Labor Doula Instructors
When I was in labor with my son, I was unaware that a labor doula was an option for moms in labor. By default my sister, who had delivered her sons by planned cesarean section, was appointed as my support person. She was unaware of how to assist me with an unmedicated birth. I felt like the hospital nursing staff was very unsupportive which resulted in feelings of fear and anxiety. Although my son’s birth was wonderful, I learned a great deal about the wonders of birth and the value of a “good” support team. My decision to become a Labor Doula is very personal as a result of my own birth story and my goal as a doula is to support expecting moms and partners in achieving a successful birth.As a childbirth educator and labor doula, I teach that birth is a process! I am 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 moms and partners 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 Rebozo techniques and am a certified Breastfeeding and Lamaze trained educator. I’ve assisted deliveries 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 Bradley classes, hypnobirthing classes, childbirth yoga classes, and have studied lactation education, VBAC education, and various comfort measure techniques.
During my first pregnancy, I read any and everything I could about birth and our birthing bodies. What our bodies are capable of really captivates and fascinates me. 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 in me to assist women and families in any way I could, with a special interest in VBAC and cesarean moms.
I wholeheartedly believe that women should have access to non-judgmental support and to know their options as a means of making the best decision for herself and her family during the childbearing years. I went on to have 2 more sons both un-medicated, one experience being a water birth. It’s with each of my personal experiences and training that 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.
I have lived in Virginia most of my life and 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.