I'm Mama to two sweet boys: a delightful seven-year-old (a second grader!) and a joyful two-and-a-half year old. I've been married almost 13 years to my wonderful husband. The Bay Area has been my home for over a decade.
My life before birth-work
I worked for nine years for a large design agency in Mountain View. The first six years I managed a design team and worked with clients in the tech world to develop presentations and business narratives. I then moved into a Human Resources role and developed and led the recruiting and training programs. It was fast paced and fulfilling! But in 2010 after my first son was born my heart began to move deeply into the world of supporting women in the process of becoming mothers.
My journey through birth to doula work
I've had two vastly different birth experiences. During the first one I was out of control and scared -- I felt like my pregnancy and birth were happening TO me rather than my being a part of it. I experienced the gamut of issues during my pregnancy and had a highly medicalized birth. I experienced severe morning sickness for the entire nine months. Towards the end I developed pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure, most likely from the lack of nutrition, and labor was induced with Pitocin and breaking my bag of waters. I lost trust that my body could birth a baby. I had pain medication, an epidural, and in the end, pushed for three hours before my son emerged. I experienced a sense of detachment from my new baby boy, and had postpartum anxiety that began soon after getting home from the hospital.
After my first son was born I struggled with painful breastfeeding and postpartum anxiety. Even though my son came out healthy, I came out feeling broken. I had so many questions about what I could have done differently. A few months later my desperation led me to a Doula training course where I discovered the rich history of women supporting women through pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. There were answers there, and a key that began to unlock something inside me. I completed my Birth Doula Certification in 2011 and have since been blessed to serve pregnant mothers and their families through an immensely powerful and emotional time in their lives.
Before I became pregnant again in Spring of 2014 I sought out professional support to prepare myself physically and emotionally. During the pregnancy I was still very sick, but I had more support from family and friends, and I used the right combination of nutrition, herbs, and medications to support my body. I still had IV's and spent weeks in bed. But my overall physical and emotional health was so much better than the first pregnancy. We planned for a home birth and I had the support of two amazing midwives, a doula, and my husband. My older son was my cheer-leader and cuddled up with us as a family right after his little brother was born. The birth was fast, incredibly empowering, and I could hardly believe the deep sense of joy that I carried with me throughout the labor and into the postpartum period. This birth was different because I was armed with the emotional support I needed, as well as herbs, supplements, and nutrition. I was empowered, I had resources, and I had hope.
I've spent the past seven years in birth work and pursuing additional certifications and trainings in this work that I love. Currently I am teaching childbirth preparation classes, and I offer consultations and in-home labor practice and childbirth education as well as postpartum breastfeeding support. I've come to a place of deep thankfulness for my story, the hard and the joyful. I know my experiences add depth, perspective, and compassion to the care I provide. In the same way, I believe your story is unique, powerful, and life changing. And I am so excited to walk this part of it with you!
Certifications and Education
Certified Birth Doula 2011
Lamaze Childbirth Educator 2015
Nursing Mother's Counsel Breastfeeding Educator 2016
Postpartum Doula 2017
Homeopathy for Birth and Immediate Postpartum with Cornerstone
Optimal Fetal Positioning with Cornerstone
Home Birth for Doulas with Cornerstone
Midwifery 101 Online Course
Birth Stories and Birth Trauma with Birth Story Medicine
Essential Oils for Birth
I continue my education through attending talks, webinars, and workshops, and reading the latest research on evidence-based birth practices; herbs for pregnancy and birth; nutrition for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum; breastfeeding and early bonding; supporting survivors of abuse during their labor and birth; and more. I'm also a co-facilitator for a monthly Doula training and networking event (Emerge Doula Circle) am the Peninsula Director for Bay Area Birth Information, and I meet regularly with fellow birth workers to share experiences, advice, and accountability.