We have worked hard to assemble a team of the best doulas in Southwest Michigan! E-mail us at info@BirthKalamazoo.com or call (269) 598-1488. We'd be happy to let you know which of our doulas are available for your due date.
Jessica English, AdvCD/PCD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE
Jessica is a certified birth and postpartum doula, DONA-approved birth doula trainer, certified childbirth educator, and owner of Birth Kalamazoo. A graduate of Kalamazoo College, she worked for 15 years in marketing, public relations and journalism before joining the birth world full time. She is the organizer of the annual Kzoo Baby & Family Expo and a widely published writer. She has attended and spoken at many birth conferences and was privileged to complete her birth doula trainer workshop under the guidance of world-renowned doula and author Penny Simkin. Active on the state and national scene, Jessica is the former Director of Public Relations for DONA International and a special consultant to Friends of Michigan Midwives. She is the editor of the International Doula magazine. In 2013, she was honored as a fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators and in 2017 she became a Lamaze International program director and trainer (training new childbirth educators). Jessica is certified as an advanced birth doula and as a postpartum doula by DONA International. She has had two natural births, one on the hospital and one at home, with a doula supporting her on both journeys. The heart of Jessica's doula calling is to nurture families on their unique path, wherever their birth journey leads. We all need that precious nurture and support!
Diane Bowman, CD(DONA), SBD
As the mother of a large family, Diane is passionate about pregnancy and birth. She decided when her youngest was two that she wanted to help other women on their own beautiful journeys into motherhood. Having had many different birth experiences herself, Diane offers unconditional, caring support to the women and families she serves. She also has special training in helping families through grief and loss, or with future pregnancies after a loss. Diane is a certified birth doula with DONA International.
Teresa Youngblood, CD(DONA), SBD
Teresa is honored to be fulfilling her long-time calling to birth work as a doula. So many elements brought her to this amazing vocation -- her work as a registered nurse, a cesarean and three home VBACs with a midwife, and her relationship with her own doula. That doesn't even touch on all she's learned as a Birth Kalamazoo student, through her own studies and in her birth doula trainings! Teresa is also a postpartum doula and has completed special training in grief and loss. She also runs Birth Kalamazoo's VBAC & Cesarean Support Group. Teresa is a certified birth doula with DONA International. Teresa is on maternity leave and will only be accepting postpartum doula clients in 2018.
Jessie Daam, CD(DONA)
Jessie attended a friend's home birth in 2009 and she has loved birth ever since! After completing her doula workshop in 2015, Jessie took a break during her pregnancy and postpartum time with her second daughter. She's had two natural hospital births with midwives, and for her second birth she added a great doula to her team as well. She's excited to be back in action as a birth doula and ready to support families and our community. She earned her birth doula certification from DONA International.
Giving birth to her first baby in 1993 changed Jennifer’s life forever. After taking a series of natural childbirth classes, she had an amazing birth experience that led her to become a childbirth educator and doula herself. After several years of helping other moms through labor, she took some time away from birth work to focus on raising her family, which grew to include three daughters. Although Jennifer has also worked in computer programming, helping new families has always been her true calling. Now that her children are grown, she’s back in action as a birth doula. Jennifer is completing her certification with DONA International.
Melinda Moncada, CD(DONA)
The mom of two amazing boys, Melinda has been a birth doula for almost four years. A native of Southwest Michigan, she has supported families in both Washington, D.C. and the Kalamazoo area. Melinda is also a postpartum doula and she loves the continuity of supporting the same family through their birth and caring for their new baby. She speaks fluent Spanish, love travel and is rebozo certified with the Gena Kerby Method. She is certified as a birth doula by DONA International.
Kama Tai Mitchell
Kama Tai Mitchell is a healer, mama, yogi, doula and dancer. She has spent most of her life claiming and sharing body awareness. A practitioner and teacher of Para Yoga, Kama has also had numerous trainings with many master dance teachers of the African Diaspora. Currently working toward doula certification with DONA International, she encourages women to own their bodies and their birth experience. Kama is a strong activist in birth justice, racial equality and mental health awareness. She co-founded and is executive director of the nonprofit Rootead, which supports women of color, especially mothers. She is certified in belly binding through the Zulu Birth Project and has training in reflexology and massage. Kama loves nature (especially the ocean), babies and all forms of art.
Danielle Krasinski, CD(DONA)
As a registered dietitian, Danielle has experience offering support through nutrition and health. Now as a doula, she is carrying that same passion into the birth world! Danielle became interested in birth issues even before she was pregnant, after watching a powerful documentary. She's had two natural hospital births and is the mom to two boys, Asher and Noah. She is passionate about supporting women and families in their life changing experience of birth, whatever their journey includes. Danielle certified as a birth doula by DONA International.
Kelsey Nimmo, CD(DONA)
Kelsey believes that every woman deserves a positive, empowering birth experience and she loves sharing in the unique and beautiful journey of childbirth. Active in the women's health community, she is a mother herself and feels drawn to support other women during birth. Kelsey is a certified level 2 Usui Reiki practitioner and a certified yoga instructor. She holds a master's degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling with a graduate certificate in Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness. She works as a therapist in private practice. Kelsey is warm and compassionate and never ceases to be amazed by the beauty and strength of her clients. She is certified by DONA International. Kelsey is expecting baby #2 in the spring, and will not be accepting clients for most of 2018.
Zoe Valette, CD(DONA)
Zoe’s fascination with birth began when her mother was preparing for Zoe's little sister’s home birth many years ago, and it was rekindled when she started to prepare for her own daughter’s birth. She loves supporting families and helping women to find empowerment on their journeys through birth and into parenthood. Zoe is one of the coordinators of a local babywearing group. She is certified as a birth doula with DONA International. Although she's not taking on her own independent clients this year, Zoe serves as backup to the other Birth Kalamazoo doulas.
"I could not imagine my long labor without my amazing doula. She was always on-point, neutral in stance but informative with my options and a quiet presence that uplifted me when I was down and rubbed my legs when I was tired. She was not only a support to me but for my husband and my mother during the long haul. All in all, we are forever grateful. Thank you again!"
~Chelsie, mom to Grayson, born at home
"Jessica, thank you for all of your support during this beautiful, emotional, challenging process of bringing Zackary into our world. We have been fortunate in receiving your gifts of time, kind words, informed advice and gentle presence. Please know your strength and assistance has helped both Mike and I remain centered and grounded."
~Angela, mom to Zackary, born at 32 weeks, by cesarean at Bronson Hospital