Selma Brothman Photo

Selma Brothman

selma brothman doulas services

Website: Https://

Phone: (215) 260-1679

Birth Fee: $1000 to $1200

Birth Doula Experience: 9 years and 100 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, January 2008
Type of Practice: Group practice with shared call schedule

Clients per Month: 1 to 3

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Some Home Births
I am happy to attend home births under the supervision of a certified, qualified midwife.

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Evidence Based Birth Instructor
  • Lamaze International
  • Hypnobabies Doula

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Lactation Counselor Training (Healthy Children's Center for Breastfeeding)
  • child & adult CPR

Other Relevant Certifications

  • Evidence Based Birth® Instructor

College Education

  • MA/MS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Relinquishing mothers
  • Single parents
  • Special needs babies
  • Surrogacy
  • Twins
  • VBAC

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • Parenting consulting
  • Therapist or counselor

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Intake Co-Ordinator Philly Doula Co-Op (present position) PALS intake co-ordinator (4 years; former position)

Certifications for Selma Brothman

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Client Testimonials for Selma Brothman

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Liz Wilson

After having worked with a doula for the birth of our first two children, we knew we wanted a doula for the birth of our third child although our orignial doulas were not available.  We weren't sure about finding someone new but once we met Selma we knew right away she was "the one."  Selma has a great combination of expereince, expertise, leadership, and warmth.  Selma was always flexible when scheduling meetings (super helpful since we have crazy schedules) and was available to answer any question or concern.  She made it a point to always check in but was never overwhelming.  She also did a great job of providing birth education (refreshers) for us which we apprecaited since it had been a couple of years.  When I was actually in labor Selma was wonderful.  She was so calming and supportive to both myself and my partner.  While keeping me as her main focus she was able to check in and support my husband which was so helpful since it was a long night.  Selma was encouraging and pushed me to try different things while in labor but was flexible and really adjusted to what I needed in the moment. I am so grateful I had her support during my pregnancy and especially during labor and delivery.  I have worked with several doulas and I cannot recommend Selma enough.  

Posted 4/10/2018

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Analyze Consulting

Selma was our Doula for not one but TWO births and if I'm having a third I would hire her again. She is super helpful in the coordinating of all the necessary people in the hospital. Our last delivery was at night and she came prepared with caffine and sugar for the nursing and midwife staff and they thanked her profusely for the much needed pick-me-up. Selma's direction and attention really made the time in painful labor go quickly. Both births came suddenly and surprised the attending staff, but Selma wasn't phased by it at all and I really felt supported and that I didn't need to worry about anything. Days after the birth, she does a check-up on everyone invovled to make sure that there is a healthy transition to home.  I highly recommend Selma Brothman!

Posted 4/8/2018

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Jenny Roca

Selma was present for the birth of my daughter and my son.I truly don't think I could have had a natural birth without her. Since I had 2 babies under 2, Selma and I had a lot of contact over a short period of time. We got to know one another well and developed a great relationship. Having her help coach my husband in how to support me and help suggest birthing positions was invaluable. Even if she weren't to do anything at all, having Selma in the room when you are birthing will help you feel at ease. She is such a calm, abiding presence. It was like having my mom there - without my mother's anxiety :) :) . Thank you, Selma, for being such a gift to us mommies! 

Posted 1/3/2018

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Gina Bradley Wolf

From our first conversation, I knew Selma was exactly what my husband and I needed. She is knowledgeable, motherly (in the best was possible), open minded, warm, laid back, fun and confident. I have medical concerns that cause me to be unable to receive a epidural, so I am not an easy case. Selma recommended we take a HypnoBabies class, which really made the difference for us and helped us understand we had choices and we became at peace with our birthing plan. In the days leading up to my birthing day, I unfortunately started bleeding fairly heavily, which caused a couple visits to the ER and we ended up getting admitted very early in my birthing time (which is not ideal). I was extremely scared that my placenta had torn and I was overwhelmed by the thoughts of my baby not being safe. Selma immediately came to the hospital (from another birth!). My husband says to this day, he could not have gotten through it all without her. Selma kept us calm, she made sure that I stayed focused, she helped my husband help me, she gave me concrete advice that even in my transition/transformation I could listen to and grasp. She was the guardian angel of my birth. My last memory before I met my baby (Luca!) was Selma putting me on my side during what seemed like a long hour of pushing and the baby immediately came out. If you chose Selma for your birth, listen to everything she says! Even in the moment when I didn't want to take advice, I always did and now I realize how important everything she said was! Even all the nurses and midwifes told us how much they loved Selma. She was not just my doula, she became our family. You cannot go wrong with choosing her as your Doula. Simply put, she's the best! My placenta ended up being torn, but my baby was safe and part of that I account for the calmness I was able to achieve through my birth because of Selma, Hypnobabies, and the worlds best husband! 

Posted 10/5/2017

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Ashley Sheppard

Selma was amazing helping me through a completely natural childbirth. She visited us at home twice before the due date and gave us a lot of helpful advice that we used through a long early labor. She also came to our house and helped me through some contractions before we went to the birth center.

Things moved very fast at the birth center and I became much less aware of what was going on around me but I know Selma was a big help during this time, to me and my husband both. We don't know what we would have done without her!

Posted 6/17/2016

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Sarah Placke

When my husband and I first met Selma to interview her as our doula, we were struck with her warmth and knowledgeability.  I immediately relaxed because I knew that my baby and I were in good hands.  Being able to talk through my concerns and anxieties with Selma helped calm me and prepare for labor and birth.  We came up with a birth plan and I felt ready for labor once it came about.  Though my delivery did not go as I expected, I can honestly say that I wouldn't have it any other way because Selma was with me every step of the way.  I enjoyed my birth experience because she helped prepare me while giving me strength, direction, and support for both me and my husband.  Selma is an all-around wonderful person and I would go through it all again with her by my side.

Posted 5/25/2016

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Stephanie Glass

Selma is an amazing doula! I absolutely recommend her services to pregnant women and their partners!

Prior to labor, Selma met with me and my husband several times and provided wonderful education and resources about labor and delivery. She gave me the tools to help me advocate for myself with hospital staff. She checked in on me often and made sure I felt comfortable and was prepared for labor.

During labor, Selma provided excellent physical and emotion support. Her methods of physical support helped relieve the pain from my contractions naturally. When my birth plan changed, her emotional support made me feel more secure and I know I was able to make the best decisions for myself. Selma was also a great support to my family in attendance.

I had a positive birth experience because of Selma’s help and her expertise as a doula.

Posted 4/30/2016

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Stacie Adjaye

Selma was the birth doula for the April 6th birth of our daughter, when our original doula was unable to attend the birth. Despite having never met my husband and me, she was amazing. She quickly picked up on our preferences, effectively coached my husband to coach me, and was a calming and reassuring presence throughout. She was amazing at acting as an advocate for us with the sometimes challenging hospital staff and continually made sure that I was aware of what was happening me. Our original birth plan was for a limited intervention and un-medicated birth. I can honestly say that without her presence and coaching, we would not have achieved our goal.

Posted 4/25/2016

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David M

Selma came highly recommended and she surpassed our expectations. The decision to involve an experienced doula was based on two key factors:

1. This was our first birth and we had no clue what to expect
2. There was the possibility of medical complications and we wanted someone having eyes on us at all times (even the nurses come and go these days)

Selma demonstrated a degree of commitment, genuine concern, experience and compassion that simply blew our minds. My wife certainly rivaled one of the longest labors -- 55 hours of contractions!! -- and Selma was there every single step of the way.

An added benefit, which we could appreciate only in retrospect, is Selma's genuine warmth and compassion. She was like a village elder guiding us through the miraculous, but unknown, process of birth one step at a time. Additionally, we were also surprised how Selma provided emotional support not only to the mother but to the father as well.

We recommend Selma without hesitation and look forward to sharing her name with others at every opportunity.


Posted 3/14/2016

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Mystessa Zeneca

Selma Brothman was a godsend for our birthing journey. She was proactive in gathering information and talking to people before the birth and was really on the ball during the birth experience. This was my second birth and I'm very glad that Selma was there for us. She was just as supportive to my Partner and the Surrogate Parents as she was to me. I came into the agreement not knowing how much effort she would put into it as I was booking her with only a month or two til my due date. But, Selma really stepped forward and guided us through everything we'd need to know. I'd highly recommend her; if I'm going to give birth again, she will be my first choice.

Posted 3/10/2016

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jonatan valdez

in one word, wonderfull person!!

We have nothing but praises for Selma!

We worked with her for a traditional surrogacy with a normal delivery ( no meds only induction was needed for our surrogate ) with Hypnobirthing at Penn Hospital.

She was always available for us in the time of need ( even late at nigth ) she explained the whole process to all of us.

She is easy to work with, supportive, friendly, caring , efficient and  punctual, she knows well how the  system works  ( she did help us  before and during the hospital stay)

We are from out of state, she went the extra mile and even drove for us to get some groceries 

She did introduce to us to the key people from the hospital staff  so our traditional surrogacy process runned smoothly during delivery

We really cannot imagine doing the whole thing without her, her support was inmense, she did not only gave support to our surrogate but for us also.




Posted 3/7/2016

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Jacob Kerner

Our experience with Selma Brothman as our doula was, in two words, fantastic and essential.  Before the birth of our son Elliot we did a lot of our own research, took a mindful childbirth class, met with Selma a few times, formed our own birthplan, and generally did all we could to ready ourselves for the experience of labor and delivery.  We were aware that once things got moving we'd have to go with what Lindsay's body was telling us she needed and we knew it would be an immense challenge physically and emotionally.  However, it was having Selma with us from the beginning to the end of labor and delivery that got us through it.  The calm pressence and breadth experience she tapped into, her clear communication and supportiveness directly to Lindsay and especially to me throughout all stages, and her constant reassurance that all was well and moving along made the natural birth we wanted possible.  Without her I don't know how we could have possibly brought our son into the world in the way we so desired he be born - thank you thank you thank you Selma - you sheparded our baby into existence with such care and expertise and we are so grateful.  

Posted 12/6/2015

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Kalee Tell

Hiring Selma as our Doula was the best decision we made for the birth of our daughter.  This was my first delivery and I had done my research and knew what I wanted for the labor and birth, but I was not confident that I could accomplish or reach these goals (Natural unmediated birth). My husband was also unsure of his ability to be supportive and nervous because he didn't know what to expect. 

We met Seman in my third trimester because we had just moved to Philadelphia recently and she was very accommodating to make sure we had enough time to meet and discuss our birth plan and questions. She gave us the tools and information we needed to prep us for the birth.

Selma met us at the hospital when we were ready and never left our side. She was so great guiding my husband on how to give counter pressure and kept him focused and helped him understand what I was going through. The biggest help was how she talked me through each contraction. I was so scared and nervous and she was so calm and nurturing and kept me going when I wanted to give up. She was there to catch my puke, feed me snacks and drinks and was the voice I focused on to push through to the next contraction and the next.  She helped me successfully reach my goal of an unmedicated natural childbirth and I couldn't be more grateful. We really felt like we could not have done it without her! We highly recommend her to any one who is interested in hiring a doula! 

Posted 12/2/2015

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Jenny Mills

On September 7, 2015 I welcomed Talula Josephine into the world with the loving guidance of Selma Brothman. It was my first baby so I chose to have a doula to help both my husband and I through the birthing process. In my search for a doula I wanted someone who had already had children and felt like a wise "mother" figure. I found Selma's website and instantly liked that she had a background in family therapy, because it told me that she was emotionally present - which I needed. My husband needed some convincing as to why we needed a doula, but once he sat down with Selma he instantly felt connected and was on board. My husband and I completed the hypnobabies home study and used those techniques for the birth. Selma was well versed in hypnobabies methodology and supported us in learning the material and using it during the "pressure waves" and birthing time. She checked up on us throughout the pregnancy to see how we were doing, which was so nice! My baby came 3 weeks early, so although we didn't have time to have our formal pre-birth meetings with Selma, we felt so at ease with her during the birth. She literally held me as I vomited and told me "it's okay, Jenny. This is natural and normal. Your body knows just what to do." She tirelessly read me the hypnobabies scripts as each contraction (pressure wave) ran through my body. She stayed next to me for four hours, offering words of affirmation and sayings, prompting me to relax and relase my body.  Although my eyes were closed as I was "in the zone" I knew she was right there with me through the entire process. I honestly couldn't have done it without her. I think part of the reason why my birth was uncomplicated and went so quickly was because she was there to guide me through it. Even after Talula was born she stayed with me to make sure she breast fed properly, and even came by days later to check on us. I highly recommend Selma Brothman as a doula. She's truly a gift to pregnant women!

Posted 11/10/2015

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Asal Homayouni

Our first birth experience, though not terrible, was not what I had envisioned. I had wanted a non-medicated birth, but was unprepared when the day came. After laboring several hours with no progression, I eventually conceded to an epidural. I labored in bed for 24 hours, unable to move, with an IV catheter, fluids, and a urinary catheter in place. For our second child, my husband and I knew if we wanted our birth experience to be different, we would need some professional help. That’s when we found Selma. From the first meeting with her, I knew she was a perfect fit for us! She was professional and comforting, and assured me that I would get what I wanted out of my birth experience. We met with her twice prior to labor, to discuss reading information, and relaxation and breathing exercises to practice. We kept in touch through the rest of my pregnancy to the night of my labor. I had emailed Selma earlier in the day to let her know that I was feeling uneasy and that early labor signs had started. She was reassuring and kept in contact with me all day. Selma was at the hospital waiting for my husband and me when we arrived. I was very nervous; she was calm and strong and told me I was going to do this and there was nothing to fear, my baby was coming! Selma continued to be a voice of calm throughout my labor, as well as a physical support. With every contraction, Selma braced me and helped me breathe and posture in a way to alleviate much of the pain. She assured me that everything happening was normal, and that in no time the baby would be in my arms. This time around, my entire labor in the hospital took only 3 hours! I was able to walk and stand the entire time other than the 5 minutes in the end when I was pushing. I found the whole experience this time around to be natural and empowering! My husband and I are so grateful to Selma. We could not have done it without her, and will plan on having her with us again if we have more children in the future!

Posted 9/21/2015

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Gosia Skarzynska

It may sound unbelievable but the delivery of my son a few weeks ago is one of the most amazing and beautiful memories of my whole life. Unbelievable, because labor means pain, struggle, discomfort, exhaustion. My plan was to go the natural way but I was scared. I did not believe I could make it. And I wouldn't, if it wasn't for my husband who was at my side for the long hours and for one more person who quietly stood there with us, breathed with me, helped me with every single contraction. Selma Brothman was our doula, my delivery couch, and I wouldn't have done it without her.

She provided the quiet and non-intrusive support I needed for the whole 12 hours spent with us. She delicately and respectfully advocated for me with the hospital staff. She was there for every contraction, reminding me to breathe through it and helping assume the most comfortable position. She held my hand, wiped my forehead and rubbed my back. When the nurses and midwife were discussing the pain control options, she explained to my husband what each choice would mean for the labor process, me and the baby. That's what helped me power through without the epidural in a moment when I almost gave up. All that she did with almost no prompting from me as during the whole labor I refused to speak and communicated only by nodding my head. Selma knew exactly what I needed and I was amazed by her intuition and very grateful for it.

I am very happy that Selma was with us in those difficult moments - she helped to make them so beautiful and rewarding. And a few weeks afterwards she met me and my son and again blessed us with all the warmth and support. Thank you, Selma, for giving me those unforgettable memories.

Posted 9/14/2015

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Janel Pfluger

My experience with Selma was empowering. I had a successful VBAC and having a doula was a crucial element to my success. Selma was very accessible and really took the time to get to know my husband and me and our history with birth. When it came time to deliver, Selma gave us wonderful, practical advice that helped us get through early labor. At the hospital, she reminded me of and reinforced my rights as a patient. I was able to deliver on my terms largely because I had her support. She is kind, compassionate and warm. I am so glad she was my doula.

Posted 7/29/2015

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Jennifer Woods

Selma was an angel sent from God during my delivery.  As soon as she walked into our room, she immediately calmed me down and starting nuturing me as if she were my mother.  There are no words to describe how much we appreciated everything she did.   She is very knowledgable and was very good at dealing with the mediacal staff and making sure my needs were met the entire time.  She listened to our thoughts, wants and feelings and made sure everything happened that we wanted.  


From the the moment we met her we knew she was a perfect match.  She is a wonderful communicator, advocate and care taker.  We wish we could have worked with her more than we did, but due to delivering early our time was cut short.  

Posted 7/8/2015

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Johanna Humphrey

Selma was a fantastic doula. She was recommended to me by one of my midwives at Penn, and I knew right away when I met her that she was a good match. She was very caring and compassionate, and listened carefully to my wishes for the birth of my son. Selma provided guidance for me and my husband as I created my birth plan and met with us a few times ahead of the birth to discuss our concerns, fears, and general questions. Although my labor and delivery did not go at all as planned, Selma was an indispensable person to have with us. My husband and I don't know what we would have done without her in the room to help explain procedures, ask questions of the medical staff, guide and coach me, and give my husband some much-needed breaks and rest. After our son was born, Selma stayed with us just long enough to make sure everything had gone okay, and then left our new family together to bond. She followed up and visited us at home the following week to make sure we were adjusting well, and remained geuninely interested in our well-being. I would highly recommend Selma to anyone looking for a caring, compassionate, and thoughtful doula and friend for their birth.

Posted 6/2/2015

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Jordan Elizabeth

I'm so glad we decided to seek doula support for our birth experience, and even more happy we found Selma! We knew right away that her warm and easygoing yet knowledgeable and confident approach would be the right fit for us. In addition to being committed to a natural birth if possible, we needed someone who could not only help me manage the realities of labor and delivery, but also my partner. Having Selma by our side gave me the confidence to face each phase of the process and enabled my partner to be the most amazing support person ever! It helped us have the most positive experience and come away feeling so connected that we brought our son into the world together. The information Selma providEd in advance was useful, balanced, and well researched. Since we were delivering with midwives in a hospital setting it was important to us to find a doula who would work well as part of our team. Selma was the perfect choice as she is so experienced and familiar with Pennsylvania hospital. And she managed to capture the priceless first photo of our new family! 

Posted 5/30/2015

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Christina Lim

Selma was so supportive in my labor & delivery this past May 2015, my darling daughter was born at 10:45pm.  We initially interviewed a few doulas, we chose her based on her experience and her very positive attitude towards birth overall; she does not push any of her beliefs or opinions on you and helps you build your overall view on your own birth and birth plan.

I had a vaginal delivery with no epidural at Virtua Voorhees and was considered low to medium risk.  She was with me for almost 21 hours. The #1 thing I really appreciated was her knowledge in positional body changes to support station and pain management. 

Throughout active labor, she provided alot of guidance in certain movements, reminded me to walk, and moved my hips in way to counter the pain involved during contractions. I don't think I would have progressed as quickly as I had in station if it were not for her recommendations of a combination of squats, leg squats, and other types of different movements. She also helped me breathe during the pushing stage.

She helped tremendously keep my partner calm and confident, including my mom who basically freaked out.  Initially my partner was hesitant in having a doula, but afterwards, he was extremely relieved and appreciated the support tremendously. 

There were no downsides/negatives to her support.  She was always available via phone, text, and face-to-face.  I couldn't have had a better birth experience as a first time mom.  I highly recommend Selma.

Posted 5/27/2015

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Jamie Banks

My birthing experience with Selma was absolutely amazing! Both my husband and I can attest to her expertise and would highly recommend her. The techniques she used really help me have a relaxing and enjoyable labor and delivery. I could not have done this without her and I am beyond grateful for the services she provided my Husband and I.

Posted 5/15/2015

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Kathryn Yeager

My husband and I were so thankful to have Selma to support us through our pregnancy and preparing for labor & delivery. As first timers we were excited but nervous about the unknown of delivery and having Selma there to provide us with practical tips and relaxation techniques, guidance for educational books and other literature, and personal experiences gave us so much confidence. Selma met with us on two occasions in our own home to learn more about us, our personalities, and our relatiionship together and what we hoped for our dream labor experience. Selma is patient, kind, and a warm soul and we connected with her immediately and felt comfortable with her as an old and dear friend. 

On the days leading up to the birth of my son I felt stressed, tired, and so ready to deliver. We were a week past my due date and Selma would call me to offer moral support, to listen, and to provide encouragement every day. At each decision point we felt supported by having Selma there as a neutral third party. She came to the hospital late in the evening when I was induced, and while my labor experience was nothing like what I imagined or planned, we were so incredibly happy to have Selma by our side through everything. She stayed up late with us, slept on the recliner in my room, was there to document all of the medical interventions and events of labor, even the nurses names and times so we could recall everything later on. Selma held my hand through the final moments before my son was born, and was there smiling along with us when he arrived and after when we were able to establish breastfeeding.

When Selma visted us a few weeks after we came home I truely realized what an amazing job she has and what an amazing person she is. She shared with us a beautiful hand written story about the night my son was born and we were so full of gratitude that she came into our lives and shared such a special moment with us. We cannot sing her praises enough.

Posted 3/1/2015

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Lauren K

I had a really wonderful birth experience with the support of Selma and my husband at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Selma was very engaged and supportive throughout my pregnancy.  She has a kind, calm manner, and is very maternal and caring.  She did all the normal doula things well: she came to our home 3 times to get to know us and our hopes for the delivery, she provided educational materials, and she even attended our last hypnobirthing class to find out what we had been practicing.

But, the best thing she did for me was support me during a few days of sadness and depression during the final trimester when I learned I had Group B Strep and would face a more medicalized childbirth than I had hoped for.  She was very available and supportive during that time.  She helped me come to terms with the disappointment, which I did not seem able to do on my own.  My husband had also not been able to help me out of this hole, and I had cried for days.  I was at a breaking point.  Pregnancy, which I had physically handled quite well, was emotionally and mentally beating me.  I hadn't gotten out of bed or eaten all day.  I finally called Selma.  She listened and gently helped me put things in perspective.  Where others tried to change my feelings, Selma took an observe-and-accept-your-feelings approach.  Then she asked me what I would be doing for the next 10 minutes and the 10 minutes after that in order to make a plan for the rest of my day.  She called and checked back in to make sure I had gotten out of bed.  It really saved me!

On the big day, knowing Selma was there helped me (and my husband!) make it through a natural childbirth.  She recognized when I was going through transition and when we should call the midwife back in.  She helped me lobby to give birth using a birthing chair.  It all turned out beautifully, and I have Selma to thank! 


Posted 2/24/2015

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Ellie Graves

We absolutely loved having Selma as our doula. We had her for both out children.
Her energy is very calming and focused. My first was 32 hours of labor and Selma was just as helpful in the last as she was in the first. She's very knowledgable and took the time to find out that we wanted. When I needed the support of my husband, it felt as though she was able to make herself scarce - she didn't intrude in the moments we desired for our family. I felt that she worked very well with the doctors/midwives and nurses - it truly felt like a team effort.  She knew the staff and seemed very well respected at the hospital I chose.
She knows all of the right positions and techniques, but also really let me explore and supported me in what I wanted. When it came time to do what the midwife needed me to do for the health of the baby, Selma understood and helped me comply in a supportive way.
I truly feel that Selma helped me to avoid a csection for my first birth. And I had a med free birth for my second.
Selma really focused in on me and helped me know I could do it.

Posted 2/13/2015

Birth Availability for Selma Brothman

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