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Recommendations for doulas in the Chicago area?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm due in early/mid January and would like to find a great doula. I'm pretty overwhelmed at the prospect of interviewing them cold from an internet directory. Does anyone have any recommendations? We will be delivering at Rush in Chicago, we live in Westchester, we're planning a natural birth and would like our doula to have experience to lend us while in a hospital setting, we are not religious, we are open minded, we have pets and would like a pet friendly doula, we are taking Bradley classes, and this will be our first child but not our first experience with childbirth. We lost our first child at 22 weeks 5 years ago. Needless to say, we are scared. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 9
Rachel Dolan-Wickersham

She's in Addison, IL and comes highly recommended. She's been a doula for many years and is very familiar with many of the labor and delivery wards and midwife practices around the city and western suburbs.

Good luck!
post #3 of 9

First off, I'm so sorry for your loss and congratulations on this pregnancy. My first son was born premature, and I was very apprehensive about having another child; I was so grateful that he is now absolutely perfect and healthy.

Lo and behold 6.5 years later I became pregnant. We did not use a doula the first time around, but I wanted one this time. A friend recommended Amy Catania and she and I gelled from the first conversation.

At 31 weeks gestation I was 3 cm dilated and needed to go to the hospital for observation. I was a wreck! Amy was so supportive of the experience and I like to say "talked me off the ledge." She made me have confidence in my body and this pregnancy. That experience made her worth her weight in gold.

My baby boy was born 6 weeks ago at 38 weeks gestation. I gave birth at Prentice and Amy was there supporting me. Because of her help I was able to have a waterbirth! I can't say enough about how great she is! Check out her website:



post #4 of 9
I just wanted to note, that Amy and Rachel often work together, and even share a blog called Chicago Doula (http://chicagodoula.net/).

They're both wonderful doulas and you couldn't go wrong with either of them!
post #5 of 9
I don't have anyone in particular but Birthways is an awesome place!
post #6 of 9
Based on your experience, I would interview only very experienced doulas. Rachel is great...and so is Pam Hayes.

Good luck to you.
post #7 of 9
Deb Lawrence attended the birth of my 3rd child (2nd VBAC) and I was very happy with her. She was actually acting as backup for another doula who had a family tragedy the week before my daughter was born, but if we have a 4th we'll definitely hire Deb again. The day after I found out she'd be taking over for the doula we hired, I had an u/s that revealed a low AFI and she really helped me deal with the ensuing pressure to consider induction or a repeat c/s. In fact I called her in tears after the u/s (had not yet even met her in person) and she was so calm and reassuring and really helped me talk through what my options were and how to handle the forthcoming conversation w/ my ob about the results. In the end I had a pain-med-free VBAC in the hospital several days later.
post #8 of 9
Deb Lawrence was my doula as well. I don;t have much time to write, but I also had a very positive experience. She's in STreamwood or Shorewood... I can't remember which, I always get them mixed up. The one in the NW burbs.

Sooooo sorry for your loss and I will keep nothing but good thoughts in mind for your new LO. Peace to you!
post #9 of 9
I used Birthways also. We talked on the phone then they sent me 3 doulas to interview based on that conversation and would have sent more if none of those clicked.
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