The United States would be a better place for women to give birth if every town had a Birth Kalamazoo.
As a natural birth advocate, how many times have you run into situations where you wish you could direct an expecting friend to a safe, informative place to gain knowledge about birth?
In Southwest Michigan, that place is Birth Kalamazoo.
Allow me to set the scene:
Say you’re in Ohio and your best friend lives in California. She asks for resources.
Such as How to find a doula.
You could tell her to look at bulletin boards and suggest books, movies and an independent childbirth class. But that would be the extent of your reach. She’s ultimately left to her own devises, the opinions of those who live closer, and her care provider.
That is why every town needs a Birth Kalamazoo.
Birth Kalamazoo is…
“Offers natural childbirth & breastfeeding classes, birth doulas, postpartum doulas and lactation consults. Birth and early parenting is such a precious time, we help make the journey as smooth and centered as possible.
Birth Kalamazoo connects families with birth doulas, natural childbirth and breastfeeding classes, post-partum doulas and lactation consultants.
We believe that birth is transformative, and that mothers and new families deserve caring, knowledgeable support for that journey. While we have a special love for natural birth, we honor the birthing process for every family, wherever it begins and ends.”
The doulas of Birth Kalamazoo have created a community for women in Kalamazoo, Michigan and surrounding areas.
Since early Spring of 2011, Birth Kalamazoo has been the host of a new monthly series of meetings called Birth Matters (click the link to learn more about the July meeting, “Whatza Doula?”).
“Birth Matters is a FREE group for pregnant moms, those with little ones and women who plan to soon begin a family. Come and gain insight and understanding of the amazing journey of pregnancy, labor, delivery and the postpartum period with other experienced moms in a fun and casual atmosphere! The group is sponsored by Birth Kalamazoo and co-led by doulas Beth Hawver, Jody Swank and Jessica English.”
Each month, as word spreads, the group gets larger. Women have driven as far as an hour to attend.
I am grateful for the information and support I have received from the Birth Kalamazoo doulas.
When I was pregnant and looking for a doula, I soon became familiar with post cards and business cards distributed by Birth Kalamazoo at local coffee shop and natural grocery store bulletin boards. It was a blessing being able to access the kind of information I was looking for so readily.
This kind of marketing has been key to Birth Kalamazoo’s success, along with word of mouth.
I picked up a post card and emailed Jessica English, birth doula, childbirth instructor and owner of Birth Kalamazoo.
She was so helpful and kind, suggesting events for Eric and I to attend and giving me information about her upcoming natural childbirth class, which we ended up taking. After a few classes, we decided to hire Jessica to be our birth doula for our home birth. She was terrific!
Our relationship has continued to blossom and I had the pleasure of interviewing her last July during Bring Birth Home’s webinar series featuring Birth Kalamazoo.
Eric and I have hired Jessica to be our birth doula again for our second (quickly approaching!) home birth. I honestly can’t imagine birthing without her!
Imagine if every town in the United States had a Birth Kalamazoo.
I could rest easy at night knowing that women all over our country had the same kind of access to natural birth information and support as I do in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
If you are a childbirth educator or doula who feels inspired by this blog post, follow suit! Make doing what you love a full-time job if it isn’t already, and start a Birth Denver, or Birth Cincinnati!
Gather other doulas in the area and create a safe place for women. It doesn’t have to be huge. Start small. You don’t even need your own building.
“Like” Birth Kalamazoo on Facebook today and learn from them!
And here is the official website of Birth Kalamazoo: http://birthkalamazoo.com/home.html