Hoosier Doulas are professionally trained, enthusiastic support specialists who help provide a safe, memorable and empowering birth experience
Birth: the beginning of an entirely new chapter of life. What do you think of when you imagine it? We at Hoosier Doula Network believe strongly that birth belongs to the women and families who are experiencing it, and we are committed to providing support and encouragement to parents as they navigate the waters of childbirth and early parenting. Our mission is to uphold and care for our clients through their pregnancy and labor, empower them with knowledge as they build their families, and hopefully have fun along the way.
Doula is a Greek word meaning “woman servant”. A birth doula is a trained professional who provides continuous, non-clinical support for birthing parents throughout labor, delivery, and the early postpartum period. She draws upon her education and experience to provide valuable information as well as physical and emotional support to you as you bring your baby into the world.
About Birth Doulas
Studies have shown that there is a measurable improvement in birth outcomes when utilizing the services of a doula. Some of these improvements include:
- Significant reduction in c-sections
- Fewer vacuum extractions
- Reduction in the use of pain medications
- Shorter labors
- Less fear
- Higher satisfaction with birth outcomes
- More success with breastfeeding
- Higher APGAR scores for babies
- Less postpartum depression
In general doulas make birth better, and we at Hoosier Doula Network have assembled a team of some of the best doulas in Northwest Indiana in order to provide you with the highest standard of care possible to meet the needs of your growing family. Our talented doulas have experience supporting women in a variety of situations including but not limited to: natural unmedicated vaginal delivery, vaginal delivery with epidural anesthesia, vbac, multiples, induction of labor, water birth, advanced maternal age, c-section and more… in the settings of home, hospital, or birth center. Whether you are seeking support for your labor and birth or you are looking for help integrating a newborn into your home, our birth or postpartum doulas are the perfect solution.
Hoosier Doula Network was established because of a clear need in the community for the services we provide, and the abundance of passion that my doulas and I have for the birthing women of Northwest Indiana. My first exposure to doula care came years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. The care I received during that birth was exactly what I needed, and it had such an impact on me that it literally changed the trajectory of my life. I knew after that birth that I wanted to give other women the amazing gift that my doula had given me. It is difficult to express the importance of coming into this business from the perspective of a client first. When structuring the company and determining the framework of our service network, our client’s needs and point of view are always our primary consideration.
For example, we know how important it is to have personalized care. We are committed…as much as we are able…to have each client receive service from her primary doula for her birth. Although in our line of work it is impossible to promise that you will never receive care from a backup doula, we make every effort to see to it that your primary doula handles your birth. However, if it becomes necessary to provide a backup, we go to great lengths to make certain that all doulas in the network are of the highest caliber possible, so that we know you will ALWAYS receive superior care.
In addition, your set fee will guarantee a doula for the entirety of your labor and delivery. Your birth should be a calm and peaceful experience with a doula who will be present when you need her until the arrival of your sweet baby. You can take comfort in knowing that there are no extra costs or hidden fees; we will never charge you by the hour.
The birth of your child is one of the most important experiences of your life. With our combined 32+ years of experience, the doulas of Hoosier Doula Network are excellent at providing the continuous physical, emotional, and informational support that you need in order to have the best birth possible. Make sure that you choose a doula team that understands and respects your emotional and physical comfort during this unforgettable experience. Contact us today for more information.
In the doula spirit,
- Birth Doula
- Post Partum Support
- Childbirth Classes
- Breastfeeding Support
"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers - strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength."
-Barbara Kate Rothman
We believe a small team can pack a big punch. We're a talented, seasoned, dedicated team focused on delivering a safe, memorable and empowering birth experience for our clients. We're small for a reason and we're proud of it.
Debbie Dashiell- Birth Doula
Ever since conceiving her first child 20 years ago, Debbie has been amazed by the miraculous beauty of pregnancy and childbirth. With a background in psychology and a heart for others, she has a genuine desire to provide meaningful emotional support to her clients. While Debbie never enlisted the support of a doula with any of the births of her 5 children, it’s a decision she deeply regrets. With an incredibly supportive husband, she never really felt the need for a doula. When her last birth became difficult in the final hours of labor, even with an incredibly supportive team of family members, Debbie recognized after the fact that a doula would have made things so much more manageable. It was that experience that really solidified her desire to be a doula, a calling that had been on her heart for many years.
Debbie’s desire to encourage and empower others gives her clients a peaceful reassurance as they embark on the various stages of parenting. Her attention to detail, compassion, and solid communication skills support a strong relationship with her clients. She is a certified birth doula through Birth Arts International, a holistic training organization known for its comprehensive student support practices.
Crafting, writing, photography, enjoying the outdoors, and quality time with her family are some of Debbie’s favorite ways to spend time.
Kelleen Merrell- Birth Doula
Kelleen is a certified Birth Doula with Dona International, trained postpartum doula, and placenta encapsulation specialist serving the Northwest Indiana area since 2017. During the pregnancy of her first daughter, she became fascinated by all things pregnancy, birth, and baby related. Once she was able to experience labor and delivery herself, she knew she was meant to help others through this incredible journey. That calling was reinforced during her second delivery, where she felt so comforted by the presence of her doula, that it cemented in the belief that every woman should have access to doula, regardless of their birth choices. Kelleen feels strongly about evidence-based care and informed consent, it is a passion of hers to supply a variety of information to her clients so they can feel informed and empowered with every decision they make during their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum process. Kelleen also holds a unique set of knowledge and experience in early childhood development that she cultivated over the five years that she worked as a teacher in a local public school for 5 years prior to transitioning over to a full time doula. In her free time, Kelleen enjoys reading, Zumba, baking and spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Faith Sikma - Birth Doula
My name is Faith Sikma.
I am the oldest of eight siblings. By the time I was 18 I had been to 15 home births and one hospital birth (the first when I was 6 months old!). I’ve always been interested in the medical field, more specifically the field surrounding birth since it’s always been such a part of my life. After watching my aunt (who was also a doula) attend my mom’s births, I was hooked!
I became a certified Whole Doula in February of 2018 through the Catholic Doula Program. Although my main experience at this present time is with home births, I also attend hospital births and have had experience with first time moms, c-section, breech presentation, over 40, HELLP (syndrome), and water birth.
My mom has been blessed to have had amazing experiences with some wonderful birth workers, and my goal is to be able to pass those blessings on to others.
When at home, I enjoy horse back riding with my siblings, reading, working outdoors, crafts, and dirt biking with my dad.
Amy Bauer - Birth Doula
Amy has been serving as a doula in Northwest Indiana for nearly 25 years, and has five children of her own. She is a DONA certified birth doula, an ICEA certified childbirth educator, and is currently serving as theNorthwest Indiana Chapter Coordinator for Improving Birth, a national not-for-profit organization which advocates for evidence based maternity care and respect for mothers in childbirth. Her most recent project, the Hoosier Doula Network , is the first of its kind in Northwest Indiana and was organized with a view toward providing the very best in doula care and birth related services to the women of the region. Amy believes that birth is a natural event that should be cherished rather than managed and celebrated rather than endured, and is committed to educating and empowering women to embrace and experience birth on their own terms. She relies on a wide variety of techniques to help clients cope with the difficulties and discomforts of pregnancy and birth, and includes among her assets a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, and a sense of humor. Her mission is to support parents as they navigate the waters of childbirth, to empower them with knowledge as they build their families, and hopefully to have fun along the way.
Joy Czech - Birth and Postpartum Doula
Joy is an experienced doula, servicing Northwest Indiana since 2013. She is a certified doula with DONA International, provides placenta encapsulations, serves as a postpartum doula, birth photographer and is currently studying for her nursing degree. Once her degree is complete, she will become a certified nurse midwife. Her long-term goal is to establish birthing centers around the world to help women experience a positive birth in a supportive environment.
She became deeply rooted in helping others experience the beauty of birth when she experienced infertility of her own. After overcoming her infertility journey, Joy has become dedicated to helping mothers have so much more than just a standard birth experience. Woman feel empowered by the exceptional service she provides through physical, emotional, and informational support before, during, and after birth.
Joy creates a relaxing atmosphere for the mother and partner throughout the pregnancy experience through a positive, genuine, and encouraging personality. Joy’s experience with the struggle of infertility and overcoming such a hardship has given her a compassionate heart to serve, encourage and educate families on their journey throughout parenthood. Joy builds a deep relationship with her clients by using her strong communication skills and listening to their desires, wants, and needs for their birth experience.
A desire that Joy has had is to grow her family not just biologically but through adoption as well. With her first adoption Joy was so passionate about breastfeeding that she was able to induce lactation and breastfeed.
Besides helping families experience the true joy of birth, Joy’s hobbies consist of spending time outdoors, living a natural lifestyle, and practicing aroma touch therapy.
Theresa Hayden - Postpartum Doula
Theresa is a DONA trained Postpartum Doula. She has experience working with first time mothers, families with multiple children, several sets of twins and one very special group of triplets. Her experience includes day, evening, and overnight shifts.
After the birth of her son, she quickly learned how special the postpartum period can be while also discovering how important the well-being of new mothers is. Theresa firmly believes that all mothers deserve to feel empowered and confident in their abilities during this vulnerable time. She is passionate about nurturing and supporting families during this transition by offering evidence-based guidance and helping parents build their self-confidences. Her nonjudgmental approach respects the mother’s unique parenting style, and she encourages parents to develop their own philosophies. Theresa ensures families have a low stress, pleasurable fourth trimester by offering emotional support as well as practical support. Practical support includes laundry, dishes, light housekeeping, errands, assistance with older siblings, etc. This type of support allows mothers to relax and focus on their newborns.
In her free time, Theresa enjoys being outdoors, gardening, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her husband, son, and silly French Bulldog, Rosie.
Bridget Covert- Birth and Family Photography
Bridget Covert started her photography journey over 10 years ago, beginning as a hobby photographer and now taking on birth, family and wedding photography throughout the Northwest Indiana and the Chicago land region. Her love for photography started in college, traveling abroad and needing a camera for her adventures. She would soon realize her love for capturing special moments in the lives of others. Photography is a keepsake and Bridget loves to capture not only portraits, but that special moment in time that her clients can look back and remember forever.