Josie Granner, BSN, RN
I am a doula, a nurse, and a PhD Candidate at University of Michigan. I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, and I ended up back here for grad school! I’m an avid reader and a runner (on a good day at least). I love animals, and I love to travel whenever I can pull it off.
I became a doula because every person who gives birth deserves to have a beautiful experience—one that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Even though I’m a registered nurse, my true home in the childbearing world is supporting families through emotional, physical, and educational support instead of providing medical care. Your body knows what to do, and I want to help your mind and your heart know it, too.
In my graduate student role, I study mental health for childbearing people and their partners. I blend diverse clinical experience, evidence-based care, and compassionate communication to support you and your family.
Ember Bradbury, BS
My name is Ember Sienna Bradbury. I am from a small town in rural Utah and have deep roots in the West. I am a birth doula trained by Carriage House Birth and Lifespan Doulas, advocate for survivors of violence and abuse, and M.S. student in Conservation Ecology and Environmental Justice at University of Michigan.
My doula practice weaves my intimate knowledge of environmental justice and natural systems with my lens of trauma-informed care, both of which have allowed me to support birthing people and their communities in a holistic and empathetic way. I feel so grateful for every birth that I am chosen to attend, and I love the beautiful richness of holding the birth space. The perinatal time is gorgeous, messy, incredible, and confusing, and it is my aim as a doula to help birthing people and their support systems cultivate the birth experience that is right for them. This means that I will act to advocate for and uplift the birth that my clients want through the whole perinatal process. In my free time, I knit, climb, hike, and love my dog Suri and my wonderful partner.
Ashley Gadway, BS
Hi, I’m Ashley! I have a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from University of Michigan. In my free time, I love gardening, camping, hiking, and playing board games with friends and my wonderful husband, Andrew.
For three years, I worked on the Mother/Baby Unit at St. Joe’s. I learned from new parents first-hand about their positive and negative experiences they had during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. I saw a huge need for women and families to have an advocate and emotional support person during each of these processes.
My goal is always for my clients to have positive and empowering experiences through their whole childbearing journey. My true passion is supporting mothers and families as their doula during the life-altering experience of pregnancy and childbirth!
What is a birth doula?
A birth doula is an experienced support person who stays with you during labor and childbirth.
How does a birth doula help?
A birth doula helps you solve problems with your pregnancy, make a birth plan, and know what you need to know before labor begins. Then during labor, they support you emotionally, physically, and with information to help you make informed decisions. Your doctor/midwife and nurse can’t always stay with you, because they have other patients. But a doula provides a calming and knowledgeable presence the whole time. A doula usually gets to know you a couple months before you give birth. That way, you are on the same page about what choices you want to make about your birth.
Check out my blog post Five Ways that Birth Doulas Help to learn more!
Does a birth doula replace my partner?
Absolutely not. Dads and/or partners play SUCH an important role in labor and delivery, and doulas are there to support them, too. Your partner will be watching the woman they love go through one of hardest things you’ll ever do. Often, your partner (or sister, mom, or whoever you decide to invite to your birth) feels scared, confused, or lost as to how to help you as you labor. As a doula, my job is to help your partner help you. Whether it’s a back massage technique, a new position they can help you with, or a rhythmic mantra they can offer you as a pain coping ritual–I love helping those who love you the most give you what you need.
You’re a trauma-informed birth doula. Does that mean I have to talk about my trauma?
Nope, you don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to. You don’t have to have trauma to work with me as your doula. If you do decide to let me know that you have had some tough experiences, you don’t need to get specific unless you want to. It’s enough to talk about what it means for your pregnancy, labor and birth. You can also invite me to support your labor and never mention anything about trauma. No problem! You’re in the driver’s seat. I’m here to listen and support you however you feel comfortable.
What does research say about birth doulas?
Recent research strongly supports including a doula in your birth experience. A review by Bohren et al. (2017) included 27 studies involving 15,858 women. It showed that women who had a doula to provide labor support had a:
- 39% decrease in the risk of Cesarean birth
- 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average
- 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five-minute Apgar score
- 31% decrease in the risk of mothers being dissatisfied with the birth experience
© A2 Empowerment Doula LLC
Serving all of Southeast Michigan