Birth and Postpartum Doula
My greatest passion is to be with women in some of the most powerful and vulnerable stages of their life, through pregnancy, birth, and other forms of pregnancy release. Being witness to a woman move through a contraction, then to exclaim, “whoa! that was wild!” and remark on the power coming from within her; hearing a woman say “I DID IT” at each birth, is everything I could ask for. My philosophy in birth work is to provide the greatest amount of support with the least amount of intervention possible. Rather than aiming to “empower” others, my intention is to inspire each client to reach for their own inner power, strength and curiosity and to know that I have their backs no matter what. As your doula, I will companion you through all of this transition with guidance and deep love for your budding family.
I’m in awe of the physiological process of birth and the study of anatomy is a lifelong love. My clients can expect a fair amount of nerding out about hormones during our prenatal visits. I believe in normalizing the birth process by spending time with my clients on limiting fears and anxieties so that birth can do its thing - When we practice self-love and trust in our bodies, the release of birth can take place. I offer nonjudgemental support no matter what kind of birth you have and only hope to encourage you to make empowered choices that feel right for you. As your doula, I believe that when parents start this transformative journey by feeling loved and supported in making their own empowered choices, they begin parenthood with more confidence and reverence for themselves and their partner.
As your doula, I can help you get as close as possible to the birth of your dreams, while also building together a deep respect for that which is in nature’s control. My hope is that by finding peace between what we can plan for and what the universe decides, my clients can move forward without fear into the sacred transformation of parenthood.
I am trained and experienced with providing support in hospitals, birth centers, and home births. I can provide assistance building birth preferences, relaxation techniques, effective positioning for labor, acupressure points, hydrotherapy, visualizations and affirmations, advocacy and breastfeeding support. I have specialized training in VBAC, water births, and rebozo comfort and herbal support and preparations for pregnancy, breastfeeding and postpartum support. Although I am currently taking a break teaching childbirth education professionally, I teach newborn care and I love helping my clients to feel comfortable taking care of their new little one.
Before coming into doula work, I earned my bachelors degree in Sociology and Education from Portland State University, and went on to be a preschool teacher and nanny. It was through my experiences working intimately with families where I fell in love with supporting families through pregnancy and postpartum. From there, I picked up every book I could find on birth and dove into an obsessive study of women’s health and haven’t turned back. I am certified labor and postpartum doula through Birthingway College of Midwifery in beautiful Portland and an ICEA trained childbirth educator and have attended over 50 births and supported many Portland families in the fourth trimester. When I am not with new families, I usually have my hands in a big jar of herbs or working my mortar and pestle. I absolutely love plant medicine and am studying to become a certified herbalist. I enjoy cooking, drinking tea, gardening, knitting and cross-stitching - could I be more of a doula stereotype here?
Training & Education
Labor Doula training and certification through Birthingway College of Midwifery
Postpartum Doula training through Birthingway College of Midwifery
Childbirth Educator, ICEA
Advanced Skills for Birthkeepers - Bumi Sehat, Bali
Moving from Pain to Power, Passion, and Pleasure - Orgasmic Birth training, Lamaze
Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing certificate - Dr. Sarah Buckley, Australian College of Midwives
Emergency Childbirth for Doulas, Holly Scholles
Rebozo Training, Gena Kirby
Postpartum Bengkung Belly Binding, Dyah Pratitasari, Teman Lahiran, Bali
Advanced Physical Support Skills for Labor, Raeben Nolan
Pregnancy Loss and Bereavement Training, Dr. Tara May
Bachelors in Sociology & Early Childhood Education, Portland State University
Nursing Assistant, PCC
Basic Life Support (BLS) Infant and Adult CPR/AED certified, American Heart Association
Birth doula fee: $1250
Postpartum daytime: $30/hour
Postpartum overnight: $35/hour
SEND ME A NOTE:
“Rachael is an amazing doula, and one of the kindest and most caring people I’ve met! As first time parents, Rachael was so helpful to talk to during our pregnancy to answer any questions that came up (anytime!), share resources, and help normalize what sometimes felt overwhelming. During our birth, we were so appreciative of all the support and reassurance Rachael provided in helping us talk through what our medical providers were recommending so that we felt comfortable and confident with all of our decisions. She was able to help us set up a peaceful and calm environment (which was very important to us), and gave us great suggestions for different positions and techniques we could try when the contractions became more intense.
I truly believe that having Rachael as our doula helped us to have the positive birth experience we had hoped for. My husband and I had quite a bit of anxiety and fear about the birth itself before meeting with Rachael, and we were able to work these fears and felt much more empowered going into our birth. Her calm and loving nature was exactly what we needed, and we’ll always be so thankful she was there with us through it all! I would absolutely recommend Rachael to anyone seeking a doula during their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.”
-Mama of baby Hadley
“Working with Rachael was an absolute dream! She is warm, compassionate, smart, and invested. Our prenatal appointments were long and thorough. Rachael really took the time to get to know me, my partner, and our 2 year old son. In the weeks leading up to my birth, she was wonderful about checking in to see how I was doing and even came over with some essential oils when I hurt my back! I had a very fast birth and Rachael helped me to stay as calm as possible and reassured me when my confidence started to waver. She’s extremely knowledgable about counter pressure techniques and positions to better support labor. I don’t know how I could have done it without her! I also highly recommend Rachael’s postpartum services. They are invaluable! Those first weeks with a newborn can be crazy and it was so nice to have another set of hands as well as a listening ear. She‘s the best!”
- Mama Kasey and baby Will
“Rachel was an amazing doula! I met with Rachel when I was 8 months pregnant and looking for a doula for my 3rd baby (and 2nd VBAC). I knew right away she was the right person to support me through the birth of my baby girl. During my labor Rachel was calming and supportive. She was everything I needed. Both my hubby and I were so happy to have her there to help. She helped me to stay focused when I needed to stay focused and kept me distracted when I needed to be distracted. She was absolutely amazing in every possible way. I am so beyond happy that we chose her to be a part of our baby girls birth. Thank you Rachel!”
- Mama of baby Charlotte
“My husband and I received a referral to Rachael from a friend. We met with her while I was in my second trimester and quickly knew that we wanted her to be part of our birth story! Rachael was incredibly helpful and supportive during my pregnancy, available to answer questions when we were faced with baby challenges and decisions surrounding the birth. We met with her multiple times to get to know each other and talk through our plans. Also, she provided great support via phone/text/email in between our visits. Despite our best efforts to encourage our baby to turn around with natural and medical interventions, she remained in the breach position and we ended up scheduling a c-section. We were unsure what a doula's involvement would like in this scenario. Rachael was super flexible and walked us through her experiences as a doula at a c-section and provided so much moral support during this exciting but challenging time. When the time came, Rachael was right by our side at the hospital, joining us in the operating room as our baby was brought into the world. Her positive energy and support were so appreciated, especially when I didn't feel well. After some skin-to-skin time, my husband took our baby as I was feeling quite ill. When his focus turned to her, Rachael was there to comfort me - rubbing my head and helping me breath through it all. It really helped me push through the nausea so I was able to hold my baby again. Following the birth, she helped us get settled in our room before heading out to encapsulate my placenta. The pills were ready and waiting for me at home when we returned from the hospital. Our healthy, happy baby girl was born in October 2018 and we were incredibly grateful to have Rachael as our doula. We found the experience of working with her to be highly valuable and, more importantly, we found her to be a lovely, genuine, kind soul!”
-Mama Michelle and baby Everly