WHAT IS A DOULA?

A birth doula is a trained professional who comes along side the pregnant mom / partner and guides them through their prenatal, birth, and postpartum journey. We provide emotional, physical, and informational support before, during, and after your birth.

What a doula does…

  • Provide emotional and physical support during pregnancy, labor, and immediate postpartum
  • Encourage the use of comfort measures such as position changes, breathing, visualization, and massage
  • Promote relaxation through mental preparedness, awareness of what is happening during her labor, encouragement to ask questions
  • Help support partner so that s/he can best support the laboring mom
  • Continuous presence during the birth

What a doula does not…

  • Perform medical tasks, such as heart tone, blood pressure, or cervical assessments
  • Contradict the medical opinion of the client’s care provider
  • Take over the role of the husband or partner
  • Deliver the baby

Evidence for Doulas

Decreased use of Pitocin 31%
Decreased risk of C-section 28%
Increased chance of vaginal birth 12%
Decreased use of pain meds 9%
Decreased chance of NICU stay 14%
Decreased risk of dissatisfaction with birth 34%

Statistics and graphic courtesy of Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/

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What a postpartum doula does…

  • Emotional, physical, and informational support in the home after the baby is born
  • Help to bring mom comfort and healing in whichever way she needs, such as with healthy meals, preparing cold packs for the perineum, etc
  • Provide basic newborn care and feeding information (breast or otherwise)
  • Support the family by providing sibling care and caring for the baby so that mom / partner can rest
  • Basic household chores such as light cleaning, folding laundry, meal preparation, or necessary errand running

What a postpartum doula does not…

  • Perform medical tasks, such as fundal or blood pressure checks, bleeding assessments, lip/tongue tie diagnoses, etc
  • Contradict the medical opinion of the client’s care provider
  • Take over the role of the partner unless desired. Instead, the doula will support both mom and partner so that the partner can best support the mom after the doula leaves.
  • Mental health diagnoses. Instead, basic mental health assessments / referrals may be made.
  • Watch siblings or other children on a continuous / sole basis

MEET OUR DOULAS

Iowa’s first agency supporting expectant families through pregnancy, birth, and beyond.

Hiring either a birth or postpartum doula is one of the most important decisions a pregnant mom can make. Not only will this doula serve as an important support person during the birth of your baby, but she will guide and encourage you through the weeks or months leading up to the birth and after. We want every Iowan family to feel encouraged, listened to, and respected during their prenatal and postpartum care. Not every pregnant mom feels like an equal part of their own team – we’re here to change that.

Click HERE to Meet Us!

Click HERE!

Meet Our Birth Doulas

Coming from all backgrounds and walks of life, Iowa Doula Agency doulas have the experience necessary to support you through your pregnancy, labor, and beyond. Click on a profile to get to know each doula a little better; you’ll be directed to her personal DoulaMatch page where you can check her availability for your due date!

“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” –  John H. Kennell, MD

Certifying Doulas

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Jill LompCollins
Certifying Doula, Email: jilllomp@iowadoulas.com

Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Jill Lomp

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Certified Doulas

Rachel OlsonDes Moines, IA
Certifying Doula, Email: rachel@iowadoulas.com

Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Rachel Olson

Cindy Florer, Des Moines Doula

Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Cindy Florer

Austin Johnson, Iowa Doula Agency

Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Austin Johnson

Iowa Doula Agency, Des Moines Doula

Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Jill Kvinlaug

Iowa Doula Agency, Des Moines Doula

Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Heather Moran

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Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Andrea Shandri

Melissa Schnurr, Iowa Doula Agency

Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Melissa Schnurr

Meet Our Postpartum Doulas

Coming from all backgrounds and walks of life, Iowa Doula Agency doulas have the experience necessary to support you through those precious postpartum days and nights. Click on a profile to get to know each doula a little better and consider coming to our Meet the Doulas! nights, held at our studio in Valley Junction.

“In those first six weeks a mother should be waited on, served, and nurtured.” –  Debra Pascali-Bonaro

Cindy Florer, Des Moines Doula

Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Cindy Florer

Erin Huiatt

Erin Huiatt, Des Moines
Postpartum Doula, Email: erin@iowadoulas.com

Meet Iowa Doula Agency - Erin Huiatt

WHAT'S THE PROCESS

Iowa Doula Agency offers a unique process for hiring your doula. Maybe you want to be professionally matched with a doula who’s best suited for your needs? Maybe you’d rather personally choose a doula, one whom you’ve known for awhile. Either way, Iowa Doula Agency will support and encourage you through this process.

Why Hire an IDA Birth Doula?

Iowa Doula Agency provides three tiers of birth doulas, all trained to join you through your birthing journey. One benefit of hiring a doula through Iowa Doula Agency is that we provide a range of expertise and you benefit from a range of investment fees. Consider your needs and your family budget. Are you a mom who would benefit from both a birth and a postpartum doula? Take advantage of our discount program!

Certifying

$375
$375
  • Currently certifying with approved certifying body.
  • Has completed hands-on workshop through approved certifying body.
  • Currently engaging in continuing education with IDA.
  • Valuable member of the IDA Team!

Certified

$675
$675
  • Certified with approved certifying body.
  • Working on gaining experience through births.
  • Currently engaging in continuing education with IDA.
  • Valuable member of the IDA Team!

Certified Experienced

$875
$875
  • Certified with approved certifying body.
  • Has attended at minimum 15 births either through IDA or privately.
    Testimonials through Doulamatch.net used as verification for private work.
  • Currently engaging in continuing education with IDA.
  • Valuable member of the IDA Team!

Birth + Postpartum

10% off
10% off
  • Take advantage of both birth and postpartum support. Receive 10% off postpartum support.
  • Trained postpartum doulas
  • Currently engaging in continuing education with IDA.
  • Valuable member of the IDA Team!

Why Hire an IDA Postpartum Doula?

Iowa Doula Agency provides a wide range of doulas, all trained to join you through your postpartum journey. One benefit of hiring a postpartum doula through Iowa Doula Agency is that we provide two customizable package options, plus an add-on option so you can receive the support you need. Consider your needs and your family budget. Are you a mom who would benefit from both a birth and a postpartum doula? Take advantage of our discount program!

Package 1

$525
$525
  • Two week commitment, average of 3 hours a day.
  • Flexible usage of hours.
  • 30 hours of postpartum support in your home.

Package 2

$215
$215
  • Three day commitment, average of 3 hours a day.
  • Flexible usage of hours.
  • 9 hours of postpartum support in your home.

Add-On Option

$55
$55
  • Three hour segment
  • Flexible usage of hours.
  • To be used in conjunction with Pack. 1 or 2.

Birth + Postpartum

10% off
10% off
  • 10% off postpartum doula fee with hiring of birth doula.
  • Take advantage of both birth and postpartum support.
  • Wonderful option for first time OR experienced moms!

How to choose…

  • Iowa Doula Agency holds our “Meet the Doulas!” nights once a month, typically on the second Monday of the month at 6:30pm. You’ll have an opportunity to not only see our beautiful studio but also meet the doulas in person! The first 10 minutes will include a presentation on how the agency is set up and the rest of the time will be spent personally meeting those doulas in attendance. Check out our Facebook Events page here and mark the next “Meet the Doulas” on your calendar!
  • Maybe you want a more personal experience?
    • Contact the agency by either submitting a contact request or by emailing info@iowadoulas.com.
    • Attend an in-person, non-obligatory consultation with the agency manager. You will receive a contract and exclusive discounts to which only IDA clients will have access, all while given time to ask your important questions. Your request for the specific doula will be taken.
    • After the consultation, your request will be compared with the calendar availability of that doula and you will be notified of the request decision.
    • Your Iowa Doula Agency doula will contact you to set up your first prenatal appointment! (Not available with CE On-Call Doulas)

How to be matched…

  • View our unique set of digital biographies here to get a feel for the personalities of our IDA doulas.
  • Contact the agency by either submitting a contact request or by emailing info@iowadoulas.com.
    • You will receive a digital folder containing the contract and exclusive discounts to which only IDA clients will have access, all while given time to ask your important questions. You will also be able to view available doulas (and maybe find one you’d prefer to choose!).
    • Your needs and desires will be compared with the calendar availability of those doulas who fit your preferences the best. Iowa Doula Agency will contact you and send you a video biography link of your doula!
  • Your Iowa Doula Agency doula will contact you to set up your first prenatal appointment! (Not available with CE On-Call Doulas)

Set up your personalized consultation now!

Schedule!

MISSION AND VALUES

Mission, Values Statement, and Scope of Practice

The Iowa Doula Agency is committed to bringing together pregnant Iowans and compassionate, professional doulas who best can meet her birthing needs.

Values Statement:

The Iowa Doula Agency will provide doulas who:

  • are free of judgment and provide judgment-free birth information
  • provide exceptional customer service
  • are a source of evidence-based information
  • encourage relationships with client’s care providers, based on mutual trust and respect
  • encourage informed consent throughout their client’s medical care
  • will not practice outside of IDA’s Scope of Practice
  • will foster positive relationships with all care providers
  • will maintain privacy boundaries

Scope of Practice

Doulas from the Iowa Doula Agency will:

  • Provide unbiased information about the birth process, comfort measures, and the general birth environment. This includes providing guidance for birth plans.
  • Refer client to reliable and reputable sources for information that falls outside the knowledge and scope of the doula.
  • Emotionally and physically comfort and support clients (both mom and partner) continuously through labor and provide back up care should she not be able to attend.
  • Offer options for comfort during labor including but not limited to: multiple massage techniques, different labor and pushing positions, heating and cooling relief, and guided breathing or thinking for optimal relaxation. Other means to relaxation and comfort that a doula may provide include suggesting dimmed lighting, quiet music, and limited visitors.
  • During the immediate postpartum period, the doula may provide basic breastfeeding and newborn care support, along with encouragement to make the postpartum period as gentle and supported as possible.
  • It is within the Scope of IDA to empower and uplift our clients so they can feel comfortable enough to ask questions regarding their care. It is the hope of IDA that all women are respected and listened to during their medical care.

Limitation of Practice

Doulas from the Iowa Doula Agency will not:

  • At any time, provide medical advice, opinion, or statements that could be construed as medical advice or opinion.
  • Give information contradictory to the opinion of her medical care provider. Instead, the doula may provide evidence-based information to the client so that she may make an informed decision about her care.
  • Perform medical tasks, including but not limited to: vaginal or cervical assessments, blood pressure checks, listening to heart tones, or analyzing tocodynamometer readings. Other medical equipment such as IVs, blood pressure cuffs, tocodynamometers, or other monitoring devices should not be touched, unless specific instruction is given by the care provider.
  • Offer breastfeeding support beyond her certification. Proper referrals to lactation consultants will be made.
  • Engage in conduct that would compromise the reputation of herself, Iowa Doula Agency, her certifying body, or the doula community at large.
  • Divulge client information unless necessary for adequately preparing a back up doula.
Nonprofits1

Iowa Doula Agency was created to expand the market of doulas to all women who want and need the transformational support a doula provides. Offering differently experienced doulas allows pregnant families in Iowa access to a doula that best fits their lifestyle and budget.

Exclusive Partners

Iowa Doula Agency is so proud to offer exclusive discounts with the following local businesses. After contracting with your IDA doula, you will receive a welcome packet that details your exclusive discount code. We invite you to click on any logo below and read more about what each business offers!

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Preferred Providers

Preferred Providers make up a trusted list of professional care providers. After contracting with your IDA doula, you will receive more information from each provider. We invite you to click on any logo below to learn more information!

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BECOME AN IDA DOULA

Clients look to Iowa Doula Agency to fill a very specific role during their pregnancy and birth of their child- Do you desire to fill this role? Let Iowa Doula Agency take care of growing your business for you so that you can focus on providing loving care like you want. Iowa Doula Agency is always looking for qualified, professional doulas to join our community and we would love to hear from you.

Please fill out a contact form through this website, letting us know you are interested in receiving more information.

At this time, IDA is only looking for doulas who have taken their certification workshop class.

QUESTIONS

How do I find a doula?

By using Iowa Doula Agency, you will get a chance to not only read through bio’s of our doulas but you’ll also have the opportunity to email them or speak with them directly. During the initial interview, you will decide whether you’d like to be personally matched by a doula coordinator or whether you’d like to choose your doula specifically. Iowa Doula Agency’s goal is to always either find a doula that will work cohesively with you or be able to honor your request of a specific doula you already have in mind.

What does a relationship with a doula look like?

You will have two to three meetings with your Iowa Doula Agency doula. During these prenatal meetings, you will discuss your goals and desires for the birth of your baby, as well as any fears or anxieties you have about the process. Your doula will love to speak with you about comfort measures that you may enjoy, as well as offer help writing a birth plan. You will have not only your doula’s email, but also her phone number so that you may communicate via text or by calling.

During the birth of your baby, your doula will provide continuous support to both you and your husband / partner if present. She will be there to ease fears and answer questions and to provide you emotional and physical support during this journey. Your doula will also stay about an hour after your baby is born to encourage skin to skin and help with breastfeeding.

How much does a doula cost?

Our range of doula services is sure to meet any budget. Be matched with a Student doula (a doula still completing her certification) for $375, a Certified doula for $675, or an Experienced Certified doula (has completed at least 15 births for IDA or received the equivalent of proven positive reviews) for $875.

For a comparison chart on investment fees, click on Why Hire A Doula!

What if I can't afford a doula?

We understand that sometimes, financial restraints impact our quality of life in one way or another. The good news is that we can work with you to provide not only a doula who you will love to work with, but we can also work with your budget. A few things to consider:

  • If you were looking to hire a Certified or Certified Experienced doula, consider hiring a student doula who would love to not only support you, but also use your birth as a learning experience that will benefit many others in her future career.
  • Consider writing a budget and cutting out extraneous costs so that your finances can accept the value of a doula.
  • Iowa Doula Association is happy to work with you on writing a payment plan that fits your needs. IDA also accepts credit card payments.
  • Re-evaluate your priorities in a way that puts the importance of the birth of your child higher than other possible events that cost you money. How much did you spend on your wedding? What price can you put on such a transformative event as birthing your baby?
  • Knowing that doulas may lower your hospital bills by helping you to progress through your labor without pain medication or a Cesarean surgical birth, write to or call your insurance company to see if they will cover the cost of a doula. Did they deny your request? Write and call again…and again…and again. 🙂
  • Usually an HSA will cover the cost of a doula. Check with the HR department within your employer to see if your HSA is funded.

Which care providers do you work with?

Iowa Doula Agency is happy to work with any provider in the service area; however, a specific doula may have particular requirements about births she will support.

Do you only attend home births?

Absolutely not! Any Iowa Doula Agency doula will be happy to attend your birth wherever you choose.

What if I want an epidural?

That’s totally okay! We know that each woman has different goals and aspirations for her birth. It is not a doula’s job to dictate how you birth your baby or to assume that one way is better to birth than any other. After you either are matched or choose your doula, talk with her about your goals and desired comfort measures. Even if you know you want an epidural, please talk with your doula about risks and benefits of this procedure. We want you to, above all else, make informed decisions about your care.

Are there any specific rules a doula has to follow?

Just like other practical careers, a certifying or certified doula has a scope of practice and standards she has to abide by, which are set by her certifying body. Iowa Doula Association only hires doulas who are certified through DONA International (www.dona.org), CAPPA (www.cappa.net), or ICEA (www.icea.org). Moreover, Iowa Doula Agency has it’s own Scope of Practice that our doulas will follow. Hiring an IDA doula guarantees that our doulas will be knowledgable about proper practice within your birthing environment.

How do I become an IDA doula?

We would love to hear from you! Scroll down just a bit to the section titled “Become an IDA Doula” where you can read more information.

Are there other services provided?

Yes! Iowa Doulas Agency offers different childbirth education courses and birth photography. Owner Andrea Shandri is Des Moines’ first and only professional doula and birth photographer!

RESOURCES

We live in a digital age where we gain knowledge from resources found electronically, but when it comes to birth and other life stages, the information available to us can be overwhelming; it’s hard to know what information to take to heart versus leaving for others. Let us help direct you to evidence-based, professional resources, both in print and digital.


Books

Websites

Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS): http://www.motherfriendly.org/

Evidence Based Birth®: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/

International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN): http://www.ican-online.org/

Iowa Birth Organization: www.iowabirth.org

 

Videos

Birth/Newborn

Penny Simkin on Delayed Cord Clamping

Penny Simkin on Pain vs Suffering in Labor

Penny Simkin on Using Doulas in Labor

Penny Simkin on Care of a Woman with an Epidural

Ina May Gaskin on Reducing Fear of Birth in US Culture

Putting Sex Back into Birth

Ina May Gaskin on Pleasure Bonding for Couples

Family Centered Cesarean

 

Breastfeeding

Achieving a Deep Latch while Breastfeeding

Dr. Jack Newman’s Visual Guide to Breastfeeding

 

Newborn

Circumcision

 

Postpartum

Nearly 20% of pregnant women and mothers of young children and up to 10% of men with young children will develop postpartum depression or other PMAD (perinatal mood and anxiety disorder). In fact, PMADs are the most common complication of childbirth!

The good news is that PMADs can be prevented and treated very successfully. Learn about prevention and warning signs. (From Pine Rest Christian Mental Health)

Surprising Symptoms of Postpartum Depression from Pine Rest on Vimeo.

Talking to Your Kids About Your Postpartum Depression or Other PMAD from Pine Rest on Vimeo.

Reducing Your Risk for Postpartum Depression from Pine Rest on Vimeo.

Baby Blues or Something More Serious from Pine Rest on Vimeo.

SCHOLARSHIP

We understand that not everyone has the ability to pay for a doula. While valuing the work that doulas do, we know that support can be cost-prohibitive for some families. The importance of the support that a doula provides is one reason why we created our Scholarship Program. We are proud to be the only doula agency in the state of Iowa that breaks down the financial barrier of hiring a doula and we are excited to donate $20 for every contracted client to the fund.

How does it work? Once accepted into the program, the client will have the opportunity to choose the certifying doula she wants to work with. If the doula has that due date available, the contract will be filled out and the client and doula will set up their two to three prenatal meetings. The cost for a certifying doula is normally $375, but funds from the scholarship program will be used to cover that cost. For a list of current certifying doulas, click here!

Wondering how you can donate to this great opportunity? There are two options: As a contracted client, indicate your desired donation on your contract (bottom of intake form) OR donate through our PayPal option by clicking here and scrolling down to the Scholarship Program heading.

Qualifications:

  • Applicants must be pregnant.
  • Applicants must download, fill out, and return the application found below. If there are barriers that would prohibit this, applicants may email info@iowadoulas.com or call us at 515-255-5122.
  • Applicants must expect to meet with their doula at least twice. Failure to show up to prenatal meetings may prohibit program completion.

CONTACT US

Contact Form
Please enter your name.
Your email address.
The message you wish to send.
When is your due date, if pregnant?
Who is your medical care provider, if you have one?

Contact Details

120 5th St. STE C #202
West Des Moines, IA 50265

Telephone: 515-255-5122

Consultations

Call now or email to set up your personalized consultation with owner Andrea Shandri, where you will find a doula to meet all of your support needs.

Main: 515-255-5122
Email: info@iowadoulas.com

         
Copyright © 2014 Parallelus.

SHOP

IDA Shop

Doula payments, donations to our Scholarship Program, and other fun birth-y things! Scroll all the way through!

Pay for your Doula.

Pay for your doula at your convenience and we’ll eagerly await your contract! To contract your doula, only 50% down is required. Clicking the “add to cart” button below will add 50% of the fee to your PayPal cart. If you’d like to pay the full fee (listed under the tier of your choice), add this to your cart twice, for a total quantity of two.

Certifying DoulaIMG_4580

Although not yet certified, she is sure to deliver comfort and support just like you need it!

$375

Certified DoulaIMG_4580

Certified Doulas have met all certification requirements and are eagerly awaiting your call!

$675

Certified Experienced DoulaIMG_4580

Certified Experienced doulas- some of the most experienced doulas in the area! Get on her calendar now!

$875

PayProgram
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Give a gift of labor support! You decide the amount you would like to put towards your loved one’s birth team.

$20-$875

Postpartum Doula

Package 1IMG_4580

Two week commitment, average of 3 hours a day.
Total of 30 flexible hours.

$525

Postpartum Doula

Package 2
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Three day commitment, average of 3 hours a day.
Total of 9 flexible hours.

$215

Postpartum Doula

Add-On Option
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To be used in conjunction with Package 1 or 2.
Three hour add-on option.

$55

Scholarship Program. 

Iowa Doula Agency is so excited to offer this new program to Iowan families. Our Scholarship Program consists of funds donated by IDA clients, potential clients, and the agency itself – for every contracted client, IDA donates $20 to the fund. This money is earmarked for all clients who are accepted into our scholarship program, to be used to hire their IDA student doula. The list of criteria to be accepted into the program is still being determined. Come back for more information and in the meantime, click here to go to the Scholarship section of our website.

$50.00 Donation

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$100.00 Donation

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$250.00 Donation

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$500.00 Donation

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Locally Designed Birth Items. 

Iowa Doula Agency is so proud to partner with local businesses! We have a unique collection of books, comfort measures, and clothing that will meet either an emotional or physical need.

Birth Affirmation cards
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This hand-designed, beautiful set of 17 birth affirmation cards is just one comfort measure you can utilize during your birth. Includes 12 positive affirmations and 5 blank cards, and constructed of durable card stock to last.

$15

Momma

Written by Des Moines author and artist Beth Powell, Momma encourages rest and connection with the baby inside of you who is yearning for your attention. The art inside this short meditation will leave you breathless.

$10

Mother’s Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth

Local author Dr. Kim Wildner presents an informative collection of information designed to strengthen the presence of knowing how to birth your baby. Available on Amazon, but purchase here for less!

$13.50

LIMITED EDITION: Peace Love Birth Shirt

Funds from this purchase benefit statewide advocacy group Iowa Birth Organization. This limited edition t-shirt is a 50/50 American Apparel print. Color options: heather purple (pictured) or dark brushed teal. Size options: Medium / Large. Before purchase is confirmed, please email andrea@iowadoulas.com to check size/color options.

$22

Events.

Need to pay the fee for one of our awesome events? Do so here!

MotherBlessing

A group Mother Blessing, sometimes called a Blessingway, is a time to come together with other women to honor and celebrate this amazing moment in your lives. At this group blessing, each woman will get a henna design on her belly from henna artist Sarah Norman of Alternative Artistry. She makes her own paste by hand using 100% henna leaf powder, organic lemon juice, wildcrafted lavender EO, and sugar. She will also lead a ceremony where you will connect with your baby, your mothering instinct, and the other women in attendance. This will be a beautiful and emotional experience, truly a gift to yourself and your pregnancy. We ask that you bring 6 beads of your choosing. They will be used to create bracelets for all the women attending, so we ask that they be special to you in some way. As long as it has meaning you can share with others, it will be perfect. We look forward to sharing this amazing experience you! *PLEASE RSVP TO ATTEND THIS EVENT – iowadoulas@gmail.com ***

$50

IDA Presents: Comfort in Birth

Join other parents wishing to prepare for their birth journey in this quick, one-night class. Comfort in Birth will cover: Why a relaxing environment is important; Understanding your ideal relaxation; How to create your ideal relaxation, anywhere you birth.
Register now by emailing andrea@iowadoulas.com.
Cost is $75 and includes all needed materials and snacks. $25 discount if client of IDA. *PLEASE RSVP TO ATTEND THIS EVENT – iowadoulas@gmail.com ***

$75