Yvonne Novak, CD(DONA)
1. How long have you been a doula?
I started out as a La Leche League Leader and Bradley Childbirth Instructor in 1979 after the birth of my second child. During the 11 years of teaching, I attended births of many of my students as a labor coach/assistant (since the word DOULA didn’t exist). I continued to attend births of friends and relatives as a support person up through 2002 when I knew I needed to get back into the business of birth full time, so I took doula training and recertified as a childbirth educator and have never been happier.
2. Why did you decide to become a doula?
I knew from the moment I attended the first birth that I caught the “bug” and I would be doing this for the rest of my life. I considered midwifery, and have studied extensively in that direction, but my true love is supporting women and their families as they are transformed into Parenthood.
3. What are your hobbies, passions, diversions, etc.
My family is my true passion. My grandchildren are amazing and I am so lucky to have them close by. I am an artist and paint with watercolors. I also love to knit and crochet (mainly making baby gifts).
4. What is your philosophy about birth?
I feel that birth belongs to the woman and I am privileged to be there to support whatever goals she has for her birth. Every woman is different and has different needs during birth, and I am there to support her and her partner/coach every step of the way. There is not a right or wrong way to give birth, and there are no wrong choices during the process. This is YOUR birth. The Mother’s partner is the most important support for her. I help give encouragement and support to everyone involved in the process of birth. I don’t take over for the partner, unless I am asked, although I am there to help in any way I can.
5. A little something about your personal life.
I am married to a wonderful man, Randy, who is very supportive of my doula work and who can answer any questions a person might have about birth (he is a great listener and has learned a lot hearing me speak to clients in labor). I have 3 sons, a step-son and step-daughter. I also have 5 grandchildren (2 biological and 3 step grandbabies). My youngest son and his wife are expecting their first baby in September 2009 and have invited me to be at their birth! I love to travel and have family all over the world. I found my biological Father in England in 1986 and upon finding him, found 2 more sisters to love. I am a native Californian and have lived here all my life.
6. What are your specialties, unique qualities, whatever... what might make someone want to hire you specifically?
I have many years of experience and still find birth to be the most amazing miracle ever. I support a woman’s goal for her birth and offer a very calming aspect to the birthing experience. I am comfortable in the hospital environment as well as home births. Additionally I offer childbirth classes both group and private. I am a lactation educator and can offer assistance immediately after birth and beyond.
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