We are starting our Mom Around Town Feature posts again this year! Last fall I got a little behind (by a little I mean a lot) on blogging but I have a whole bunch of Mom Around Town posts to share in the late winter and spring. We have an interview with Joanne Fortuna who is a Birth Doula! Joanne provides childbirth education, placenta encapsulation and labor support to expecting mothers . Her business was established in 2010 and is located in Addison but serves Chicago and surrounding areas. Since many of the business owners I will be interviewing work directly with children and expecting parents, I think it is important to get to know them well. Our Mom Around Town feature will help you do that! Make sure you check out our other Mom Around Town posts!
Erika: What services does your business provide?
Joanne: Childbirth Education, Placenta Encapsulation, Labor Support
Erika: How does your business benefit the families in the Chicago area?
Joanne: My childbirth classes help prepare moms and dads to make safe & healthy choices for their pregnancy, birth, and newborn based on accurate evidenced- based information. As a doula, I help women have a safe and satisfying birth experience by providing physical, emotional, and informational support throughout pregnancy, labor and birth. I extend my services to meet the needs of postpartum women by preparing the placenta for use during the postpartum recovery period and beyond. I consider it a great honor to work with families during this very sacred time.
Erika: How did you get the idea to start your business?
Joanne: My own personal birth experiences started me on this amazing journey of helping other women throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
Erika: What did you do before you started your business?
Joanne: I ran my own DCFS licensed home daycare.
Erika: Can you share one memorable story from an experience you had related to your business?
Joanne: I met a woman, pregnant with her fourth child, and she had previously had two cesareans. Her doctor was insisting she have another c-section and then have her tubes tied. She did not want either, but thought she had no other choice. I helped her gather information and switch to a more supportive provider. She went on to have a beautiful vaginal birth and was so grateful for the information and support that I provided. I will never forget that because I know that I made a huge difference in her life and her birth experience.
Erika: Do you have children yourself? Feel free to tell us about them!
Joanne: Yes, I have two daughters, ages 10 and 5 who I am currently homeschooling. My oldest loves climbing trees and creating new toys and furniture for her dolls using recycled household materials. She is always searching through the recycling bin to find new supplies! She is also a young philanthropist and has recently been involved in packing lunches for a homeless shelter and raising money to help endangered pandas. My youngest enjoys helping me cook and fix things around the house. She also loves watching birth videos and learning about human anatomy.
Erika: What do you think makes a quality service or product?
Joanne: I believe that a quality service or product comes when the provider’s number one goal is to help people.
Erika: How do you think you provide a quality service or product?
I am committed to helping women and families have the safest and healthiest birth and postpartum experience. My goal is to help families make informed decisions and feel empowered on their new journey into parenthood.
Erika: Do you have anything you would like to tell us that is new for your business in 2014?
Joanne: I recently trained with Informed Beginnings (www.informedbeginnings.com) and have been running group childbirth classes. In addition to the group classes I am now offering private classes for couples in their own home. I am also working toward becoming a Certified Educator.
Erika: Is there anything else you want to tell us about your business or yourself?
Joanne: I am blessed with an amazing family and a really cool husband who supports me and encourages me in all my passions.
And a couple fun ones!
Erika: What is one thing on your “bucket” list?
Joanne: Buy an RV and travel around the U.S. with my family.
Erika: Do you have any fun, unusual talents you have or what is a fun fact about yourself?
Joanne: I’m pretty good at killing flies and embarrassing people in public.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with me! I’m sure that Joanne would love to share more information about the services a Doula can provide as well as when she’ll be teaching her next class. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website for more information!