I believe birth is an awesome, magical event that has the capability to empower women (and partners) throughout their lifetimes. Birth is a natural wonder of the world that works.  Women are strong and powerful beings that have the privilege of giving birth and their bodies were designed to birth!  Childbirth is a process that should be marveled at, trusted, and done in a gentle and supportive atmosphere.  I believe women should be able to make their own decisions as it relates to birth (and in all things of course); their wishes and voices should be heard by medical and non-medical team members, friends, and family.  Mom is in the control seat and should be allowed to make informed decisions about what she thinks is best for her and the baby.  Advocacy is a part of my role at births–supporting mom’s goals when she may not be able to do it herself.  As a doula, I like to describe my job as though I am your “personal cheerleader.”

I have an innate commitment to integrity and loyalty with each family I serve.  My passion for providing excellent non-medical care is evident in the testimonies I have received and the speed at which my business has grown.  I am proud to say that I surround myself with a rich circle of professionals.  Having met with more than 30 professionals over coffee, I only refer my clients to those I trust.  It is my desire to work collaboratively with all of the members of your birth team to include your partner, medical caregiver, nurses, family, and friends.  It is my job to help you build or create a wonderful birth team that you feel will bring about an emotionally safe birthing atmosphere.  In my experience, it is these calm, loving, and respectful atmospheres that help labor progress the best.

The births that I have attended have allowed me to gain experience with a variety of birth plans, settings (home, hospital, and birth center), caregivers (obs, midwives, family practitioners), interventions, and outcomes (including trauma).  I have served single moms, IVF families, 1st-4th time moms, over 35 parents, miscarriage histories, scheduled c-sections, high risk pregnancies, and VBACs just to get started.

Other training: Safe Transitions (supporting families of premature NICU infants), Birth and Beyond Conference with world renowned Penny Simkin (the founder of DONA Int. and role model of today’s professional doula), The Science of Mother-Baby Connection Conference about Epigenetics (based on the book, The Best Pregnancy Ever), and Birthing from Within philosophy.

My experience in working with female survivors of domestic and sexual violence permits me a special awareness, education, and level of experience from which my clients benefit. It is a sad fact in this world, but 1 in 3 women are survivors of violence, and thus, to be sure many survivors will also give birth. When a survivor gives birth, this is no simple life event and special support and love are needed.  Also, I have special training in grief counseling having to do with situations of miscarriage, stillbirth, and death of an infant.

My accomplishments as a doula…. I believe in the immediate and long-term public health benefits of my doula work and have passionately empowered women and families through childbirth since March 2011.  I teach a public health class titled, “What is a Doula, Anyway?” — highlighting the many fabulous benefits and non-magical techniques of the doula’s work — around greater Ann Arbor including Whole Foods, My Urban Toddler, the University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University as a guest lecturer. I proudly serve on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Doula Connection, a non-profit charitable organization. Lastly, I am on staff at the Center for the Childbearing Year as I lead and facilitate the monthly Birth Doula Encouragement Group for local birth doulas.

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