Community Support & Education
If you are seeking pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth or postpartum support, we are your village!
BHBN is a membership-driven, non-profit organization. We help connect families to our vast network of Professional Members and offer free education to the public through those Professional Members. We believe that through education & support, families can be empowered to make well-informed decisions for themselves.
If your work lies anywhere near the pregnancy or birth & postpartum space we invite you to check out our professional membership opportunities.
We bring support to our community by providing members with a listing on our website, a promotional material display at all community events, opportunities to share expertise, a chance to network with other professionals, and more.
To provide pregnancy, birth, and postpartum education and networking opportunities by connecting families and professionals in the Black Hills.
Black Hills Birth Network - 501(c)(3)
Natalie and her family recently began a new chapter in their lives when they relocated to the Black Hills. After a positive birth and postpartum experience in the Chicago suburbs, she quit her job, became a SAHM, graduated from business school, and moved to a new state, leaving behind a loving support network.
Natalie's experience creating a village in a new city inspired her to get involved with both BHBN and the Rapid City chapter of MOMS Club International. These organizations resonate with her passion of helping other moms-in-transition find their new normal. She is also training to become a postpartum doula.
There is truly not much that Natalie does not touch. Her work often goes behind the scenes but as you well know… a birth runs much smoother with a rock star doula and her rock star doula kit! Natalie is our “network doula” and is invaluable to ensuring we are able to offer you the best experience. When you see her, be sure to thank her.
Natalie can be reached at Natalie@blackhillsbirthnetwork.org.
& EDUCATION COORDINATOR
Meredith considers herself very lucky to be an adoptive mom. After struggling to get pregnant, she and her husband became foster parents and eventually adopted two crazy awesome boys. Previously a high school physics teacher, Meredith shifted her focus to birth work and is an ICEA certified birth doula and childbirth educator with Baby Bird Birth Services. She is also involved in foster care advocacy because she is passionate about establishing strong family bonds.
She lives with her family in a multi-generational homestead with dogs, cats, horses, mules, and her beloved chickens.
As our Education Coordinator -- Meredith brings all that jazz to our free monthly meetings. If you have an idea on a topic you’d like BHBN and its Professional Members to cover, contact her today at Meredith@blackhillsbirthnetwork.org.
MARKETING & MEMBERSHIP ADMINISTRATOR
Lora has always had a love for babies, but her passion for supporting women and families during pregnancy and labor really ignited after the birth of her own children. When looking for support before and after labor, she found there to be a lack of options. From her experience, she decided to dive fully into becoming a certified Birth Doula and starting Doyle Doula Services. Through her business and her work with BHBN, she hopes to help provide some of those resources that help more families make confident and informed choices.
Lora was born and raised in the beautiful Black Hills. She earned a BA in visual arts from SDSU. Lora is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have three busy boys.
As our both our Marketing & Membership Administrator - Lora keeps us & our amazing Members in your sights via social media and other outlets. Be sure to check out our media on Facebook & Instagram for all the updates.
Lora can be reached at Lora@blackhillsbirthnetwork.org.
& COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Crystal Pawlus is a mother of three, wife, and nature lover. She worked as a pediatric nurse for several years before the birth of her first child. Postpartum was challenging as she lacked support, so she became a postpartum doula and motherhood coach to support mothers to offer the support she wished she had back then. Crystal teaches newborn & postpartum classes at Apple Tree Midwifery & Birth Center, and is a Babywearing Educator.
Crystal loves to be outdoors as much as possible and is enjoying returning back to the Black Hills after several years away. Crystal can be found sharing her love for the outdoors with her kids, hiking, biking, and exploring this beautiful area.
Crystal can be reached at Crystal@blackhillsbirthnetwork.org.
Honey immigrated to the United States at the young age of 4 with her nuclear family. While the tropical climate of Hawai’i felt familiar, the culture shock of leaving all familial ties behind for a better life was challenging. Leaning into those challenges allowed her to thrive and eventually flourish as one of six kids in a blended family. She transplanted to the Black Hills after spending three years in Oregon for college, moving with her husband to his hometown of Rapid City. She now serves the local market as a business banker by day and mom to two beautiful boys and a (brand new) baby girl by night.
Having had high-risk pregnancies for all 3 of her children, she’s been able to experience the incredible care and talent available to the Black Hills community. Her ability to advocate for both parents and professionals allows her to help build bridges and support systems that create solid foundations for collaboration - because the elements with which you make your nest will become integral in your pre and antenatal care.
Whether you’re searching for help with finding your tribe, needing a cup of coffee with a “grown-up", or learning how the heck to tie your baby carrier, she’s your girl.
Honey can be reached at email@example.com.
Even as a young girl, Cori always felt connected to her body and its natural ability to birth despite not knowing if motherhood would be her direction. After becoming pregnant 7 years ago though, she began her search for birth resources in the Black Hills area that aligned with her beliefs only to find ‘the hunt’ to come up short. While there were beautiful opportunities for support, they were not readily known. This sparked Cori’s passion to figure out a way to change this for other moms and families in the area.
Cori immersed herself in the birth community that did exist in an effort to manifest an even larger community that would bring both consumers and birth professionals together in support - a community offering resources, connections, education, and more. It is her honor to be part of the Black Hills Birth Network, working alongside so many other incredible individuals equally passionate about this work.
Cori is currently full-time RVing around the U.S. with her husband and two children but a big piece of her heart remains with the Black Hills. Cori can be reached at Cori@blackhillsbirthnetwork.org.
The Birth Story of Black Hills Birth Network
Black Hills Birth Network [BHBN] was literally birthed from my personal experience in becoming a mother. I am one of the independent, "I got this all figured out," kind of women. When pregnancy came my way, I was a bit scared but quickly embraced the next chapter of my life.
My pregnancy was awesome - I seemed to know exactly what to do! Rest, eat good food, and find adorable maternity outfits. Easy, right? Then our son joined us earthside, and I will never forget the moment that he was placed upon my chest. It was, and still remains, one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I kept thinking, "Can someone put him back in? I knew what to do then."
I was full of anxiety as I ventured into this new territory. I thought I was prepared, but again, that had all been on my own, "I got this all figured out" terms. I had an incredibly supportive husband, and it was only through a supportive network of birth professionals, including my midwife, chiropractors, and lactation consultants that I was able to step into motherhood with vulnerability and strength. What took me six months to learn was that all mothers need support, and I vowed to do what I could to help bring that support front and center.
What I have also learned is that creating this space requires great support as well, and I am forever grateful to our co-founding & current board members. These women are so passionate about this mission and have worked so hard to help carry this dream.
BHBN is about empowering women through compassion, connection, and education. In a world full of trying to "make our own way," we have lost sight of what it means to truly support one another. The goal of BHBN is to bring this space of nurturing and love back, in person and up close. We seek to create a space for women and their families to share in the most transformational and most vulnerable thing we can embark upon, parenthood. We also seek to create a supportive and collaborative space for the many local professionals working towards the same mission.
We are so excited about the launch of this, our very first community Resource Guide! We have big plans for the future of BHBN, and with hearts wide open, we say, "Thank YOU for your support!"
President Black Hills Birth Network, Inc