Every woman should receive the best prenatal care available when having a child. But what can women do when they don't have insurance that covers these services? Mothering the Mother is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving those mothers the care they deserve. Regardless of income levels, women in Milwaukee County and the surrounding areas have access to Mothering the Mother's prenatal care coordination services, educational classes, birth doulas and more. Fees are based on a sliding scale to those who qualify.
"Women have always been around supporting women," says Michelle Hardy, founder of Mothering The Mother. "When birth went into the hospitals, we saw a pullback from that." Hardy says now that more women are educate themselves (or even choosing home births) services that doulas provide have been in high demand. "A doula is a professional labor support person," explains Hardy. "She is there for informational, physical and emotional support during pregnancy, the birthing experience and the immediate post-partum."
Eleanor Turner found Mothering the Mother after the birth of her first child. "It was quite frightening for me, so I wanted to take steps to improve it for my second, and that's where hiring a doula came into it," says Turner. "My second birth was an induction, my doula was there for the whole thing." She adds that working with the resources at Mothering the Mother was empowering. "They equip you with tools to reach your own conclusions. They expose you to as much information as possible so you are comfortable about your birthing decisions."
Mothering the Mother just moved into a new, permanent location. They set up shop in a two-story house, right next to the Target on Holt Ave in Bay View. Their newest, big feature is a library. They have more than 400 books and dvds about pregnancy, birthing and parenting that families can use.