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South Hills business guides new parents the Whole Way

Kate Pendlebury
September30/ 2015

For parents-to-be living in the South Hills, a neighborhood yoga studio has just added a brand new sister company to its portfolio, providing perinatal services for new parents.

The Whole Way Doula Services, launched in August by local moms Debbie Vignovic, Sara Sites and Michelle Zoric Chenevert, offers pre- and postnatal yoga classes, childbirth education classes, breastfeeding support and birth and postpartum doula services, among other resources to help new mothers and their partners transition to parenthood.

Living in the South Hills, the owners have found it difficult to access the resources for new moms that are concentrated in the city. And all three share a passion for educating and encouraging new moms. “Our mission is to help women to thrive the whole way–through pregnancy, birth and early motherhood,” says Sites.

Vignovic, Sites and Chenevert bring a range of experiences to the new company. Vignovic is a certified yoga instructor who teaches pre- and postnatal yoga, Sites is the Marketing Manager for Holistic Parenting magazine and a La Leche League leader and Chenevert is a teacher and childbirth educator. All are on their way to becoming DONA (Doulas of North America) certified doulas.

Sites, who has two small boys of her own, describes birth as an arduous journey that can be eased by the presence of caring professionals. “If you were going to climb Mount Everest, it would be pretty difficult to do on your own,” she says. “We can’t do it for you, but we are there to walk you through the journey.”

The Whole Way Doula Services accommodates different values and expectations for delivery by offering two different childbirth classes: an extensive 8-week series for parents who want thorough instruction on the processes of pregnancy and birth, and a shorter, more intense class for those who want the basics or a refresher.

To arm their moms with all the information they could possibly need, The Whole Way also offers classes in babywearing and adjusting to postpartum body changes. They also just launched a weekly get together called Cafe au Lait, where new moms can commiserate, share tricks of the trade and benefit from Sites’ expert breastfeeding advice.

Their most basic doula package, which includes prenatal yoga, childbirth education and a breastfeeding class, costs $845, while their most complete package, The Whole Way, comes to $2,100. Individual classes and series of classes range from $50 to $300. But Whole Way doulas will negotiate costs with women in need who can’t afford their services. Upcoming classes and events can be found at The Whole Way’s facebook page.

Featured photo: Debbie Vignovic, Sara Sites and Michelle Zoric Chenevert of The Whole Way Doula Services, Photo courtesy of Whole Way

Kate Pendlebury

A logophile and joker, Kate Pendlebury has a PhD in Children's Literature. She would like to climb trees, but her energetic and gregarious toddler requires that she keep both feet on the ground.