Hello there! My name is Amanda. I have a master’s degree in public health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice from the UW and work in a policy capacity as a public health practitioner. I’ve worked conducted my master’s research with the Spreeha Bangladesh Foundation in Dhaka and have worked with Ikatan Bidan Indonesia (Indonesian Midwives Association) in Jakarta, as well as a variety of local public health entities around Washington State.
Like most people, I wear a lot of hats: I’m a public health researcher, with a particular interest in community and family health, a mother and a partner, a West Wing fan, and a doula. As a doula, my special interest is in working with women disproportionally affected by health disparities, such as young parents and survivors of abuse. All birthing people need support in this special time, regardless their ability to pay. Whatever your situation, we can almost certainly work out an arrangement so you can receive the care that you and your baby deserve.
My own son Rónán was born in August 2011. I planned to deliver him at home, but late-onset gestational hypertension derailed my plans and he was instead born at the University of Washington Medical Center. At first I was devastated that my well-laid plans were falling apart around me as I suddenly became labelled a “high risk” pregnancy.
Fortunately, I was stable and well informed of the consequences of interventions, so I was still able to have the natural delivery that I wanted. Even better, because I progressed so quickly once in active labour, I delivered almost all of Rónán unassisted in the water, which was the only part of my birth plan that was disallowed by the hospital.
After his birth, he was placed on my chest while the cord finished pulsing and nursed as soon as he showed an interest. That first positive coaxing–waiting for him to be ready and always feeding him when he cued that he was hungry–has had a tremendously positive effect on our successful nursing relationship. My fervent wish is for all breastfeeding parents to have such an educated, empowering birth experience and to start a nurturing nursing relationship with their children.
My great-grandmother was a lay midwife and my Granny assisted her at births before immigrating to the US. Assisting mothers and babies on their birth journeys is in my blood. Although my “day job” involves being a scientist and practitioner, birth calls to me and I love helping to empower people in their “high harvest time.