Using a Doula at Kaiser
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Using a Doula at Kaiser
I am 22 weeks pregnant. Without going into a long story, I
am going through my pregnancy alone since the dad and I are
no longer together, I am also French so I have no family
here and I am a teacher's assistant which means I have a
very moderate income.
I want to have a doula to help me through these last few
months, somebody who would feel a little more personal than
the 5 minutes visits at Kaiser and also someone who can be
there at the birth so the doctors don't force me into things
I don't want to do !
The problem is that I can't really afford a doula, I just
registered with Bay area Birth but i haven't heard anything
Would anybody have any recommendation ? If the doula spoke
French it would be even better, my mum might come from
France to be with me but she doesn't speak a word of English
so it would be nice if my doula and my mum could communicate
I used a wonderful Doula whom I absolutely adored. Her name is Monique
Gorski and she spent a long time talking with me about other, less
expensive options. I decided to use her in the end because I loved her so
much. But I highly recommend calling her and she'll be happy to help you
find a solution that suits your situation. Her website is
www.thelabordoula.com. Good luck!
I am using Heather Lyn Wood for my upcoming birth at Kaiser
Walnut Creek. She serves the bay area including Kaiser
Oakland. She's a new doula (I think I will be her 4th client
or so) but she is a very sweet woman with a great philosophy
and gentle manner. I really felt like she was a good friend
the first time I met her. I haven't had my baby yet, so I
can't attest to that yet, but her fee is only $300 and
includes the standard 2 prenatal visits, be available for
your birth and staying with you as long as you need, and a
Heather was trained by Carol Shattuck-Rice and took Janaki
Costello's childbirth course as part of her training, so she
has been trained by some great people. Just an option - I
know I was looking for as many options as I could get when I
was looking for a low cost doula! Her email is:
good luck in your search! Amanda
I have raved about our doula, Deanna, here before and I will again. We
were her first Kaiser (Oakland) birth, but you would never have guessed.
She was amazing. Our families are also oceans away and Deanna was a
fantastic friend, confidant, advocate and cheer leader. She helped me
have a drug-free, calm and quick birthing experience amid the chaos of an
understaffed hospital shift change. She was also actually the least
expensive of the ones I researched. Good luck with the next few months.
mummy to two boys
Can anyone recommend an excellent doula who knows the Kaiser
Oakland nurses and facility and would be a strong advocate and
also supportive of a wide range of pain management choices? I
would especially be thrilled if my doula was able to prevent me
from being delivered by a student.
Sorry I can't help you on the doula question, but I can allay your fears of being
delivered by a student. I'm fairly certain that Kaiser Oakland does not have
medical students in Ob/Gyn. It does have residents in Ob -- the residents have
completed medical school, most are licensed doctors, and at this time of year
they have anywhere from 1-4 years experience in OB (as of July, you get a fresh
crop). Generally for uncomplicated births the residents do most of it, and the
attending physicians get involved if there are complications.
We had a wonderful doula for our daughter's birth at Kaiser
Oakland last October. Nicki Bonfilio (415 558 8471) was great.
She worked really well with the Kaiser nursing staff - who also
were great - and physicians.
I am looking for a knowledgable, experienced, and helpful doula who would be available
to assist in my labor. I'm due in March, 2006. We live in Berkeley, but plan to
deliver at Kaiser San Francisco, if all goes well. I checked the BPN website and most
doula listings for SF are old. Esther Gallagher, is highly recommended and sounds
great, but we can't afford her fees which start at $2,000. Any other recommendations
would be much appreciated. anne
Our doula was Michelle Welborn. We delivered a year and a half
ago at Alta Bates in Berkeley, but Michelle actually lives in San
Francisco and many of her clients are in the city. Her rates are
reasonable, but I know it can sound expensive. She was the best
thing we spent money on. We really liked Michelle's down to earth
approach as well as her depth of knowledge. With her help, I had
a natural birth at the hospital. But it was all her advice and
hands-on help in the months before labor even started that was
the most valuable. She's just a great person and we really liked
her. Just call her up and chat about what you are looking for.
http://www.welborndoula.com/ Happy mama
I would appreciate a recommendation for a good doula to help
with the birth of my second daughter around July 4 at Walnut
Creek Kaiser. I had a bad experience with the birth of my first
child there and am feeling nervous about being able to relax,
mostly due to tearing/damage from the first birth. Even though
the back labor in my last experience was awfully intense, I am
looking for another natural birth without medication. I would
like someone who is very patient, a good listener, and
knowledgable about reducing pain and particularly avoiding
damage due to tearing.
I had my baby at WC Kaiser last year with doula Virginia
Duplessis. She was amazing. It was a 40+ hour labor and she
stayed by my side the whole time. I had vomiting, back labor, a
not so helpful husband, a bossy mom and she managed to keep me
calm and as comfortable as possible. I really wanted a natural
birth and had taken tons of yoga so I thought I would be
prepared, but the pain was like nothing I had ever imagined.
Virginia helped me stay focused and present. She also managed
to use some stall tactics (in a good way!) when I started
feeling like I wanted an epidural. So long story short, I was
able to have my baby sans drugs! I really do not think I could
have done it without Virginia. You can reach her at (510) 287-
8789 or virginia at mostformoms.com
I reccommend that you contact Joan Bryant, Birth Doula 925-947-
1938 or Doulajoan at earthlink.net. We hired her for the birth of
our daughter in August 2003 at Kaiser Walnut Creek (where she
was also an birth educator at the time.) She was invaluable in
helping us get through a very long labor and difficult
delivery. Feel free to contact me with questions.
I highly recommend Betsy Appell. She was with me for most of my
long, hard labor in October 2004. I was at Alta Bates, but I know
she's worked at WC Kaiser. My labor was unmedicated, and Betsy's
techniques for reducing pain were amazing. She is kind,
empathetic, experienced, and calm. And a very good listener. Her
website is berkeleydoula.com. I hope this birth will be easier
I sent a personal message to the woman requesting a doula for
Walnut Creek, but I also want to send a general message about
our wonderful doula, Betsy Appell (www.berkeleydoula.com). I
had my son in February after a very long labor, and my husband
and I are incredibly grateful that we had Betsy with us. She is
amazing. She is very calming and has a wonderful bag of tricks
to help you through your labor. She also helped us make
decisions when curveballs were thrown our way. I don't know
what we would have done without her. I definitely recommend her!
I'm happy to talk in more detail with anyone that would like
I am excited to give my highest recomendation to Doula Paula
Santi. She was my Doula for my two day labor in September 2004.
Her approach is very intuitive - she was very in tune with me and
my needs - giving me the space and support I needed without my
having to ask. I don't think it would have been a positive
experience had she not been our support person (and my
labor/delivery was very difficult - not progressing, swollen
cervix, suction, meconium,
etc.). She was an incredible support for me and my husband during
the two days. She was with us until the baby was safely in my
arms and she provided excellent post partum care as well. She
lives very close to Kaiser Walnut Creek. She can be reached at
(925) 933-5002 or doulapaulasanti at yahoo.com. If you have
questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
I hired a wonderful doula -- Betsy Appell
(http://www.berkeleydoula.com) -- for the birth of my first
child in October 2004. She does births at Kaiser Walnut Creek,
as well as other hospitals in the East Bay. Betsy’s expertise,
perceptiveness, responsiveness, friendly manner and support
directly contributed to a larger baby, a natural childbirth and
incredible confidence and peace of mind for my husband and me –
both going into and the actual birthing process. She’s really,
really, really great and I recommend her as highly as possible.
I would like to highly recommend Betsy Appell as a doula for
Kaiser Walnut Creek. She assisted at the birth of my son in
March 2005 and did an amazing job. Betsy helped my husband and I
write our birth plan, and we were able to follow it exactly,
which was far beyond my expectations! I was able to have a
natural birth with no medication, and I don't think I would have
made it through without her expertise and encouragement. (And my
son was large, 9lb 11oz.) Betsy was also a great advocate for us
with the nursing staff and my midwife, Julie Haymes (who I also
In addition, her hypnobirthing course was a great resource for
pain management techniques and she recommended we do perineal
massage, which I believe greatly reduced tearing at birth. I also
took her prenatal yoga class and enjoyed that immensely as well.
Betsy's website is berkeleydoula.com.
We had a great experience at WC Kaiser with our doula, Betsy
Appell. I cannot recommend her highly enough. Betsy was
recommended to us by good friends who had also used her as
their doula. She calmly and reassuringly explained things to
me when I was facing an induced labor and was incredibly
supportive to both my husband and me during the labor and
delivery. We really credit her for the wonderful birth
experience I had. She also had a great rapport with the
delivery nurse and midwife at WC Kaiser. They even commented
afterwards that I was really lucky to have such a great doula!
I also highly recommend the ''Make Your Partner Your Doula''
class Betsy offers. My husband and I took that class instead
of the Kaiser childbirth prep class and felt like we were
really well prepared. You can find out more info about the
class and Betsy herself at www.berkeleydoula.com. Or email me
if you have questions. She really is great! sally
Congrats on your pregnancy. I would highly wholeheartedly reccomend
Anne Delp. She is absolutely amazing. She helped me deliver at
Summit (8/04) but will travel to Walnut Creek. As a matter of fact, she
assisted a woman there this past Monday! She is tender, encouraging,
supportive, funny, flexible, centered...I can go on and on. She also
enjoyes taking photographs so if you are interested in capturing the
moment she took many priceless photos unobtrusively and I am glad
she did. The photos she took were breathtaking. Feel free to contact her
at annedelp at earthlink.net or (510) 482-1557. Good luck!
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