BA Psychology 2002
MS Rehab & Mental Health Counseling 2007
owner, Tiny Miracles Doula Service
As a doula, Jamie Canning helps expectant mothers prepare for giving birth. She provides assistance in the delivery room and even helps new mothers with the transition to parenthood.
“We also do postpartum support, where we come to a client’s home,” said Canning, owner of Tiny Miracles Doula Services. “We even do chores around the house so mothers have time to bond with their baby."
Doula is a Greek word referring to a female servant. The modern definition refers to a woman trained to assist before, during childbirth and after childbirth.
Canning said she and her husband hired a doula when she was pregnant with their first child. “It was really nice because she was there to let us know what our options were. Being a first-time mom, that was helpful,” Canning said.
"She was the one constant that I could count on during my birth. Not knowing which doctor would show up and being a first-time mom was scary," Canning said. "She let me know that I had options and what my options were, and supported the decisions I made. I have always been fascinated with pregnancy and birth. After my first birth I did more research, did the doula training, and started attending births. I wanted to pay it forward to other families and help them achieve the births they want.
In addition to her doula training, Canning also has a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling and mental health services from Montana State University Billings.
Over the past four years, she has assisted in more than 30 births.
"For birth services I help families look at their birth options, help with positioning and other tricks to help labor progress and make it more comfortable, and help explain interventions and pain management options. Postpartum services include coming to the family’s home to help them adjust to their new life with a baby. I help with teaching soothing techniques, newborn care, baby carrying, and can help with feedings. Also part of postpartum care is overnight care. Sometimes families just need a rest and I can care for the baby while the family sleeps, and help with nighttime feedings.
Doulas help out in all types of births, whether the baby is delivered by a doctor, a midwife, or in a home delivery.
When a doula is in the delivery room, that doesn’t mean the father is excluded. “The dad is a key component. He knows the mom intimately. I know the birth process. Together we help the mom,” Canning said.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job? Advertising, and letting more people know about the benefits of doula care.
What’s the best business advice you have received? Charge what you are worth. People won’t realize your worth until you do.
Who gave you that advice? I’ve heard it a few places.
Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community: I would like to get Medicaid and insurance companies to cover the costs of doula care so everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the services.
Which living person do you most admire? My husband, Barrett. He works very hard to support our family so I can stay home with our kids. He supports me in my business ventures. When he’s not working or playing with the family, he’s setting up free family movies series for our community’s families.
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job? That the family I served is happy with their birth experience.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Graduating with my master’s degree.
I'm happiest when I'm... cuddling with my family.
Article & Photo credits: Billings Gazette