Choosing a doula or support person for your pregnancy and delivery is a choice many families make. Other families not know what a doula even does or whether or not it is a right option for them. I am here to tell you that every laboring momma can benefit from a doula. Doulas will work with both you and your partner on making the best experience possible for your birth! Thats where Grand Rapids Doulas can come to save the day.
I reached out to some of the best Grand Rapids Doulas to provide more information on the many questions you may have. Below is a wonderful doula service that explains their approach. They go through an individualized care plan that is specific and unique to each family.
Take a look below at Michelle with Great Lakes Birth services. She answers some of the questions I had for her about what to expect with your birthing experience!
As a doula, I bring a light and peaceful energy into a birth space. I’m a pretty laid back person in general, and I think that energy is so important in a space where anticipation runs high. Likewise, I bring a calm reassurance to families during postpartum visits.
My goal is always to help my families grow in confidence in their parenting abilities. I’m not there to step in and “fix” anything, but rather to help reaffirm that they’re doing great. I help connect them with resources so they can find solutions once I’m out of the picture. I truly love what I do – caring for new families is, without a doubt, my calling.
The main services I offer are birth and postpartum doula care and childbirth education.
With my birth doula support, I provide:
As a postpartum doula, I’m there to support the new family as they get into a groove. A big part of this role is spending time with the birthing parent. We discuss their recovery, emotional and mental well-being, and addressing their needs. The first thing I typically say when I walk in the door is “When did you last eat?”.
In addition, postpartum doula care includes things like:
I also offer some overnight support for families trying to get caught up on sleep. This also helps when you are working to establish a healthy sleep routine.
As a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, I provide comprehensive evidence-based information on pregnancy, physiologic birth, breastfeeding, postpartum care, and newborn characteristics and care. My classes are designed to be memorable so families aren’t searching for information when they need it most.
I utilize hands-on activities, demonstrations, props (I love a good prop!), and comparisons to every-day life. This helps families retain the vast amount of information that comes with birth education. I offer group classes with no more than 6 couples per session. This ensures everyone has ample opportunity to have their unique questions answered. I also offer private classes tailored to individual needs.
I also offer virtual doula support (phone, text, and email support throughout your entire pregnancy, virtual support throughout labor). Antenatal support (help while you’re pregnant, including things like nursery organization, running errands, birth plan preparation, navigating bedrest, meal preparation). Details for those and all my services can be found at migreatlakesbirth.com
I was trained as a birth and postpartum doula with DONA, International. DONA holds high standards with very comprehensive training. Their training includes childbirth education and lactation for doulas, hands-on techniques, and a very strong emphasis on evidence-based care. I’m also currently completing a training with PAIL (Pregnancy and Infant Loss) Network to help round out my doula work. I also am simultaneously working my way through Fertility Advocacy trainings – I really can’t get enough birth learning!
In addition to my doula work, I’m a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. This entails a lengthy seminar, months of studying, and a strenuous proctored exam. Lamaze emphasizes and prepares instructors to provide hands-on, memorable teaching techniques for all adult learning styles.
I do! I co-own Great Lakes Birth with another phenomenal birth doula with similar style and philosophies as me. She is my backup for most of my births. I am also a member of Lansing Doula Network, a collaborative of even more wonderful birth and postpartum doulas. While having a backup is critical, I have never had to use a backup doula. With an army of lovely and supportive people behind me, I have a safety net a mother could only dream of. I would be thrilled to embrace any of my backup doula’s into my own birth or postpartum space.
There really isn’t a wrong answer to this question! I’ve had some clients decide relatively last minute that they’d like a doula and book me at 36 weeks. Others have known from the very beginning that they are interested in extra support. They book me as soon as they get a positive test! I do think that booking prior to 24 weeks really helps us build a relationship. We have a bit more time for prenatal visits or childbirth education classes if that’s desired. There is also time to answer those questions that pop up all throughout pregnancy. But for families who are on the fence or just not ready to book that early, we can definitely fit a lot into the last few weeks!
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For the Love of Photography is an East Lansing, Michigan based family photographer. Amanda specializes in newborn, baby milestone, maternity, family, and motherhood fine art photography. Serving the greater Lansing area: Dewitt, Grand Ledge, Okemos, Lansing, Williamston, Haslett, Howell, Brighton, Novi, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and surrounding areas
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