Hello, I'm Rhonda.
MPH, BSN, RN/ Birth Doula
Hello, my name is Rhonda and I am a maternal-child health researcher, registered nurse and precertified DONA birth doula. I have been passionate about the health of women and children for almost 20 years. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology (w/ a concentration in Child and Family Studies) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2005. I later earned a Master’s of Public Health in Epidemiology (w/ a concentration in Maternal and Child Health) from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 2010. Post Master’s degree, I conducted qualitative and quantitative research and evaluated outcomes for community-based programs at a local non-profit for six years. During this time, I also completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Baptist College of Health Sciences in 2014. For the past 3 years I have worked as a registered nurse in women’s services at Regional One Health. Also, I am a Clinical Researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
I am the mother of two boys and the wife of a supportive and loving husband who is also a photographer and videographer. I’ve had several people ask me why I decided to become a birth doula after already having a career in clinical research and being a registered nurse.
Every time I looked at my son after he was born in September 2015, I felt blessed and thankful that he was here. I also felt disappointed, anxious, angry, and like I had let him and myself down. Although the c-section was a major surgery, that wasn’t what made me feel the way I felt. It was the fact that I was not listened to, my labor had been mismanaged by my medical provider, and ultimately it led to our lives being in danger. I was a medical professional, well educated, and probably more knowledgeable than your average woman about birth, so how did I fall victim to our medicalized model for childbirth? The answer was simple: I didn’t have an advocate in my most vulnerable moment. No one was there to present me with facts, coach me in non-medical techniques, and reassure me that I could do it. I knew that I didn’t want another woman to feel the way I felt. Therefore, I made it my mission to ensure that all women had access to individualized care and support during pregnancy and childbirth.
As a birth doula, I incorporate my background in maternal child health research and healthcare to provide clients with current evidence-based practice and policy in order to help moms and their partners make the best decisions regarding pregnancy, birth and beyond.