bsmith

Brandi Smith

I am a postpartum doula who has been providing services to mothers in the DC area since 2008. My journey as a doula arouse from my experience transitioning to motherhood. When I had my first child I was the first woman in my social circle to have a baby and the women in my life were very successful in their careers. They did not have the time available to leave work and support me day and night as I learned how to care for someone other than myself. My transition was difficult, because I often felt alone and overwhelmed, but I began to embrace the methods and supports that other cultures heavily relied upon. It was during my reading that I learned about a postpartum doula and how her role was vital in a new mother’s life especially now that families are smaller.

I am a wife and the mother to three wonderful children. I was formally trained as a special educator and have a master’s degree in my field. I have completed my training as a postpartum doula with Maternity Wise in 2012 and continue to seek learning opportunities to develop in my craft. My training included book studies, written article reviews, an eight-hour class with a master postpartum doula who has almost 10 years of experience. I was providing postpartum support to mother’s prior to receiving formal training, using my knowledge as a mother and educator. My program provided me with access to resources, information, and practices, that will allow to me to continue to provide my families with the best care possible.

I have experience with supporting women during labor and delivery, infant care, lactation support, routine /schedule management, conflict resolution, and coping with anxiety and depression. I have supported over 50 families in their home in the DC metro area including MD and VA.

 

Jalila Simmons

I am a certified Postpartum Doula with Childbirth International. I am also a trained Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children ). However, that is only part of my training in postpartum and early parenting. Postpartum work is a very important, but too often overlooked stage after childbirth.

Becoming a mother for the first time put me on the path to supporting other mothers because I could see we were struggling with the same stuff. In the beginning, I was a young, single new mother working for a program assisting young, single new mothers. My role as both a mother and a program coordinator, taught me there was more than learning how to bathe and burp a baby when you become a parent. There was so much more I had not anticipated after my baby was born. I quickly recognized this was about parenting and parenting was a skill I wanted to get good at. I also wanted to help other new mothers get good at it, too. I had the heart for the job but I lacked experience.

Over time, my own experiences taught me about the challenges that would come along with navigating those first few “new parent” weeks and how each child adds a new and action- packed dynamic to what I thought was my “norm.” After 20 years of parenting (5 postpartum experiences, 4 live children) plus several years as an Early Childhood Educator, I can say I’ve got the experience to pursue my heart's desire fully; to help shift our perspective from surviving postpartum to thriving postpartum.

Parenting is a process, one that our life experiences can not fully prepare us for. As parents, we are the protectors of these illuminating little spirits. In return they light our paths to happiness, joy and creativity. There really are no true words to describe the complexity of such a simple act – to love another human being. For us to be there supporting and guiding our little ones, we parents, need just as much strengthening, nurturing, and protecting.

My goal is to help a new mother’s body to heal and to nurture her spirit so she can begin this parenting process with ease and confidence. Trust I deeply care and respect your family and together we will create bliss, balance, and peace in your transitioning home.