Nurturing & Empowering Families w/ Shakila Marando

Shakila Marado, founder of Doulas by the Bay, believes in an approach centered on nurturing guidance and unwavering support of the family during their journey of birth and postpartum. In her role as a doula, where empathy meets education and empowerment, she has found a career that reflects her own values. Today, Shakila's approach has made her doula practice one of the most trusted and celebrated in California.

How did Doulas by the Bay get its start?

Doulas by the Bay began in 2009 when I became a certified doula. As a mother of two daughters, I experienced firsthand the challenges and joys of childbirth and early motherhood. Motivated by my own journey and a desire to support other families, I founded Doulas by the Bay to provide compassionate care and guidance during the birthing and postpartum periods.

Do you see more interest in birth and postpartum doulas now than when you began your practice?

Absolutely. Over the years, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in birth and postpartum doula services. This heightened awareness is partly due to a growing recognition of the importance of holistic support during the perinatal period and a desire for more personalized, patient-centered care.

What are some benefits to having a doula attend your birth?

Having a doula present during childbirth offers numerous benefits. Doulas provide continuous emotional, physical, and informational support to birthing individuals and their partners. They help alleviate fears, provide comfort measures, and advocate for the birthing person's preferences and needs. Studies have shown that doula support can lead to shorter labors, fewer medical interventions, and increased satisfaction with the birth experience.

Do you have a specific philosophy for postpartum care at DBB?

At Doulas by the Bay, our postpartum care philosophy is centered on nurturing and empowering families during the transition to parenthood. We believe in providing compassionate doula care, childbirth, and parenting education, and comprehensive support that addresses the physical, emotional, and practical needs of new parents. Our goal is to create a safe and supportive environment where families feel heard, valued, and empowered to thrive during the postpartum period.

How does your experience as a mother inform the work that you do?

As a mother myself, I understand the profound impact that childbirth and early motherhood have on families. My personal experiences shape my approach to doula care, allowing me to empathize with clients and provide support that is both compassionate and practical. I draw upon my journey as a mother to guide and empower other families as they navigate the beautiful and challenging moments of parenthood.

What is on your vision board for modern motherhood?

My vision for modern motherhood encompasses a society where every birthing person feels supported, respected, and empowered throughout their journey to parenthood. I envision a healthcare system that prioritizes holistic, patient-centered care and recognizes the unique needs and preferences of each family. By advocating for inclusive, equitable maternity care and fostering supportive communities, I hope to contribute to a future where every parent feels confident, capable, and celebrated.


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