How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
-I have one son, Zion. He turned 2 in March. If I have realized anything during this season of parenting, it’s that whoever termed the phrase “terrible two’s” just misunderstood toddlers! This stage of navigating the myriad of my son’s emotions and new physical capabilities has no doubt been humbling and difficult – but it has also opened up my heart to his never-ending curiosity and need for structure and consistency. Zion is a total sponge, absorbing literally everything around him. I have never been more self-aware than I am right now of what I say and do!
What do you love about living in the Sarasota area?
-I was born and raised here, so I have always enjoyed the fairly consistent weather and our amazing beaches. As I have gotten older and experienced living in other places, I have come to appreciate the overall happy-go-lucky and kind demeanors of the local people that call Sarasota home.
What’s your favorite restaurant and place to shop in Sarasota?
-This is such a tough question! I’d say my go-to place is Simon’s Coffee House on South Tamiami Trail. The Australian owner and his family is so kind and they are always coming up with healthy, eclectic dishes. The coffees, smoothies, and juices are amazing, too!
In regards to shopping, I do more online then I probably do in-person (mom life!🤪) But if I am looking for something special for myself or a loved one, I will go to University Town Center because it has literally everything in one place which makes it easy when shopping with a toddler.
Tell us about your career.
I trained to be a postpartum doula in August of 2017 and to be a birth doula in January of 2018 with DONA International. The word “doula” in Greek literally means “a woman’s servant,” and can be defined as “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible” (DONA International.)
I work with families preconception, during the entire duration of their pregnancy, in early and active labor, and in the immediate postpartum period.
I have been supporting expecting parents in the Sarasota, Venice, and Lakewood Ranch areas for the last two years and it has been the greatest joy of my life.
What do you love about your career?
In walking through my own pregnancy, labor and delivery, and discovering the unexpected realities of the postpartum period, I became acutely aware of the importance of having a supportive tribe of women surrounding this delicate time of life. I have always viewed myself as an advocate of women, especially those who may lack access to essential resources, and it is this passion that fueled me towards becoming a doula.
I love the deep, meaningful relationships I am able to build with my clients as I help guide and empower them towards having the birth they have imagined for themselves. It is an absolute honor to have the opportunity to be able to support women and their partners during the intimate moments before, during, and after meeting their newborn.
What are some of your hobbies?
With having a two year old, I don’t always have the time to do things that I love to do. But when I have time, I love to write about things I am passionate about like birth, postpartum, and early childhood education. Most of my writing is either for Instagram content or for my blog on my website. I also enjoy practicing photography, especially when my son and I go to the beach or a local park. Oh! And I am a coffee fanatic. My favorite local coffee shops are Project Coffee, Varietal Coffee Bar, and Perq Coffee Bar.
How do you juggle work and motherhood?
Honestly, I rely on having help! When I have a meeting with a client or am supporting a family at a birth, I am so grateful to have such reliable family and friends that help me with my son. It is so reassuring for me knowing that my son is in the best of care when I am not able to physically be with him.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from another mom?
-The best piece of advice I received lately was from a friend in my mothers group I am a part of through my church, Grace Community Church. I was struggling with having a lot of mom guilt from working more than usual, and I reached out to my girls to ask for their encouragement in this. My friend told me this:
I don’t like to call it mom guilt because guilt implies we are doing something wrong. Instead, look at it as just feeling a sense of sadness that comes from having to be away from our kids. Come to terms with the fact that you feel sad because you cannot always be with your child, but that you are not guilty because you are not doing anything wrong.
These words helped reframe how I think about being away from my son for any given length of time – to be okay with feeling sad, but not guilty about it.
To learn more about Ann Morris Doula’s services, check out her site here!