I am both a Certified Postpartum Doula and Certified Lactation Counselor. I trained, certified, and am also in mentorship with Birdsong Brooklyn and also trained with DONA International.
I live in Brooklyn with my partner and our 2 1/2 year old son. Parenting is very different than I thought it would be but is by far the greatest joy of my life and… its wild!
I have always been fascinated by birth, parenthood, nursing and the biological workings of birthing parent and their child. In my life I have always felt driven to nurture, nourish, and care for others.
I spent many years working as an actor in theatre and film and also worked in the hospitality industry. In many ways this temporarily filled my need for nurturing and my work to connect to community through storytelling but I was searching for a way in which I could find myself in a role that both supported my need and calling to nurture but one that was not in service to the very ideals I was fighting for. I was searching for a way in which I could take this nurturing spirit and put it into something that supported my community fully. Then someone said the words- “postpartum doula” and I immediately began researching and I was stunned that even in all my understanding and curiosity about birth I had never come across the role of the postpartum doula. I then came to realize, quite quickly, that the reason I didn’t know the role existed is the very reason the role is so incredibly important.
The lack of focus on the postpartum period within the U.S. is a massive problem. We all know that racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia are at play in regards to the lack of family leave and reproductive care that people receive within in the U.S. but, unfortunately, I believe that this has seeped in to the very culture and community that surrounds us on a daily basis. In our culture we seem to be neglecting parents, particularly birthing parents, and by proxy their babies, at one of the most crucial states- the postpartum period.
During pregnancy, pregnant people are often celebrated, their shape and glow are celebrated, we throw showers for them and surround them letting them know they are loved and cared for. But after the crescendo of birth, so often, they are forgotten. It seems that after birth there is a great chasm that opens up between the support parents need and the support they receive. Partners tend to go back to work within a week or two of birth because of lack of family leave. In generations past birthing people would usually receive support from extended family but now we tend to live many miles away from them. Friends and neighbors move on with their own lives because they think that “They’ve got it now.” and are in control with all the gifts and gadgets they were given before birth. Even when family, community, and friends are present they may not be providing the type of support needed. I want to bridge this gap. Where there is a lack of community or familial support I want to step in and surround these parents and babies so that they feel supported and even celebrated. I want to step in and provide non-judgmental care and to hold space so that they may feel understood, heard, cared for, and nurtured.
This work is an extension of my activism. It is my contribution to advocate, celebrate, and honor birthing people at a time when they are often forgotten within our culture.
I want to help create an environment that celebrates parents in this rite of passage, to honor birthing people for all the hard work and commitment they give to their families every day. I want to nurture and nourish them just as they nurture and nourish their baby. If we consider our children to be our future how better can we set up the future of our community, country, and world than by advocating for the bond and first relationship that baby will know? If we nurture, support, and celebrate birthing people in the right ways, they will be able to fully do the same for their child and all of society will benefit.
Certified Postpartum Doula- Birdsong Brooklyn- Erica Livingston and Laura Interlandi
Certified Lactation Counselor- The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice
Seen Mentorship- Birdsong Brooklyn – Erica Livingston and Laura Interlandi
DONA International Postpartum Doula Workshop – Ann Gruar
Infant CPR Certified- American Red Cross