As a birth doula, Brenda is passionate and inspired to empower other women to have the birth of their dreams without judgement or coercion – with unconditional love and support. She brings a wealth of experience and unerring kindness to every situation. Brenda believes with all her heart that it is both an honor and a privilege to be invited into the life of a family and to share in some of their most precious moments.
Brenda’s journey to becoming a doula started with the birth of her daughter, born via cesarean section. This birth experience, so different from what she had envisioned, inspired her to learn more and find a way to do it differently for her next two births. She went on to have a vaginal birth after cesarean with the help of a doula and finally a home birth with her 3rd child. These experiences altered her life and led her to doula service.
After her children arrived, Brenda became heavily involved in the parenting community. She served as a leader in the local Attachment Parenting International (API) group, and an active member of both ICAN (Internal Cesarean Awareness Network) and LLL (La Leche League). She also became a DONA certified birth doula and began her practice. Brenda and her doula partner attended 50 births between 2007 and 2010. Brenda then left the doula world for a few years as the needs of her family and software development career took over. She has now resumed her work as a doula (this time certifying with Somatic Arts & Sciences Institute - Madriella) and finds herself more nourished than ever by it.
Brenda has also had a successful career in IT. She grew up in Columbia Maryland and then moved to Virginia to attend James Madison University, where she studied Math and Computer Science. Brenda currently lives in Bristow VA with her three children, her husband Paul, his three children and their four furry felines. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies or playing games with her family, practicing yoga, and cooking healthy meals. She describes herself as a certified health food and yoga nut.
Whitney brings her extensive training and experience as a certified birth doula, licensed massage therapist, and mother of three to each client, whether supporting labor and delivery or offering prenatal and postpartum massage. Whitney is certified as a birth doula by DONA international and in pregnancy, labor, and postpartum massage by Claire Marie Miller, a preeminent practitioner in the U.S. and creator of the “Nurturing the Mother” protocols. For Whitney, the magic of pregnancy, birth, and infant development never cease to amaze and fascinate her. Whenever she supports a new mom, Whitney feels honored to participate and offer her loving heart and hands to those who need her service.
Whitney comes to doula and massage therapy work as a second career. Previously, she worked in the Federal Government for 23 years, focusing on humanitarian work involving refugees, asylum-seekers, and maternal and child health. As a doula and massage therapist, she brings to bear the wisdom and understanding gained from her all of her training and experiences as well as her unconditional, war,m, and focused support to your family unit.
Whitney’s goal for her clients is that they experience pregnancy, birth, and the early
days afterward positively and that they can fully experience the joy and wonder of these events and create memories that they will treasure forever. She believes that birthing women can and should be informed and able to make their own decisions as labor and delivery unfolds, according to individual preferences and desires for how the process should go. In the DMV area, the choices and quality of care available make this entirely possible, even for high-risk cases. Based on personal experience and through working with so many clients, Whitney knows that the birthing process can easily become clinical and medicalized, leaving the new mother struggling with disappointment and a sense of loss. Whitney is dedicated to working with each client to protect her experience of birth and help her avoid trauma.
For new babies, Whitney wants to facilitate the best, gentlest possible transition to the outside world that fully honors the bond between mother and baby. Whitney also provides massage therapy for many of her birth clients, both prenatally and postpartum. She finds that prenatal massage can help expecting mothers to relax, experience relief from the aches and pains of pregnancy, and even become more connected with their bodies and growing babies. After delivery, a new mother’s body has significant healing to do, and postpartum massage can play a key role in helping a woman’s body to return to its pre-pregnancy state. It also helps relieve the stress and tension from birth and the early days of caring for a newborn.
A lover of languages, Whitney speaks English, Russian, French, Norwegian, Swedish, and a bit of Spanish and German. Whitney lives in Fairfax, VA. When she isn’t working, you can find her reading, building jigsaw puzzles, hiking, practicing yoga, knitting, or playing classical piano. She lives quietly, savoring the richness and beauty in each day.
We connected with Brenda and so the bond and trust established was a huge benefit. We still consider family.
Whitney was wonderful -- such a calming presence. She implemented many different techniques to make the birthing process as smooth as possible. I would highly recommend her.