Trish Wilkinson, CD(DONA), MSW, LCSW
Hello, and welcome to Tree of Life. My name is Trish Wilkinson, I am a birth doula, and I absolutely love it! I have been “doula-ing” since 2001, and have had the honor of attending over 250 births. I am a certified doula with Doulas of North America, Int. (DONA), as well as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the state of Illinois. I am the mother of two wonderful young men–Brennen (born in 1992 by unscheduled cesarean birth) and Sean (born in 1996 by vaginal birth after cesarean), and have been married since 1986 to my fantastic husband, Mike. All three of these men are supportive and caring... qualities that have enabled me to do this fabulous work. They understand my passion for pregnancy, labor, and birth, and are proud of me.
I started Tree of Life (TOL) in 2005, and it has grown in both services and resources. TOL hosts doula trainings through Doulas of North America, Int. I provide mentoring to doulas in training. I have contributed articles to International Doula Magazine. I have been interviewed locally both on television and in the newspaper. I am a regular doula presenter in the History of Women at the University of Illinois/Champaign-Urbana, and also at Provena Medical Center's birth classes. I am a contributing columnist on the parenting resource website www.chambanamoms.com.
My goal to my clients is to serve them to the best of my ability, and to advocate and support them in their journey through pregnancy, labor, and birth. My goal to my community is to be a resource regarding the birth services available in our area.
My mission is for every woman to feel proud of herself after she gives birth, no matter what direction her journey may take. Many blessings on your journey!
Sarah Williams, PCD (DONA), BA
When I gave birth to my daughter in November 2008, I began a journey with many transitions and new experiences, which included having a birth doula at my labor and delivery. Having a trained professional assist my husband and I during one of the most important moments of our lives made me realize how vital it is that women be supported - not only during this moment, but in the postpartum period - "the fourth trimester." This revelation, along with the encouragement of my wonderful husband Ryan, inspired me to continue my journey by becoming a postpartum doula. It is my goal to provide assistance, support and nurturing to women and their families in the fourth trimester.
Women and their partners deserve support throughout all stages of pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Whether this is your first baby or your fifth, every new mother should be nurtured, respected, cared for, and educated about the resources available to her. She should be helped to feel confident and empowered in caring for her newborn. Being able to provide this support to women and their families during this time of their lives is an honor and a privilege. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
Sara Heumann, CD(DONA), MSW
Hello! I am Sara Heumann, birth doula trained and certified through DONA International. I come to "doula-hood" from a social work background, earning my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in social work. My years as a live-in houseparent with six teenage girls providing guidance, nurturance and a structured environment, taught me invaluable awareness and understanding of major life transitions and the necessity of open and loving communication skills. These skills and my love of birth inspired my desire to witness and empower women on their journey through birth. I see no greater honor than to be allowed to support women and their partners through one of life’s most extraordinary events. I am continually amazed by the strength of women and deeply moved by the experience of birth. I would not be able to fulfill my passion for supporting women in their birth experiences without the strong encouragement of my family. I have been married to my affectionate husband, Micah since 2002. Our son, Daniel, was born in 2005 with my husband and doula by my side. Our son, Asher joined the world after a very speedy labor in 2008. My goal is to be a source of strength for women and their partners by providing continuous emotional, physical and informational support throughout the transition from pregnancy to parenthood. I wish you much joy as you embark on this wondrous passage!
Sue Osborne, CD (DONA),AS
Hello! My name is Sue Osborne, but years ago, a nurse dubbed me "Suela the Doula" and the name stuck.
A bit about myself: I became a birth doula in 2000, training with DONA international, and was employed by Carle Foundation Hospital as a staff doula until 2005. At that time, I chose to leave and started Birth with Courage and Power Doula Services. I find the most important part of being a doula is to help you believe in yourself, your body and ability to give birth, no matter how you do it. Based on both my experience as a doula and my training with Pam England, author of Birthing from Within, I have facilitated alternative birth classes. I love empowering women in body, mind, and spirit to trust themselves through labor. Other mediums I have utilized to spread the word of doulas: local television interviews, newspaper interviews, teaching at local high schools and at Parkland Junior College, facilitating as a presenter at a Mental Health Recovery Conference, speaking about birth doulas, postpartum doulas, and about postpartum depression, and presented to classes at Central College in Pella, Iowa. I have mentored new doulas and have served over 300 mothers and their partners on their journey to becoming new parents.
My education includes DONA International and an Associates degree earned in 2007, when I graduated cum laude. On a personal note, I have been married to an incredible man, John, for the last 41 years and I have 2 wonderful adult children. Stacey, born in 1974 , was born two hours after arriving at the hospital. In 1976, Stephen, our son, squeaked into life just a half hour after our arrival. I have three amazing grandchildren, Isaiah 14, Jacob 13, and Bethany 9. Granny was honored to be at the hospital for all three but was only honored to see Bethany actually pop into the world.
I am deeply honored to join the women of Tree of Life. I will work to the best my ability to support them as a Limited Birth Doula, backing them up when they need a break during long births or get in a scheduling bind. One of the surprises I had during my "doulaing" was my discovery of the love of birth photography. Through this discovery, I am now a birth photographer, offering clients a photographic birth story. Birth—Day—Memories: pictures that let you look back on your birth and remember those things that may have gotten lost in your work of labor.
" To witness the birth of a child is our best opportunity to experience the meaning of the word miracle." — Paul Carrel
Jodi Fan, La Leche League Leader — Champaign-Urbana Chapter, BA, BS, DVM
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I knew right from the start that I wanted to breastfeed. Nothing seemed more natural or perfect to me — providing my baby with everything he would need to thrive and being able to form that special bond with him through nursing would be ideal and "natural". I read all the breastfeeding books that were available, took breastfeeding courses at my local hospital, and felt very prepared and confident all throughout my pregnancy. What I didn’t realize at the time was that although breastfeeding truly IS the most natural way to feed a baby, it doesn’t always come naturally to a Mother/baby dyad, and there can be a pretty steep learning curve and unanticipated difficulties, no matter how prepared a Mom-to-be is. When I gave birth in 2003, I experienced many difficulties with breastfeeding. From latch problems to thrush, plugged ducts and mastitis, nothing seemed to be working out as easily as I had expected it would. Feeling alone and ready to throw in the towel, coupled with not being able to find the help and guidance I felt I needed, I vowed that if I could make it through this, I would do everything possible to provide caring support for women whose goal it was to breastfeed their babies and provide them with nature’s perfect food — their own milk! I finished my training to become an accredited La Leche League Leader, and three breastfed baby boys later, I am in the process of completing my training to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I believe that every Mother (and her family) deserves breastfeeding support, guidance and education both prenatally and postpartum in order to successfully deal with those "bumps in the road" that might make it challenging to experience the pure joy that is breastfeeding. I look forward to being able to help you along your journey!