Originally from the Netherlands, I now live with my family (husband and 3 children) in Bethesda MD
For the last 10 years we have lived overseas as an expat family. First in Georgia Tbilisi, followed by Tanzania, Dar es Salaaam. In 2016 we moved to Bethesda, USA for my husbands work.
Because of my open character and the fact that I have lived and worked in different countries, I easily connect with people with many different backgrounds.
In addition to my doula experience I also have a medical background. I formerly practiced as an ICU/CCU nurse and I have also experience in the labor and delivery, newborn and pediatric department.
Being in the USA has given me the possibility to follow my dream of becoming a Doula and working with women and families giving birth. That was a long wish of me. The period around pregnancy, birth and the period after is a time which is unforgettable. It’s a life changing event. This period can be an emotional and physical roller coaster.
It makes such a big difference if you can look back at a positive birth experience and the period after. it helps you to make a great start with your baby. I would like to support you with that and I truly believe that my background and own experiences will be helpful.
When we lived in Tanzania I climbed the Kilimanjaro in six days.
It was October 2016. The Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is Africa’s highest peak (5895 m/19340 Ft) and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. I did this journey because of 2 reasons; I wanted to challenge myself (you can do it) and because of our moving soon to the USA. It was for me a way to say goodbye to a country that will always be in my heart.
When writing this, I thought actually climbing Kili is also a good metaphor for giving birth (I dare to say that because I have 3 of my own birth experiences).
The climb was an ordeal, a challenge, it was spiritual, it was emotional, it was so beautiful, it was inspiring, it was tough, so tough sometimes that I was afraid not to be able to make it. I had a lot of anxieties: about getting so cold or that I couldn’t make it because of health issues or if I would have enough stamina, perseverance.
I had a goal too; I walked for the Tanzanian Breast cancer Foundation. I raised $1500.
What helped me?
I prepared myself very well. I did the training necessary to climb this mountain. I walked many stairs, I made many miles for weeks. I took care of all the necessary equipment and we had 2 fantastic guides. They were invaluable for my climb.
Those guides they coached me, encouraged me, supported me, I could totally walk at my own pace, we bond together. They showed me how beautiful this journey was. How special, how inspiring, they became family.
On the 5th day we were going to reach the summit. Those guides they really took care of me, they carried my day backpack, they made sure I drank enough water, they rested with me as much as I needed, they helped me getting my gloves on or off and when I was almost not able to reach Stella Point, they pulled me forward to it. I reached it!
And I was so tired but so proud!
Going back to being a Doula………
What drives me as a Doula is to give you the confidence and trust to use your own power. You can do it!
I would love to be your guide on your journey in encouraging you, motivating you but also to follow your own pace and to make sure your choices will be respected. I hope to give you and your partner that special unique experience….
Would you like to go this journey with me?