When my mother was a little girl, she called her grandfather – a sweet, adoring and gentle soul – her Grandpa Dooly. The nickname soon caught on within the family and refers to anyone who is a sweetheart, offering gentle companionship, safe, loving affection, and general good vibes :).
I am a practicing doula and student of birth living in Oakland, California. I was raised in upstate New York, where my immediate family and community were very active in advocating for sexual and reproductive justice, and were practitioners of holistic health and herbalism in the home. I watched my stepmother deliver my baby brother at a birth center when I was eleven, and found myself rather comfortable and quite intrigued with the experience.
I first became interested in the healing arts after meeting the renowned humorist and revolutionary Dr. Patch Adams in college, but it wasn’t until I was researching American hospital birth practices that I decided to get involved directly. I believe that the personal IS political, and I see birth work as an act of peace-making and radical social transformation – as well as a great honor to perform that leaves my heart full for every client. I openly bring this vision to my work as a doula, because it can be difficult to make choices around family health and well-being in a society that demands a lot and provides little in the way of insurance, childcare, whole nutrition, real education, and more. A big part of my prenatal work with any family is getting as deep of an understanding as I can of what I can do to support your vision for a healthy, happy family. My service is informed by evidence-based practices and training, ongoing education and apprenticeship with other birthworkers, and a focus on repeated quality time spent with each client.
After graduating college, I moved to California, where I studied under midwife and author Elizabeth Davis in her midwifery intensive workshops for a season in 2012 (San Rafael, CA). Soon after, I enrolled in the National Midwifery Institute to pursue federal certification and state licensure as a Certified Professional Midwife. While studying, I became a doula because I LOVE being in process with pregnant families and I cherish the opportunity to SERVE, EDUCATE, and EMPOWER folks alongside my own learning. I decided to take leave from my clinical program to focus on this aspect of birthwork and be the best doula I can. I currently serve private clients and partake in community programming through Shiphrah’s Circle Community Doula Program – a low/no cost volunteer doula group serving low income families and people of color in the Oakland area who may not otherwise have equitable doula care access.
There are many programs and paradigms of doula and birth support in the world – I chose to certify as a doula with SMC (formerly the International Center for Traditional Childbearing) because of their important work addressing racial disparities in care, honoring indigenous and African American foundations of American midwifery and birthwork, and embracing the sacred aspect of supporting families through this transformative journey.
I am also a CAPPA-certified Childbirth Educator, and I believe this international associations strong legacy of evidence-based education and professional solidarity compliments SMC and uplifts birthing people and their communities by integrating various professions under a common mission of empowered, informed family wellness.
I am honored to attend private clients in the East Bay area. I am currently apprentice to Samsarah Morgan, Founder of the Oakland Better Birth Foundation – Samsarah has over 35 years of doula experience and attended over 1000 births! Learning from her is an honor, a rare and precious education, and of huge benefit for our clients. In hiring me as your doula, you are also supporting my ability to support our community programming and assist in the continuing education of junior doulas, which relies on our volunteer time and energy. In pursuing my passions for family wellness, individual and community empowerment, and the sacred love of parents and children, I am challenged, inspired, and surprised daily at the human capacity for strength, compassion and grace in the face of transformation. Thank you for reading – please feel free to explore my site for services offered, blog posts, and how to contact me should you feel I could contribute to your own family’s procreative process.