Your Doula in Hamburg
I am the mother of four children: two inquisitive, energetic boys and two curious and bright little girls. Our oldest and youngest were born in Germany and our two "sandwich" children, as the Germans would say, in the United States. Giving birth to my children, nursing them, growing with them and learning from them has taken me down the unexpected path to doula-hood. Through my participation in the Alamogordo chapter of La Leche League, I came to know and form a close friendship with the La Leche Leader, Michelle Mainz. I later discovered over the course of our friendship that she was also a passionate birth worker and experienced D.A.M.E. (Doulas Attending Mothers Exceptionally).
In 2013, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a D.A.M.E. doula workshop. Since then, it has been an amazing journey and truly an honor to support well over a dozen amazing, strong families at a number of hospitals and homes in Southern New Mexico and more than twenty international families during our time in Munich. In August 2017, our family will be moving to Hamburg, Germany. We are excited to see what future adventures an international city like Hamburg holds in store for us.
More About Me
A significant portion of my childhood was spent living in various Alaskan cities as well as a few odd years in Maryland and Rhode Island. My formative years were shaped significantly by my experiences while living in the small town of Bainbridge Island and in nearby Seattle. In early 2004, I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Linguistics, and headed off to Germany, and then to Taiwan, to teach English. Afterward, I returned to Germany where I met my husband and pursued graduate studies in Linguistics at the University of Freiburg. In April of 2010 we welcomed our first son. A year and a half later my husband’s career took us to the New Mexico desert where we welcomed our second son in April 2012 and our daughter in August 2014.
Until recently, my educational background largely had been in the field of linguistics, which at first glance may appear to have little to do with birth. After a moment’s thought, however, it is not too terribly surprising to discover how the study of language use is capable of revealing more about our social and cultural perceptions of birth than initially anticipated. The ways in which we construct linguistic, social and cultural meaning through our use of everyday language within the birth community, and society as a whole, continuously shape and redefine our views on the natural act of birth. The type of discourse we use in talking about childbirth – whether positive or negative – ultimately reinforces our perception of birth as peaceful, empowering and natural or, alternatively, as terrifying, chaotic and even unmanageable. Obtaining, raising and demonstrating conscious awareness of this linguistic reality allows us to deconstruct current – and at times – harmful ways of viewing pregnancy and birth in order to collectively work toward creating a healthier, more empowering dialogue with respect to a woman’s role in birth and in her participation in her own health care and that of her baby.
Exposure to unique and often times contradicting cultural views of birth and motherhood has been paramount to my professional growth as a birth worker as well as my personal growth as a mother, wife and daughter.
It is my deeply held belief that choosing a doula is not just about experience, but connection. It is important to me that the mothers and families I assist feel comfortable, at ease and confident in the care I provide.
What is a D.A.M.E. Doula?
Doulas Attending Mothers Exceptionally (D.A.M.E.) is a doula certification program created by Kamy Hanwisimae Shaw of the Art of Birth and Wellness at the Living Tree in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Through extensive, in-person, on-site instruction doulas in training are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide loving, sensitive, individualized care for birthing mothers and their families. To find out more about the D.A.M.E. certification program, visit: www.damedoulas.com.
D.A.M.E. in the local news (Las Cruces Sun-News)