Over salad, chicken and rice, Whitney's soft-spoken nature and knowledge of birth drew us in while her passion became ever more clear, helping women experience birth on their own terms. When we met at Sticks Kabob Shop, right up the street from Sentera Martha-Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, we knew Whitney was going to be the perfect Doula to establish our Charlottesville branch.
We are so pleased to announce our newest Doula in Charlottesville, Whitney Amyett!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I moved to Charlottesville from Ft. Worth, Texas almost 10 years ago, when my husband and I got married. I loved growing up in Texas surrounded by family and friends. Virginia is beautiful, but it would be perfect if my family lived here too. Oh, and if there was no snow. I hate the snow. :)
What is the best part of living in Charlottesville?
I love the mountains here, and there are a lot of family friendly things to do.
What gets you excited? What are you passionate about?
I love knowing that my work helps families find their own strength. It is important to me to raise my children to grow up to be amazing adults, and part of that is recognizing how amazing they are right now! The birth experience can help set the stage for that positive connection. Helping a new mother through a difficult birth or establishing good sleep hygiene can have a tremendous effect on the ability of that family to cope and bond, and appreciate their babies at every stage. It's exciting, that as a doula I can give a family the tools they need to grow stronger.
Have you always wanted to be a doula?
I didn't even know what a doula was until I was already pregnant the first time. A friend had told me how much she loved her doula, and we ended up hiring her ourselves. After the strength and encouragement she gave us, I became interested in becoming a doula myself.
What is the best part of being a parent?
This is a hard question! I suppose it's getting to be with these special people every day, and even though they fight and argue, seeing the kindness and generosity they exhibit toward each other makes everything worth it. Plus the snuggles are pretty good.
How would your kids describe you?
They told me they like it when I give them hugs and kisses, and that I make the best cookies. (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, in case anyone is wondering.)
What do you like to watch?
My current favorite is Legend of the Seeker. Adventure, romance, and a little comedy-- what more could you ask for? Of course, I really loved the new Beauty and the Beast movie as well!
What are you three best tips for a mom who just had a baby?
1) Don't be afraid to ask for help! Get a family member, friend, or best of all, a postpartum doula. Have Grandma come once a week to take your older kids for the day, if you have them.
2) Take those first few weeks slowly. Enjoy having a newborn and let yourself heal. Binge watch Netflix and Amazon Prime while you feed your baby, and if you have older kids, don't feel guilty about letting them watch more TV than you might otherwise. They'll live, and you'll survive a happier Mom.
3) Allow the feelings. Emotions and hormones are all over the place after giving birth. Give yourself time to process and feel all of those feelings. If everything is peachy, that's great! But if it's not perfect, you don't have to pretend.
What is your favorite restaurant in Charlottesville?
Kabuto is my FAVORITE place to go. I get the teppanyaki shrimp and filet mignon, with lots of rice and Yum-yum Sauce.
Do you work out?
I like videos at home. I especially enjoy kickboxing and lifting weights.
So then what is your guilty pleasure?
Frosted Coffees. So many calories. So much caffeine. So much deliciousness.
What is your favorite local resource for a new parent?
Charlottesville is great because we have several local groups that are great places to ask questions and/or share experiences. There are also a lot of playdates, and lifestyle specific groups too (for things like baby wearing, breastfeeding, etc.).
Cake or ice-cream?
Cake. Also, did I mention my award winning oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies? ;)
What is one thing we are unlikely to know about you already?
I want to take archery lessons someday. My visit to the Virginia Renaissance Faire yesterday sealed the deal, it looks like it would be the perfect combination of sport, strength and solitude.
What makes you the best doula for our clients?
I know that every family, every birth, is unique and special. I meet every family where they are at. If they need someone to be their assistant, or their cheerleader, or the coach, I'm good at seeing what people need and providing unbiased and complete support, so they can focus on their baby's birthday!
*****If you would like to learn more about Whitney, to schedule her to be your Charlottesville Doula, please contact us at 540-300-1102 or through our contact form below. We could tell you all day how amazing she is, but we think she speaks well enough for herself!*****