What do you do at Toronto Family Doulas?
I am a birth and postpartum doula
What brought you to doula work?
Spending my teenage years babysitting, and later on raising my own family, I was drawn to the idea of supporting families. I fell in love with the idea of being a part of the formative process of people becoming parents for the first time; helping people with the transition to parenthood, through birth and beyond, is an incredible experience.
When you’re not doula-ing what is your favourite thing to do?
I spend my free time hanging out with my family, reading way too much science fiction/fantasy, and finding new and exciting games to play with my ridiculously large dog.
Who is in your family?
I am Mom and Stepmom to three creative teens, and I live in a cozy pet-filled home with my partner Jonathan.
What is your favourite food?
I love pizza.
What is your favourite book?
My favourite book is Robin McKinley’s “Sunshine”. Her female protagonists have been my companions throughout my life, starting with Hari in “The Blue Sword”, and I’ve always been able to lose myself in her books.
What is your favourite movie?
This has always been a hard choice for me, but today I’ll go with “Labyrinth”. It’s solid and entertaining, it has David Bowie, and I often find myself humming or outright singing the songs.
What is the best part about being a birth doula?
I enjoy meeting people during this time in their lives. I like knowing that I’m helping people to prepare for a day that can be exciting but also frightening, and helping people to find their stride and feel comfortable with what is happening- it’s a terrific feeling.
What do you most love about postpartum work?
I like to see how people are forming their families. There’s no one right way to do it, and observing how different people bond or even choose paths with their babies- I’m honoured to be on that journey for even a short time. Being able to contribute advice or even just step in so that everyone can rest, it makes me feel as though I’m helping families to get a good start in their journey.
What is something we’re unlikely to know about you?
Oooh. This is hard! I’m pretty much an open book. My partner and I often speak French at home, as he is bilingual and uses it at work. But although we have been doing this for years, and I took French through school, and even in university, my French is atrocious. I like to think I’ve improved, but it is seriously bad.
What education and training do you have?
Well, I started of as a linguistic anthropologist, but having children gave me the opportunity to see what type of work I really want to do. My birth doula training is through DONA, and my postpartum training is through ProDoula. I have learned pregnancy and baby massage, acupressure for labour, and am excited to continue with my professional development.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would love to travel to Venice. Travelling through the canals in a gondola, exploring all of the beautiful architecture like St. mark’s Basiliica or the Doge’s Palace seems like an incredible vacation.
What do you hope to accomplish this year?
This year I hope to become certified in Thai massage.