HOLISTIC DOULA CARE

Supporting natural birth experiences in the Chippewa Valley & Twin Cities

With me as your birth doula, you can expect to feel honored, capable and informed.  

I approach birth from a holistic perspective, incorporating mind, body and spirit.  Alongside education, advocacy and strategic labor prep, we also prepare emotionally and spiritually, celebrating pregnancy and birth as a sacred rite of passage.  By centering your instincts and needs, I help you tune out the noise and tune into your body and baby for a powerful, connected birth experience and transition into parenthood.

Though I am experienced supporting all types of births, at this time I doula exclusively for families planning VBACs, home births, birth center births and unmedicated births in the hospital.

"Giving birth is priestess work; it requires a woman to pass through a painful and dangerous initiation in which she journeys to the threshold between worlds and risks her own life to help another soul cross over.”

- Jalaja Bonhein

BIRTH DOULA SERVICES:

Depending on the package chosen, we will have one or more prenatal appointments to get to know your priorities, go over positions & comfort measures for natural birth and address any questions or concerns.  You will have the option to add on additional appointments and services if desired.

After week 37 of your pregnancy, I will be on-call for you 24/7.  Once labor is well established I will join you at your place of birth and provide continuous, skilled support through 1-2 hours postpartum.  During your birth, I will incorporate complimentary modalities such as Spinning Babies, acupressure and hypnosis as needed to support your comfort and progress in labor.  Following birth, I may return for one or more postpartum visits to see how you are settling in, review the birth experience and assist with breastfeeding.

DELUXE PACKAGE
BASIC PACKAGE
BIRTH ONLY PACKAGE
DELUXE PACKAGE

Designed for first time parents looking for a full suite of comprehensive support, or repeat parents with a history of birth trauma or other unique needs in their upcoming birth.  Components include:

  • free initial consult 
  • 2 in-home prenatal appointments focused on birth preparation
  • private "Know Your Rights" session 
  • private postpartum planning session
  • 24/7 on-call availability from 37 weeks
  • attendance at your labor & birth
  • 1-2 hours of immediate postpartum support
  • 2 postpartum visits
  • phone/email/text support including access to referrals & resources as needed between appointments and through 4 weeks postpartum

COST*:

  • Twin Cities: $1700
  • Western Wisconsin: $1400

*Please note that gift certificates are also available.  In the event a particular package is outside of your budget, you have the option of paying what you can and arranging for family & friends to cover the difference with a gift.

BASIC PACKAGE

Ideal for first-time parents needing solid prenatal, birth & postpartum preparation and support.  Components include:

  • free initial consult 
  • 2 prenatal appointments (one virtual, one in-person subject to COVID precautions)
  • email/phone/text support from time of hire through 2 weeks postpartum, including access to referrals and other resources as needed
  • 24/7 on-call availability for your birth
  • attendance at your labor and delivery and 1-2 hours of assistance post-birth
  • one 90-minute postpartum visit in your home
  • option to add on additional appointments and services as needed

COST*:

  • Twin Cities: $1000
  • Western Wisconsin: $800

*Please note that gift certificates are also available.  In the event a particular package is outside of your budget, you have the option of paying what you can and arranging for family & friends to cover the difference with a gift.

BIRTH ONLY PACKAGE

Ideal for second-time (or higher order) parents who are comfortable with birth, experienced with newborns and just looking for labor support.  This more streamlined package includes:

  • free initial consult (remote over Zoom)
  • one brief prenatal appointment (remote over Zoom)
  • 24/7 on-call availability for your birth
  • attendance at your labor and delivery
  • 1-2 hours of assistance post-birth
  • email/phone/text support including access to referrals & resources from time of hire through 2 weeks postpartum
  • *no* postpartum visit -- remote text check-ins & phone calls only.

COST: 

  • Twin Cities: $800
  • Western Wisconsin: $600

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

While both midwives and doulas are statistically associated with improved outcomes, they have very different roles.  A midwife is a healthcare professional trained to deliver babies, make recommendations and perform clinical tasks to evaluate the well-being of mother and child, including assessing fetal heartrate and maternal vital signs (like blood pressure) prenatally and during labor, controlling hemorrhage, suturing lacerations, etc.  In contrast, a doula is a non-medical support person only.  We are focused on the social and emotional aspects of childbirth, such as helping our clients feel prepared for and capable of coping with hospitalization, birth and postpartum.  Instead of clinical assessments, our prenatal appointments focus on planning, addressing fears, and developing a trusting relationship.  Similarly, our care during labor involves offering physical comfort measures and reassurance, as opposed to medical surveillance.  Because midwives and doulas have complimentary roles, it is common that families planning to deliver with a midwife will still hire a doula (see the next FAQ for more information!).

Should I hire a doula if a midwife will be attending my birth, or if I am planning a homebirth?

If your birth will be attended be a midwife, it is important to understand that most midwives do not provide continuous support during labor.  This is because midwives have other clinical and administrative responsibilities to attend to that leave little room for providing physical and emotional comfort, the most important of which is ensuring your safety.  For example, if you are delivering with a hospital-based midwife, other demands on her time will include charting, assessing fetal heart tracings, checking on other patients, interacting with other providers such as nurses and obstetricians, attending cesarean sections, and admitting new patients.  If you are delivering with a homebirth midwife, she may also be organizing her equipment, charting, supervising a student midwife, rescheduling a prenatal appointment she had that day with another client, or discussing matters with her partner while you are laboring.  Additionally, many homebirth midwives like to give clients space to labor with their partner undisturbed, which means that they may only come into your immediate space when its time to assess fetal heart tones, take your blood pressure or make some other clinical observation.   Finally, it is important to note that need for pain relief is the number one reason women transfer to the hospital from planned home births -- so having a doula can really help combat this risk, especially if you are a first time mom.  As a result, women delivering with midwives, whether hospital or homebirth, can still benefit immensely from doula support, and will often hire a doula to fill that gap.

Why should I hire a doula when I can have family present to support me during delivery?

Unlike lay persons, doulas are professionals who are specially trained to provide physical comfort measures, emotional support and accurate information before, during and after birth. They are able to enhance your existing support system by serving as a disinterested third party dedicated only to you. By contrast, family members are understandably emotionally invested and often see your birth through the lens of their own biases and experiences, which can make it difficult to identify and be confident in your own instincts, preferences and needs. A doula’s role is to hold space for you and your partner to claim your own power as parents and to shepherd your baby into this world on your terms.

Do you support planned home births?

Absolutely.  I doula for home births attended by credentialed midwives (certified professional midwives or certified nurse midwives).  Additionally, I do prenatal and even preconception consultations with folks who are looking to plan a home birth and want more information about finding a homebirth midwife, the risks and benefits of homebirth, and similar questions.  Please see the "General Consulting" tab above for more info!

What hospitals do you doula at?

I doula at all hospitals and birth centers in my service area, which encompasses the Twin Cities Metro Area, Western Wisconsin's St. Croix & Polk Counties, and the Chippewa Valley.  Examples include but are not limited to: Heath Foundations Birth Center (St. Paul, MN); Roots Community Birth Center (Minneapolis), Willow Birth Center (Minneapolis), Woodwinds Hospital (Woodbury, MN), Fairview St. John's Hospital (Maplewood, MN), The Mother-Baby Center at Abbott Northwestern (Minneapolis), The Mother-Baby Center at United (St Paul), Western Wisconsin Health (Baldwin, WI), Mayo Clinic hospitals (Menomonie, Eau Claire & Barron, WI), Sacred Heart (Eau Claire) and Marshfield (Eau Claire & Rice Lake, WI).  I also attend home births.  

Does insurance cover birth doulas?

Doula care is proven to reduce the incidence of costly and negative birth outcomes.  You would think the preventive aspects would make the case for insurance coverage obvious, however, private insurance currently does not cover non-medical social support such as doulas.  Some families have access to an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HSA (Health Savings Account), in which pre-tax money previously saved can be used to pay for eligible expenses; in some cases, doula care qualifies.  If this is the case for you, please let me know.  Following conclusion of our care together, I can provide a receipt for my services that you can use to obtain reimbursement.  I cannot, however, invoice insurance companies directly, or provide an NPI number or billing code.  Check with your benefits administrator to find out whether birth or postpartum doula care is an eligible expense.

Why hire a doula? Research on benefits of birth doula care

What is a doula?  A doula is a person trained to provide physical, emotional and informational support to expecting women and families prenatally, during labor and delivery and in the immediate postpartum period.

Research shows that women who have the assistance of a doula during birth have healthier outcomes and report more positive birth experiences than those who do not. In particular, doulas are associated with a 39% reduction in the risk of cesarean section, a lower likelihood of other invasive interventions, shorter labors, less use of pain medication and improved outcomes for the baby. For these reasons, the American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine have recognized doulas as "one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes." (1) More recently, state Medicaid programs have begun covering doulas in an effort to reduce maternal mortality. The compassionate, individualized care doulas provide their clients thus serves as an important harm reduction tool, despite being non-medical in nature.

(1) "Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery," American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists & Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Obstetric Care Consensus (2014, reaffirmed 2016), available here.