Mt. Lebanon (Serving the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and surrounding communities)
How many children and ages:
2 children; a strong-willed 3 (almost 4) year old and a very vocal 6 month old.
Why you became a doula:
It's a very loaded question! I think many doulas would say they have a strong desire to support women and families during one of the most important times in their lives. This is true! My passion for birth work started with breastfeeding. I learned just how much I loved reading about and sharing all things breastfeeding. I believe eventually it bled over to birth. I found myself at a crossroad a few years ago when I was trying to figure out where exactly I'd like my life to go, career wise. I always felt it was important to find something I was genuinely interested in and something I felt made a difference in the world. When I decided to jump into birth work I really felt I found my place and that doula work truly makes a difference in the lives of women and their partners as well as the progression with the way we are moving forward with birth in the future.
Your favorite type of client (vbac, first time moms, etc):
I can be a doula and support any woman through pregnancy and birth. I love preparing and empowering her through the birthing process but I must say that my favorite type of client is not the birthing mother at all, but instead the excited and supportive partner. It is so beautiful to watch two people be in complete harmony with each other during labor. I love when I see Dads that really work hard to prepare and support the mother. It is truly a special, intimate moment to be a part of. I also adore the overly excited partner. I once had a soon-to-be-father rip off his shirt in the hospital as his wife began pushing because he was just so excited to get ahold of that baby and give his baby girl skin-to-skin. He was so ready to meet his child!
Special trainings you've taken or will be taking:
I am a CAPPA certified labor doula. I have received training in Rebozo, birth photography, VBAC, and seminars on supporting plus size women.
What did you do before (or still do) before becoming a doula:
My formal education is in music, where I recieved my BA from the University of Nevada, Reno. I taught private guitar and clarinet lessons to children and adults.
When did you take your training:
I took my CAPPA training in May of 2014 and finished my certification in June 2015.
Something important that you've learned since becoming a mom:
I have learned that once your child figures out how to open lids you should never leave out the peanut butter in reach again because they will find it and will stick their entire hand inside and have a really good time in their room.
Something important you've learned about birth since becoming a doula:
The woman body is truly a wonder. I knew that to some extent before, but not until I had my own and then also became a doula myself did I really understand and appreciate how amazing a woman can be and the things her body can do.
What do your friends and family think of you being a doula:
I have a very amazing supportive husband who understands the importance of having a passion and doing something you're good at and want to do. My friends thought I'd be in a rock band touring around the world at this point in my life but I believe they think it's super awesome that my life took me in a surprising direction.
Anything else you think we should know about you:
I am an avid snowboarder and have been doing that for about 15 years. I am also a country girl originally from rural Nevada so I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and all things adventurous. I'm not afraid to sing karaoke, and I make a mean gumbo.