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West Michigan company adding doula services to their insurance plan

Posted at 6:19 AM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 10:21:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS — With all the joy that comes with welcoming a new baby to the family, also comes a lot of stress. But a West Michigan company is working to change that mindset.

We’ve all heard the saying, it takes a village and that’s exactly what Gold Coast Doulas wants to build for local families, supporting them through their parenthood journey.

Their services include everything from birth support, postpartum support, lactation support and even sleep consultations, an expert to guide through the stages of growing a family.

Pioneer Construction recognized that importance and was one of the first in the area to expand their self funded health care to include doula services.

“I love that Pioneer took this bold step. They’re living up to their name, right? They’re pioneering this. They’re one of the only ones I know of. And especially to see a construction company, which is very male dominated, cover doula support, it’s incredible to me,” said Alyssa Veneklase, Co Owner of Gold Coast Doulas. “Dad’s often don’t get paternity leave, so if they’re going back to work and they’re sleep deprived, that effects their productivity big time. With Pioneer, we’re talking about guys up on steel beams, you’ve got guys in life or death situations. And if they’re sleeping three or four hours that night, it’s unsafe.”

Veneklase says offering postpartum doula support for families comes with a peace of mind, as systems and structures are being put into place at home.

She also points to the research and cost saving measures in the long run when using doulas during birth, like reducing c-sections and preterm labor.

President and CEO of Pioneer Construction, Tim Schowalter says they average about 25 new additions a year, and liked the idea of offering a unique and different way to support families.

At the end of the day he says, it’s all about educating families and providing them with the opportunity and tools in every aspect of life by recognizing the importance of care for the whole family and the impact it can truly have.

“We want our folks to be happy. We want them to have a life outside of work too, and that life is building a family and being excited about it. Not being exhausted by it. Not feeling like their work place is saying, “When are you going to get your act back together and be like you used to be?” No. we kind of want to be there with them through that process and help them along the way,” he said.

Gold Coast Doulas is in the process of reaching out to companies that might be interested in expanding their benefits package to include doula services. Click here for more information.