My qualifications include:

~Active participant at more than 80 births

~Certified in 2006 by the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators (now known as TOLABOR--www.tolabor.com)

~Certified Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers-CPR & AED

~Certified Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) Provider

~Trained assistant midwife since 2006

~Completed Midwife To Be Course (www.newlifehomebirth.com). Required course work for midwife certification in South Carolina.

Read more about me in the article published in the Moscow-Pullman Daily news:

 SIDEWALK SERIES: On the sidelines of life

Moscow Daily News

Moscow doula feels 'privileged' to be involved in birthing process

By Tara Roberts, Daily News staff writer

Every baby's birth is special to Lisa Williams.

The Moscow resident has attended 18 births as a doula. She plans to be at many more as she provides her services and studies to become a midwife.

"I think with every birth you attend, the miracle of birth becomes evident all over again," she said. "It's such a privilege to be invited to assist and witness somebody else's birth."

The term "doula" comes from an ancient Greek word meaning "woman's servant." Doulas attend hospital and home births and act as a liaison between a laboring mother, her partner and the doctor or midwife delivering the baby.

"You're an advocate for the mom and dad to have the birth they want to have," Williams said.

Williams started studying to become a doula two years ago, and was certified by the Association of Labor Assistance and Childbirth Educators a year ago. She has a few years of apprenticeship left before she becomes a midwife.

Williams was inspired to go into the vocation by her 12-year-old daughter, Natalie. She gave birth to Natalie at home with the help of a midwife after she had trouble finding a doctor who would support a natural birth.

Natalie watched a video of her birth as a toddler, and immediately declared she wanted to be a midwife. When she was older, she spotted a sign for doula training classes and encouraged her mom to sign up.

Williams helps families prepare for birth, go through it and recover from it. She meets with parents and helps them write a birth plan that is personalized for them.

"You form a bond and you get to know what they're expecting during the birth, what their preferences are and things like that," she said.

When a mother goes into labor, Williams is there as soon as possible with a suitcase full of tools. She carries many items to help with relaxation, such as herbs and back massagers. She suggests different positions that might make labor more comfortable for a mother. She has a wide variety of techniques for pain relief, such as squeezing combs to focus a mother's mind on small pain instead of the big pains of labor.

Doulas don't replace the baby's father or any other birth partner, Williams said. The many people in a birthing room work together.

"After a while everyone develops a rhythm and has a job to do," she said.

Williams also helps parents understand their doctor or midwife's suggestions for birth. If a doctor suggests an epidural, for example, she can explain the risks and benefits of getting one. She believes natural birth is the safest and best choice for mothers and babies, but her primary job is to support the parents.

"Parents need to be supported in whatever kind of birth they choose to have or need to have," she said.

Williams said her experience as a doula has taught her the tenacity of women giving birth. Every woman wonders if she can really do it, and some births are difficult, she said, but the mothers triumph.

"Seeing women muster all their vital forces and courage is amazing," Williams said.