A well-prepared NICU family with a strong support system has a better chance of experiencing good health outcomes, and that’s what inspires me.
~Hollis Wakefield, The NICU Doula
I am excited to share my interview with Hollis Wakefield. The work she is doing is amazing and much needed! Make sure to connect and support on Facebook and Instagram.
Tell us your story and why you started The NICU Doula.
After my daughter’s birth, I had left an unfulfilling career in graphic design to be with her full time, first in the NICU and then as a stay-at-home mom. Having been so open about our NICU experience, families with a NICU experience were reaching out to me often for guidance. It was so meaningful to use our experience to help others, and one day, it dawned on me that I could make a career out of serving NICU families as a doula and training other doulas how to serve NICU families well.
What kind of impact do you hope that The NICU Doula can have?
For now, I’m reducing anxiety and improving outcomes for individual families I serve, but soon through our training program, we will be able to serve an infinite number of NICU families by leveling up the industry’s competency with premature and medically complex newborns.
What inspires you to keep helping families dealing with prematurity?
A well-prepared NICU family with a strong support system has a better chance of experiencing good health outcomes, and that’s what inspires me. Continuing education is also important to me and keeps me motivated. In February I’ll be taking a course to be certified as a “Kangaroula” - a doula who specializes in caring for NICU baby, as well as the birthing parent. For me, staying on top of the latest research is key to improving outcomes and staying inspired.
How can someone help support your organization?
If you know a family that needs support specializing in families with a NICU experience, please consider connecting us. We also accept donations which help us offset the cost of care for families without the means to pay. Our rates are determined using a sliding scale (all the way to $0) based on income and risk factors, because all NICU families, regardless of income, deserve this care. I also offer virtual care for those who may not be in the Dallas area.
Hollis is a postpartum doula providing trauma-informed, evidence-based doula services to support families of all kinds through hospitalization/bed rest, life in the NICU and the transition home. She is equally passionate about working with LGBTQIA+ folx throughout their pregnancies and postpartum. In her work as a doula, Hollis draws upon her own experience navigating a 97-day NICU stay as a cis queer person with a non-binary spouse. In addition to helping parents advocate in various medical situations, Hollis offers extensive knowledge about exclusive pumping, cloth diapering, vegan and plant-based eating, and resilience during and after the NICU.