The word doula comes from ancient Greek and means woman caregiver. We now use the word to describe a trained and experienced childbirth companion who provides continuous physical comfort, emotional, and informational support to the mother and her partner during pregnancy, labor, and the birth process.
A doula does NOT take the place of your partner during labor and birth. The doula can actually bring the couple closer together. The doula allows for the partner to participate at his or her comfort level.
The birth of a child is a memory a woman will remember throughout her lifetime. COASTAL DOULA SERVICES wants to make sure this precious memory will be positive and rewarding.
Christie Gumble - Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator, Breastfeeding Counselor
As Jacksonville’s most experienced birth doula, I would like to share some of the details of my journey to becoming a doula.
I have been a doula for many years and was a doula long before it ever became popular. I have always had an interest in birth; in fact, when was younger I was acting as a “doula” to my friends and family before I even knew what the word “doula” meant. In my younger years I discovered I possessed a God given gift to bring a calm presence to women in need. Once this discovery was made, I intended to use it!
In 1993, I completed an internship with Dr. Takey Crist, at the Crist Clinic for Women. The internship resulted in employment and I worked with Dr. Crist in his OB office as well as his birthing center. This is when I realized my passion for birth.
I completed my Dona certification and I have since been a doula for many years. Each birth taught me more than the last. I began to realize that birth is not a one dimensional process. It is an act that involves body, mind, and soul. Building on this understanding, I became a professional Relaxation Therapist and Meditation Instructor. With this in mind, I obtained a Degree in Psychology and use this philosophy in my doula support as well as my childbirth education.
Since my journey began, I have obtained over 20 years experience in the medical field; most of those years working in OB/GYN. I have also obtained a Degree in Psychology, a DONA certification, a certification in Breastfeeding Counseling, among other birth related certifications...but nothing has taught me more than the wonderful clients who entrusted me in one of the most beautiful times in their lives.