Ep. 66 - Positive Midwife-led Hospital Birth with a Doula with Merri Gruesser

Ready to be inspired by a transformational childbirth journey?

Dive into this episode as Merri Gruesser takes us on her journey from an expectant mother to a DONA-certified doula. Be prepared to be swept up in Merri’s tales of preparation, determination, and resilience during her own childbirth. Discover how she maintained unwavering optimism during the intense 3.5-hour push to delivery. Listen in as she uncovers the obstacles she overcame, the strategies she used to manage pain, and her passionate plea for every mother-to-be to embrace knowledge. This isn’t just Merri’s story; it’s a call to action for all expecting mothers to step into their birth experience with confidence and strength. Don’t miss out!

Merri Gruesser, works in media in New York City. She was so inspired by her own birth and experience with a doula that she recently attended a DONA birth doula training with me. She’s now in the process of becoming DONA certified to birth forward the care she received to others. Merri is passionate about the birth space and helping women take back their power in birth. She lives in Connecticut with her husband Andrew and their beautiful 14M old son Jackson.

In this episode:

  • Merri recounts her experiences with recurrent miscarriages and her journey to midwifery and doula services
  • Merri’s deep connection with the midwifery model of care is highlighted as a turning point in her childbirth journey
  • Through her midwives, Merri learns about doulas and their significant role in childbirth
  • Merri’s dedication to preparing both mentally with hypnobirthing and physically using methods like the Body Ready Method is emphasized
  • Merri undertook extensive physical activities to try to induce labor
  • She relied heavily on her doula during the challenging labor moments
  • Merri felt excitement, intensity, and safety during her birth
  • Early physical preparation, especially baby positioning, is essential 

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Key Takeaways:

  • Women have varied options in childbirth, from traditional models to midwifery and doulas
  • Affirmations practiced daily can help emotionally prepare for birth
  • Birth plans are guides, but flexibility is key
  • Having a trusted individual during labor is vital
  • Understanding the birth process provides comfort
  • Both physical and mental preparations are vital for birth
  • Each birth experience is unique 

Tweetable Quotes:

“Once the door was opened for me regarding the midwifery model of care, I understood that you have choices. There are so many different paths you can take in preparing for birth, as well as in laboring and giving birth.” – Merri Gruesser

“It’s a lot of preparation and a little bit of luck.” – Merri Gruesser

Connect with Merri!



Become a doula!

Join a DONA Birth Doula Training 
with Debra Pascali-Bonaro

Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey towards becoming a Certified DONA Birth Doula?

Debra Pascali-Bonaro is one of the most experienced doula trainers in the world.

Our November Birth Doula Training is fully virtual – attend from anywhere in the world!

  • Welcome Session and Anti-racism & Birth Equity – November 14, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Intro. to Childbirth Part I – November 16, 2023 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Introduction to Childbirth Part II & DONA Birth Doula Part I – November 17, 2023, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • DONA Birth Doula Part II – November 20, 2023, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • DONA Birth Doula Part III – November 21, 2023, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • DONA Certification and Birth Biz Q & A – December 6, 3:00 – 5:00 PM