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Hello

My name is Maria (she, her).


I am a Dutch gal in the USA, blessed with a husband, 4 kids, and 3 cats. I love getting dirty in my native backyard habitat, knitting, cross-stitching, singing, and the coast.

I was inspired to become a birth professional after my own powerful birth experiences. The birth of my first child was incredibly intense, and I discovered an inner strength that I did not know I had. I learned from this birth that our bodies are incredible and unpredictable and that giving birth was simultaneously beautiful and raw. I am still blown away by how awesome we a: We conceive and grow a baby; we develop a whole new organ; we open and surrender to give birth and feed a baby from our own breasts!

Between 1998 and 2006, I gave birth to five more children, two of whom are angel babies. These experiences made me into the woman, wife, mother, doula, and educator I am today: I trust our bodies and our innate knowledge to give birth and accept the process wherever it may lead us. 

I remain intensely grateful to the women who surrounded me during those births, in person and in prayer: my midwives, my mother, and my grandmother. They held space for me, trusted, encouraged, and loved me. I am also grateful to my husband, who would have preferred to stay in the kitchen with our first yet caught our fourth like a pro.

Photo credit: Lem & June Collections

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Best gift from a nurse ever.

These profoundly transformative experiences led to my passion for supporting, nurturing, and holding space for others. I became a professional Doula in 2009 through Birthingway College of Midwifery in Portland, OR. A few years later, in 2016, I joined Baby Nest Birth Services, a wonderful sisterhood of doulas, where I still am today. I am a certified birth doula through Birth Arts International and a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. I hope to be an official StillBirthDay Birth & Bereavement doula soon. I am also a Traditional Health Worker in Oregon, serving families on the Oregon Health Plan.

My philosophy is that we all deserve someone who reminds us that we can trust our inner strength and guidance. Birth is unpredictable. Whether planning a home birth or hospital birth, low-risk or high-risk, first baby or not, feeling seen, supported, and confident during pregnancy, labor, birth, and the immediate postpartum time is very important. You will remember how you felt and how you were made to feel. This is the space a doula holds; my heart is invested in doing this.

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Old birthing chair I did not have time to use.

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Another passion I have is community-based or private-arrangement human milk sharing. I am one of the founders of Eats on Feets, a network where families in need of milk for their baby can connect with someone who may have milk to share, and co-authored the Resource for Informed Breastmilk Sharing, an extensive database of information to support safe practices in milksharing.

 

All babies need human milk!

Qualifications
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Birthingway College of Midwifery, 2009

Birth Arts International, 2021

Certified Labor Doula, CD

Birthingway developed the Biodynamic model of caring for clients and families in which pregnancy, birth, and nursing are not only natural parts of human life, they are necessary parts, intimately connected with what it is to be human. The bio in Biodynamic reflects the centrality of biological processes, especially the impact of hormones such as oxytocin and stress hormones. Dynamic refers to the energy of relationships that ensures a client-centered and individualized approach, providing safe, responsive, and sensitive care.

Birth Arts International was founded in 2000 by Demetria Clark and is considered a premier holistic doula training organization. Having trained over 25,000 doulas, Birth Arts International goes to the heart of what it means to be holding space for a client. Being a doula is being present emotionally, spiritually, and physically. BAI embraces a natural way of passing on birthing wisdom, allowing and following clients in their natural progression through pregnancy, labor, and birth.

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Lamaze Childbirth Educator, 2021

Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, LCCE

For more than 50 years, Lamaze International has been educating families to have a safe and healthy pregnancy, birth, and newborn experience. The Lamaze certification prepares educators to teach the latest evidence skillfully so that parents can feel confident, supported, and assertive as they ask questions, make decisions, and navigate their path through pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood. 

Lamaze Philosophy of Birth:​

  • We have an innate ability to give birth.

  • Birth is transformative in the life of a family.

  • Our confidence and ability to give birth are either enhanced or diminished by the care provider and place of birth.

  • We have the right to respectful care and continuous support.

  • We have the right to give birth free from routine medical interventions.

  • Birth can safely take place in homes, birth centers, and hospitals.

  • Evidence-based care improves birth outcomes.

  • Lamaze childbirth education empowers informed healthcare choices, taking responsibility for health, and trusting our innate ability to give birth.

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Stillbirth & Bereavement Doula, 2022

Stillbirth and Bereavement Doula, SBD

in progress

Stillbirthday Global Network is an internationally trusted benevolent organization whose philanthropic mission is simply to doula: to nurture sources of perinatal bereavement, strengthen the skills of healthcare professionals, and increase healthy engagement of perinatal-related needs among communities. Stillbirthday is founded on the non-discriminatory mandate to love in all situations to the best of our ability. Members of the Stillbirthday community are diverse and autonomous, each committed to exemplifying the advancement of loving service.

About: Training
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