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Meet Moriah Burke

Houston Central Doulas

Meet Moriah Burke

What services do you provide? 

I’m a birth doula matchmaker. Before I launched and started managing Houston Central Doulas, I was the birth doula for all of the clients. Now I’m delighted to have a wonderful birth team and facilitate the overall client experience. I do most of our client inquiry and consult requests. After I learn more about the client, I help connect them to the member of our team that best matches. 

I am a postpartum placenta specialist. I encapsulate some of our client’s placentas. I am the lady who ships all of the coolers, and packs all of the kits for every placenta we get hired for. 

I am a postpartum doula and lead the babies to sleep land. I can fold five baskets of clothes in twenty five minutes, and don’t mind the sink full of bottles. I love working postpartum because I love to know that a family has support. I like to help answer questions and help families find a routine. 

I teach birth and parenting classes all over Houston. 

In addition to client work, I am the owner and office manager. So I manage all client files, emails, texts, calls, and billing. I love building relationships with all of our clients, even if I am not their primary doula. 

What certifications do you have? 

Stillbirthday Birth & Bereavement 

Prodoula Certified Childbirth Educator

Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Doula

Childbirth International Birth Doula

What additional trainings/skills/degrees/CEUs do you have?

Postpartum Training – ProDoula

Birth Doula Training – DONA (Twice!)

Birth Doula Training – ProDoula

Postpartum Placenta Specialist Training – ProDoula

Varied business trainings for birth workers

CPR/FIrst Aid/AED Certified for infants and adults

Rebozo training

Associate degree in business administration (which is why I run the office, I guess 🙂 )

What is your favorite part of being a doula with Houston Central Doulas? 

I love the cohesiveness with the team and the peace that comes with knowing our clients are taken care of. From a client perspective, I love the built in backups. Since there are so many of us, I love that we usually have short notice availability for clients. A lot of our clients have more than one doula, so I like that they end up with a whole village of support. I think of our doulas as being my own family. I like that we not only work together, but also hang out at Torchy’s and eat fried cookie dough. 

What is your favorite part of being a business owner? 

I like helping people. Which I think is true for all doulas. We’re able to provide support from pregnancy through toddlerhood under one business, and I think that makes it simpler on clients to know that they can build a relationship with us that last for years (or maybe forever :))

The first things you do at a birth are: 

I wash my hands as soon as I enter the room. Then, I make eye contact with the parents. I say, “It’s a beautiful day to have a baby.” Next, I ask how they are. I immediately jump in wherever they’re at. That may mean starting hip squeezes on the next contraction, asking a partner if they need to break for water or the bathroom, or simply holding a mother’s hand. 

What is your favorite doula tool?: 

There’s a lot to be said for just being there, you know? Of looking them in the eyes. Being encouraging. Assuring them. I think compassion and a willingness to walk the journey with parents is a great asset. But of the actual tools, my favorite would be the TENs unit since it directly affects feelings of discomfort and is a noninvasive but very real way of helping. 

What do you think are the most beneficial things to say to a woman in labor?:

“Nothing happening in your body is stronger than you, because it is you.”

“You’re doing it.”

“It’s okay to make noise.”

“This is normal”

“____ (baby’s name) is going to be here soon.”

“Release”

And then I try to make them laugh. As much as possible. I like to encourage them to share stories with each other. Stories of things like how they met help release good hormones. There’s also power in silence. I will not speak to a woman during a contraction in any way that is not directly about her. 

How do you ensure that you also take care of the mother’s partner during labor?: 

I constantly tell the partner before the birth to pretend I’m not there. When the parents think back about their birth story, I want them to remember each other. I will never take over or do anything for a mother without offering the opportunity for the partner to step in and do it if they want to.

I encourage physical contact between the mother and partner. If a partner wants to do a hip squeeze, I will show them how. If they need to sit, I will do the hip squeeze. I honor the intimacy and privacy of their relationship and know when to step away and fade into the background to give them space. I let the partner know that they are important. They are the most important person to the mother. The mother feels safest with them.

I will bring them snacks and water, send them to the bathroom, and make sure that they also have a pillow and blanket even if I need to rummage every closet to find one. 

The first three things you’d do at a postpartum shift would be: 

I ask how the parents are. I want to know that everyone is clean and fed. Then I immediately start checking diapers and send parents to shower, if they want to. Especially at night, I want everyone to go to sleep. During the day, I love when parents feel like they can take a nap. Once I know everyone is okay, fed, clean, and on their way to rest, I will look for easy things to do to make a difference like folding the clothes that live on the couch, or washing bottles. 

If you were making a Netflix recommendation to a postpartum mother, what would you recommend?: 

Something with many seasons. Friends. Grey’s Anatomy. The Office. Reign. Gilmore Girls. Orange Is The New Black. 

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? 

I love coastal towns. The bigger the seashells, the better. I love to be around water. Collecting shells is one of my favorite hobbies. I like to swim, just decompress, and eat at hole in the wall local places. 

How do you spend a day off? 

I like to day trip to Galveston when I’m not on call. When I only have a couple of hours out, I like to roam around book stores, thrift stores, and eat at places I’ve never tried before. I’m also perfectly content to stay at home. At home, I like to read and crochet in my recliner with a cup of herbal tea. 

What does self-care mean and look like for you?:

For me, self-care is about being present in the current moment. I willingly and gladly work every day of the year.  Even if I have no shifts or client appointments, I will still take calls and emails.

So I’m not likely to vacation for a week. So I find myself taking mini vacations which are 15 minutes with a face mask, a meditation on Youtube, finishing the next chapter of a book, going for a walk in the park.

I think it’s important for every single person to have time to just breathe and do something they enjoy. There’s so much pressure in society, and especially in big cities, to be constantly moving and working toward the next thing. Burn out is real. Exhaustion is real. And even 15 minutes a day of just being YOU can be such a major source of stress relief and reconnection with yourself.  

What are your favorite foods?:

I like food. Period. French fries are amazing for being such a simple food. I like New York style pizza. Mediterranean food. Fruit when it is perfectly juicy and ripe. Coffee. All the coffee. 

Tell Us A Little Bit More: 

I have one son who is ten now. It’s kind of amazing how one little person can change you so much. My birth experience felt sort of like Murphy’s Law. Following his birth, I experienced what we call “birth trauma” in the form of grief.

After days of prodromal labor, and nine hours of active labor, I experienced an unplanned cesarean birth and didn’t meet my preterm baby until he was five hours old.

As a result, I started doing a lot of research as a way to comfort myself. That’s how I learned what a doula was and I became sold on making sure that families feel normal, are able to process the entirety of their experience, and encounter support that cares about their emotional and mental health and not just the physical experience. One of the most challenging days of my life turned into this thriving and beautiful village of support that is Houston Central Doulas. I can’t even imagine who or what I’d be now if it hadn’t been for that day. Now, instead of being a day of grief, I think of that day as the day that set me on the course to be able to support you. 

I’ve been married to Gabriel for almost six years. I think it’s the home team that really helps entrepreneurship work. He is the most amazing partner. None of you have ever met him, but he does a lot to help keep things running. Sometimes that’s homework and housework while I’m off helping you. And sometimes he’s actively helping with Houston Central Doulas. 

We have some crazy dogs. I got lured into being a dog person. We also have some hamsters that recently escaped but came back. It’s always an adventure at our house. 

I’m a knowledge seeker. I am an encyclopedia of scientific research mixed with holistic methods and old wives tales. There must always be a book within reach. 

I love music. I spend almost every moment alone listening to music. Sometimes I think about canceling my Pandora subscription and then realize that would be absurd. 

I love organization. If you need someone to reorganize your whole life via The Container Store, I will get super hype if you include me. I’m the person who has purse hooks on the seats in my car. It’s an obsession. I feel like we have more head space and peace when all the crap we own comes together in an orderly fashion. As a result, I’m also really good at tetris. I’ve fit a lawn mower in the back of a hatchback before. If you ever need to travel for a week with six kids, with their stuff in one suitcase, call me. 

 

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