Kelly LaChance-Guertin may laugh when she says she’s only able to manage running her professional and family lives by not sleeping, but hearing the young mother and business owner detail all she does makes it sound almost plausible.
“My day has 30 hours in it. I think that’s the magic,” LaChance-Guertin said. “I am very fortunate to have a job that I adore.”
LaChance-Guertin has owned Bellani Maternity, a shop in South Kingstown catering to expectant moms and new families with products, gear, services and classes since 2006.
Embracing a career dedicated to mothers, babies, toddlers and families, however, has been in her blood, she says, much longer.
“I’ve probably been interested in women and their childbearing years, and women’s memory of childbirth since the day I watched “The Cosby Show” and [lead character] Dr. Huxtable was an OBGYN,” she said. “Even in the ’80s, I knew this was what interested me. It’s just the idea that it’s a sacred or very special time for a family. It’s a magical beginning.”
The now-32-year-old Rhode Island native held onto her dream and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Rhode Island College in 2002.
The achievement came at the same time as a couple others, as she married and gave birth to her first child, a son, in 2001.
Needing a steady job with benefits, LaChance-Guertin turned to elementary school education and taught fifth grade at the now-closed Sunrise Academy in Scituate, which she saw as a natural connection to her training and which allowed her to spend time with children as they learned new things.
She also became certified as a birth doula – an instructor who provides support to women in labor – and childbirth educator with Doulas of North America, working through Women & Infants Hospital in Providence.
When Sunrise Academy closed about 2 1/2 years into her time there, LaChance-Guertin continued her doula and childbirth coaching work and gave birth to two daughters.