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Cincinnati & Dayton Birth Doula Services

A mom cheering after she gave birth

Let's be real, pregnancy is effing hard; emotionally, mentally, and physically. There are a thousand things to navigate over 40 weeks and it can quickly become overwhelming, but you can do this. You are incredible and capable and have a voice.  As your doula, I help you navigate each step and help you make educated decisions by making sure you know all your options so that your voice is the one writing your birth story.

Whether you need an advisor on childbirth positions or birth location, a friend to confide in, a source of support at 2 am or an advocate standing with you, I am here to give Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky families the support that you deserve. 

Birth Doula Package: $625

Let's DOula This   

Home Birth

Not going to lie, home births are some of my favorites.  Your home is the epicenter of your family, so why not bring your baby into this world where you will live and love for years to come.  Home births are intimate and cozy, no harsh lighting or beeping monitors, comfortable furniture and your own food (or whatever delivers). Your home can be an empowering space where you truly feel in charge.  

If you even think it may be something you want, just talk to a local homebirth midwife about your options to see if it is right for you.  It's just a conversation, not a commitment. Besides, we have some kick ass midwives in the area, what do you have to lose from a conversation?

Hospital Birth

Home births are not for everyone - whether due to medical reasons or you just are not comfortable with the idea of being at home and want everything at your fingertips. We have some incredible hospitals in Cincinnati and Dayton, including some that have natural birth areas or allow for waterbirths.  

Your birthing hospital is typically determined by where your OBGYN or medical midwife has privileges, so think about how or where you want to give birth as you meet with doctors.  Hospital will also typically allow you to tour the facility; while this is often done later in the pregnancy, don't be afraid to ask to take one in the beginning - it's your birth and you need to be comfortable where you are birthing.  Hospitals can be full of distractions - other laboring mama's bright lights, small spaces, the hustle and bustle of the hall way that you don't have control over, so make sure you tour the space to know what to expect becuase the space you birth is just as important as everything else.

woman holding baby after a waterbirth at home with husband and daughter watching

Water Birth

A water birth can provide an amazing experience for both during labor and during birth.   Water births have their own benefits including laboring mama's using less pain medication, reduced risk for an episiotomy, reduced risk of cesarean section as well as the length of labor being reduced.  

While water births seemingly have many benefits to birthing women, many hospitals will not allow you to have a water birth. Many of the hospitals in both Cincinnati & Dayton will allow you to labor in a tub, if one is available, and only two hospitals (both in Dayton) currently have the option for a water birth.

If a water birth is important to you, it is important to know your options are limited at area hospitals and ask the right questions with your provider and hospital.   However, if a water birth is important to you, you may want to consider having a home birth.   Home birth midwives typically have a tub that they will bring to your house to blow up and will work with you through pregnancy during home visits to find the perfect space.   

If you think this is important to you, let's talk about it!

couple with newborn baby and doula

If your pregnant and thinking of a doula stop and read here! Do not hesitate because it is worth it! We couldn't have done it without ours!

I cannot tell anyone enough how grateful I am for Tamara Kankowski! She didn't just help with the delivery but she was their months before helping with anything and everything at any time of day! On the day's I felt discouraged or needed help she jumped right in to help me out! Before I had Tamara as my doula, I was a nervous wreck first time mother and the second I met her and talked with her I just felt a calm and excitement about it all. I knew no matter what happened Luke Eli and I were in great hands! I remember telling my mom after Tamara arrived that I was so blessed and instantly had a piece of mind that I was heading towards the end of labor. I will forever be grateful for her and I know no matter how many kids I have I will have Tamara be there for all of them.

- Regan

Doula Support Includes:

24/7 Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum Support

woman typing in cell phone

Question at 2am?  Call your Doula!

I am here for you - whenever and wherever you need me.   Whether you need an sometime during the week after talking with your OBGYN, an extra postpartum visit cause because you feel isolated, or you have something on your mind at 2am, this is my job and I LOVE IT!

From the moment I become your doula, I serve many roles - friends, therapist, confidant, birth coach.   Your doula should become an extension of your family and you should feel comfortable enough to call that person to help you as you navigate the journey.  

Consistent Communication

inspirational quote

I will be in communication with you from the time I become your doula checking in at regular intervals:  8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 20 weeks, 24 weeks, 30 weeks, 32 weeks and then weekly beginning at 34 weeks.  There will also be one to two in person prenatal visits, one of which we will review your birth preferences as well as a childbirth class that is included.  

However, I am available for you anytime you need me or want to talk.  During our check ins, we can discuss anything you want and I will be giving you tips along the way such as staying hydrated, decreasing risks of preterm labor, tips for morning sickness, nutrients you need, or anything else you need.

Look as me as the Jedi (my husband is thrilled by this reference) to all things childbirth; I am here to support you along your journey.

2 Prenatal Visits

women talking in parking lot

Navigating Pregnancy to Birth Planning with your Doula

Prenatal visits are a great way for us to check in during pregnancy in person.   Prenatal visits are designed for you to talk about what is going on - trouble sleeping, pregnancy concerns, expectations from others, getting from 0 weeks to 40 weeks can be draining.   Let's talk through all of it and help you determine what is best for you and your family not others.  

I typically recommend getting together around 24-28 weeks and again at 32-36 just to review everything.  I will come to you or we can meet up anywhere (bonus points if it's a Starbucks).  

Customized Birth Planning

completed birth planning worksheet

Crafting your Birth Plan with your Doula

You have options when it comes to how your birth and this is important to know.  You do not have to have medication, you do not have to lay on your back for birth, you can delay cord clamping, you can have skin to skin contact.   Your birth is one of the more intimate moments of your life and your birth plan should reflect that. 

Whether birthing at home or a hospital, it is important to start reviewing what options are available so you can research and make decisions prior to birth.  I will assist you in creating a customized birth plan that fits your family's needs with a guide I have created that go through most of the options you will face when its time to for baby to join you.

In Home Childbirth Class

couple changing diaper

Private Classes for Personalized Instruction

After helping many families who took group childbirth classes in a hospital setting, I found that many families didn't learn what I wanted them to know about birth; included that there are better positions to labor in than on your baby that will help baby come out faster.  WIth this in mind, I set out to become a Certified Childbirth Educator and created my own curriculum as a base for each childbirth class. 

Every family gets a personlized childbirth class in the comfort of your own home.  You are not on the clock with me and I can customize the class to subjects you may have more of an interest in and you can ask all the questions you want in a safe space without that feeling of annoying other couples or being embarrased by your question.  Its your birth and you deserve to have answers to all the questions you may have on how pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum may look. 

You will receive a login to the Stork Helpers Pregnancy Portal which will give you access to an online version of the childbirth class material for you to review anytime, anywhere right from your cell phone. 

While each class is different and catered to your needs, you can review the childbirth class page to see what is typically included.

Unlimited Birth Support

woman in labor
photo courtesy of Panzeca & Co.

Your birth is NOT on the clock

Its your day and there are no added fees for a longer labor — whether your birth experience is 1 hour or 42 hours, you can be sure that I will be there for you.   Are you 3cm and wanting a natural birth and need to move around and want me there so I can help you alleviate some pain, call me!  This day is not about me, it is all about you and you getting the support you need so you can achieve your birth goals.

It’s your birthday and you are the star. There are no added fees for a longer labor — whether your birth experience is 1 hour or 42 hours, you can be sure that Tamara will be there for you. Tamara will be in the room with you from start to finish and I promise to be by your side until you and baby are resting safely in your postpartum room. 

Childbirth Pain Management

doula applying counterpressure
photo courtesy of Krystal Franke Photography

Finding Comfort in Labor

"Comfort" and the word labor don't often go together, but a big part of a doula's job beyond education is proving emotional, mental and physical support.  I can't help make the pain of childbirth disappear, but I can help you manage it and alleviate it.  

Different laboring positions based on baby's position and where you feel pain are a big part of managing pain without the use of an epidural (if that's your goal).   Using a birth ball or peanut ball can be great tools to alleviate pressure and for some, laboring in water is very comforting.

You may still be dropping some language you don't want baby to hear, but I can help you mitigate intensity of labor and we will review some of these during a childbirth class.  

Birth Photography

couple with newborn baby

I may never win photo of the year, but...

My job is to support you where I can and I am by no means a professional photographer.   That said, if you are looking for cute candid pictures, I am your girl.   I will try to take some pictures where I can, when I can.  I have been known to take a couple upwards of one hundred, all depending on what is going on in the moment.

If you are looking for a professional photographer, I highly recommend these talented ladies to join the birth team!  

Postpartum Aftercare & Support

dinner and baby onesie

In Home Postpartum Visit and Meal Delivery

After 9 months of your hormones increasing and making a housing a baby, postpartum can be rough for some new Mama's.  Whether its changing hormones, the isolation of postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation (or all of the above), I am here to support you.

I understand how difficult the first few weeks and months of having a newborn can be, just ask me about my postpartum with baby number 5 (or ask my husband).  You and your family are learning what is going to be the "new normal" for a while. This is why I will call/text you each week for the first 8 weeks postpartum to check on you. 

I will do one postpartum visit with you at your home to see how everyone is doing post birth.  This visit usually lasts an hour or longer based on what your needs are.  I am here to help you with whatever you might need - hold the baby, let you take a brief nap or shower, help switch a load in the laundry or just sit and talk.  Even better, I never go anywhere empty handed - I come with a homecooked meal to give you the night off from cooking or having to order another meal from the drive thru, a small gift for you and one baby too!

Cesarean Support

baby born via cesarean section

Doula Support for Cesarean Section

Sometimes labor doesn't go as planned, but you are still supported.  I had two ceseareans and understand the concerns you may have.   A cesarean doesn't change what I do, I will continue to be by your side and can guide you through the process from the birth perspective of what is going to happen, but also from the mom side knowing what it feels like.  

If your cesarean is planned, I will arrive when you are ready prior to the cesarean section, and be with you in the operating room if you don't have other support or be with your family in the waiting room and be with you after the surgery. 

A big part of the day is providing emotional support, and answering questions about what is going on or how things will be going for both you and any waiting family. I will stay until after you are in your recovery room which is generally 1-2 hours post birth even helping to bring your stuff from one room to another as you transition from a birth suite to a postpartum room.

woman in labor
photo credit: Emily Schultz, midwife

Cincinnati & Dayton Doula Availability

My availability can change rapidly based on when other families are making decisions for their births.  Birth Doula Services typically book up quickly as I limit myself to 5 families per month to ensure I am committed to the level of care that I want to make sure I provide each family. 

While I have taken on clients as late as 38 weeks into a pregnancy due to babies coming early, I recommend booking as soon as possible to ensure that I can be there for you family.  

Check Doula Availability

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