About Me

My Training

Currently: Completing Birth Doula Certification with Birth Arts International

Member of Deep Valley Birth Collective since 2022

October 2021 - Completed in-person Doula Training with Birth Arts International

Previous experience

Though not directly related to birthwork, my experience and style are influenced by my training and education as a School Counselor. I have a Master's Degree in School Counseling through Minnesota State University, Mankato and a BA in Psychology from College of St Benedict.

My Doula Journey

Becoming a doula was not a direct path for me. I have always been a nurturer and followed this course into the field of school counseling after getting my degree in Psychology. As both a School Counselor and now Doula, I have been a support person, an educator, and an advocate for my clients as they navigate pivotal moments and transformative situations in their lives. Though differing clientele, my role and training as a counselor has overlapped significantly with that of a doula. The honor of holding space and being a calm presence for another person is central to both. My passion for supporting someone fully - not just physically, but mind, body, and soul, is central to how I approach my practice.

The seeds for becoming a doula were planted as I embarked on my own journey into motherhood. My midwives suggested a doula for our births. So, we experienced the benefits of a doula’s support firsthand with our firstborn and again with our second. We had two different doulas and two different labor experiences, but in both felt supported, encouraged, and informed thanks to our birth teams.

With both of my births, I was the "unicorn" of the moms around me, because I was the only one that had chosen to birth outside of the hospital, first birthing at a birth center and then at home. Pregnancy and birth stories were frequent at my workplace, but each experience was unique and shared without judgement. I loved hearing all of them and sharing mine. Sometimes, people were fascinated by my non-traditional choices, or were suprised to learn of procedures that had been presented to them as required or routine were actually optional. Other times we shared things we learned to help one another along the way. Through these conversations, I gained a deeper understanding for each woman's perspective of what they wanted for birth, breastfeeding, etc., and reasons behind their desires. There was no one "right way" to give birth, but many "right" ways depending on the circumstances of each individual mother, pregnancy, and baby. I was lucky to have access to so many birth stories through my pregnancy. This experience shaped me, not only as a mother myself, but also as doula too as the presence (or lack of) support and encouragement greatly shaped each birth story I heard.

I was also fortunate to have been connected with passionate, whole-person minded practitioners to support me through not just birth, but postpartum and early motherhood. As we navigated challenges with nursing for both of my children due to tongue and lip ties, my emotional wellbeing was supported by doulas, midwives, and even my chiropractor, with the same care as my physical/medical health. Without these professionals, I am not sure we would've been successful in breastfeeding, which was important to me. I had friends and relatives to talk with, but the neutral and professional lens of each of these people added support that friends and relatives could not.

I left my postpartum care each time reluctant to leave the "birth world." Through continued conversations with pregnant friends about pregnancy, birth, and care options, as well as continuing to learn about birth simply because I enjoyed it, I had inadvertantly started my path toward becoming a doula. After my son was born, I was adjusting and redefining myself as a mother of two. It was not fitting with my school counseling career as seemlessly as I would have liked. I participated in a doula training to see if it was for my passions and my goals for my work-life balance, and knew that it was where I wanted to be. Thanks to the support and encouragement of my husband, extended family, friends, and even my own birth team, I am excited to venture into a new lifestyle as a doula and mother full time starting in June of 2022.