The Overwhelming Vulnerability of Waiting for Baby

“I am writing this so that I may inspire other pregnant women and parents who may be struggling with the same fear, worry and anxiety. To say to them, this too is normal. It’s when moms feel this way (and don’t know it’s normal) that non-evidence based care providers can use their fear to sway them to choose interventions they might regret later.”

Read More
​Video: Mary and Amanda Demonstrate Comfort Measures on MiddayLIVE at WBKO13​​

“I was a guest on Midday Live with WBKO13 with Amanda Woolen of The Grateful Moms Doula. We talked comfort measures and what you’ll learn during Lamaze Class. Watch us get 'hands-on' with a live demonstration of a technique that provides much needed comfort and decreases pain during active labor. I’ve also opened up registration for fall Lamaze Classes...”

Read More
You Are Not A Failure - The Lifesaving Support of A Doula for a Breastfeeding Mother

“I have an important, deeply emotional story to share with you tonight. Only one month postpartum, Lucy's weight had rapidly declined. Suddenly, this little one's story was not so positive. Despite seeing the pediatrician regularly, she was still failing to return to her birth weight of 6lb 8oz. It became obvious then, that something was wrong.“

Read More
Freedom of Movement in Labor

"What struck me as I sat there, was my view in that hospital Labor & Delivery room. In front of me, despite an active birth, was an empty bed with the monitor straps left behind. I want every one of you planning a hospital birth to know that freedom of movement and intermittent monitoring is a safe option for most moms and should be discussed with your care provider.”

Read More
When a Doula Client Has a Cesarean

I've experienced the helpless feeling of standing just on the other side of the "scrubs only" sign. It’s an anxious feeling, as you are suddenly separated from the family you've supported throughout their pregnancy and birth. There you wait. Helpless. Everything is out of your hands. Some relief comes when you hear the cries of a newborn, but full relief never comes until you see mom and baby, both safe, healthy and together in recovery.

Read More
Renee Cooper's Birth Story

"...By the time my midwife came I was already dilated pretty far and the contractions were beginning to be very painful but I was coping very well...the euphoric feeling and rush of emotions afterward took all my pain away and filled it with love. For those curious about home births or wanting to consider, my best advice is to be as informed as possible beforehand and to remember that the pain has a purpose and is very rewarding in the end."

Read More
Ketones During Pregnancy

"Words like ketones, keto, ketosis and ketogenic are all popular buzz words for promising rapid weight loss. At first, I had only had one friend telling me how ketosis had changed her life. Then, not long after, another friend. My interest in studying them came up when my own midwife noticed ketones in my urine, so I made an appointment in Bowling Green (Kentucky) to see Registered Dietitian Marisa Woodal..."

Read More
What the Heck is a Haakaa and How Will it Change Your Life?

"When you're breastfeeding, sometimes you need a little hands-free help, not only while caring for baby, but to increase milk production. This Facebook Live video, with special guest Amanda Woolen, might be just what you need. Also, today I posted my first YouTube video. I would love for you to subscribe to my channel." 

Read More
NEW!! Phone Support and Video Chat

Throughout my career, I have looked for ways that I (and other birth workers) can serve with the longevity and enthusiasm that matches our dedication to serve. I receive over 100+ messages on social media monthly. Often, I feel guilt for not being able to reply instantly to each message. I've begun a  new 'Phone Support' program on my website. I'm able to manage inquiries without distractions so I can provide 100% client-focused support. 

Read More
Back in Action: Amanda Woolen CLC

"Earlier this month I got to share a postpartum visit with a Lactation visit at a Doula client’s home.  It was the first time Amanda Woolen CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor) had been out in action since having her baby 4 weeks earlier. It was such a joy getting to see her back in action! This particular family was sent home from the hospital with..."

Read More
Even a Doula Needs a Doula

"Her name is Amanda. Alone, she kneels in the birthing pool surrounded by only water with my hands holding hers. She was distracted by doubts about her abilities to manage the pain and a swirling flood of emotions, as her body began to prepare her for delivery. In this moment, a Doula needed a Doula. When we all find ourselves stripped down to our vulnerable places, may we all lift each other up. In labor and in life."

Read More
Natasha's Birth Story

“This was our third baby and we wanted/needed that support person who would help us advocate for ourselves and see our birth plan respected. She used techniques that helped me manage pain and focus on my body’s innate knowledge of how to birth. This was, by far, our best birth experience. We felt more educated, supported, and given space to treat birth as the natural process it is. I was able to be fully emotionally and mentally present in my daughter’s birth because I was able to relax in the calm environment our birth team helped create.”

Read More
The Gifts Pregnant Women and Their Partners REALLY Want

"A common topic of discussion in my circle is practical gifts for expectant parents. The list below was created through the suggestions of my clients, social media followers and network birth professionals. One thing I’d like you to get from this post is that it is ok to be brave and break tradition. Practical gifts will make birth and postpartum a positive experience for the whole family."

Read More
Mary's Birth Story

"My husband was very supportive, educated and calm when it came to birth and I was confident in my ability to birth my baby. Yet, my story doesn’t lack in traumatic moments. My desire to prevent such outcomes for other mothers was the motivation to share my birth story for it also inspired me to start My Sunshine Birth Services."

Read More
Crowdfunding For Change

"As most of you know my life’s work has become advocating for improved maternal health and increased birth options for KY families.  This fall I have the opportunity to take that work to a national level while learning advanced advocacy skills to help me better serve KY families..."

Read More
When Volunteer Work is a Part of Your Business

"It’s hard balancing advocacy work and running a business. Throw in motherhood, nurturing your marriage, participating in farm life and self-care, then it all starts to seem impossible. It was through hearing your stories and understanding the need for increased maternity care options, education and support that My Sunshine Services was born."

Read More
Journal, AdvocacyMary Duke