hello my tribe,
Ever wonder what inspires someone to become a doula? Working with women, births, and babies is very special work. When I first met Lori, it made total sense that she was a doula; it’s like she was born to do this. She lives and breathes wellness for women and mothers. Scroll through her Instagram account and you can feel Lori’s energy jump out at you, and you can feel the love that people have for Lori.
Lori is a highly sought after doula, healer, and life coach based in Los Angeles. Luckily, we all can access some of Lori’s magic online (and she also travels to work with clients).
Birth and becoming a mother is full of so many unknowns. It can be scary, it’s life changing, and it’s full of many emotions. We all deserve to be set up for success, and getting a behind the scenes look into the life of a doula left me feeling empowered, educated, and inspired.
I hope getting to know Lori and all about her work will do the same for you.
Tell us about the first time you learned about the work of doulas.
When I was taking a prenatal massage course the teacher told us about the work of doulas. Right away I signed up to take the course. It was a natural extension to the work with mothers I was already doing.
Tell us a bit about your life before becoming a doula.
Before I became a doula, I was doing massage and healing work. I studied with healers and spiritual teachers all over the world and now integrate much of the healing work into my doula and pregnancy/motherhood life coaching guidance work.
What inspired you to become a doula?
I was always drawn to working with new moms, women who were expecting, and children. My doula training teacher Anna Verwaal believes that there is a reason why people are drawn to this work, usually from an experience from the womb or during birth. I had an ah-ha moment and it wasn’t until years later when I did deep healing work I went back to the womb and uncovered some deep wounding…more on my website about it under my path.
Tell us about your doula business.
I support women through the whole journey of pregnancy into becoming a mother, on top of aiding with the birth. I have different packages I offer and each one provides mind, body, and spirit support. I blend healing, empowerment, and spiritual coaching into my work. I also work a lot with my clients on birth prep. This is a huge life transformation and with any change as exciting as it is, the unknown can come with its fair share of emotional stuff.
Share one of your most memorable doula experiences with us.
I live in Los Angeles, and one of my clients was living in Las Vegas. Her water broke on July 2nd at 11:30pm. I jumped in my car immediately and arrived in Las Vegas at 3:00am. The midwife came that afternoon to check her and she was 1 cm dilated, so the waiting game began. Her contractions were 8 min apart for 24 hours. Finally, around 3:00pm on July 4th, I said “ok, let’s do this. Are you in?” And she said “hell yes.”
I sat her down on a birthing stool and had her close her eyes. I started guiding her to talk to the baby and visualize her birth. At the same time, I was doing intuitive and energy work I learned from my teachers. After about 20 minutes her contractions started getting stronger and closer. I was talking to the baby and I heard a voice that said “I want fire works” and I opened my eyes and said to my client “OMG this little diva is coming tonight during the fireworks.”
Right after that, her contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and I called the midwife. She came over and checked her. She had good news and some interesting news. Good news first, she was 8 cm dilated. Weird news, the baby had turned breech. In Las Vegas, midwifes are allowed to deliver breech babies. Holy sh*t!
I never tell my clients what to do. But at this point, I gave her reading materials about breech births and a video to watch with pros and cons. I told her I would support whatever decision she was going to make, whether continuing with a home birth or heading to the hospital, which meant c-section. She choose to remain at home.
Since I had never worked with this midwife before, I asked her to have another midwife join us. We filled up the tub, lit candles, and put crystals all around the space. When she reached 10 cm, the midwife preferred her to deliver on the bed due to the breech position. The moment she started pushing, the fireworks began literally and figuratively…the little baby butt came out, then a leg, then the other one, and then her body. The midwife coached my momma to push hard and the baby’s head came out. She took her first breath, the grand finale of fire works lit up the sky.
And most recently, I just helped this momma with her second baby who came out head first, thank God!
You are an extremely loved and respected doula and woman in Los Angeles and beyond. What are your keys to success?
Thank you! I pride myself on guiding strong and deep relationships with my clients. The more they know me and the more time we spend together, the more they will trust me and be able to let go during birth; they know I have their back. And for me, the more I know them, the more I can tune into their needs and understand the way they tick. I also empower my clients to follow their truth and support them in their choices.
You are also a published author. Tell us the inspiration behind The Mindful Mom-To-Be.
It’s my “Rooted for Life” program turned into a book. Leading up to birth, I theme each month to help women transition into motherhood.
What is one of your most proud moments in the work that you do?
I don’t have just one. Honestly, it’s simple. Seeing each and every baby be born, and following that up with seeing my clients thrive as parents.
You stay busy. What are you working on next?
I have an online pregnancy course coming out with YogaGlo in May. Additionally, I am working on a product line, I am in nutrition school, and I am working on my next book :-).
What is one piece of advice you have for expecting mothers?
Do not compare yourself to others. Focus on yourself. No two women, babies, couples, families are the same. Find your own way that’s right for you. What’s right for you might might not be right for others. It’s ok to do things differently, to do what’s best for you and your family.
What is one piece of advice for someone thinking about becoming a doula?
Something I didn’t think of was the hours and the unpredictability of birth. It’s hard to make plans, and sometimes I don’t sleep for days. I would also suggest finding an apprenticeship. Being a doula is the most rewarding job and I love it.