Gentle Waves Birth Services
Birth Fee: $800 to $1000
Postpartum Rate: $20
Fee Details: If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact me directly for payment options.
Birth Doula Experience: 4 years and 150 births attended
Postpartum Doula Experience: 4 years and 50 families served
Specific certifications for the above: DONA , The Bradley Method DoulaType of Practice: Solo practice
Clients per Month: 1 to 4 births and 1 to 4 postpartum familiesAttends hospital births? All Hospitals
Offered volunteer birth and postpartum doula services to women from a variety of backgrounds, including Spanish-speaking families as part of the Multnomah County Home Health program (Portland, OR) 2009-2011. I was also a volunteer Breastfeeding Peer Counselor with the Department of Health and Human Services WIC program and a volunteer with the Nursing Mother's Counsel while living in Portland, OR 2009-2011.
Languages spoken: English, Spanish
Service Area MapArea of practice: Kensington, MD
Caitlin was our doula for the birth of our 1st baby in February. We could not have asked for anyone better to be with us through this personal experience! I wanted a natural birth and Caitlin's support and encouragement of both myself and my husband enabled that for us and made our experience very positive. It was also clear that even if our birth plan had changed midst-labor, Gentle Waves and Caitlin focus on making sure you are informed and feel positive about the experience, not judging if you changed your mind about pain meds and not being overly anti-doctor or anti-medical intervention which we found some doulas to be when interviewing them prior to choosing Caitlin and Gentle Waves. The docs and nurses in the hospital commented on what a great doula she was & they have seen a lot! She was not confrontational but calm and strong in communicating our wishes & thus they responded well, adusting their typical practices and accommodating my wishes to make labor and the immediate post-partum period go the way we wanted for bonding with our baby. My husband found it invaluable to have guidance to support me throughout and communicate with doctors. It was so helpful having Caitlin come to the house whilst I was laboring so that we stayed home longer in a comfortable setting rather than rushing to hospital. We found all the doula's at Gentle waves to be very communicative and helpful with advice prior to the birth. We were living abroad before coming back to have our baby & they went out of their way to accommodate us with skype calls at various hours and answering the many concerned questions I had about labor and the birthing process. Caitlin also had very helpful advice for us at our post partum visit.
I could not recommend Caitlin highly enough and only hope she is around to be with us through the birth of our next baby too whenever we are lucky enough for that to occur!
Caitlin Novak was extremely friendly and professional from the very first time I contacted her a few months before giving birth and a very calming influence every time we interacted during my pregnancy. I had planned a natural delivery with the midwives at GWU. My labor, however, was nothing like I imagined. Although I was able to deliver my son vaginally, there were several complications along the way. Caitlin and her Gentle Waves partner Amy Ard were fantastic throughout the process. My contractions started on a Thursday night and my baby boy was born on the following Tuesday morning. Caitlin and Amy stayed with me and my husband alternately since Sunday, first at home for a few hours and then at the hospital. Even though the midwives at GWU do not impose any unnecessary interventions, having Caitlin and Amy in the delivery room made a huge difference. Every time a procedure was recommended, Caitlin and Amy were able to explain its pros and cons. Their knowledge was crucial in the occasions we had to make important decisions. In addition, having them by my side the entire time I was in the delivery room gave us confidence. They both provided encouragement and comfort whenever my husband and I felt there was no end in sight. During the postpartum visit, we talked extensively about what happened during the birth of my son. Caitlin and Amy provided valuable information that allowed me to connect some dots and have a better understanding of my experience. This was very important to me.
We highly recommend Caitlin (and the Gentle Waves group). We couldn’t be happier with the service they provided.
Caitlin Novak is amazing. She is friendly, kind, and has calm energy. I knew that I wanted an epidural, and she never pushed against having one. There was a nearly 3-hour delay in between my requesting an epidural and receiving it (nurse could not find a vein for the IV coupled with the anesthiologist being busy). Caitlin suggested different positions during that time to help me manage the pain. After I got the epidural, she suggested rotating me periodically so the epidural medicine didn't pool and to help labor progress. She held one of my legs during pushing so my husband could rub my head and count at the head of the bed during contractions. During pushing, she provided support and encouragement. As soon as my son was delivered, she helped me with latching. She told the nurses that I wanted to nurse immediately and have as much skin to skin contact as possible (i.e. to delay the bath and some tests). Caitlin did a post-partum visit to check on how breast feeding was going. I have emailed Caitlin several times in the last several months with breast feeding questions, and she has always responded promptly and with helpful information. I had a very positive delivery experience, and Caitlin played an important role. I would definitely hire her again and highly recommend her.
We were unsure at first if hiring a doula would be worth it, but Caitlin was so warm and calming at her interview that as first-time parents without even family birth experiences, we decided to play it safe. At the first visit, Caitlin helped us create a (minimal - our choice) birth plan, talked us through a typical birth with GW / WISDOM (where she's doula'd numerous births), and made us even more confident about her potential to be helpful — but as (we felt) relaxed and well-informed parents-to-be (with, I add, an unrealistic expectation of a very short labor...) we still weren't convinced.
That ended when labor begain. My wife's contractions were frequent and regular from the beginning, and we called Caitlin after a couple hours, though it was close to midnight. She came immediately, and was with us nearly 40 hours! Much of that time, her participation was minimal — again our choice, my wife just wasn't into massage, items from the store, or other more active things a doula could have done. But at several times when the midwives (and nurses) left us briefly alone, tired and frustrated, Caitlin was there with her experience, reassurance, and knowledge. She talked us through options (including the suggestion at about hour 36 that my wife get pitocin — which we had wanted to avoid, but did not lead to more interventions). She remembered parts of our birth plan that our tired selves would have just forgotten. And, minutes before our daughter's (beautiful, underwater) birth, Caitlin knew better than we did that we would want a video (we were more into "living in the moment") and talked us into letting her shoot a great one.
Having Caitlin as a part of our birth team was one of the best decisions we made in welcoming our son into the world. As first time parents, we were overwhelmed as we prepared for our son's birth, but from the first time we met Caitlin, she was a calming influence, and she immediately put our minds at ease. She provided us with invaluable guidance and support throughout the pregnancy and the labor and delivery.
When I went into labor, Caitlin was by our side the entire way. She came over to our home during our "early labor," and provided us guidance on how to cope with the contractions, different labor positions to try, and how my husband could better support me. She also knew when it was still too early to call our midwife and when it was time to go to the hospital.
Once we arrived at the hospital, Caitlin continued to comfort and support me through contractions. My labor intense and painful from the moment we arrived at the hospital, and it was filled with complications, ultimately, requiring a c-section. Caitlin helped me cope as our birth plan could not be followed. She was especially helpful and reassuring to my husband, who was able to look to her for guidance and understanding about what was happening and why.
Although Caitlin was not allowed in the OR for the c-section, she waited at the hospital while our son was delivered (at 2:01 a.m.), and she was back by our side once we were in the recovery area. She helped make sure breastfeeding was underway properly and that me, dad, and baby were all doing well before she finally went home.
Hiring a doula for our baby's birth, and specifically working with Caitlin, was one of the best decisions we made. We highly recommend Caitlin to anyone considering a doula for the birth of their baby. She will be a calm and comforting presence, no matter what type of delivery you ultimately have.
My husband and I worked with Caitlin with the delivery of our first baby last week. Caitlin was calm and helpful throughout our labor and delivery process. Though my husband and I were very nervous, Caitlin helped us through several hours of labor at home. She was reassuring, supportive and encouraging even when I was very uncomfortable and feeling overwhelmed. Caitlin also expertly helped us figure out the right time to get to the hospital (I arrived at the hospital 8cm dilated). While at the hospital she helped us navigate the hospital process/preferences so I could labor in the most comfortable positions as long as possible. After our delivery Caitlin helped me start breastfeeding immediately. We had an amazing delivery that felt on our terms and think that is due in large part to her steady hand guiding and supporting us through the entire process. We highly recommend working with Caitlin!!
We had a wonderful experience with Caitlin acting as the doula at the birth of our first child. We began our relationship with an interview where Caitlin met with us and answered our questions about her philosophy on birth as well as all of our business/logistical questions. One week later, Caitlin came to our house for a pre-natal visit. She spent 3 hours with us helping us to generate a list of questions to ask our medical professionals. After this meeting, my husband and I felt very empowered about gently challenging our providers when we had disagreements about their decisions. We felt more confident heading into our first labor experience with her at our side. When labor began, Caitlin met us at the hospital and walked with me and my husband along the halls doing squats and lunges to help the baby get into the correct position. Caitlin offered supportive statements and helped us understand everything that was going on physically for me and the baby. During the later stages of labor Caitlin offered pain reduction strategies and massage to help me manage my contractions. When it came time to make some difficult decisions, Caitlin offered us the information we needed and also made it clear that she supported our decisions. Caitlin took photos of our baby being born and she stayed with us after our daughter's birth so that she could facilitate my ability to breast feed. Caitlin came to our house a week after the baby was born to answer questions we had about taking care of the baby and gave me concrete feedback on my breast feeding and showed me techniques that drastically decreased the pain I was experiencing. When she was leaving the post-natal visit, she made sure to remind us that we could reach out to her with any questions during the coming weeks. Caitlin also gave us the gift of writing our daughter's birth story from her perspective. I highly recommend Caitlin, as she enhances the processes of pregnany and labor for all.
We hired Caitlin for the birth of our first child in October 2011. My intent going into the birth was to have an unmedicated childbirth, which I knew a doula could help me achieve. About halfway through labor I decided to get an epidural. I worried that we had wasted money on a doula since I hadn't gone the natural childbirth route. That didn't turn out to be the case at all. There were still numerous decisions along the way that Caitlin helped us explore. Her most valuable role was being a calm rock for my husband and I. Her unassuming, agenda-less presence gave both of us the strength to last through the long hours of labor. My husband, who was skeptical of hiring a doula at first, already commented that we're absolutely having one again at the birth of our next child.
We would recommend Caitlin's services without hesitation. She ensured that our birth was the intentional experience we intended it to be.
We had a great birth experience with Caitlin. We met with both her and her sister, Kelly, who partner together to provide doula services through Gentle Waves and felt very comfortable with both of them. Caitlin was available to answer a few questions that came up in the days leading up to the birth, and came to our house in the middle of the night when labor was really progressing. We were looking for a doula who would support my husband as the primary birth parter, but be able to step in or provide guidance as needed. Caitlin definitely respected this and fit right into our birth team. She was there for both of us through the entire process. We birthed at GW with the Wisdom midwives, and Caitlin was familiary with GW and their procedures, and the midwives' practice style.
Caitlin was with us through about 15 hours of my labor, which was difficult at times, including a posterior presentation. She was definitely instrumental in our acheivement of a completely natural birth without any interventions or medications. We felt very lucky to have her!
Under Caitlin's care I had a wonderfully positive birth experience with the VBAC delivery of my second daughter, Lucy. I had made several choices that contributed to a successful VBAC, and I count having Caitlin by my side as the most impacting. Her presence was absolutely peaceful and yet she held firm boundaries for me with nurses and midwives to allow me room to make my own informed decisions during my labor. This was so empowering! Some of these decisions included: when to break my water, how to manage labor pain with medication, and what types of labor positions to try. She never left my side and yet I never felt as though she intruded or overpowered my experience or my husband's for that matter! My husband and I both felt empowered and therefore more engaged in the experience of Lucy's arrival. I don't believe I would have had a successful VBAC without her and am so convinced of the benefit of having a doula, I tell my friends ALL THE TIME!
Some other memories that I have of Caitlin - she was all about meeting at times that were best for me and my family; she was excited to meet with us as a family unit as well as a separate meeting with my mom who had flown in for the birth; she brought snacks and gifts; she celebrated with us; when asked for resources, she was prepared with articles she promptly emailed to me; and she was an amazing listener - I felt heard and understood.
Overall, I really loved having Caitlin's assistance and care. She was wonderful to work with and so kind and considerate on many levels - relationally and professionally.
I hired Caitlin Novak as my birth doula and postpartum doula in August of 2011. Caitlin first impressed me during our initial interview -- she listened carefully and asked excellent and thorough questions. She was clearly very knowledgeable and had a great deal of experience. During my early labor, she was extraordinarily patient with our many phone calls, texts, and false starts to the hospital during the night, encouraging us to labor at home for as long was safely and comfortably possible. Once we arrived at the hospital, she was very attentive to my needs during a very quick labor and delivery. She encouraged me to keep moving for as long as I could, and then stayed right by my side once I got in bed. She knew when to ask me if I needed something—a hot water bottle on my back, ice chips, cold washcloths when I started sweating. She took great pictures once the baby arrived. I especially appreciate that she played a crucial role in my labor and delivery, but never overshadowed my husband as my primary birth partner. Caitlin stayed for several hours after the labor, supporting my husband when our daughter was taken to the nursery for blood sugar concerns, supporting me through complications related to the birth, and keeping us both posted on each other’s progress. I was initially skeptical of having a postpartum doula, but Caitlin has been invaluable in that role. She has done our laundry, vacuumed, cleaned, folded laundry, made our beds, entertained our older daughter, and generally helped us try and keep the chaos of our home under control. Most importantly Caitlin has been comforting company during her visits, answering my questions about everything from breastfeeding to sleep habits. She even brought us chocolate and baked us zucchini bread! I give Caitlin Novak my highest recommendation.
I want to start by saying that having a Doula at our birth was not a luxury, it was a necessity. Having a doula like Caitlin by our side gave my husband and I peace of mind through pregnancy, labor and birth. Caitlin Jones is a warm, friendly and calm presence. She is extremely knowledgeable in the field of nursing and midwifery and is more than willing and eager to share her knowledge with you. She was there for us, 100%, through my pregnancy and birth and even beyond, answering any questions or concerns I had, and always returning my e-mails, phone calls and texts in a timely manner. Cailin has so much experience, but never once did I feel like a commodity with her. She always made us feel special and unique and was accepting of our values and beliefs, even if they may have differed from her own. She went above and beyond what I expected of a Doula and made my birthing experience truly remarkable. Caitlin was a wonderful advocate and was as hands on or hands off as we needed her to be during birth. When I needed her to put pressure on my back, she did. She reminded me to drink water and switch birthing positions when I grew tired or uncomfortable. When my husband was tired, she took over where he left off, but never made him feel like he wasn't important. She stayed after the birth to make sure we were doing well and the baby was nursing well. She offered emotional support and was our advocate when we weren't able to speak up for oursleves. Caitlin is a hip, progressive mama and is such a lovely, sweet person too. When we have our next child, we would love Caitlin by our side once again.
Caitlin was so awesome. Meeting with her before my daughter's birth was always a joy! She had interesting, useful and fun topics and outings planned whenever we got together. She's very sweet and not-pushy, which I was fearful about, when deciding to find a doula. I still wasn't positive that I was going to make it through "natural" childbirth, and she didn't make me feel embarrassed about that admission.
After 19 hours of pretty easy labor at home (and several reassuring calls to Caitlin), we drove to the hospital to find that I was 6cm dialated already! Caitlin met us there at 3 in the morning. When she arrived, I was asking for an epidural! She was so encouraging and told me I was doing an amazing job and told me the pain wouldn't get WORSE, it would just keep at the same intensity until I delivered. I thought "well, I've been doing this for so long already, and I'm handling it... I guess I can keep going." So, as a direct benefit of having Caitlin on my side, I had an entirely natural birth.
She also took photos and a really special video of the first time my baby girl was laid on my chest. I wasn't really aware that she was doing so, so it was really cool to revisit that amazing night once I got home from the hospital.
Caitlin was also a valuable resource after my baby was born. She brought over a little breast feeding care package, and gave good advice on how to get my milk production up (including a dark chocolate and cherry bar that I still remember to this day!).
Caitlin was encouraging, thoughtful, unobtrusive and supportive throughout the entire process. I highly recommend her!
= Available. Calendar last updated: Updated 5/9/2013
= Available. Calendar last updated: Updated 5/9/2013