My name is Karen Bayne. I am a professional doula who provides pregnancy and parenting support to families of all kinds. I work as a birth doula, an antenatal doula, a childbirth and parent educator, and group facilitator. I have been enjoy helping families during pregnancy and the early parenting years since 2003. Welcome to Gentle Balance Birth of Northampton. Let me invite you to learn more about how I can help you.
What does a birth doula do?
A birth doula’s primary role is to support the pregnant, laboring woman and her family. When you hire me as your birth doula, it is my job to care for you physically and emotionally during your labor and birth and to honor your choices about your labor and delivery. In the final weeks of your pregnancy, I can help you find information about your health care choices, provide practical and emotional support, and facilitate positive communication with your care provider. You can trust me with your birth, because I trust you to communicate your needs. I invite you to learn a bit more about my birth doula services.
What are independent childbirth education classes?
As an independent childbirth educator, I focus on revealing principles of informed choice to promote evidenced based decision making, dispelling myths about pregnancy, childbirth, and helping clients find confidence within themselves to birth. When you take a class with me, I work for you, not your provider or hospital. How you birth your baby matters to you. Your voice is important. I believe childbirth education is also parenting preparation. During your pregnancy you begin to make health care choices on behalf of yourself and your baby. You may be exploring the type of birth you want, or you may have your heart set on a specific location and a specific provider. Either way independent birth education classes are for you. Find out more information on independent childbirth classes.
Where do I work?
I serve families in Western Massachusetts, the Hartford Area of CT. I live with my family in Northampton, MA. You can learn more about me over here. The hospitals I regularly go to for birth doula support are Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Holyoke Medical Center, The Birthplace in Greenfield, Mercy Hospital and Baystate Hospital in Springfield, and Manchester Memorial Hospital and Hartford Hospital in CT.
Wait did you say something about free support groups?
Yes, I did. I am proud to co-facilitate two mothering support groups through MotherWoman. One is hosted at the Amherst Family Center and one is hosted by Grow in Downtown Northampton. You are welcome at these groups.