Labor Doula Instructors
Ravae S.M. Sinclair, JD, CLC, CD(DONA)
When I was in labor with my son, I was unaware that a labor doula was an option for moms in labor. Therefore, my support person was my sister and she had delivered her sons by planned C-Section. She was unaware of how to assist me with unmediated birth. Also, I didn’t feel the hospital nursing staff was very supportive with my wants or desires. I felt very afraid and overwhelmed and we didn’t come prepared with a birth plan. Though my son’s birth was wonderful, I learn a great deal about the wonders of birth and the value of a “good” support team.
Therefore my decision to become a Labor Doula was very personal. My goal is to support an expecting mom and her partner to achieve a successful birth. As a childbirth educator and labor doula. I teach that birth is a process! Therefore, I’m aware of the stages of labor, and provide several comfort measures, relaxation techniques, and acupressure during labor
Most importantly, I want my clients to be aware of” informed consent’ regarding any medical and non-medical procedures. I’m there to support you and your partner with my knowledge as a doula and years of experience working with hospital staff, OBs and midwives. I completed my labor doula training with Dona in 2009 and recertification 2017. In the last seven years, I’ve attended over 270 births (Vbacs, 95% Vaginal delivery rate) and have taught over 1000 expecting parents in childbirth classes. I’m certified in Reboz techniques and certified Breastfeeding and Lamaze trained educator.
I’ve delivered at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, George Washington University Hospital, Inova Alexandria, Inova Fairfax, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, Ft Belvoir Hospital and Sibley Memorial Hospital. I welcome the opportunity to work with you and your partner and to attend your baby’s birth.
I have been interested in babies and the birth process for as long as I can remember. I always knew that I wanted to have children of my own, but once I started having babies (I have 4, including a set of twins), I got interested in being on the other side of birth as well. I began my birth working journey in nursing school with plans to become a midwife, but got sidetracked by doula work. I was asked to attend the births of a number of my friends and found the one-on-one work of a doula so much more satisfying than nursing, so I detoured and certified with DONA.
My own experience with birthing babies and working with birthing families has taught me that any birth will be better if you are informed and feel like you have some control of the decision-making process. I also believe that everyone can benefit from a calm, knowledgeable, experienced person who is a continuous presence during the birth process, regardless of your birth plans. I love learning about the birthing process and how to help families through it. As a result, I have attended Bradley classes, hypnobirthing classes, childbirth yoga classes, and have studied lactation education, VBAC education, and various comfort measure techniques. I have attend
Ravae S.M. Sinclair, JD, CLC, CD(DONA)
Ravae has been a birth doula and trained massage therapist for over 13 years. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Ravae relocated to the DMV area. Ravae initially worked on staff at Sibley Memorial Hospital (NW D.C.) as a Breastfeeding Educator when first arriving in the D.C. area. Ravae first trained and certified as a birth doula with DONA International in 2002, while working in her private massage therapy and birth doula practice. In 2004, Ravae decided to attend law school and worked as a practicing attorney for 7 years. The last 3 years of those 7 years, Ravae returned to birth doula work on staff at Columbia Center Birth Place. Ravae is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and is a Certified Birth Doula through DONA International. Ravae is a sitting member of the DONA International Board of Directors.
As a birth doula to over 289 families, Ravae has provided care and comfort to mothers with a variety of pregnancy and labor experiences: twin, breech, VBAC, induction, cesarean section, vaginal, medicated, non-medicated, water and high risk births. Ravae uses massage techniques, music, HypnoBirthing techniques and rebozo scarves using the Gena Kirby method to help families have therapeutic and shorter births.
Ravae counts it a privilege to be chosen to support families at such a special time in their lives. She sees herself as a member of each family’s birthing team and works to support everyone, but most especially the laboring parent. With a heart to support all kinds of families, Ravae’s goal is to provide you with a beautiful birth experience-however you choose.
Ravae has worked at the following hospitals: George Washington University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, Virginia Hospital Center, The Birthing Inn (Leesburg, VA), Inova Alexandria, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Inova Fairfax, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, St. Charles Regional Medical Center, Univ. Maryland Regional Medical Center, Georgetown Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, St. Agnes Hospital, Greater Baltimore Hospital, Fort Belvoir Hospital, Special Beginnings Birth and Women’s Center, and Anne Arundel Medical Center.
During my pregnancy with my first son, I started to read any and everything I could about birth and our birthing bodies. It really captivates and fascinates me what our bodies are capable of. When my son was born via cesarean birth, it really threw me for a loop and I wasn’t prepared at all to have a cesarean birth. It was during this time a passion was awakened for me to assist women and families in any way I could, with a special interest to VBAC and cesarean moms.
I wholeheartedly believe that women should have access to non-judgmental support and to know their options as a means to make the best decision for herself and her family during the childbearing years. I went on to have 2 more sons both un-medicated, but one was a water birth. It’s with each of my personal experiences and training I am able to provide support no matter what kind of birth you have.
I began self-studying for all things birth related in 2009 and at the end of 2014 became a certified birth doula through Birth Arts International. I am also certified in Rebozo The Gena Kirby Method, Basic Life Support, attended workshops on fetal positioning (Spinning Babies), and I am a trained peer support leader for women coping with Perinatal Mood Disorders. I am the founder of the International Cesarean Awareness Network of Fredericksburg chapter and also helped with the inception of a local postpartum mood disorder support group. I currently am a certified birth doula and work as a midwife assistant.
Since April of 2015 I have attended 20 births (cesarean birth, medicated vaginal birth, un-medicated vaginal birth, home birth, hospital birth, water birth, VBAC, etc). I have worked with clients in the following hospitals: INOVA Fairfax Hospital, INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital, George Washington University Hospital, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center (formally known as Potomac Hospital), INOVA Alexandria, Virginia Hospital Center, Mary Washington Hospital, and Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.
To date I would say my greatest accomplishments have been starting my business to turn my passion into a reality. I feel so honored each and every time I am invited by the families I serve to join them into welcoming their newest member. I have lived in Virginia most of my life. I have been married to my husband for 6 years now. Together we have 3 sons and 1 fur baby, our dog Abbie. I am an avid book reader and I love to do just about anything outdoors, including spending time caring for my garden and hiking.
When someone asks me the inevitable question “Why did you become a Doula?” I find it difficult to answer because my feelings about my Doula work are innate and visceral. It’s difficult to explain your life’s goal in a polite, one sentence summary. When I was fifteen years old I had the opportunity to be my sister’s “birth helper.” I researched her gestational diabetes and our family history of low birth weight and sent her and my brother in law five emails every day. I felt as though I was overwhelming my family but they told me to continue sending all the information I could find. I was living in Maryland and my sister lived in our hometown- Fresno, California. I wasn’t there when the very first person to call me “Auntie” was born because he came two weeks before his due date. I met my nephew when he was three days old. Instantly, I felt like I had known him forever. My sister and I built a different, deeper connection throughout her pregnancy and at sixteen years old, without even knowing the word “Doula,” I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I became a DONA trained Doula and started my Doula work in 2013. I primarily work in the DC area and I am very familiar with DC hospitals. I’m highly looking forward to expanding my knowledge of Maryland and Virginia hospitals. I attended college at Towson University and majored in Women and Gender Studies/Health and Sexuality. Conjointly, I double minored in English and African American Studies. I started working with Momease in March 2016 and feel I have expanded my Doula skills tremendously.
Additionally, in 2015 I became trained as a Contraceptive Counselor. I host monthly workshops that detail all the contraceptive options available in the United States. The classes I host help clients make informed contraceptive choices and streamline appointments with their primary care provider. During these meetings, I simultaneously teach consent and how to set personal boundaries. Also, I am skilled in American Sign Language and enjoy teaching Women’s Self Defense. Nice to meet you!