Deb Rhizal, RN, CD(DONA), CCE(Birthworks)

Deb Rhizal is a birth doula and childbirth educator in Ann Arbor. She has been practicing since 2004 and has assisted hundreds of families through childbirth. She is also a registered nurse, the mother of four beautiful girls, and a student in the nurse-midwife program at the University of Michigan.

Deb has trained in wellness coaching, Reiki, craniosacral therapy and Zero Balancing. She worked for 4 years as a homebirth midwife’s assistant. She is a life-long learner interested in the integration of wisdom from conventional and non-conventional sources. She has a passion for empowering young families to be healthy, joyful and loving.

More about Deb Rhizal:

Deb Rhizal's family

Experience & Training

Certified Birth Doula, DONA International

I became a doula in 2003. Since that time I have attended the births of hundreds of families in fourteen different hospitals in Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and Michigan and at homebirths. My doula clients have utilized the full scope of medical tools, some of them choosing natural, unmedicated births, and some choosing medical pain relief. I have been with clients through inductions, c-sections, vaginal birth after cesarean (VABCs), and the birth of multiples. My clients come from a great diversity of religious, ethnic and economic backgrounds which is an aspect of my work I treasure. I honor all unique desires for birth and uphold the personal values of my clients.

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Midwife’s Assistant

In 2004 I became a birth and office assistant to Laura Gilbert, Certified Nurse Midwife.  Together we attended over 120 homebirths between 2004 and 2008. In our country, where less than 1% of births occur at home, attending homebirths affords the opportunity to gain rare insights and skills such as aggressive health promotion throughout pregnancy, a mind-body-spirit understanding of labor, and a comfort with the immense variation in healthy birth. I also provided postpartum support and breastfeeding help for many of these families, gaining extensive experience with lactation.

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Childbirth Educator, Birthworks International

I became certified as a childbirth educator through Birthworks International (TM) in 2005.  Birthworks emphasizes the spirit, rather than only the body and mind, in birth. Deep relaxation and multi-sensory visualization techniques, similar to Hypnobirthing (TM), are utilized as tools, but not taught as a method. My teaching experience includes private and group instruction in settings such as homes, clinics, doctor’s offices, and at a birth center for the Amish. I love connecting with the spirit in diverse people as we talk about such a universal experience. The most satisfying aspect of teaching is seeing my clients after their births and hearing that they had a great experience.

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Wellness Coach, Wellcoaches Inc.

In 2009 I certified as a wellness coach and added the tools of positive psychology, motivational interviewing, affirmative inquiry and an interdisciplinary model of human behavior change to my toolbox. This has allowed me to transform childbirth education to include an effective focus on how to achieve your personal desires for birth rather than emphasizing information or knowledge. Coaching emphasizes personalization based on your strengths, situation, and values. It is preventative; working ahead of time to prepare your  body, mind, and heart for birth and parenting. And it is participatory, meaning that clients who choose coaching become actively involved in making changes to increase their wellbeing, rather than simply learning from their educator.

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Family Wellness Coach, Family Strong/Wellcoaches Inc.

In 2009 I furthered my study of coaching to learn specific ways to work with families as a group. Helping whole families be healthy and happy during birth and postpartum has always been my goal through my birth work and this training helps me to be able to continue that service into the years after the baby’s birth.

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Natural Healing Modalities

I am experienced in several natural healing modalities which work with human energetic anatomy. These therapies all recognize the importance of the body’s electrical/energy system, as well as cellular memory and the frequency of experience held as conscious and unconscious images. My modalities include Reiki, Zero Balancing, Cranial Sacral, Multi-Sensory Visualization, Aromas, Flower Essences, and Breath Work.

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I believe that wellbeing, a state of health and happiness, is a great gift that benefits ourselves, our family members, and our broader communities. People who are well come alive and bring great things to the world!

While the specific factors which empower wellbeing are different for everyone, and even at different times throughout our life, I believe that families have a profound effect on the wellbeing of the individuals in them. This is particularly true in the youngest years when family and self are most concretely intertwined -literally so between mother and baby during pregnancy- gradually transforming into a team of individuals as infants grow.

I love my work. I get to apply myself to promoting wellbeing for mothers, fathers and babies during this high impact time of life.

Pregnancy and birth have a heightened effect on wellbeing. Our physical needs are more complex, the emotional context of our decisions is amplified, and our deepest values are closer to the surface of our awareness. Because of this, the things we experience and learn during this time are with us deeply. Joyful and loving family experiences now strengthen relationships and support optimal development for all members of the family.

Therefore I believe that exceptional, holistic care during preconception, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum has a lasting benefit for families and individuals. It is preventative health care at its finest! Individuals are unique, and so is each family I encounter. Families have values, personality, strengths, and unique obstacles, just as people do. I aim to help every family support one another’s wellbeing during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum – and to highlight for them the abilities they’ve demonstrated and a vision of how to carry it forward into their futures.

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The best way to gauge my personality is to give me a call or schedule an interview! I am a positive, affirming person delighted by people and their uniqueness. I enjoy a wide diversity of people and find myself easily interested in a wide variety of subjects. I am often described as calming, balanced, and welcoming.

I am a great teacher and can often make complex concepts clear to people from any background. In short, I can help you understand how things work and how variables affect experience, so that you can make your own decisions. I am able to connect with what is important to you and draw your own personal strengths to the forefront so that you can achieve what you want.

I am also a fabulous student, not an expert or a know-it-all. I have learned about pregnancy and birth from an incredible diversity of experts and families and can honor what each person has to add to the equation. When I work with clients I learn from them too. I listen well and understand your hopes. I can then pull from my rich bank of learnings and guide you to the insights and advice that most clearly serves your needs. I draw out your wisdom as well, and together we can consider the best of all options.

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I am happily married to quite the guy. He is a stay-at-home parent. We have four girls, born in 2004, 2007, 2012 and 2015. We also miscarried a son half way through pregnancy in 2006. All of our experiences with birth and babies were rich times. We are deeply blessed with a wonderful family.

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About Pregnancy Arts

The mission of Pregnancy Arts is to increase the wellbeing of individuals and families in the greater Ann Arbor area through exceptional holistic services and the promotion of personal responsibility for holistic health during the childbearing year. Pregnancy Arts is owned and operated by Deb Rhizal.

Deb is also the co-owner, along with her husband, of, LLC, a company dedicated to reaching families throughout the world through the internet. Please visit for articles and planning guides written by Deb.

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About Katy Gladwin

Katy Gladwin instructs the class series. She is a doula, mother, wife, and pregnancy consultant living in Ypsilanti.  Katy graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2011, with a degree in Human Biology/Pre-Med. During her last year of college she realized that birth work would be the most amazing way to fulfill her desire to support mothers and families.  After training in 2011, she quickly began doula work and worked full time until she gave birth to her own child in 2013.  As a full time mom, her love of teaching and sharing her knowledge has been slowed down a little, until now!  Being entrusted by Deb to share Pregnancy Arts’ amazing “Birth Baby and Beyond” course is really a dream come true.  You can learn more about Katy at Sacred Roots Services.

For Healthy, Happy, Families