Your Name: Amie Salter

Business Name: Ooh Belly, a maternity concierge consulting service

Type of Business: Children’s Goods & Services

Business Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Twitter @oohbelly

Reason for starting
I started Ooh Belly in 2009 after becoming certified as a Postpartum Doula. Since then, I have dedicated much of my time to serving families who typically can not afford my services. I realized that most professional antepartum and postpartum service companies serve high income families and those that can’t afford their services are left without guidance and support. Every family deserves the support and care of a professional during these times. I strive to make our services available to all families through a “support one another other” model. Our services aren’t simply important for those who can afford them. Our services are important, necessary for every expectant family. Since becoming a Doula, I have assisted with countless labors for free. Why? Because labor support is crucial. Having a Birth Doula works! Labor length is reduced by 25% 50% reduction in the cesarean rate

How do you define success?
I define success as being happy. Success isn’t having the nicest house on the block, or the fancy cuisinart in your kitchen (though I would love one!). Success is about knowing that you’ve made a difference in the way that you’ve wanted to. It’s about going to bed every night and being satisfied with yourself and your life. My own personal success is defined by the smiles on my clients’ faces after delivering a healthy baby or when bring their baby home for the first time. Success is about making a difference, regardless of whether or not your work pays the bills.

Biggest Success
My biggest success was my first Pro Bono Birth Doula client. People have always told me I’m crazy to work for free and that the work of a Birth Doula is priceless. I agree that a Birth Doula’s support is worth every penny, but I also believe that helping a family who needs the support is crucial. I became a Birth Doula because I believed in the support that I was providing, so for me, the idea that I would turn clients away because of their inability to pay was inconceivable. Helping families through the labor process gives me the greatest joy I could ever ask for and I will always be grateful to have the opprtunity to support them.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge has been having the ability to provide support to all of the families that ask me for it. When I realized that I had more families seeking low-cost and free Birth Doula services than I could care for, I decided it was time to inspire others to provide these services as well. I started a section on my website called “The Doula Registry” where other Doulas can register to provide low cost and free services in their area.

Who is your most important role model?
My most important role model is my mom. She has always put her children first and taught me that money wasn’t the priority. I have learned so much from her in both my personal and my professional lives.