The ItsaBelly Birth Philosophy
Our birth doulas support mothers, fathers, parents, and surrogates through the transformative physical and mental process of pregnancy, birth, feeding, and early postpartum days.
As non-medical professionals, our doulas act as emotional supporters and witnesses to the unique hopes, fears, and questions that can come up in the birth process. We help clients navigate labor techniques, informed choice for medical interventions, provider referrals, and help writing a birth plan, if desired.
We want our clients to feel they fully-own their birth experience. So we take the time to build trust and respect. Some parents or surrogates want someone to advocate on their behalf so they can focus deeply inward during labor, while others need a doula to simply be a witness. Other clients need a nurturing guide to bolster them through the whole process.
These needs can change throughout the course of pregnancy and labor, and we’re ready to stand by your side through all of it.
Typically our birth doula package includes two prenatal visits, one-on-one support from early labor to birth, immediate assistance with breastfeeding, if desired, and two early postpartum visits. We are also on-call for you 24 hours a day for two weeks before your estimated due date until your baby is born.
Our birth model is especially unique because a team of two doulas attends your prenatal appointments and is available to you during the on-call period. Just one doula attends your birth, but having a team of two at the ready eliminates the possibility of having an unfamiliar face at your birth if backup is needed.
This support includes:
- Guidance through an intensive intake form to help you process how you want to give birth and what resources you need to feel prepared and informed
- Unbiased, evidence-based information about medical interventions in pregnancy, labor, and beyond
- In-home early labor support
- Help managing labor discomfort, including massage, relaxation, breathing, touch, and voice
- Suggestions on how to help your labor progress
- Help navigating medical questions and choices during labor and potential changes to the birth plan
- Immediate post-birth support until everyone feels settled
- Supportive space to review and process your birth story
What training do Itsabelly doulas have?
Doulas on our team bring over 50 years of collective experience and a commitment to continuing education. Most are certified through DONA International, and many have additional training in infant feeding, sleep, multiples, and more.
Our training includes but is not limited to:
- Anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, fetal development, labor, postpartum, breastfeeding, and bottle feeding
- Complex emotions in pregnancy and beyond
- Pain management techniques
- Medical procedures used in labor
- Emotional comfort measures during labor
- Navigating difficult labor, cesarean, and vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC
- Newborn care
What makes us different?
As a doula collective, in contrast to many larger Portland doula agencies, our tight-knit doula team supports each other with frequent meetings where we share resources, continuing education, and referrals. Our family-like meetings often center around topics of current events, race, justice, intersectionality, and the ever-changing climate of birth support work.
In addition, we take a minimalist approach to our business model to better support our doulas. Clients pay a small administrative fee when agreeing to services, then doulas are paid directly for their work. Because of this streamlined process, many clients find us to be more affordable than many doula agencies and love the close relationship they get to enjoy with their doula.