TARA VAN DYKE, CERTIFIED BIRTH DOULA
Wow, I wish I knew what a doula was for the births of my four children. When my first baby was on the way, I read a few books about what to expect and dutifully lugged my pillow and my husband to hospital childbirth classes, but when I finally went into labor 10 days past my due date, let's just say things didn't go exactly as I'd envisioned them.
The question families ask me most frequently is why I decided to become a doula. The short answer is that new parents need and deserve top-quality, continuous care when they are most vulnerable. The longer answer comes partly from the questions I asked myself after that first labor experience:
How did I feel unprepared when I had read the books and gone to the classes?
Why did we feel so lost and alone even in our highly-rated hospital and with our chosen doctor?
How can new parents feel stronger and more empowered after birth and less traumatized and overwhelmed?
My journey to parenthood included experiences with miscarriage, Pitocin induction, epidural, episiotomy, instrumental delivery, unmedicated birth, and finally a hospital birth attended by my husband, mother, and mother-in-law! I learned a lot along the way about how to find the information and support I needed. I want all parents to have a positive beginning as their baby is born, and a beautiful story to tell for the rest of their lives. I am passionate about the power of family life transitions, and so became a doula and educator to encourage, support, and equip parents in their new roles.
This passion is what led to the launching of With U Parenting, a company focused on strengthening families and creating community support.
Mother of 4
Certified Birth Doula, ICEA.org
B.A., Communications, Wheaton College
Certified VBAC Doula, The VBAC Link
Certified Bringing Baby Home Educator, Gottman Institute
Founding member, DuPage Doula Network
300+ births attended
TEAM MODEL OF DOULA CARE
For many years, Nicki Worden and I each ran a successful solo business, providing support services for families welcoming a new baby into their home. As colleagues with shared values, we began to serve each other as backup support, and heard positive feedback from our clients about the way we worked together.
We both attend all types of births with no judgment about our clients' choices or goals. We are passionate about helping new parents thrive and grow in confidence and strength. We nurture relationships with clients and medical providers and make time to build trust before baby’s arrival. Because of these similarities, our friendship, and the way we genuinely love working together, we saw an opportunity to build a partnership to increase the quality and depth of our care.
Families benefit from the full attention of two experienced doulas. We both have an understanding of the Chicagoland birth culture and hospital policies. We use this knowledge gained from a combined 30+ years in the field and 800+ births attended to create a customized support plan that meets the unique needs of every client.
We are more energized than ever in our work, as we share ideas and support each other. Everything is more fun when you've got a great teammate behind you, and we can't wait to join our team with yours!
Please see more about our services at our new website: Family First Birth Services