About Us

Non-profit 501 (c)(3)

Mothering the Mother was started in 2010 because of a passion Michelle Hardy had for helping teen and low income women.  She believed that income (or lack of) shouldn’t be a indictator in whether a woman has access to high quality birth services and support.  She began working in the birth world in 2003, and for many years she saw families who could afford the support and services receiving it, and families without expendable income either went without or struggled to pay for it.  She knew there had to be a better way, and so her quest began. 

Since the beginnings of Mothering the Mother in 2010 the organization has worked with over 325 families, and hopes to continue providing classes, doula referrals, and lactation services to families in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Ozaukee counties for many years to come.  

In addition to offering services to families, MTM also provides high quality workshops to individuals who would like to become birth workers and further the mission and vision.

Our Mission

To improve maternal and perinatal outcomes for families in Milwaukee and surrounding counties.

Our Vision

Access to high quality education, and services for all regardless of income.

About Michelle Hardy - Founder



MS.Ed, BS.Ed , LMT,  ICCE, ICBD, ICPD,  ICPFE, IAT(CE-BD-PD), MCH,  LC, CPMT, CHT, CEIM, SBD  (see below for explanation of initials)

A little bit about Michelle

Michelle is the founder, owner, and director of Mothering the Mother, Inc, a non-profit organization which helps all women but has a special focus on helping teen and low income women and families.  

Michelle’s history - how did she begin in this field?

Michelle's interest in working in the birth field began in 2001 when she was pregnant with her 7th child (she now is the happy mother to 9 children that range in age from 31 yrs down to 9 yrs).  In 2001 she was pregnant with her seventh child and her doctor suggested that she and her husband, Bradley hire a doula for their upcoming birth.  Her doctor felt that hiring a doula would help them achieve the birth that they were looking for and also to help calm her husband's nerves so that he could be more involved in the birth (unfortunately Michelle birthed her daughter before she was able to find a doula and that birth was filled with many unnecessary interventions and stress).

After that birthing experience Michelle knew that birth could be better and the seed was planted.  Michelle spent the next two years thinking about the importance of doulas and how much she had wanted to be one.  Unfortunately at the time she didn't think it was realistic for her to pursue this dream.  Finally in 2003 while she was working on her masters degree in education and running a full time in home licensed daycare she decided to take the plunge and work towards becoming a certified birth doula and she wanted to start her own birth business.  It was very hard running a full time business, working on her master's degree, and working towards doula certification, but her persistence and passion paid off.  In 2003 she became a doula and in 2004 she graduated with her masters degree.  At that time she realized teaching  education in the school system was not her true calling, so she completely threw herself into the birth world and started to study more and more and earn more and more certifications.

When Michelle began her work she started out working with teen and low income mothers (serving families in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Ozaukee counties) - after a few years of doing that she moved onto the more traditional family, but her passion for teens and low income women never left.  In 2005 she decided to add to her skill set and certified as a Hypnotherapist, and in 2006 she became a licensed massage therapist (all things she happily offered to her clients).  In 2009 after she gave birth to her 9th child she decided to enter nursing school, and while there she realized that she still really needed to follow her passion and through that passion she created Mothering the Mother Incorporated - a nonprofit organization that serves all women (catering especially to the underserved population who are not able to afford the services of a doula, classes or lactation support).  She decided to throw herself fully and completely into operating Mothering the Mother, left nursing school  and is so happy for the support that her husband and children have given her - at times doing this work is not fun on one's family, but they truly are her cheerleaders in work and life!   

Michelle believes very strongly in participating in her community in addition to doing birth work.  In 2014 she started to travel the United States and train individuals who want to become birth doulas, postpartum doulas, childbirth educators and who want to learn more about early lactation.  In 2015 she joined the ICEA Board of Directors, and is still sitting on that board today.  In 2016 she started her path to becoming a La Leche League Leader and now leads a drop in group in West Allis. In addition to the work she does with Mothering the Mother, running her store, Beyond the Birth, and traveling to train individuals she is very active in her church, and other community organizations.  She is a board member for the PKU Organization of Wisconsin, as well as her extensive involvement with  ICEA (International Childbirth Education Association) as a board member and a Board Chair of the Postpartum Doula Program, and chair of the mentorship and scholarship programs.    

Michelle believes in always continuing her education and advancing her knowledge, so she regularly attends trainings and workshops to advance her skills.  To learn more about all of her trainings, certification and education please see below.  Michelle currently holds a license as teacher and massage therapist, and has certifications and/or advanced training as a breastfeeding counselor, birth doula (and trainer for Mothering the Mother/MTM Training and Mentoring and ICEA), postpartum doula (and trainer for Mothering the Mother/MTM Training and Mentoring and ICEA), childbirth educator (and trainer for Mothering the Mother/MTM Training and Mentoring and ICEA)), prenatal and postnatal massage therapist, infant massage therapist, prenatal and postpartum fitness educator and hypnotherapist.  

Michelle loves every aspect of her life and is always very grateful when someone invites her to join them on their journey through pregnancy, birth and parenting.  Please consider scheduling an appointment to learn more about what she offers and can do.

Michelle's Education/Trainings and Certifications


Professional Massage Therapy Program (Lakeside School of Massage Therapy) / September 2006
Masters of Science in Education (Walden University) / April 2004
Bachelors of Science in Education (Alverno College) / December 1999

Certifications & Licenses:

  • Certified Aromatherapist (in progress)
  • Certified Herbalist (in progress)
  • Aromatherapy for Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum / 2018
  • Certified Breastfeeding Counselor / March 2018
  • Stillbirthday Certified Doula / January 2018
  • La Leche League Leader / December 2016
  • Maternal Child Health Specialist / October 2016
  • Hug Your Baby Certified Educator / April 2016
  • ICEA Approved Postpartum Doula Trainer / September 2015
  • ICEA Postpartum Doula / August 2015
  • ICEA Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Educator / June 2015 *
  • ICEA Approved Birth Doula Trainer / June 2015
  • Prenatal Care Coordination / 2015 *
  • ICEA Approved Childbirth Educator Trainer / January 2014
  • ICEA Birth Doula / January 2014
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) / December 2008 *
  • ICEA Certified Childbirth Educator / October 2007
  • Institute of Somatic Therapy - Prenatal Massage / September 2007
  • Institute of Somatic Therapy - Infant Massage / September 2007
  • Massage Therapy state licensed (license #3819-046) / December 2006
  • National Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB) / November 2006 *
  • Member (American Alliance for Hypnotists) / May 2005 *
  • Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (New England Institute of Hypnotherapy) / June 2006
  • Master Hypnotherapist and Weight Management Specialist (New England Institute of Hypnotherapy) / October 2005
  • Advanced Hypnotherapist (New England Institute of Hypnotherapy) / August 2005
  • Certified Hypnotherapist (New England Institute of Hypnotherapy) / August 2005
  • CAPPA Certified Postpartum Doula / May 2005 *
    CAPPA Adoption Certification / May 2005 *
  • Happiest Baby on the Block Certified Educator / December 2004 *
  • CAPPA Certified Childbirth Educator / September 2004 *
  • CAPPA Approved Labor Doula Trainer, August 2004 *
  • CAPPA Certified Labor Doula / March 2004 *
  • DONA International Certified Labor Doula / December 2003 *

*Certifications that Michelle chose not to renew, but held at one time.

Professional Trainings: 

  • Heart of Herbs Aromatherapy Training (in progress)
  • Heart of Herbs Herbalist Training (in progress)
  • Aging and Exercise: Considerations and Special Needs of Older Clients / February 2019
  • Applying Research to Practice / February 2019
  • Advanced Email Marketing: Tips and Techniques for Crafting Inbox Gold / February 2019
  • Communication for Massage Therapists: How to Network, Interview, and Speak Like a Pro / February 2019
  • Communication Techniques for the Interdisciplinary Patient Care Environment / February 2019
  • Creating Devoted Clients with Simple Marketing Techniques / February 2019
  • Cultural Diversity in the Patient Care Environment / January 2019
  • Ethics in Therapeutic Practice / January 2019
  • Ethics, Compliance, and Consequences / January 2019
  • Chill Out! Stress and Burnout in the Healthcare Profession / January 2019
  • Aromatherapy for Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum Training / 2018
  • Childbirth International Breastfeeding Counselor / 2017-2018
  • Stillbirthday Doula Training / January-February 2017
  • Rehab Your Social Media Marketing Strategy - Advanced Techniques, Tools and Best Practices / January 2017
  • Developing a Business Plan for Your Private Practice / January 2017
  • La Leche League Leader Training / December 2016
  • Aromatherapy for Health Professionals / December 2016
  • Stress Management During Turbulent Times: Understanding, Treating and Managing Stress / December 2016
  • Overcoming Compassion Fatigue: When Helping Hurts / December 2016
  • Marketing Essentials for Health Professionals / November 2016
  • What is Cultural Competency? / November 2016
  • Effective Online Marketing / November 2016
  • Maternal Child Health Specialist / October 2016
  • Overcoming Compassion Fatigue: When Helping Hurts / September 2016
  • Hands on Help for Headaches / September 2016
  • The Significance of of Childbirth to the Birthing Person: Influences of Care and Place For Birth / September 2016
  • Learning Through Our Senses / May 2016
  • Cultural Diversity in the Patient Care Environment / April 2016
  • Ethics in Therapeutic Presence / April 2016
  • Hug Your Baby Train the Trainer / April 2016
  • Hug Your Baby Certified Educator / April 2016
  • Hug Your Baby: Roadmap to Breastfeeding Strategies / January 2016
  • Hug Your Baby: Hug Strategies / January 2016
  • Hug Your Baby: Helping Parents Understand their Newborn / August 2015
  • ICEA Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Educator  / May 2015
  • LGBT Sensitivity Training for Healthcare Workers / May 2015
  • ICEA Facilitating Early Lactation Training / March 2015
  • ICEA Childbirth Educator Training for continuing ed / October 2014
  • VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesaran) Training / October 2014
  • Social Media Strategy /August 2014
  • Delegation Strategies for Managers and Supervisors / August 2014
  • Caring For the Sorrow of Pregnancy and Infant Loss / April 2014
  • Bereavement Training / April 2014
  • Perinatal Mood Disorder training / February 2014
  • Coaching and Mentoring, including Personality and Learning   Style / January 2014
  • Engagement.  Culturally Responsive Practices and Strategies / January 2014
  • Role of Self Care and Reflective Practice / December 2013
  • ICEA Doula Training / November 2013
  • Goal Planning and Family Teaming / October 2013
  • ICEA Childbirth Educator Training for continuing ed / July 2013
  • Supporting Moms, Supporting Babies - Domestic Violence / April 2013
  • Parents as Teachers / April 2012
  • Home Inventory Training Part A / November / December 2011
  • Strengthening Families / November 2011
  • Parent Cafe / November 2011
  • ASQ Training / October 2011
  • Home Visitation Training / October 2011
  • Facilitator Training / September 2011
  • Great Beginnings Start Before Birth / September 2011
  • Trauma Informed Care / August 2011
  • Supporting Infants and Toddlers / August 2011
  • Couple to Couple Natural Family Planning Teacher Training / July 2011
  • Brio Birth Educator Training / January 2011*
  • DONA International Postpartum Doula Training / November 2010
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) / December 2008
  • ICEA Perinatal Fitness Educator / September 2007
  • Institute of Somatic Therapy - Prenatal Massage / February 2007
  • Institute of Somatic Therapy - Massage Doula - February 2007
  • Institute of Somatic Therapy - Infant Massage - February 2007
  • ICEA Childbirth Educator Training / July 2006
  • CAPPA Advanced Adoption Training / May 2005
  • CAPPA Postpartum Doula Training / December 2004
  • Happiest Baby Educator Training / November 2004
  • Perinatal Mood Disorders (prenatal and postpartum depression issues) / October 2004
  • Hospital based couple's massage class / September 2004
  • DONA Advanced Labor Doula Training / September 2004
  • CAPPA Childbirth Education Training / August 2004
  • Teen Support Professional Training / July 2004
  • DONA International Birth Doula Training / March 2003
  • Couple to Couple League Natural Family Planning Training / 1996  

Wondering what all of Michelle's initials stand for?

MS.Ed - Masters of Science in Education

BS.Ed Bachelors of Science in Education
LMT - Licensed Massage Therapist
ICCE - ICEA Certified Childbirth Educator
ICBD - ICEA Certified Birth Doula
ICPD - ICEA Certified Postpartum Doula

ICPFE - ICEA Perinatal Fitness Educaator
IAT(CE-BD-PD) - ICEA Approved Trainer for Childbirth Education, Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula
MCH - Maternal Child Health Specialist

LC - Certified Lactation Counselor
CPMT - Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist
CHT - Certified Hypnotherapist
CEIM - Certified Educator of Infant Massage 

SBD - Stillbirthday Certified Doula