Like many women involved in birth, my journey to becoming a doula started with my own births. I gave birth to my first child in 2004. I knew I wanted a “natural” birth, but unfortunately, I didn’t know what that meant to me or how to find out! Although we took the hospital’s 1-day childbirth preparation course, we were anything but prepared for my journey into motherhood! Because I was so uneducated and unprepared, I ended up feeling like a helpless passenger on that journey. I learned a lot from that experience and decided that I would be actively involved and aware during the birth of my next child. When I found out I was pregnant again, I approached the whole experience differently – from the books I read, to the classes we took, to the way we chose our care provider. My homework paid off and we had a wonderful, healing and joyous birth with our second son. The lessons I learned from those two births inspired me to become a doula and to help women to have the empowered births they deserve. Now it is several years later and we have just had our third child surrounded by women who created the warm supportive and safe environment that is just right for children to come into this world. The word “doula” means a woman who serves women, and that is what I’ve learned is so helpful in birth. I’ve experienced birth in hospitals, birth centers and at home, in unmedicated and medicated forms, and in all of these situations, a supportive, comforting and compassionate companion is the most valuable and indispensable component.
I am a member in good standing of Doulas of North America (DONA) and have completed my doula certification through this organization. My training includes:
Training in childbirth
Medical Center of Aurora Childbirth Preparation Course (2004)
Birthing From Within (2007)
CAPPA 1 Day Refresher (Sep 2008)
Birthing Again (Feb 2009)
CAPPA – full course
DONA Birth Doula Workshop (July 2009)
Basics of Lactation Management (Lactation Education Resources) (Dec 2008)
Exploring Obstacles to Breastfeeding: A Lactation Workshop for Midwives, Colorado Midwives Association Winter Conference 2012
In addition to my DONA certification training, I also attended the Colorado Midwife’s Association Spring Conference in May 2009, which covered Optimal Fetal Positioning, Genetic Testing, and Meconium topics.
I also hold memberships in the Colorado Doula’s Association and With Women.
I have attended births in hospitals, birth centers and homes over the last 4 years. In addition, I have visited or toured numerous birth facilities in the greater Denver area as part of my own research. Locations where I have attended births or toured:
Mountain Midwifery Center
Center for Midwifery at the University of Colorado Hospital
Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center
Exempla St. Joseph
Exempla Good Samaritan
Exempla Lutheran Medical Center
Medical Center of Aurora
Penrose St. Francis (Colorado Springs)
Rose Medical Center
St. Anthony’s Central
Swedish Medical Center
Throughout my time having babies, attending births, and getting involved in the Colorado birth community, I have developed relationships with many birth-related practitioners to whom I can refer clients if needed, and from whom I can draw advice and input. Please see Resources for more information.
As a doula, I am present to help expecting parents create the birth that they envision for themselves and to experience birth fully and actively. This means that I am there to:
support parents’ choices fully, whatever form that takes, or however their vision needs to evolve
throughout the birth.
help parents remember that birth is a normal natural process, even when it’s easy to forget!
assist parents in making educated and empowered decisions during the birth process.
Birth works best when Mom feels comfortable, safe and supported. My role in creating that feeling is to keep the birth space comfortable physically and emotionally, to provide continuous labor support – from comfort measures to taking pictures and video, and to provide information whenever it is needed to help parents make the right choices for them. Because I am there to enable the parents’ vision, I try to facilitate partner participation to whatever extent they choose.