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BAI Profile- Heather Keeney

BAI Profile- Heather Keeney

1. Why did you choose BAI?

The logo! Seriously. When I first decided to become a doula, I did a lot of research online. I found tons of info about some of the larger organizations (DONA, CAPPA, etc.), and while the information was good and piqued my interest, it didn’t really resonate with me. Money was also a concern—we were a single income family at the time, and it was looking like following my passion was going to have to wait a bit, because I just couldn’t afford the training. Then one day something with the beautiful BAI logo popped up on my screen, and it was like someone was saying, “HEY! Over here!” I read through the information on the Birth Arts website, and I KNEW I had found where I was meant to be. When my scholarship application was accepted, it was like coming home.

2. What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?
That even though we arrive at the same destination (birth), we don’t all follow the same path to get there. There is no one “right” way for us to birth our babies. I learned that in order to be the best doula I can be, I had to let go of some of my own notions about what a “good” birth looks like. A hospital birth with an epidural and an OB can be just as good as a homebirth with a midwife and no meds at all—what matters most is how a woman feels about her experience. I learned that in order for me to best serve the women I work with, I may have to leave my activism at the door, and I learned how to be okay with that—not every client needs you to advocate for her in the same way, or for the same things.

3. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 36 year old mother of 3 boys, ages 17, 4 and 2 and a half, as well as one middle-aged furbaby: a Siamese cat. I’m fortunate to have a truly amazing man as my partner in crime—without his unwavering support and belief in my dreams, I would never be able to do what I do. I’m a voracious reader (my favorite book is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett), an avid crocheter (I love anything with granny squares—they make me super happy!), and a lover of good beer (I’ve never met a Belgian Tripel I didn’t like.) I really enjoy crafty endeavors—any time I see something I like, I catch myself wondering, “Could I make that?”, sometimes with hilarious results. Other than the work I do as a doula, I am a stay-at-home mom, and plan to homeschool my two youngest.

4. Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.
My Business—Ordinary Miracles—currently offers both birth and postpartum doula support, as well as breastfeeding education and support and independent childbirth education. My plans for the future include being able to offer customized aromatherapy and herbal products, and to facilitate mother blessing celebrations. My doula “dream” is to someday work with a community organization that focuses specifically on teen mothers… or to found one myself.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrdinaryMiraclesDoula
Web: http://www.ordinarymiraclesdoula.com/
Email: OrdinaryMiraclesDoula@gmail.com

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BAI Profile- Kristyn Blocher

Kristyn Blocher, Breath of Life Birth Services

1. Why did you choose BAI?Breath of Life
After completing an initial birth doula course and later realizing that the certifying organization it was approved for, was not the best fit for me, I did a more thorough search of training/certifying organizations.  This led me to BAI and I quickly found it to be a superb training organization with excellent course options, certifying options and an overall philosophy that I knew would suit me very well in my doula work.

2. What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?
Oh my, I’ve learned many things about myself and continue to!  I’ve more fully identified how my own personal experiences with pregnancy and birth have driven me into doula work.  Also, I’ve learned what a doula sisterhood can look like, in a very genuine way & some of the reasons why its so important to have in place.

3. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Pacific Northwest native…webbed feet and coffee included.  I’m a single, homeschooling mom to two great children, ages 11 and 6.  I love to play in the dirt and let things grow, getting a special kind of thrill when I fill my freezer with tomatoes from the backyard.  Having assumed the role of the family hippie, I’m into herbal medicine, essential oils, making as many of my own first aid & home care products as possible and I drive a raised jeep that loves the back roads.  I aspire to own a small patch of acreage where I can expand my little flock of hens, get started with two or three mini dairy goats, establish a ridiculously large vegi & herb garden and integrate a business office/meeting space into my property.

4. Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.
My business is called Breath of Life Birth Services.  I provide birth & postpartum doula services, placenta encapsulation and herbal products for postpartum recovery and family wellness.  I’ve developed and grown the business a little at a time over the last few years and am excited to be experiencing good rates of growth.  I am fortunate to be able to serve amazing families here in Western Washington.
Future plans include expanding the local locations where my postpartum & family wellness products are being made available, continue forward with finding the balance between client loads and raising my children, and of course, attaining the above mentioned small patch of acreage. :)

Kristyn Blocher, Breath of Life Birth Services
www.doulamatters.com
(360)888-7174
doulamatters@hotmail.com

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Meet a BAI Pro 0

Chelsie Towns

Chelsie

Why did you choose BAI?

I had been planning on enrolling in a formal program for doula certification for two years before I enrolled with BAI. I studied independently for some time and actually referred to BAI’s book list for resources. When I finally sat down to choose a program, I had several pulled up on my computer screen and I just kept cycling through them, reading through each one’s websites. I asked friends and in online communities for their opinions. I chose BAI, ultimately, because the people who recommended it jived more closely with my personal philosophies and BAI seemed to as well.

What did you learn about yourself while taking the program?

I learned I did not just have an interest in birth, but a passion. I went from having a self-centered focus in my studies (what originally prompted me to study birth arts was my own traumatic birth, it was an attempt to understand what happened and what I could do the next time around to improve my experience) to wanting to share what I had learned with other women and help them make informed choices in birth. I became more extroverted as I gained confidence in my knowledge. In the last year, I’ve learned that my path is one steeped in birth arts. And for the first time in my life, at 30 years old, I finally feel like I know what I want to be when I grow up! (Aside from a mother, of course.)

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a mother of three children, two boys and a girl, all born within three years of one another. Most of my life is centered around being an attached, peaceful parent. We’ve just bought our first home and we’re looking forward to “urban homesteading” with a huge garden and adding chickens next spring.

Aside from all things birth and babies, I’m an avid knitter, enjoy nature and love cooking and baking. I’ve long been very interested in holistic healing and have been very informally studying herbal medicine for a number of years. After struggling to breastfeed (and ultimately finding out that I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue and being unable to produce enough milk for my babies), I’ve come to learn a lot about galactagogue herbs, as well as herbal remedies for PCOS/hormonal imbalances and those used to support a healthy pregnancy and labor. So when I saw the program for Women’s Herbalism, I enrolled immediately and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the program.

I’m active in my community as a babywearing leader through Babywearing International, by helping organize our local Improving Birth Rally and by organizing the first baby expo in our area in a number of years this year.

 

Tell us about your business, or plans for the future.

I’m currently working as a birth doula and placenta encapsulator under the business name Thanks Givings Doula Services (named for my daughter who was born at home on Thanksgiving Day in 2011). I absolutely love my job! I had planned on offering postpartum support but have had to push those plans off for a while after having my third baby in December. He is much loved but totally unplanned, so my business plans had to adjust.

My motto is, “Supporting your informed birth.” I truly believe women have the right to birth however they want, but they should have ALL the facts, something that is seriously lacking in today’s birthing culture. I stress to my clients that birth is not a means to an end of pregnancy, but the moment they become a mother. It’s significant and I believe the birth process deserves respect and serious consideration.

I’ve been talking with an organization that connects teen moms with volunteer doulas to help bring the program to my area (it’s currently up and running in the Green Bay area but that’s a good 40-50 minute drive for me, which is a bit much for a free client). Considering my city had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Wisconsin when I was in high school, I feel it’s a very worthwhile and important program.

I’m looking forward to continuing on my path in birth arts and plan to enroll in Ancient Arts in the next few months. I hadn’t started out planning on becoming a midwife, but I’ve found I truly feel pulled in that direction, though I don’t see myself ever totally giving up being a doula because I feel for those women who absolutely must birth in a hospital, a doula is essential and enjoy that aspect of my work.

My website: www.thankgsivingsdoula.com

My FB: www.facebook.com/thanksgivingsdoula

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Doula Trainer Beth Goldberg 0

Beth Goldberg

Beth Goldberg

Beth opened Believe In Birth in 2001, a year after the birth of her first child. At first, she became a Certified Childbirth Educator, through BirthWorks, and an accredited La Leche League Leader.   In 2002, Beth expanded her birth knowledge by assisting women as a doula, and was trained by ALACE and certified by Doulas of North America (DONA).  She then completed Art of Midwifery classes in Media, Pennsylvania and went on to apprentice for two and a half years with the well loved and well known Midwifery Traditions practice in Philadelphia. This was the key requirement of her training through the North American Registry of Midwives’ Portfolio Evaluation Program and she earned her Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential in 2008.

Today, although she is no longer “babycatching”, She is honored to be the Mid-Atlantic Doula Trainer and mentor for Birth Arts International (BAI) and holds trainings in Philadelphia several times a year.Philly Training

In addition to birth work, Beth is a Licensed Behavior Specialist Consultant, and has worked with children with Autism since 1995. She recently completed post graduate course work at Florida Institute of Technology and plans to sit for the  Board Certified Behavior Analyst credential in 2013.

She lives with her husband and three children in South Philadelphia.