Gentle Journeys Birth Services
As a certified labor and postpartum doula, it is my honor to come alongside mothers, babies, and families to offer compassionate, evidence-informed care and support during pregnancy, labor, and the weeks after birth. I completed my certification through Birthingway in 2018 and serve clients living in the metro Portland/Vancouver area and as far south as Salem, OR.
I first become interested in birth work while completing my labor and delivery clinical rotations as a nursing student and supporting a mom during a very difficult labor. After graduating from nursing school, I attended a natural birth and midwifery conference in an Amish community and was fascinated to learn about the long history of homebirth in their community as well as many natural methods I had never learned of in nursing school. Shortly after that I learned what a “doula” was from a friend and a small dream began to grow… to one day take a doula training and work supporting birthing women and families. In the meantime, I had the opportunity to live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA in a community where many refugees were being resettled. My neighbors were refugee women from many cultures and they invited me into their homes and taught me their beliefs surrounding pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. I was touched by the celebratory manner with which they viewed birth, and the beautiful ways they supported each other in the weeks after giving birth. I enjoyed helping them navigate through the healthcare system in a new country and couldn’t help but contrast their stories to the stories other American friends were telling me… stories of feeling alone and unheard during their hospital births, like they weren’t fully informed or listened to, and their struggle to cope with postpartum depression. As I had the opportunity to come alongside these mothers, offer listening ears, and help around the home, I began to know what I wanted to do with my life!
Because of my background in nursing and understanding of how hospitals work, I feel especially called to help bridge the gap that sometimes exists between moms in labor and well-meaning, but overworked and too-busy-to-listen medical providers. I am excited to be able to combine the depth of knowledge I’ve learned regarding childbirth, natural ways to support women in labor, and my healthcare background with a calming presence and love for helping everyone feel heard, informed, respected, and supported.
I am certified in adult, infant, and child CPR and first aid. I have over six years of experience helping take care of families with children ages 0-9 and have supported women choosing a wide variety of different birth plans including hospital births with and without epidurals, cesarean births, VBACs, out-of-hospital births, and waterbirth. I also enjoy baking, especially for people with food sensitivities, and offer nutritious, gluten-free, vegan chia bars and “lactation” cookies for postpartum moms.
In my spare time, I love hiking to the tops of mountains, gardening, reading books, studying natural medicine, cooking up healthy recipes, and having heart-to-heart talks with friends about life’s joys and challenges.
Please feel free reach out to me to set up a free consultation and see if you feel I would be a good fit for you on your pregnancy or postpartum journey.
I wish you all the best on your journey!
~Saralyn MacPhee, RN, labor and postpartum doula