Jessica Buell, MA, DEM, CLC, ALC
Monitrice, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, Lactation Counselor, CranioSacral Therapist
A bit about me and my training: I received my Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with a minor in Sociology from Otterbein College in 2004. I then moved to Canterbury, England to study for my Master of Arts in European and Comparative Literary Studies in 2006. However, I have been involved indirectly in childbirth, homeopathy, breastfeeding, and childcare since I was a toddler.
I was raised in a household that is fully supportive of natural ways of living and absolutely believes in a woman’s ability to birth babies naturally. When I was 2 years old, my mother was a homebirth midwifery apprentice until she found her calling as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I have been exposed to and have learned much about birth and breastfeeding through my mother’s modeling. I am the oldest of 5 children. I was born by cesarean, my sister was the first VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) in hospital in Columbus, and my 3 youngest siblings were all born at home with the support of midwives. I have also learned much through my mother’s Lactation work. I remember fielding phone calls from her Lactation clients and setting up appointments for breast-pump rentals when I was 8 years old. Throughout my life, I have always been someone that my friends (and friends of friends) have come to for information about the female body and reproductive system. I find educating these women very fulfilling. I am passionate about the need for this kind of education and support because society seems to have moved so far away from knowing how the human body works.
However, I always thought life had a different path for me, until the birth of my daughter in 2007. She was a planned home birth, but after many hours of intense labor, I felt that I could no longer cope and I decided to transfer to the hospital. Though this transfer was necessary for my own ability to cope with my labor, it was also very traumatizing. Through putting the pieces of my labor and delivery together and becoming educated about all of the ways in which women are demoralized and traumatized by the standard of practice in hospitals, I decided that I wanted to make a difference for women in childbirth. This decision led me back to the midwives with whom I worked for the birth of my daughter. They suggested that I begin my journey by working as a birth doula. I proceeded to take the DONA Birth Doula training in December 2009. Also in 2009, I began my lactation counselor apprenticeship, finishing up with certification in 2014.
In 2011, I graduated from Sacred Mountain Midwifery School and in May 2011, I became a Student Midwife through an apprenticeship program with local certified professional midwives. Also in 2011, I became a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist. This service allows women the chance to consume their placentas, which has been reported to aid in faster postpartum recovery, higher milk supply, keeping hormones balanced, lowering the risk of postpartum depression and a host of other benefits.
In 2013, I left my apprenticeship and started a midwifery practice with a midwife partner, offering home birth and monitrice support. After several years of practice, and after the birth of my second child, I decided to put my birth practice on-hold until my children are older, wanting to focus more on educating parents on their options and preparation for birth while being more present for my own children as they grow.
In 2019, I began my CranioSacral Therapy training through the Upledger Institute. I have currently taken CS1 and CS2, which allows me to provide craniosacral therapy sessions to clients using a 10-step protocol. It is my goal to achieve CST-T certification and continue taking trainings through the Upledger Pediatric and Pregnancy/Birth tracts.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my kids, getting together with family and friends, listening to audiobooks and music, baking, watching movies, being outside, and traveling.
Also, check out an interview about what I do here: http://www.jobshadow.com/interview-with-a-birth-doula/