Hi! Welcome and thank you for supporting me on this new venture. I completed my DONA doula training in June 2021, and am ready to offer compassionate, maternal-focused postpartum support. With a background in nutrition, I'm passionate about all things health and wellness. In my spare time (ha!) I enjoy swimming, crafting, gluten-free baking, and adventures with my one year old.
When my son was born, we struggled a lot in the beginning with breastfeeding. He ended up having a tongue tie, which after the release, required lots of therapy and stretching for several weeks before I even started to notice a difference in his latch. Also, I had a really bad case of mastitis that required surgical drainage. Ouch. I was triple feeding, meaning offering the breast, then pumping, then bottle feeding a combination of pumped milk and formula. It. was. exhausting. I was constantly trying to pump to rebuild my supply, while surrendering to the realities of mom life, and accepting the fact that my body just doesn't respond well to the pump. Eventually, at about 4.5-5 months postpartum, we were finally able to drop the extra bottles, and I was 'enough' for him. (spoiler alert: I was always enough) Not everyone's breastfeeding journey is like this, hopefully yours will not be this hard. But this is my story, and I share it because there is beauty in our struggles. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and at 16 months, we are still breastfeeding today!
I also share my story to normalize support. If I had listened to family and friends, I would have stopped nursing, which is one of my favorite things about being a mom. I wouldn't have learned so much about tongue ties, which affects so much more than just breastfeeding. (he had symptoms at the bottle too!) My midwife Paige encouraged me to take him to a craniosacral therapist, and she was the one who assessed his oral function and referred us to a pediatric dentist. Then I started working with a tie-conscious lactation consultant and found her support group, which was huge for me.
I've struggled with other aspects of my motherhood journey as well. Sleep is a big one. Mental health, too. I won't pretend to have all the answers, but I will tell you this: there are about a thousand and one ways to parent. So you get to do what works for you. The problem is when things don't seem to be working, and you find yourself getting lost in what others want you to do, what others think is best, instead of drowning out the voices, shutting down the noise, and tuning in to your own intuition. I'm not saying you can't take a little advice now and then! But I want you to feel confident enough, so that you know when to take that advice, and when to say "no thank you".
My fourth trimester with my son was a hot mess. And while sometimes I wish I could go back and change it, I know that it made me who I am today (told ya there's beauty in our struggle). The things I learned come through in every aspect of my doula business, because I want yours to be different in all the best ways. It will be undoubtedly hard, but that doesn't mean it can't also be filled with joy, strength, and confidence. My hope is that when I leave your home, you feel more empowered than you did when I first arrived. Because an empowered 4th trimester changes everything.