Joni Lucarelli, CD(DONA)
1. How long have you been a doula?
I attended the births of my sisters and my girlfriends for years, but in 2007, as my children grew into young adults, I felt compelled to change my career path and began my career as a doula. My life is enriched by my work and by knowing that I have touched the lives of the families I serve.
2. Why did you decide to become a doula?
I knew from the first birth I attended that this is what I wanted to do. The role of a doula is part of who I am. The traits most important in a doula – empathy, compassion, strength, understanding - come naturally to me and my life is enriched by sharing them. I feel so fortunate that my “work” allows me to touch lives so deeply and profoundly. I can’t imagine a career more rewarding for me than that of a doula.
3. What are your hobbies, passions, diversions, etc.
I like to hike in our local mountains and spend time at the beach. I also enjoy putting my energy and my heart into my home and garden and spending time with my family and friends.
4. What is your philosophy about birth?
I believe I must have an open mind as every birth is different and unique and my approach to each birth must be so, also:
Mostly, I believe with all my heart that I am there to remind a woman in labor that what she is doing is amazing, that she herself is amazing, that birth is normal and natural and beautiful, and that she can do it.
5. A little something about your personal life.
I am married with two grown children. Michelle is 23 and in graduate school at UCLA to obtain her Masters of Social Work. David is 21, working and living at home while he continues to determine the direction his life is going to take. Prior to becoming a doula I worked in child welfare for impoverished children.
6. What are your specialties, unique qualities, whatever... what might make someone want to hire you specifically?
My goal is to create a safe, nurturing environment for you and your partner and to be intuitive and mindful as to what is needed or not needed at any given time. I value your honest expression of your needs before, during and after the birth. I want you to always feel confident that I am there for you and that I will respect your wishes and needs at all times.
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- I believe that when a woman feels safe, protected and empowered, her fear is diminished which helps allow her body to open as it needs to.
- I believe every woman should have the opportunity to give birth as she wishes in an environment in which she feels nurtured and secure and her emotional well-being, privacy, and personal preferences are respected.
- I believe in working with the rest of the birth team to create a positive birth experience for everyone involved.
- I believe every woman and her partner have the right to uninterrupted time with their newborn from the moment of birth.