Sarah Howard began her doula journey in 2016, training with DONA International educator, Jessica English (Birth Kalamazoo). She is currently pursuing birth doula certification. Sarah is also a licensed massage therapist and owner of Essential Bodywork and Massage, LLC. As a massage therapist, she specializes in women’s health, including prenatal and perinatal massage. Her goal in 2018 is to become a Certified Infant Massage Instructor with the Infant Massage Institute. Before birth work and massage, she worked as a house keeper, janitor, babysitter, nanny and realtor. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, baking, listening to records, reading, sailing, travel and playing piano. She, her husband, Michael, and their dog, Yiska, live in Holland, MI and hope to begin a family in the next few years.

I am a doula because I believe all people should have the right and responsibility to choose what they believe is best for themselves, and helping parents achieve the birth experiences they choose is very fulfilling for me. It is an incredible honor to be present at the birth of a child, and I take pride in providing support during this important and vulnerable time of life. My dream is to become an educator, researcher and advocate in the field of women’s health, particularly reproductive rights; my work as a doula allows me an intimate connection with real-life situations and common issues in the birthing world.
Since getting my Therapeutic Massage License in June of 2016, I have become a pre- and perinatal massage specialist. The skills I carry with me into labor support provide relaxation and relief from pain. The ability to incorporate massage therapy at each stage during the birthing year and beyond makes massage therapy an invaluable tool for my work as a doula. I have training in massage techniques to address pregnancy-specific back pain, structural imbalances caused by weight gained during pregnancy, labor-specific techniques, and helping the body to heal postpartum.