Jefferson Award winner--Rose Marie Bertrand - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Jefferson Award winner--Rose Marie Bertrand

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Every month, WKOW honors someone who is making a difference in their community through volunteer work.

This month, we recognize a woman who's helping expecting mothers find the right resources and help during pregnancy, even when they can't afford it.

This month's Jefferson Award winner is Rose Marie Bertrand.

Bringing life into the world is her specialty.

She's a doula, and offers support and comfort to women before, during and after giving birth.

For more than 16 years, she's been doing it free of charge.

Rose Marie says, "Our real goal is to help that family, that mother, to feel empowered so that she can get what she wants with that birth."

It's support not every woman can afford.

So, Rose Marie founded "Small Miracles" in 1996.

It's a volunteer doula program serving families in south central Wisconsin.

"The reason I felt so strongly about becoming a doula is because my own birth experiences were pretty dreadful."

She's helped hundreds of women to have a better birthing experience.

Fellow doula, Corrina Frye, says, "There's no other person who you can call and sit down and say 'Oh my gosh, all these things happened in a birth and I'm not sure. Should I have done something more? Should I have done something less?"

Jenna Freeman and her boyfriend Christian Herriot are expecting a boy.

It's a bit of an overwhelming process as first time parents.

That's why Rose Marie's help is one of the biggest gifts they'll receive.

Jenna says, "It's just so nice to know that somebody like that is gonna be there who's been doing it for so long and is so educated and really has just devoted all their time to it. It's just amazing."

"To know that somebody's willing to be there on a voluntary basis and just support us is huge," says Christian.

Rose Marie's unwavering support for families is why she's this month's Jefferson Award winner.

"I will happily tell you I get back more than I give."

You can find out more about "Small Miracles" by clicking here.

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