Let's get to know Erika a little better!
I recently filled out my doula profile for ProDoula's Website and I thought it would be fun to share on my blog because I loved some of the questions they asked. Let's dive in!
Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to birth work
Aside from my trainings specifically in birth work, I come from a military background and that has allowed me to work with many different types of people in so many different types of situations. I have had leadership roles that rely on having sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues. Because of this I have always had the ability to stay calm and look at every detail and make timely decisions in tough spots. I have always been able to read body language and feel I can read a room and react with exactly what it needs in that moment. I am also a trained dive master, and have to be able to read and communicate with people without verbal communication. I feel like these experiences have all built together to help me be the cool, calm, and collected presence in birth and postpartum.
What led you to become interested in birth work?
I have always had a strong desire to help people in some sort of way. Deep down the feeling was there but I have never wanted to be a health care provider, in any sense. After the birth of my daughter, I knew that this is where my heart was. I wanted to be able to provide access to my knowledge and support to whom ever wanted it. There is so much information or ways to do things out there sometimes it can be overwhelming. I ultimately want to be a resource to help families or individuals be able to make the best decisions for them and feel confident in their choices. I am constantly learning new techniques or ways to be a parent and love to share what I've learned with those who ask.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?
Many have said that I have a constant calm reassuring presence. I have been told I have great eye contact and have been a good listener. Previous coworkers have said that I am always able to direct group conversations in a positive direction, especially if things get off topic I can bring everyone back on tract. Many people comment on my good communication skills, especially my husband. Some might say I'm even pretty punny.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?
Pregnancy Resources- Evidence Based Birth, BirthFit, The VBAC Link, ICAN, La Leche League
Favorite Apps - Baby Tracker, The Wonder Weeks (Baby Development), Flo (Tracking Periods & Symptoms),
Podcasts - BirthKweens, Go Diaper Free, Newborn Mothers Podcast, EBB, Yoga Birth Babies
Favorite Instagram Accounts - Mommy.labornurse, LegendairyMilk, boo.b.ltd, bemybreastfriend (for pumping moms), BabyLedFedding, TakingCaraBabies
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant person or someone with a brand new baby?
When I see a new parent or a pregnancy person I think about how much work those individuals went through or are about to go through. I think about all the choices they will have to make, all the unsolicited advice they might get, all the opinions and self doubt. But the most over powering feeling I get is I can see how amazing they are. I internally celebrate them in that moment and if I can I try to verbally remind them that they are doing a great job.
What is the best gift you can give new parents (as a birth worker)?
An open heart and a listening ear.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?
This Is Us (Yes, I'm a sucker and a cry baby)
What is your favorite place to vacation?
Hawaii or anywhere by the ocean
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
I am a DIYer, a crafter, and sew a lot on my down time. I'd say it was a hobby but it's also kind of a side business. I stay pretty busy but I try to spend at least an hour outdoors everyday. I love to garden and I am a crazy plant mom. We love to go on hikes, bike rides, and spend time on or near the water. I also really love hot yoga and lifting heavy stuff up and putting it back down.
Who lives in your house?
I share a cute little ranch home with my 3 children: my husband Blake, my head strong wild daughter Logan, and my furry loving german shepherd Kona.
Photos by The Veil Wedding Photography in Jacksonville, Fl