Friday, September 18, 2015

From Hospital Birth to Home Birth, "I am living out my calling"

It has been a long while since I have put up any new posts but I will be endeavoring to do better by the birth blog.  To make up for such a long hiatus take a look at a new face in our homebirth midwifery world!  She is taking our area by storm with love and gentleness.  Have you heard of her, birthed with her, or seen her at the many community birth events she has attended?  Let me know, I would love to hear about it!

I have been a nurse midwife since 1999 and practiced in 3 states as a hospital midwife until 2013. I worked hard to provide personalized care in the hospital setting during those years and have many great memories. In 2013, circumstances arose making it more difficult to continue care in that setting. There was an obvious need for home birth providers in the region, leading me to out of hospital birth care. I've always believed women should have the option of homebirth, but had never been brave enough to go out on my own. I've always believed in the safety of homebirth, but the business/ logistics side of practice were very scary. After encouragement by some great area midwives and much reading, began to catch the vision. I also felt that God was calling me to this and I have been privileged to see His hand work in many ways for success. In the 1.5 years in this practice, I have been blessed to welcome over 60 babies earthside. Sometimes I work really hard, sometimes I can just relax and watch the process unfold. I can hold the space sacred for what the family deems important to them. The mom can be confident in knowing who her care provider will be; great trust is built and brings great things to labor/birth. WHY HOMEBIRTH? Having previously provided hospital care, I think I can speak to this accurately. There are many ways to approach care to women in labor. Hospitals provide care using policies and procedures to best care for a larger number of women at once. Some of these are evidenced based, some are out of habit or fear. Being able to offer personalized care makes a great difference. For example, because I already know the mother well, I can forego the traditional hospital intake questions. I have already discussed her wishes for her labor/birth experience. It is wonderful to not have to interrupt labor focus. I can also evaluate mom and baby where they are; I can listen and support, assuring their safety and progess with flexibility. So if mom is standing, on toilet, on hands and knees for progress or comfort, no need to interrupt. Sometimes this flexibility of care is difficult in hospital. Certainly, there have been times that I have transferred mom to hospital care because her circumstances warranted a different level of care. But majority of moms are healthy and deserve the flexibility and personalized care that being out of hospital provides. Moms choose homebirth for the above reasons of flexibility and personal care, but they also choose because of safety. They believe that being home is safer and advantageous for their baby too. Unwanted or unneeded interventions are much less likely at home, keeping baby and labor in a safer place. Baby is not exposed to hospital environment/germs that may put them at risk. Breastfeeding success is improved and jaundice levels are very low in my clients at home. Because babies are not medicated, they generally feed very well right after birth which gets things off to a great start. I am truly privileged to enjoy my work and LOVE what I do. My heart melts when moms say "thank you so much for being here, offering this option. It made all the difference" That keeps me going. I am living out my calling 
Terrie Lemley CNM

Monday, February 2, 2015


That moment. Once the baby is born.  You forget all the strength you were exerting, all the power it took, the energy you released. Forgotten (for a moment) in the blink of an eye as you embraced your baby with your eyes and thought, 
"Oh, yeah, this is what I was going thru this for"

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


is offering a special
 during the months of 

Monday, January 26, 2015



The Milky Way: Every Mother Has a Story
Friday, January 30 
7:00-10:00 pm 
Brainworks @ the Corner of Navarre & Michigan St
      Free will offerings accepted/ Dessert will be served
(Snow date the following Friday)

The Milky Way, a feature-length documentary about breastfeeding in the USA, shows how women can reclaim their birthright and restore the nursing mother archetype. A film by, for, and about women, it is about the knowledge that inherently resides in every woman and how to trust that knowledge.

It will inspire women to say, “I can do that!” “I want to do that!”



Free Breastfeeding class called Breastfeeding 101 on  
February 3rd, 7PM
First Tuesdays of the Month every month.
at Lansers The Natural Way on W.Edison in South Bend
Intended for pregnant couples looking for basic information on breastfeeding. Partners are encouraged to attend too.


Prenatal Yoga Series
6 week series starts Wednesday, February 4- March 11
At the Remedy Building, 402 W Washington St, South Bend, Indian 7:15-8:30
Cost: $78
To register: contact Sara Bolen at or 574-220-7786

Monday, January 19, 2015

New To Our Birth Community


I am Kelly Howland, the woman behind Michiana Postpartum Doula Care and Ollie & Jai Designs. I am one of the newest persons to join the birth professionals community, and I serve as both a postpartum doula and a keepsake jewelry artist where I specialize in making breast milk and placenta memorial jewelry.
Before deciding to work as a birth professional, I studied sociology in college and became a social worker. I spent time working with children and families and this was my first exposure to postpartum care from the perspective of mental health. It immediately became my primary interest as a social worker.

I then became pregnant with my own child and did not have the birth experience I was looking for. My postpartum time frame was extremely rough as I experienced problems breastfeeding, a difficult transition into motherhood, processing birth trauma, and PPD. But what truly helped ease my transition into motherhood was the community of support I had around me from fellow mothers and a postpartum doula who came to my home and assisted me through the tender, emotional initial days of new motherhood. I don't know what I would have done without that support because it is what carried me through a transition that was not at all what I'd expected the start of motherhood to be.

I continued my career as a social worker, but my passion for focusing on postpartum women grew to the point where it could not be ignored. I then became pregnant with my second child and anticipating my own second postpartum period drove me to the realization that I am called to be within the birth community, supporting and encouraging mothers in the way I'd learned was so critical and valuable for moms. I took the plunge and left my position in social services and have started to study for formal certification as a postpartum doula through Birth Arts International. I created the name Michiana Postpartum Doula Care where I am now beginning to serve families in the Michiana area through a variety of postpartum services.
In addition to being a postpartum doula, I also am behind Ollie & Jai Designs. Breastfeeding both my children was full of difficulty and emotional struggle as I battled a diagnosed low supply issue. Working to nurse my second son was one of the biggest challenges for me and I wanted to commemorate that journey for however long it may last. This led me to begin experimenting with breast milk and placenta keepsake jewelry. I can now create memorial keepsake jewelry pieces out of a woman's own breast milk or dehydrated placenta powder. I named my jewelry line Ollie & Jai, the nicknames of my children, after the birth and breastfeeding experiences I had with each of them. While I love the art of jewelry making, my favorite thing about creating the jewelry is getting to help mothers preserve a piece of their own special, sacred journeys that they've experienced as well.

As a newer postpartum doula in the Michiana community, I am excited to see where my passions will take me. I consider it an honor that a family would choose me to walk with them and support them through such a personal, tender time in their family's transition. I can think of few things are rewarding as being given that gift as not only a doula, but a fellow mother within our community.

Michiana Postpartum Doula Care and Ollie & Jai Designs