While I know for certain all of the birth doulas with Balanced Birth Support are amazing, I have to admit that I am a bit biased about Avele. She was my doula for my second birth and she is incredibly thoughtful, caring, non-judgemental, and incredibly compassionate. Also, she must be a fast and/or crazy driver because she was able to get from Northern Virginia to GW hospital in less than 30 minutes during rush hour making it in time to support me during the birth. (I had a very fast labor!)
Avele has always been passionate about the role of women in society. She has a degree from Gettysburg College in Sociology with a minor in Women’s studies. She has worked for the Red Cross for over a decade and does volunteer work for several charities. She joined Balanced Birth Support at the beginning of 2017. Read on to learn more about Avele!
Where were you born?
How long have you lived in the DMV?
15 years! How is that possible?!?
Tell me about the moment you wanted to be a doula.
I’ve been drinking the natural-birth koolaid for years…and then when my own son’s birth went 90% not according to plan, I relied so heavily on my doula. During my lengthy labor, we became friends…and then 6 months after my son was born, she spoke the words I was already thinking which is that I wanted to become a doula!
Are you a birth or postpartum doula? Or both? Why?
A birth doula. I still have plenty of my own diapers to clean at home, I can’t commit to changing someone else’s kids too!
What is your favorite book/author/movie/band? Why?
Favorite book: Expecting Adam by Martha Beck. This has been one of my favorite books years before I ever became obsessed with birth. It’s the story of every day miracles and the connection that moms and babies have while baby is in utero. It’s also the incredible story of her baby with downs syndrome and the wonder and joy he brings to her life.
Favorite movie: Hmmm…that’s a hard one. Probably, The Family Stone. I love the big family dynamics. It makes me laugh and cry everytime I watch it.
Band: Ray Lamontagne – the older stuff.
What are some organizations that are near and dear to you? Do you do any volunteer or charity work?
Planned Parenthood – for the obvious reasons.
Humane Society – because I’m crazy creepy about animals
The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project – I volunteered here for years before having my son. It’s such an incredible, LOCAL organization and it was so special to work directly with the babies.
Do you have any useless talents?
In another lifetime, I think I could have been an amazing short order cook. I make a mean sandwich.
What do you like to do in a your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
In my free time, I take pictures and read cookbooks.
If you could have an all-expenses paid trip to see any famous world monument, which monument would you choose?
Trip to see a monument? Ummm….is there a famous monument on the shores of French Polynesia? Because I want to see that one.
What would you like your doula clients to know about you?
I want all my doula clients to know that I’m extremely laid back and non-judgemental. That I’m there to support and empower them in every decision. And that I’m funny.
What do you hope to bring to a birth?
Calmness. Humor. Empowerment.
What do you like best about being a doula?
I love being able to encourage moms and build their confidence as a birthing woman! And I LOVE the moment when that baby is placed on mom’s chest.
What do you wish that more people knew about birth or pregnancy?
I wish more people knew not to be afraid of birth.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw inspiration from all the incredible women I support…and all those strong mothers who have gone before us. I think of my family in Samoa and what the women are able to accomplish without access to the medical facilities we have today.
Who do you look up to or idolize?
My grandmother who birthed 5 children unmedicated and suffered severe post partum depression without help. I am so grateful she pulled through and was able to be an incredible mother and grandmother to so many.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Alleviate any pain during childbirth.
Author: Renee Corbino
Renee keeps Balanced Birth Support organized and amazing as the Administrative Manager. She lives in Northern Virginia with her awesome fire fighting husband and two cute little boys. She is a breech birthing mama and supporter of empowering births.