Mothering the Mother was started in 2010 because of a passion Michelle Hardy had for helping teen and low income families. She believed that income (or lack there of) shouldn’t be a determining factor in whether a family has access to high quality birth services and support.
Since the beginnings of Mothering the Mother in 2010 the organization has worked with over 500 families, and hopes to continue providing classes, and lactation services to families in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Ozaukee counties for many years to come.
To improve maternal and perinatal outcomes for families in Southeastern Wisconsin
Access to high quality education, and services for all regardless of income.
MS.Ed, BS.Ed, MCH, MTM(CE), MTM(BD), MTM(PD), ICCE, ICBD, ICPD, LC, CHT, CEIM, SBD (see below for explanation of initials)
Michelle is a former certified trainer for ICEA where she offered childbirth educator, birth doula, and postpartum doula workshops.
Michelle is the founder, owner, and director of Mothering the Mother, Inc, a non-profit organization which helps all families but has a special focus on helping teen and low income families.
Michelle’s history, and how she began in the field.
Michelle's interest in working in the birth field began in 2001 (when pregnant with her 7th child; she now has 9 children and one grandchild)....at that time her doctor suggested that she and her husband 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).
After that birthing experience 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. Finally in 2003 while she was working on her masters degree and running a full time in home licensed daycare she decided to take the plunge and work towards becoming a certified birth doula and starting a birth business.
In 2003 she became a doula and in 2004 she graduated with her masters degree. When Michelle began birth work she worked mainly with teen and low income families (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 families never left. In the years that followed Michelle added to her skill set by becoming a childbirth educator, postpartum doula, hypnotherapist, and licensed massage therapist.
In 2009 Michelle decided to follow her passion even further and she founded Mothering the Mother Incorporated - a nonprofit organization that serves all women (catering especially to the underserved population). This organization brought together many birth professionals from around the area to help serve a larger population.
In addition to doing birth work Michelle spent many years training and mentoring new birth professionals locally. In 2014 she took her workshops and mentoring on the road and traveled the United States training for her organization and for ICEA (International Childbirth Education Association).
In 2015 she joined the ICEA Board of Directors, and held positions as the treasurer, director of public policy and communications, and director of the doula programs. Michelle also served as the chair for the postpartum doula program (updating the program and later writing a new program called Postpartum Doula: care through the first 1,000 days)..
In 2016 she started her path to becoming a La Leche League Leader and went on to become a certified breastfeeding counselor and educator, and led a breastfeeding group in West Allis until 2020. In 2022 Michelle resigned as a trainer with ICEA, but continued to train for her own organization (which she continues doing to this day).
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 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.
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:
*Certifications that Michelle chose not to renew, but held at one time.
Wondering what Michelle’s credentials and for?
MS.Ed - Masters of Science in Education
BS.Ed Bachelors of Science in Education
MTM(CE) - Mothering the Mother Childbirth Educator
MTM(BD) - Mothering the Mother Birth Doula
MTM(PD) - Mothering the Mother Postpartum Doula
LMT - Licensed Massage Therapist (retired)
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 (retired)
MCH - Maternal Child Health Specialist
LC - Certified Lactation Counselor
CPMT - Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist (retired)
CHT - Certified Hypnotherapist
CEIM - Certified Educator of Infant Massage
SBD - Stillbirthday Certified Doula