Jess Helle-Morrissey, MA, MSW, LGSW, LCCE, CLEC, CLD(CBI)
- Click here to read an interview I did with Twin Cities Midwifery where I talk a little more about my philosophy and background.
- Click here to read a piece I wrote about one of the many reasons I love my job!
I've always felt a calling to be a doula, although I didn't always know what a doula was. One of my earliest memories is being five years old, visiting the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, and spending the whole time in the prenatal development exhibit. I had a fascination with pregnancy and birth - I would spend hours paging through the photos in the book "A Child is Born", and "Where Did I Come From" was one of my favorite bedtime stories. While other little girls played dress-up with their Barbies, I was playing "Pregnant / Childbirth Barbie". And in 7th grade when we watched the birth video in health class, I watched with rapt attention as my classmates covered their eyes. Strange? Definitely. But looking back, I've been on this path for a lot longer than I initially realized!
Fast-forward to when my twin sons were born in January 2011: we were lucky enough to have not one, but two amazing doulas present. After my empowering birth experience, I knew I had to pursue doula-hood to help families the way my doulas helped me, my husband, and my boys. As a doula and a mama, I believe that birth should be empowering, soulful, and affirming of your strength as a woman and a mother. I believe that no matter how you birth your baby or babies - vaginally, surgically, medicated, unmedicated - giving birth changes who you are down to your core. Quite simply, your birth matters. You will remember this experience for the rest of your life, so it should be the experience you want - not what your doctor, nurse, midwife, or even partner wants. Nor is it the experience that I want. I don't come to your birth with an agenda of the way I think your birth should go. I am there not only to help with comfort measures, but also to help you advocate for your best birth - whatever that looks like. I bring with me the total confidence in your ability to give birth in the way you want. And no matter what kind of birth you are hoping for, I believe strongly that every woman deserves a doula at her birth. I have a true passion for all things birth, and I would be honored to be with you for one of the most important days of your life - the day you meet your baby (or babies)!
I have an undergrad degree in music, and a master's degree in counseling psychology, both from the University of Minnesota. I also have a master's degree in clinical social work from St. Catherine University, and am nearing completion of a graduate degree in holistic health, also from St. Kate's. I have worked as a teacher, social worker, and a psychotherapist. I have a special interest and expertise in the mind/body connection, and my training has included Hakomi embodied mindfulness therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Rosen Method bodywork. I am also a Healing Touch and Reiki practitioner. All of this training and education is integrated into how I work as a doula. I am available for and experienced with births of all kinds - home, birth center, hospital, medicated, unmedicated, waterbirth, VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), planned or unplanned surgical birth (aka cesarean), anticipated loss, adoption, and many others. I enjoy working with all sorts of families, including married/partnered families, single mamas, and LGBT families. And as a twin mama myself, I love working with women expecting multiples since I have first-hand knowledge of the unique challenges and rewards of a multiple pregnancy.
Credentials, Training, and Certifications
- DONA-trained birth doula
- Certified Birth Doula - CLD(CBI) through Childbirth International
- DONA-trained postpartum doula
- Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)
- Board member, The Childbirth Collective
- Blooma Educator
- Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (CLEC), UC SanDiego
- Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)
- Volunteer Doula, Woodwinds Hospital 2011-2013
- Hakomi Embodied Mindfulness Therapy graduate
- Psychotherapist in private practice (see Metta Therapy for more details)
- Blooma-trained prenatal yoga teacher and caregiver/baby yoga bonding teacher
- Hypnobabies-trained hypnodoula