I first learned about doulas when I interned with The Doula Project in New York City in 2009. During the internship, I created a manual and helped to organize a volunteer training. I was amazed at the passion with which the women I met spoke about their work, but I wasn’t yet sure if it was my calling. I learned more about reproductive health and birth in the years that followed, and became more and more interested in the politics behind them. I became frustrated as I learned about how modern American medical practices and culture often disempower women from making their own choices regarding their bodies and experiences. When I became pregnant in 2012, my interest deepened.
I planned a hospital birth hoping to have as few interventions as possible, and did not hire a doula. Despite knowing the benefits of having one, my husband planned to be present for the birth and my mother was scheduled to fly in the day before my due date. I ended up going into labor a week and a half early, and though my husband was tremendously helpful, my labor lasted for 40 hours– much too long for him to act as my lone support. My first 9 hours in the hospital were difficult. Luckily, at the 7am shift change, I was assigned an amazing nurse, one who acted like a doula. The entire experience of labor changed for me, and I achieved the med-free birth I had hoped and planned for. It would not have been possible without the loving, hands-on support of my nurse. I was so lucky to have had her there, and I decided I would love to be there for others during pregnancy and labor.
For my second birth in 2016, I hired a doula and again planned for a hospital birth with as few interventions as possible. I ended up deciding to use an epidural and had a peaceful, relatively quick, joyful birth. The experience deepened my understanding of what it means to have a positive birth and affirmed my passion for helping others do so.
My practice is full spectrum, meaning I support those choosing or experiencing various pregnancy outcomes including birth and termination (elective or not). I believe passionately in reproductive choice, and for me this includes choice in birth control, deciding what to do if and when pregnancy occurs, and if a birth is planned, choice in every aspect of pregnancy and labor care.
I participated in the Abortion Doula Volunteer Training with The Doula Project in 2009 and am certified as a birth doula through Childbirth International. I have a Masters degree in Applied Women’s Studies from Claremont Graduate University. I am a certified GentleBirth Instructor.
About Conscious Continuations
“Birth is okay and death is okay, if we know that they are only concepts in our mind. Reality transcends both birth and death.”- Thich Nhat Hanh
In Zen Buddhism, birth and death are not beginnings and endings the way we normally think about them. Instead, they are referred to as “continuations” because we do not come from nothing when we are born or become nothing when we die. Rather, we continue from one moment to the next, in different forms each moment, depending on the existing conditions.
This does not mean birth is not an event to be celebrated. Just the opposite! We celebrate all of our continuations, from one moment to the next, by being present in each one. As a birth doula with Conscious Continuations, I strive to help you stay present and mindful for this exciting continuation for you and your baby– for you, the continuation into a new form of parenthood, and for your baby, a continuation into a new kind of being in this world. As a termination doula, I am here to help you explore what this continuation means to you– without pressure to define it in any particular way, and to remain present and compassionate with yourself.