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KIND WORDS FROM OUR LOVELY CLIENTS

Nikki Gaither
Nikki Gaither
21:59 09 Mar 20
We hired Atika Hagen with Birth First Doulas for the birth of our first baby last month. She was an invaluable asset from pregnancy through post partum. But where Atika really shines is during labor. I know that she had a major impact on the positive outcome of our natural birth experience. She knew what to say and how to help make me feel comfortable and how to coach my husband in participating as well. Her wealth of knowledge and experience brought peace of mind to our family during what could have otherwise been an uncertain or potentially stressful time. We love Atika and highly recommend her to anyone seeking additional support during labor.read more
Karissa Deane
Karissa Deane
20:04 04 Mar 20
Working with the Birth First Doulas and our Doula Kathy, exceeded our expectations from both the doula agency and our amazing doula herself. Kathy was a joy to work with and provided the perfect combination of being fully present and available during the birth process, while allowing my husband and I to share an intimate and powerful experience between the two of us. She gave us the confidence during our first laboring experience that enabled us to deliver our first baby trusting she had our backs the entire time. Kathy has continued to go above and beyond in our postpartum period, by visiting and holding baby, talking through our thoughts and experiences and continuing to support us and become a lifelong family friend. I couldn't recommend Kathy more. If you're looking for a sweet, loving, bubbly and strong energy as your Doula, Kathy will bring that and more. We love Kathy! The BFD agency themselves were amazing as well. Facilitating a speedy response when I began looking for our doula at 17 weeks pregnant. They handled the financial aspects allowing us to create a pure connection with our doula outside of money. They provide many extra services including a wonderful birth class and nurturing circle, and so much more.read more
Madeleine Miller
Madeleine Miller
19:08 17 Feb 20
Choosing Birth First Doulas was one of best decisions we made during our pregnancy. The support, advice, and resources provided by Brooke and Rebecca throughout the pregnancy were invaluable. I knew that I would have the guidance I needed regardless of how the pregnancy or delivery unfolded. Brooke and Rebecca's calm, positive, yet confidence demeanor put my husband and I at ease. From the beginning they listen to us and made us feel like they were on our team. I couldn't imagine not having their support during the pregnancy, delivery and after coming home from the hospital. Brooke's care and attention to my needs as a mother was especially helpful as we transitioned home with our new baby. We plan on using them again for any future pregnancies and would recommend them to anyone.read more
Sydney Smejkal
Sydney Smejkal
00:44 06 Feb 20
My husband and I had a great experience working with Bri and Alicia! Having their guidance and expertise while navigating first time parenthood was invaluable. We took full advantage of the BFD class offerings as well! We really enjoyed each class experience and felt knowledgeable and well informed when the birth finally took place.read more
Ashley Jemes
Ashley Jemes
00:30 06 Feb 20
Our family’s experience with Birth First was wonderful. Our doula, Crystal, was amazing and I felt empowered and excited to have her as part of our birth team. She was so knowledgeable and professional, and and had so much grace in how she discussed birth and our upcoming labor and delivery. It is clear that the birthing process is Crystal’s passion! My partner and I both really appreciated the peace of mind in having her support. She was my rock during pushing and allowed my partner to focus fully on the birth of our daughter—an experience we both cherish. We are so grateful and highly recommend Crystal and the entire Birth First team (the classes were also excellent—informative and practical).read more
Adrianne Barlow
Adrianne Barlow
22:00 05 Feb 20
It's tough to express in review format how grateful we are to have had Brooke and Rebecca as our doulas. My husband and I have said so many times since our daughter's birth that we don't know how we would have made it through without Brooke, and her postpartum home visit was so powerfully helpful in processing a difficult delivery. We've told all our pregnant friends that the money spent at BFD was the best we've spent on anything, ever!read more
Samantha Reynolds
Samantha Reynolds
20:05 13 Jan 20
Brooke and Rebecca are the dream team when it comes to doula's in the area! If we could give them 10 stars we would! My partner and I had no idea even what a doula was before we hired them. My birth experience was exactly what I had imagined it to be because of their expertise. As soon as we hired them when I was 20 weeks pregnant we had a resource to text or call whenever we had things come up. My pregnancy wasn't easy emotionally due family drama and Brooke and Rebecca were always there to help with my stress. They didn't only help me with my stress they were a always there for my partner as well. We learned so much from them from the prenatal appointments where we made our birth preferences and learned labor positions and pain relief techniques. To the false labor contractions I had weeks before she was born. Then most importantly the one on one support I got during labor that got me through 9 hours of contractions from Rebecca before getting an epidural. Even after I got an epidural Brooke was there to rub my feet, keep the room very peaceful with fake candles and dim lights, she was always there to help me understand what the nurse or doctor was suggesting (when you are in labor you don't know what to choose when things come up and they are your advocate). One of the most special things that Brooke did was take photos and videos of our daughters birth so my partner and I got to enjoy that moment without distractions and the photos are absolutely incredible to look back on! They also got to check on us at our apartment when our daughter was 2 weeks old which was wonderful. When we have another baby in the future we know without a doubt we will be hiring Brooke and Rebecca again!read more
Nancy Price
Nancy Price
17:32 07 Jan 20
Hiring Brooke and Rebecca as our doulas for the birth of our first child was truly and absolutely worth every penny! These ladies are true professionals: knowledgable, respectful, supportive, and experienced. We wanted a doula for two reasons, 1. fear of pregnancy/childbirth and 2. an understanding that we had no idea what we were doing and needed help. We met with both Brooke and Rebecca leading up to the big day. They provided us with the information and assurances we needed to be prepared, emotionally and physically. I spent time early on on Google trying to teach myself, which only made the fear worse. I quickly learned that I could trust our doulas to educate us on what we needed to know to build a birth plan and know our options. They helped make me feel like childbirth was something I could handle. Of particular note for these meetings, they didn't just focus on the mom-to-be, but also on the dad-to-be and on the couple as a unit. This was important to us and a big reason why we decided on Rebecca and Brooke to be our doulas over others.Then came the big day. From the earliest pre-labor to birth was a day and a half. Rebecca was our doula "on call". She was on the phone with us from the beginning, suggesting ways to make early labor more comfortable and helping us as much as possible to maximize the time we were able to labor in our home. It felt great to not be alone during this time! Once we were admitted to the hospital, Rebecca was there making the experience a positive one, even for someone with great fear of the process; I am so very grateful for that! I wanted to labor naturally (without epidural, if possible), and I can honestly say I could not have done it if Rebecca wasn't there. When I felt at my weakest, Rebecca was there to support me with techniques to help me through. Even the nursing staff at the hospital complimented Rebecca on the wonderful job she was doing for us! Of course, she wasn't just there for me, but was also there to coach my husband, showing him how to help in ways he was comfortable with and to guide him on his own self care so that the experience was as positive as possible for both parents. We are so happy to have had Rebecca and Brooke as participants in our first pregnancy and birth experience. They were essential to making what could have been a scary and traumatic experience into the positive and empowering experience that it was. Thank you!read more
Natalie Dickinson
Natalie Dickinson
05:50 07 Jan 20
Atika and Camilla are absolutely incredible! They were thoughtful and knowledgeable, with a good sense of humor, throughout all of our time together. We loved our house visits, where they instantly connected with our daughter and made us all feel at home in their presence. They balanced listening to our needs with adding their own advice and perspective. They are such a great pair! As soon as Atika entered the room during my labor, I instantly felt calm and that I knew everything was going to be okay. She was a grounding support for me and my husband-- I was so happy she was there! When it was time for them to trade shifts, Camilla was respectful of our decision to be alone, and waited in the wings. When she did come in, it was so wonderful to see her beaming warm smile. We love them and are forever grateful they were part of the birth journey of our second child!read more
Natalie Kim
Natalie Kim
19:26 01 Jan 20
Camilla & Atika were the perfect doula team for us! They came with their own perspectives and balanced both the intuitive/emotional part of childbirth with the evidence-based information we were looking for. They tag teamed our birth in a way that never left us feeling abandoned. Camilla was a steady and calming presence (and a hand to squeeze) during the most intense parts of labor and pushing. Atika came by (on Thanksgiving no less) our house a couple days after we got home from the hospital. We also appreciated their advice on postpartum baby gear and how to set up our house. Overall, we were thankful that Camilla & Atika were part of our birth experience!read more
Lauryn Morrow
Lauryn Morrow
04:31 22 Dec 19
Kim was absolutely AMAZING. As a single mama I wanted to have someone who would be there consistently through the process. Hiring a Doula was the best investment I ever could have made. Kim went above and beyond for me and my little babe. I can’t recommend her enough & I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her!read more
Olivia Kroening-Roche
Olivia Kroening-Roche
17:33 04 Dec 19
I first encountered Brooke and Rebecca through my job as a midwife working in the hospital. I get the opportunity to care for women and work with many different doulas throughout the birthing process. When I myself became pregnant, I knew immediately that I wanted to work with Brooke and Rebecca. After our first visit with them, my partner agreed they would be the perfect fit to help us welcome our first child into the world. They have a wonderful model of care, where one of them is always on-call for the birth. I loved this set-up and the confidence I had knowing one of them would be there to support us. Brooke was ultimately with us during the birth. She met me in my most vulnerable moments, loving and supporting me as if I were family yet also with the utmost professionalism. Our birth was challenging and long and beautiful and we are so grateful we had Brooke on our team to care for us as our family grew to three. We are forever grateful.read more
Leah Schaab
Leah Schaab
04:37 03 Dec 19
We were so thankful to have Brooke and Rebecca be a part of our birth experience. They were both amazing resources during our pregnancy and postpartum. We had a positive birth experience because of their involvement, knowledge and care. I would highly recommend hiring them.read more
Kristin Eberhard
Kristin Eberhard
21:37 25 Nov 19
We are so grateful that Brooke and Rebecca helped us through our birth journey. The pre-natal visits with them helped us feel informed and confident, they were always available for any questions or worries we had, and I felt so much better with Brooke there at the hospital with us. If we had another, I would definitely want them by our side again.read more
Wylie Robinson
Wylie Robinson
18:30 25 Nov 19
Rebecca and Brooke are amazing at what they do. We hired Birth First Doula's for our first child and it made a huge difference in our experience. Prior to labor, all of the consultation and advice we received was invaluable. On 'labor day' Rebecca was on call and helped talk through early labor signs over the phone before we got in the car and headed to the hospital. Once in the hospital labor room, Rebecca was able to coach with positions, breathing, and relaxation throughout the entire birthing process. Without her we would have never tried some of the positions that really helped progress labor. She was level-headed and a great leader in a situation that was very foreign to both my wife and I. I cannot recommend Birth First Doula's highly enough!read more
Kelsee Hobbins
Kelsee Hobbins
20:10 24 Nov 19
Brooke and Rebecca were an amazing resource throughout our pregnancy and labor. I can’t imagine going through that experience without their knowledge and compassion.
J Burs
J Burs
04:36 19 Nov 19
Brooke was there for the rescue! there aren't enough words to express are praise for Brooke. We have used her multiple times and have spent the week after delivery saying how lucky we were to have her there at our sides We have had some rough delivery experiences and when all the chaos is streaming around you in that hospital room, Brooke is like a guiding light to lead you through the journey. Before we had kids, I wouldn't have thought hiring a Doula was necessary with all the nurses, nursing assistants, students, midwifes, and doctors coming in and out of the hospital room trying to help. But when the final minutes are upon you, she was the person, actually the only person in the room who really knew us, what we wanted and how to get us there. Not only did she help us get through it, she also helped the doctors/nurse/midwifes get through it. These medical professionals, while doing the best they know how, are only human. And the stress in that room when things aren't going well, even overwhelmed them. Each time we have used Brooke, she has given the medical staff helpful suggestions, in Brooke's polite way, and I truly believe she was the difference between a healthy outcome and potential disaster. Her services were priceless as they not only bought us peace of mind but a healthy baby! While her services do cost money, for the rest of our lives we'll be thankful we spent it. Thank you Brooke!read more
Anna Kraemer
Anna Kraemer
16:24 18 Nov 19
Rebecca Durlin Smith was our Doula for the birth of our son. We are first-time parents and knew we needed extra support during labor and delivery. Having Rebecca as our Doula was one of the best decisions we've ever made. I had a very long labor and she was with us every step of the way. Rebecca was supportive, informative, comforting, and helped me and my husband welcome our amazing baby into this world. We can't thank Rebecca enough! Our birth experience was immensely better because she was by our side.read more
Kate Newton
Kate Newton
18:36 17 Oct 19
I did an extensive search to find the perfect doula team for my journey, and I couldn’t be more impressed or pleased with what I’ve found through Birth First Doulas! My Doulas, Alicia and Bri, have gone above and beyond to support me throughout my pregnancy thus far (5 weeks left to go until the big debut.) They are attentive, incredibly accommodating, as supportive as close family members, and there for every up and down I’ve experienced, and there have been more than a few unexpected surprises along the way that made things more of a struggle than I had ever anticipated. What impresses me the most about Birth First Doulas is that the whole team, not just my Doulas, have been there for me every step of the way and then some. Rebecca and Brooke, the owners, are just as invested as Alicia and Bri have been, and not just with me. They have been at classes to meet clients, they check in with me regularly to see how everything is going, and from what I’ve seen, they treat their entire team like one big happy family. I can’t recommend this company enough, and I strongly believe that Doulas should be recognized annually in the form of a National holiday!read more
Candice Mayan
Candice Mayan
00:40 08 Oct 19
My husband and I hired Birth First Doulas to guide us through our first birth experience, and we are so incredibly grateful for all of their loving guidance and care throughout the process. We truly feel like we couldn't have done it without them! When we initially hired them, we knew we wanted a knowledgeable team to help us outline our birth preferences while I was pregnant, as well as inform any decisions that needed to be made during labor. Brooke and Rebecca were an integral part of our team every step of the way, leading up to, throughout, and after the birth of our son. What we didn't anticipate was a complicated labor that spanned several days, and we felt so fortunate to have had Brooke and Rebecca by our side providing resources and care throughout it all, including home visits and multiple trips to the hospital.If you are looking for a compassionate, professional, supportive, and informed team that is highly respected among the medical community too, I highly recommend Birth First Doulas! Hiring Brooke and Rebecca was hands down the best decision we made leading up to the birth of our son.read more
Jessica Lancaster
Jessica Lancaster
19:32 07 Oct 19
The best decision we made in our pregnancy journey was to hire Brooke and Rebecca. I had no idea if I would like having or need a doula, but after we had our baby girl, I continue to tell my friends and family it was invaluable. Rebecca ended up being our doula on the day of the birth and helped me and my husband immensely. I wanted a medication-free birth and Rebecca helped me achieve my goal with grace and strength throughout the entire process. I didn't think I could do it once active labor got going... but with her strength and assistance our vision became reality. I'm so glad we had an advocate for our hypno-birth plan once in the hospital; I knew I could concentrate on my breathing and body and she could help me communicate my goals and preferences to the staff. She also helped my husband stay calm and cool as he was a nervous first-time dad and unsure about how to best assist. She empowered him and made us feel calm and confident. We are so thankful for Rebecca and believe she helped us achieve the most beautiful birth experience we could have ever imagined. Thank you!read more
mark schopmeyer
mark schopmeyer
02:52 10 Sep 19
Rebecca was the first person we called after learning my wife was pregnant again. Before parents, before friends, we called Rebecca. She was an invaluable part of our first birth and we never doubted the choice to enlist her a second time. Having done this twice now, here are a few things I learned about doulas, from a dad’s perspective:1) Yes, you should hire a doula. Brooke and Rebecca really proved their value. They were extraordinarily committed to our family throughout pregnancy and labor. They were a reliable source of information, answering our questions and helping us navigate the often overwhelming sea of resources on the internet and elsewhere. Then when it came time for labor, Rebecca’s supportive presence, physically and emotionally, never wavered. My wife and I truly believe Rebecca made a difference in preventing a cesarean delivery. Although our birth experiences had some challenges - they all do - we came away feeling overwhelmingly positive about the whole thing.2) Your doula better be someone you easily bond with and implicitly trust. Birth is perhaps the most personal and vulnerable of life experiences. Who do you want in the room with you? From the moment we met Rebecca we felt a shared understanding. She listened to us and communicated like an old friend. We never once felt like just a “client.” 3) Ideally, your doula is incredibly knowledgeable and experienced. There are a lot of doulas in Portland and I’m sure many of them are wonderful. That’s because Brooke and Rebecca might have trained them. From my admittedly limited exposure, my sense is Brooke and Rebecca are members of the small, elite tier of doulas who have been practicing for a long time. They know the answers. They know the drill. They know the midwives. They know what position to try next. They know where the ice machine is. They know when to speak up, and when to give you space. They know not to pretend. They have seen it all before, yet they approach your birth as uniquely yours. I would be surprised if you could find a more experienced pair of doulas than Brooke and Rebecca. Their knowledge is vast. Their support is unwavering. Having them on our team allowed us to approach birth with confidence and excitement rather than utter terror. Brooke and Rebecca are total badasses. With them in charge of Birth First Doulas, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible support.read more
Eddy Chaltiel
Eddy Chaltiel
21:01 29 Aug 19
Rebecca & Brooke were great, what else is there to say! They were both incredibly insightful during our prenatal visits, helping answers all of our questions and guide us through our birth planRebecca ended being our doula day-of. Julia had a very long and complicated labor - needless to say, we were really happy to have the support during such an emotionally and physically exhausting process. Rebecca was fantastic!When the time comes for #2 and if we feel like we need the doula support again, we will definitely be using Birth First Doulas.read more
Maryann Bylander
Maryann Bylander
14:26 29 Jul 19
Rebecca and Brooke were invaluable sources of knowledge, support and care during our pregnancy. I am convinced that the only reason I had the birth I wanted was because of Rebecca. She knew just what to suggest, when to suggest it, and how to help us physically, emotionally, and mentally go through the intense process of birth. I couldn't have asked for a better advocate and supporter. We are huge fans!read more
Steve Boyd
Steve Boyd
03:02 26 Jul 19
Hiring Brooke and Rebecca as our doulas was the single best decision we made during our pregnancy. As an expectant father, I initially questioned the value of having a doula. After meeting with Brooke and Rebecca for the first time, I quickly realized how much I was mistaken. This team of doulas helped to reduce our anxiety about our first pregnancy and feel more prepared and confident moving forward. They thoroughly presented our options in an unbiased manner, took the time to fully understand our preferences, and respected our decisions without judgment.Like many pregnancies, we encountered various challenges along the way. Brooke and Rebecca consistently supported and guided us through all stages of the pregnancy and birth and advocated for us more than we could have done on our own. It was reassuring to know that we were in capable hands of two extremely professional and highly experienced women. During the labor, Rebecca provided unfailing support for both my wife and myself. She gently guided and encouraged me to provide comfort and care for my wife without making me feel incompetent. Although Rebecca was the doula at our birth, I felt confident that Brooke would have been equally effective and awesome had she been on call during our labor. We highly recommend doula services for any expectant family, and we couldn’t have been happier with our choice to work with Brooke and Rebecca .read more
Stephanie Willis
Stephanie Willis
21:23 25 Jul 19
Rebecca and her team are the best. I am confident that I was able to have the birth we wanted because we had supportive and experienced Doulas! Also for the record my husband says it was the best money we spent overall on baby prep!read more
Mollie Harris
Mollie Harris
22:38 23 Jul 19
We were so fortunate to find Rebecca and Brooke. While I had many different interviews scheduled with doulas I researched in Portland, when I first sat down to meet these two, I knew my search was over. In fact, I immediately cancelled all the other interviews! I couldn't imagine finding anyone I felt better about joining us in this journey. From our very first conversation, they made me feel at ease, heard, and inspired. Not only did they give me peace of mind and confidence (amidst a lot of complexity and uncertainty), they continued to humanize the experience for me. They helped me get in touch with my maternal intuition and trust it, while also providing credible resources and recommendations along the way. Because of them, I never had to just "Google it" when questions popped up--such a relief because there is a lot of misinformation out there that elicits fear. Both of my births ended up being 20+ hours with lots of twists & turns that meant making some difficult decisions on the spot. Rebecca and Brooke were the stability and spirit we needed to think clearly, feel strong in our choices, and also ensure I was getting into all the right positions (plus they put some major muscle behind those counter pressure points)! With them there, we could worry less about the logistical steps and just stay focused on the present moment--each other and the little one we were bringing into the world. I would recommend Birth First Doulas in a heartbeat. They enriched our journey at every step along the way. We are forever grateful.read more
Taryn Gutierrez
Taryn Gutierrez
22:27 23 Jul 19
We can’t thank Brooke and Rebecca enough! After our first informational interview, my husband and I knew they were who we wanted to trust with our first birthing experience! It ended up being a magical ride and we are so so so grateful that we invested in a doula for the birth of our son. Rebecca ended up being our doula on the day of our baby’s birth, and she did a marvelous job at administering to both my husband and I, helping to facilitate a smooth transition to the hospital and a creating and maintaining a peaceful and safe water-birth. I felt empowered and honored throughout the entire experience. I honestly cannot recommend these two enough! Thank you Rebecca and Brooke for all your love and support!read more
Meredith Jaggard
Meredith Jaggard
19:02 11 Jul 19
There aren't enough words or thoughts or ways to express how helpful Brooke was in making sure our girl got here safe and sound. From the first meeting to the last we instantly felt like she was a family member. In the hospital, she helped us decide in the week hours of the morning after many hours of pushing what the best plan was for moving forward with a healthy delivery. She held my hand, hugged my husband, spoke up for us when we needed a voice, and did it all with grace and ease. If we were having another child she would be the first phone call I made. But since it will be the three of us we consider her one of the biggest parts of our story in making us a family of 3.read more
Angela Potter
Angela Potter
16:46 03 Jul 19
Brooke and Rebecca are wonderful and I highly recommend them! They are incredibly knowledgeable about all things birth. They are very supportive and open minded about many different ways to birth, offer excellent advice and are available to talk through whatever it is that you're going through leading up to birth. They both have calm, accepting, and friendly demeanors, both my husband and I felt very comfortable right away. 5 stars all the way!read more
ladawn sheffield
ladawn sheffield
03:42 02 Jul 19
I feel so lucky to have had Brooke share in the birth of our first child. Both she and Rebecca helped us build confidence in our abilities to navigate labor and trust our hearts in preparing for birth. Brooke was a strong advocate at the hospital and a caring and steady presence during labor. I had no idea how much we would also rely on her perspective, (born I think of both deep experience and plain human kindness), during the tender days after we brought our daughter home. I really can't recommend them enough. I asked my husband what he wanted to add and he said, "she's perfect."read more
Kindra Skrydlak
Kindra Skrydlak
01:23 24 Jun 19
I got the pleasure of having both Rebecca and Brooke at my labor/birth (except for the whole long labor part!). In order to stay 'fresh' Brook and Rebecca switch off every 8 hours or so and as a first time mom, my labor was about 23 hours from my water breaking. Rebecca met us at the hospital and immediately jumped in to assist me in coping. She approached me gently and not in a way I found annoying (unlike the hospital nurse). She was exactly what I needed. She was great about reminding me of my birth preferences and helping me with asking the right questions of the hospital staff. Brooke arrived as I was getting to 'complete' status. The epidural made me extremely shaky and nervous and Brooke kept me calm by talking with me, rubbing my hands and feet and generally being a very reassuring presence. She gave my husband a break and coached me through pushing and the final moments. She even took a video and lots of pictures I will always be thankful to have. I can't recommend this team highly enough and am so glad they were part of bringing our baby girl into the world!read more
Nicholas Peterka
Nicholas Peterka
22:50 23 Jun 19
Brooke recently helped some friends welcome their third child, and they felt fully supported by her unparalleled level of care. Their experience reminded me of when she helped us with our second. Even though this is now five ago, I remain forever grateful for her confidence, wisdom, and practical planning which allowed us to have a safe and memorable birth experience.read more
Ann Sherman
Ann Sherman
19:06 19 Jun 19
100% recommend Brooke and Rebecca. I chose them for their extensive experience attending births in Portland. Brooke was my doula on the day and she was everything I needed.
Lindsey Patterson
Lindsey Patterson
23:41 18 Jun 19
Hiring Rebecca and Brooke as our doula team was the single best decision we made in our birth plan. They provided the kind of support, information, and resource referrals that we wanted in order to prepare for the birth. We had so many questions and fears, and they addressed them all with patience and understanding. Their guidance and support helped us feel confident going into labor and reduced my anxiety. On the day of the birth, Rebecca was on call. She knew exactly what I needed and when, without me ever communicating it to her. She was calm, confident, and strong - exactly what I needed to have the birth experience I wanted. And for my husband, Rebecca gave the perfect level of guidance during the birth so that he was able to be as involved and supportive as he had wanted. Lastly, the information provided following the birth and the resources they pointed us to in the first few months were very helpful. There is no question that, if we have another child, Brooke and Rebecca will be part of our birth plan.read more
Justin Leonard
Justin Leonard
23:17 14 Jun 19
My wife and I had no idea how essential a doula would be when we engaged Birth First Doulas to help with the birth of our first child, born just one month ago. First of all, we are so grateful for friends' encouragement to hire a doula in the first place. And we are so glad we found Birth First Doulas. We interviewed other doulas who seemed good and also offered education and support leading up to, and after, the birth. But all other doulas we interviewed worked individually. With Birth First, we always met with both doulas at the same time. We really liked both of them, and how they work as a team. My wife particularly appreciated their thoughtful questions in advance to prepare us, their empowerment with making our own decisions in the moment that felt right for us, and how they helped me and my wife's mom best assist her during the labor. We are SO THANKFUL we ended up finding them and their team model. We did not expect such a long and challenging labor (no one does, I suppose)... We are so thankful that we had two doulas, so that they could relieve each other. The labor was so intense -- and at times incredibly stressful -- for both me and my wife. Having a doula who we knew well and trusted with us throughout the entire birth experience (and who wasn't totally burned-out, because they took turns helping us) made a huge difference. While I would say that the experience on the whole was positive (besides just the positive outcome of a healthy baby), it scares me a lot to think how my wife and I might have had to go through our birth experience without them. And having the doulas visit us after, to debrief the birth experience and answer post--birth questions, was much more helpful and meaningful than I expected. And when my wife needed additional postpartum support, they spent a lot of time listening and sharing useful information and resources. We offered to pay for this extra support, but they consider it part of their job. As you can tell, we cannot recommend Birth First more highly!! We have great trust in and admiration for both Brooke and Rebecca (its co-owners), who are both amazing people and who have great knowledge and experience -- as well as respect for the beauty and positivity of the birth process.read more
Gesse Stark-Smith
Gesse Stark-Smith
23:11 14 Jun 19
Brooke was so supportive of us throughout the preparation for and process of childbirth. She was a wonderful advocated, making sure we had all the information we needed to make the best decisions for our family. Brooke and Rebecca are both so knowledgeable and compassionate--definitely great people to have on your birth team!read more
Susanna Ballard
Susanna Ballard
14:18 12 Jun 19
As my husband and I anticipated our second baby, we knew we wanted to hire a doula. We'd had a great experience of doula-care during our first delivery and we wanted to make sure our second was just as amazing. After interviewing Brook and Rebecca, we were confident that these women would support us in our choices and provide the informed, gentle and direct coaching I wanted during delivery. My pregnancy had some bumps including a third term car accident, a late-term, breech-position baby, and a two week late delivery - not to mention that I had serious prolapse symptoms. Brook and Rebecca helped me handle each of these issues with compassion and clear-minded thinking. They recommended positions for helping my baby to flip so I could proceed with the natural delivery I'd planned. They helped me talk through my fears about needing a c-section if he didn't flip (which he did!!). Because of my prolapse symptoms, I decided to switch providers at the end of my second term to a practice where I could plan for water birth. My first provider made me feel terribly guilty about leaving her, but Brook and Rebecca helped me navigate my feelings of guilt so that I didn't end up carrying them with me through the end of my pregnancy. I was so grateful since I ended up having an amazing water birth experience! I wanted as little medical intervention during my delivery as possible, but my midwife told me that after two week, we would need to induce. I was ready to try anything in order to avoid pitocin. Rebecca ended up being on-call when I went in for the 'induction.' After breaking my water, nothing happened. Rebecca offered several helpful suggestions in a patient, calming way -- such as doing things that helped me relax, using pressure points, taking laps around the unit, and using a breast pump (to increase oxytocin). While my husband went out to get some lunch, Rebecca walked and talked with me. It was such a relaxing way to prepare for my baby's birth! After only an hour of switching between brisk walks and breast pump use, my body kicked into serious active labor. Rebecca and my midwife (from Northwest Women's Clinic) coached me though the next hour of intense labor in the tub - and then my baby was born! It couldn't have been more magical (or more dramatic!) to have my son come out that fast. If I hadn't had the expert coaching of Rebecca and my midwife, and the opportunity to give birth in the tub, I don't know how I could have managed the intensity of the experience. As it was I had no tearing (which made recovery so, so much faster!) and some breathtaking photos taken by Rebecca to remember the experience. Thank you Rebecca and Brook for partnering with my husband and me on our journey to becoming parents again! Your experience, breadth of knowledge, supportive presence and advocacy for my desire to have a natural delivery all made the birthing experience wonderful.read more
Jessica Dalpiaz
Jessica Dalpiaz
04:42 10 Jun 19
Brooke guided us through a whole new way to give birth. After the birth of my first son ended in a C-section, I really needed some mental prep and guidance for how to go about it a different way the second time around. I really wanted to have a natural birth. She was so helpful to both my husband and I in prepping us and answering all the questions we had. The day of she was so calm and helped my stay focused and strong. She was flexible and a good advocate when I wanted to change part of my birth plan mid labor. She also referred my to an amazing acupuncturist who got me to go in to labor in time before the docs would have forced me in to another C-section.We send our love and thanks!read more
Megan McAlister
Megan McAlister
23:05 07 Jun 19
My experience with Birth First was through Brooke Noli, who was our birth doula during our fourth pregnancy. I hired Brooke in my third trimester, mid-move from Seattle to Portland at the recommendation of my Seattle doula. Doulas are intuitive and thoughtful about recommendations, so I trusted her judgement and I was right to do so - Brooke was a perfect fit for our family. She supported me through my third trimester emotions, navigating providers in a new city, and my specific needs as a mother who had gone through a neonatal loss. The birth itself was fast but so peaceful - Brooke and her professional but warm relationship with my midwives set the tone for a beautiful birth, which I do not take for granted. Despite having done this four times before, Brooke handheld me and my husband for the first few hours then left us at the perfect time. I so loved seeing her for a follow up postpartum visit several weeks later and we still check in with each other from time to time. She is a very special part of our last pregnancy and delivery.Brooke is so rooted in Portland that she was able to provide what she called "wrap around care" - she did the labor of calling my postpartum doulas to let them know I had delivered and helped me with several other things during pregnancy and postpartum. She really earned my trust and so I can say without qualification that Brooke's involvement with Birth First means it is a world class agency. Watching Birth First grow, I've seen their commitment to a birthing person's choices and family centered care. I couldn't recommend them with more enthusiasm.read more
Alex Hall
Alex Hall
15:47 07 Jun 19
Brooke and Rebecca were such a wealth of information, and set our minds at ease when the 1,000 questions came up during pregnancy. They are centered on pregnancy and birth being a positive, powerful experience and we really appreciated that. And although we ended up having a C-section, Brooke stayed available in the waiting room and was definitely a safe port in a storm. Thanks again, you two!read more
Kelly Hubbell
Kelly Hubbell
20:50 05 Jun 19
Brooke and Rebecca are the best doulas in Portland. I can't imagine a birth without them! We loved working with them and plan to have them by our side through all of our birth experiences. I especially wanted an unmedicated birth and I strongly feel that I was able to achieve this and have the birthing experience I wanted with their help.read more
Karen DeWitt
Karen DeWitt
14:45 05 Jun 19
As a naturopathic doctor and midwife I have had the opportunity to see Brooke's calm strength in action supporting women at our birth center. I highly recommend her and her team!
Manie Grewal
Manie Grewal
03:05 05 Jun 19
We hired Brooke & Rebecca as our labor doulas, and they held my husband and I so tight through our first pregnancy and postpartum care. First off their partnership is a very unique model, and they want to provide the best care to a family through their team approach. They went beyond labor prep by providing many referrals and resources to get us set for day one of parenthood. When it came to labor Brooke was on call, and she guided me over the phone to in-person at my home and finally at the hospital. She knew exactly how to soothe and empower me to the finish line. Her coaching was laser focused on top of honoring my birth preferences, advocating for our family from the moment we got to the hospital. After such a wonderful birth, both Brooke and Rebecca continued to support our family through more referrals and emotional support. We plan to hire both Brooke & Rebecca for our next baby!read more
Selena Pinnell
Selena Pinnell
14:59 04 Jun 19
Working with Rebecca and Brooke was such a blessing for our family. Preparing for our sons birth was full of so many unknowns and lots of questions and having these two on our team made us feel confident and gave us peace of mind. Brooke and Rebecca helped us identify what mattered most to us on an emotional level and also what our wishes were in regards to medical decisions and boundaries during labor and delivery. On the big day Rebecca was by my side and her presence was reassuring and grounding. Like many birth stories mine had some curve balls and during some scary moments it was comforting to have her wisdom and advise. She held the space, advocated for what I needed and helped coach my husband on ways he could participate. I highly recommend working with them!read more
Aja Ruble
Aja Ruble
06:53 04 Jun 19
I would absolutely recommend Brooke and Rebecca! Their care during my pregnancy, labor, and post partum recovery has been incredible. Above and beyond what I expected - because of them I was able to have a birth experience that I wanted and cherished. They helped me find my strength and advocated beautifully for me and my childs needs. If we decide to have a second baby down the road I will definitely be giving them a call. They are the absolute best!read more
Julie Peacock Williamson
Julie Peacock Williamson
23:43 03 Jun 19
My husband and I were excited about the birth of our first child, but realistic that we didn't know what to expect with the delivery. We met with several doulas and selected Brooke and Rebecca because we knew their knowledge and calm demeanors were exactly what we needed. Our experience with them was excellent. I found the pre-birth visits to be exceptionally helpful in providing a space for my husband and I to have a conversation about the birth with two experts there to guide us.read more
Patrick Tobin
Patrick Tobin
22:50 03 Jun 19
Weighing in from a partner’s perspective here - my wife and I had a great experience with our doula for our first child. When we moved to Portland, we had high standards and it was tough to decide who to work with, especially given how many great options a city like Portland provides to expecting families. I remember when we left Brooke’s office after our initial meeting with her, my wife just said, “I want to work with her.” And I totally understood why - Brooke has a calm, strong, but understated presence about her that just made us feel at ease right from the start. Plus her experience speaks for itself, and so we felt very good about choosing to work with her. I appreciated how she worked with me to find ways to support me in my support of my wife. On the days leading up to and including when my wife went into labor, Brooke’s communication was fantastic. She texted with me when my wife was in too much pain to use her phone, she came to our house and helped us labor at home for as long as we could. At the hospital, she even re-parked my car for me for me so that I could stay with my wife during check-in! During labor, she was everything from coach to advocate to support person to friend. Thanks to Brooke’s support, my wife was able to have the drug-free birth that she hoped for. We would recommend her to anyone, and we feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her.read more
Meytal Markman
Meytal Markman
21:52 03 Jun 19
I am so grateful that we found Brooke & Rebecca. With our first child, we lived in a different city and had a fantastic experience with our doula and when we moved to Portland, we were not sure if we'd be able to find someone as wonderful. My midwife gave me a list of local doulas and doula agencies, and after doing a bunch of my own research I reached out to Brooke for an initial meeting. From the moment I met her, I knew it was going to be a great fit and I can't recommend Brooke highly enough. She is warm and quietly strong, extremely experienced and so humble. She really took time to get to know us and was always listening to us and taking cues from our words and body language. When it came time for labor and delivery, she knew exactly what to say and do to support me and my husband at every stage. Rebecca was also fantastic! She encapsulated my placenta and brought it to my house and sat with me to discuss all my questions and concerns. We are so grateful for such a positive experience with these two women.read more
lindsey wyatt
lindsey wyatt
20:14 03 Jun 19
Brooke and Rebecca are wonderful doulas! They were invaluable resources throughout our pregnancy, birth, and beyond. We were searching for a doula who would act as a “coach” to guide us through our birth process without judgement and they far exceeded our expectations. In addition to our “formal” scheduled meeetings, they welcomed and encouraged additional contact and were always available for phone calls or email exchanges. Planning for your baby’s birth can be scary and overwhelming! Brooke and Rebecca helped us feel comfortable and confident. They are extremely knowledgeable, caring, supportive, respectful, organized, and professional. No matter what your birth journey entails, they can handle it!read more
Alex Armenta
Alex Armenta
17:34 03 Jun 19
Rebecca and Brooke were an extraordinary find for us! We were new to the area, and I had some worries about birthing at a new hospital, with new providers that I didn't know very well, especially since I had had a cesarean birth previously and was hoping for a second successful VBAC. I wondered if we needed a doula since this was our third baby - as it turned out, working with Rebecca and Brooke was one of the best decisions we've ever made! They were a lifeline during a lot of decisions and emotional/practical preparations for birth, as well as navigating some health issues that came up for me in late pregnancy. After all that, I then ended up having a rapid labor and unplanned home birth - a totally amazing experience in great part because Rebecca was an invaluable support and resource. Without Rebecca's being part of our birth team it would have been a very different experience I am quite sure! After baby arrived, both Rebecca and Brooke continued to be a huge help, connecting us to great providers for new needs, providing continued support and hands-on help with post-birth care. We loved how they work as a doula team and think they have hit on something that is unique and allows them to provide a whole other level of support and energy to moms and dads. We can't recommend them more highly and are super happy that they will be helping expand the way they work to support more doulas and their clients.read more
alina black
alina black
04:34 03 Jun 19
Working with Brooke brought stability to our birth, post a rushed move. Brooke brought us the guidance and confidence we needed to bring our son into the world. Thank you!
Jessie Matanky
Jessie Matanky
02:13 02 Jun 19
Brooke and Rebecca were so incredibly supportive, sweet, and knowledgeable. Our son came 10 weeks early and I don't know how I would have gotten through all the fear and craziness without them. They advocated for me and were there for us quickly when we needed them. I can't recommend them enough.read more
Becca Mischel
Becca Mischel
20:45 01 Jun 19
Brooke was our doula for the birth of our two kids in 2011 and 2014. First off, I feel everyone should have a doula - I can’t think of a better way to try and help a couple navigate the unpredictable and lifechanging process of giving birth. That said, becoming a parent (or a parent again) is more than just the birth itself; Brooke helped prepare us before and process the experience afterwards. Her counseling background truly enriches her skillset as a doula. She is kind, warm, personable and professional. Although the baby shop is “closed” in our household (!), I strongly recommend Beooke and Birth First to any expecting parent.read more
Polly Dugan
Polly Dugan
19:51 01 Jun 19
My two experiences of childbirth were remarkable and empowering transitions. Brooke was my doula for both my sons’ births, and it’s impossible for me to recall the magic and amazement of delivering them without thinking of her too. Brooke’s endless patience with my endless questions, her sense of humor, compassion and respect, her confidence in my health and the health of my unborn sons, as well as her confidence in my ability to successfully deliver gave me so much comfort and belief in myself. Any family or woman who is able to work with Brooke during pregnancy and delivery will not only have second to none care, they won’t be able to imagine having the experience with anyone else.read more
Alice Palmeri
Alice Palmeri
18:06 01 Jun 19
I would highly recommend Rebecca and Birth First Doulas. Rebecca is one of the most friendly, professional, and experienced doulas I've ever worked with. Definitely one of Portland's best doulas out there. A must if you're expecting!read more

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Birth First Doulas, Portland, Oregon

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Areas We Serve: 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, and Wilsonville, Oregon, and Vancouver, Camas, Washougal, WA

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, WHA Midwifery Birth Center, Andaluz Waterbirth Center, Alma Birth Center, Canyon Birth Center, and Home Births in Portland, Oregon

Doula Services Specialities: childbirth classes, natural birth, unmedicated birth, vaginal birth, water birth, epidural assisted birth, 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, and doula services for home births in Portland, Oregon

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