Welcome and congratulations on your growing family! My name is Brenda Baar and I am a mother of three, a certified birth doula, and certified GentleBirth educator. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, I am a graduate of Calvin College and former Spanish-Immersion elementary school teacher. Since 2013, I have had the honor of working with over 250 local families.
My journey toward becoming a doula began on Valentine's Day 2009 when our twin boys, Owen and Carter, were born. I was surprised by the impact that the experience of giving birth had on me. I knew that becoming a mother would change my life, but I didn't anticipate how transformational the process of childbirth would be.
During my twins' first year, I was confused by the endless and contradicting words of advice and overwhelmed by the new experiences of being a mom. I realized that while I had many encouraging and loving people in my life, I ultimately did not have the right support, resources, and information to confidently handle the challenges of breastfeeding and new-motherhood. As I began to find my own way as a mother, I also discovered a passion for supporting and encouraging new parents.
A few months after our daughter Clara’s birth in 2012, I made the decision to pursue a career as a doula and officially began the process of certification a year later. In November 2016, I was granted a full scholarship to become Michigan's first certified GentleBirth Childbirth Educator. I am proud to currently be a certified through DONA International and GentleBirth and grateful to have found a challenging and fulfilling career that I love.
As one of the area’s most experienced birth doulas, I have supported many families with a variety of diverse preferences and circumstances. From both professional and personal experience, I know that there is no one-size-fits-all way to have a beautiful, healthy, and satisfying birth experience.
My work as a doula and childbirth educator is shaped by several foundational beliefs. I believe that:
a birth experience has a profound impact on the whole family.
there is no place for judgment and shame in birth choices and circumstances.
positive collaboration within the birth team is best for families.
bodily and decision-making autonomy should be honored without exception.
A positive birth is not contingent on mode of delivery or medications use/not used.
Women are strong and capable of natural (unmedicated) birth.
Birth is a normal physiological process that more often than not requires no medical interventions.