenthood.
What led you to become a Doula?: I became interested in midwifery when I was expecting my first child, however, it was the unparalleled health care I experienced during my second pregnancy that sealed the deal. The care was deeply rooted in informed choice and was profoundly supportive of me, despite serious complications and countless consultations. As the care team grew, witnessing such exemplary inter-professional work, and being so well included in the process was resounding. I was immediately drawn to birth work. My aim became to provide diverse families with non-judgmental care, attentive to their unique needs. Doula work, in particular, allows me to focus on non-clinical care for the client, their new addition and their chosen circle of intimacy.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
Many folks kindly remark on my calm manner and feeling quite comfortable in my presence. This review from Kate Wallis is particularly generous: “Tanya is a high achiever, overcoming hurdles with grace and professionalism, both leading and sharing articulately and generously with peers. Her outstanding work ethic and critical thinking skills, are an inspiration and support to all those fortunate enough to work with her. Tanya is a profound communicator. She has not only remarkable listening and reflecting skills, but also a depth and breadth of wisdom and knowledge which she shares with kindness, discretion, and compassion. There is not a situation that Tanya’s presence would not enhance. On top of that, she is a tremendously talented artist, in many media.”
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: I am partial to the Association of Ontario Midwives - their client handouts can be found here: https://www.ontariomidwives.ca/client-handouts
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: My heart warms. I feel delighted for them. (And I also wonder if they're getting enough support and protected sleep...) There's something truly magnificent about bearing witness to an infant being welcomed into the world and embraced by their family.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: I believe it is of the utmost importance that clients be heard and respected, that they be provided with the tools to make decisions that work best for them and their expanding family. There is no greater investment we can make in the coming generations than to empower new parents. Respecting a client’s wishes, emphasizing their own power and bolstering their skills and coping strategies when challenges arise -particularly during the intensity of birth and early postpartum- can have a remarkable long term impact. It can ripple in countless ways: it elevates inner strength, it supports conscious choices in parenting and it positively impacts parents, children and communities. What better investment could there be?
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Playing by Heart is my favourite comfort movie.
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Into the woods. (Rocks and trees and water are home to me.)
What is your favorite food?: I'm food positive - comfort or savourable, I'm in either way.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: Hiking in the mountains, camping in my hammock, art supplies along to pause and steep in the moment. Small groups of 2-6 are especially lovely to share it with. Sometimes friends, sometimes family. Always revitalizing.
Who lives in your house?: My beloved partner, our teenager and a gorgeously soft, affectionate Newfie-doodle we're currently dog-sitting for a dear friend. (The kind of lap dog I've always wanted!!) My older kiddo is an adult now, rocking the world in a realm farther afield.