Michelle Averill, CD(DONA) - Finance Director

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My name is Michelle and I have been interested in medicine and childbirth since I was a small child.  However, I also have a great love for music.  This love took me to college to study Vocal Performance, where I earned my Bachelor of Music in 1997. Soon after, I began teaching choir, band, and private voice lessons at the Portland Waldorf School.

But it was during my sister’s pregnancy that I started thinking again about working with women in childbirth. I decided to check into doula training so I could be by her side as a support and took the training course at MotherTree Birth Services.  I really loved the classes, and being a doula for my sister was an absolutely amazing experience. I knew I wanted to pursue becoming a doula for more women.  I joined PDX Doulas in the summer of 2012 and received my DONA certification in November 2013.

My music students have taught me many skills that crossover into births. First is a great respect for alternate views and helping parents follow their wishes. Second, I have become a great listener, both with my ears and eyes. Staying quiet and watching for nonverbal cues is often better than asking questions. And last is patience.

My training as a performer has given me many tools to stay calm under pressure.  I believe this trait serves me well in childbirth as well.  Labor can be unpredictable and having someone with you that is calm and reassuring is very important.  I will always do my best to be that person by your side.

Outside of the classroom and birth rooms, I am a wife and mother of two wonderful children.  My family is the highlight of my life and I love to support my husband and children in their many interests.  For myself, I love to cook, knit, read and craft.