MEET THE TEAM

"I think we need the feminine qualities of leadership, which include attention to aesthetics and the environment, nurturing, affection, intuition and the qualities that make people feel safe and cared for."
- Deepak Chopra


RACHEL MYERS

My name is Rachel Myers. I am a Mother, Birth Doula, Midwives Assistant and Childbirth Educator. I also have the honor of being the Vice President of The Doulas Association of Southern California! I have been very blessed to help accompany pregnant couples of all types on their birth journey. 


As a young child I often accompanied my Dad to work because I am an animal lover and he is a Veterinarian. One day he sat me down in front of a cage with a dog in it and told me she was going to have puppies. I was so excited, but as I watched her pant and circle, I begged my Dad to help her. His response was that she is a Mom and has everything she needs to safely birth her pups. He told me that my job was to be still and make her feel calm and safe. That memory stayed with me throughout my life and I bring those principles into my Doula practice. 


I am proud to be one of the owners of The Birth Co-op! I have worked hard to create a space where birthing people can come to feel confident and supported. I love the science of birth and feel strongly that the education we provide is the perfect marriage of science and emotionality. We strive to honor each birthing person that we serve with dedication, kindness and we have fun while we do it! When you take a class or hire a Doula at The Birth Co-op, you are part of our family. We are honored to support you!


JANET HIRSCH ETTENGER

I love everything about pregnancy, birth, and helping families settle in to life with a new baby. I have been working in women's health for over 25 years, first as a nurse, and now as a certified doula, childbirth and lactation educator. I believe that birth is an extraordinary expression of who we are, and I have always felt privileged to walk alongside a family as they meet the challenges and joys that mark this profound transition.


I am passionate about teaching and love talking about the amazingness of birth. As an educator and a doula, I will encourage you to develop your understanding of this process, as well as your tools for relaxation of mind and body.


As a mother of four, and through my years of working with families, I have learned the value of good communication between you and the people supporting you. I have also learned the importance of having an open mind when it comes to birth and parenting.   Cultivating a sense of openness and curiosity for how your birth will unfold is one of your most powerful tools. I truly believe that a satisfying birth experience is one in which you have the support and information you need to make the decisions that are right for you. This may mean birthing at home or at a birth center; in hospital with few interventions; choosing pain medication to help manage the work of labor; or having a cesarean birth. All of these can be wonderful outcomes, and a healthy start to a new family, if you feel heard and respected, with your choices honored. This is your journey, and my goal is for you to have the support you deserve in order to birth and parent with confidence.


SARAH OLAGUEZ

I witnessed my first birth when I was seven. My mother gave birth to my brother at home, surrounded by my father, a supportive midwife, midwifes assistant, my mom’s best friend and myself. It was beautiful to watch the support and encouragement my mother received as she worked hard through her labor. From that point forward I was hooked on birth and babies.


I become a young mother at nineteen and am now a mother of three beautiful children. Along my own parenting journey I found out what a doula did and felt a deep pull in my gut pull to do this work.


I became a birth doula in 2011 and postpartum doula in 2013, and a childbirth educator in 2015. I strongly believe each mother will be able to birth where she feels the most comfortable, when she feels supported and when she feels a part of any decisions made about her body and her baby. As a birth and postpartum doula I strive to make that possible for each family. As an educator I help to empower families to know their choices.


I am always learning new things about birth and the postpartum time, be it hands-on or through classes and books. I strive to continue to learn and grow in this field, as each family is so different and the knowledge and skills are bountiful.


JULIA UNDERWOOD

My name is Julia and I live in Southern California with my husband and two children. In 2009 my husband and I became parents. Early in my pregnancy I discovered that the maternity care I was receiving didn’t fit the vision of care I had hoped for, so at nearly 5 months pregnancy, I switched care to a midwife. My experiences with both children were different, and through birth and early parenting I learned that I had to surrender to the process.


I am a certified birth doula and childbirth educator. In that capacity, I have found that most families who feel supported during pregnancy and birth have more confidence and make informed choices that best support their family individually.  I volunteer with several organizations, including Doulas of Southern California (DASC), where I have been an active member as well as held a board position.  I am also working to bring awareness and raise money for nonprofit organizations that help reduce birth disparities in Black women, who according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), are nearly four times more likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year postpartum than White women. I will begin my training in midwifery at Midwives College of Utah in Spring 2018.


My philosophy as a birth worker is to empower families with the knowledge and support needed to write their own story. I hope that I can help reduce anxieties and increase understanding of the birth and postpartum process that will promote satisfaction. I believe the decision regarding location and method of birth is ultimately up to the family, but through compassionate guidance, I hope to assist families in having a safe, comfortable, and joyous parenting experience.