One of our Fall 2011 students had a
wonderful birth experience with her unwavering support through their “marathon”
birth. I had the pleasure of meeting Dianne at the Bradley Day Family Picnic last year. I hope you will enjoy getting to
know this month’s featured doula!
Bio: This past summer, I celebrated being married to my wonderful
husband, Craig, for 30 years! We have four grown children who I loved being a
mom to and now I have the amazing privilege of being a Grammie! I am also a Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator
and Lactation Educator. The miracle of birth is SO amazing to me and is a
constant reminder of our Creator God.
When was the first
time you heard the word, “doula”?
Without knowing what a doula was, I had a support person
with me through the birth of our four children. I had also attended 24 births
with friends and/or family as a support person. It was the year 2000 and I was
thinking of going to nursing school to become a labor and delivery nurse.
Someone mentioned to me that if what I wanted was to support women through the
labor and birth process, then I should become a doula.
How did you decide that becoming a doula
was part of your journey?
The decision was made to become an official doula in 2009. I
had been in sales and traveled out of town often. A year earlier,
our daughter had been diagnosed with brain cancer and it was at
this time that I decided I no longer wanted to spend so much time on the road.
It just didn't feel right to think about spending the next four years in
college to become a nurse and thus began my career as a doula. Now 175 births
later (as of 3/1/13) and I've never second-guessed that decision!
Are you a birth and/or a postpartum
I am a birth doula only.
How long have you been a doula?
As mentioned above, I attended 24 births as a support person
before I officially became a doula. I went through DONA training in the Seattle
area and also had the privilege of working along side a wonderful mentor
doula by the name of Patti Ramos. I am also a Certified Lactation Educator
and received my training through Evergreen Hospital with Molly Pessl and Ginna
What do you enjoy the most about being a
I love seeing a woman transformed through her labor and
birth experience; witnessing the raw strength that comes out in the midst of
labor. I tell women that they are not
only giving birth to a little one, but they are being reborn themselves through
this process. I also love to photograph the Dad's expression as life is coming
forth from the love of his life.
What is your philosophy when you go to a
My goal as a doula is to help make it the best birth
experience possible regardless of the circumstances. This involves educating
them beforehand regarding the choices and options they have whether it's a
hospital birth, birth center birth or home birth. I remind them that this is
*their* birth and to take charge of it.
How do you work with and involve the
Whether the "coach" is their partner or other
family member, I emphasize the significance of their role. I draw them in close
to her and show them ways to help comfort. I remind them that words are not
always necessary but their presence (and maybe a hand) is.
What is the toughest situation you have
ever dealt with? How did you handle it?
The toughest situation I have been in was an undiagnosed
breech home birth. Once the midwife confirmed the baby's position, the parents
made the decision to not go to the hospital. The outcome was good and everyone
was fine, but getting there was tough. I supported her just the same and even
remembered specific positions for birthing a breech baby. To this day, that is
biggest adrenaline rush I've ever experienced and it took me a few days to
recover both physically and emotionally.
What keeps you working as a doula?
I am very blessed in that I am on staff at Babymoon Inn
birth center as the primary doula. A doula is included in their birth package
and 95% of families choose to utilize the services of a doula. I also accept
2-3 private clients per month so this means I am one busy doula!
What does your fee cover – how many
visits or hours?
Is there a different charge for a shorter labor or longer labor?
My fee includes the initial consultation, a birth planning
meeting, 24/7 availability by phone, text or email, labor support at home and
throughout until birth. I photograph labor and birth (if desired) and also
include a birth story. I stay until mom is settled and baby is breastfeeding,
which is usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours after birth. I charge the same whether I am
with them for one hour or 41 hours! I do a 5-day postpartum visit where I give
them their photos and birth story and debrief their birth. My fee also includes
registration to the one-day workshop called the Birth Journey.
Do you offer any other services to your
I require that my clients take the Birth Journey workshop.
This is a one-day intensive childbirth class that emphasized the significance
of the partner's role during the labor and birth process. I also
prepare couples for when their birth journey is taking a different course
than what was planned and give them tools that will help
Just for fun, what do you do when you
are not doula-ing?
When I am not doula-ing, I love spending time with my
husband and two grandkids. We have a 6-year-old grandson and 4-year-old
granddaughter that bring us tremendous joy!
How to contact Dianne:
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advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to
determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House,
LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences
of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This blog contains
information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is
not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or
the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.