Obviously we would love to be your doula choice and we want you to have the option to make an informed choice!
IF you are searching for a specific cultural / racial / identity need feel free to reach out, I keep a local resource list that includes doulas by inclusion!
Things you may want to look for in a doula:
What other qualifications and support does your doula offer? are they a massage therapist (fairly rare), a prenatal yoga teacher (a little more common), are they trained in spinning babies? do they do rebozo support? do they offer postpartum care (if you want aftercare) - or you can hire a postpartum doula separately and sometimes this is the best way to go!
You can find a postpartum doula who is also a lactation counselor pretty easily.
Is your doula comfortable supporting the birth you want?
My number one priority is helping parents have an informed and trauma free birth experience. Preventing and reducing trauma in women's health is my life mission, I support women through any medical event they need support through, not just birth! I'm currently back in training as a full spectrum doula, and loving every minute of learning more about supporting abortion, supporting the queer community and continuing my support of black and brown maternal health, a critical need right now!
I do tend to be the most excited about supporting clients seeking a natural birth, and I'm also a big fan of helping parents find a way to make a c-section into a compassionate and loving birth experience. If my clients want analgesics I am fine with supporting their choice, and I help them to be fully informed and understand the plusses and minuses of each decision. I believe in fully informed birth and as a birth educator I try to make sure my clients can weigh their decisions and feel empowered, and prepared to advocate for themselves.
Do you like your doula? - feeling comfortable and at ease around your doula is absolutely going to help you to have a safe and supported birth. Interview a few doulas, or find a doula meet up if they are available in your area.
Below you will find lists of doulas, midwives, Pelvic floor PTs, Mental health care and other resources we recommend in Boston.
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth- Henci Goer
The Birth Partner : A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions - Penny Simkin
Birthing From Within
The Labor Progress Handbook (a pretty dense read)
I personally belong to 20 groups on facebook. From doula networks to natural birth, Hypnobirth to lamaze. Facebook groups are a great way to explore what people are thinking and doing, get a lot of opinions and explore options. just remember it is not evidence based.. it's opinion based and if you want the evidence on any of your questions about birth, go to evidencebasedbirth.com
OmBirths is a wonderful resource for prenatal yoga classes, spinning baby classes, HypnoBirthing and other natural childbirth education classes and more. Led by Rebecca Conant this is one of best perinatal resources in the Boston area (and elsewhere as they are currently mostly virtual)
So while we would love to recommend ourselves for Spinning Babies® Parent Classes, HypnoBirthing, and comfort measures for labor and birth classes, We do realize that we're not always going to fit your schedule! (and we're not covered by your insurance yet).
So I thought I would lead you towards some other great educators around the area!
I also highly recommend you consider taking an Infant care class with Karen or a teacher at your hospital / birth center of choice, at least one prepared birth class or Evidence based birth class and a lactation / breastfeeding basics class.
Karen Zelinsky who heads up the classes at Mount Auburn and Newton Wellesley Hospitals is fantastic https://www.bostonbirthing.com/
Bec Conant at https://www.ombirths.com/ also frequently has a natural childbirth, Spinning Babies® or HypnoBirthing Class being offered. - Bec is an amazing teacher!
Shari Lesser McBurney at Deepseeddoula.com runs out local Boston Area Childbirth Educators programs and also teaches Spinning Babies® virtually.
Bradley Method is also a wonderful natural childbirth education - check out http://www.bradleybirth.com/paigecarness or search for other teachers (there are a few in Boston)
https://uttercomfort.com/essential-classes offers some great classes as well as postpartum and birth doula services.
Babies In Common in Northborough, MA and Online is an amazing resource for local classes. https://www.babiesincommon.com/
(Melissa Anne Dubois has one of the best childbirth classes you can find, and their move and get comfy for labor is incredible)
Julie Brill at https://wellpregnancy.com/ is a midwife, doula, CLCBC and amazing educator. Definately look to her for all things Breastfeeding!
Post Partum Doulas
The baby Mavens, Seguls nest, Boston Birthing are all wonderful post partum doulas. Or look at Jodi congdon and see who she recommends.
BostonDoulacircle.com also has great postpartum care
Lavendoula is run by Doula Emma O'brien - an Herbalist, Birth Doula and Placenta Encapsulation specialist. She's great for herbal birth support, is queer safe and we highly recommend her.
Teresa from enteradoula.com trained with Emma and is also a wonderful placenta encapsulator and birth herbalist.
Our number 1 recommendation for Midwife supported natural birth in Boston in a hospital setting is the Midwives at Mount Auburn Hospital.
Mount Auburn has long been a hospital known for it's support of low intervention births, vaginal breech delivery doctors and more..
Other hospitals with great midwife practices are Boston Medical Center, Cambridge Hospital and Newton Wellesley Hospital. Brigham, MGH and South Shore also have midwives. Midwife supported births are shown to have a higher rate of vaginal births and lower medical intervention.
Beth Israel is my go to hospital for VBAC, especially for medically complicated VBAC. They don't have a midwife program though, so try for a midwife group first.
Birth Centers are hard to find right now directly in our city. the Cambridge Birth Center may reopen this year, the North Shore Birth Center May close.. There are some wonderful people working on opening a free standing birth center in Mattapan.
My recommendation is you look at the Birth Cottage in Salem NH and Seven Sisters Birth Sanctuary in Northampton.
Sarafina Kennedy https://homebirthmatters.com/about/sarafina-kennedy-cpm/
Black Home Birth Midwife: https://sistersoulmidwifery.com/home-birth-midwifery/
other midwives I love in the area would include Dina Fraize, Joyce Kimball, Tara Kenny
Maura Twomey https://centerandspringacupuncture.com/about/and
Marisa Pease Donlin http://www.bluefireacu.com/ are two of our favorites, we've also heard great things about Kathy Seltzer https://www.healthprofs.com/us/acupuncturists/kathy-j-seltzer-brookline-ma/524987 - I can't seem to find a website for her but she does specialize in prenatal care.
Katelyn Cloutier - Joint Ventures http://www.jointventurespt.com/our-staff/katelyn-cloutier
Jessica Zagar - Marathon PT https://drzager.com/about-me
Teresa Airey Coyle Peacefulbirthandbeyond.com is my number 1 recommendation! If you do her fullbreastfeeding support package it includes a before and after.. great support!
KIra Kim in cambridge is also fantastic.
The Leggett Group
Divya Kumar - MSW, especially trained in support for trauma and people of color
Open Path - Affordable Counseling Resources Project LETS - Peer Mental Health Resources, Emergency Action for Panic Attacks, Crisis Lines Transform Harm - Strategies for Survivors The Embodiment Institute - Black Embodiment Resources Transomatics - Trans Embodiment Practices
I wanted to include this as a resource. I am absolutely available for black, brown, queer, trans, non-gender binary, same sex couples, immigrants, teens and anyone needing prenatal support and sometimes we need to be held by our own communities!
Mortality and morbidity rates are much higher in black and brown women in birthing and it's a deep concern to me and many other doulas and midwives. There is a lot of subtle (and no so subtle) racism in this country that affects how doctors and medical practitioners talk to and perceive women of color. A doula with training in antiracism work is a very important component in supporting and advocating for women of color in birth.
In Boston I have found that Mount Auburn Hospital and Boston Medical Center, especially the midwife and doula programs integral to these institutions, have addressed this issue the best.
There is also a wonderful doula resource in the Black Doula Association and the work of Lorenza Holt with Accompanydoulacare.com and blackdoulas.org
Queer birthers are also struggling through an industry that has long identified birth as woman and man. Every single training I have taken has text written for female and male identified birth partners.
I am happy to talk to queer couples about teaching natural childbirth or HypnoBirthing as a queer supportive class and I have not nearly finished the project of translating all of the text to queer positive language but it is a project I want to do and hope to do!
Here are some community specific resources:
I am queer / bi / pangender identified and I love working with queer families.
Emma O'Brien at Lavandoula.com is a fantastic queer birth worker and herbalist.
Amber Matteson at Intimateconnectionsdoula.com is a wonderful queer and trauma informed birth doula.
Jessie Ornstein at doulajessie.com is a mixed race queer doula in cambridge. womderful doula !
We're also happy to build a custom team package for clients.
Postpartum Doula and Certified Lactation Consultant:
Rachel Hess in Jamaica Plain has the best queer new parenting, post partum and lactation services around.. https://rachelhessdoula.wordpress.com/
In general we recommend Fenway Health for all queer medical services, and especially for obgyn care in a queer safe space. That said Fenway OB will leave you with a birthing option of Beth Israel Hospital and they are not necessarily queer supportive or natural birth supportive. Consider starting with a OB at Fenway and interviewing / meeting with midwives at Mount Auburn or Newton Wellesley hospitals.
The best resource for reading about facts and statistics in birthing is evidence based birth - this is the site most of us, doulas, midwives and birth workers will go to when we want to see if there is research and evidence around any topic.