Meet Audrey Cooper
Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator, Mental Health Specialist
Audrey is a career mental health professional with a background in human services, child development, and community support. She trained as a doula in 2019, and has participated in births in multiple states, regions, and settings.
She currently serves as the secretary of the Doulas Care Collective, of which she is also a founding member. She's a member of the Military Birth Resource Network serving the Culpeper, VA and Northern Virginia areas, and a Lamaze trained Childbirth Educator, teaching virtual and in-person private and group classes.
On a personal note-
Growing up I was surrounded by powerful women who overcame staggering challenges and worked every day to make a beautiful life for themselves and their children. I heard the birth stories of my aunts and older cousins, supported women in a single mom's support center, and volunteered in women's and children's programs at the church I grew up in and as I met and worked alongside these women I saw them call on such impactful personal power. I wanted to help others harness that inner strength to make empowered choices and change their lives.
When I first learned of birth work, and doula work in particular, I found a profession that calls upon so many of my strengths and interests. My creativity and flexible problem solving shine in birth work. My mindset, background in mental health and empowerment, and commitment to a judgement free and understanding-rich outlook bring grace and grounding to the people I support.
When I'm not immersed in birth work I enjoy watching or reading a good rom-com or sci-fi, sketching historical dress, and reading with my cat. I enjoy trying new activities and being outside and active in fun ways. I love beaches, lakes, mountains, trees, and yes, even snow.
What is a doula?
Doula support is
Massage, counter pressure and robozo
Calming atmosphere through preparation and presence
Recommendations and support in positioning
Supplying food, drink, ice chips
Water-based interventions such as use of a tub, shower, damp cloths, or focusing ritual.
Support in locating evidence-based information in preparation of birth
Guidance through birth process
Explanation of birth process and interventions
Suggestion of techniques through labor process
Labor signs and progress
Support for partner in understanding labor process and birthing person’s experience
Explanation of interventions and medical information
Focus on birthing person
Use of birthing person’s prepared mantras or affirmations
Encouraging the birthing person and partner in following their birth plan
Asking the birthing person what they want
Ensuring that the birthing person’s voice and desires are heard
Providing space for the birthing person and partner to discuss needed interventions or changes to birth plan
Facilitating communication between parents and care givers
Explaining interventions as they are happening
"Beyond her technical skills, she made my feel confident and empowered throughout the entire birthing process. She helped me stay focused on my goals and reminded me of my own strength when doubt crept in..."
-B Former client