Area doulas offer advice to expectant moms

. June 5, 2017.

Pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period are an important and exciting time in the life of a family. Crucial preparations and decisions need to be made before a brand-new baby arrives. In addition to doctors, nurses, and midwives, a doula can offer guidance and support during this time. According to DONA International, a doula provides “physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.”

We spoke with several area doulas and asked them to give our readers some advice for pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum.

As a doula, what is one piece of advice you give moms to ensure
they have the best possible birth or postpartum experience?

Stephanie Bielaska


Belly 2 Baby Doula Services
Remember that as the mom, you are always in control. Be as informed as you can be about different scenarios that might come up during labor. Have a doula who can help advocate for you and give you a sense of security.

Deb Rhizal


Pregnancy Arts | 734-604-1841
Spend time during your pregnancy clarifying what you want. Prepare for the birth based on what you desire and who you are. Reflect on how you can bring your own strength to the job of both birth and being a mom.

Jahmanna Selassie


Wadada Family Birth Services | 734-506-8406
For both birth and postpartum, cultivate a supportive community around you. Have someone who can advocate for you during birth when you may be unable to advocate for yourself. Postpartum, make sure that the people around you are supportive of your decisions (i.e. nursing) and able to help you. This may be a mother, a sister, a friend, or even a professional.

Katy Gladwin


Sacred Roots Services
A mother should trust her intuition. If a curveball comes, know that you can make the right decision. Always have a care provider that you trust and remember that it’s never too late to switch care providers.

Sierra Hillebrand


Ann Arbor Family Doulas
Trust yourself. You may encounter a lot of conflicting information about pregnancy, birth and parenting. What worked for someone else may or may not be right for you. Therefore, the best thing you can do is trust your instincts, and lean into the resources and support that resonate best with your own unique needs, values, and perspectives.

Catherine Fischer


Tree Town Doulas | 734-395-5244
The families that seem the happiest in the newborn period are those who understand newborn sleep and organize themselves around it. Think of sleep as a family project, and use the whole 24-hour period as a chance to get the sleep you need.

Gillian McClinsey-Powell


Gentle Intuition Doula and Massage | 734-626-8508
Trust and empowerment with informed choice is so important during pregnancy and labor. Birth is a very unique experience for every person, and it’s important for each mom to be able to make decisions to the best of her ability. It’s crucial to have a doula or support person to provide continuity throughout the birth.

Krista Dragun


Dawn of Life Birth Services | 734-417-7636
Educate yourself about what birth is really like in your location and make sure you and your caregiver are on the same page as far as your hopes and goals for your birth. Your doula can help you write a birth plan, answer and clarify questions. Doulas are aware of standards of care at local hospitals and can give advice about which one may be best for you.

Celeste Kraft


Gentle Spirit | 734-772-4537
Plan for life after the baby. The birth is just one day. Often, we plan for the birth, but we don’t put a lot of thought into life after the baby comes home. It’s a seismic change, and it’s hard to know what that will be like if you’ve never had a baby before. Ask yourself what will your needs will be, what kind of changes you can expect, what kind of support you will have, and if you will need a postpartum doula.

Cynthia Jackson


Sacred Rose Birthing Services | 313-971-7324
Choose your care providers wisely. Do your research on doctors and midwives and make sure their philosophies line up with yours. You want a doctor who will give you the type of birth you desire.