MEET THE DOULA

Diana Snyder Birth Advocacy Lawyer

I'm Diana, and my passion is better maternity care.  I have seven years of experience in local and national birth advocacy.  Prior to becoming a doula, I practiced as a healthcare attorney with a focus on patient rights, midwifery and increasing access to out-of-hospital birth.  After my son's birth in early 2017, I took the plunge to pursue doula work full time.

Since then, I have attended close to fifty (50) births, with a focus on VBAC, planned home birth and low-intervention hospital birth.  I have also served as an ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) chapter leader, providing peer-to-peer support for cesarean recovery and birth after cesarean.  In my first two years of practice, over 80 parents and professionals attended my trainings on birth rights and informed consent.

My style as a doula is a blend of holistic, nurturing and informative.  I enjoy helping clients claim their own intuition and power, and be present in their birth and postpartum experiences.  Parents I've worked with describe me as passionate, warm and caring.

I'm so glad you're here.  Toward better birth!

- Diana Snyder

FULL SPECTRUM BIRTH & POSTPARTUM DOULA

QUALIFICATIONS
PHILOSOPHY
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
PERSONAL
QUALIFICATIONS

I am trained in birth and postpartum doula support through DONA and CAPPA, respectively.  I am currently pursuing additional training in full spectrum support through Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings.

In addition to my legal experience around patient rights, home birth and midwifery, I have significant professional training and experience in the following areas:

  • VBAC (former ICAN chapter leader)
  • optimal fetal positioning (Spinning Babies)
  • hypnosis for birth (Hypnobabies)
  • trauma-informed care
  • pregnancy & infant loss/perinatal bereavement

I received my J.D. from Boston University in 2011 with a concentration in Health Law. Between 2011 and 2018, I practiced at major law firms in California and Boston, where I spent thousands of hours of pro bono time on the issue of patient rights in maternity care.  

PHILOSOPHY

Pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period are significant life events with enormous potential to have a positive or negative impact on the mother’s well-being, and by extension, her child(ren), family and broader community. 

Unfortunately, our current medical and social systems do not support healthy childbearing and postpartum experiences.  I strive to fill that gap by offering clients the combination of information and support that I believe should be available to all expecting parents.

I approach pregnancy and childbirth as normal physiological functions that in low-risk individuals can remain normal and healthy with minimal intervention and proper support.  Because birth and parenting are intensely personal, meaningful rites of passage, I believe my clients are at all times capable of making, and best positioned to make, the decisions that are right for them and their babies.

I also acknowledge and support the women and babies who require or desire medical intervention, or who face challenges or experience loss, and believe they should be honored, supported and celebrated as mothers and birthgivers equally alongside those whose stories are easier to lift up.  Growing, having and mothering a baby requires great strength, beauty and sacrifice, no matter the path or outcome.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Despite the gendered name, Matrescence is an inclusive practice.   I affirm that not all expecting parents identify as mothers, and that trans & non-binary people exist and give birth.  I strive to be a welcoming and safe place for people of all identities and family structures.  Throughout this website, I attempt to utilize gender neutral language alongside references to women and mothers.

I also unequivocally affirm that Black Lives Matter, and am committed to anti-racism and anti-oppression as a framework for the collective liberation of all people.  1% of my monthly profits go as voluntary reparations to the Minnesota Healing Justice Network's New One Percent Fund to support BIPOC birthworkers and families.

Lastly, as someone with white settler roots, I acknowledge that I live and work on the occupied ancestral lands of several indigenous tribes, including the Anishinaabe, Ojibwe & Dakhóta (Sioux), who settled Wisconsin before it was colonized by Europeans.

PERSONAL

When I am not doula-ing, I enjoy spending time outdoors, and with my husband Mike, son Bennett and beloved Hungarian vizsla, Rocky.  I can also be found: cooking, running, reading and engaging in some super amateur homesteading and herbalism.

I planned a home birth in 2017 which resulted in a very difficult labor, non-emergent transfer and cesarean section after nearly 50 hours.  My experience has greatly informed who I am as a doula -- focused on trauma-informed care, low-intervention birth where possible, and support for cesarean & VBAC parents.  I am forever indebted to all the midwives and doulas who have graciously mentored me in my transition to birth work and supported me in my emotional recovery from my home birth turned cesarean. 

Although I still do some legal work on the side (mostly for fellow perinatal professionals), at this point I consider myself a "recovering lawyer" fully committed to growing a full spectrum doula practice.  

"Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”

- Brené Brown