When I was looking for a wonderful Los Angeles doula to feature for my blog, April Trettel was the first person I thought of. April is one of those people that I’ve been circling around for awhile — she’s a doula and birth and family photographer and we “see” a lot of each other in Facebook groups and know all of the same people, but had never met in person until recently.
So I invited her over for a Q&A about all the work she does around motherhood and a quick portrait session and fell in love with her down to earth and ego-free vibe. She is so calming and funny and thoughtful — I immediately wanted to be her new friend.
So, if you’re looking for a knowledgeable Los Angeles doula, photographer, and mama with a wonderful personality, go check out April.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I felt enamored with the information I was learning about pregnancy and birth. I felt so floored that these things were not taught to us before we needed to know about them. After the birth of my first child, my doula became such a special and essential person to me, I felt the calling to the profession. I felt called to teach myself photography and started supporting some friends with birth photography. Not long after, I completed my doula training and then started supporting birthing people as both a doula and birth photographer!
I am trained by DONA as a doula and certified through Prodoula. Additionally, I completed the Exposing Birth training with Lacey Barratt for birth photography as well as the Blessing and Circle Facilitator Training with Katherine Eden.
I serve the period of matrescence through photography, doula services, and circle gatherings. This includes maternity, birth, breastfeeding, and motherhood photography as well as birth doula services. I offer postpartum support circles, pregnancy cohorts, and fear release ceremonies. I also have some very fun workshops coming up in collaboration with other local businesses!
Ah the circle gatherings! They are something I am so very excited about. Previous to being a doula/photographer, I worked for a long time as a therapist. In the last few years, I have thought about how I can combine my experience with mindfulness, helping people, and group connectedness, with my experience and love for the birth world. And then the universe led me to a training to become a circle facilitator; It felt meant to be. My circles focus on the phase of matrescence and I absolutely love helping other parents, whether it be through a postpartum circle or fear release ceremony leading up to birth.
I will start by saying that I truly believe every person is different and has different needs. Having said that, I can’t say enough how important I believe a doula AND postpartum support is. Most of us enter pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with little to no knowledge of what will come. We often do not grow up watching our moms, aunts, cousins etc have babies and breastfeed. In this environment, having a doula is like walking through a new land with a guide versus trying to find your path alone. A doula has knowledge and familiarity by their continued experience with birth. I personally felt a strong fondness of having a womanly energy in the room when I was giving birth. Additionally, having an extra set of hands never hurts so that the partner can pee while the birthing person is supported.
I believe soooo strongly that you need support postpartum. Whether that is from a partner, family, friends, or a postpartum doula, the more help the better. There is never such a transformative time in our lives in terms of physical recovery and a complete role shift. And adding sleep deprivation on top of it! Postpartum support is everything.
My philosophy as a doula is that you know you and your baby best. There is no one right way to do pregnancy, birth, or parenthood. You know best if an epidural is right for you or not. You know best if breastfeeding is right for you or not. I am not here to tell you what to do, I am here to support you in what feels right for you.