During my challenging pregnancy in 2017, I sought out resources in my community, where I found the Birth Education Center. Through their HypnoBirthing classes, I was introduced to what a doula was. Immediately, I knew that with family and friends far away, I craved the kind of support only a doula could provide. My doula’s participation during the pregnancy and my son’s birth was one of the greatest gifts for my partner and me.

Throughout postpartum, I realized that not many of my friends, or new moms that I had met, had been given the gift of a doula during their pregnancy and birth experience. I was inspired to support the women and their families, in my community, during this transformative time. I am so passionate about this period in a woman’s life because it is one of the most vulnerable. It is a moment when with another woman’s support, a mother is able to empower herself and build her self-esteem, which she carries with her and for everyone’s life she touches. It is very fulfilling and an honor for me to support and encourage other women on this beautiful journey. As a birth doula, I support the mother in the way she envisions the birth, as she changes from a maiden to a mother.

During the birth of my son, I incorporated techniques from HypnoBirthing: affirmations, meditation, visualization. Practicing these tools and comfort measures during pregnancy helped me to deliver my baby into the world in beautiful and peaceful manner. I am excited to learn about other birth education practices, as I explore Birthing From Within, birth artwork, the Rebozo technique, and Spinning Babies. My next step this year is becoming a Birth and Bereavement Doula® through StillBirthday as I learn how to support families experiencing loss.

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CD(DONA) – July 2019

DONA Trained Birth Doula, Labor Support Doula Workshop taught by Gerri Ryan, LM, CPM, FACCE, CD(DONA) and Lisa Simpkins, IBCLC  –  November 2018

Lactation Workshop for Doulas taught by Lisa Simpkins, IBCLC – November 2018

Doula Professional Series at The Birth Education Center taught by Care Messer, HBCE and Ashley Stetson CD(DONA) – January – March 2019

HypnoBirthing Course taught by Care Messer, HBCE, 15 hours – January – February 2019

Comfort Measures for Labor at The Birth Education Center – March 2019

Birthing from Within Course taught by Jamie Mossay, CMT, BCTMB, HHP, BS, 15 hours – April 2019

Rebozo Certification taught by Debbe Cannone, CHBE, Birth Doula, CLEC, Certified Rebozo Instructor – May 2019

Spinning Babies Workshop with Nicole Morales – August 2019

Volunteer with Operation Doula, Balboa Naval Medical Center

Artwork by Mia Ohki