Welcome to the longest-serving doula collective in Oregon. Our team of dedicated birth and postpartum doulas, multiples experts, childproofers, and sleep and lactation professionals has proudly served Portland parents from all walks of life for over 20 years.
Our story is one of dedication, teamwork, and deep friendship.
When Erica Matteson had a VBAC with her third child in 1998, she hired a doula for the first time. While helping Erica persist through mental blocks and physical discomfort, her doula managed to create a quiet, calming space for the entire birth team, including Erica’s husband. Because he didn’t have to be Erica’s only support person, the two felt more connected than ever for the birth of their last baby.
This powerful experience inspired Erica to begin her own doula training. However, when she re-entered the job market in 2000, she found something missing in Portland’s doula community.
Many doulas like herself worked independently, with no team or organizational support, and access to very small pools of clients. This meant many doulas were not able to financially support themselves on birth or postpartum work alone.
That year, Erica founded Renaissance Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals LLC, which offered doulas both administrative support and the backup, expertise, and resources of a doula team. The goal was to ease burnout and help doulas feel like they weren’t completely on their own in building their businesses.
Five years later, when Erica met multiples and preemie specialist Deana Andersen-Tennant—a highly experienced doula with a strong and deeply nurturing personality—she knew she had to have Deana’s help running the collective.
Deana nannied for her first family of twins when she was 18, which unleashed a deep-set passion and talent for multiples, and led to a rapidly-growing list of referrals from parents, nanny agencies, and eventually nurses and hospitals across Portland. Deana’s professional experience eventually became personal when she gave birth to two sets of her own twins!
When Deana met Erica, the two instantly bonded. They quickly learned how to use their strengths to support each other in business, and found their sister-like friendship and passion for their work attracting an incredible team of experienced doulas.
The mission that really bonds the two: supporting families at whatever stage they’re in. To that end, Erica and Deana bought the Itsabelly brand in 2016 and extended their services to include babyproofing, education, sleep consulting, and more. By then, Erica had added Milagros Boutique to the business lineup, and the Itsabelly team now also works with Baby Blues Connection and New Seasons to offer parent support groups.
The star of the show at Itsabelly is really its doula team. We invite you to get to know us better by reading our doula bios and how our unique business model supports them—and by extension—you, the parent.
We also invite you to explore our services, and when you’re ready, start the conversation with a service request. We are prepared and eager to help you move with confidence and joy through this next stage of your life!