"I had seen all the research about how having a doula reduces medical interventions in birth, but was nervous about having another person in the room. Jeni made me feel extremely comfortable, and I felt like I had a great team supporting me in something that I could be awesome at." - Laura Eloyan
Specialties: Breastfeeding, Childbirth Education, Nutrition, Herbalism, Stillbirth Bereavement
Jeni, age 3, sits relaxed and full of laughter and warmth. Much like she is today.
Jeni Standard is an herbalist, nutritionista and friend of the new mama. She studied Herbal Medicine and Functional Nutrition with Aviva Romm, CNM, MD and in 2016, started MamaFare, a postpartum culinary service offering in-home meals specific to Atlanta families.
Jeni is a StillBirthday bereavement and birth doula, and completed her DONA birth doula certification 9 years ago. She works with 1-2 doula clients per month. Jeni is a certified childbirth educator and teaches our Birth Boot Camp class series.
Accepting inquiries for birthdays before August 2017.
Her interview location is Java Monkey at 425 Church St., Decatur, GA 30030. She supports birthdays at the following hospitals:
Northside Hospital (Atlanta)
Piedmont Healthcare (Atlanta)
DeKalb Medical (Decatur)
Emory University Hospital Midtown
WellStar (Atlanta, North Fulton, and Kennestone)
Gwinnett Medical Center (Duluth and Lawrenceville)
Get To Know Jeni
- She dislikes spoons and avoids using them at all costs.
- Her wedding was themed The Great Gatsby and everyone dressed like a flappers, gangsters, or some expatriate, beatnik version of themselves.
- She's terrified of canned biscuits and gas grills for the same reason - they will explode when you least expect it!
How do you see your role in the birth process? As a doula I am there to journey with, bear witness to, support and light the way for parents regardless of the choices they start from or end up making. There are a multitude of influences that bring a person to parenthood, and that impacts their birthing experience. As a doula, I find that it's so important to support from an impartial place. This is such an intimate time and space in a person/couple/family's life. Folks just need support wherever they are, without judgement. It's my job to understand where you start from, keep up with where you go, and support you every step of the way.
Why do you think that doulas are an important part of a birth team? Women have circled around other women in birth and babies at least as long as we've been writing our history down. Recent times have taken birth into the hospitals. Our grandmothers and aunts, replaced by doctors and nurses. The part we left out of the proven model was the circle of experienced, unwavering support.
What is your "birth philosophy"? It's pretty simple really. Birth is diverse, it is as unique as the people that come to it, and the families that come away from it. Birth is transformative, and deserves to be honored. Birth is courageous, and so often our first opportunity to fiercely mother. We should be able to look back at the births of our children with pride and joy.
Why did you become a doula? Before getting pregnant the closest I had been to pregnancy, and birth was when my chihuahua had pups (at least a hundred years ago!) I always wanted to be a mom, but I never thought about what it would mean to be pregnant and birth someone into the world. So I got pregnant, and realized I had no idea how to do the next part. I'm one of those people that when I find myself up against something I can't run from, I resort to voraciously seeking out information. Thus, you could gauge my most significant life experiences by my bookshelves.
The questions I asked, and the choices I made led me to a home birth, surrounded by people who knew how to hold a space. It was an amazing, heart searing experience. It scared me half to death, and forced me to find places of strength within I did not know existed. I had without question, a birth as I saw fit.
What I discovered after was that many, many women do not leave birth more whole, or at least unharmed. It's totally cliche, but I fell in love with birth and knew that I wanted to help.
Why have you remained a doula? Because I love staying awake all night. Nah, I'm kidding! I love many, many things about being a doula, but I have to say my favorite part is standing at the brink with people, and watching them turn into parents in an instant. It is such an honor to me, to have been there and helped navigate the outcome as a team. It's simply where I find my groove.
What would you wish for every woman to possess before having a baby? The confidence to trust her body, and a team of her choosing to help her make decisions from a place of empowerment.