Doula & Monitrice Services

What is a doula?

A doula is a nonmedical assistant who provides people with emotional and physical support. 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. I also have specialized training and many years of experience that contribute to how I care for people. I have experience with water birth, suggestions for pain management, repositioning a breech or posterior baby, nutritional counseling, VBAC, PTSD and trauma, and more.

The benefits of having a doula 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). All of that in mind, I will say that having a doula is only one piece of the puzzle. It's up to you to hire 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.

“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.

What is a monitrice?

A monitrice is something halfway between a doula and a midwife; I provide the physical and emotional support that I would as a doula, but I add in a number of obstetric skills that I use as a midwife, which can be useful for people who want to labor at home for as long as possible. These can include palpating your belly to determine the position of the baby, listening to the baby in labor, providing vaginal exams if desired, and more. I do not take the place of a midwife or obstetrician, but I can provide important information and exceptional support.

Does a doula/monitrice take the place of my partner?

This is probably the most common question I get, and no, definitely not. In my doula 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.

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. 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.

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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 a doula if I'm birthing at home?

Most of the people who hire me as a doula seek support for their hospital or birth center birth, but families birthing at home also benefit from doula support. In short, a doula 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 doula means having immediate, on-call support 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. Doulas 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.


Childbirth Doula Support $900

  • Two 60 minute prenatal meetings. We use this time to discuss your expectations and hopes for your birth, your birth preferences, and past birth experiences. We can also explore relaxation exercises and tools for birth, such as labor and birth positions, relaxation techniques that your partner can easily perform, how to prepare for a smooth postpartum transition and more.
  • Continuous availability by phone and email to answer questions and provide resources before and after your birth
  • Continuous availability two weeks prior to your “guess date” until the birth
  • Continuous personal support during labor and up to two hours after your birth
  • One 60 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.

Monitrice Support $1200

  • 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.
  • Continuous availability 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.