Meet our amazing birth doula Cynthia Baker! Grab a coffee (or tea), get to know a little about her and the inside scoop on what doula life is like.
Q: What made you want to become a birth doula?
Birth Doula Cynthia: When I was 15 years old, I had the pleasure of being present for the birth of one of my nieces. It was on that day that I knew I wanted to be a birth worker. Fifteen years ago, I had never heard the word doula before, but that is what I saw myself as even back then, before I knew what that role was.
Caring for others is something I love and feel an incredible connection to laboring women. I find that I instinctively know how to comfort and support them. I feel I was born to do this work, and I am thankful everyday that I get to do what I love!
Q: Describe your doula style?
Birth Doula Cynthia: I strive to bring calm and confidence to the birthing team. This looks different for every client, but the result is similar. I want parents to have me to look to during labor and be reminded that they are in control and all is well. I am calm and collected under pressure which is very useful when dealing with the uncertainties and stress of labor.
Q: What advice do you give to someone hiring a doula?
Birth Doula Cynthia: I really think the most important thing is to be sure that you pick someone you click with. You’re going to have this person be a part of one of the biggest days of your life! So make sure you feel a connection!
Q: What’s the most rewarding thing about being a birth doula?
Birth Doula Cynthia: I love everything about being a birth doula! I think the best part is watching a laboring mom work through contractions with her partner and to know that I helped them to feel confident in what they’re doing. On Christmas Day last year, I spent the day at the hospital supporting a third time mom through labor. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else on that Christmas Day!
Q: What’s the most challenging thing about this job?
Birth Doula Cynthia: Honestly, being on call! Having to pass on time with family or adventures with friends in order to be available for potential births is challenging. Totally worth it, but it is the hardest part of the doula job.
Q: What do you think are the benefits of having a labour support?
Birth Doula Cynthia: One of the biggest benefits to having labor support is having someone who is there solely to give support and information. I think it’s very important to have someone present who knows what birth is like and who has no agenda of their own.
Q: What’s your favourite doula snack during birth?
Birth Doula Cynthia: Whatever leftovers I had sitting in my fridge when I get the call! As long as they don’t have any strong smells of course 🙂
Q: What is one of your go-to items in your doula bag?
Birth Doula Cynthia: More than anything else in my doula bag, I find I end up using my massage oils. Who doesn’t love some calming scents with their counter pressure?!
Q: What would someone be surprised that you do?
Birth Doula Cynthia: Occasionally I bring home a placenta with me and store it in my fridge until our encapsulation team is awake and able to get it the next morning. I know my housemates found this to be a surprising part of my job, I assume others would as well!
Q: How do you as a doula include the partner?
Birth Doula Cynthia: During our prenatal visits we talk often about how involved the partner wants to be. For some this is a strict stand at her head and love on her. Some want to actually get in there and help catch their baby. Either way, I try to have partners help as much as possible. Sometimes this is even just handing partner the water so they can give mom sips instead of me. This way the mom feels the partner is attentive and involved.
Q: How has being a birth doula changed you?
Birth Doula Cynthia: I have so much more admiration for new mamas and really think the postpartum period is something that is not talked about enough. Breastfeeding, postpartum self care, and caring for a newborn is hard work, and those women deserve to have that acknowledged.
Q: Where do you serve as a birth doula?
I provide doula support at all local Portland Oregon, Gresham and Clackamas hospitals, including Good Sam, Legacy Emanuel, Providence Portland, Kaiser Sunnyside and St. Vincent’s. I also provide birth support from Legacy Salmon Creek and Peacehealth Birth Center in Vancouver, Washington. Hospital births have been my primary place of support, but I am also able to support families at home births and birth centers in the Portland metro area. Every mother giving birth deserves a doula, no matter her birth place.
Q: What are some of your loves and interests outside of birth work?
Birth Doula Cynthia: When not at a birth, I am often in my garden growing food. I love to be outdoors, hiking, swimming, etc. I also love a good board game with family or friends. However, growing up with many siblings has led me to be quite a competitive game player!
Baby Nest birth doulas offer free doula consults for parents-to-be in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area. This is a time for you to meet together, ask questions and find the right fit doula for your family.
Request a FREE CONSULT with Cynthia Baker if you’d like to learn more about her doula support and how she can serve you during birth. Learn more about pricing and what’s included in our doula packages.
Want to get to know another Baby Nest doula? Grab another cup and Have Coffee with Doula Inge-Lise.