"Ashleigh did a great job in providing lots of resources for any and all topics. Definitely a must do class if you are looking for a thorough and extremely high quality introduction to birth." - Charlotte Rohling McCormick
Specialties: Childbirth Education, Natural Birth, Self Care During Pregnancy
Ashleigh began supporting families in 2012. She is a certified doula and Birth Boot Camp instructor in the north Miami area.
Ashleigh and her family moved from Atlanta to the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale in late 2016. She teaches our 10 week, natural birth classes. Private prenatal "refresher" lessons are also available upon request.
She is not attending birthdays currently as she acclimates to beach life and is busy building sand castles with her kiddos.
Q & A with Ashleigh
What differentiates you as a doula? In addition to my doula training and experience, I am a Birth Boot Camp instructor and I do continued reading and research to stay up to date for students and doula clients. I have experience supporting laboring mothers during planned home births, as well as births at birth centers and hospitals. I also have two children who were both born at home.
What differentiates your team of professionals from other groups in the area? Our group of professionals includes a diverse array of skills. We each have individual talents and areas of expertise and we can depend on one another for support when one of us has something come up where another doula has more experience.
You had a home birth and have supported clients at homebirths, so how do you support women who choose epidurals or cesarean births? I have supported planned medicated and unmedicated births as well as cesarean births. I don’t believe everyone should make all the same choices that I would make and I know that each family’s experience is unique to them. Every woman should feel she had the opportunity to make decisions for herself. My support doesn’t come from stepping in and inserting my choices or my beliefs, but from meeting women where there are to provide comfort through information, a listening ear, and physical support. During a cesarean birth especially, it is helpful to have a doula to provide emotional support to the mother while medical staff are focused on their clinical responsibilities and the partner may be caring for the baby.
What is your favorite thing about being a doula? I love seeing my clients change and grow, from the first time I meet them until I later visit and see them mothering their babies. I believe that working through changes during pregnancy and making sometimes difficult decisions in pregnancy and labor, is one of the first ways parenting skills are exercised and developed.
Why did you become a childbirth educator? During my first pregnancy in 2010, I was fearful of labor and hesitant about my ability to give birth. That led me to begin searching for more information and with education and support my confidence increased. I often find that women who are strong and capable in their daily lives are more hesitant about decision making during pregnancy. Having all the information allows a mother to take that confidence back and make her own choices, taking responsibility for her body and her baby.
How is the role of the partner different from that of a doula? The partner knows the laboring mother better than anyone else; they know what will make her laugh, cry, feel safe, scared, excited, self conscious or more comfortable. For that reason I think the tools the partner brings to the birthing room are invaluable. They are also often the exact person the mother wants to depend on when in a vulnerable situation. However, it is a lot of pressure to have the sole responsibility for physical and emotional support, as well as participate in decision making, while being vulnerable yourself and concerned for the health and well being of your child and your partner. The doula brings awareness of common policies and procedures, experience from previous births and knowledge of common comfort techniques and positions that are helpful both for comfort and for labor progress. When I am working with a couple, if I find something that works well for the mom, I often teach the partner how to do it so she can benefit from both the support and the connection. I also try to be a source of stability for the partner during intense times when they may be questioning if the mother’s behavior or progress is what should be expected.