Grace Swartzendruber

ProDoula

CURRENT STATUS: Pre-CD Labor, Postpartum

BUSINESS NAME/AFFILIATION: Iowa City Birth Services

SERVICES PROVIDED: Labor support, Postpartum support

About

AREAS SERVED: Johnson County, Washington County, Linn County

CONTACT INFO:

Phone:  (847) 269-1482

Email:  grace@iowacitybirth.com

Website: www.iowacitybirth.com

Meet Your ProDoula

Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I have experience in the social work field which helped me develop professionalism, respect and understanding of the clients I work with. I also ran my own event planning and catering business, which has given me entrepreneurial experience.

What led you to become a Doula?: I’ve always been interested in birth work, but the experience of my own pregnancy, birth, postpartum and breastfeeding journey really ignited my passion to support and empower other women throughout their own journeys. I have learned that birth does not always go the way we envision and I feel that having non-judgmental support to help navigate the unexpected twists and turns can make all the difference.

What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:

“Grace is, hands down, the most organized person I know. When pursuing something she’s passionate about, learning, or working on, she dives in head first, researches and prepares unlike anyone I know. She has been by my side through 3 pregnancies, and even as a “seasoned” mother, I find myself asking her for advice and her input. She is calm and collected, has a gentle, loving touch, and has learned how to accept and embrace a situation when things may not go as planned. One would be lucky to have her by their side during their birthing experience!”

“Grace is an incredibly thoughtful person and friend. She listens well and has a warm, caring presence. When I went through my pregnancy, Grace surrounded me with love and support. Not only is her presence welcoming, but Grace shows her thoughtfulness through small, concrete acts of kindness (e.g. sharing her knowledge of the birthing process with me, offering me resources like books, and a balm to help with my C section scar). My birth process wasn’t anything like what I had planned so it helped to have a friend like Grace ease my transition into the motherhood and surgery recovery.”

“Grace an incredibly thoughtful and intentional person. Grace exhibits a sense of deep caring for the people around her — truly wanting to listen to people and encouraging them to be honest and open about their own experiences. Grace is also intentional about being non-judgmental of others’ experiences and philosophies.”

“I have found Grace to be a warm and nurturing person with a listening ear. She is very organized and well informed, while being compassionate and having a great sense of humor.”

What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: We have some amazing local resources including the Beloved Bonds Breastfeeding Support Group, the Iowa City Babywearers, Attachment Parenting of Iowa City, our local ICAN chapter, a Motherhood Wellness group, Hike it Baby, Mindful Birthing and more! We also have a fantastic support system of local IBCLCs, therapists, chiropractors, massage and craniosacral therapists, belly binders, placenta encapsulation specialists and more.

What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: So much love and support to her during this amazing and challenging time. That she is not alone, that she is doing a great job and that it will get easier with time.

What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Unconditional support and validation of her journey, whatever path it may take.

What is your favorite TV show or movie?: The Office

What is your favorite place to vacation?: Michigan

What is your favorite food?: Anything with lemon!

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: Sleep in, make a big brunch, read a book, go for a walk as a family, do some yoga, pop a big bowl of popcorn and watch a funny movie!

Who lives in your house?: Myself, my husband Nathan, our one year-old son Ira and our lab/husky mix, Zeke.