What is a doula?

A doula is “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible” (www.dona.org).

There is extensive scientific research providing evidence of the benefits of doulas and their continuous support to through the labor process (Cochrane Review, 2017).

doula-benefits-infographic

To learn more about becoming a DONA certified doula, check out the Doula Certification Guide.  I’d like to thank the following people and organizations for supporting my journey in becoming a doula.

As a DONA certified and practicing doula, I recognize the importance of a strong support network and hope to be a part of a supportive community to expectant people. First and foremost, I’d like to thank my family and extended family of friends who provided both financial and emotional support in helping me become doula.  I’d also like to thank the following individuals and groups below who were instrumental in providing invaluable information and insight on the role and best practices of the doula.

Connie Sultana‘s introduction to childbirth and doula training program provided me with a strong foundation to build my doula skills and knowledge, but more importantly, her patience, compassion, and energy serves as my model of service.

It’s an honor to be a part of one of the oldest nonprofit organizations committed to providing comprehensive pregnancy, birth, parenting, education and resources in the Bay Area.  I’m proud to have started my doula work in Birthways‘ Volunteer Doula Program and inspired and honored to work with my fellow volunteers Nattasha Bender (Portuguese and Spanish speaker) and Davon Crawford (postpartum doula and placenta encapsulation).

I will always be grateful to Kai Shatteen for introducing me to the East Bay Area birthing community who are committed to social justice and supporting birthing people from all walks of life. I’m extremely grateful to be in solidarity with Rebecca Orozco, Cassandra Chase, Ajira Darch and the Roots of Labor Birthing Collective.

I’m blessed to be able to return to my roots and learn more about traditional Thai herbs and massage in women’s health with Homprang Chaleekanha.  I await every opportunity to return home and deepen my ancestral knowledge and skills.

I’m honored to be a part of the Breathe for Change yoga movement.  I’m grateful for Hillary Easom and Jeanna Lurie’s mentorship through the Lotus Blossom Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training family.  I’m humbled for the opportunity to learn and grow with YogaLove (Oakland), Leela Yoga (Alameda), Angela Madonia (Berkeley) and my fellow yoga trainees and colleagues.

Erin Pence‘s breastfeeding workshop at Then Comes Baby provided a wealth of information about breastfeeding and supporting moms in their breastfeeding journey.  Thank you to Yve Saville for allowing me to participate in your childbirth preparation classes and encouraging me and offering support during my first birth experiences.

I’d also like to thank my colleagues at Global Healing in supporting my work as a doula by allowing me to have a flexible schedule and promoting a positive work/life balance.