A "how-to" destination for new moms in Minneapolis

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The calling to help other women navigate a successful delivery isn’t for the faint of heart. After the birth of her first child, Stephanie Sinclair, owner and founder of How 2 Mom, decided to become a doula. At the end of her training, she asked the instructor if she thought that she was the right kind of person for the job. Stephanie’s instructor told her without a doubt, “You need to stay true to who you are because there are families out there that are going to want to hire a doula just like you.”

From that moment on, Stephanie never looked back. Now, seven years after launching How 2 Mom, she is an inspirational resource to expecting mothers in the Twin Cities and around the country.

How does How 2 Mom support other moms in your Minneapolis community?

SS: We have services relating to pregnancy, birth and postpartum. From birth doula packages, to postpartum doula packages, lactation services, and placenta encapsulation, we can provide all of these services locally to families here in the Twin Cities or virtually across the country. How 2 Mom is so much more than a professional birth agency. It’s a community for all moms.

Tell us about your experience with infertility.

SS: Like a lot of families, we struggled with fertility. It was around this time that I applied to law school, got accepted and that month, after a year and half of trying and three rounds of treatment, got the first positive pregnancy test. So, I was like, “Okay, God’s telling me which direction my life is going.”

Much like a lot of our surrogates, did you feel called to help others become a mom?

SS: I was really shocked with how overwhelmed I was with motherhood. It did not come naturally to me, and that caught me off guard because I grew up always knowing I wanted to be a mom. And then all of a sudden, I brought a baby home and she was mine. While I had all the hormones going, I was thinking, “I need to keep this baby alive. I need to emotionally be able to be with her. I need to try and get some sleep.” Nobody prepared me for what it feels like when it’s you. I don’t want other women to have to go through that experience without someone to turn to. I want them to know they have options. I want to help.

What inspired you to become a doula?

SS: Using a birth doula was just such an empowering experience and one I will always remember. It’s not because our birth went perfectly as planned, because most births don’t. I remember when they put McKenzie on my chest, I looked around my birthing room and I was like, “Holy buckets! Every mom should feel like this. They should feel respected and loved and empowered.” I took this huge leap of faith and invested all this money and I went to birth doula training.

What resources does How2Mom offer new mothers in Minneapolis-St. Paul and all of Minnesota?

Downloading the How 2 Mom Motherhood Survival Guide is a good place to start! It’s a brief guide to help new moms start off on the right foot during every stage of development. And we have a resource directory on our website with other professionals that we recommend.

Are there any other recommendations for our surrogates?

Pregnant women should work with a chiropractor. It can provide comfort through your pregnancy and it can play a huge role in your baby being in an optimal position for birth. Prenatal yoga is an amazing tool that can be used both in preparing for birth and postpartum. Physical therapy and, specifically pelvic floor physical therapy, are hugely helpful in your fourth trimester. I wish I would have known more about this after having my babies!