Frances Charkowick, retired from Career #1, is thrilled to launch her ‘second act’ as supporter of
birthing women. Frances completed her training and obtained her certification from the Long Island
Doula Association (LIDA) in 2016. She has already served as doula for sexual assault and PTSD survivors, for teenage and single mothers, for couples, and for women having a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC). Frances welcomes the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of each birth in partnership with her Goddess clients. As a devout student of birth, Frances continues to grow her doula practice through academic and experiential learning. She has obtained supplemental training in best evidence care; breastfeeding and lactation; postpartum depression; and alcohol and drug abuse during pregnancy. These technical skills and knowledge are complemented by extensive reading on topics of interest and networking within doula care communities. For example, Frances regularly attends ‘Coffee with Melanie,’ a monthly LIDA event for doulas to discuss their work with an experienced midwife. Illustrative topics have included reading fetal monitors, stages of labor, and induction. Connecting with other doulas enhances individual practice as well as strengthens the resolve of attendees to collectively enhance the birthing experience in America. Frances can provide doula services in all local hospitals in Suffolk and Nassau counties, and part of Queens. She can also provide doula services in birthing centers and for home births. Devoted to using her skills and experience to give back to the community, Frances is a generous volunteer. She mentors residents of the Regina Residence in Merrick — a home for young at-risk mothers and their children — on a weekly basis. She also serves as a volunteer at Winthrop University Hospital's as part of an ongoing doula program that is seeking to extending doula services to more women; and she serves as a doula for the Families in Crisis Fund supported by LIDA, which enables underserved women to receive doula services at a reduced rate. As mother to four grown children, and grandmother to six, Frances has extensive childcare experience and can provide overnight care when needed. Frances is excited and grateful to be pursing such a rewarding and fulfilling second act.