I recently reached out to some of my favorite and most trusted birth professional friends around Philadelphia to ask them, "Do you know someone who you think I should include on my own list of recommended doulas?" Homebirth midwife Ray Rachlin of Refuge Midwiffery was quick to respond and tell me that Angelique Haynesworth was a doula who I needed to meet! I so enjoyed my conversation with her, and am happy to share her with pregnant people who may be looking for a doula who will help to bring a calm, companioning presence to their birth. Angelique is a birth and postpartum doula, a beginner herbalist and aspires to one day become a midwife. Her own birth experience was part of what informed her desire to become a birth doula. Find out why she is "like a leaf" and enjoy her calm, easy manner in this video interview.
Birth Doula Fee: sliding scale
Located in Philadelphia, PA and willing support births in Philadelphia and South Jersey
I met Te'a in the fall of 2020 when she sat in on my birth class as a part of her birth doula training & certification. It's been on my mind for all of these months since to share her - her joy, enthusiasm and passion for birth work - with YOU! Please enjoy this interview with still-going-to-be-a-pilot-one-day, Te'a Campbell-Howell.
Birth Doula Fee: $700-$1050
Located in Abington, PA and willing to travel a 1 hour radius to provide services
I have the distinct honor or somehow being one of the Philadelphia birth workers who is easy to find via a web search, and must seem friendly enough by my online presence because I often am contacted by doulas or other birth workers who are new to the area and looking to get connected. Rachel is one such person, and I'm so happy to be getting to know her and to have the opportunity to feature her and connect her with expectant parents in the greater Philadelphia area who are in search of a doula. Her kind and gentle nature are so evident through this interview -- enjoy!!
Birth Doula Fee: $1300, packages and discounts for birth education classes
Located in NE Philadelphia and willing to travel a 1 hour radius to provide services
Yes - this is a familiar face!
Easin and I were supposed to meet in-person in March of 2020 for a live interview, and then as you well know, COVID changed those and any such plans. We did an Instagram Live video in April, but I was melting in my van, the Blue Angels flew over to interrupt, and a lot of our conversation was focused on virtual doula support which was the only available doula support available for birthing people at that time.
So we decided to do it all over again, this time with me freezing in my basement. And Easin has a new degree to boast, and this gorgeous updated headshot. Enjoy my conversation with her that can see & hear in the video below. For the time being you can still find information and reach Easin
Easin Beck *offering virtual birth doula services
www.brandywinevalleydoulaservices.com * web form preferred method of first communication
Facebook: Brandywine Valley Doula Services (for now - changing soon!)
Birth Doula Fee: $900
Located in Exton, PA and serving the Greater Philadelphia Area
I was only about 2 years overdue for a hang out with my friend and doula colleague Jamie Wasson. We finally got to sit down and push record so that the rest of you could get to know Jamie too. Jamie is a veteran member of the Philly Doula Co-op, a licensed therapist, a birth and postpartum doula, a childbirth educator and the member-at-large on the Lamaze International's Education Council. She's just all around amazing! ENJOY!
Jamie Wasson *offering virtual birth doula services
Birth Doula Fee: $1400, sliding scale for special situations
Located in Collingswood, NJ and travels to Philadelphia and South Jersey birth places
It was a delight getting to meet and spend time with Mallori of Thrive Birth & Maternal Support!
Mallori Berry Cain *offering virtual birth doula services
Birth Doula Fee: $950-$1000; ($600 for virtual birth doula package)
Located in Oaklyn, NJ and travels to Philadelphia and South Jersey birth places
It must have been inevitable that Hana and I would meet and become friends one day. Even before my doula trainer reached out to say, "Hey, I just had someone in my training this weekend who I really think you should meet," it turns out that we had a handful of friends in common. No surprise that when I reached out to her for the first time, she was getting ready to leave for the other side of the world for a few weeks. She is definitely the most well-travelled doula I know. I so enjoyed the chance to sit down and interview her so that you all can meet her too!
Birth Doula Fee: $800-$1500
Travels within 45 minutes of Port Richmond
Here's my interview with Philly Doula Co-op member Hanan Abdul-Hameed. I had a lot of fun getting to know her, and I think it shows!
Hanan Abdul-Hameed * offering virtual birth doula services
Birth Doula Fee: $900
(This fee includes 2 prenatal visits, Birth support, and 2 postpartum visits.
COVID-19 virtual support includes one 45 min virtual meeting bi-weekly.)
Sadly, Kim is no longer living in the Philadelphia area, so she's not available for birth doula services here. BUT, I'm keeping this interview posted 1) because she's a delight! and 2) Kim offers virtual New Parent's group that you can participate in. Email Kim using the contact information below to register!
UPDATE: Sadly for Philadelphia but happily for Kim's family, they have moved out of state. While Kim is no longer available for birth doula services in the Philadelphia area, I'm keeping her video interview and general contact information available 1) because she is just so delightful and 2) because she will continue to offer some virtual support groups and classes from her new location!
I so enjoyed my lovely chat with birth and postpartum doula, mom to three with number four on the way and member of the Philly Doula Co-op, Kim Hewlett! (Please don't mind the abrupt start ... we had a little technical difficulty in the beginning, but I promise you only missed a minute or two! We pick up after Kim introducing herself, establishing that she is NOT related to the Hewlett-Packard Hewletts, and sharing why she decided to become a doula) Enjoy!
Dawn Star is a doula who I feel very privileged to say that I know well. This is mostly due to our shared time together as part of the Philly Doula Co-op, but also because I make it a special point to invite the wisdom that Dawn Star has to offer into my life at every opportunity. There is one thing that I can be sure of - whether it’s in a business meeting, at a social gathering, sitting in a client prenatal appointment together or just observing Dawn Star on social media after an upsetting world event - when she has something to say, I want to listen! Dawn Star has a one-in-at-least-a-thousand (maybe a million!) ability to pay attention, take in information and perspectives, carefully evaluate and then produce thoughtful, wise words in response. She is an above and beyond listener and learner which makes her an above and beyond teacher. I’m never surprised when someone in my class who is looking for a smart, calm, strong presence at their birth chooses Dawn Star as their doula.
Before she became a birth doula, Dawn Star already had a career as a religious educator, and through that role, birth work found her and drew her in. It happened that two expectant couples from her community sensed her fitness for the role and matter-of-factly told her that she was going to be their birth educator and their doula! Pursuing birth work made sense since Dawn Star had a life-long fascination with birth, breastfeeding and parenting. In the dozen years since she helped those two couples prepare for and welcome their babies, she she became certified by Birthing From Within as a doula and childbirth educator and has now educated and supported nearly 100 birthing people.
Dawn Star has recently started describing herself as an “improvisational doula” By this she means that “what I do as a doula is responsive to what's happening in your labor and birth, who you are, what you need, how your partner is supporting you.” Part of how she accomplishes this is by building rapport in the birth space between everyone who is present, whenever possible. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to be adaptable in a lot of different situations. This adaptability, observance and responsiveness enables her to achieve those moments where she feels exactly in her element, figuring out what this this specific birthing person needs from her in this moment.
Do you know is NOT Dawn Star’s gift? Shallow flattery and sugar coating situations that need to be dealt with soberly. She is simply a calm presence, never overtaking a situation or space with more-than-necessary energy. I see this even in how Dawn Star responded to one of my questions about "birth heroes," in particular in sharing about her gratitude for how someone like Ina May Gaskin has made great contributions to the world of healthy, well-supported, spiritually attuned birth - BUT - noting that Ina May has also made problematic public statements more recently that need to be considered. Dawn Star’s humility allows her to have a keen ability to see the positives and the negatives of any and every person, recognizing the strengths AND liabilities of situations in order to help elevate and realize the very best outcomes for people entrusted to her care.
I’m sensing a theme in the doulas that I have found a great connection with — there are lots of other “moms of four” who I have a natural affinity for! Dawn Star is another mom of four who has done birth work in the past when her kids were younger, and now enjoys the greater simplicity of leaving for a birth with more self-sufficient humans making up her household. Beside the flexibility of having kids who can manage without their mother for the span of a labor, Dawn Star’s other full-time job as a Unitarian Universalist religious educator affords her the flexibility to step away when a baby decides to have a birthday. Dawn Star says of this job, this calling - “Sometimes that makes people nervous if they have very particular ideas about religion but what it really means is that I've had lots of experience working with lots of different kinds of families, and that I'm very comfortable working with whatever a family's religious or spiritual needs are - or with families for whom that isn't important at all.”
After she has helped to support a someone continuously through their birth, Dawn Star has a ritual of stopping by Wawa on her way home for a treat. Less than 5 hours of sleep demands that she nap right away, but if she’s had at least 5 hours of sleep she’ll push through until bedtime, yet still allow herself a couple days to fully recover from the physical and emotional expenditure of supporting a birth. When she can enjoy some time being off-call she will travel with her family. If she needs to quietly hold space in a hands-off way during a birth, she’s been known to make use of her knitting skills to pass the time.
I could go on … so please just enjoy this video interview with Dawn Star and see for yourself what a unique and wonderful person she is. Contact information for Dawn Star can be found below so that you can reach out to inquire about her services as a birth or postpartum doula, private childbirth educator, for bellycasting or even for leading gatherings to honor a pregnant person or a new baby for those who may not have an existing religious community to provide that kind of service.
Birth Doula Fee: $1200
Serving the Greater Philadelphia Area - within 1 hour drive of Bala Cynwd
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