If you're contemplating hiring a doula to support you in labor, and like physical touch to relieve pain, consider a massage doula.
I have experience working with laboring folks as a doula and as a massage therapist. When I attend your labor as a massage doula, you get both: I still remain with you for the duration of your labor, still provide emotional support and all the other thousand little things doulas do, AND you'll have an experienced labor massage therapist at your beck and call.
But doesn't lying down for an hour and getting a massage in labor sound really difficult?! This is why labor massage is an art form, with an emphasis on flexibility. Often we're doing one thing during contractions, and another thing between them. You might be trying to rest in early labor and long grounding strokes down your back help your body let go of the contractions when they pass. You might find strength in simply having points held on your feet, or sacral counterpressure. You might be holding yourself up on your arms for hours at a time and really benefit from arm and shoulder massage so you can keep going. It'll entirely depend on what works for you in the moment, and I absolutely love guiding partners to find their own confidence in supporting you.
As long as I've been attending births, I've heard a similar story from the majority of my queer and trans clients: they were looking specifically for a queer or trans doula. Especially when it comes to a time that's so vulnerable and intimate as birth, it's been crucial for them to have someone who truly sees them, who understands their family structure and community, who knows what questions to ask and who consciously deconstructs the cisheteronormative assumptions rampant in the birth industry. And you deserve to have that, and to feel safe and supported in who you are. So for all my LGBTQQIP2SAA+ families, I get it, and it's an honor to have your back.
As a gestational carrier myself, I would be thrilled to use my familiarity with the special circumstances of a surrogacy to help with your birth. Whether you're a surrogate or intended parents, you can rest assured that I can balance my time however you need: hands on support for the surrogate, gentle explanations and reassurances for the parents. I can help parents be as involved as everyone chooses, from being a messenger, delivering updates in the waiting room to helping figure out how to best support your surrogate. I can also advocate for parents in bonding with baby, and help set up a baby-feeding plan.
I have been attending births in various capacities for nearly two decades. I’ve been to twins births and breech births. First births and seventh births. Births at home, in freestanding birth centers, and in hospitals. Emergency and planned cesarean births. Births of straight folks and queers. Births of single parents and couples and poly families. Births for families growing through surrogacy, and for folks choosing adoption for their newborns. Births where babies were lost, and births after losses. Births for families for whom I’d attended the births of their older kids.
Personally, I’ve birthed thrice: once in a birth pool at home as a single queer parent over 30 who knocked myself up, once in a birth tub at a freestanding birth center as a "geriatric" surrogate for the loveliest family, with both their 3 year old and mine present, and then again in a birth pool at home at nearly 40.
I attend birth clients planning to birth in homes, hospitals, and birth centers throughout the Portland Metro area, including Vancouver WA.
A fee of $2000 includes 2 prenatal meetings, full birth attendance, and a postpartum visit within the first few days. To best serve each client, I do limit my number of labor doula clients each month. If you are interested in having me attend your birth, please contact me with your due date and intended place of birth.