We are thrilled to have Mary Rose Burke as a birth doula here at Northern Virginia Birth Services. Please join us in welcoming her to our team!
What brought you to your profession as a doula (labor and/or postpartum)?
I first thought about becoming a birth doula when my oldest child was a baby, after the trans-formative experience of giving birth and becoming a mother myself. I read so much about pregnancy and birth during my first pregnancy, and I became fascinated with all of it. Over the last 11+ years, I've had 3 more babies, and now that they're all getting a little older and more independent, I'm so excited to bring this dream to fruition. I completed birth doula trainings with DONA in 2013 and with ProDoula in 2016. I am pursuing certification as a birth doula with ProDoula.
What is your favorite part of supporting families?
In this day and age, and especially in the DC metro area, the pace of life is so fast, and we are all so busy. I want to provide my clients with a safe space where they can feel unhurried, comfortable, and most of all, heard and understood. I want the families I work with to know that I am there for them, with unwavering support and nurturing care, as they prepare for and transition to life with their new baby.
When did you become a mother?
In September of 2004, at the age of 29.
Where are you from or where were you born?
I'm a Northern Virginia native - born and raised!
What are some of your dreams and visions for your profession?
I am thrilled to be pursuing certification as a birth doula. In the near future I plan to also certify as a childbirth educator, lactation counselor, and placenta specialist.
Do you volunteer anywhere and what do you do?
I do a lot of volunteering at my church - with the children's and women's ministries, and other general church programs. I also volunteer at my kids' school - in the classroom and at PTA events.
What is your greatest joy in mothering?
As a Mom, I love those moments of one-on-one connection with each of my children, when time seems to stand still, and we just enjoy each other's presence. I also love seeing the unique personalities of each of my kids develop and grow over time - they are each so different, and I'm so thankful I get to be their Mom!
What is the hardest thing about motherhood for you now?
Things can get a little (okay, a lot!) wild and crazy in our house, with four active kids, and a frisky Beagle thrown into the mix as well. My kids generally get along, and I know they love each other immensely, but when there are sibling squabbles, I have a hard time not feeling overwhelmed and stressed out - I don't enjoy conflict! But I'm working on staying calm in those heated moments.
What would be your best advice for a new mom?
It's okay not to have all the answers. None of us have all the answers. Just know in your heart that you were specifically chosen to be this baby's Mom. Your baby doesn't need you to be perfect; we all make mistakes. As long as you are always learning and growing, that's what matters. Trust your instincts, never be ashamed to ask for help, and give yourself a lot of grace - every day is a new day and a fresh start. I think these are good reminders for all Moms - I still have to remind myself of them pretty often!
What is something you always stand by? ( a verse, statement, slogan, etc)
"Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now." --Fred Rogers