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A Servant's Heart for Birth and Beyond

My name is Leah Garner and I am a Birth & Postpartum Doula. Coming from the Greek, doula refers to a woman’s servant.  I help serve and support women and their families through the birth of their child and beyond.  I have been able to support women and their families at a very vulnerable time in their lives. Many are away from their family support system, but still are in need of the essential support that all new mothers need.  I am fulfilling God’s calling for me to help others, by providing compassionate non-judgmental support and knowledge of birth and postpartum care.
Over four years ago, I experienced an emergency cesarean with the birth of my son and had an even more challenging recovery due lack of support.  The time following was a time of reflection of the things that I missed; the things that I needed that I did not get.  I felt a calling to my heart from God to help women in similar situations.  I have been on this journey as a doula for over three years now and I have experienced blessings at every turn.  I am grateful for the opportunity to serve women and show them the grace and love of God through my actions.
As every child is different, so is the birth that brings them into the world.  The needs of a woman are also just as varied during labor.  A birth doula can supply a variety of tools, positions, and comfort measures meeting the needs of the mother as they arise.  The doula can help the mother and partner create a birth plan outlining their preferences and goals for the birth.
Following the birth, the new mother and her family are still in need of compassionate and knowledgeable support as they grow into their new roles as parents.  A postpartum doula provides hands on support and instruction in newborn care, breastfeeding support, and care for the mother during her recovery.  The doula also helps with light housekeeping, preparation of nutritious foods, sibling care, and referrals of local resources. In addition postpartum doula is trained to screen for various problems including issues with breastfeeding and postpartum depression.  
I have received my certification through Doulas of North America (DONA).  The support a DONA doula provides is evidenced based, so families can be confident that they are receiving the best information available.  If you feel that you or someone you care for would benefit from the care of a doula I would be happy to speak with you and answer your questions.  You can call me at 765-414-1355 or by email at  You can also go to my website
Leah M. Garner PCD(DONA)


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Three reasons why I won’t ask to hold your baby; and two reasons why I will

Support is more than just holding the baby

Babies are cute.
There is no getting around the fact that their softness, new baby smell, soft fuzzy heads, sleepy coziness calls out to everyone around them.It creates a desire to protect, hold, and cuddle that is definitely hard to ignore.Just introduce a new baby to a group of adults or children and soon the requests to hold and touch the baby come forth.Even when the baby is fussy, people are quick to offer to take baby out of mom’s arms in their offer to provide relief for mom.

But, you will notice that I am not one of those people.
I won’t ask to hold your baby.
When I am explaining my role as a doula, I often get one of two comments.The first usually comes from the older generations exclaiming how they wished there were doulas available for them when they had their babies.The other comment I get is how nice it would be to hold babies all the time.They are often surprised to hear that I actually get to hold very few babies.
Don’t get me wron…

I’m not every doula….and that is ok

I’m not every doula….and that is ok
The year of 2017 has definitely been one of growth for me.I successfully completed my Breastfeeding Educator certification, recertified as a DONA birth doula, and currently am working to become a certified Childbirth Educator.It feels like I'm wearing a lot of hats.I sometimes need to remind myself that I am not every doula, and that is ok. I offer many services, but not everything. I am ok with that.
Sometimes it is in the things that I am not, that strengthens those that I am.Let me give some examples.

Birth photographer I bring a basic digital camera with me to births, but only bring it out at the request of my clients. I take a few pictures, but would rather focus on being present with the client and preserving the space around this precious event and offering the emotional physical support needed in the moment.
Medical care provider Some doulas are in training to be a nurse, midwife assistant, midwife, or future doctor.I have never felt inclined t…

I have a dream...

On a social media page with fellow doulas, the question was asked "What would be one thing that you wish you could change about birth or postpartum in your area of the world".

Just one thing?  My immediate thought went to providing wireless monitors for all birthing facilities.  Restriction of movement during labor prevents baby's normal progression towards birth and limits comfort measures for the mother as well.

But the question got me thinking about what I really would like to see happen here in Indiana, in Tippecanoe County, Lafayette, and my neighborhood.

The Big picture?

I wish that pregnancy, birth and postpartum was something that was celebrated and supported.  I wish it wasn't treated as an illness that needs to be treated and recovered from as soon as possible.  I wish the family dynamic was respected and supported.  Paid leave allowing for time for bonding, establishment of secure breastfeeding, recovery of birth, adjustment to parenthood; all without stress o…