World Doula Week

It’s World Doula Week! Every year, from March 22nd-28th, doulas around the world celebrate the passion and privilege we have to serve women and their families during their pregnancies and postpartum, and the special, intimate experience it is to support and hold space for them as they bring their beautiful babies into the world.  Take some time this week to call, text, or meet up with and hug your favorite doula in person!

 

I thought #worlddoulaweek would be a great time to share a little more about my path to birth work, *and* encourage you to check out Moss and Myrrh Photography, owned by my sweet and talented friend, Ashton.  Need some feel-good vibes?  Just go skim through her blog, full of the beauty and love of birth, babies, and motherhood.  

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A few months ago, Ashton shared with me that she’d done a poll asking her local followers and friends to share their favorite caregivers for birth and baby related services.  I was humbled and shocked that she’d had my name mentioned more than once, and super touched when she asked if she could ask me some questions for a feature on her blog.  Much of my doula journey is there in the link, PLUS I’m in love with these pictures she caught of me and my youngest, Sebastian, click and go see!

Did you have an awesome doula that you want to tell the world about?  Shout it out in the comments, and let’s spread some doula love! #doulasbenefiteveryone

XO,

Shanna


Hello, friends!
 
It’s almost springtime!  The sun is shining, and it’s feeling a little like a promise of warm summer days to come! I’m looking forward to gardening and playing outdoors more, and wanted to share some of the things that are “blooming” with Alaska Birth Doula.

It has been a busy winter, with 16 adorable little doula babies born in the last few months.  I am beyond honored to have been included in these pregnancies and births!  Thank you so much for putting your trust in me as your doula!

I’m still accepting birth doula clients for summer due dates, but spots are limited, so contact me soon if you’re considering hiring a doula for your upcoming birth! March and April are booked, and I have very limited space left for June, July and October.  Postpartum services are still available for all summer months, with limited availability in April and May.

Do you follow me on Facebook? And Instagram?  I’d love to keep in touch!

GentleBirth Shanna Switzer Alaska Anchorage Childbirth Class

 

Did you know?

As Alaska’s first and only Certified GentleBirth Instructor, I am thrilled to bring this incredible and innovative childbirth education program to our community!  

The GentleBirth philosophy combines brain training techniques including Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Sports Psychology, and Medical Hypnosis, along with tools, information and techniques to prepare for the most positive birth possible.

Workshops are held one weekend a month, or you can always contact me for more information or to arrange a class around your schedule!  Register or find more information here.


Childbirth Class Anchorage Alaska Shanna Switzer Doula

 

In addition to monthly GentleBirth Workshops, I am also hosting weekly Childbirth Classes on a rotating schedule!

These informative, interactive, fun classes and meetups are held every Thursday evening at One Family Community Birth Center. Childbirth education to fit your budget and your life – only $25/class, your birth support person or partner is free! You can join these classes at any time, and take them in any order.   

Meetups are FREE and all are welcome!  Bring those bellies and babies!

Shanna Birth Doula Childbirth Educator Anchorage Alaska Birth Collective

Are you following the Alaska Birth Collective?

From preconception to postpartum and beyond, we’re making connections between caregivers and community. Recent events have included brunch, Pilates for pelvic floor health, Babywearing 101, and much more!

We love this community and we want to build it!  

You can follow Alaska Birth Collective on Facebook And Instagram


Placenta Encapsulation Anchorage Shanna Switzer Doula

 

Book any Placenta Encapsulationservice before the end of April and you’ll receive a $25 discount on your package price, no matter your due date!  

Reported benefits of placenta encapsulation include more energy, higher milk production, lower levels of anxiety, depression, and hormonal challenges after birth, and mood stabilization.  You only get one chance at preserving the benefits of your placenta, contact me for more information or to take advantage of this special deal!

Childbirth Prep Class Private Baby Shanna Doula

 

Have you ever wished you could just sit down with a knowledgeable friend and get the nitty gritty on all things birth?  Someone who will tell you all of the ins and outs of hospital procedures, or help you develop your birth plan or pack you birth bag?  

Maybe you can’t find time in your busy days to take a childbirth class with your partner? Or perhaps someone gifted you a baby wrap, but you have no clue what to do with that insanely long piece of fabric, and YouTube isn’t helping one bit?

Do you want to know how your body might really feel and look, and how to prepare for the physical and emotional challenges of new motherhood?

Private Birth and Baby Prep Sessions are designed with you in mind. A 3-hour visit with me, a professional, certified doula and childbirth instructor, to talk about you and your baby and all things pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum.  I offer a discounted rate of $99 if you’d like to visit in my cozy home office in Eagle River, or for $125 I’ll bring all of my supplies, educational materials, and comfort items for labor to you and your birth support or partner in the comfort of your home.  

These sessions include a full childbirth curriculum plus a workbook that is yours to keep, plus continuing support via phone, email and text during your pregnancy and for as long as you need after your baby arrives.  Let me know how I can support you for your best birth!

Warm wishes,

Shanna

Anchorage Doula Childbirth Class Educator Placenta Shanna Switzer

 


 

Do you know the doula?
Anchorage Doula Alaska Birth Postpartum Childbirth Class Placenta Encapsulation

Hi and welcome! I’m Shanna.  It rhymes with Hannah, not Donna… and nope, not Shannon.  My sweet mom saddled me with a name that’s a pain to explain. Anyway, enough of that.  I’m so glad you’re here!  Whether you’re pregnant and considering a birth doula, interested in postpartum doula support, or looking for information on becoming a doula yourself, I’d love to meet with you and encourage you on your journey. Let me tell you a little bit about me and why I’m a doula.  

First and foremost:

I absolutely love supporting women through pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.  It is my passion; breath and life to me.  It makes my soul sing, and I still can’t believe I get paid to do this amazing work. 

It is an honor.  A privilege. A blessing.  

  1.  I was inspired to become a doula when I was pregnant with my second child, in 2006.   I had read the “birth bible”, Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth and recognized through the beautiful stories that the support of someone who knows and is comfortable with the natural progression of labor during birth is priceless.  The soothing words they would speak, and the physical support through massage and touch were obviously so beneficial to the laboring women.  I knew I wanted to experience that.  
  2.  My first doula baby was born in 2009. I had dipped my toes into birth work, inquiring with a doula friend about her experience, and I was asked if I’d like to shadow another doula as she supported a laboring mother with her first birth.  While I had experienced 3 births of my own at that point, I’d never witnessed someone else giving birth in person, and to be truly with a woman, breathing with her, speaking words of encouragement and peace to her, bawling along with her when her wet and wailing baby girl was placed on her chest… I was never the same.  I had to do this work.  I was made to do this work!
  3.  My own four births shaped me as a woman and as a mother. Birth matters.  The way we are made to feel when we experience birth matters.  It is important that a laboring woman be given the information she needs to be in control of the many decisions to be made during her birth.  We may not remember every detail of each birth, but we will always remember the way we felt; whether we were supported, listened to, trusted, and empowered.  
  4. I believe in birth. ALL birth. Natural birth.  Medicated birth.  Vaginal birth.  Cesarean birth.  Hospital birth.  Birth Centers. Home birth.  I believe women are uniquely, intricately, wonderfully designed to give birth, and I also believe in a woman’s right to decide she wants to birth with augmentation or medication.  I will provide information; benefits, risks, advantages, and disadvantages. Ultimately, I believe in supporting women energetically, emotionally, physically, and with the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their babies.
  5. I love being woken up to attend a laboring woman.  Yep.  I’m on call most of the time.  That means no wine with dinner (or just a sip!) Having my cell phone on at all times and never being without it.  Making sure camping spots are within an hour’s drive of my client’s birth space, and that I have phone service! (Oh, Alaska…) Having my doula bag packed and with me.  I get a thrill every time I get a call that starts out “I think I might be in labor…”
  6.  Last but not least, I love coffee with lots of cream and sugar.  And chocolate, especially when it’s surrounding or coupled with peanut butter.  And wine — my favorite way to celebrate a birth, right before I take a nice long nap!

I am a doula.  It’s not just what I do.  It’s who I am, and exactly what I was made to be.