WHAT IS A DOULA?
Doula; a word from ancient greek origin that means “a woman who serves”.
The role of the Doula is to provide continuous physical and emotional support through pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. During labor, the Doula’s job is to focus solely on the needs of a mother and partner, guiding the laboring woman through the use of breath, gentle massage, emotional support and mediation.
However you choose to give birth, whether it be unmedicated, medicated, surgically, at home, at a birth center or at the hospital, the support of a Doula is incredibly beneficial in lowering stress and reducing the odds of unnecessary interventions.
WHO IS BRANCA?
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I always dreamed of moving to the US to pursue my acting career.
At 15 years old, I convinced my parents to let me go to an all-girls boarding school in upstate New York (the oldest all-girls boarding school in the US), and I brought my sister with me, so that this powerful bond wouldn't break, and we could continue training our aerial dance/circus practice together.
This is where my love of community living was born. And where I had a true first glimpse of how powerful it is to have women supporting women.
I loved dorm life, and having a sisterhood to support me through my academic life felt just right.
This wasn't new information. This was ancient wisdom - it was just being reawakened in me.
After high school, I went to NYC to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, after having studied Shakespeare during the summer at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, in London.
I missed England too much and went back to get my MA in Professional Acting at the renowned Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Oh - how I loved my schools. Again - the sense of community that can be created is theatre school, or in theatre companies, is just something so beautiful, that I kinda felt I could just keep on coming back for more.
Finally, however,I was able to return back to America with a work visa - I was an 'Alien of Extraordinary Ability'. A title I will forever remember fondly. ;)
As years went by, I got my green card... I met my husband (but we only got together years later), got married, and got pregnant!
Our pregnancy and the birth of our daughter, Piper Maria, have been the most incredible and life-altering experiences I have ever gone through. Our daughter has inspired me in so many ways already - during pregnancy, I felt incredibly in tune with my body and my heart. It was during pregnancy that I felt drawn back to the study of Ayurveda. And it was also through the journey of building my birth team, and learning more and more about the beautiful transformation that is pregnancy and birth and postpartum, that I fell in love with the role of a Doula.
Piper truly guided me to finally connect to my true DHARMA - my purpose.
Now that I have become a Doula, I am absolutely thrilled to be able to support mothers, fathers, and families, on their own journey of Birth and Rebirth.
EDUCATION + CERTIFICATION
DONA International Birth Doula Training, Bini Birth, 2018
Yoga & Ayurveda - RYT-300-Hour - Black Dog Yoga, Los Angeles, 2018
Sivananda Vedanta - RYT 200-Hour - England, UK - 2005
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School - MA in Professional Acting - England, UK - 2006
American Academy of Dramatic Arts - New York, NY - 2004
Circus training - Cirque du Soleil - private and on-going training and coaching - 1998 - 2017