When should we hire a doula?
Ideally, it’s best to have a signed contract with a doula anywhere between 28-32 weeks. The closer you are to your due date, the more likely it is that the doula you are considering will already be booked. This also gives you plenty of time to schedule a few prenatal meetings with your doula to build rapport, review your birth plan, discuss comfort measures and practice labor positions.
What birth training and experience do you have?
I have served as a birth and postpartum doula since 2017. That year, I held a unique position as a live-in house manager in a homeless shelter for pregnant and postpartum mothers. I lived among women of all ages, in all stages of pregnancy, and was invited by many of them to serve as their doula during labor and delivery. This experience was exciting and full of learning opportunities! In 2019, I decided to take formal doula training through DONA International and am currently a member of this outstanding doula organization.
What is your educational background?
I have a BS in Education from Mercer University in Macon, GA and am a former public school teacher. I am also a trained and certified clinical hypnotherapist with a concentration in guided relaxation and visualization.
What local areas do you serve?
I serve the following cities: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Apache Junction and Queen Creek.
What is your philosophy about supporting mothers and fathers during labor?
I truly love watching new families being born together in the labor and delivery room. It is an honor to be a trusted doula for both mom and dad. My role is to provide calm, supportive guidance and loving comfort before, during and after your baby is born. This is an experience for the two of you to cherish. I do everything within my power to ensure your birth is one you can both look back on with peace and joy.
Are you available for interviews? We would like to meet with several doulas before we make our final decision.
Of course! I think interviewing doulas in person is a great way to get a feel for each doula’s personality, philosophy and experience. If you want to meet with me, I’m happy to schedule a 60 minute interview at a time that is mutually agreeable.
What happens if you are ill and cannot attend my birth?
I work with several trained and experienced birth doulas who are all simply wonderful. If I am not able to attend your birth, a back-up doula will stand in for me during your labor and delivery.
Can you help us create a birth plan?
Absolutely! I can help you create a birth plan that captures all of your laboring and birthing wishes. If we are starting from scratch, I can guide you through a beautiful, relaxing visualization process where you mentally create your ideal birth experience. From there, we work together to capture the essence of what you are seeking and create a plan that mirrors your wants and hopes as closely as possible.
At what point in my labor would you arrive to begin supporting me?
Great question! This is a decision we will make together based on your personal wishes and needs. Some moms want me to come to their homes to support them in early labor. Other moms want me to meet them at the hospital after they are settled into their birthing room. I will do my best to honor whatever you feel is best for you.
How can you help us communicate with hospital personnel?
I am always very respectful of the hospital staff. They are wonderful members of your birthing team and I enjoy partnering with them! In terms of communication, I am always happy to remind the staff of your wishes according to your birth plan. As your labor unfolds, if certain decisions need to be made that are different from your plan, I’m there to listen along with you both and my role is to ask clarifying questions to help ensure you have the best and most accurate information possible. I will also ask the staff to give you both some private time to discuss your options and come to a decision (as time allows).
What techniques do you use for relaxation and pain relief?
I use a variety of techniques including the following:
Dimming the lights and drawing the curtains
Rhythm and focusing techniques
Diffusing 100% therapeutic grade essential oils for relaxation
Ensuring the atmosphere in the room is calm, quiet and relaxing
Helping mom maintain a comfortable body temperature with
Soothing words of encouragement
Birthing ball and peanut ball positions
What kind of help do you offer husbands/fathers/co-parents/birth partners?
During our prenatal visits, I will teach your birth partner a variety of ways to help you relax, breathe and cope with your contractions. During labor, your birth partner will be able to use his/her new skills to comfort and support you. I’ll be there to offer suggestions, help you both move into different positions, and will team up with your birth partner to physically and emotionally support you throughout your labor and birth. At times I will be in the background, on hand for whatever you may need. Other times, I’ll stand in for your partner while he/she rests. And other times, both of us will be completely focused on actively supporting and comforting you.
What if my labor is VERY long? Is there a cap on how many hours you will stay with us?
Every labor is different and regardless of the length of your labor, I will not leave until after your baby has arrived. My commitment (and my joy!) is to support you through your entire labor, birth and for up to 2 hours postpartum.