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Our Postpartum Doulas

It’s a wonderful time when baby comes home, but it is also an intense life transition. We tailor our Postpartum Doula support to each family we work with, most often supporting: 
  • The care and nurturing of mom and partner, including dads and siblings
  • Normal newborn education, understanding and bonding
  • Breast feeding support
  • Organizing the home, nursery, schedule, etc.
  • Light housecleaning and meal preparation 
  • Referrals to local experts and birth community resources
For more information about Postpartum Doulas, please see: 

Jinny Pagle: Postpartum Doula

posted Sep 8, 2016, 10:10 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Jun 6, 2017, 8:57 PM ]

Raised in Southern California and now a Bay Area convert, Jinny has worked in birth and postpartum support since 2011. She lives with her husband and two children, 5 and 2, in Richmond, East Bay. Now a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, and Newborn Care Specialist, Jinny loves to help families transition through this precious time of life. In her free time she enjoys hiking and camping with her family, gardening, and raising chickens. Future goals include studying to become a Certified Professional Midwife and a beekeeper.

Vivian Wanjugu Mwangi : Postpartum Doula

posted Nov 21, 2015, 12:15 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated May 24, 2016, 10:43 PM ]

My name is Vivian Wanjugu Mwangi. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. I am a middle, third born, child in a family of five. Being the middle child, I believe, it has made me diligent, proactive and mindful of others. 

After High school I went to live in Germany and work as an au pair. This was a wonderful experience! I got the chance to travel the world, interact with people from different cultures and an opportunity to work for a family with a new born baby who was only a month old. I worked for the same family, until the baby was 2 years old and this experience grew my love and care for children. I feel it is a privilege to be in the process of molding and shaping and influencing the mind and life of a child. I believe the life of a baby is a big responsibility and being a part of that has become my passion. This passion to see children grow to be all that they were intended to be but also relieve parents of the worry about taking care of their children as they hold a job has motivated me to work with families with younger and younger babies.

I continued working as a nanny in Nairobi after I returned to Kenya in 2005. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with a family starting with their 1 year old baby. As the family grew and had two more children I had a part in helping raise the three children over the 9 years I was with them. The experience taught me endurance and child care skills and I am forever grateful to the family for the experience that I gained during my tenure. Around the same time that my Green card petition was approved by the American Embassy the family relocated because of a work transfer. It was sad to part ways, but fortunately we kept in touch.

After moving to the United States in 2015, I immediately started working with an adorable 6 month old little girl during which time I've had the opportunity to train as a Postpartum Doula with Cornerstone Doulas and become certified in Heart Saver CPR and AED from American Heart Association. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work as a postpartum doula as it will give me the opportunity to help, assist, guide, support, educate and encourage new parents as they get to know their new babies. 

Lisa Baracker, MA, CD(H&H) : Executive Director & Founder

posted Jan 7, 2013, 6:47 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Oct 21, 2014, 8:57 PM ]

As the founder of Whatadoula, I have spent the last 4 years watching as families become families with and without postpartum doula support. I recognize this lack of support as a problem felt by every family in our society who is about to experience the life-changing event of having a child. But it's still hard to put into words exactly what a well trained postpartum doula can add to your experience of becoming a parent whether it's your first child or fourth child.  

I am trained as a breastfeeding peer counselor to help with breastfeeding challenges big and small. I am able to recognize when further referrals are needed for lactation consultation. I'm certified in CPR for all ages and newborn care; this provides you with answers to many of the questions that come flooding into your thoughts in the first few weeks of life. My continuing education has given me insights into assisting LGBTQ parents with their families after birth and with noticing the symptoms of postpartum depression among all new parents. I have experience with Twins and Single birth families.  My speciality is over-night doula work, helping you get the rest you need to wake up and be an amazing parent to your new little one or ones.  With my expertise, your transition into parenthood will be more restful, more informed and less worrisome.  

As of August 2012 I have entered the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program at Touro University full time and will only continue my doula work with repeat clients and families.  It has been an amazing 5 years of Doula work and I look forward to seeing everyone on the flip side, as I continue my advocacy work for pregnant and expecting patients and start catching the babies as a Student Doctor.
Image Credit: Antoinette Clair

Gabe Baracker, Postpartum Doula : Director of Finance & Operations

posted Jan 7, 2013, 6:44 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Jun 2, 2014, 1:12 PM ]

I am married and live with my wife and children in Albany. My career in city planning and subsidized housing hit the skids with the recession and I have moved on to the most fulfilling position I had no idea I’d ever have. I’m proud to be a DONA Trained Postpartum Doula, husband and dad and, now Operations Manager at Whatadoula.

I was dumbfounded while my wife was giving birth to our first son. I had no words to express how I felt. Since then I have become immersed in all things birth related (being married to the owner/founder of Whatadoula certainly helps). I’ve also come to realize that I’m good at helping parents and babies in their first few weeks of life after birth. I loved being with my wife and children during that time. When working with new parents and even those who have had children previously, I find it so peaceful finding a rhythm with baby and parents and facilitating the bond that will last forever. 

Image Credit: Lisa Baracker

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