Doulas are professionals trained to care for families during pregnancy, birth and the early months of a baby’s life. They offer physical, emotional, and informational support to help your family work toward the healthiest and most empowered experience of the childbearing year.
Open Circle works with a group of independent doulas who share a commitment to respectful, compassionate, family-centered care. Our sister-doulas have a combined experience of attending over 600 births. Many of our doulas bring additional skills and expertise to their work, including: massage therapy, nutritional consults, placental encapsulation, breastfeeding support, etc.
To keep our care coordinated and of the highest caliber, Open Circle requires all sister-doulas to attend workshops and supervision sessions throughout the year and to commit to our mission of supporting all families of all means.
Thank you for your amazing support in bringing [our baby girl] into the world. Your strength, guidance, knowledge and loving kindness made all the difference. We are so grateful for your support in realizing our dream of a VBAC for our second baby. You will always hold an important place in our story – and in hers.
WHY USE A DOULA
- Increased sense of satisfaction with birth experience*
- Increased breastfeeding success*
- 28% fewer cesarean sections*
- 34% fewer negative birth experience*
- 9% drop in use of pain medication*
- 31% less use of Pitocin*
- 40 minute shorter labors*
- Physically and Emotionally Healthier transition into Parenthood/Postpartum
- Improved Bonding and Parenting Skills
*from Childbirth Connection, National Partnership for Women + Families and Choices in Childbirth 2016 brief on insurance coverage of Doula Care.
WHAT IS A BIRTH DOULA?
Birth doulas provide your family with physical and emotional support during pregnancy and birth, help you understand your choices, and help you learn how to advocate for yourself/selves and your baby.
Open Circle doulas support families in all types of births: medicated/epidural, un-medicated, cesarean and adoptive. We also support all types of families: heterosexual and same sex couples, teen mothers and single mothers by circumstance or choice, adoptive parents, families of color from within and without the US, and families of all traditions.
Birth doulas respect your family’s individual beliefs and needs. They work to understand and support your family’s particular vision of an empowered and healthy birth. This including helping you find information, practitioners and birth locations that are a good fit for your family.
Birth doulas provide referrals to other practitioners and specialists in the community to support any additional needs of your family during pregnancy, birth and the newborn stage.
WHAT IS A POSTPARTUM DOULA?
Postpartum doulas work in your home to help your family adjust and thrive after your baby is born. They provide education to help families develop strategies and rhythms that support whole family health and mental-emotional wellbeing. Doulas may work daytime or nighttime hours, always with the goal of helping you develop skills and confidence in your ability to parent and care for your baby. A doula is different from a baby nanny or babysitter (which can also be helpful during the postpartum time): a nanny or babysitter’s focus may be entirely on infant care to allow the parents to focus on other things (sleep, work, etc.). The doula’s focus is on providing the resources and education to help parents feel confident in their abilities to care for their babies, themselves and their family as a whole — gradually supporting a family’s independence from her help. The types of support offered depend on your family’s specific needs, and may include any of the areas listed below.
- Infant Soothing, Feeding & Sleep Support
- Organizational Support for a Newborn Household
- Physical & Nutritional Support for New Parents
- Emotional, Psychological & Social Support for All Family Members
- Referrals to Community Professionals + Groups
- Light household duties
We believe that receiving comprehensive support is the right of all families, and is core to supporting a healthy transition from birth into parenting and family life. Open Circle Birth and Postpartum Doula fees are income-based and range from $150-$1200 for a birth package, and $10-$35 per hour for postpartum support.
Birth Packages include:
- Three prenatal meetings
- Unlimited daytime phone and email support
- 24-hour on-call support from weeks 38-42
- Continuous labor + birth support
- Two postpartum meetings
- Discounts on classes, workshops and health services at Open Circle
Postpartum Doula Care is structured on an hourly or overnight basis (9-10 hours), with a minimum number of 4 hours per visit, and no more than 24 consecutive hours*. With 12 or more hours booked, 10% discounts are provided on classes, workshops and health services at Open Circle.
*unless special arrangements have been made with a team of doulas
Thank you for everything you have done for us. Your presence at [our baby’s] birth made everything go more smoothly. As you know, I was somewhat terrified of having a c-section. You created the space and time that both I and my family needed to feel more comfortable with the situation. We were all so glad to have you there, and I cannot overstate how incredibly much your massages helped me through labor!
Birth Doula, Lactation Support
Belén received her certification as a doula in Uruguay at the National Association of Doulas of Uruguay (ANDOU) in 2016 and completed a course on breastfeeding at the Uruguayan Institute of Lactation (IULAM). Originally from Chile and mother of two children, Belén has lived in Rhode Island since August 2017. Before coming to the US, Belén traveled around South America for 2 years, eventually settling in Uruguay.
Her passion to support other women and families during the life-changing process of birth awoke during her own experience becoming a mother. As a primarily community-based doula, she has had the opportunity to support families from a wide range of backgrounds. Belén believes every family that wishes to have a doula should be able to, and that their background and wishes for birth should always be respected. Belén enjoys getting to know the families she works with in depth, and being able to respond to their needs in a genuine and caring way. She is currently working as a community-doula at St. Joe´s Health Care Center.
Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula (as of June 2018)
Susie is an artist, mother, and birthkeeper in Providence, Rhode Island. She trained as a birth doula with DONA International in 2014 and became a Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist (PBi) in 2016. She has mentored new mothers through Families First RI, is a member and co-president of Doulas of Rhode Island, and will re-train with Shafia Monroe as a Full Circle Doula in 2018. As a doula, Susie is committed to offering families compassion and respect, while supporting them to make informed decisions about their care. Her professional experience working in the office and administrative sides of healthcare, combined with her personal experience as a birthing mother (x3) and mother-advocate of of a medically complex child, has leant to her strong capacity to support families in advocating for genuine family-centered care in whatever birth setting they choose. Susie believes in the importance of doula and broader community support that encompasses the pregnancy, birth and the transition into parenthood–knowing that this continuum is key to helping every new family thrive.
Birth and Postpartum Doula
Lisa Gendron has been a doula since 2007 and has worked extensively with families in pregnancy, birth and the postpartum. She is a certified Birth Doula (Childbirth International) and Birthing From Within® Mentor. In her years of work with families she has developed a whole-hearted understanding of the complex process that accompanies the transformations of pregnancy, birth and new parenthood. She works in a holistic process, focused on building individualized support for every member of the expectant family. In this practice she seeks to center and uphold the value systems that define each family culture, with mindfulness and compassion. Lisa is the mother of three children, an artist, passionate community advocate and lover of all things green. She currently a midwifery student with the National College of Midwifery.
Birth Doula (in training, available starting summer 2018)
Lydia Kelow-Bennett is a doctoral student and mother of a beautiful 3 year old. She is becoming a doula in order to support birthing folks and their families through this precious, difficult and transformative time. Her desire to become a doula is shaped by her own birthing experiences, as well as a diagnosis of major postpartum depression nearly seven months after birth. She hopes to transform these experiences into informed advocacy for others who face a variety of challenges in birthing in the United States. Lydia is especially motivated by the high levels of mortality that Black women face during and after birth, as well as being a caring and compassionate resource for families of color, LGBTQ families and undocumented families that face unique challenges in the U.S. medical system. Finally, she is committed to competent care for mothers and birthing folks who are affected by mental illness and postpartum depression. She envisions being a doula that acts in favor of self-determination, informed consent, and dignity in birth, and being a fierce and compassionate advocate for birthing justice. Lydia’s work as a doula is critical to her work as an educator, her personal work around mothering, and as part of being useful to all of the communities she belongs to and holds dear.
Hailey is a postpartum doula with a passion for working with families, and children. Hailey has been a nanny to several families for 7 years. With a degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island, she quickly realized her path needed to include becoming a doula. In 2016 she became a postpartum doula trained through CAPPA. Haileys goal is to walk alongside and support parents through their unique journey.
Birth and Postpartum Doula
Gina Rodriguez -Drix is a birth and postpartum doula based in Providence’s Washington Park neighborhood. Trained by toLabor (2010) and the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (2014) Gina has supported families in home and hospital births for the last eight years. Gina is the Co-founder of the Rhode Island Doula Collective, RI’s first no-fee, bilingual social justice doula organization that primarily served pregnant and parenting teens through a partnership with the Nowell Academy (2014-16). Gina is also a practicing artist, mother, and organizer rooted in values of love, solidarity and reproductive justice. As such, Gina views her doula work as a practice of building sisterhood and by extension, healthy resilient community. Gina supports families to make empowered and informed decisions during their pregnancies and birth through a practice of deep listening, respect, and intention.
Mira Silverman is a registered nurse, herbalist, educator, trained Birth Doula through Birthing Gently, and kundalini yoga instructor. Mira speaks Spanish fluently. She strives in all areas of her work to support individuals and families to feel empowered in their own health and healthcare. Having studied natural health for over 15 years and receiving her formal training in herbal medicine from the California School of Herbal Studies, she teaches and consults about the use of plants to encourage whole body health. As a nurse she works in community health with women and families prenatally through toddlerhood, supporting and educating on a range of topics including nutrition, labor and delivery, breastfeeding and child development as well as working with families to set and achieve life goals. Mira has a deep passion for accessible, integrative healthcare and believes in the power of science, knowledge, breath and spirit to heal bodies and transform lives.
Birth and Postpartum Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor
Kaeli trained as a Birth Doula with ToLabor (2009) and as a Birth and Postpartum Doula with The International Center of Traditional Childbearing (2016). She is a Certified Lactation Counselor (2016), pregnancy and postnatal yoga teacher (2005), childbirth educator (2007) and massage therapist (2001) specializing in pregnancy and mother massage. Kaeli recognizes pregnancy, birth and the first few years of a child’s life as profoundly formative for each individual family member, and for the family as a whole — a rite of passage filled with potential for deep growth and real challenge. She believes that that each family’s health can be supported, through unwavering respect and care as its moves through this major life transformation. Kaeli is committed to supporting access to skilled, culturally competent, and compassionate care for all families in our community, and to acknowledging and addressing the structural systems that lead to injustice and inexcusable health disparities in our state and country.
Sage is certified as a birth doula through Carriage House Birth and has been a doula since May 2017. Sage is a doula because she believes that all pregnant people deserve care that affirms autonomy and respects all during such a transformative moment, regardless of any identities they hold. Originally from California, she first started working in reproductive health at fifteen as a sex educator, sparking her interest in the ways in which doula care intersects with birth and reproductive freedom. She graduated from Brown University in American studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies, with a focus on maternal health and experience in the United States. She is a queer and trans friendly provider who has experiences and training in LGBTQ healthcare. She is passionate about class and racial equality and believes that the fight for justice begins at birth. Birth Justice exists when women and transfolk are empowered during pregnancy, labor, childbirth and postpartum to make healthy decisions for themselves and their babies. Doula care can help achieve such justice.
Barbie is a DONA trained Birth Doula. Whether it be her work for an international adoption agency in Boston, volunteering in both a pediatric unit and domestic violence shelter in Florida or caring for little ones as a nanny throughout her life, Barbie has always enjoyed spending her time surrounded by children and families. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology & Sociology from Flagler College and is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. When the weather warms, you may find her amongst the vibrant flowers designing window boxes and container gardens for commercial and residential customers throughout South County. Barbie has been blessed with three beautiful sons who have helped to shape the past eighteen years of her life and fill her heart with love. Barbie feels it is an honor and a privilege to be invited to share in such a sacred milestone and gently hold the space for mothers and their partners before, during and shortly after childbirth ensuring the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible as they welcome a sweet new life into the world.
Keesler is a DONA trained Birth Doula. Keesler has been exposed to many aspects of health care through her own experiences with the birth of her 2 boys, a miscarriage in 2002, assisting women in a number of births, and as a direct care provider at a mental health & rehabilitation hospital.. She has been in the healthcare community as a Certified Nursing Assistant since 2001 and has recently decided to shift her focus to her longtime calling, the doula profession. Keesler is an advocate for her special needs children and long-term Cerebral Palsy client, and is passionate about supporting her doula families in learning how to advocate for themselves and their children. Keesler is committed to providing emotional and physical support to those who might not otherwise have any, or have less easy access to care. She understands that the idea of parenthood can be overwhelming and scary, and hopes to support every family in feeling more empowered and prepared for the birth of their child. Keesler is particularly interested in supporting families that might not have pre-existing supports, including single moms, families with out of state relatives, LGBTQ families, and younger parents.
Birth and Postpartum Doula in training
Emerald Ortiz is a doula-in-training (Shafia Monroe/Full Circle Birth Spring 2018) with a long standing passion for birth. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social science at Providence College and is currently building her knowledge of birth through the Evidence Based Birth model and independent research in the midwifery model of care. In addition to her birth work, Emerald is committed to supporting families who have experienced loss and is a pregnancy and infant loss support advocate. Committed to equal care for all birthing people, she believes that all families deserve access to a doula and to be well informed and supported. She respectfully welcomes and serves all birthing people.
Postpartum Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor
Jacquie is a DONA certified postpartum doula and a Certified Lactation Counselor. Jacquie came into doula work with over 30 years of diverse experiences with children and families as a respiratory therapist at Boston Children’s Hospital, and having been a full time mom to her four grown children. Her postpartum doula services are comprised of a variety of emotional, physical, and practical support measures that she draws from to meet the needs of each unique family. Her role is to nurture a new mom through the recovery of birth, and to support partners or other family members through the transition period of adding a new baby to their lives. Jacquie helps new moms and partners to fill their toolboxes with evidence based information, humor, positive nurturing as well as sleep, breastfeeding, nutrition, household management, emotional health referrals and other supports and resources. She is aware that a family’s needs will change day to day, and works to meet those needs as they arise — whether that be facilitating a full night of rest or helping parents become confident and healthy in their new role. She has been referred to as “a breath of fresh air” whether she is supporting a family during the day or at night.
Jessica Rosene de Brito
Birth and Postpartum Doula
Passionate about supporting and educating families, Jesse took her Birth Doula training in 2012 (DONA), her Pregnancy Massage Certification in 2015, her Postpartum Doula and Lactation Educator training in 2017 (CAPPA), and her Childbirth Educator Training in 2016 (BACE). Jesse weaves together her work as a massage therapist, alignment-based yoga teacher, and perinatal advocate to bring compassionate, non-judgemental support to everyone she works with. What began for her as outrage at the current state of birth in the US, grew into a commitment to social justice and fiery determination to be a part of the solution. Jesse brings a sense of calm into the birthing space and helps families learn and remember the ‘tools in their tool bag’ to help them cope best with the challenges of birth and the postpartum transition. As a new mom herself, with a history of pregnancy loss, Jesse is dedicated to becoming a resource for those experiencing reproductive struggles. Jesse serves all people through all outcomes of pregnancy with an open mind and and open heart.
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor
Sammy is a trained professional birth doula (ToLabor) who has additional expertise in breastfeeding support (CLC/Certified Lactation Counselor) and nutrition counseling (Bachelor of Science from the University of Rhode Island) specializing in the prenatal and postpartum period. Sammy also has worked as a research assistant and is currently in the process of finishing her nursing degree at the University of Rhode Island with the future goal of becoming a midwife. Sammy has worked for two years with WIC in Rhode Island, offering lactation and nutritional support for pregnancy and postpartum mothers and children, and through this work has come to realize the great need for education and support around the time of birth. Sammy hopes to support women’s empowerment by helping women and families gain knowledge, and create for themselves a birthing environment where they can feel safe and supported, and experience the beauty possible in childbirth.