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Meet Rachel Myers and Janet Hirsch-Ettenger of The Birth Co-op in Van Nuys

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Myers and Janet Hirsch-Ettenger.

Rachel and Janet, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Janet and I started The Birth Co-op with the goal to bring families of all types together and to support them on their birth and parenting journey. We want Childbirth Education to be fun, accessible and to feel good. We want to teach in a way that leaves the birthing person and their partner feel like they are prepared to not only have a baby but get through the post-partum period where attachment and security are of epic importance.
We focus on helping to draw out the power of every birthing person. If you leave our classes feeling overwhelmed, we haven’t done our job! We are all Doulas, Educators, Parents and also Midwives Assistants. Seeing birth from so many angles helps us to really provide a well-rounded education for our clients.

Everything we do and teach comes from what we were taught or wish we had known when we had our kids. We live in a very dynamic time. We recognize that families come in all forms and we honor all of those differences. We work hard to draw on the strengths of every person that comes through our doors and we hope in the end that instead of just taking a class, you have created a supportive extended family.

We also see a strong need to have fun. So much of early parenting can feel overwhelming. We love to help a birthing person bring back the excitement of labor and birth. It is wonderful to help a client tap into their intuitive knowledge and blossom with some hands-on education. We love the process of pregnancy, birth. labor and parenting. We are passionate about helping our clients to feel the same.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The Birth Co-op has been a labor of love… We are constantly learning, shifting and evolving. Being Women and small business owners has its share of road blocks. For us, we know that there is so much beauty in the lesson and we try to learn it, the first time! It is so easy to get caught up in what you know you do well. It is so much harder to work on the day to day that doesn’t come as easily. We have seen such a shift in the last 5 years in how people learn and what they come to expect from Childbirth Education. Building a strong online and social media presence doesn’t come without it’s pitfalls. There is so much information out there that pregnant people get bombarded with, it is hard to stand out. Being on-call Doulas and also mothers, sometimes work gets derailed because of sick kids or a long birth. The key for us has been to always support each other no matter what. We approach our work with fluidity that isn’t always the best to get things done but needs to happen because of our families and lifestyles. We have created a team where we all bring different strengths to the table. We fill in each other’s holes a lot. Doulas know how to get things done, Mothers know how to juggle, Women know how to support each other. We do that for each other and ask for help when we need it.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Birth Co-op is a compilation of Mothers, Doulas, Childbirth Educators and Midwives Assistants who are here to support you on your journey to parenthood. We specialize in hands on childbirth classes, support groups and Doula matching services. We are known for providing a warm, informative and caring space for all families. We have resources to support you from pregnancy to early parenting.

Our Doula Registry is a very diverse group of Doulas that we can help to connect you with. These women are like family and would be on our births if we had more kids! They can provide excellent care for birth and post-partum.

As a company we are most proud of our team. We support one another and the families that come to us like they are our family. We take education during this time so seriously and make sure that the things we teach and discuss are all topics from our heart but also the latest studies on labor and birth. We support all types of birth.

We are so proud of the resources that we have to offer and the well of birth professionals that we draw from. We have spent a lot of time curating relationships with other professionals that we can refer our clients to if needed. Being a new parent comes with so many emotions, we love to help clients unpack the anxiety and relax into a strong blueprint of labor, birth and early parenting.

What were you like growing up?
As a young child, Rachel often accompanied her Dad to work because she is an animal lover and he is a Veterinarian.
One day my Dad sat me down in front of a cage with a dog in it and told me she was going to have puppies. I was so excited, but as I watched her pant and circle, I begged my Dad to help her. His response was that she is a Mom and has everything she needs to safely birth her pups. He told me that my job was to be still and make her feel calm and safe. That memory stayed with me throughout my life and I bring those principles into my Doula practice.

Janet has always loved everything about pregnancy, birth, and helping families settle in to life with a new baby. She has been working in women’s health for over 25 years, first as a nurse, and now as a certified doula, childbirth and lactation educator. I believe that birth is an extraordinary expression of who we are, and I have always felt privileged to walk alongside a family as they meet the challenges and joys that mark this profound transition.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 7647 Hayvenhurst Avenue, Unit 34, Van Nuys CA 91406
  • Website: www.thebirthcoop.com
  • Phone: 818-636-2223
  • Email: info@thebirthcoop.com
  • Facebook: The Birth Co-op

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