Cyndi's Doula Service
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About Me

Background • Mother of three sons who are now grown. I had two very long births and one quick one; two at home and one in a hospital.

Education As A Doula • My experience includes over 990 births as an attending doula. Worked for 18 months with the Kaiser Doula Research Project, assisting 28 families in the study with their births. Started attending births as a doula in 1986, certified through ACBE (Academy of Certified Birth Educators) in 1996. Member of PALS (Professional Assisted Labor Support) in 1997 and then a founding member of Valley Foothill Doula Collective in 1997. Member of DONA (Doulas of North America) since 1996 and certified through DONA in 2000. Attend approximately one labor related seminar a year. Former president of the Valley Foothill Doula Collective.

Cyndi Whitwell, Labor Doula

My Qualifications I have gone through labor myself three times, and worked with over 990 families in their labor process. My life lends itself to being available for your needs. I have many years of experience with birth balls and provide instruction to my clients on their use. I strongly encourage the use of a birth ball both during pregnancy, to assist in preparing for labor, and during labor as a tool to assist in relaxation and management of discomfort. I do light massage on occasion in labor to provide comfort. I have worked with couples through almost any situation in labor and pregnancy so I have a high comfort level with the process. It is a real privilege to work with families through their labors. I especially love to work with dads through birth, since they are able to give so much that I can't (that strong emotional support women need). Labor is really a team effort by those providing the support. As a doula, I realize my place, and it’s not to be in charge (unless that is the wish of the mom-to-be).

A Moment In My Life

By Cyndi Whitwell

Dawn was peeking between the blinds.
How long has it been since I have slept?
Hours, days? No time to think,
Mom is moaning again — give her support,
Encouraging voice in her ear.
The pattern of breathing slowing
as the contraction ebbs.

But the sounds have changed.
Mom is disturbed by the pressure.
Reassure her again — this is normal.
Positions are changed, ice is offered.

The power of pressure builds.
Sounds are different in the room,
More activity is felt
But we are locked in the rhythm of the dance,
Moving ever onward to the feelings.

Suddenly a baby's voice is heard
Above the tears of mom & dad.
Fear & pain have changed to joy outcries.

Another birth, another lost night's sleep,
Another memory to validate
My desire to be a doula.

Published in International Doula, 2000

Media Outreach My goal has been to answer the question: "A doula, what is that?" So I have been fortunate to work through the local media in promoting doulas.

• Quoted in online article in Sacramento Parent, 12/2011, entitled "Labor Goals: The New Birth Plan"
• I contributed to a magazine article by Lori Shinn, 1/08 called "The Doula Difference".
• Article in Internation Doula, 2003, "Working With First Time Families".
• Poem "A Moment in My Life" published in Fall, 2000 issue International Doula (see left).
• Channel 3 segment on Healthwatch with Dr. Tom Hopkins on doulas, 11/2000.
• Contributed to a book on birth balls published by Polly Perez, 2000; Contributed to an e-book by Rachel Gurevich called "How To Be A Doula", distributed 2000.
Letters To The Editor in (12/15/99) regarding an article on doulas that had appeared the week before.
• Group segment in 11/97 on Channel 13 with Marcia Valenzuela discussing doulas and our doula collective. Article in Viewpoint about my work as a doula in l997.
• Segment on For Baby's Sake with Cristina Mendonza in 8/97. She followed me with a birth and conducted a followup interview with the couple.
• Interview with Alicia Malaby on Channel 3, 11/96, discussing end of Kaiser Study and the benefits of doulas.
• Front page article was published in the Sacramento Bee, 3/15/96, entitled "Doula Delivers", discussing the Doula Study at Kaiser and accompanying me on a birth.

Cyndi Whitwell, Labor Doula

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