I'm Diana, and my passion is better maternity care. I am a doula and attorney with seven years of experience in national and local birth advocacy. After my son's birth in early 2017, I left a law firm job in Boston to pursue my passion full time. In addition to my doula work, I also have a small legal, consulting and training practice focused on patients' rights and midwifery.
At Matrescence, I center critical aspects of the transition into motherhood that are overlooked in hospitals and society. My goal is to give women and new families a better chance at emerging from birth and postpartum thriving and connected, and to foster on-the-ground harm reduction for those navigating difficult experiences. I am the first and only doula serving the Northeast who is also a birth rights lawyer.
- Diana Snyder
DOULA, LAWYER, PATIENT ADVOCATE
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 women 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.
I am trained in birth and postpartum doula support through DONA and CAPPA, respectively, and hold current DONA and CAPPA memberships. I am a professional member of Evidence Based Birth®, which means that I have access to up-to-date, accurate information and nursing/midwife-level continuing education on pregnancy and birth issues. I am also trained in optimal fetal positioning (Spinning Babies®) and am pursuing additional education in pregnancy and infant loss and bereavement.
In addition to patients' rights, my areas of expertise are vaginal birth (both medicated and unmedicated), home birth, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), cesarean recovery and traumatic birth. I am also knowledgeable about the practice of home birth midwifery and direct-entry midwifery education. My current mentors are practicing certified professional midwives.
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 women's legal rights in maternity care. My advocacy experience includes working closely with the founders of Improving Birth, Human Rights in Childbirth, Birth Monopoly, The Big Push for Midwives Campaign, the Birth Rights Bar Association and the Bay State Birth Coalition to push the issues of women's rights in birth and midwifery into courts, legislatures and the media. I am licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and California.
I live in Eastern Massachusetts with my husband Mike, son Bennett and beloved vizsla, Rocky. I am a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring "good enough"-ist. In my spare time (HA), I enjoy traveling (in particular to national parks) and reading.
I planned a home birth in 2017 with several certified professional midwives who have all graciously mentored and supported me in my transition to birth work. Parents I have worked with describe me as passionate, knowledgeable and caring.
I believe that to access who we really are and what we're capable of, we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and surrender to the path that is presented to us as ours, whatever that may be. It is one of my greatest accomplishments to have let go of a high-paying, high-powered job in favor of my calling to work directly with real people in their most vulnerable moments.
A BLEND OF INFORMATION AND ADVOCACY
In addition to working as a doula, I am also an attorney with a practice focused on the legal rights of women in childbirth. I have spent the last six years deeply involved in local and national advocacy to address problematic obstetric practices, promote evidence-based care and increase access to midwives and out-of-hospital delivery. As a result, clients benefit from my knowledge of how the law, medical evidence, systems, practices and available alternatives interact to shape birth options, and ways to effectively influence care delivery. Parents can attend my prenatal Know Your Rights education classes and if necessary, utilize patient advocacy services offered separately through my legal practice to prevent or address coercive conduct by care providers.
CENTERING YOUR NEEDS
I make room for the complex and often conflicting feelings that women experience while walking this life-altering path, putting your emotional needs on par with fact-based considerations like evidence, options and risk. My goal is for clients to identify and occupy their power during this major life transition, so that their needs are met and they are well positioned to integrate whatever comes, and to parent and live in a satisfied, thriving way.
FOSTERING YOUR INSTINCTS
Through a combination of guided introspection and reassurance, I urge clients to tune out the noise and tune into their own baby, intuition and heart to discern the choices that are right for them. When fear is present, I help clients sit with that fear, dissect it, and move forward with a sense of peace.
HOLDING SPACE FOR GRIEF AND TRAUMA
For those who are experiencing grief, trauma or shock following difficult birth or postpartum experiences, I accompany you on your journey toward healing and meaning, and celebrate the beauty and strength in your experience, no matter how hurtful.