Hey there! My name is Mallory. I was born and raised in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. I am the youngest of 4 (2 sisters and 1 brother). I was raised in the same home until I ventured off on my own with my fiancé, Kevin. We jumped in and moved to the middle of the state for his work as a teacher back in 2012 after having dated for a year. We moved around South Dakota a bit the next 4 years, got engaged in 2014 and have happily set roots back in Rapid City with the purchase of our first home in 2016.
Before becoming a doula...
Before becoming a Doula in July 2018 I was a stay at home mom to my amazing 2 year old son. I have experience working in childcare, various healthcare settings, customer service and as a hobby photographer. My whole life I knew that I wanted to do something that involved children and motherhood, so when becoming a birth doula presented itself… It was a no brainer!
Growing up my mother always told us that natural birth was possible and she encouraged me and my sisters to try medication free with at least one of our children, as she was able to achieve this with all 4 of us. When it was my oldest sisters turn in 2010, she did just that! I was there with her thru her labor and found it a fascinating process. I would say that being a part of that experience jump started my passion for the subject. At only 16 I was fascinated to learn everything I could to help my sister with my niece. I went on to be a nanny for them as well.
Through the years I was happy to pick up any knowledge I could on the subject of birth, breastfeeding, and being a new parent. My passion was reignited in 2015 when a close friend learned she was expecting, I wanted to help her anyway possible so I started reading and researching everything I could. Come December of 2015 we learned that I too was expecting! It was such an exciting time and my research intensified and continued. My friend invited me to be there for her during her birth in January 2016. Being able to help her and witness birth for the first time was the most amazing thing I had ever been a part of and I knew I was hooked. For the next 8 months I studied all that I could get my hands on about pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
The birth of our son...
I chose to use childbirth hypnosis for my pain management and studied it daily from 20 weeks until my son was born one day shy of his “due date”. My labor started with my water breaking at 10pm at night and we made our way to the hospital and waited for active labor to start 4 hours later. I soon realized that I would have complete back labor which I had not prepared to experience and my hypnosis was only half effective due to that and also nurses constantly interrupting my process. At transition I started bringing up pain medications, I got a dose of IV meds and had started mentioning an epidural. Luckily at that same time we realized I was complete and an epidural would have no time to work. The doctor re-broke my water as it had resealed and right after that I was ready to push. After being told not to push for 25 minutes (because suddenly there was no available doctors) our son was beyond ready to be born and flew out barely getting caught by any of the 3 doctors that suddenly surrounded me (they had all rushed to me when they realized there was no doctor in my room). He was born at 8:48am, only 6 ½ hours of active and intense back labor.
My take away and life as a new mom...
What my birth taught me and it’s definitely something I have taken with me as a doula is to prepare for every possible situation especially if you are trying to go for an un-medicated birth. I did not have a doula attend my birth and now knowing how one could have helped, I 100% would have! I wished that I had someone there who was trained in comfort measures and knew the ins and outs of birth and positioning. I really could have used a double hip squeeze, some tennis balls, position changes, someone to help my fiancé know how to support me and someone to tell me that I was in transition and would be meeting my baby very soon!
Our first months adjusting to life with a newborn were amazing but not without struggles. We had a lot of nursing complications which proved to be a huge test to my commitment to breastfeed. With the help of an amazing lactation consultant, a little supplementation, and a very supportive family we achieved our breastfeeding goals and my son went on to nurse for 18 months.
Becoming a doula...
The struggles I encountered along the way really made me want to spread the word that with proper preparation, education, and support you can achieve your birth and breastfeeding goals. In 2017 I learned what a doula really was and knew it was what I have been looking for all of these years. The opportunity to train with Birth Boot Camp presented itself in a way that it truly just felt like fate, so I jumped in and haven’t looked back!
I am very excited for what the future has in store for me as we are eagerly (but not yet impatiently) awaiting the birth of our second baby. This time around with more childbirth education under our belts (thanks to Birth Boot Camp) and a Birth Boot Camp certified doula I hope…and plan to achieve an amazing birth. Stay tuned to hear how it all plays out!
I will be taking maternity leave until March 2019, and am currently accepting clients due after that point! While on maternity leave I still plan to be active in the birth community and available to my clients via phone. To me this “work” isn’t just a job… It is my true passion and I am always excited to talk pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and everything related to becoming a new parent!
Are you expecting and due after March 2019 and looking for a Certified Doula? Contact me today to schedule a free consultation and reserve your spot!
I am slightly obsessed with where people are from so I’ll lead off with that - I am a native of Santa Fe, NM, and prior to Rapid City (since 2015), I’ve lived in Indiana, California, Utah, and Texas. We love living in the Black Hills!
I have been married to the love of my life since New Year's Eve, 1994. We have four children with four very different birth experiences.
MY BIRTH EXPERIENCES:
Very briefly, I was scared to death when I had my first baby and opted for the epidural almost at the first contraction. I experienced that cascade of intervention we discuss in class and was minutes from a cesarean section. I narrowly escaped a surgical birth because I had a doula. True story.
I had an amazing unmedicated birth in a hospital with a Certified Nurse-Midwife with my second baby. Immediately after that birth, I exclaimed, "I can't wait to do that again!"
With our 3rd baby, we discovered at 33 weeks we wouldn't be allowed to videotape the birth. We scrambled and hired a homebirth midwife who specialized in water birth (it was 2001), so that's what we did! I didn't prepare for that birth like I had with my second, and it was pretty rough, to say the least.
Our fourth was also born at home, but was a land birth. It was Easter Sunday and was the sweetest experience. Our other three children were present, and everyone was in love with this little girl from her very first breath.
My degree is in Broadcasting, but I’ve been a Childbirth Educator a good portion of my adult life. They say if you are passionate about what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I can testify that is true - I love my job! I’ve taught hundreds of couples over the years, both live and online.
I founded a chapter of Birth Network National in the Fort Worth area with a couple of other birth professionals, and we grew it to be the largest chapter of Birth Network National in the country. I also served on the Birth Network National Board for one year. I currently serve on the Black Hills Birth Network Board with several other passionate women.
After teaching childbirth education for nearly a decade, I founded Birth Boot Camp in 2012. We span North America and continue to grow.
In addition to all that, I was one of the first “birth bloggers” writing Banned From Baby Showers since 2008.
I love US geography and weather. As a result, I will always want to know where YOU are from, and I can give you the weekly forecast, pretty much, at any given moment.
I’ve seen Tim McGraw in concert 18 times and have been a proud member of the fan club since 1999. With a degree in broadcasting, the first job I landed out of college was as a DJ for a country station in Muleshoe, TX. You can’t make this stuff up!
I love to snow ski, and even at nearly 48, it’s my favorite thing to do in the winter. While I loved Texas, I am thrilled to have snow and hill to ski! I'm at Terry Peak just about every week. See you on the slopes!
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING CHILDBIRTH CLASSES:
In nearly 16 years of teaching, I love witnessing people (often, dads) have those light bulb moments in class. They take the information gathered, communicate with their partner and care provider, make informed decisions, and, regardless of how their birth plays out, are empowered by the experience.
DON'T JUST HOPE FOR AN AMAZING BIRTH, PREPARE FOR ONE. I CAN HELP.
To reach me, email or text is best. I look forward to connecting.
This blog is written by Mallory and Donna - at Black Hills Birth Boot Camp. Expect birthy topics, parenting triumphs and trials, and community resources and interviews. Have a topic idea you’d like us to address? Drop us a note!