Hi, I'm Sarah Hendricks, owner of DouLife. I am married to Tim, a wonderful husband and great father to our children. Together, we enjoy raising our two beautiful girls, Camille and Elise, traveling, and eating at local restaurants. Before becoming a mom and doula, I was an elementary school teacher for 12 years in North Carolina, Virginia, and Japan. I am a native Richmonder and think this is an amazing city in which to raise a family.
After our struggle with infertility and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), a long labor with interventions and ultimately a cesarean section, a relatively shorter unmedicated VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean), and experiencing post partum depression, I felt called to support parents throughout their pregnancies, birth, and postpartum. I have always had a passion for all things birth and babies. Now that I'm a mother, I have a clear connection to other people who are becoming parents and want to help them feel supported. Employing a doula was one of the best decisions Tim and I ever made. Because of our positive experiences, I decided to become doula. I see this as my contribution to Richmond's birth community.
I am a toLabor trained Professional Birth Doula, practicing since January 2017, and working toward certification through toLabor as well as Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED certified. I have also attended the following trainings and workshops: Rebozo training with Gena Kirby, Working with LGBTQ+ Pregnant Folks and Parents, Acupressure for Birth Attendants, Aromatherapy for Pregnancy and Young Families, Perinatal Loss Workshop at VCU Health, Perinatal Mood Disorders and I am on the Greater Richmond Maternal Mental Health Coalition. Additional interests are Baby Led Weaning, Babywearing, and Sleep Education. Some of my strengths as a doula include being calm, encouraging, and intuitive. I also have a sense of humor and can laugh, have fun, and be your cheerleader if that is what you need. I follow your lead.
I believe that pregnancy and birth are normal physiological processes and that our strong bodies were created to grow, birth, and feed our babies. I believe that each parent giving birth should decide how he or she wishes his or her birth experience to be. I believe you have the right to be an active participant in your own birth experience and should make informed choices about your care provider (obstetrician or midwife), your birth setting (hospital, birth center, home), interventions, and attendees at your birth. I believe that parents should have the continuous support of a doula if they want one. I believe that partners are just as emotionally invested in the birth of their baby as the laboring parent is and also need the support of a doula. I believe that you should be a self-advocate especially during labor and delivery and I can help you to get there. I believe in evidence-based practice. I believe that your due date is an estimated date and that babies will come when they are ready. I believe that parents should not be judged for their decisions during birth. I believe that pregnant, laboring, and birthing parents are simply beautiful. I believe it is as equally important to prepare for your postpartum as it is to prepare for your pregnancy and birth.
Author Elizabeth Noble said, "However much we know about birth in general, we know nothing about a particular birth. We must let it unfold with its own uniqueness." As your doula, I support YOUR choices. I am here for YOU!