Doula: a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.
As a doula, one of the most important things I do is provide you with education during your pregnancy that empowers you to take ownership of your pregnancy and birth experience. This helps you to be your best advocate for your options, the first step of which is to learn what your options actually are! Whether you birth at home or in a hospital, you have many many options you may not even know are available. I will share those with you so that you can have the best birthing experience possible.
When labor day comes, I work as part of your birth team to provide physical comfort and emotional support. Whether that means offering soothing light touch massage, providing counter pressure on your hips or lower back, or being a sounding board when decisions need to be made, I am there for you and with you.
Doulas have a positive impact on the well-being of the entire family. Countless scientific trials examining doula care demonstrate remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and baby:
decrease in the use of Pitocin
decrease in the risk of cesarean
increase in likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth
decrease in use of any medications for pain relief
decrease in risk of newborn admitted to NICU
decrease in risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
– Ana Verwaal
My experience teaching HypnoBirthing has given me wonderful insight as to how to best support each unique family. I find myself especially fortunate that many of my own students become doula clients, and we enjoy an even deeper level of connection throughout the course series in addition to our private prenatal meetings. As your doula, we work together to discover what your ideal birth looks, sounds, and feels like. I enjoy being easily accessible for any and all questions that come up, as pregnancy can be a confusing and overwhelming time in our lives! We’ve lost so much personal connection it seems, that many people simply don’t have a wise woman to call upon during this time who will lift her up and instill positivity on her journey. For those who need it, I want to be that person you feel you can text, call, or email anytime you need reassurance or evidence and wisdom based information – a stand-in bestie if you will, who will never impart her own fears or traumas onto you. My ultimate goal is to ensure that every family has a positive and empowering birth experience; whatever that looks like to them. I am passionate about making birth a joyous occasion for EVERYONE involved! Birth companions are often so overlooked when their partner is pregnant, but I always prioritize their wellbeing and vital role too – whether that’s being with mom so the partner can eat or nap, getting them more involved in comfort measures, or snapping photos so they can enjoy witnessing their baby’s birth!
I am a student of life and love to learn, so I am constantly reading research, books, articles, and blogs about birth. I attend various workshops and trainings from all sorts of organizations, so that I can truly serve my clients in as many ways as possible! To date I have attended trainings from The HypnoBirthing Institute, CAPPA, Spinning Babies, Evidence Based Birth, VBAC Facts, and Indie Birth. In the near future I will be attending trainings with PAIL (Pregnancy and Infant Loss), Bebo Mia for fertility awareness, and for postpartum doula work.
An important note on my role as your doula and routine infant circumcision: My greatest desire is to be a helpful, and trusted addition to your birthing team. Part of my role as your doula is to respect your body’s innate intelligence and help you advocate for compassionate, individualized, evidence based care. I believe that your baby’s body will be born exactly as it should be and that his bodily autonomy should be respected. It’s for these reasons that I cannot ethically doula for families who plan on circumcising their child. If you would like to discuss circumcision with me or you would like more information on keeping your child intact, please don’t hesitate to reach out or you can visit Your Whole Baby.