Your questions, answered.
What is a doula?
A doula is a professional who is thoroughly trained in supporting families in pregnancy, labor, and birth. They offer evidence-based information, and emotional & physical comfort before, during, and after birth. A great doula is in service of the pregnant person/partner, and NEVER judges or tells you what to do. They hold space in an unbiased, nonjudgmental way, and help guide you to make your own decisions best suited for YOU.
Does having a doula mean my partner is cast aside?
NO! As a doula, I do my best to bridge the gap between expecting persons and their partners. It is common for partners to want to be involved as much as possible during labor, but simply do not have the tools to know how exactly. I offer my expertise in birth, filling partner's toolbox with a multitude of ways they can help their counterpart be most comfortable and supported during labor. I strive to bring families closer together, and also allow for partner to take breaks when needed! We are a TEAM!
But I already have a midwife, isn't that the same thing?
The roles of a midwife and doula vary greatly. Your midwife is a medical provider, who keeps track of the health of mother and baby. While midwives can offer a more personalized birth experience, it is unlikely that they will be directly present the entire time a laboring person needs support. A doula is present continuously, without gaps (unless you need some alone time!), for as long as the laboring person desires. During labor, I usually meet you in your home before it is time to see your midwife. I also come with you in the event of a transfer to hospital, so you have a constant support person with you. Midiwves and doulas work swimmingly TOGETHER! Ask your midwife(wives) about whether to hire a doula. They are likely to be enthusiastic about you completing your birth team with necessary support!
What if I want an epidural?
I support all experiences! Choosing to have a medicated birth is a personal decision. Whether you plan on it from the start, or decide in labor that you want an epidural, I can support by: helping you understand what to expect before and after; keeping you comfortable and centered in the time leading up to the procedure; continue aiding you in optimal positions to bring baby down (there are many that can be done with an epidural!); Rebozo use for comfort and pushing; aid in breastfeeding immediately after birth, and more!
Will you write my birth "plan" for me?
Nope! It is imperative that you feel empowered to make your own decisions, and present those to your care provider. What I WILL do, is review all of your options with you, and give you a better understanding of procedures or choices that are not familiar to you. I will make sure you know all of the choices given where you will birth, and help you tap into your intuition to be confident in your preferences. To me, the reason for having a solid birth "plan" is not because everything will fall into place just so; the reason I want you to write a birth preference or map, is so that you can make snap decisions if circumstances change; You have a right to true INFORMED consent!
What if I have a caesarian section?
Being faced with a C-Section, or "abdominal birth" can be a scary circumstance for an expecting family, especially when unplanned. Whether you are having a belly birth that is planned, emergency, or a decision made in labor, I can help prepare you mentally & emotionally for what to expect and what your choices may be. Some facilities allow only one support person in the operating room- if that is the case, and you have a partner, I will be present before and immediately after the procedure. I can also assist you with breastfeeding if that is what you wish to do. If I am your photographer, I can offer a "Fresh 48" session of you and your little family afterward.
Can you take photos of my labor and birth?
Do you offer postpartum support?
What is your background?
Yes! I offer photography as an add-on to your doula package, or by itself. See your options and some of my work here
Yes! The "Matriarch" doula package includes one postpartum visit and six weeks of phone communication. Any additional in-person postpartum support can be added to any package at $30/hour.
I have an extensive background in childcare, which was always so fun! As I grew, my passion for my personal yoga practice did, too. I stumbled upon Thai Yoga Therapy (bodywork), and trained in St Pete. with Lydia Smith, and took a 30 day intensive training in Guatemala with Niss Bach as well. I went on to complete a 200-hr yoga teacher certification at the Lotus Pond Tampa, after which I taught at a local studio, offering Vinyasa and Mommy and Me.
As I transformed into a mother, I knew I wanted to help other mothers, so I trained with Childbirth International to become a Birth Doula.
I am now a midwife assistant at a local birth center, where I learn something new every day about common practices and all things pregnancy/labor/birth. I combine my training in accupressure, Thai massage, doula support, pre/postnatal yoga, Rebozo techniques, and trauma healing, with my personal experience as a mother and human, to guide my clients as their "coach" or "sidekick" during their pregnancy and birth journeys.