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

Friday, January 16, 2015

Babywearing Dance Class

11:30am - 12:30pm
$10 drop in fee
Instructor: Claire Sandler (fellow babywearer, breastfeeding mother, LLL of South Bend leader, among many other talents!)

"Babywearing Dance Class is designed for parent to engage in gentle stretching and strengthening in a supportive environment, while enjoying movement, music, and their babies.  Warm-up at the barre and in the center, move across the space, and stretch on the floor.  This class is for all levels, no dance experience is required.  Expectnant mamas and siblings are also welcome!"

Colonial Terrace
427 North Hickory Road
South Bend, Indiana 46615
(574) 850-0042

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More Blogs By Our Very Own

A Michiana birth photographer's blog Hartstein Photography (a birth photographer tells the story of the birth of your baby thru photos; from the beginning of labor until after baby is born)

 Andrea Hartstein photographer:

 "It was a starry, starry night one warm early Monday in August...."

That's how my mom always started the story when she'd tell me about the day I was born. They stopped at the ATM before going to the hospital, because they thought they'd need money to pay for the birth before they could have me. I believe my dad dropped my mom off before finding a place to park. Her laboring at Butterworth Hospital was pretty quick - maybe two and half hours? I remember her telling me that she was nervous he wouldn't get back from parking the car in time. And once I was born, my big sister met me. And she said, "that's MY baby". Which is where the story usually ended, because my sister would chime in and say something like, "well, I don't feel that way anymore!!"

I have one picture from the day I was born.

It's just of me. It's not of my mom and dad, who had me. It's not with any of the nurses or the Dr who delivered me. It's not with my adoring, big sister. It's not with my grandparents who came to visit me in the hospital. It's just of me.

I have to imagine the rest.

It took us four years to conceive our daughter, Abigail. Oh, how I wanted her. I've prayed for her since I was in my late teens. Not necessarily to HAVE her, but I prayed for her future. I prayed that she would be healthy and strong. I prayed that she would make wise choices. I prayed that she would know love and that she would know how cherished she would be.

Once we finally found out we were pregnant with Abigail - I cherished every moment of it! Because, really, who knows if she might be the only baby I ever have? My labor story is that I was induced two days early, to expell the fear of pre-eclampsia. I labored for 30+ hours. I only made it to 4cm. The anesthesiologist who administered my epidural visited my room 5 times, which was 3 times more than how often he'd ever visited one patient before. They tried a spinal tap. Nothing worked. When they decided we were going in for a C-section, I distinctly remember the Dr pricking my leg and asking me if I could feel anything. Um... yes! I could feel everything. The last thing I remember is hearing the anesthesiologist say they were going to be knocking me out. So when my daughter was born at 1:37 in the morning on the first hot day of the year of 2010 in April, I was unconscious and my husband wasn't allowed in the room.

Our first picture of her was taken by a nurse in the hallway. Thankfully I had my camera with me at the hospital and I snapped away while in my hospital bed recovering -- I got pictures of her with her daddy and with most everyone who came to visit. While I'm glad I caught those moments in the hospital, I feel something sad when I think about the day she was born. I have no memory of her first breaths. I have no pictures to show me what it was like when we ceased to be one and finally became two. There are no pictures of us holding our baby together for the first time, because I was always on that side of the camera.

And with that, my interest in birth photography was born.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog's by our very own!

Have a local blog? Let us post it like the following 
A Michiana doula's blog B.B. Birthwork.  
Betsy Black childbirth educator, doula, birth assistant

Mother of three kiddos, I spend my time caring for them and our home. Working in childbirth is a passion that comes second to my family demands, but I sneak in bits of teaching childbirth classes, doula work and attending home births as a midwife's assistant. Much of my work is with my Amish neighbors, as they are a large percentage of the childbearing women in my area.