"What was most helpful was your ability to help facilitate difficult conversations, which was needed in order for my labor to progress. Coaching me to let go of my desire for the birth to go the way I wanted and allow it to progress the way it was going to regardless was the greatest gift you could have given me during the process. Your ability to coach is truly aspiring, Jess. As painful as my son’s birth was, you helped both my husband and I remain focused. You provided words of affirmation that soothed me more than you could ever know. You were able to guide Jason as my partner and help him figure out the best way to support me. You really do have a gift as a doula and I don’t think I could ever thank you enough." - Courtney M-K
As a doula, it is my hope that through encouragement offered and information given, you will feel supported throughout your pregnancy, childbirth, and in the season of transition after you welcome your little one into your family.
Offering support, empowerment and encouragement to a birthing woman and her partner has been a deep honor. I cannot imagine a more significant and holy space to be welcomed into and take part in preserving through shared stories, memories and photos.
My hope is that in your childbearing year you will experience a sustaining presence through each decision you make or circumstances you may encounter. Whether it's a natural birth at home or in the hospital, a medicated birth or a preferred induction, it is my hope that you feel supported as I come alongside, helping you make the most informed and best decisions for you and your family with assurance and peace.
"We are so thankful for Jess at Grace’s Table! She has been a beautiful support to our families as they bring life into this world. She very naturally creates opportunity for open dialogue with young mothers whereby they can comfortably ask questions about the birthing process and beyond. In the last several months she has been a huge advocate for, and support to, 3 of our new mothers. To know Jess, is to love her. Things are sacred and holy with her, and there is a great care and concern that is involved with her approach to all things, for which we are deeply grateful. It is truly an honor to work with someone of such character! We are beyond blessed to partner with Jess in a variety of ways!" - Lisa Anderson, founding director of Grace's Table
MSW, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA)
What joy there is to bear witness to growing families and strong women as they welcome new littles into their everyday lives. With a vocational background in social work as an addictions counselor and NPO Director, I have been working with families for over 15 years. Since 2011, after the birth of our first daughter, I have been volunteering with young moms through various capacities and consider it nothing short of deep joy to walk alongside such strong women.
Beyond my current work as a doula which began in 2013, I am a mother to three loud and life-giving tinies and wife to a Jake, a man who taught me how to love well and climb trees. I can often be found homeschooling my tribe, making fun of myself (for there is much opportunity to do so), or finding another reason for another cup of coffee or another bit of dark chocolate.
I believe in the restorative power of community, nurturing new moms, preserving beauty, digging in the dirt, hiking through the back woods, and reading a good book.
Education, Experience & Training
- 2015 - Began volunteering with Grace's Table
- 2015 - Completed DONA International Birth Doula Certification
- 2015 - Completed DONA International Postpartum Doula Certification
- 2015 - Rebozo Certified
- 2014 - D.A. Blodgett/St. Johns Volunteer of the Year
- 2014 - Received training in the Doula's Role in Reducing Childbearing Risk
- 2013 - Began working as an independent birth/postpartum doula
- 2013 - Began offering volunteer doula services for teen moms
- 2013 - DONA International Birth/Postpartum Doula training
- 2011 - Began volunteering as a mentor with Sisters In Support
- 2006 - Received Master of Social Work from Western Michigan University
- 2001 - Received Bachelor of Social Work from Saginaw Valley State University
As a doula I have supported clients who have:
- Experienced previous miscarriages and/or stillbirths
- Chosen to work with a variety of caregivers and support persons
- First-time parents as well as families with multiple children
- Been young moms (primary referrals through Cherry St. Health Services, Grace's Table, and Sisters In Support)
- Chosen to birth at home
- Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC)
- Chosen to birth at a hospital
- Experienced previous birth trauma
- Experienced an Induction
- Chosen a medicated birth
- Chosen an unmedicated/natural birth