A doula, translated in Greek to mean "woman caregiver", is there to support you during one of the most extraordinary experiences of your lifetime, childbirth! Whether you plan to birth your baby in a hospital, birth center, at home, or even have a waterbirth, I will be there to support you and your birthing partner throughout the entire event. Whether you plan to have your baby completely unmedicated or whether you want pain relief, I will provide you with information to help you make informed decisions for you and your baby, working alongside your medical team. I practice yoga and will help you with breathing, movement, and comfort touch throughout your journey. I'm an outgoing person and enjoy working with all types of families.
DONA International Certified Birth Doula
Licensed Massage Therapist
Certified in Pregnancy and Postpartum Massage
Certified in Infant Massage
Certified Shiatsu Practitioner
Certified Body Ready Method (BRM) Pro
Prepare the pregnant body for an optimal birth
I set out to become a Birth Doula before I had my first child over 27 years ago. I had recently completed my training as a licensed massage therapist when I realized that my calling was to empower women to have a positive birth experience, so I enrolled in a Childbirth Assistant training course. Halfway through this training, my husband and I were trying to start a family. Getting pregnant was going to be challenging due to some medical issues that I faced. My obstetrician suggested that I forego becoming a doula at that time to avoid having the vaccinations necessary for me to attend births in a hospital as part of my training. By some miracle, I got pregnant shortly after that conversation.
I had a fabulous midwife for my first birth. Chris, our childbirth educator, offered to support us during labor as our doula, after teaching us techniques for coping with labor, including position changes and breathing exercises. She accompanied us on our long journey from central NJ to our hospital in NYC while I was in active labor and helped me check in at 1 am, while my husband parked the car. She allowed me the space I needed to get through my labor completely naturally without any medical interventions, nourishing me with Apple & Eve Juice, while keeping my husband calm and supported. Our son was born around 4 am and Chris captured the experience with wonderful photos.
Finally, after five long years of trying to have another child as older parents, and with the help of IVF, we were blessed with twins.
This birth was quite different from my previous birth. I developed preeclampsia (swelling, high blood pressure, and protein in your urine) a few weeks prior to the birth. At 38 weeks (full-term for twins) I was medically induced to protect my health and the health of my babies. I was so disappointed that I couldn't have a spontaneous birth but relieved that I had made it this far and that my toxicity could be restored to normal after the birth. I tolerated the doctor breaking my water and an IV with Pitocin that eventually caused such intense contractions that I begged for an epidural. After 5 intense hours of induced labor, I was wheeled into a standard operating room with bright lights and many nurses and doctors. It upset me that a resident physician that I had never met assisted with the delivery. In the recovery room, I was the only mom who had birthed twins and the only mom who did not have a cesarean. Having been on an ice chip diet for 12 hours, I was finally allowed to eat 4 mystery meat sandwiches from a vending machine. I also developed a severe headache later that night from the epidural. A doula would have provided much-needed support. Fortunately, our babies were thriving and we were thrilled.
These birth stories are completely different. The first one was completely natural and unmedicated, and the second one was more complicated with many more medical interventions.
Because a birth doula offers continuous support to birthing parents during labor, I realized that I had to put this pursuit on hold until my children were grown. I can now fully dedicate my time and energy to providing birthing parents with compassionate emotional and nurturing physical support throughout pregnancy and birth.