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Elizabeth Gritzmacher Portland Doula | Birth First Doulas in Portland, Oregon
Portland Certified Doula Elizabeth Gritzmacher

Elizabeth Gritzmacher, Portland Doula

When I attended my first birth, I had my camera in my hand. I was working as a photographer and had been looking for a path that would allow me to do meaningful work in the service of others. I was lucky to have a friend who wanted her birth documented, and she invited me to join her once labor began. In that birth space, witnessing and capturing this brilliant journey, I experienced the importance and sacredness of the support birthing people receive and the utter profundity of the moment when a baby joins the world. I knew that in birth, I had found my calling. I enrolled in Birthingway College of Midwifery to begin empowering myself to become a hands-on, heart-centered, knowledgeable source of labor and birth support: a doula. Becoming a certified doula has been about more than just providing continuous care, evidence-based information, and emotional support throughout pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period, though it is all of those things, too — it’s also about working to create a world in which all babies are born into the loving arms of a well-supported community. To give birth is powerful, intense work, and there are so many unknowns along the way. I believe every birthing person deserves a doula: a grounding presence who knows birth and is able to remain an objective support throughout, someone who doesn’t come and go like nurses and doctors, who can help to navigate the unknowns, and whose warm hands know just where to push to help ease the pain. I bring a calming, warm, and non-judgmental presence to the birth space, and I believe in supporting families in giving birth on their own terms. When not working with new and growing families, I love to spend time with family and friends, and my fiance, Adam. I love to hike, backpack, cook, travel, read, and watch sunsets over Mt. Hood from my kitchen window. I’m also still a professional photographer, focusing now on maternity, birth, and newborn sessions.

Partnership Model

I work in a partnership model with Vera Hyatt, which means that when you hire us, you get the benefit of two doulas’ experience, knowledge, and empathetic care. We’ve received the same training through Birthingway College and have had the privilege of attending several births together, thus our doula approach, philosophy, and style are very similar. Sometimes we joke that we are like one person because we often finish each other’s sentences, and some people have asked us if we are sisters! We like to think of this similarity as a benefit to you — that no matter which one of us attends your birth, you will receive the same warm hands, the same empathetic ear, and the same excellent quality of care. Our partnership means that we both attend the initial consultation, two prenatal appointments, and your postpartum follow-up. Whoever is on call when you go into labor will attend your birth, while the other remains available to be called in later if labor is long and fresh energy would be helpful. We absolutely love working together and supporting our clients as a team, and would be elated to work with and support you for your upcoming labor and birth!

Certified Doulas in Portland, Oregon



Certified Doula, Birthingway College of Midwifery


Collaborative Practice Training with PDX Doulas at OHSU


Adult and Pediatric CPR / First Aid / AED Certification


BA in Latin American Studies, Psychology. Prescott College, 2008

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Elizabeth’s Testimonials

“Elizabeth was kind, thoughtful and well prepared as a doula. She advocated for what my partner and I wanted/needed during the birth and brought a calming voice to the experience. I am forever grateful to have shared such a special moment in my life with her.”


“True thoughtfulness is rare and beautiful. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me! I truly appreciate all the thought and time you put in to care for me. You have such a kind and generous heart.”


“Elizabeth’s presence was comforting, calming, and grounding to both myself and my partner. She set a nice mood in the room and gently supported him in being my main support person – but when I needed a second hand to hold or a reassuring look she was always right there. She was fully present, providing us with comfort tools and helping us communicate with hospital staff, but also gave us just the right amount of space to connect as partners during a big moment in our life together. I’ve given birth before, and had a doula present then, and while that was a positive experience this time was above and beyond better. I know a lot of that is thanks to Elizabeth. It felt right to have her there – it’s clear she was meant to do this work – and she will always be an important and joyful part of our son’s birth story.” 
Birth First Doulas, Portland, Oregon

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Many of the photographs on this site were taken by She Saw Things

Birth First Doulas is proud to be in partnership with Bridgetown Baby & Community Doula Alliance

Doula Service Locations: NW Portland, NE Portland, N Portland, SW Portland, SE Portland, Sellwood, Beaverton, Hillsdale, Tigard, West Slope, Sherwood, Hillsboro, Gresham, Tualatin, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, West Lynn, Happy Valley, Oregon City, Wilsonville, Oregon, and Vancouver, Camas, Washougal, Washington

Hospitals & Birth Centers We Serve: Kaiser Sunnyside, Kaiser Westside, OHSU, Legacy Good Samaritan, Legacy Emanuel, Legacy Meridian Park, Legacy Salmon Creek, PeaceHealth, Providence Portland, Providence St. Vincent’s, Adventist, Hillsboro Medical Center, WHA Midwifery Birth Center, Andaluz Waterbirth Center, Alma Birth Center, Canyon Birth Center, and Home Births in Portland, Oregon

Doula Service Specialities:  birth doula service, childbirth & parenting classes, newborn classes, certified doulas, natural birth, unmedicated birth, vaginal birth, water birth, epidural assisted birth, birth advocacy, cesarean birth, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), high risk birth, induction, twins and multiples, previous miscarriage and loss, LGBTQ+ families, body positive, single parents, surrogacy, hospital birth, birth center birth, home birth, and a variety of additional doula services in Portland, Oregon