If you were to ask those close to me what my greatest passion in life is, I assure you all would concur that Karen Kelly loves birth and babies. As a child, if there was a baby in the room you could be sure I was asking to hold and play with it. As a teen, I was the go-to babysitter in my neighborhood, never missing an opportunity to help out where I could. In college I was drawn to the study of anthropology with an emphasis on studying the ways in which people all over the world experience birth and parenthood.
My interest in birth and parenting grew when I learned about homebirth, cloth diapering, and baby wearing while living in the mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado after college. When I returned to Maryland to marry and start my family, I was fortunate to have the support of midwives for the home birth of my three children. It was through their care and community that the value and wisdom of postpartum support was revealed to me. The community I formed around my own birth journey is a community I still draw on to this day.
I am proud to be a DONA International certified postpartum doula. Their mission, “a doula for everyone who wants one” is a guiding principle for me. I believe every family deserves to be cared for during the fourth trimester, whether a traditional, non-traditional, or adoptive family. It is my privilege to help guide families through the first weeks at home with a new baby and my joy to witness the journey.
It is also worth noting that I have a passion for whole foods cooking which began when my oldest child was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a toddler. I know how important tasty whole food is to health and healing and one of my favorite parts of caring for postpartum families is preparing them warm, nourishing, and easily replicated meals when requested.
When I am not providing postpartum support, you can find me at my home in Ellicott City, MD with my husband, Tom and elderly dog, Stella. I am mother to three amazing young adult children, Dylan, Sierra, and Quinn. When I am not “doulaing”, I am most likely working in my garden, reading, volunteering, vacationing in Maine, or listening to a birth podcast!