Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Doula Spotlight- Jennifer Lorelei Ortega

Tell a little bit about yourself outside of the doula/birth realm.

I've been married for 13 years, and I have a ten year old daughter and 5 year old son.   By day, I work as an English teacher at a small public high school which is known for its community atmosphere and project-based learning curriculum.  During my time off with my family, I enjoy camping in natural areas, planning hands-on learning activities, reading, and playing word games.  

How did you become interested in birth as a topic to learn more about?

I've been interested in natural birth since I was very young.  I must have been in fifth grade when I first heard of water birth, and I ran to the kitchen to tell my mother I was going to have one.  Later, my mom was pretty concerned when I'd bring home books at 12 and 13 with titles like, What to Do Now That You're Pregnant.  Incidentally, I did not have my first child until I was almost 27.   

How were you shaped by your childbirth experiences?

(I have great hips and bigger breasts)!  Like I said, I always felt like I was meant for pregnancy and child-bearing.  My number one goal for my births was being able to fully experience this life-changing moment without narcotics or anesthesia.  I was able to do this and felt such an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride.  Birth made me truly understand the amazing strength of womanhood.

Tell a bit about yourself as a doula. (training, how you view your role in the birth, goals for families---just whatever comes to mind.)

I'm toLabor trained, and have completed all of my certification births.  I have had positive feedback from every birth I've attended.

During births, I generally try to disappear (I wish I could be pocket-sized) when I'm not needed.  My goal is to create a safe and intimate atmosphere for my clients, to remind them that they are fully capable of an amazing birth, to shrink fear and grow confidence : )

Do you have any specific advice you'd give to expecting parents? 

My best piece of advice is to remind parents of their wedding day.  Often, brides are nervous wrecks before their weddings.  They are inclined to think that everything that does not go according to their plan is a disaster.  But on looking back, they usually feel like it turned out well anyway.

Birth can be like this.  No matter how many possibilities we've planned for, something always happens to surprise us in the moment.   A good birth team should work to keep the new family focused on all the things that are going well, and all of the options that are available to them at each stage of the birth.  This can make all the difference in the way a family feels during and after the birth.

How can families contact you?

My email is  My phone number is 626-221-7957 although I prefer to connect first via email since I am in teaching or mothering a good deal of the time.

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