Donna Ryan is the founder and CEO of Birth Boot Camp. Her company has a nation-wide network of doulas, and offers a variety of courses to expecting parents. Aside from her business, Donna is a wife and mom to four, and a recent transplant to the Black Hills. She is also the biggest Tim McGraw fan around!
First tell us about your business--how and why did you start it?
I’ve been a childbirth educator since 2003. I received two certifications, but I was never satisfied with the materials. I either had to create my own or work with outdated videos and workbooks. It just wasn’t working for modern couples, people who were working with the internet everyday. They needed something they could identify with and that worked with their busy schedules. With an amazing team, I created Birth Boot Camp to fill the gap. We’ve offered online childbirth classes and trained childbirth educators since March 2012. We also certify women to become doulas, or labor assistants, through Birth Boot Camp DOULAS. The two programs complement one another perfectly, helping couples have an amazing birth experience. We are in 35 states and still based in Texas, despite me moving to the Black Hills. As a result, I do quite a bit of traveling. Oh, and our materials really are the best in the industry!
What services do you provide?
I’m pretty sure I’ve got the best job in the world. I teach a variety of childbirth classes:
4-session Out-of-Hospital Birth Class (so new there’s no link yet!)
4-hour Homecoming: Life With a New Recruit (Including our breastfeeding class!)
This Fall I’m finishing up curriculum (and materials!) for a 6-session Hospital Birth Class and a 3-hour Comfort Measures workshop. They will be available by the first of the year.
Who can benefit from your services?
Do you want to have an amazing birth? These classes are for you!
I work with 2 different groups of people - expectant parents and women training to become childbirth educators and/or doulas. I believe birth can be amazing and that it starts with education, followed by discussion and preparation between partners. Birth touches nearly everyone in one way or another.
What is a word of advice you can offer to other women in business?
Don’t make excuses. Ever. Be honest about what you can and cannot do, but don’t make excuses
Why do you love The OWN?
I probably use The OWN a bit differently than others in the area. I live in the beautiful Hills, but as a result, my internet is awful. I can’t stream video or do Facebook Lives. I need the internet at The OWN! But I also need space to teach my classes since I live so far out of town. It’s been so perfect. I feel welcome each time I come in. I appreciate that The OWN meets us where we are as individuals.