Charis Childbirth was founded in January of 2003 by Kristin Schuchmann, a doula, childbirth educator, and midwife with Lifesong Midwifery who has served childbearing families since 1989. Kristin is the mother of four children, two grown and two whom she still homeschools and grandmother of one baby who was delivered into her hands in her home. She pastors alongside her husband Todd at New Life Church of North Port, FL, in the New Life Ministries International family of churches.
For several years, Kristin worked exclusively with those in a crisis pregnancy, serving teenage girls and women by providing free doula services, shelter, crisis counseling, and more. Kristin has been very active in the pro-life movement and has had the opportunity to influence many girls and women not to abort their babies, a decision not one has regretted.
Eventually, Kristin branched out and began serving anyone in need of her services, teaching childbirth classes and providing doula services to married couples, while still volunteering her services to those in a crisis pregnancy.
The childbirth classes Kristin has offered throughout the years include Biblical principles and Scripture which help to increase the faith of the expectant family and to introduce the Gospel of Jesus to people who may have never before experienced a relationship with Jesus. She teaches birth as a natural process and prepares the families well for their upcoming births. As a result, people are coming to know Jesus Christ, families are growing in their faith in God, and women are experiencing supernaturally wonderful childbirth.
In 2002, Kristin began taking on apprentices who wanted to learn about serving childbearing families from a Christian perspective. It is because of this wonderful experience that she felt led to begin facilitating more formal training. Rather than copying current ways of equipping childbirth professionals, she chose a model that uses mentoring and coaching for more personalized training.
While seeking guidance from the Lord concerning the training process, the vision began to grow. It became clear that this was to be comprehensive enough to be a credible source of certification for childbirth educators and doulas, and that creating a membership organization would serve many community and educational purposes. In addition, because of her heart for ministry, Kristin began seeing ways the expanding organization would be able to support an expanding ministry.
Others began to catch the vision, and Charis Childbirth was born.
In 2006, Charis was blessed with the addition of Susan Oshel, CPM, who is serving as our Director of Midwifery Studies. Susan has helped Kristin to revise and improve the Charis course for childbirth professionals to include an advanced academics course for midwives that was launched in 2007.