Get to know the members of the Tampa Bay Birth Network! Our next installment.
We interviewed Gaetane Joseph (pronounced Guy-ton), the face behind Seeds Of Mommy Soul. She is a Birth Doula and a Certified Lactation Counselor with a lot to offer our community. Let us introduce you!
As a Birth Doula what is your mission?
My mission is to provide quality services to expectant mothers and families with ongoing emotional and physical support during pregnancy and labor because ultimately every birth should be empowering, uplifting and positive.
How did you get into this line of work?
After the birth of my son in 2008 via cesarean, I had a very hard time breastfeeding. Not being one to give up, I exclusively pumped for 13 months in order to provide my son with breast milk. I soon became a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor volunteer which led me to work for Healthy Start. During my 2nd pregnancy, I began learning more about ways to prepare for my birth. In 2010, I delivered my daughter at home with the guidance of my Midwife and Doula. The compassion and attentiveness that my Doula provided was indescribable. I realized that it was a role I had envisioned for myself as a child growing up and into adulthood. I became a CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor) and Birth Doula soon after. Now as a mother of three, I have first hand experience with the true beauty of pregnancy and birth. As a Doula, I believe every expectant mother should experience the beauty of her birth as well.
Tell us about yourself?
I was born in Haiti and raised in Miami where the multiple dynamics of cultures is prominent. At a very young age I became fascinated with pregnancy and birth and wanted to become an OBGYN. In high school I volunteered at my local hospital in labor and delivery. I witnessed two births during my volunteer work which became the catalyst to further my education. I graduated from USF with my Bachelors in Africana Studies and Women Studies after realizing Obstetrics wasn't really the direction I wanted to go. Ultimately, I wanted to care for laboring mothers not only physically but also emotionally; becoming a Doula would allow me to do so.
What services do you offer?
I offer Doula support to a laboring mother and her family. As a trained Doula I am equipped with the tools to assist a laboring mother with comfort measures, initial breastfeeding support, and information for each family to make informed decisions.
I also offer lactation support to mothers who are having some difficulties with breastfeeding. I assist mothers with initial breastfeeding, evaluating a proper latch, and referring for additional breastfeeding support as needed.
What locations do you service?
I service Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk County. I will support families in the comfort of their home, hospital, and birthing centers.
How will families benefit from your services?
Families will benefit from my services by having access to communicate with me all throughout pregnancy (via email, voice, or text), receive information and resources from me to help them make informed decisions, receive assistance in initial breastfeeding support, and receive encouragement during such a precious time in their lives.
Anything else you want to share with us?
As a mother, I have had the honor to birth my children and have taken into account all the support that comes along with this role. Being equipped with the resources to birth your baby is fundamental to having the birth you want. As a Doula I respect the mother and partners choice and am always honored to be a part of their journey.
You can reach Gaetane at her Seeds Of Mommy Soul website and check her out on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Seeds-of-Mommy-Soul/.