Birth Doula Support

JOYFUL BIRTHING’S DOULAS

The doulas at Joyful Birthing share the philosophy of supporting couples to achieve a positive, empowering birthing and postpartum experience, on their own terms as they define it. We believe that every woman deserves the compassionate support of a doula, regardless of her hopes for the birth. Our practice is focused providing evidence-based guidance, respectful support, and staying current with best practices for supporting couples through pregnancy, labor & delivery, and early parenthood. We serve the greater Boston area, including the South Shore, North Shore, seacoast New Hampshire, and surrounding areas. Our fees range from $1800-$2700.

Ellie Lindenmayer

Birth Doula

Ellie has supported more than 100 births as a doula since 2014. She holds current certifications as a HypnoBirthing Practitioner, Birth Doula, Spinning Babies Practitioner, Lactation Counselor, and Pediatric Sleep Consultant. Ellie is passionate about all things birth and baby but especially empowering women and their partners to make informed decisions about their birthing, to approach birth with a sense of trust and calm, and to ultimately have a safe, joyful birthing experience- one they feel completely at peace with. In addition to managing Joyful Birthing & Beyond, Ellie also works for Cleo, a family benefit company, as a Family Guide, Birth Specialist, and Sleep Specialist, helping hundreds of families navigate the demands of pregnancy, postpartum, lactation, newborn care, sleep, parenting, and the transition back to work. When Ellie is not supporting families, she is busy with her own children (ages 12, 10, and 2), in her garden, on her bike, on her yoga mat, or enjoying the outdoors with her family!

With a little one of her own, Ellie currently takes a minimal client load and only supports birth in the Newburyport, MA area, Her fee ranges from $2700-$3000.

WHAT ELLIE’S CLIENTS SAY:

 

“My husband and I were blessed to have Ellie as our Hypnobirthing instructor and Doula for the birth of our first child. Our birth ended up being the all natural water birth we had dreamed of and we credit this greatly to our studying and practicing of Hypnobirthing under Ellie’s guidance.The truth is we discussed hiring her on the ride home from our very first class. She is an infectious presence you instantly relish being around and one we immediately connected with and trusted in countless ways. In many ways she is an open book and it was her honesty we first found so wildly comforting as first time parents to be. It was immediately obvious that she is also hugely knowledgeable in all things pregnancy, birth and infant related; she knows what to expect and what to do when unexpected things inevitably happen. Ellie is also incredibly warm, funny and fierce when the moment calls for it. She was present and proactive in ways we didn’t even know we would need – in the weeks leading up to our birth, during every active moment of labor (which for us started at midnight – sorry Ellie) and beyond, giving advice and support during the dizzying first few weeks. It is a rare thing to love your profession on such an emotional level and to succeed at it so greatly but if anybody embodies that it is Ellie. Our birth was no doubt made better by her presence and we are certain our daughter’s life will be reflective of her peaceful entrance into this world. No matter how prepared you may feel nothing compares to the whirlwind which ensues once your surges begin. Ellie was the calming and experienced guide we needed to see it through. She was a truly massive support for all three of us – honestly just as much for my husband as for me – and we truly couldn’t imagine our birth without her. We are so grateful to have her in our universe now as a friend and look forward to working with her again when the time comes. Thank you, dear Ellie.” -Skylar M.

“I felt comfortable with Ellie the moment I met her and it was obvious that she would be an asset. Ellie has such a wealth of knowledge about so many aspects of birthing. I had my baby when COVID restrictions peaked. My husband was with me, but Ellie couldn’t be in person. So we zoomed. I can’t express how amazing Ellie’s presence (even virtually) in the delivery room was. I felt more at ease under her direction and encouragement. She and the medical professionals in the room worked as a team. It was seamless. Ellie met me right where I was in each stage of my labor. It was almost eerie how she knew what I was thinking and what I needed to hear. Specifically, as it came time to push, she reminded me that I could trust myself and instructed me to do what my body was telling me to do. Those words got me through. I was amazed as I held my baby shortly thereafter! Probably the biggest testimonial is Ellie herself: she’s a wonderful person and perfect for this job. She’s both kind and fierce, gentle and energetic, knowledgeable, yet humble and focused on you. I look back on that time with a joy that is in part because Ellie helped to make it as peaceful and empowering as possible.” -Megan Berger

Jenny Putnam

Birth Doula

Jenny is a DONA-certified Birth Doula, VBAC Link-trained VBAC Doula, PAIL (Pregnancy and Infant Loss) Advocate, and a CAPPA-trained Childbirth Educator. Her passion for supporting birthing people goes back many years to the mid-1990s, when she acted as labor companion for a pair of close friends. The experience literally changed her life, and pursuing a career in birth support became a long-harbored dream.  In 2017 she made the decision to put aside her long-standing career as a graphic designer, and train to become a birth doula. Since then she has had the privilege of supporting over 40 birthing people on their journey through pregnancy, labor, and birth. Her approach is client-focused and evidence-based, using a variety of resources and techniques to assist her clients in making informed decisions, and preparing for their ideal birth.

When she’s not supporting birthing clients, Jenny does book design for independent authors. She also enjoys kayaking the beautiful lakes and rivers near her home, knitting, exploring the history of New England, and gardening.

Jenny supports births in the greater Boston area and southern New Hampshire. Her fee is $2000.

WHAT JENNY’S CLIENTS SAY:

“For me and my husband, having our first child during the pandemic was a daunting prospect, especially since the rest of our family lives on the west coast.  So we decided to hire a doula to assist us since we couldn’t have either of our mothers support us in the hospital.  It turned out that hiring Jenny was one of the best decisions we could have made as expecting parents!  She was incredibly helpful during the weeks leading up to our daughter’s birth and absolutely invaluable while I was in labor.  She soothed me while I was in pain from back labor contractions and she helped me get some much-needed sleep before giving birth.  With her support, I managed to dilate to 7cm before having an epidural (which is impressive given my extremely low pain tolerance and speaks to Jenny’s ability to help me cope!). If you’re a first-time mom and you need a calming, soothing, caring person in your family’s corner, then Jenny is your woman.  You will not regret hiring her!” -Alexandra T.

” ‘The Mary Poppins of Doulas’: Choosing a doula is a very personal and important decision. I had a tough time choosing a doula for the birth of my second child as I wanted someone to truly support my birth and choices. I am evidence-based and need hard facts for my decision-making. From the moment I spoke to Jenny, I felt that she will support my choices and be there for me without judgment.  She embodied the meaning of doula – to support a birthing mother. Jenny was interested in getting to know us personally, our medical history, and our choices. She is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of birth. Jenny does not have an agenda, she heard what I hoped for/feared/worried about and translated it all into the support that I needed. I met Jenny at the hospital when I had my planned C section. She was my ONLY support person in the hospital. I am forever grateful for her presence. She added to my confidence and joy I experienced. She comforted me and helped me stay calm. She knew when to speak and when to hold back. Having Jenny in the OR made me feel secure, focused, and positive throughout the operation. Thereafter, she stayed with me throughout my stay in the hospital. She was there for me like a family member. She comforted me, helped me nurse my baby, held my baby and was there for me anytime I needed her. The hospital had a graveyard schedule for newborn screening, Jenny would stay up to be with my baby as I did not want to leave my baby alone with the nurse. During my postpartum visit at the OBs office, the nurses mentioned how great she was to have in the room! Jenny is truly passionate about what she does and being a doula is her calling. She is an incredibly caring and compassionate person. My birth story wouldn’t have been the same without her. I don’t know how we would have managed without her. I would recommend her to anybody who wants a doula as I am confident that you are in great hands.” -Anuja S

Joy Smith 
Birth Doula

Trained as a Birth Doula in 2003 by Penny Simkin, noted author and co-founder of DONA International, Joy brings a wealth of experience in birth work and has attended over 100 births.  She has always had an interest in pregnancy and childbirth, but it wasn’t until birthing her own babies that the passion for helping others navigate their births was sparked. From 2004-2006 Joy completed her training in the art of homebirth through WomanCraft Midwifery School and gained further birth experience through her subsequent apprenticeship. Joy’s belief that emotional preparation is the key to a positive birth experience inspired her to become a Childbirth Mentor under the Birthing From Within philosophy so that she could compassionately guide parents on their unique birth journey. In 2014 Joy added to her birth work by becoming a Level II Reiki Practitioner and now enjoys bringing this gentle healing art form to pregnancy, birth and all who can benefit from physical and emotional healing. Joy is a mother to five amazing children, “Nani” to a sweet grandson, and a passionate homeschooler.

Joy supports births on the North Shore of Boston and surrounding areas. Her fee ranges from $1800-$2000.

WHAT JOY’S CLIENTS SAY:

“One conversation with Joy and I knew she was the one. I ended up having to be induced because I was nearly 42 weeks but Joy helped me plan the induction based on my intuition and not the doctor’s timeline. I labored for a total of 13 hours before pushing for 4 hours. I was able to do so unmedicated (even with Pitocin!) and could not have accomplished that without Joy’s suggestions and calmness. However, my doctor decided four hours was long enough, and even though the baby’s heart rate was fine, it was time to consider an intervention. After much back and forth with the doctors and my husband, we decided to allow for a forceps delivery to avoid a cesarean. Had I not had Joy’s support, I very easily could have given in to a cesarean just because I was drained and feeling defeated by my doctors. I owe our happy ending to Joy who along with my husband kept me positive, calm and never failed to remind me that my body was made for this.” -Jenna

Yaël Benizri Krinsky

Birth & Postpartum Doula

Yaël is a DONA-trained birth and postpartum doula originally from New York. She started working in birth advocacy in 2016.  The daughter of an emergency room nurse, she was given a volunteer position at age 15 at her local hospital on the maternity floor and has been enthralled ever since. Yaël started actively working in the birth community after her own health struggles with endometriosis and witnessing care disparities in the reproductive world. For three years, she worked as a birth assistant and doula with a midwifery group where she gained extensive experience in supporting women and their partners through their birthing journey. In addition to English, she speaks French and Arabic and has additional education and training in female health and hormones, Public Health, and trauma-informed care.  She believes that every person has a right to feel safe, to be informed, to be heard, and to have support in their births.

Yaël supports births in Boston and surrounding areas. Her birth doula fee ranges from $1800-$2000.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS A BIRTH DOULA?

A birth doula is a trained childbirth expert, offering emotional, physical, and informational support during pregnancy, labor & delivery, and the immediate postpartum period. She has expertise in a variety of coping strategies for the different stages of labor, utilizes different laboring positions to help facilitate labor progress, has familiarity with the common medical interventions and pain-medication options, and is often knowledgeable about natural alternatives, such as acupressure, aromatherapy, rebozo techniques, etc. To understand the full stope of what doulas do, have a look at the blog post: 20 Things A Doula Does.

WHAT DOES BIRTH DOULA SUPPORT INCLUDE AT JOYFUL BIRTHING?

Our standard birth doula package includes one free phone consultation and interview; 24/7 phone, text, and email support from the time of hire; one prenatal meeting at your home to go over your birth preferences and help to prepare you for the big day; attendance at the birth and immediate postpartum & breastfeeding support; one postpartum visit within 2 weeks of delivery; and one month of unlimited newborn & breastfeeding consultations via the phone.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MIDWIFE AND A DOULA?

Many people confuse doulas with midwives. A doula does not have formal medical training and is not responsible for the health and safety of mother and baby, which frees her up to meet the mother’s non-medical needs which are often left unmet by our current maternity model (including midwifery care), specifically continuous emotional and physical support. A doula only has one client at a time, so she can provide her client with 100% of her attention and care. On the contrary, a midwife has extensive medical training and experience, and is responsible for the health and safety of both the mother and the baby; therefore, she often does not have the time or energy to offer extensive emotional or physical support and comfort to the mother. Midwives are often managing multiple patients at a time, similar to OB’s.

WHY HIRE A BIRTH DOULA?

There are so many benefits to having a doula. Evidence shows that doula support significantly reduces the risk of complications during labor & delivery and increases the mother’s satisfaction with her birthing experience. A doula fills in the gap left by our maternity care system, staying with the woman and her partner throughout the duration of labor & delivery (hospital staff and providers come and go, often leaving a mother and partner alone for long stretches of time), can help couples understand options available to them so they can make fully informed decisions about their care, and ensures that a couples birth wishes and preferences are honored and respected. To learn more about the benefits of doula care, check out this site: Evidence for Doulas.

WHAT’S MY PARTNER’S ROLE?

The most common misconception about doula support is that a doula replaces a partner’s role. Every doula has a different approach and philosophy, but most doulas believe in the importance of the partner’s role and working together as the mother’s primary support team. The best doulas will support both the mother and the partner, empowering and guiding the partner to best support the mother. To learn more about how a doula and a partner work together, have a look at the blog post: Doulas Are for Partners, Too! 

IS VIRTUAL SUPPORT AN OPTION?

Due to the impact of COVID 19, the Joyful Birthing team has become adept at providing virtual support. As such, virtual support is always an option when preferred or when in-person support is not possible. Virtual support includes the same package items listed above but via Zoom. It is amazing what we can accomplish via video! Your virtual doula will be there for you just as she would in person via video through every contraction until your baby is safely in your arms. She will talk you through your contractions, offer suggestions for position and activity changes, help to ensure your birth preferences are honored, and guide you through any decision that may need to be made- she will be a source of continuous comfort and guidance for both the birthing person and partner throughout the birthing process.