Doula Services for Birth + Postpartum
©Lisa Gendron | Agroterra Birth
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. Once a month we host “Tea With the Team,” where you can join the Open Circle Doulas for a sip of tea, snacks and a chance to meet. This is an opportunity for families interested in working with us to ask questions and spend some time exploring whether we are a good fit. There is no cost to attending these informational sessions.
OPEN CIRCLE DOULA PROGRAM
Open Circle is now offering a group doula program which allows us to provide families expanded birth and postpartum support. During pregnancy, attend unlimited group meetings (minimum of two required). These meetings offer time to build community, learn about the birth process and life with a baby, and get to know your doula team. During labor receive ongoing support as you birth your baby and begin bonding and recovery. After the baby is born, receive the nourishment of three weekly in-home prenatal visits. Finally, reconnect to your community in a group gathering after baby is 4 weeks old. Extended postpartum care is offered on an hourly basis by some members of our team.
To learn about our group program in more detail, please visit the expanding boxes below, and our doula bio section. To learn more about doulas outside of our organization, visit the professional associations, Doulas of Rhode Island, or the Umoja Nia Collective for Doulas of Color.
Birth Packages include:
- Up to 2 monthly group meetings at Open Circle throughout pregnancy (families may attend as many as they like, with a minimum of 2). Group meetings provide time for education, questions, getting to know the doulas, and peer-support.
- One private prenatal meeting between week 36 and 37
- Unlimited daytime phone and email support
- 24-hour on-call support from weeks 38-42
- Continuous labor + birth support
- Three in-home (or hospital) postpartum visits
- One group postpartum meeting at Open Circle
- Community Gatherings and Workshops with Other Doula Families
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*.
*unless special arrangements have been made with a team of doulas
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. Our doulas have different cultural backgrounds, professional expertise and specialties.
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 $15-$35 per hour for postpartum support.
COMFORT IN PREGNANCY + LOCAL RESOURCES
included in birth doula packages;
open to current doula families
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 is currently a midwifery student with the National College of Midwifery.
Felicia trained as a birth doula with Birth Arts International, and is the incoming co-president of Doulas of Rhode Island, RI’s professional doula association. Felicia had her first child at seventeen, doing her best to navigate her pregnancy and birth, but often felt overwhelmed and unsupported. This experience, and the powerfully positive birth of her second child with the support of a doula, set her on a path to supporting birthing families. Felicia is committed to the spiritual and sacred nature of pregnancy and birth, and to supporting a birthing woman/person’s sense of her own inner power. She believes that evert birthing person deserves to determine their own birth preferences and approach, and offers nonjudgemental, respectful support.
Isabel is a DONA certified birth doula, a Certified Lactation Counselor and an artist living on a small farm in rural Rhode Island. Isabel approaches birth support with a goal to keep calm energy and strength in the room. She practices a supportive, attentive, and nonjudgemental approach, focusing on the values and preferences of the birthing person. She has worked in childcare, education, and the arts. Isabel values supporting all families and has an LGBTQ+ inclusive practice. She believes doulas can be advocates for better access to care, and that our support continues beyond the birth room and into the political landscape.
Sianna Plavin (pronouns she/ her) is a DONA trained doula and midwifery student based in Providence, RI. She provides birthing people and families with thoughtful and compassionate doula care, honoring and holding space for each person, on their terms. Currently in her 4th semester of midwifery school, she brings her deepening clinical knowledge to her doula work, offering support rooted in the physiology and psychology of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Sianna is committed to expanding doula access with income-based fees, creative approaches to care, and informed advocacy. Sianna is also a musician and farmer with a background in international peace studies and community health.
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 Nowel Academy (2014-16). Gina is also an 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, a 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.
Birth and Postartum 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 educated (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 change. She believes that each family’s health can be supported through unwavering respect and care as it 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.