Need at-home-birth midwife & doula recommendations near Berkeley

Hi everyone!

I just found out I am 4 weeks pregnant. I have a toddler already that I did a homebirth with, and the midwife team I used was terrible during the labor, despite perfect reviews online. I don't want to go through that again, the labor was very traumatic and the exact opposite of what I expected a natural experience to be like.

So this time I need to validate I guess more carefully. Please provide any detail possible, from how prenatal and postnatal appointments were, to how you felt during the labor, to the position you were in when you delivered, to whether they allowed you to be in the water tub for comfort, to how they handled complications or long labors, and how compassionate they were with you.

I didn't have a doula last time, I had my husband helping me, but everyone I talk to swears by them and it was exhausting for my husband and he was not the greatest at helping me with things like pain management, and he moved slow when I needed help immediately. So I will take any doula recommendations as well, please.

Near North Berkeley is highly preferred so I dont get stuck delivering while they are commuting :-) My midwife was in and out constantly--if yours stuck around, I'd love to know that too!

Thank you so much for your help, I deeply appreciate your time and support!

Parent Replies

Parents, want to reply to this question? Sign in to post.

Hi! I had a hospital birth, but I highly recommend Emma Reyes! She was incredible- couldn’t imagine doing it without her. 
 

https://www.birthflowerdoula.com

I am so sorry to hear about your prior birth experience. It sounds like you're doing absolutely the right thing by asking these questions.

I am currently pregnant and planning to deliver at a hospital, but my doula, Yula Paluy, whom I found through BPN reviews, mentioned at our prenatal meeting that she also works with home deliveries. She is an excellent communicator, evidence-based, responsive, kind, and thorough. I feel in extremely good hands with her. She is completely respectful of the birthing parent's wishes and wants to make your vision for birth happen; she will not push any birth choices on you. She expects partners (e.g., spouse) to be present at every prenatal meeting, which I absolutely love--even though she is my doula, I still want and expect my husband to be there as my birth partner, and I know that because of her guidance and presence, he will feel more confident, informed, and comfortable about how to help me. She is based in/near North Berkeley, so she should be a good fit for you in that regard, too!

Yula utilizes a sliding scale for her fees based on your gross household income, and has a fund that allows her to offer doula services to people with lower incomes, which I think speaks volumes about her thoughtful, community-based values. You can learn more at her website: https://yulapaluy.com/doula. I am really happy about my decision to hire Yula based on our prenatal meetings so far. Wishing you the best of luck!

Hi! Im so sorry you had a traumatic birth experience. On that front, wanted to pass along the Birth Trauma Mama podcast (hosted by a therapist named Kayleigh Summers). I’m a perinatal therapist and many of my clients have found it helpful. 
I don’t have a home birth recc, but on the off chance you’re open to a midwife-based birth center, I highly recommend Pacifica family maternity center in Berkeley. Happy to share more details if you’d like. 

Congratulations!

I had the most incredible experience with Michelle Welborn of Welborn Baby and recommend her wholeheartedly. I didn't have an easy birth by any means, but everything from prenatal through birth and postpartum care was the BEST healthcare of any kind I have ever received. She's extremely knowledgeable and skilled, deeply compassionate, went way above and beyond for me and my whole family throughout the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum periods. She's based in SF and we're in N. Berkeley, but she knows how to make contingency plans for births during rush hour, etc. I would be happy to share more details if you're interested. Can't recommend her enough!

Good luck!

I highly recommend doula stephattaran [at] gmail.com

(925) 708-5277

Our midwife was an absolute dream. We had to hospital transfer and she stayed by our side every step of the way. And she’s been by 3 times this first week. 
 

Alana at Ritual midwifery 

Our incredible midwife who delivered our baby at Pacifica Family Maternity Center recently went back to supporting home births. She is beloved by everyone I’ve met who has worked with her, very seasoned and compassionate. My wife and I looked forward to every prenatal and postpartum appointment with her, and were super sad when our care with her ended! I went into labor just as she got home from a delivery, and she went right back to the birth center (after a shower!) and was 100% present for the birth of our daughter, and spent an additional hour carefully and cheerfully suturing me back together. I felt incredibly safe and held the entire time. I recommend A’maya without reservations.

https://www.oaklandvillagemidwifery.com