Thinking Out Loud
Nicolle the Doula Blog Series
Nicolle the Doula Blog Series
Welcome to our next installment of Meet the Doulas, Daspri Swymn edition!
Daspri is a birth AND postpartum doula serving in Conway and Little Rock for birth support, and Conway and surrounding areas for postpartum support. She is not only an amazing and overachieving doula, she also holds a BA in Writing and Rhetoric with a minor in Management Information Systems. We here at BbD love her reliable, steady, and entirely energetic presence; not to mention her sense of style!
When asked how she personally explains who a doula is and what a doula does, she answered, “ A doula is a support person for a women during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. A doula is the perfect combination of girlfriend and coach all wrapped into one.” Her favorite part of being a doula- helping women have the experiences they desire in birth and the care they need during postpartum. She decided to become a doula because she’s always loved helping her friends during their pregnancies and labor. At one point she was asked by a sweet lactation consultant if she was a labor and delivery nurse years ago because of the way she handled mommas and babies when visiting family in the hospital. She loved the thought of being an L&D nurse, but not exactly… then she found out what a doula was by having Nicolle at her first daughter’s birth, and he new that being a doula was IT, exactly!
Daspri in her own words...
Tell us about what you do when you aren’t doula-ing: All the things. I love physical activity and outdoor sports, home reno and design, sewing, making jewelry, and the list goes on.
Tell us about your family: I have an awesome husband that is in love with the Lord and gets me and helps me get to do the things I love. I have a 6 year old daughter that is smart and silly and so fun to be with. I also have a 19 month old that is the most loving little thing and the most honery little thing all wrapped into one.
The last book you read: Children’s books...all the children’s books.
Favorite color: Teals, blues, royal purple, and greens...I can’t see in a single color there are too many out there to pick just one.
Favorite food: Most all things Mexican.
Favorite holiday: Most all the holidays are fun but I love summer break when we get to visit the beach, that’s my holiday.
Favorite smell: Clean
Favorite season: Spring
Favorite way to de-stress: Exercise, a nice hike, or a good long bath.
As the doulas have welcomed in the new year (with a few babies, as well!), a look back at the year 2016 was necessary in order to create new goals for this year! We are beyond honored to serve so many women in pregnancy, labor, postpartum, lactation, education through classes, and placenta encapsulation. Each year, we like to look back and see what we have accomplished, and hope to improve and create better ways to serve the women of our communities. So here’s a look back to Birth by Design’s 2016!
Overall, we served many women in 2016 and welcomed 112 babies with the help of our birth doulas! (Birth by Design hopes this number will grow in 2017, as we have several more students who have completed their certification and have already started filling their calendars!) Of those 112 births, 90 of them were vaginal. (That translates to 80% of our clients!) Some were home births, some were drug-free, some were with pain meds, some were inductions, and some were VBACs! (Did you know that of our clients that decided to labor for a VBAC, almost all were successful!! That is huge!) We also served at 22 cesarian births. Some of these c-section births were elective, some were because of medical issues, some were twins, and some were just silly babies who decided to not come into this world head first. There is a great joy seeing a woman achieve her goals both as a birthing mama and as a birth worker! We were honored to serve all kinds of women with all kinds of birth plans!
Did you know that we now offer postpartum doula care with certified postpartum doulas? Those doulas finished their training in 2016 and began their work in serving mamas! Overall, albeit new, they were able to serve 16 mamas, 17 babies, all for a total of 230 hours of postpartum care! We are positive this number will grow even more in 2017!
Our goals for 2017 are being set even as this is written! Already our calendars are filling up with more babies! Already, our office space in Conway has grown by moving locations to a bigger space! Already, we are looking for ways to better serve the community! Our hope is to serve even more women from all sorts of backgrounds and with all sorts of birth plans- there is no right or wrong plan… just what works best for you and your family!
Thank you for making 2016 a great year for us and here's to making 2017 even better!!
-Mekelle and the rest of the BbD team
Please meet doula Mekelle Daniel!
She is our sassy, Disney obsessed, VBAC queen, and bilingual (English/Spanish) birth doula serving Little Rock, Benton, and Hot Springs.
Not only is she a certified birth doula and certified childbirth educator, she holds degrees from Ouachita Baptist University in Biblical studies and vocal music.
Her favorite part about being a doula is that she loves being able to help families achieve their goals and seeing women realize how strong they are. She started her doula journey because she wanted to be able to help women as she had been helped, she wanted to change how birth is viewed, and she wanted to be a voice for the hispanic women. This is something we love about Mekelle- her huge, loving heart for birth and women. Her life and doula philosophy can be summed up perfectly in her favorite quote (from Christopher Robin, of course!), “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” In Mekelle’s opinion, whatever life brings, these words are great to remember in achieving goals!
Mekelle in her own words...
What are your interests… besides doula-ing? I love to do all things crafty but I really love to paint. I also really love to teach and plan vacations, especially Disney ones….doesn’t matter if they are mine or not! I also adore cooking and creating great nutritious food!
Tell us about your family? I have the goofiest, kindest, hottest and most passionate husband on the planet. He is my soulmate, best friend and fellow adventurer. He is a professional Spanish interpreter for the state of Arkansas. We bred the craziest, most creative, cutest kids on the planet. Isaac (11) is a problem solving, salsa eating lego builder extraordinaire. Isabelle (8) is a brainy, very artistic, Tinker Bell loving twirler. Gabrielle (5) is a singer, salad and sushi loving cuddle bug. We love being together and love, love Disney!
What is the last book you read? Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere
Favorite Color- toss up between daffodil yellow and emerald green
Favorite food- too many to list but top 3...salsa, Rice Krispie treats, thai food
Favorite holiday- Christmas, hands down
Favorite smell-depends on my mood but anything coconut or pumpkin spice but never together! Ha!
Favorite way to de-stress- laughing with friends!