Rebecca Durlin Smith, Portland Doula
I absolutely love being of service as a doula! I have said yes to my true calling for over a decade and am honored to have provided birth doula care to over 300 families.
My support journey began in 2010 with teaching prenatal yoga. I adored nurturing the mind/body connection of my yoga students and became captivated by their often polarizing discussions about birth options. Having become a complete pregnancy and birth nerd, devouring resources on perinatal topics from the scientific to the spiritual, I leaned into the role of lay childbirth educator. My favorite aspects were dispelling myths, providing hard data, and helping understand options. I was pleased when pregnant students would approach me for support after class – support I later realized is directly aligned with the informational and emotional sides of doula care.
In 2010 I also gave birth to my oldest child. I’m grateful to reflect on that experience as the most empowering event of my life. The support and confidence my spouse and I received from our amazing medical team and doula, plus the effort we put into preparing to bond throughout, deepened my passion for birthwork.
While pregnant with our second child in 2012 I became a Bradley Method doula/ childbirth educator. Students from my classes quickly began asking me to join their support team. My daughter was six months old when I attended my first birth – which I told the couple I’d be honored to support if they were comfortable with me taking breaks to pump!
In my early career I primarily worked with people interested in stacking the deck in their favor for an unmedicated birth. Over the years I have developed deep satisfaction in aiding families whose primary support goals are assistance with decision-making and facilitating a nurturing environment. I have an affinity for birthing people with recovery or emotional intensity in their backgrounds and those aiming for a more positive experience than their previous births. I cherish partnering with families who value support with feeling bonded through this huge life transition.
Before birthwork, I served as development manager for a Bay Area civil rights organization, where I learned from professional advocates for a decade. I am always happy to bring out my advocacy skills when families desire.
In addition to being a certified doula, childbirth educator, and prenatal yoga teacher, I am also a placenta specialist, doula mentor for the Mother Tree Doula Internship program, and co-founder of Birth First Doulas. I am privileged to support the career paths of fellow birthworkers, as we expand our ripples of positive change for families.
As your doula, I would be honored to help you build and grow the strength, confidence, and joy potential available in your birth experience. As the Birth First Doulas Matchmaker, I would be delighted to connect and explore whether one of my teammates might be your ideal doula match. I look forward to getting to know you!