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New Year, New Partnership

UPDATE: Amanda and Mary will be working together for birth services through April 2016. Thereafter, Brandy Ferner & Lauren Flanagan will join Amanda and Your Birth Team!

As 2014 draws to a close, I find myself reliving some amazing moments from the year in my head. Only today did I realize that I did more to better my business & myself in the past 12 months than I had done in the entire 2+ years as a doula before that combined. Granted, I was a full time college student and full time nonprofit employee before 2014, I think I unconsciously decided that I was going to make up for the slow start by doing as much as humanely possible this year.

orange county doula

In 2014: I finalized my certifications through DONA for both birth and postpartum doula work; I became a Lactation Educator and Counselor through UCSD; I became a Placenta Specialist through Full Circle Placenta; I completed an internship through South Coast Midwifery to gain more experience in the out-of-hospital realm; I became a Childbirth Educator with an ICEA training by Ana Paula Markel; I built a website (Crazy!); I became a birth assistant for Beach Cities Midwifery. All of this while also actively taking on clients, teaching prenatal education classes all over Orange County, and working at a maternity shelter. Even as I list these, I know I sound like a crazy person!

It's been the busiest, most amazing year of my life, by far. None of it would have been possible without support from my husband and my local doula community, for which I am forever grateful. But the one accomplishment not yet listed (and the thing I believe will prove to be the best advancement yet) was finding a birth doula to partner with. I had only given a partnership minimal thought before I met Mary McDonald. Now, I can't imagine going forward as a birth doula without her by my side. We offer a lot to our clients as a team because we have our own respective strengths that we’re bringing to the table. To help explain what we think working together will do for us, for our clients, and for our community, we've answered some common questions we've been getting at interviews together to help people understand the partnership and get to know us a bit!

What similarities help you work as business partners?

Amanda: Mary & I are both committed to our work. And we’re obviously passionate about our chosen field. Whether we’re helping a family in labor, prepping a placenta, or inspecting a car seat for safety, we’re dedicated to helping families find solid information and gain access to support from the time they find out they're expecting to the point in the postpartum when they feel confident in their parenting.

Mary: I have found, through talking with Amanda, that we are very similar in the way we interact with others, especially with clients. We provide a calm and comforting presence for everyone involved so we can all enjoy our time together. On a fun note, we also love Disneyland trips, which probably tells you a lot about the fact that we believe in having a healthy balance between commitments to our work and enjoying our lives. And healthy doulas make for great support people.

What is your communication style with clients?