About Teri Nava-Anderson, PhD, CD, CCE
I am a DONA International certified Birth and Postpartum Doula, ICEA (International Childbirth Educators Association) Childbirth Educator, Lactation Educator, and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist. Additionally, I have training in prenatal pelvic floor balancing, acupressure for labor and birth, have completed the workshops necessary to become a Dancing for Birth™ Instructor, and have a variety of advanced doula skill trainings, including rebozo use for comfort and relaxation, mindfulness, and hypnosis for childbirth. I am well versed in the Hypnobirthing (Mongan) and Hypnobabies methods of self-hypnosis and guided meditation for childbirth, and personally used both methods when I delivered my own children.
An experienced and seasoned doula, I enjoy mentoring new doulas and teaching advanced doula skills workshops. I created and teach the Community-Based Birth and Postpartum Doula Program at the Modesto Natural Birth Center. I also have experience teaching labor support skills to nurses and have been a guest lecturer in nursing programs. I was a frequent guest speaker at area Babies R Us stores, helping moms learn the basics of labor choices, comfort measures, breastfeeding, and newborn care.
As a "wearer of many hats" I volunteer on the Education Committee and as the Western Pacific US Regional Director with DONA International also lead local chapters for La Leche League and the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), sit as President of the Mt. Diablo Doula Community Board of Directors, assist with the Birth Alliance of Central California, was co-founder of the Delta Valley Childbirth Collective, and am the doula trainer and mentor at the Harmony Doula Group (and it's predecessor, the Modesto Doula Group).
My Birth Philosophy:
I believe in the innate nature of a person’s body to bring forth a baby. I also believe strongly in the power of education. As a doula, it is my responsibility to provide the best evidence-based information available to my clients so that they, in turn, can make informed choices that best serve their needs. I hold a PhD from Stanford University in History. My work as a doula compliments my work as a historian and archaeologist, because birthing people, whether in the modern age or the distant past, are all connected and empowered by their shared experience. I believe that every person has the right to understand their body and the labor process -- to know what each stage and phase of labor entails, what it might feel like, and what their choices are. The old adage that knowledge is power is as true in the birthing process as it is in other aspects of life. Yet, for most first timers, the only exposure to the labor process they have had comes from movies and television, in which the birthing person is rarely depicted as anything other than distressed and in intense pain. Giving birth is hard work, to be sure, but the better prepared one is physically and emotionally, the easier it can be. Most everyone fears the unknown, but fear is not beneficial to a laboring person. Few people would ever consider running a 10K marathon without training their body and mind for the event, yet people are often expected to meet the challenge of labor with little or no advance preparation. I advocate strongly that people take an extended preparation course, whether they have chosen relaxation and breathing as their primary techniques for managing the pain or discomfort of labor, or whether they have decided to use medication.
As a parent of two, I have learned from experience that a person in labor deserves to be nurtured, to be heard and respected, and to be free to surrender themselves to the birthing experience. If they want to be loud, they should be loud; if they want to be quiet, they should be quiet. For most people, giving birth will be unlike any experience they have ever had and it may completely change the way they view themselves and the world. As a doula, I am therefore honored any time a person has allowed me to share that journey with them.