West Michigan construction firm first to formalize doula support plan


Gold Coast Doulas is the 19th B Corp in West Michigan. Courtesy Gold Coast Doulas

Gold Coast Doulas is working with area companies that have a self-funded health care and wellness program to support employees leading up to and during maternity leave.

Birth and postpartum doula services currently are not covered by general insurance. Rather, those services typically are funded through health savings or flex spending accounts.

Pioneer Construction is the first area company to participate in Gold Coast Doulas’ designed concierge program for supporting West Michigan employees and their growing families with prenatal, bed rest, birth and postpartum support. The role of a doula is to provide evidence-based, judgment-free emotional and physical support.

“A doula provides physical, educational and emotional support during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum phase. A birth doula can be considered a labor coach for any type of birth and is a valuable part of the labor team,” Gold Coast co-owner Kristin Revere said.

“In the postpartum capacity, doula support can be day or overnight, and that changes based on what that family needs from a day-to-day perspective,” Gold Coast co-owner Alyssa Veneklase said. “It’s different than a nanny coming into the home. A postpartum doula is a trained professional who has knowledge of systems and structures, basic sleep support and breastfeeding support, infant care strategies, and an understanding of mood disorders such as postpartum depression and anxiety. The postpartum doula is there, not just to care for the baby, but the family unit as a whole, especially the mother.”

Gold Coast supports clients during pregnancy and birth with prenatal classes and birth doula support, respectively.

Pioneer President and CEO Tim Schowalter said that providing family support to its employees through doula services matches core values the company holds: “People make the difference.”

“We look for the best ways that we can serve our employees,” Schowalter said. “Offering doula services is a creative way to provide better care and support for our expectant mothers. The research is compelling. We also know the folks at Gold Coast Doulas, and they are exceptional people.”

Services offered by Gold Coast Doulas for corporate clients include:

  • Childbirth classes

  • Bedrest support

  • Lactation consultations

  • Birth doula support

  • Day and overnight postpartum/infant care

  • Sleep consultations

“We met with Pioneer to talk about how our services could help employees, help the company retain and draw talent, and create a situation that might improve wellness and efficiency, which, of course, go hand in hand,” Veneklase said.

Gold Coast is the area’s only full-service doula agency and also is the newest B Corporation in West Michigan — the first doula business in the nation to become a B Corporation. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

“We are fully insured, we have very well-maintained certification standards in place for all of our doulas and work with clients directly to find the perfect fit,” Veneklase said. “This provides corporate customers and their employees the security of knowing Gold Coast is a professional and trusted partner.”

Contact Gold Coast Doulas to find out how its doula services could benefit your employee wellness program at (616) 292-0702 or at goldcoastdoulas.com. 

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