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. Therefore, my support person was my sister and she had delivered her sons by planned C-Section. She was unaware of how to assist 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 2015. In the last six years, I’ve attended over 170 births and have taught over 300 expecting parents in childbirth classes. I’m certified in Reboz techniques and certified Breastfeeding 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.
Lauren Foreman, RN
My name is Lauren Foreman and I completed my doula training through DONA while I attended John’s Hopkins School of Nursing. I then worked in their Birth Companions program for a year and a half. I have always been fascinated with birth and jumped at the opportunity to be trained to support women in labor. After my first birth, I was hooked. I have now been a doula for over 4 years and have attended over 20 births in the Baltimore and DC area. Most of my experience has been in non-medicated vaginal childbirth. I have also attended medicated vaginal childbirth, water birth, inductions, and c-sections. I have experience with hypnobirthing as well! I love being part of this very special moment for families.
I graduated from Hopkins nursing school in May 2012. I currently work as a pediatric nurse in Baltimore and get to work with many new babies and their families. Working as a doula made me realize my passion for prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care so I started my journey to become a midwife. I am now a part time midwifery student at George Washington University. Where I also work through the GW parenting initiative as a breastfeeding mentor. I am certified in prenatal and postpartum yoga. I have been practicing yoga myself for eight years. I completed my 200 Registered Yoga Teacher certification, but am not currently teaching at a studio. I integrate a lot of breathing into my doula support.
I completed the Lamaze Childbirth Educator training and hope to sit for the exam this year. I am so excited to participate in a part of your family’s very memorable new birthday!
Sanita Previl, CD(DONA)
Sanita is a Washington, D.C. native who began her doula practice in 2010. Over the past 4 year she has attended over 92 births. Her goal is to provide a doula for any mother who wants one. Sanita is licensed as a CNA in DC and has been in the medical field for over ten years. Sanita is familiar with the Bradley Method, Lamaze Techniques, and practice under the regulations of DONA.As a mother of 4 children herself, Sanita knows first hand how every birth is different.
Sanita has delivered Vaginally, by Cesarean and VBAC. Because of this, Sanita feels she has the calling to assist women during there most vulnerable and empowering moment of their life – childbirth. As a Certified Doula, and skincare consultant, she plans to expand her services to become a Relaxation Therapist for laboring mothers.
She has worked at GWUH, Washington Hospital Center, Mercy Medical Center, Holy Cross, Sibley, Inova Fairfax, Inova Alexandria, Virginia Hospital Center, and Family Health and Birth Center.
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.
I began this journey back in 2004 when I was pregnant with my first son. My husband and I took husband-coached childbirth classes and I successfully had an unmedicated, albeit difficult, labor and delivery at a local birth center. At the time, I didn’t know much about doulas and certainly didn’t think that career was in my future. Since then, I have delivered three additional babies naturally and each labor was very different from the others. My husband was a tremendous support to me during each birth and I know I couldn’t have done it as well without him. I want all women to have that type of support, whether it’s through their partner or a doula such as myself. Each labor and delivery is different and unique to each mother and child, and we shouldn’t expect our experiences to be the same every time, or identical to other women. After watching my best friend struggle without support during her first pregnancy and delivery, I became determined to help women and their partners have a healthy pregnancy and satisfying birth experience.
I trained with Birth Arts International in 2013 and haven’t looked back. I have attended births at Inova Fairfax, Inova Fair Oaks, Inova Alexandria, The Loudoun Birthing Inn, and Nova Natural Birth Center. Because of my training, research, and my personal experiences, I have been able to empower many women during their labor, delivery, and postpartum period. It is my passion to help women tap into their inner power and find their strength.
It would be my honor and pleasure to support you and your family on your journey. Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your sixth, I’m here for you every step of the way. Together, we can make your birth experience one of empowerment, love, and beauty.
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.
Mandolin Restivo-Walsh, MA
I am a certified doula who has attended over 30 births and taught hundreds of couples childbirth education. Before becoming a doula I taught Women’s Studies and worked as a crisis counselor. Due to this background, I specialize in working with couples to enhance communication and bonding during pregnancy and birth. I am also particularly skilled at working with women who have experienced trauma.
I believe that my job as a doula is to walk with you on your journey. I hold no attachment to a particular birth outcome or a way of giving birth. I have worked with clients who have had highly medical births due to high risk conditions, as well as couples who have wanted and achieved an unmedicated birth. Each birth and each couple is unique. You are the only person able to make decisions that are right for you and your family — I simply listen, and help you explore your options.
As a doula I work with my clients to use the rebozo, a traditional Mexican shawl used for pregnancy and birth — the rebozo can be used for comfort during pregnancy, massage, and as a comfort measure during birth. After our postpartum meeting you and your partner will be skilled at using the rebozo. In addition I use a broad range of comfort measures which I will tailor to your unique needs. I will also ensure your partner has the skills and confidence to be your number one support person — while I fade into the background providing quiet assistance.
If you are looking for a knowledgeable, family-focused doula who emphasizes the couple, then let’s work together!
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!
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 attended approximately 50 births to date, including births at most of the DC and Southern Maryland area hospitals and birth centers.