Featured Doula: Sherri Morris
Serving families serving families in Central NY.
Owner of Syracuse Doula Chicks
1. What inspired you to begin your doula journey?
I began my doula journey in 2011 after the birth of my 3rd child which was my first birth in which I hired a doula to support me. My birth was difficult but having a doula by my side was the best decision I could have made! My midwife, who was a doula trainer, and my doula encouraged me to take a doula trainer. After my first doula training I knew I found the work I was always meant to do!
2. What training/experience do you have?
I am certified as a birth doula, a Hypnodoula and Rebozo certified. I am trained as a childbirth educator, postpartum doula, bereavement doula, birth story listener and currently training as an infant sleep educator. I have furtherd my education in many other areas as well such as vbac support, comfort measures, breastfeeding, birth trauma and newborn care. I have been a doula for 7 years and have served approximately 75 families between birth and postpartum.
3. What is your mission as a doula?
My goal for the families I work with is to educate and support their choices. We discuss in great detail informed consent and I encourage clients to talk with their providers using the BRAIN acronym during visits to gain information to make their own choices. I often find myself guiding families through the process of informed consent during birth. I feel when women are the decision makers in their birthing process that's what makes for a good and empowering experience even if the reality of their birth experience becomes different than their birth wishes . I always encourage families to have an open heart to their birth experience, to think of different ways things might go and to try to envision a different way, and if their birth goes differently then they envision that it is not a reflection on them as a person or a parent but rather a reflection on often unpredictable circumstances.
4. What makes you unique as a doula?
I am unique as a doula because I work as a doula team which is quite unusual for my area. I have worked with my doula partner Chris Herrera for going on 3 years and we make a great team! I'm so happy to have found someone with similar style, ambitions and goals as me. We work on an on call schedule so the families we serve will have a fresh rested doula if births are on the long side and we can be available to care for our own families as well. And we always say "Two heads are better than one" as we bring twice the experience, twice the energy and twice the education.
5. How do you think doula’s positively impact birth?
I feel a doula can positively impact birth when he/she checks their bias at the door, provides evidence based information to clients, supports the families decisions, always, even if it's not the decision they would have made for themselves. A doula should help their clients feel good about the decisions they make, but also be a compassionate, listening ear if a client needs to process a difficult experience.
6. What advice would you give someone looking to hire doula?
I always tell parents to follow their hearts when interviewing doulas. Your doula will be a part of one of the most intimate moments in your life and its important to find someone you are totally comfortable with. When I met my doula at a birth fair I met several other waaaayyy more experience doulas that day. But when I met my doula it was like meeting "The One!" You just know!