Our Story

A woman teaches a class about childbirth

South Dakota Doulas was begun in the early 2000’s as a project by a student midwife, who wanted a website that connects the community and doulas.

Doulas have been able to list their services at no cost on the website so that communities have access to contact information for doulas near them.

In 2017, a group of doulas took the organization to the next level. Events were regularly scheduled to educate the public on the doula’s role. Material was printed and distributed to local providers. Virtual and local events were scheduled to connect doulas and birthworkers. South Dakota Doulas additionally help support training and education for doulas and continuing education. 

In 2023, the not-for-profit will officially become a 501c3 in order to build a beautiful / accessible website, reach more communities, provide continuing education for advanced doulas, and train new doulas. The organization continues to advance doula literacy efforts and support doulas across the great state of South Dakota.

Board of Directors

Kelsie Thomas

Kelsie Thomas - President (She/Her)

Kelsie Thomas graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science from USD. Her training continued through certification as a birth and postpartum doula with DONA International and Childbirth Professional International (CPI). Kelsie has served over 120 families in the Sioux Falls area over the last 8 years. She lives in Sioux Falls with her husband Tony, two kids, one dog and four chickens.

Kelsie is passionate about healthcare navigation and literacy, and the impact the doula role has for SD families on the healthcare team.

Picture of Heidi

Heidi Kolbeck-Urlacher - Vice President (She/Her)

Heidi Kolbeck-Urlacher is graduate of the University of Montana. She served as a certified birth and postpartum doula in the Sioux Falls area for over 6 years and had the honor of supporting over 100 families through the birth and postpartum process. Heidi lives in Brandon with her husband and three children. Though she has since gone in to pursue other endeavors, she remains committed to working to ensure that a thriving doula community continues to serve the area.

Renee Forred

Renee Forred - Secretary/Treasurer (She/Her)

Renee Forred is graduate of Northern State University.  Renee spent her early career in social work at the Department of Social Services for the State of SD until 2016 when she became a doula, a childbirth educator, and lactation counselor.  She lives in Sioux Falls with her husband and four children. 

Renee believes birth and postpartum are transformative experiences to embrace, not just something a person has to get through.  

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