Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: Jen’s background in support, empowerment and advocacy started long before she ever stepped foot into a Labor and Delivery room. In fact, it all began after Jen graduated with a specialized degree in Early Childhood Development from Michigan State University. She began utilizing her degree by working with young children as a classroom teacher for 15 years. Recently, Jen made the decision to engage an older demographic by teaching reading and writing to 7th graders. Jen believes that knowledge is powerful and seeks opportunities to share her passion. Over the course of the last 15 years, Jen has welcomed 4 children of her own into the world, each time harnessing the romance and intense empowerment that is Labor and Delivery. It is her greatest desire to facilitate an intimately memorable labor experience where each client feels heard, validated, and empowered by the strength that they are capable of achieving.
What led you to become a Doula?: Jen’s interest in birth work was natural from the beginning, she has supported families with Postpartum care and will complete her Infant and Child Sleep Consultant Certification in June 2020. It felt innate to have the capability to support a family prenatally, through Labor and Delivery. Jen has given birth four times and each experience was wildly different, yet lovely in their own right. Jen wishes to use her personal knowledge, as well as her learned expertise to bring a sense of knowledge and confidence to the Labor and Delivery experience.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
Jen’s clients would describe her as a girlfriend who has a nerdy amount of knowledge when it comes to labor, delivery, postpartum and sleep. They marvel at her passion, friendliness and attentiveness, while admiring the genuineness that is Jen.
“As a first time mom, Jen has been invaluable to our family. Not only is she flexible and professional, but she is also a wealth of knowledge and has helped us to better understand our baby’s temperament and his individual needs. It takes a village, and everyone should have Jennifer in theirs! ” Wazir/Mata Family
“Jen has been a lifesaver. She has been great with our children, especially implementing a schedule to help them sleep through the night. Many of our friends still don’t have children who sleep through the night months after ours started to. Our kids love her and we have been grateful to have her for both of our kids.” Johnson/Lehman Family
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Why DOULA’s, of course! She marvels at how underutilized they are in modern pregnancy and births. Jen absolutely wishes that she had known about Doula’s when she was giving birth to her own children and wouldn’t have hesitated in securing one to help co-regulate that powerful time in her life. Jen’s own best friend is a labor and delivery nurse who told Jen, “I can count on my patients with doula’s to be informed, secure, and prepared for birth. I love when patients have doula’s!”
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I want to enjoy a cup of tea with mama's and hear all about their pregnancy story. Brand new babies take my breath away EACH. AND. EVERY. TIME. It doesn't matter that I've welcomed 100's into the world, they are each miraculous in their own tiny details.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Peace of Mind, first. Sleep, second. Therefore, a DOULA is the best gift that money can buy:)
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Mystery, HGTV, DIY.
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Gulf Shores or Northern MI.
What is your favorite food?: Avocado Toast, Green Smoothies....and Mint or Lemon anything:)
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: When Jen isn’t teaching or working with a family, you would most likely find her cheering on one of her four children at a pool or on a lacrosse field. She and her husband are also avid DIY’ers, and sometimes binge watch HGTV for inspiration. Last, but not least, she enjoys cycling on her Peloton, but doesn’t feel guilty when it collects dust, because she is a firm advocate of letting go of mom guilt.
Who lives in your house?: My husband and 4 children- two girls, 14, and 12, & two boys 10 and 8.