MEET THE DOULA SERIES
Anne Richey is a birth doula serving the Greater Phoenix area. I had the pleasure of meeting her at East Valley Birth Circle.
Happy "First Anniversary", Anne! Thank you for taking time away from your family to help other families get off to the best possible start.
I am Anne Richey, wife to my amazing husband Luke and mother of two beautiful children. From the time I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated with pregnancy and the labor and delivery process. After my own experience with a doula at my second child's birth, I feel very blessed to be able to serve women in our community as a birth doula!
When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
I first heard the word “doula” back in 2007 when a good friend of mine in the Seattle area was going through her doula certification process. She shared her experiences openly with me, which then prompted me to have a doula present at my son’s birth in 2008. I’m very thankful for this friend, for this reason and many others!
How did you decide that becoming a doula was part of your journey?
After my experience with my own doula at my son’s birth, I knew that being a doula would be part of my future. We moved overseas shortly after he was born so I had to put the process on hold, but as soon as life settled back down, I put my dream in motion!
Are you a birth and/or a postpartum doula? How long have you been a doula?
I am a birth doula and I am coming up on my one year anniversary of being a doula. My first “official” birth was in December of 2011 and will have 10 births total by December of 2012. I was trained at Nurturing Hearts Birth Services in Mesa by one of the best doulas around!
What do you enjoy the most about being a doula?
My favorite part of being a doula is watching a birthing woman realize just how strong and capable she is. Not only do I get to witness a new life entering the world, but I am privileged to be able to facilitate in making that birth a better experience as well!
What is your philosophy when you go to a birth space?
I recently heard someone describe a doula as an “invisible set of helping hands” which I think is a great analogy. That is my goal when participating in the birthing process – to provide a calm, peaceful, encouraging, and supportive space for both the mother and her partner.
How do you work with and involve the Coach?
I often find myself being a doula to the mother’s partner as well as the mother. Making sure that he, too, is resting and eating is a key part of the process because he is then able to care for the mother more efficiently. Helping dads find their groove and be an active part of their baby’s birth is an important part of my job and I take it very seriously!
What is the toughest situation you have ever dealt with? How did you handle it?
I have, unfortunately, encountered a situation in which a nurse provided sub-par care to one of my clients. Her level of misconduct put the baby’s safety at risk, and I ended up taking part in an investigation surrounding the incident. Tough, yes, but definitely a learning experience!
What keeps you working as a doula?
My awesome clients keep me working as a doula. Meeting and forming a relationship with these amazing women and their families is such an honor!
What does your fee cover – how many visits or hours? Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
My fee of $350 includes a minimum of two prenatal visits (in which I am able to become very familiar with my clients’ wishes for their birth experience), the labor and delivery, and one postpartum visit.
Do you offer any other services to your clients?
I always have my own camera with me at births and assist in capturing the first moments of baby’s life. It takes great pictures in low lighting, and I have found that it’s nice for the dads to not have to worry about taking pictures in the flurry of activity, and I don’t have to figure out an unfamiliar camera ;) I deliver the CD of images to my clients at our postpartum visit.
Just for fun, what do you do when you are not doula-ing?
I am busy taking care of my husband of almost 10 years and our two beautiful children, who are 7 and 4.