Rebecca Durlin Smith, Birth First Doulas

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!

Training

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Birth Doula & Childbirth Educator Certification through The Bradley Method

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DONA Certified Doula (Doulas of North America)

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Pre/postnatal Yoga Certification through Britt Fohrman

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Spinning Babies/optimal fetal positioning, acupressure, trauma informed care, labor massage

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UT Austin, B.A. Geography/Environmental Resources, Anthropology Minor

Areas Of Specialty

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Unmedicated Birth, Out Of Hospital Birth, Water Birth

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Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

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IVF Pregnancy

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Surrogacy

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High Risk Pregnancy/Birth

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Medical Induction

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LGBTQIA+ Families

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Polyamorous Families

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Trauma Informed Care

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Survivors Of Sexual Abuse

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Recovery From Addiction

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Pregnancy or Infant Loss

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Body Positive

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Placenta Encapsulation

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Childbirth Education

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Prenatal Yoga

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Rebozo, Massage, Acupressure, Spinning Babies

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Aromatherapy

To contact Rebecca or schedule a
free interview, please

Rebecca’s Testimonials

“We cannot recommend Rebecca and Brooke highly enough! They made us feel so much more relaxed and comfortable before giving birth to our first child. During the process, Rebecca helped us remember all the things we cared about that otherwise would have been lost in the chaos of the moment. She held the space, helping us feel centered and grounded. During our entire journey they both always provided well-researched information to help us make decisions, as well as space for open, non-judgmental dialogue. We are thrilled to have them with us for our second pregnancy, as well – baby boy #2 due Spring 2019!”

Anna & Barrett, NE Portland

“My husband and I had a great experience of doula-care during our first delivery and we wanted to make sure our second was just as amazing… Rebecca ended up being on-call when I went in for labor and 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. If I hadn’t had the expert coaching of Rebecca and my midwife I don’t know how I could have managed the intensity of the experience.Thank you Rebecca and Brooke 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.”

Susanna & Dan, Beaverton

“Working with Brooke and Rebecca was one of the best decisions we made in achieving our one birth goal: to have a positive experience bringing our baby girl into the world. At our get-to-know-you meeting, my husband and I were blown away by Brooke and Rebecca’s professionalism and demeanor. We instantly felt at ease in their presence and knew right then that they would complete our birth team… I was really looking for a doula that could make me feel less anxious and scared in a very unpredictable and new experience. I also wanted to try my best at an unmedicated birth. Thanks to my husband, Brooke, and Rebecca, I was able to achieve that goal safely. They provided us with physical and emotional support beyond our expectations, they have the perfect temperaments for highly emotional environments, and they showed respect and deference for doctors and nurses while simultaneously inserting themselves and providing critical support. We are extraordinarily grateful to have had Brooke and Rebecca woven into our birth story.”

Stephanie & Elliot, Beaverton

“My wife and I just recently had our first child and are grateful to have worked with Rebecca and Brooke… They are very knowledgeable about area hospitals and about the choices you have regarding everything from pain management to typical medical practices. They were very responsive and helpful when my wife’s water broke in the middle of the night. Rebecca was with us throughout labor and delivery and was fantastic. She has a very calming presence and great emotional intelligence. She knew exactly when we needed her with us and when we needed a little time to talk amongst ourselves. As a father, I really appreciated that she made space for me to be as involved and supportive as I could be. She also made sure that I remembered to eat and rest during the 29-hour labor! I think my wife and I are only going to have one child, but if we were going to have another, I would definitely work with Brooke and Rebecca again. I highly recommend them.”

Aimee & Adrian, Oregon City