Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm a wife, a mom of two beautiful kids, and a birth professional. My journey into the birth world began in 2015 taking Bradley Method Classes before the birth of my first child. Birthing my first child, Evie, was a beautiful, powerful and transformative experience. I had the support of my good friend, Aubrey, who was training as a doula with DONA. I knew that I would eventually leave my career to become a doula too.
In 2017, we moved to South Africa, where I worked with Her Voice non-profit organization. Her Voice empowes women from Kayamandi township with suppprt, life skills and leadership. I finished my training as a doula and soon after designed the Ubomi Project, which means "life" in isiXhosa. Through the Ubomi Project, I taught classes on nutrition, childbirth, breastfeeding and infant care to women in vulnerable communities. It's hard for westerners to imagine a place where women can die from preventable diseases and infections, but this was and is the reality of many places around the world. South Africa taught me the life-saving value of education. Women were able to receive doula care in the local public hospital if they completed all the required workshops. In a community known for gender violence, and where childbirth is wrought with fear and trauma, we were able to see women redeeming the experience of childbirth, walking into motherhood with confidence and support!
My greatest honor was working with two local indigenous Xhosa women, Phathiswa and Nomhlobo, who asked me to train them as doulas. I taught them about childbirth; they taught me a lot about life. Unfortunately, Covid-19 happened and my work with Ubomi was cut short. We relocated back to the USA in 2020. But Her Voice and the Ubomi Project continues! Nomhlobo and Phathiswa are still serving in Kayamandi, helping vulnerable women in their community. (READ MORE at http://www.hervoice.co.za/. You can donate! Even $5 USD goes a long way!)
In 2020, we relocated to Philadelphia. I finished my certification with the International Childbirth Educator Association (ICEA) in March of 2021 and began my business working privately as a doula here in PA. My husband and I also work locally with immigrants and refugees to help them resettle and thrive. Chris teaches English as a second language, I help expectant moms whenever there's a need, and together we maintain a community garden in our backyard. In my free time, I play classical piano and love spending time with my kiddos and doing anything outdoors - camping, hiking, and gardening. My hands are full in the most blessed way.
But birth work runs in my soul. It's such a privilege to get to be part of a woman's story and to witness the incredible miracle of life. It never ceases to be miraculous. Every person is unique, and every birth story is different. I enjoy supporting families and working in a variety of settings, from home births to hospitals. I believe birth is a normal, natural and healthy process rather than a mere medical event. It involves the whole woman - body, mind, and soul. All women should be allowed freedom of choice and access to evidence-based care in regard to the birth process. Women should have access to compassionate and culturally sensitive services, regardless of financial means. For me, this means offering sliding-scale payments and discounts for cases of financial hardships and+
being involved in advocacy at local, national and international levels.
As your doula, I will work closely with you to listen well, help you understand your choices, provide resources, and help you feel supported in whatever birth experience you desire!
--- A Few Favorite Quotes: ---
“Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
― Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
"Children are not distractions from the more important work. They are the most important work." - C.S. Lewis
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ, they would brag about it. So should we.”
― Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth