A deep commitment, a grounded presence, and soothing support are what you can expect from me. In my Birth Doula work I prioritize listening to my client’s needs and strive to bring the information and heart they seek to the table. The childbirth process, labor positioning, breastfeeding, and birth plan creation are some of the topics we often discuss. I employ a variety of comfort and positioning techniques around labor and birth. And being there for the mother’s partner with caring and enthusiastic support and information is also one of my highest priorities. In my Postpartum Doula work past clients have shared that caring for their (and their partner’s) emotions around their birth story, feeding, newborn care, and birth healing have been my strengths. I wholeheartedly believe every woman deserves to feel safe, loved, and listened to during her birth and postpartum experience.
I grew up in rural Alaska, the oldest of three siblings. When I was small I didn’t know what a midwife was but I would tell people that I wanted to “deliver babies.” I secretly played with dolls until I was in the seventh grade and happily mothered my little siblings, cousins, and neighbor kids. As it turned out, my passions for theater and teaching directed my education and career choices. It wasn’t until my son, Cecil, was born and I needed lots of postpartum support that my strong nurturing instinct for mothers and their babies kicked in. I understood the value of quality prenatal care and education and how vital it is in shaping a woman’s birth experience.
My energetic personality and ability to make people feel comfortable in just about any situation paired with my nine years as a public high school teacher in rural Alaska and Portland have equipped me with the tools that drive my doula work. I have a Masters in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts and Communication Arts from Linfield College.
My birth philosophy is that a mother’s medical advocacy begins when she chooses her own birth attendants. And when a mother has the right attendants at her birth they have a large hand in determining that mother’s ultimate comfort level and birth outcome. Just as in birth, postpartum support is valuable in helping a family gain footing in their new life. It was all of this that guided me to train with DONA International as a Birth and Postpartum Doula.
*Also, I offer birth photography as a bonus for my clients. I own a quality camera and have a knack for capturing some pretty sweet moments. I provide my clients with the digital photographs at the postpartum appointment.
Send me a note:
"I couldn’t be happier with my experience with Kelly as my doula. I thought I had it all down, having had an uncomplicated, natural childbirth with my first child, but when my second baby turned breech at 37 weeks, Kelly was there to help me navigate the bumps in the road. Kelly was very attentive and encouraging as I tried everything to get my baby to turn. When an ECV wasn’t successful, I scheduled a cesarean at 39 weeks, the last thing I wanted, but with Kelly’s help it wasn’t the nightmare experience I feared.
Having her as a bridge between my desire for a calm, caring birth and the austerity of the operating room was invaluable. My husband and I both needed her steady presence. She was endlessly supportive. Part of Kelly’s magic is her ability to add a lightness to the room, while at the same time being grounded in her mission to help facilitate the best birth possible. She held my hand and listened when I cried from fear and disappointment. She cracked jokes with me when we needed to lighten the mood. With my permission, she took photos for us when my daughter was born. She helped me process the experience after. The whole time, throughout my pregnancy and cesarean birth, Kelly asked me what was important to me, what I needed as a mother, and helped me make sure I got it.
I spoke to one of my nurses after my birth, and she said Kelly was a pleasure to work with—the perfect mix of advocacy and professionalism. She’s a natural. I’m grateful to Kelly for her knowledge, professionalism, kindness and heart, all of which made my daughter’s birth a wonderful experience despite the change in plans."
— Allison W. and baby Harriet
"Kelly exudes a warmth and confidence that puts everyone at ease. I knew immediately she was exactly the right person to be my birth doula. It was just a couple of weeks before my due date when I hired Kelly, and even though I had fabulous midwives and had researched on my own about what to expect in the birth process, it was Kelly who gave me some of the most useful insights and information that helped me to feel really prepared for the wild rollercoaster ride of birth experience.
Throughout my labor, Kelly was ever present, ever supportive. I felt her strong hands put pressure to my back when I needed it. I heard her calm voice remind me how I was making it through, how I was doing great, how this was the way through and I was doing it! She gave me time with my partner when I needed it, and gave my partner and mother rest breaks (and pep talks) when they needed it.
One of the things I wanted from a doula was someone who would also support my family while I was in labor – I needed to know they would be ok so I could really let go and just focus and breathe. Kelly did everything that I needed, and even more than I knew I needed. My family has thanked me again and again for having her as my doula. And I have thanked myself for trusting my instincts to have a doula and for choosing Kelly.
I spent one day at home laboring, then went to the birthing center and labored for 2 more days. My labor was long, and I pushed for 6 grueling hours to birth my big, beautiful 10 1/2 pound baby boy. I had a 3rd degree tear that nearly sent me to the hospital to get stitches from a surgeon.
Because of the exhaustion of 3 days of labor and the need for healing my deep tear, I had a bit of a long recovery. Kelly came to my house and helped me get through the first challenges with breastfeeding, something I hadn’t considered I would need. She gave me things to help me heal. She checked in on me, visited with me, gave me insights into how and helped me remember my amazing birth experience, which began to fade almost immediately after I held my son in my arms for the first time. I had prepared a lot for my birth, but I didn’t realize what I would need after my son was born – Kelly’s support and friendship postpartum were so vital to my own healing and initiation into motherhood.
I wanted an unmedicated natural birth at a birthing center. I know that birth goes how it goes, regardless of what you want or how prepared you are. I am certain that having Kelly as my doula was one of the key elements that made my wish of having a calm, unmedicated birth at a birthing center possible.
I thank myself for being wise in hiring a doula for my birth, and I thank the stars that Kelly was that person."
— LaTisha S. and baby Theo
"The time that follows having a baby is so precious and yet so chaotic. Right after welcoming my baby into the world, I was caught in between feeling like I needed to completely soak in every single moment, and feeling like I had absolutely no time or energy to soak anything in. When my significant other went back to work, I felt overwhelmed and tired. It is so hard to establish a schedule, to do both big and little tasks and chores, and to feel comfortable that you're doing things "right." Kelly was like my knight in shimmering armor. Having someone that I knew I could trust, who reminded me that I'm a priority too, who is so confident offering advice, validation and comfort-- that meant the world to me. Just having her around made me feel more settled and grounded, but she was also willing to do anything I needed. She held the baby so I could eat, clean, fold laundry, stretch. She helped me clean and organize the house, she did my laundry and helped to organize baby supplies. She brought coffee, information, wisdom, and reassurance. She was always on time, always responsive and reliable, and always the perfect balance of professional and down to earth. This is my second child- I did not have any doula assistance with my first. I can say with confidence that having a postpartum doula is extremely important, and I will use Kelly's services again in the future. It made all the difference for me between feeling overwhelmed and feeling like I had a chance to step back and take a breath and soak in those precious and fleeting first few weeks of my child's life."
— Casey M. and Baby Keelyn