About Me

Find Strength From Support

I began attending births in 2016 and am honored to have supported over 250 families.  I was drawn to doula work because I know there are just as many ways to be a good parent as there are to have a great birth.  This belief inspires me to support families during such a special and momentous time. 

Every family deserves a dedicated doula to guide and assist them in making educated choices about their pregnancy, body, and birth experience.  Birth is wildly transformative, no matter your path. Childbirth is hard, and in the words of my mentor: "we just aren't designed to do hard things alone."

My partner and I live in the Virginia suburbs with our two dogs, a cat, and many houseplants.  When I'm not attending births, I enjoy home projects, cooking, and entertaining for friends.  Since Covid-19, I now enjoy Zoom Happy Hours with friends!  



I have received the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.  


My pronouns are she/her

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How I'm Different

Honest

My experience has proven families need and want raw honesty.  During all phases of birth, I draw on my years of experience, a wealth of training, and knowledge to assess labor.  I then share those thoughts with clients.  My honesty empowers people and creates a space where they feel supported and confident.

Collaborative

I understand you've chosen your provider carefully, for many reasons, and work cohesively with your healthcare team. I inform, advocate for, and thoroughly educate clients, so they're confident in the decisions they make for their own/their babies' health while also helping them to maintain trusting relationships with providers. This skill is powerful, rare, and positively impacts how clients and their families remember their birth experience.

Experienced

  I am knowledgeable about birth- including but not limited to: position changes to help the baby descend more easily, comfort measures, hospital policies and processes, what to expect in labor, patient rights, breast/chestfeeding, what to expect postpartum.

 

Training

Spring 2016

Graceful Fusion Birth Doula Training with Nicole Heidbreider

Topics covered:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of pregnancy,

  • Common discomforts of pregnancy, specifically the 3rd trimester, and helpful advice for dealing with them,

  • Phases and stages of labor,

  • Emotional changes during labor,

  • Medications,

  • Common interventions

  • Tips for how to facilitate decisions in challenging childbirth situations

  • Cesarean birth

  • Neonate behavior and anatomy

  • Hormonal and Physiological changes of the new mother in the first 6 weeks postpartum

Fall 2018

When Survivors Give Birth with Penny Simkin PT

  • Definition of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and other child abuse

  • Common manifestations of any type of child abuse on the childbearing woman

  • Unique manifestations of sexual abuse specifically on the childbearing woman

  • Neurological and behavioral sequelae of child abuse

  • Impact of childhood sexual abuse on conscious memory

  • Impact of childhood sexual abuse on the adult woman

  • Impact of CSA on pregnancy

  • Impact of CSA on labor and birth

  • Relationship between the woman and her caregiver

  • Modification of common childbirth preparation techniques for CSA survivors

  • Impact of CSA on postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, and postpartum mood disorders

Winter 2018

Peace Of Mind: Working With Anxious Clients with Sheryl Arron

  • Develop and anxiety-informed birth plan

  • Get your clients out of panic mode

  • Ground your clients — and yourself — in high-stress moments

  • Know which interventions to use when based on the neuroscience of anxiety

  • The latest research on anxiety during pregnancy

  • Implications of anxiety for pregnancy and birth outcomes

  • How to spot different kinds of anxiety in your clients

Spring 2015

Blue Banyan 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

  • Asana - go deep into the practice of over 50 foundational yoga postures/poses - with a focus on alignment, energetics, and sequencing (participants of the TT program will also study teaching methodology and hands on adjustments)

  • Pranayama - learn to practice and teach energizing breath techniques

  • Philosophy - explore Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita

  • Anatomy - consider the skeletal, muscular, nervous and endocrine systems as related to and affected by the practices of Yoga

  • Anatomy ('from an Eastern Perspective') - discover the energy systems of the body including Chakras, Nadis, Koshas and more

  • Meditation - dive into the practice of Mindfulness Meditation 

  • Ayurvedic Component - Experience the integrative 'health care' system of Your Life Blueprint

  • Sanskrit and Chanting - explore the practice of Nada (sound) Yoga

  • Practicum and Pedagogy - TT participants will have plenty of practice-teaching opportunities throughout the program and will engage in an in-depth study of the art and science of teaching Yoga

Fall 2017

High Risk Labor Support with Lisa-Marie Cook

  • Compare the differences between spinal, combined spinal-epidural and epidural anesthesia

  •  Explain the emergent concerns of general anesthesia

  • Explain in layman’s terms the physiology of preeclampsia

  • Have an understanding of commonly used medications in the treatment of preeclampsia

  • Identify those at risk for obstetrical hemorrhage

  • Assess blood loss: 50 cc, 100ccs, 500 ccs (to communicate with medical support if needed)

  •  Have an understanding of the commonly used uterotonic medications

  • Define obstetrical hemorrhage for a vaginal delivery and cesarean section

  • Explain medical procedures used following an obstetrical hemorrhage

  •  Explain the normal course of care for patients with pre-eclampsia and hemorrhage

  • Identify ways to support laboring people diagnosed with preeclampsia

Winter 2018

Spinning Babies with Lorenza Holt

  • A new premise for childbirth ease and labor progress for the experienced provider

  • Exploration of the role of “Soft Tissues” in pregnancy, labor, and fetal position (muscles, ligaments, connective tissue)

  • Common effects of posterior position on pregnancy and labor

  • Fetal Positioning and labor progress with the 3 Principles of Balance, Gravity, and Movement

  • Resolving the stalled labor through the Three Levels Of The Pelvis; pelvic mobility and soft tissues release.

  • Practice activities for pregnancy comfort, spontaneous birth as nature intended, and cesarean avoidance.

  • Identifying a stall in labor via labor pattern and being able to match the technique is a part of the workshop.

Winter 2018

Lamaze Childbirth Educator

  • Labor, birth, and postpartum

  • Positioning for labor and birth

  • pain management techniques

  • Labor support

  • Communication and decision making skills

  • Comfort measures, including breathing strategies, relaxation, and massage techniques

  • Risks and benefits of medical procedures

  • Breastfeeding

  • Healthy lifestyles