I am beyond excited to share this incredible Smarty Mom with you! Sarah is a rock-star mama of four amazing children. She entered our lives last November, during my second trimester of pregnancy. She was a Godsend from the moment we met her and we knew immediately we wanted her involved in our first birth. My husband and I truly enjoyed her two home visits and the ongoing support throughout my pregnancy and birth. I was blessed to have two birth experiences: 32 hours of labor/pushing and then a cesarean birth. Sarah remained by our sides and even came to visit our little one after the extensive labor. It doesn’t end there. She was available to help me with PP needs and questions, AND breastfeeding/supply issues!!! Sarah remains extremely communicative, as an incredible source of support although I am now seven months postpartum. If you are in search of an outstanding partner in your pregnancy, birth, and PP needs, you found her!
Smarty Mom Stats:
Married to: Bob Cowherd, who loves good coffee, wearing green shirts and collecting vintage guitars
Children and ages: Ruby, 9, Clayton, 7, Story, 4 1/2 and Silas, 2.
Hometown: Hamilton, NY
Years in Charlotte: 1
Area in Charlotte: Steele Creek
Alma Mater: Russell Sage College
Undergrad study: Creative Arts in Therapy and Women’s Studies
Tell us about Sage Mama Doula!
What is a doula?
“Doula” is an ancient Greek word meaning “a woman who serves,” now used to describe a modern profession. A Doula is professionally trained and experienced in childbirth and provides guidance, evidence-based information, unwavering emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth. Doulas support all birthing choices (natural, medicated, c-section) in all birth environments – home, birth center and hospital. While care providers such as nurses, midwives and doctors focus on the clinical/medical aspects of mother and baby’s care, doulas are present to offer empathy, reassurance, suggestions and guidance for better comfort and coping in labor, and an overall umbrella of support to help make your experience becoming parents a positive and empowering one.
What services can you provide?
I provide concierge birth preparation services, Birth Doula services, Placenta Encapsulation, and daytime and overnight Postpartum Doula support through Queen City Newborn Care.
How long have you been working as a doula? 12 years
Why did you become a doula?
I have loved observing mothers nurture their babies since I was just a little girl. My maternal instincts and belief in women’s wisdom runs deep. I was supporting parents-to-be through birth long before I had my own babies. Now as a mother of four children, I know my own birth experiences have deeply enriched my work as a doula. For nearly a dozen years I have served women and families of all kinds, offering non-judgmental support with a commitment to respecting and honoring the individual choices each family makes. It is my belief that when you are supported and encouraged to take ownership of your choices and your birth, you will have a more satisfying experience and be able to face childbirth and parenting without fear.
As a doula, my role is to help my clients find confidence within themselves and learn to trust their bodies and their hearts. It is my desire to create a peaceful space where my clients can discover their voice and their strength. I believe every woman has the capacity to give birth and feel EMPOWERED by the experience. What I have found through supporting numerous families, is that the childbearing years are a ripe time for transformation and growth, and building a family requires gentle guidance and wisdom from those who have walked this journey before us. Women have been supporting other women since the beginning of time. It is one of my greatest joys to do this ancient and important work.
What other certifications do you have or are you working on?
I am a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula through Doula Trainings International, a BOLD childbirth education facilitator, a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, a Certified Lactation Educator, a midwife’s assistant. I’m currently pursuing certifications and degrees in holistic midwifery and herbalism with an eventual goal of going to nursing school to be a Certified Nurse Midwife.
What is the biggest piece of advice you could give to a first time mom who is considering hiring a doula?
Finding the doula that is right for you can be a bit like dating. Scroll through profiles of many doulas in your area (For the Charlotte area, check www.yourcharlottedoulas.com) and read about various professional’s experience, certifications and philosophy. Plan phone interviews or in person consultations with the Doulas you feel most drawn to, but don’t hesitate to hire the first one you fall in love with! Choose someone who makes you feel at ease, because your birth experience is an incredibly intimate affair, and your relationship with your doula will be built on trust. I think all first time parents should consider the support of a doula, because having excellent support from an expert at your birth allows you to be fully present and more relaxed throughout the experience than if you are totally winging it on your own. Support is key!
Where can we learn more about or contact Sage Mama Doula?
Time for the fun stuff…
What is your favorite book? “Spiritual Midwifery” by Ina May Gaskin
Favorite fall activity with the kiddos? We really miss Apple Picking in upstate NY and leaf peeping in the Adirondacks, but we are excited to head to the mountains around Asheville to explore this fall!
Dream vacation spot? I’m dreaming of taking my kids on an extended year-round homeschooling cross-country road trip in an RV to visit state parks and historic landmarks.
What’s your favorite comfort food? Sometimes my hubby makes me delicious fried eggs with veggies and cheddar late at night after the kids have gone to bed. YUMMY!
Favorite date-night spot? We love Pintville in historic downtown Pineville. We share a “Flight of Beers” where you can sample 4 choices of locally brewed craft beer. There is a different food truck outside of the bar every night of the week, and they actually encourage and welcome you to bring food into the bar! Sometimes we’ll head to Amelie’s for dessert after.