“Birth changed me… I didn’t realize it the moment it happened, but now years later I can look back and see a noticeable change. The confidence, the strength I gained from my children is unmeasurable. I strive to help families feel this. Pregnancy, birth and parenting can be a tough journey sometimes… it truly can; but when we are supported… we get through the struggles and we come out stronger than ever.”eLIZBETH oLDHAM
I am a seasoned, experienced, certified birth doula and an experienced childbirth educator serving Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland.
In 2004 I obtained a Bachelors of Science in Applied Economics and a Minor in Business Management from East Carolina University. I enjoyed an administrative position at an NC hospital where I spent much of my time learning about hospital policy, understanding procedures and language and chasing (literally) doctors, midwives and nurses around for signatures. This job was actually one of the catalyst to changing direction in my career. I LOVED everything about being on the floor of the hospital; learning, seeing and chatting… I however hated going back to my office!
During the birth of our first baby I noticed first hand the lack of unbiased support in our birthing system. his birth was not horrible by any means… but there was no possible way our nurse or midwife could give us the continuous support we needed in a hospital setting. This was my second catalyst into a career shift. I vividly remember holding a nursing infant and searching “support during birth” and the word “doula” popped up!
Shortly after this I trained as a birth doula and certified through DONA (Doulas of North America). Since then I have had the opportunity to train with many amazing people and organizations. I am a certified Hypno-Doula with HypnoBabies, trained and certified directly under the founder of HypnoBirthing, trained by the amazing Gail Tulley in her famous Spinning Babies techniques and trained by Gena Kirby to help enhance pregnancy and birth by utilizing rebozo techniques.
The passion that drives me also fills my calendar with regular continuing education workshops… keeping me up to date and knowledgeable about things that might affect the families that we work with.
For over a decade I have enjoyed being a business owner and serving birthing families, beginning with my first business, Creating Your Calm in Chapel Hill, NC. Here I enjoyed working in many fabulous hospitals and birth center settings. We moved from North Carolina to Northern Virginia in 2013 where I quickly immersed myself in the local birthing environment. After an intense need for business expansion, I proudly founded and opened Balanced Birth Support.
I regularly teach HypnoBirthing childbirth classes (in Alexandria Virginia), one day intensive childbirth classes (in Alexandria Virginia) and other prenatal and parenting workshops at Body in Balance Center. My classes are not only informational but enjoyable; full of evidence based information, relaxation exercises, useful tips and demonstrations.
I enjoy working with families through pregnancy, birth and post partum and I have a huge passion for family centered birthing. I believe that the key to a positive experience during these life changing events is having the tools to make informed and educated decisions coupled with a calm and positive mindset. I also believe that good communication is the foundation to any healthy relationship..
I pride myself on being supportive, empathetic and non-judgmental when it comes to working with families during their own journey towards parenthood.
As a certified birth doula serving Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia, I have experience and am comfortable working with many different Obstetricians and Midwives and have attended births at the majority of local hospitals such as George Washington University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, Virginia Hospital Center, Ft. Belvoir, INOVA Alexandria, Inova Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Louden, Sibley, Prince William Hospital and many more. I have experience with birth center births and am comfortable in home birth settings.
In addition to My professional experience, I also have a varying degree of personal experience regarding birth…
Our first child’s birth was a very beautiful hospital birth. I realized the moment that I lifted him to my chest and he began to nurse, that we knew what we were doing. His birth paved a road. I am so thankful, forever, for what my little miracle child taught me about myself.
Our second child was born in the only free-standing birth center in North Carolina (Women’s Birth and Wellness Center). Using HypnoBirthing® during his delivery was so amazing. His birth pushed me to become a certified childbirth educator so that I could introduce families to different ways to manage their labors.
Our third child was born at home into my hands. Her birth was absolutely the most fantastic thing I have ever done. I was and always will be in awe of what my mind and body did that evening. Her birth was fast and furious but yet I was calm, confidant and in control; feeling at peace with every moment during her birth.
Our fourth child was also born at home in water under the lights of our Christmas tree. Her birth was amazing and taught me even more about the power of the birthing body.