Locals we love: photographer and doula Zoe Krylova

I met Zoe at a housewarming potluck with a bonfire soon after we moved from the Bay Area, where she'd also once lived. As I settled into Charlottesville and the birth community here I got to know Zoe as a poet, a mother who shares her stories openly and richly, an artist, and someone whose presence always shines golden light. It was an honor to have her with us for both Matilde's and Gideon's births and after she visited us this week I just had to break my blog hiatus to share some praise.

Zoe Krylova (Windflower Doula) was quite literally the doula of my dreams. When I was pregnant with my first child I got up the nerve to let her know that I’d thought for years about her as my ideal doula and it was a pleasure to go through the other side of the doula-client relationship (prenatal appointments getting to know one another on a deeper level; practicing birth support positions with my partner guided by Zoe; checking in when things were difficult along the way) with someone I had long admired. She was with us for the epic weekend when my daughter was born and she took photos we will always treasure.

In March I had my second baby and I sent a message to Zoe in the middle of the night, after my labor had begun. This time she was going to join us to take photos in a less formal role than that of doula, and I knew the time commitment would be significantly less since honestly I’d been reading about unassisted birth and wanted to wait until pretty well into labor before having even our midwife join us. Zoe saw my message when she woke up in the morning, called my partner and zoomed to our place as I was pushing. When she came into the room I absolutely lit up - her energy is warm, balancing, peaceful, confident and so strong. She set up her tripod and took incredible photos. I could not more highly recommend her as a doula and/or photographer!

Collaborative care: doula teams

I am so excited to be working with the amazing women of Bright Birthing! We have supported one another through so many of life’s sweetest moments from belly blessing ceremonies to attending one another’s births to helping to care for one another’s children. We have laughed together and cried together and drunk a few margaritas together. We have created a beautiful village for ourselves and our precious families. We work hard to share our village and shine our love on the community around us. We accomplish this through our work with expectant parents during prenatal education classes, belly blessings, abdominal massage and prenatal care; through our limitless love and energy during the birthing process; and through the tenderness we feel for and show to new parents during postpartum visits, birth story sharing and village circles.

 With all this love and support we already give one another and the community, it only makes sense that we would add another layer of support by providing care to our families with doula teams. Working as a doula team will allow us to provide the best possible care to expectant families while allowing us to do the very important work of caring for ourselves and our own families.  

You know we've got your back because we have each other's all the time!

You know we've got your back because we have each other's all the time!

What does having a Doula Team look like? Well, families will have TWO doulas and will benefit from the wide variety of skills each doula possesses. Families will have ample opportunity to get to know both of their doulas during prenatal visits and, together, we will develop a unique plan for each family. During labor and birth one or both doulas will be present depending on the length of the labor and needs of each family. Also, as we become more and more aware of the importance of and need for postpartum care, we are excited to include two postpartum visits as part of our Doula Team package.

 I am thrilled to continue to work with Gwen, Hannah and Sara integrating the concept of doula teams into our options for care. These doula teams will allow us to provide even more love, support and exceptional care to our community, our clients, each other and ourselves. Could it get any better?! I don’t know but we continue to look for ways to enhance the services provided by Bright Birthing. We look forward to sharing these services with our entire birthing community.