Birth Doula Support


The doulas at Joyful Birthing share the philosophy of supporting couples to achieve a positive, empowering birthing and postpartum experience, on their 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 on 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.

Doula packages and fees vary based on the doula ($1400-$2500). We all provide free initial phone consultations. Please email for availability & rates, and to schedule an initial consultation with the doula of your choice.

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.


“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 B.

Jenny Putnam

Birth & Postpartum 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.


“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.

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 her 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.


“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

Cheyenne Bell
Birth & Postpartum Doula

Cheyenne is a DONA International certified birth doula. Her journey into the medical field began when she was a child and witnessed her mother give birth; this experience sparked an enduring passion for childbirth and began her commitment to supporting women through the sacred process of giving birth. She has found her calling as a doula. Cheyenne values the uniqueness of each birth and believes in providing tailored support. Her approach is marked by compassion, kindness, and a deep sense of faith in the beauty of childbirth. With Cheyenne by their side, mothers can trust in her unwavering belief in their strength and resilience, knowing she’ll provide the support they need to navigate this transformative experience with confidence and comfort.

As a black woman, Cheyenne possesses a profound understanding of the specific needs and challenges faced by women of color throughout their pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum journeys. Her lived experiences, combined with her comprehensive training in doula care, uniquely qualify Cheyenne to provide culturally competent support, advocacy, and empowerment to women of color. As a Doula, Cheyenne ensures that women of color receive the compassionate, respectful, and quality care they deserve during this transformative phase of life.

Cheyenne is a VBAC-Endorsed Birth Doula and has completed training as a Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator and with Spinning Babies. She recently completed her Master of Science Degree in Health Information Management in 2023. Devoted to expanding her areas of expertise, Cheyenne is currently pursuing her certification to become a Lactation Counselor. Additionally, Cheyenne is a Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, performs Traditional Haitian Belly Binding, and offers Traditional Haitian Vaginal Steaming.


“Having Cheyenne by our side during my son’s birth was amazing. Firstly, having the prenatal visits at home was extremely convenient for me in the later stages of pregnancy. Cheyenne educated my husband and I on what to expect and she provided us with a ton of resources. When the time came for me to give birth, I was in labor in the hospital for 3 days. Cheyenne never left our side for those 3 days. She was there through every contraction. She coached my husband on ways that he could help distract me from the pain. She put me in different positions to help things move along. She was so encouraging and supportive not only to me but to my husband as well. He struggled with seeing me in so much pain for so long and he felt helpless. But he later told me that having Cheyenne’s guidance helped him feel more confident and involved in the whole process. We had a wonderful experience with Cheyenne and if there are any more little ones in our future, we’ll definitely be using her services again. I 100% recommend her to my friends and family.” -Vanessa J. 

Erin Nabney
Birth Doula

Erin is a DONA International™ certified birth doula living in Roslindale with her fiancé and rescue cat Beans. Her passion as a doula is to ensure the families she works with have adequate information and agency to make their own empowered decisions, every step of the way through pregnancy and birth. She has completed training in Childbirth Education and Breastfeeding Support.

Originally from London, England, Erin first became interested in birth work when she moved to Boston 8 years ago: she was surprised at how different the cultural interpretations of birth are in America compared to in the U.K. She fell down the rabbit hole learning more about the different experiences of birth around the world, and has never looked back!

Growing up Erin was deeply influenced by the women in her family and friendship groups. It is her desire to continue the traditions of community and sisterhood surrounding birth that have prevailed in cultures throughout history, and encourage the innate peace, power, and agency that is within all the people she has the honor of supporting.

Erin supports families and births of all kinds across the Greater Boston Area.

Naomi Daborn Lanson
Birth & Postpartum Doula

Since 2016 Naomi has been supporting at births as a doula, midwife and midwife assistant. She is a Certified Practitioner Midwife, Certified Postpartum Doula, and a Closing of the Bones Postpartum Ceremony Provider. Naomi entered the perinatal world out of desire to bring a more heart-centered approach to maternity care. Her approach as a birth doula focuses on evidence based care and empowering her clients to make confident choices. She believes the birthing person is the authority over their own physical experience, and understands that bringing a child into the world is a profound transformation that requires the integration of all elements of our being, including the emotional and spiritual, and as such strives to support the whole person in her work as a doula. She completed training in Cultural Competency through Race Forward and has worked with people of all identities and backgrounds, including teen moms, survivors of sexual abuse, clients with gestational diabetes, anemia and other medical complications, and she has supported many successful VBACs. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, journaling, and art. She lives in Gloucester with her 13 year old dog, Kallie. 


“Naomi was my doula for the birth of our son at Beverly Hospital. My hope was to have a low intervention labor and delivery, and I knew finding a doula would increase my chances. I had no idea just how critical having her in the room with me would be. Several times after labor I remember telling my family: “I don’t think I could have done that without her!” I knew she would be reliable when the day arrived. She was responsive and communicative throughout early labor. When I had several hours of challenging back labor, she was INCREDIBLE. She spent hours giving me intense hands-on-help. (She subbed in my husband temporarily- and he was sore!). She very literally made my natural birth possible. Beyond the physically exhausting hands-on-support, she also helped me remain confident and calm throughout labor. She was my advocate in the room, acting as a liaison with hospital staff, representing my birth wishes and helping to translate what was going on for my husband. I would recommend her to any mama-to-be, but she will be especially helping to someone who has a low intervention birth plan. She is made for this!!! Even the midwifery staff and nurses commented on how wonderful she was work alongside. Thank you, Naomi!” -Samantha



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.


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.


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.


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! 


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.