Doula & Monitrice Services

A doula is a nonmedical assistant who provides people with emotional and physical support during labor, and plenty of information, compassion, and good humor from pregnancy through the postpartum. I like to joke that if you’ve ever held someone’s hair back while they’ve thrown up, you’ve been a doula; it’s that same energy of patience, care and support that I bring to my clients. 


A monitrice is something halfway between a doula and a midwife; In addition to the labor support that I've offered since 2010, I add in a number of skills that I use as a midwife, allowing people to labor at home with confidence. These can include palpating your belly to determine the position of the baby, listening to the baby in labor, checking blood pressure or pulse, providing vaginal exams if desired, and more. I do not take the place of a midwife or obstetrician, but I can provide useful information and exceptional support. 

No matter what you want to call it, I offer labor support that draws on specialized training and many years of experience. I have experience with water birth, repositioning a breech or posterior baby, nutritional counseling, VBAC, PTSD and trauma, and more.

The benefits of having labor support are well documented, and include 50% reduced cesarean rates, 25% shorter labor, 60% reduction in epidural requests, 30% reduction in analgesia use, and 40% reduction in forceps delivery (source). But hiring someone to provide labor support is one piece of the puzzle. It's up to you to start off by connecting with the care provider who best supports your desires and meets your expectations, and to birth in an environment where you feel safe and supported and which has a proven record of excellent care. And, these are all things that we can explore in our conversations together so that you feel confident about your choices.

“She knew that I wanted to have as natural of a birth as possible and her unconditional support of my choices played a large role in my ability to give birth without pain medication.”  - Allison P.

Labor Support $1500

  • Two 90 minute prenatal meetings. We use this time to discuss your expectations and hopes for your birth, your birth preferences, and past birth experiences, to explore relaxation exercises and techniques, and to create a postpartum plan to prepare for a smooth and rewarding experience in the weeks after baby arrives. We can also palpate your belly, determine the position of the baby, listen to the baby with a fetal doppler or fetoscope, and discuss fetal positioning and gentle techniques to encourage a helpful position for labor. I love to involve other family members and especially children in engaging with your baby!
  • Continuous availability by phone and email to answer questions and provide resources before and after your birth.
  • I am on call for you two weeks prior to your “guess date” until the birth.
  • Continuous personal support in your home and in the hospital and up to three hours after your birth. I can use my midwifery skills to provide information and support in labor and to help you labor at home with confidence.
  • One 90 minute postpartum meeting. During this visit, we talk about your birth experience, explore the challenges and rewards of the immediate postpartum, and discuss resources that might support you and your family.

Would you take the place of my partner?

This is probably the most common question I get, and no, definitely not. In my birth support care, I work with someone’s partner to support them in labor. Your partner knows you and provides you with unparalleled love and emotional support. I know birth. What I bring is the accumulated wisdom of my knowledge of pregnancy, labor, and birth; of the different models of care and the options available to you in pregnancy; of years of teaching childbirth education; of my training in doula support, midwifery care, herbalism, and aromatherapy; of techniques for supporting very fast or very long labors, or a posterior baby, or a breech baby; of supporting people through cesarean and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), and so on.

There are all sorts of families and couples with all sorts of expectations about how involved a partner will be, and all are okay. Practically speaking, I model physical support techniques for partners, offer a chance for them to rest, sleep, or go get a bite to eat, answer their questions, and most of all, I reinforce the normalcy of a situation. It can be very overwhelming to witness birth, and if you’ve never seen it before, then being able to ask questions in real time, or even to just look at someone’s calm smile, can significantly reduce anxiety about what’s happening.

Partners sometimes can have a hard time allowing a birthing parent to labor, wanting to step in, “do something,” and take away their “suffering” by suggesting (or even insisting on) medical interventions. I can help keep you grounded by reinforcing normalcy, by referring to your birth preferences, and by fully exploring all of the risks and benefits of the options available to you.

Will you judge me if I choose an epidural (or something you think I don’t approve of)?

No. I am here to make sure that you feel fully supported in your decision making. What that means to me is that you understand the full range of options available to you for any given choice, the risks and benefits of those options, that you are able to make empowered informed choices free from duress, and that, at the end of the day, you feel confident that it was the right choice. What is right is the right choice for you.

"...[W]e particularly appreciated how Krystina worked with us for weeks with the assumption of a natural childbirth, spending time teaching us techniques, etc., but when the situation changed and it became clear that my wife and/or child might be at any risk because of circumstances beyond our control, Krystina was 100% supportive of our switching to more standard medical methods. That flexibility meant a lot to us and helped us keep from judging ourselves and our change of plans negatively." - Greg E.

Should I hire labor support if I'm birthing at home?

Most of the people who hire me for labor support are birthing in a hospital or birth center, but families birthing at home also benefit from support. In short, a doula/monitrice plays a different role than a midwife. Midwives tend to arrive when folks are further into active labor, and their energies are best spent being attentive to the mother/parent and baby’s well-being.

Having a dedicated support person means having immediate, on-call care as early in your labor as you need. For those desiring guided relaxation or massage, that’s something that is just as valuable at home as it is in the hospital. I help to keep the space calm, to reinforce the normalcy of birth, to support the midwives in their roles, and to provide support for partners and older children. I have extensive experience attending home births and working congenially and collaboratively with midwives, and would be happy to meet your team at a prenatal appointment prior to your birth.

Can you help me with natural remedies in pregnancy and birth?

Yes absolutely! I am always delighted to share herbal, homeopathic, dietary, and other remedies and treatments for common pregnancy and labor challenges and which I rely on frequently in my midwifery practice. The remedies I use are safe and effective for pregnancy, and typically don’t have the side effects associated with medical treatments. Common complaints include: nausea, anemia, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, achiness, a breech baby, HSV, and others.