Boston Community Doulas provides emotional, physical and informational support to mothers and their families during the pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. As a birth doula, we can assist women who choose to birth in a hospital or birth center. It is our philosophy that women should birth in an environment they feel safest and most comfortable while receiving continuous support throughout their labor and birth. As a postpartum doula, we will assist you in your home providing emotional support, infant care and breastfeeding counseling. We also see the postpartum period as an essential time for parents to receive professional care that will instill confidence and ease their transition into parenthood.
What is a Birth Doula?
Doula is an ancient greek word that has come to mean “mothering the mother.” A doula stays with a laboring woman throughout her entire labor and birth experience, helping her and her partner (if applicable) with this major life event providing the continuity of care that is not possible in the medical model. The doula provides emotional, physical and informational support. She works with the mother to employ comfort measures, relaxation techniques and other non-medical methods of coping with the intensity of labor. She educates and supports the choices the birthing family makes while helping the mother feel empowered and confident.
Course of Doula Care
Includes a free initial consultation, 2-3 prenatal appointments, prenatal education, and assistance with a birth plan, on call for you starting at 37 weeks, one postpartum visit including the birth story and breastfeeding support. For one of your prenatal appointments, you can choose to have your doula attend one of your prenatal checkups with your doctor or midwife. We see ourselves as a team member during your birth process. We strive to empower partners during the prenatal appointments and birth experience.
Postpartum Doula Services
Includes a free initial consultation ideally before the baby is born, lactation counseling and support, education on baby care, providing community resources, sibling support, meal preparation, laundry and light house keeping. We typically work in 4 -hour increments from 9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm with flexibility. Depending on the needs of your family, we work with families anywhere from a few weeks up to several months.
Read more about our doulas.
Erinn Mandeville is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and doula. She has lived most of her life surrounded by birth, of both the human and animal variety. She enjoys being up at any hour awaiting the magic of a new life and helping women and families to navigate the process of birth with as much ease as possible. Erinn graduated from Maternidad La Luz (’06), a MEAC accredited midwifery school where she received her midwifery and birth/postpartum doula training. She has had the honor of attending over 250 births and helping many of those families during the postpartum period as well. Erinn had a private homebirth/doula practice for four years in Alaska and worked for a year in Hyderabad, India helping to bring the modern midwifery model of care to a growing natural birthcenter there (http://healthy-mother.com). Erinn relocated to Boston in the fall of 2010 to be closer to family and relish her new role as an aunt. She has truly enjoyed all of her clients here so far as well as getting to know the birth community in the Boston area. Erinn keeps herself busy with birth/postpartum doula work and dancing. She has recently returned to school to become a Certified Nurse-Midwife.
Cate Johannessen has had a busy practice as a birth doula since 2008, when her sister-in-law asked for her support. Being present for the birth of her nephew was a life changing event, which inspired Cate to change careers. She keeps herself busy working as a birth and postpartum doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Childbirth Educator, and recently became a Registered Nurse with future plans to become a nurse midwife. She believes that birth is a natural, normal, and sacred process, which she trusts deeply. She is passionate about her work and believes in the power of information and knowledge providing the foundation for an empowering birth experience. She lives in Roslindale with her husband, two cats and a new dog.