Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I have worked in my community of Whatcom County for the last two years as a private music teacher and a nanny for the sweetest family! Teaching music, caring for a family with 4 kids and being a doula have more in common than you may think. Through teaching, I have continued to learn the absolute necessary skill of being able to read what someone needs in any given moment. My goal with my students is to cultivate a love and passion for music. When they are young, they are still developing their minds and motor skills. If I were to teach with only one style or become frustrated when they don't understand something, my impact on their interest in music could be detrimental. I always keep this in mind and I believe it has prepared me for doula work. With every client, I strive to tailor myself to their needs and desires in every situation, as my lack of doing so could bring dissatisfaction to their birth story. Nannying, on the other hand, has taught me other valuable skills. The best one that I feel applies to benefit me in birth work is simply learning how to mold myself to a family. As I enter someone's pregnancy story, I am entering into their family. It is of utmost importance to me that I honor that person's values, desires, and goals as a family.
What led you to become a Doula?: I became most interested in birth work after living with a midwife for a season before I got married. I would stay up late with her and we would sit and drink tea as she would share with me the beauty of her line of work. I had so many questions and was stunned at her knowledge and passion! I didn't consider doula work for myself though until a few years later, another doula friend of mine, insisted that I would do well as a doula. I had been searching for a more specific way to focus my value of empowering women so when the opportunity arose, I took it!
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
I have consistently heard other people call me brave or fearless, joyful, funny, intelligent and peaceful.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Pregnancy: The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin (great for mom & partner to read together) https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/ Parenting: http://micheleborba.com/ https://www.gottman.com/ (excellent resource for maintaining partner relationship as your family grows)
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: My internal thoughts: "Yay! New life! I hope you are doing well with all of the changes, I wonder how I can help!"
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: As a birth worker I truly believe the best gift I can offer as your birth worker is my non-judgmental care. To some degree, we all struggle with feeling as though our abilities are insufficient. I think new parents probably feel this more intensely than anyone at any other time of life! On top of that, you already have enough people in your life giving you their opinions... you don't need it from me. It is absolutely priceless to have someone who can help you navigate all your decision making, all your emotions and then the physical act of labor and birth and bringing little baby home, all without judgment - completely and entirely there to empower you.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Friends
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Somewhere without cell phone service and beautiful nature to explore!
What is your favorite food?: Chocolate covered strawberries. Yum.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: The perfect day off in the summer would be sitting in my rocking chair by a cracked window reading a book with an iced tea by my side. In the winter it would be the same... but, window closed, fireplace on, and the tea would be hot!
Who lives in your house?: Myself, my hilarious husband Drew and our pet tortoise, Happy.