If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birth.
— Agnes Sallet Von Tannenberg
 
 
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DOULA & NURSE

My journey to birthwork began in 2005, though I didn’t know at the time that’s where I was headed. At the time I was a first-year college student trying to decide on a major and luckily I was too young to be afraid of student loans, because I decided on a course that would finish with me earning two Bachelor’s degrees and some portion of time in 5 different metropolitan areas.

After receiving my BA in Gender Studies from Stony Brook University in 2009 and leading the feminist activist group on campus, I moved to the Washington DC area to work as an organizer for an international feminist non-profit, focusing on reproductive justice and abortion & contraceptive access.

In 2012, I began an accelerated BS in Nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University (Go Rams!) and later in that year completed my doula training with toLabor in Richmond, Virginia. I was fortunate enough to have a few phenomenal professors and mentors who started a Nursing Student-Doula program. We provided free prenatal & childbirth education as well as labor & birth support to families in the Richmond community. The lessons I learned supporting these families transformed the nurse I became.

After starting work as a nurse in early 2014, I took time away from doula work to focus on my nursing career. In 2015, I moved back to New York City and worked in a hospital mother-baby unit (postpartum & newborn nursery) until 2017 when I transitioned to home visiting with first-time moms and their babies.

 
 
 

ADVOCATE & EDUCATOR

Growing up the daughter and granddaughter of nurses, you would think my career choice was an easy one. In reality, I didn’t like the idea of working in a hospital forever, and that’s what I thought it meant to be a nurse. So it wasn’t until I learned more about the opportunities for advanced practice nurses, combined with a little nudge from my amazing mentor and mother, that I actually chose nursing. My path was clear to me, and by design it started with women’s and gender studies and an education in social justice, community organizing, and advocacy.

The core of advocacy is education. In order to advocate - for yourself, for your family, for your community - you must arm yourself with information. And in order to successfully advocate, you must be able to teach.

To be a doula, for me, is to be a teacher and an advocate for you and your family. To be your cheerleader for all the things you are, to give you guidance and information that makes sense for you and your family, and to help you build a framework that allows you to be your own best advocate.

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