Becoming a doula really started when I was working as an EMT for an ambulance company on the Central Coast of California. I had the opportunity to go into the OR with a respiratory therapist to watch a caesarian birth. I will never forget the power of watching that baby come out into the world!
That was in 2002, and I eventually moved back to San Diego where I was able to shadow a homebirth midwife, as well as become a volunteer through UCSD’s Hearts and Hands Program.
I then moved into a new area of health care: Respiratory Therapy. Upon obtaining my credential and graduating In 2007 I was hired at a hospital that specialized in labor and delivery. At the time a seemingly annoying paperwork delay with my State License brought the inspiration of my lifetime. While I waited, I had the chance to assist a homebirth with a midwife named Jamin Sylvada.
I was on a natural high for days after that homebirth. That same week, I called Dr. Robert Biter , a friend who was a local OB/GYN, explained my situation and shared with him that I was not going back to respiratory therapy once I received my license; my passion now was assisting with births. He knew my health care background and experience, and started referring couples to me that same year.
My first birth with Dr. Biter would forever change the way I would look at the birthing process. When the first mom he sent my way went into labor, it was a magical birth, nothing like I had ever seen in a hospital setting.
I would continue to see special births with this same doctor for years to follow. That first birth became the standard for how I wished to see all moms experience a birth. I realized that I could help more moms as a doula, by educating and supporting them through their deliveries, than I would by staying as a respiratory therapist in a NICU.
I created my doula practice, Birth Day with Val. The name of my business sums up what I do. Midwives inspire me to be the best doula I can be. The incredible learning experiences from Dr. Biter’s births have allowed me to help create positive births for many women.
Out of Birth Day with Val, came a passion for helping moms to recover with love and support in the postpartum period. I would listen to my clients tell me that they were still feeling really sore, and that what the hospitals gave them for the recovery from episiotomies, swelling and tearing was not helping…
I created Birth Day Postpartum Recovery Spray for moms after their delivery. This spray helps with everything from minor swelling to significant tearing post-delivery. Even moms who encounter a caesarian birth can benefit from the recovery properties of this spray on the incision area.
This 100% natural blend includes the following ingredients: helichrysum, lavender, chamomile, yarrow, calendula and aloe. The healing properties of these particular essential oils promote tissue repair and ease the pain of perineal tearing, episiotomies and swelling.
Birth work is joyous work for me. I believe healthy families begin with healthy births. As a doula, I am an integral part of promoting the best birth experience that I can. Through educating, supporting, and giving postpartum care with families, I am able to meet this intention.
Valerie M. Peterson, BA, LEC, Labor & Delivery Doula, and Founder of Birth Day with Val