BY ERIN HOLLINDEN
Developing a childbirth plan is a lot like making a business plan says Linnea Emigh Mugford, founder of Sweetroot Doulas, a full-service childbirth agency. “Nothing goes as expected 100 percent of the time,” she says. “We plan and prepare and try to be as informed as possible, so when we need to, we can be flexible.”
Mugford, 31, came to Bloomington in 2013 expecting to continue the private doula and therapeutic massage practice she started in Seattle, Washington. “Then I thought what this town needed more was a full-service agency, so I set up a one-stop shop,” she says of her decision to found Sweetroot Doulas in December 2014, naming it for a plant used by Plains Indians to treat pain during childbirth.
Mugford explains that as doulas, she and her partner, Jennifer Moore, are trained and experienced professionals who support parents physically and emotionally before, during, and after childbirth. They assist and educate families not just with labor techniques and pain management, but with parenting issues up through toddler- hood. They also specialize in bereavement support should families face the loss of a child.
In the open classroom space at 1300 S. Walnut, Suite B, new mothers learn strengthening and toning exercises while carrying babies. Parents do cardio and strength training along with toddlers. Classes also cover prenatal care, newborn care, breastfeeding, and postpartum recovery. Mugford performs therapeutic massage, tailored differently for prenatal and postpartum clients, she says.
Moore is certified in postpartum placental handling and drying and in encapsulating nutritious placental tissues for mothers to ingest while recovering. She also creates placental prints with paint on paper.
Mugford moved to Bloomington with her 3-year-old daughter to be near her brother and his family. She says she appreciates Bloomington’s walkability, international restaurants, and tightly knit vibe. “There’s such a strong sense of community, it feels easy to fit in,” she says.
Moore, 28, is an experienced doula from greater Charlottesville, South Carolina. She arrived in May 2016 with her husband, Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore, and their three children — ages 1, 3, and 10.
For more information, visit sweetrootdoulas.com.