Interview with Doula Haleigh Hocut

I. Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Haleigh, my native name is Whirlwind and I am indigenous to the Pointe-au-Chein Indian Tribe in Lafourche/Terrebonne parish. I am a resident of Chalmette currently but I grew up in St. Charles parish where my parents still live. I am 32 years old and a mama to Jack, a 2.5 year old little boy, and to 2 big dogs, Mango and Kimchi. I have a BS in Culinary Arts from CJFCI at Nicholls State University and have 10 years of experience in restaurant kitchens as a chef/cook, most recently as a pastry chef at a small French Quarter restaurant. I certified as a doula in April 2021 after the birth of my son, with a vision to fuse my cooking skillset and love for birth work by offering postpartum chef services. I am also a Personal Chef specializing in upscale in-home dinner parties. For myself, I enjoy playing video games, working out, jewelry craft, and am patiently waiting for it to cool off so I can return to nature.

II. What area(s) do you service?

I service all of Southeast Louisiana, but mainly the New Orleans Metropolitan. I am also willing to travel!

III. What is your experience as a doula?

I have served 6 families in my doula career, all very different experiences and all tremendously impactful to shaping me as a doula. I have experience with planned cesarean birth, unexpected cesarean birth, planned hospital birth both medicated and unmedicated. I have received training in maternal positioning to influence fetal positioning in labor, and incorporate prenatal support based on fetal positioning and engagement. I have only experienced hospital births and hope to serve a family at a birthcenter or home birth soon!



IV. Can you explain your approach to supporting clients during labor and childbirth?


I do my best to meet my clients where they are, meaning I'm assessing the body and body language, their voice, the general energy from them, who is present and how, and then align it with their birth wishes. I help clients identify labor start, what's normal and if they should call the midwife, we assess when I should arrive to help labor at home as long as possible, when to go to the birth place (when you want to), and kick in the prenatal prep we have done to navigate hospital and provider policy. I am in real time weighing my clients options and how they can potentially unfold, and delivering that information with an evidence based approach. I physically support my clients with hip squeezes, rebozo, massage, helping them dress/shower, wiping their butt sometimes. I get partner in to help support physically or to give affection and affirmations. I stay up to 2 hours after birth to assist with latch and breastfeeding, explain what to expect the next few hours and days, how they may feel physically and mentally, what to expect from baby, and the first few days at home.

V. What sets you apart from other doulas?


I think it would be the incorporation of postpartum chef services and offering immediate postpartum nourishment to all my clients to help healing, lactation, and overall wellness.


VI. What is your favorite aspect of doula-work?

Absolutely seeing a person become a new parent, I hope to never be desensitized to that swell of emotion and witnessing the pure reaction to meeting new life. But also meeting with my clients in their home, whether prenatal or post, my clients truly accepting and trusting me in their most sacred places and vulnerable situations, watching walls go down and really seeing them, hearing them, validating them. To be that person in their corner who they know gets it, who is always there if needed even after we've parted, is such a cherished gift to me.


learn more about how a doula can help you on your birth journey