The Portland MamaBaby Center provides natural prenatal, childbirth, and postpartum support services for women and their partners. We help families to enjoy their births, babies, and beyond.
I built this center because there wasn’t anything like it in Portland. This is a place where our midwives and doulas can meet with their clients, but also it’s a space where other birth related practitioners can also meet with their MamaBaby clients.
I also wanted to create a space that felt like someone’s living room, yet could accommodate up to 25 adults who have infants and toddlers for childbirth classes, support groups, meet ups, trainings, workshops, parties, ceremonies, and just generally have a nice family centered meeting room in Portland. I feel like I built that space and I rent it out on an hourly, half-day, and daily fee.
The Portland MamaBaby Center offers full-service holistic midwifery care with an Oregon licensed and certified professional midwife . Other childbirth related services offered by our center midwife are professional placenta encapsulation and tinctures, biodynamic childbirth education, and craniosacral therapy for both Mamas and Babies after birth.
In addition to the midwifery services offered at the MamaBaby Center, we also offer doula support to women and their partner(s). Because of my own experiences as an apprentice midwife at home births and birthing center births, along with my experiences as a hospital doula, I decided when I started the MamaBaby Center that I would divide up my doula practice into dedicated divisions. I have partnered with two doulas who provide hospital support and two doulas who provide home birth and birthing center support.
Our hospital specialist doulas are well-versed in medical terminology, feel comfortable working with women who are pursuing VBACS (vaginal birth after cesarean), have a background in nursing or are pursuing a nursing degree, and feel very comfortable working within the hospital system.
They have great relationships with the nurse midwives and obstetricians and feel very much a respected part of the labor and delivery ward. Perhaps most importantly, they themselves would choose a hospital birth if they were having another baby. I think this matters because I really think that you need someone who is philosophically aligned to your beliefs and values in order to feel 100% comfortable and to feel like you aren’t being judged silently for your decisions during a birth.
Our home birth doulas are trained to do the same doula work that hospital doulas are trained to do, but have a unique opportunity to put aside some of the traditional doula’ing (i.e.: focusing on preventing that epidural) to just be with the family in a different way. They often become a part of the midwife’s birth team and may find themselves making a smoothie for Mama and the birth team, filling up a birth tub, or walking around the block with Mama.
It’s a different energy at a home birth and doulas who traditionally work in hospitals can sometimes feel agitated because nobody is ‘doing’ anything. This is where having a specially trained home birth doula can be helpful. Sometimes the doula and the midwife need to just leave a laboring couple alone to be. Sometimes the midwife and doula work together to help relieve some pain using a powerful double hip squeeze. In general, there is less protecting the space and more being nice to the Mamas at a home birth as a doula.
Because sometimes home births do transfer to hospital care, it is an additional benefit to know that your home birth doula will accompany you in the hospital and stay by your side. Just because she has a home birth heart and prefers to be at home (just like you!) doesn’t mean that she isn’t 100% capable of doing that work that hospital doulas do. In the case of a hospital transfer, your doula may be the only continuous, uninterrupted continuity of care that you can count on, and that’s a powerful reason to have a home birth doula right there.
It’s super important to me that you know that when I started the center and chose the partners I would work with very intentionally. While there are many many birth practitioners in the Portland metro area (as I’m sure you’ve seen if you’re looking for a midwife or a doula!), I have hand chosen this staff because I would have hired them myself for my own pregnancy or for my own sister (who had a very high risk twin pregnancy with a NICU stay). They are professionals in their fields. The work they do is not a hobby, but a career, and they treat their clients and professions with the dignity and respect that they deserve to receive.