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El Dorado County Birth Professionals Cultivating Comfort and Well-Being

12/30/2015 03:28PM ● Published by David Norby

L to R: Anne Roundtree, Jennie Bolen and Drew Bolen - Photo by Dante Fontana

When Lindsay Earle met veteran doula Lisa Hart for coffee in the fall of 2014, her own journey to become a birth professional had just begun. Both women knew there were others with a passion for pregnancy and birth services in their area but didn’t have a way to connect with them. The desire to not only network, but collaborate with others in their field inspired the foundation of El Dorado County Birth Professionals (EDCBP), a collective comprised of independent doulas, childbirth educators, midwives, birth photographers, herbalists and more—all of whom are dedicated to nurturing the wellness of women and babies.

“Pregnancy and birth have been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, and in addition to motherhood, I feel birth work is my calling in life,” Hart, CD (DONA), birth doula, IBWP natural childbirth educator, shares. “I have six children of my own, all born naturally…I feel birth is a sacred rite of passage and it’s an honor to serve women and families in this capacity.”

According to DONA International, the world’s leading association of doulas, the word doula is derived from the ancient Greek term for “a woman who serves.” Now, it’s used to describe a trained and experienced professional who provides support—be it physical, emotional, informational or practical—to women throughout their pregnancy and postpartum experience.

When it comes to the topic of certification, EDCBP’s mission statement explains that members are free to choose their own paths and don’t “subscribe to one singular vision of pregnancy or birth…We welcome new and aspiring doulas into our collective, whether you have attended one birth or over one hundred.”

Earle, once an aspiring doula herself, now serves area families as a birth and bereavement doula—work she says she feels privileged to perform. “[We’ve] only been around for a short time, but we’ve already brought so much awareness to doulas and how they can improve birth experiences in our community,” Earle says. “It’s been wonderful to connect with other birth professionals and know that the people I’m referring my clients to are trusted colleagues.”

EDCBP affiliate Tamara Morales was inspired to start her own business,
placentamom.com, after experiencing severe postpartum depression with her first pregnancy. Before giving birth to her second child, Morales discovered placenta encapsulation—the centuries-old practice of consuming placenta to reap a range of purported benefits, from decreases in postpartum depression to increases in milk production and stress-reducing hormones. “I knew I wanted to give it a try, but unfortunately there was no one in our area to help,” Morales explains. “I was so set on the idea [that] I trained and certified to learn enough to safely prepare my own, and when I saw the amazing benefits, I decided to start my business so I could help other area moms have more balanced postpartum periods.” Since 2009, Morales has encapsulated the placentas of more than 1,500 Sacramento-area mothers. “I think being a part of EDCBP as an affiliate helps to raise awareness that there is a wide range of support and resources for birthing moms in our area,” she continues. “Even compared to when I was having my babies a decade ago, the options are so much more and moms birthing now are extremely lucky.” 

 by Morgan Cásarez

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