I started my career as a doula before doulas were a known thing, flying by the seat of my pants (no smart phones or Google back then!) after having my first child in Wilmington, NC in 1994. I became a certified childbirth educator and began providing birth and postpartum support in Wilmington before moving back to Pennsylvania, where I grew up. There I had another baby, continued my birth and postpartum doula work and got certified (doula trainings were just beginning to sprout up around the country), began teaching childbirth classes at a local birth center, and also became a midwife’s assistant working primarily with the Amish community. Their approach to childbirth was very trusting, with little fear of the process- a stark contrast to what many of us encounter around birth, and a real learning experience for me.
During this time I also helped start a non-profit sustainable business network, and dove deep into activism around local economies, social justice, and triple-bottom-line (people, profit, planet) business ownership.
Along the way I also became a perinatal yoga instructor, a certified lactation educator, and eventually relocated to the beautiful mountains of Asheville, NC where I began working with a wonderful group of doulas and educators at Homegrown Babies. I put my previous business knowledge to use and began coaching new doulas, and last year I was able to became a Postpartum Doula Trainer with DONA International, a long-time goal fulfilled.
It delights me that doulas are now being embraced more widely in American culture, and I can’t wait to hold my next training. In a time when our families and friends are dispersed all across the globe, and we no longer have the deeply-rooted communities that we once did, postpartum doulas have become a vital part of holistic care and wellbeing in the postpartum period.