"Don’t give up. You’re not alone."
Carlie is the twelfth doula featured for Who is Richmond Doulas. If you want more info on what the series is about, click here.
If you have a partner, what does he/she think about your doula work/job?
My husband is super supportive of anything I do but after a few wonderful personal experiences working with doulas during our pregnancy, he’s absolutely behind supporting families.
Do you think it’s important to have your partner’s support and why?
Of course! We all need support but I couldn’t help others without him helping me.
How many children do you have?
Two :o) One very sassy 4-year-old boy and another (equally sassy) daughter due in early 2018.
Do you have any certifications or degrees?
I hold a BA & an MA in English Literature and a certification in 21st Century Learning & Leadership (I was a public school teacher in an earlier iteration). My doula training is through Birth Arts International (BAI) and I’m pursuing courses in Lactation Support and Childbirth Education through Doula Trainings International (DTI).
Do you want to share any of your personal birth experiences/stories?
During my first pregnancy, my life was a wreck but the pregnancy was easy. However, I didn’t get the kind of birth I wanted in the standard hospital environment. So, this second go ‘round I started early, touring birth centers and interviewing care providers. We knew what we wanted and made arrangements before conception, but – true to form – Murphy’s Law stepped in and even though I had my life together this time, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes very early in the pregnancy and was forced out of the birth center environment we had so hoped for and back into a traditional setting. We began seeking and interviewing other means of support including doulas, midwives, childbirth educators, and herbalists and what I found was the most supportive, empowering community imaginable.
What drew you to doula work?
It’s this ^ community that lead me to pursue birth work. I want other women to feel supported and empowered in the same way that I did during this pregnancy.
Do you feel that your own births colored your doula experience?
My own births have provided me with wide range of experiences and a large network of support that I’m excited to share with other moms.
What are your future goals with doula work?
My town (Farmville) doesn’t have the kind of birth options that are available in the Richmond area and I hope to expand the birth community through my services.
Do you do anything besides doula work? (Like teach classes, etc.)
I will very shortly be offering breastfeeding classes and support groups, childbirth preparation and education classes, and women’s circles.
If you weren’t doing doula work, what would you be doing instead?
I’d probably be reading and/or drinking coffee – ideally while living in an rv.
Favorite birth affirmation:
“I trust my body and my baby.”
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Telekinesis – for all the times I remember I forgot something after I’ve sat down…
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate- dark chocolate
Dogs or cats?
Favorite seasons and why:
Autumn – I was born in October and it’s always been my favorite. Give me crisp leaves and comfy sweaters.
Ideally, you’d love to do doula work until:
Ideally, I’d love to do postpartum doula work and provide educational support until I’m settled enough to give up my day job in graphic design to be a birth doula and train as a midwife.
Number one book moms should read before giving birth:
Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood and Trusting Yourself and Your Body by Erica Chidi Cohen
Number one book moms should read before breastfeeding:
Go Milk Yourself: You Have Power, Express It! By Francie Webb
Best breastfeeding advice you offer:
Don’t give up and you’re not alone.
Postpartum doulas-do you do daytime or nighttime support? Or both?
Both. I still work a 9-5 job in graphic design so I can only offer evening support on weekdays. I provide daytime, evening, or nighttime support on weekends.