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Meet the Owner: Christine Santos

We all love getting to know the people we work with. For this reason, we decided to start from the top and work our way down. We sat down with the owner of Sun State Doulas to learn a bit more about her, personally.

What’s your name?

Christine Santos

Do you have a website?

This one. 🙂

Where do you practice at?

Sun State Doulas has professionals throughout Central Florida. We offer services from Winter Park all the way to St Pete.

Where are you from?

I was born in Winter Haven.

How long have you been in Lakeland?

Almost 33 years.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Lakeland?

It really depends on the mood I’m in. If I’m in a burger mood, I am a big fan of Square 1 Burgers. However, if I’m looking for something a bit more upscale, Nineteen 61 is fantastic!

What do you love most about Lakeland?

I love that Lakeland somehow manages to retain that small town feel even while growing. I love that there are entrepreneurs willing to put themselves out there and they’re succeeding because they bring something new and unique to the area. It’s also really great to be less than an hour from Tampa and Orlando.

What is your favorite pastime as a child?

Riding my bike and climbing trees. I was quite the tomboy.

What’s your favorite Holiday? Why?

I love Thanksgiving! There is something about the process of gathering my girls together to create a meal, then family joining together to enjoy the feast, and the lingering conversation afterwards.

Who is your role model?

I have quite a few strong women in my life I hope to emulate; however, there is one in particular who stands out. Randy Patterson is the head of our training organization, ProDoula. She is a mentor, a leader, and unabashedly strong. She holds her head high and builds castles with the bricks others throw at her. I hope to one day be able to live my life the same way.

Do you have a favorite TV Show?

Currently, it’s Blindspot. But really any crime dramas. I routinely watch Shield, Flash, Criminal Minds, NCIS, and Elementary as well.

What hobbies do you have?

I enjoy reading, dancing, trying out new restaurants. However, the hobby that has really consumed my time and attention the past 2 years is roller derby. There is nothing quite like getting on the track with my team and working as a unit to help our jammer score points. It’s a lot like being a doula. You work together as a team towards a desired outcome.

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What was the reason you decided to become a doula?

I decided to become a doula because I wanted to be the one person in the room the birthing woman could count on to have no agenda, to be there for her, to focus on her needs, wants, and desires. Because I don’t walk in with an emotional connection to the outcome, I am able to be an unbiased, objective supporter. I’m able to be there for that woman and her partner in whatever way works best for them.

Where did you go to school?

I graduated with a B.A. Education from Southeastern University.

Do you have any other sub-specialties?

After completing my education certification, I became certified for teaching K-12 English. As the owner of this agency, I have tried to learn everything I expect from my team. So, in addition to my doula certification, I am also certified in placenta preparation and lactation counseling. I have also taken training for birth photography and videography, and postpartum doula support.

Why do most people benefit from doula support?

Most people benefit from the unbiased, non-judgmental support a doula provides. It seems like when you’re pregnant, everyone has an opinion on how you should do things. Your doula doesn’t. She is there to support you, help you feel secure, and educate you about your choices (if that’s what you want).

Why do you want to be my (you, the reader) doula?

As the owner, I would love for you to choose Sun State Doulas because the care and support you will receive from our doulas is simply bar none. There is no other agency in Central Florida where you can receive everything you could need/want for pregnancy, birth, and your early postpartum period in one location. Our birth professionals are simply amazing! They are highly trained and they have worked hard to form relationships with providers throughout our coverage area so when we say we become a part of your birth team, we mean it. We are there as members of your team and as such we strive to work flawlessly with the other members of that team.

What piece of advice do you want to give parents?

Trust yourself. No one knows you, your baby, or your situation better than you do. Other people may have advice and insight, but they will always be looking from the outside in. Only you know what is best for you and your family.

What do you love most about being a doula?

Watching as women take ownership of their decisions and walk in their own empowerment. When they are holding their baby and realize that THEY did it. That’s what I love most about this profession. As a business owner, I love seeing the other women on my team succeed.

What would you bring to a hurricane party?

Hurricanes? Oh, and probably Cards Against Humanity.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. Again, that was Christine Santos, the owner of Sun State Doulas.

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