Postpartum Doula NOVA/DC Metro
The beginning of my postpartum doula studies began with Birth Arts International in 2019. The beginning of my story, though, begins with the birth of my first daughter in New Zealand in April 2014…
“Patty has a very calming personality and is easily able to go with the flow. She was able to sense where I needed help and jump right in. She helped with the baby as well as helped with some household chores and made a fantastic lunch. I felt very comfortable trusting her with my newborn and was able to take a break and get some stuff done.” – Dawn
“Patty came into my life at the perfect time. I found the transition to motherhood unexpectedly challenging and she was there to listen and share kind, genuine wisdom. Although we are an ocean apart [virtual support], her support has had such a positive impact on my postpartum journey. To know she’s only a call away has made all the difference. She’s a real gem and I’m so grateful she’s dedicated herself to supporting mothers.” – Crystal
Despite a textbook pregnancy, labor and delivery, the intense learning curve I felt as a new mother was no match for any first day on the new job. This is universal. There’s no avoiding it. Trust me.
A sampling from the postpartum emotional buffet: one heaping bowl of high and elated, a side of sad, tired, and crazy, a sprinkling of surprised, angry, and blissful, followed by a second course of confused, overwhelmed, and delirious. In the early days, I felt like I was named the new CEO of Apple, Inc. But, instead of a seasoned COO or CFO to show me the ropes, my only backup was my spouse, who’s prior experience, like mine, was zero.
In New Zealand, though, far away from our loved ones, new families are given backup postpartum carer from the community services offered by the universal healthcare system. An Operations Department: round the clock care by a team of midwives over a three-day stay at the birth center following birth. The constant care by midwives allowed me to rest and offered education and reassurance as I found my footing in my mothering skills. A Chief of Staff: weekly well-child visits at home by my midwife, Arantxa, for six weeks postpartum. Her visits allowed me to relish in my birth story and soak in the beginnings of one of the most monumental transitions a person can make. She was replaced by a Plunket nurse, who we visited monthly over the first year of babies life. Lastly and most importantly, from our community childbirth classes we attended weekly for over a month and half, I inherited the Board of Directors: my mom tribe.
Instead of feeling crazy for feeling crazy, they helped me find companionship and camaraderie at a time that can be so isolating for new parents. Without each of those networks, I never would have understood just how universal the roller coaster of early parenthood was nor what that peace of mind meant for the well-being of me and my family. And even with all of that, it still wasn’t easy, but I constantly felt seen.
“Patty was wonderful and very nurturing and supportive of both mother and child. Mama also got a much needed nap! I highly recommend Patty. She is incredibly empathetic and fits the doula role perfectly” – Jaqueline
“Patty’s presence was calming, warm and so incredibly helpful. She even brought yummy baked goods!” – Maggie
“Patty listened to me in a way that made me feel encouraged, hopeful, understood, validated and empowered rather than weak, nervous, or anxious. She took the time to text with me when I felt helpless and lost and wrote me an entire personalized postpartum note that shared resources and suggestions to help with each of the challenges I had expressed. This may sound dramatic, but I do not feel like Patty enhanced my postpartum experience, I feel like she saved it. I am so grateful and feel so incredibly blessed that she was there for me in a way that no one else could be at the time.” – Molly
The comprehensive care I received in New Zealand should be the baseline for all postpartum care around the world. I became a postpartum doula to help fill that void in Northern Virginia.
As new parents we need, rest, encouragement and guidance as we learn to care for a completely dependent new being (or beings!). As your doula, it’s my honor to act as my caregivers in New Zealand did, as an impartial teacher, a present confidant, experienced advocate, and essential house minder to help the transition go as beautifully as possible. Rather than feel depleted, with my help we’ll build your reserves so you have the mental and physical strength to care you for yourself, your baby and your family.
Prior to doula work I spent seven years as a slay-at-home mother to my daughters Giulietta and Annie Rose, and for over 20 years have worked professionally as a production manager for live television specials like the Academy Awards, The Grammys, The Emmys, and more.
Born and raised in Silver Spring, MD, I am first generation Latina with parents hailing from Nicaragua and El Salvador. Personally, and professionally, I am daily committed to helping create a diverse, inclusive, equitable and anti-racist world to live in. I speak fluent Spanish and intermediate Italian. I have lived in New Zealand, Italy, Chilean Patagonia, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington DC. I love the outdoors – equally among trees and skyscrapers. I’m also an avid home chef – I read recipes, love preparing delicious meals and snacks using whole foods.
Becoming a postpartum doula meant marrying my three loves: DC, cooking and community. I have experience with breastfeeding, bottle feeding, cloth diapering, baby-led weaning, attachment parenting, baby-wearing, sleep guidance and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.