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Tails of a bovine midwife-Maurenne's Cow/Calf Stories
Meet our doulas
Maurenne Griese, RNC, BSN, CCE, CBE
Getting Started: My doula experience began in the early 1990s during the Gulf War Conflict and the post-war baby boom, also known as Operation Desert Stork. I was a Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps and my husband, Carl and I had just moved to Kansas from Fort Benning, Georgia. We had no children at the time and, as an infantry officer, Carl was gone a lot, so I filled in some of the time I spent alone helping other women as they birthed their babies.
I worked in obstetrical nursing and volunteered to do labor support for friends when I wasn't working. I think that is how a lot of doulas get their start. I read OB nursing journals, mothering magazines and any childbirth or breastfeeding book I can get my hands on. Oh, and then there came the Internet, the ultimate source of reading material. You could say I was and still am a "birth junkie".
OK, back to my doula roots. Women were left to birth alone while their husbands were deployed to Southwest Asia. I had several friends ask if I would be with them when they gave birth. If I wasn't on duty as their labor nurse during that time, I was their doula. Back then, I didn't know what a doula was. I was just there to support and comfort my friends as they birthed their babies. I sometimes filled in as their birth photographer. Once home in 24 hours after birth, I'd bring a hot meal by, maybe do a load of laundry, wash the dishes, admire their new baby, answer their questions to the best of my ability and talk about their births. I was honored to be a part of such an intimate and spiritual time and I still feel that way. You could say I was hooked.
Background: I have worked in perinatal health care since 1988 and have been teaching childbirth classes since 1989. Many people ask about the different initials behind my name. These are my credentials and I am happy to explain them to you.
I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) from Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana-Monroe). I am board certified in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC), a Certified Childbirth Educator (CCE) and a Certified Breastfeeding Educator (CBE). With each certification, I am required to participate in many continuing education program offerings and complete a final written exam. In addition, my licensure as a registered nurse requires my formal nursing training, passing the national NCLEX exam and 30 hours of continuing education credit every two years.
In late 1997, I applied and was accepted to begin midwifery training through the Institute of Midwifery, Women and Health in Philadelphia. I soon found out I was expecting my third child and decided to put my midwifery training on hold. I plan to continue with my midwifery training once my children are older.
I am the mother of four breastfed children, ages 7 years to 3 months of age. I have had problems with pregnancy induced hypertension with all four of my pregnancies and was on bedrest for this with two of my pregnancies. I would say my "favorite" birth was that of my second daughter, Christina, in 1998. I labored on my own, versus needing to be induced for blood pressure problems, and spent the majority of that labor in the hot tub, walking or squatting on the birth ball. With my fourth birth, I used a doula in addition to having my husband at my side for support. Melissa was so helpful and I am so glad she was there for Carl and I.
Philosophy: I use a holistic approach to caring for women and their families. I believe pregnancy and birth are normal, natural, and healthy processes. The knowledge of how to give birth exists within every woman and I work to instill in the mother confidence in her body's innate ability to give birth.
Other Services: I also offer belly casting, pregnancy and birth photography, aromatherapy and childbirth education. I have an extensive lending library and can suggest books to read and childbirth education that suits the woman's needs. I continually refer her to sources of support and information that will enhance her birthing and mothering experience. I have found supporting and assisting birthing women to be very fulfilling.
I would be honored to assist you and your family as your prepare for and welcome your baby!
Melissa got started as a doula by volunteering her comfort and support skills for friends and assisting with birth photography and videography. She has attended the College of Family Studies and Human Ecology at Kansas State University. She has been self-employed for 12 years as a nanny and registered childcare provider. She is the mother of two boys, ages 6 and 4. Melissa's flexibility is one of her strongest assets. Melissa was Maurenne's doula for her fourth birth. Melissa is currently in the process of completing her doula certification.
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