- DONA Postpartum Doula Certification Workshop~ PCD(DONA)
- DONA Birth Doula Certification Workshop~ CD(DONA)
July 2003, Extensive Birth and Postpartum workshops taught by Nationally recognized speakers and educators, focusing on the role and purpose of a doula, stages and phases of labor, physical and emotional needs of the pregnant mother, doula’s scope of practice and ethical role, being part of the support team. Training style consisted of video, lecture, handbook, literature, role playing and hands on experiences.
- Lactation Education (CLC) Certified Lactation Counselor
I have successfully breastfed four children on average 17 months each. I believe personal experience is worth its weight in gold, just as breast milk is worth its weight in gold!
September 2007, Lactation Counselor Certificate Training Program course. This is an intensive and extensive 45 hour completely in-depth lactation training program put on by The Healthy Children Project. Certified: September 2007-March 2016.
Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)
Lamaze education and practices are based on the best, most current medical evidence available. They can help reduce the use of unnecessary interventions and improve overall outcomes for mothers and babies. Working closely with their families, health care providers and Lamaze educators, millions of pregnant women have achieved their desired childbirth outcomes using Lamaze practices.
The mission of Lamaze International is to promote, support and protect natural, safe and healthy birth through education and advocacy through the dedicated efforts of professional childbirth educators, providers and parents.
Certified HypnoBirthing(TM) Childbirth Educator (HBCE)
HypnoBirthing™ is a tried and proven method that guides and prepares a woman in giving birth in a peaceful and extraordinarily beautiful manner. It is a program a that considers the psychological, as well as the physical, well-being of the mother, her birth partner, and the newborn, independent of context, whether that be in the quiet of a home, a hospital, or a birth center.
The HypnoBirthing™ program is built around an educational process that includes special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body toning. Most importantly it fosters an air of mutual respect for the birthing family, as well as the health-care provider in a traditional health-care system or an alternative setting.
We know you have many choices and many decisions to make for your birthing experience. You have choices in selecting your care provider; you have choices in selecting the environment in which you will bring your baby into the world. Another important choice is that of the childbirth education classes you will choose to prepare for the birth of your baby. We know you will be happy with your choice of HypnoBirthing™.
Margaret has been a member since 2003 and is now considered a Legacy Memebr of The Childbirth Collective, a Twin Cities non-profit organization of childbirth professionals providing (2) weekly prenatal informational “topic nights” for expectant parents. Topics include: All about Doulas, Medications and Interventions, Natural Rhythm of Labor, Comfort Measures, Postpartum, Breastfeeding, When Couples become a Family, Birth Stories and many more.
- Professional Memberships
- DONA International (Doulas of North America) www.dona.org
- Minnesota Birth Network www.minnesotabirthnetwork.com
- Childbirth Collective www.childbirthcollective.org
My Role as your Postpartum and Birth Doula
My parents both have backgrounds in health care and they have had a major influence on my perspective about care-giving. My father was a surgeon and chief of staff at a major Twin Cities hospital; he served as a great sounding board and voice of reason during critical moments in his patients’ lives. My mother brought humanness and warmth to her work in a hospice, as she endeavored to make the last days of life the best they could be for countless individuals and families. As your doula, I make the FIRST days of life the best they can be for parents and families. I want your birth experience and the early postpartum period to be the best it can be and I will work with your care providers to achieve that.
Doula, an ancient Greek word meaning “a woman assisting other woman before and after childbirth,” describes exactly what I do.
As a postpartum doula, I assist your entire family in the first trimester following delivery with everything from newborn care, family adjustment, and rest for the mother to tracking feedings, light housework, and hands-on education, nonjudgmental support and companionship.
As your birth doula, I will serve as your constant companion throughout labor, assisting with a range of non-medical comfort and coping strategies.
As a mother who’s given birth five times, I can appreciate the range of emotions that women experience both before and after delivery. My first child, Garrett, was born with a heart defect and lived only two days. After that devastating experience—and a period of feeling very alone—I was blessed with two healthy children. While their births were “normal”, I recall feeling anxious and afraid during labor even though my labor support was doing their best to help. I had a close friend that was a labor and delivery nurse and she acted as my doula, however she still had her nursing tasks to attend to.
Several years later, I was excited to learn I was pregnant with my fourth child. Once again, I found myself anxious about the upcoming delivery. Then I ran into a friend who was recounting her birth experience when I learned she’d hired a doula. Not knowing this resource was available; I asked what her doula did and why she’d hired one. My friend smiled and said, “I loved having someone there who never left me throughout the entire birth process. She helped me stay strong and her constant encouragement was just what I needed. She was my ROCK. And I know my husband appreciated it most of all.”
I thought, “That’s exactly what I need!”
So I interviewed a doula, felt immediately comfortable with her, and we agreed on a birth plan. I could already tell this was going to be a better and new kind of birth experience.
When I went into labor with a couple months later, I called my doula. She came over to my house immediately, and we labored together for a short while. When she could tell I was close to giving birth, she helped me gather up my things, rode with my husband and me to the hospital, and took me up to the maternity floor while my husband parked the car, checked in, and relayed medical information. My doula helped me settle into my room, communicate my needs to the nursing staff, and stayed with me the whole time, constantly encouraging and helping me manage the intense pain. A short while later, my beautiful daughter Alexa was born.
Looking back, was Alexa’s birth easy? Of course not! But my memories of her birth are poignant and powerfully positive. Why? I realized how important it was to have someone there solely for me. My doula didn’t have other patients to worry about, IVs to check, a monitor to watch~ she was there for me and my interests alone. Keeping the focus on me meant that I stayed strong, didn’t need medication, and when my baby did arrive, I felt empowered and exhilarated rather than drowsy and “out of it” from medication. I still remember the words my doula whispered in my ear over and over, “You are doing it, trust your body and you can accomplish anything.”
When I arrived home, my doula came over a few times to help as I adjusted to my new routine. She listened to me recount me birth story, shared her beautiful perspective and then topped it off with wonderful words of encouragement. She assisted me through “baby blues”, and reacquainted me with the newborn stage. My doula gave me the best gift a person can give, her time (not to mention companionship of another female). I was re-introduced to the simple things in life~ encouragement, another set of hands, a shoulder to lean on, and she made all the difference for me and my husband. From that time on, I knew I wanted to help other women have access to the same simple (but all important) support I did.
I birthed my fifth child within the comfort of my home with a homebirth midwife and close friends and family. This was the longest of all my labors. Lasting 9 hours in all, I had all the support and comfort of home with constant, loving care. It truly was a dream to give birth in such a wonderful and relaxed atmosphere. The best part was watching the older sibling welcome their new baby sister.
Other roles I play as your birth doula include:*
- Assisting you (and your partner) to prepare and carry out your plans for the birth.
- Understanding the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of women in labor – and accommodating your unique concerns as outlined in your birth plan.
- Staying by your side throughout your entire labor.
- Facilitating communication between you, your partner, and clinical care providers.
- Nurturing your memory of your birth experience.
* From Doulas of North America (DONA)