Doulas are trained professionals who provide physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother during her pregnancy, as well as continuous presence throughout labor and after birth. Studies by DONA International have shown that when doulas attend births, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier, and they breastfeed more easily. Jenn completed her classroom training as a birth doula with DONA in January 2011 and now, as an ordained interfaith minister is offering her service to families during this most spectacular and sacred transition. I am now available to work with 3 new families in Orange County and North San Diego County CA with due dates in Feb, Mar and April 2016.
Doula Support begins with a 60 minute complementary first meeting to see if I am the Doula that feels like the best fit for you and your partner. If you choose to hire me I charge $600, which includes the following:
- 90 Minute Relaxation and Massage Tools Playshop
- 60 Minute Prenatal Massage with Medical Grade Aromatherapy
- 90 Minute Birth Plan and Postnatal Support Planing Meeting
- 24/7 on call support by phone for the 3 weeks leading up to your due date (and for two weeks past your due date until you deliver)
- Continual support though labor and delivery
- Photos with your camera of your labor and first 30 minutes of your babies life
- Organic Oatmeal and Lavender packs for Postnatal Baths
- One home visit during the first week of your newborns life
Birth is a natural and spiritual experience, not a medical emergency or a ‘pathology’ as it is often considered in mainstream America. Just like any other mammal, our bodies have innate and deep wisdom. Women are powerful beings, and when we give ourself permission to live in our power by experiencing our own, and each others births, we can know deeply the truth and beauty of being alive.
Historically in our society, women gave birth surrounded by their mothers, sisters and other female family members. When our culture moved birth out of the home and into the hospitals, we gained a lot of medical expertise, however, we took away female centered support from the laboring woman. We left women alone to labor in a highly medicalized environment. Having the father’s presence and support is invaluable, yet there is something very important and powerful about women supporting women through the journey of birth. This is where a doula fits into our modern society. A doula provides emotional, physical, and informational support to the laboring woman as well as her partner. She is part of the birth team and helps the journey run as smoothly as possible from first contractions at home to the birth of the baby. She does this by supporting, encouraging, explaining and comforting. She also acts as an advocate for the couple in the hospital setting if that becomes necessary. She is there to offer her expertise in whatever way the laboring couple most needs and desires.
“Jenn is a ray of sunshine. Her work is infused with passion, knowledge and a genuine spirit of kindness and understanding.” -Carrie Steele
My Path to becoming a Birth Doula
My mother recently told me this story about when I was about 3 years old. She was offering some natural childbirth coaching to a friend out of our home. I would entertain myself while they met. The day they brought me on the hospital tour with a small group of expecting mother’s, everyone cracked up with laughter when I entered and exclaimed, ”WOW! look at all the babies in those UTERUS’s!”
Around age 30 I came to an absolutely bewildering thought: “How is is possible for me to live three whole decades and never see anyone die or be born?!” The two most sacred events in life are hidden away in hospitals, and nursing homes, and I’m one of many my age that can say this – how is this POSSIBLE?”
At this time I was working closely with a very dear friend who became pregnant, I wanted so desperately to be present at her birth, I felt so close to this new little being, but it isn’t something we ask. I knew I could be at her labor and offer nurturance, massage, and my fullest presence. The answer to this call came after my another dear friend told me of her journey to becoming a Doula.
On January 12th, 2015 I gave birth to my own son, Akoya Raven. This was truly the most brilliant, most challenging, most indescribable experience of my life. He arrived at 11:57am with brilliant sun shining through the window at the Tree of Life Birth Center in Encinitas, CA. My partner Godfrey, my mom Sarah, my midwives Susan and Laura, a third midwife Jennifer, and my doula Lemia all welcomed him into the world after 18 hours of active labor and 3 hours of pushing. My little one was “sunny side up” as they say, and when he finally arrived he came arm first, just like a little flying superhero.
I was determined to deliver medication free and vaginally – as long as I was complication free. Before giving birth to my son I held strong options about what was ‘right’ for a laboring mom and her baby. After my little laboring yogini body swore like a sailor and pounded on walls with my fists, I hold the strongest respect for any mom anywhere who brought any baby into the world in any way. I have released all judgment. I will stand by you though any kind of birth, and tell you that you are an absolute superhero, no matter what.