Trained Birth and Postpartum Doula, Postpartum Support International Volunteer
Hi there! My name is Raquel, I am a trained birth and postpartum doula. I am also a mother to a busy and funny two year old boy, a wife to a US Navy sailor who also happens to be my middle/high school sweetheart, and I’m also a dog mama to a rambunctious rescued terrier. Hawaii is our second duty station after Florida, but I grew up in Montana. The military life comes with many adjustments but getting to explore new places and meeting new people keeps it interesting.
My passion for doula work came not long after my own son was born. I had a doula at my delivery and she was absolutely amazing at helping me work through contractions and keeping me calm, but even more than that, she helped my husband to help me. I strongly believe doulas are not there to take over anyone’s role in the labor room, instead, in the ideal situation, they should help influence a harmonious relationship between the health care providers, the mother, the partner, and anyone else in the room. My doula helped me work through all the waves of labor, even as I experienced my doctor pushing me into medical interventions I wasn’t comfortable with. While there were parts of my labor that weren’t what I had envisioned, I realized my doula and my husband were the greatest support system I could’ve asked for during that time and I’m forever grateful for that. I walked away from my experience wanting other moms to know they are not alone no matter what they experience during their delivery, and that I will be there to give her and her partner unwavering support.
The other half of my passion for doula work comes from my own postpartum experiences. I suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety following the birth of my son, and it opened to my eyes to the struggles new moms have to endure. While I was struggling to navigate new motherhood along with a postpartum mood disorder, my doula again stepped up and introduced me to a support group and a village of women and new moms who were there to give me love and support. That support brought me back to myself. I realized all moms deserve a tribe of women to guide and love on them and their baby through new motherhood. Sometimes all it takes is telling a mom “it’s okay to feel this way, this feeling will pass, this stage will get better” to let her know she isn’t alone. Shortly after moving here I became a volunteer coordinator with Postpartum Support International, which helps new moms find resources and support. I think we are better women and mothers when we all make the effort to encourage and empower other each other.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I look forward to meeting you and your family! Congratulations on this beautiful time in life!