Today we’d like to introduce you to Janice Ingram.
Hi Janice, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
After ending my college career with a Master’s from the business school and undergrad in criminal justice, never did I see myself doing this. After my 5th pregnancy, I went through 18 months of postpartum depression with no explanation or diagnosis as to what was going on with me. At 12 weeks postpartum, I returned to work after exhausting all of my FMLA time. I was having sleep deprivation issues with my daughter and her eczema, and it had become harder to juggle work and life. Having three children at home was an even bigger task, and even with my husband handling many at home tasks, I was overwhelmed and consistently getting ill. Eventually, I was hospitalized for a week with many issues, and all doctors kept saying to me was to get rest. Rest was not an option, I needed flexibility and an income. Once I returned to work only to realize I needed a change in my life period. I was noticing in the media how infant mortality for bipoc was worsening. I felt so close to this topic that I needed to find a way to share the knowledge I had gained with the pregnancies I’ve had. I needed to fill in the gaps of what I didn’t know. I reached out to a confidant who is huge in the social and reproductive movement in KC to find out what I should do first to get started in some sort of direction. She suggested to me to become a CHW (Community Health Worker). 14 weeks later, I earned my certification, quit my job, and set off for doula training. I kept signing up for everything I could on maternal care. My training instructor told me…just do it. So, here I am as a Certified Full Spectrum Doula and meal provider amongst other services I provide.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Challenges? Yes, a lot, I mean lots of research, book reading and networking needed to be done. I needed to gain information on where exactly I wanted to land with all of this. It was hard to pin down other doulas to mentor me. Leaving my local city job and all the benefits that came with it was hard. After all, I had children at home and bills to pay. I had high expectations for the unknown but was used to someone else making out my paycheck every other week of my worth to their organization. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I depended on my husband to carry the family while I built this “business.” Eight months in, my husband and I developed marital issues, and he left for a month and a half to stay with his brother states away. We were at the end of our lease and set to move, so I had to take off my entrepreneurial hat and go back into the workforce. I figured this would give me more time to work on the business behind the scenes. Mixed with emotion, the business became my guiding light. Then, Covid hit, and well we all know how that went. Cancellations and hospitals blocked doulas from being present with birthing mothers, it was the unknown for sure. My husband returned in time for me to start working my overnight shifts. We moved into a new place, but now I felt empty. I really wanted to be helping families navigate through pregnancy, but instead I was giving care to the most vulnerable population at that time…elders. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely where I should of been because it was hard for them having to quarantine and see others around them get sick. It was time well spent indeed. I just kept pushing forward and haven’t stopped yet.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Blissful Beginnings Doula Services LLC?
This business is a one woman show with many amazing and educated backup doulas that have a passion to serve and support as I do. I specialize in preconception care to aftercare and loss. I’m a childbirth educator, I provide sibling care while a mother labors and assist with meal prep, planning, and preparation (by request).
What sets me apart from others is my compassion and professionalism in and out of the birthing space. I’m authentic in everything I do…I’m a boss in my own right. I’m proud of having built something that I could pour all of my compassion, advice, fierceness, and life into to bring balance to other’s lives. My business was built from the bottom. My contract, my handouts, my website, down to my logo was built by me. Finalized and approved by me. No waiting for levels of management to give me the okay, instead “I am management!” lol.
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Yes. Always work under your true self and be genuine. Making my appointments with my clients all about them is key. No one wants to hear your woes. Bringing you best attittude and staying positive creates a better environment for everyone and good feedback in return.
- Birth Services starting at $550
- Postpartum support starting at $35 per hour
- Childbirth Education $50 per class
- Email: Empowersoulitude@gmail.com
- Website: www.blissfuldoulaservices.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blissfulbeginningsdoulaservicesllc/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/blissful-beginnings-doula-services-blue-springs?osq=Blissful+doula