Meet Heather

I am passionate about helping expectant families have an empowering birthing and postpartum experience. I also love learning about health (mind, heart, body and spirit!) and spending time in nature. When I am not busy doula-ing/teaching, you can find me with my amazing family (which includes the coolest Labrador Retriever in the world!) hiking in the redwoods, at the beach, meditating or reading from my huge pile of books.

Experience

Experience- I have two children born in 2000 and 2003. My eldest identifies as non-binary and my second as my daughter. I breastfed them for a total of 23 months. My first child and I struggled with nursing, my daughter and I were experts at breastfeeding.

When my daughter was 15 months old I was diagnosed with a postpartum mood disorder- anxiety. It took me many years, with a lot of experimenting with techniques before I feel I became fully recovered. I use this experience and knowledge to prevent this disorder and to guide moms to health when it does happen. Being a mom is the ultimate experience!

I have worked with families and children since 1992 in various capacities. I started out as a preschool teacher, then a director of an after school program, and lastly a nanny.

After my first was born, I became curious and passionate about birth and began my training in the field. By the time my second was born I had changed career directions and started teaching classes to expectant families in 2003.

Clients in my classes started asking me if I would come to their birth and help them out- obviously I started saying yes.  I have attended 450+ births as a birth doula in hospitals, birth centers and homebirths. I know the South Bay Area hospitals well, I incorporate this knowledge into my classes. I have worked with 50+ families as a postpartum doula.

Education and Training

Education
AA in Early Child Development 2000
ACBE Childbirth Educator Certification 2003
DONA Birth Doula Certification 2004
Nursing Foundations Lactation Educator Certification 2005
DONA Postpartum Doula Training 2008
CAPPA Recertification Labor Doula 2020

Other Trainings/ Certifications
Mindfulness Meditation/ Birthing Mindfully 2004, 2010
Basic Massage and Acupressure for Birth 2005
Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders 2006, 2018
Penny Simkin, Phyllis Klaus, Sharon Storton- When Survivors Give Birth 2007
Michel Odent- Oxytocin: The Love Hormone 2007
Health and Nutrition (multiple) 2008, 2012, 2018
Lamaze Method Instructor Training 2008
Holistic Methods for Induction and Augmentation 2009
Female Pelvic Floor 2009
Rebozo for Labor and Birth 2009
Optimal Fetal Positioning 2010
Bradley Method Instructor Training 2010
Birthing From Within Instructor Training 2010
Low Milk Supply 2012
Normal Newborn Behaviors 2012
Biology of Birth 2012
Harvey Karp- Happiest Baby on The Block 2015
Ellis Prayer Method 2017
Joe Weston- Respectful Confrontation for Doulas 2018
Communication and Listening Skills for Health Providers 2018
MicroBirth School- Group B Strep 2019
Gail Tully-Spinning Babies 2019
Birth Monopoly- Know Your Rights 2020
Gena Kirby- Rebozo Novice 2020
Brittany McCollum- Creating Space: Pelvic Dynamics and Fetal Positioning for an Efficient Birth 2021
Brittany McCollum- Pelvic Shape, Fetal Positioning, and Obstetrical Bias: The Role of Pelvic Classification and Optimal Fetal Positioning in the Perpetuation of Bias in Childbirth 2022
Brittany McCollum- The Role of Pelvic Shape Classification and Optimal Fetal Positioning in the Perpetuation of Bias in Childbirth 2022
Evidence Based Birth Trainings-
How To Get Your Clients Evidence Based Care 2020
PROM, GBS, and Newborn Procedures 2020
Big Babies + Gestational Diabetes 2020
Failure To Progress 2020
New Evidence on Due Dates- Advanced Maternal Age 2021
CAPPA Trainings-
Perinatal Mental Health: Interventions and Community Engagement 2020
Centering Cultural Humility in Practice 2020
Supporting the Couple Relationship to Reduce Risks of Perinatal Trauma 2020
Supporting LGBQ/T Families: Understanding Identity in the Perinatal Period 2020
How To Be Size-Inclusive Birth Professional 2021
The Role of Implicit Bias in Birthing and Breastfeeding Support 2021
Psychological Considerations for Supporting Pregnancy and Postpartum Clients 2021
Up in Smoke: What to Know About Cannabis During Perinatal Period 2021

Work Experience-
Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator 2003- current
Postpartum Doula 2006-current
Nanny, Preschool Teacher, Assistant Director CDC/CDI 1995-2002

Places I’ve worked teaching Childbirth Education, Baby Care and Breastfeeding classes-
BirthLore/ group and private 2009- current.
Blossom Birth and Family, Palo Alto, CA 2008-2016
Day One, Palo Alto, CA 2006-2009
Harmony Birth and Family, Campbell, CA 2003-2006
El Camino Hospital, Mountain View, CA 2003-2007

 

Meet Lou

Lou is Heather’s apprentice and main back up doula extraordinaire!

I have been supporting families as a Birth Coach and Doula since 2017. I just so happened to stumble upon the existence of the birth world that year and ever since then, I have dedicated all of my spare time studying and acquiring certifications in childbirth, postpartum, and parenthood. I grew up surrounded by family and spent most of my youth helping out with my mom’s chronic medical condition, so it seems only natural that I find myself in a field of supporting families and parents as an adult.
I began my birth work journey by way of the Bay Area Doula Training at Birth Coach Method in the Spring of 2017. My first birth experience as a volunteer Doula was profound, to say the least. I immediately recognized all the familiarities between birth support and my upbringing; navigating the medical community alongside my mom, learning the importance of self-advocacy and how to recognize physiological symptoms – these were the essentials of non-medical support and ultimately my mother’s blessing. Being a Doula felt so natural!
I received my certification in the spring of 2018 and established my company, Birth Coach Doula, in dedication to supporting satisfying births however families define them. My belief is that the essence of proper care is keeping integral trust in the birthing body and that everyone should be made comfortable as they embrace the naturality of their vulnerabilities and feelings.
I live in the mountains of Boulder Creek, CA with my husband, Nimesh, and two kittens, Kiri and Alu. I support families as a Birth Coach & Doula all over the South Bay Area. I count myself as very lucky to have friends and family that remain flexible and supportive in my birth work. On an average day, you can find me crocheting a gift, trying out a new recipe I found online, exploring the west coast with my hubby, or simply sipping some espresso on my deck overlooking the redwoods. I’m a fan of “family meals,” and will always ask you to stay for dinner.

I hold Childbirth and Postpartum Education Certifications from the following:
Positive Intelligence Program by Shirzad Chamine, 2021
HIPPA Privacy Training by OSH Academy, 2020
California Food Handler Certification by ServSafe, 2020
Bloodborne Pathogens & Infection Control for Placenta Encapsulators Certification by Biologix Solutions, 2020
Blood Borne Pathogens by American Red Cross, 2020
Spinning Babies® Workshop by Gail Tully, 2020
Comforting Touch for Doulas by Yiska Obadia, 2019
Ancestral Grief & Ancestral Healing Webinar by Rachelle Garcia Seliga at Innate Traditions, 2019
Bay Area Doula Training by Neri Choma at Birth Coach Method, 2018