2015 was an exciting year here at Over The Moon Doula Services LLC. We had many changes, new adventures and exciting opportunities for growth in our doula careers. Here is a recap!
Our biggest news of the year has to be the merger between Over The Moon Doula Services and independent birth doula Brenda Baar. Megan and I met Brenda in November of 2014 and ever since she has been a wonderful friend and colleague. Welcoming her onto our team felt natural. The of us made the decision to work together at the end of May and after a couple of months of hammering out the details, we announced our change on August 4th. We are proud to be the only team of DONA International certified doulas in the Grand Rapids area. While we each see our own clients individually, running our business together allows us to offer clients both birth and postpartum doula services, the option to meet multiple doulas in one convenient location with back to back consultations and reliable backup support when needed. And of course we enjoy spending time together so the built-in friendship is a nice bonus!
Classes and Events for Parents
In January we enthusiastically taught our first class for parents at Babies R Us. Every month since we’ve taught 1-2 classes and rotate between Are You Ready For Labor and Delivery? Know Your Options? Baby Basics and New Mama’s Wellness. These classes are free and open to anyone interested in learning the basics of caring for themselves and their babies and exploring the choices available to them during labor and delivery and the postpartum period.
In August we hosted a mothers' gathering for clients past and present, which is a tradition that Brenda started before joining our team. We meet with over 20 women at Megan’s house and enjoyed a potluck spread of snacks while we each shared what we’ve learned from our birth and pregnancy experiences. It was a special evening full of laughs, tears and hugs that provided an opportunity for connection and encouragement.
Continuing Education Opportunities For Birth Workers
Since Over The Moon’s beginnings in 2013, growing and evolving as doulas and strengthening the local West Michigan birth community has been a vital part of our business. This year was no exception.
Using our Seminar Series Platform (formerly called “Study Group”) we hosted two exciting, education and empowering events.
In February Bridget Becker of The Joy Of Birthing joined us for a Rebozo training. Doulas, midwives and parents gathered to learn how to use this versatile tool for providing labor women comfort and enhancing birth outcomes.
In June we hosted Rebecca Dekker from Evidence Based Birth for a lecture about due dates. Over 40 birthworkers (including doulas, nurses, and midwives and a few well-informed mamas!) joined us to learn the history of the how 40 weeks became the “standard” for pregnancy length and the risks and benefits surrounding inductions.
Megan has some exciting opportunities to educate medical professionals about how to support laboring women. In May, Megan was invited to Spectrum Butterworth to help teach a workshop entitled "50 ways to support a laboring woman”. Megan got another chance to stretch her teaching muscles in November when she was invited to Agape Heath Care Schools in Cadillac, MI. Megan taught a class about comfort measures for labor for students who are studying to become midwife assistants.
While we do so much together, we also do our own things and this year we sure were busy!
I (Cassie) started my career by solely offering postpartum doula services. This year I decided it was time to expand what I offer to families and become a birth doula as well. I completed my DONA birth doula workshop this past June and am currently working toward certification. I am continuing on with my postpartum services but have also been enjoying this new aspect of my work and love be able to offer birth and postpartum combo packages to families!
Pictured: Cassie with doula trainer Jessica English, Cassie heading out the door to her first birth!
As an avid and enthusiastic listener of many podcasts I was so excited to have the opportunity this year to be on one of my favorites! In September I was interviewed by Nathalie Saenze for a “birth worker feature” on her podcast, Dearest Doula. It was an exciting opportunity to talk about my work as a postpartum doula.
Megan (below) woke up January 2015 as a certified doula having just got the call from DONA the day before that her certification packet had been reviewed and everything had gone though.
And Brenda joined the certification club in July making a complete team of certified doulas. (Megan and Brenda are certified as birth doulas and I as a postpartum doula.)
Long before completing the certification process though, Brenda was supporting families and clearly doing a good job since she was voted "#1 favorite doula" by West Michigan Families on the popular website GRkids.com.
What will 2016 hold for Over The Moon? We already have a busy Winter and Spring coming up, supporting new families through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. We've got more exciting things planned and we can't wait to share them with you!