4 years and 28 births attended
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 3
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I have attended births at Madison Memorial, EIRMC, Mountain View Hospital and Portneuf Medical Center. I look forward to experiences in other hospitals as well!
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Love attending births at birth centers that support doulas!!
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
Love going to PLANNED home births with a CERTIFIED midwife.
I am a strong advocate and Volunteer for Share (infant loss non-profit corporation) and support mothers and families through loss. I also enjoy serving in my church and helping others through parenthood. Member of the DOE (Doulas of Eastern Idaho)
Here you are! Kudos to you for diving deeper into what it means to give birth and start the journey of caring for a miracle--your baby! Pregnancy and birth are more than just a speed bump in life, they are monumental in shaping a family and jumpstarting parenthood. My passion is guiding women through this journey physically, emotionally and informationally with as much love and care as I can! Cherish pregnancy, cherish motherhood, cherish life, cherish the encompassing memories.
Idaho Falls, ID Service range 28 miles
We're writing this review after a bad experience with this provider. We changed our minds about having this doula with us at our birth. This is two weeks before the due date, however, we feel that Cherish Birth Services keeping the deposit (half what we paid) is more than fair compensation for her services she has provided so far, especially since she won't be assisting at the birth itself or providing post-partum care.
However, when we asked for a refund (not including the deposit), she has refused and says she has already spent the money on providing services for us (she has provided even less than guaranteed in her contract). We find this totally unfair, especially since her contract cites similar circumstances under the section "Failure of a Doula to Provide Services," saying that she would refund the deposit. These situations include her missing the birth or us failing to contact her about the birth occurring. She is unwilling to refund half in this case even though our situation is similar to these circumstances. We find this very unprofessional and unfair!
Also, her general attitude during prenatal care seemed to be doing and communicating the least amount possible instead of helping us become more familiar and comfortable with her. We had to be the ones to reach out to her for any contact. The emotional support that a doula is supposed to provide was lacking, a big part of why we wished to terminate services.
Working with Maren was absolutely the best decision we made regarding our birth experience. It was so helpful having her meet with us before hand and give us things to think about, resources to study, and encouragement. I felt way more ready to have a baby! As soon as Maren showed up at the hospital, both me and my husband felt more relaxed. It was so comforting knowing she was there taking care of us and our baby. She helped me get into the right mindset to deal with everything that was happening. I had decided that I wanted to do a natural birth with no epidural, and Maren supported me in that decision. I am 100% sure that I could not have done it without her. She was a calming strength, a treasure trove of knowledge, and a comfort. My husband was also so grateful to have her there. She helped him know how to help and where to be, which was huge for him. We are both so grateful for all she did for us. I never want to give birth without her! So worth the money. I would hire her again in a heartbeat.
Maren helped with the delivery of our second baby. Shw was such a comfort to have. I had no family there to support me other than my husband. By the end of the birth I felt as if she was family.
My labor was induced due to concerns. This was my second baby and my first baby was a c-section. I was aiming for a unmedicated vbach. I went into the hospital at night. By morning She was there. they had put a folley into me, to see how far I could progress on my own. When the doctors got in they would start me on pitocin. SHe never left my side the whole time. She knew we were on a time crunch with the doctors and that with every hour that passed my likelyhood of deliveribng vaginally went down. She did everything she could to keep my labor going as far as it She rubbed oils into my anckles, she mae sure I was moving and trying to help progress dialation. She kept me hydrated, she made sure I emptied my bladder constently. By active labor she was helping me to change postitions , even though it was the last thing I wanted. She helped me get past the fact that the nurses kept touching me with all the "monitoring". My baby came healthy and happy into the world. Even after Maren stayed with me till all the nurses and doctors had left and we were well situated with baby.
I have nothing but good things to say about Maren. SHe was my anchor and guiding angel through the delivery. SHe is hard working and diligent. Even before the delivery she would constatly check up on me and the pregancy. She always made sure I was comfortable with all the decisions being made. I would use her for all my deliveries. I highly recomend her. SHe is so prefessional, yet so kind and friendly.
This was my first experience having a doula, and it was a much better experience than my other two deliveres hands down. I felt so much more prepared and much more comfortable. Maren turned what could have been a disaster of a day into a day I will remember and cherish forever. I was so grateful for her experience and expertise.
My husband and I had made the decision that we wanted to go into the birth of our daughter as educated and prepared as we could be. We are new to this area and knew that we would like some additional support during our pregnancy and birth. We vaguely knew what a doula was but after meeting with Maren and attending a doula taught pre natal course, we knew for sure we wanted to work with her. Our hope was to have an unmedicated birth with as little medical intervention as possible. Because of an existing heart condition, several providers in the area were hesitant to listen to our hopes. Maren coached us on how to approach these conversations with providers in a cooperative and non questioning way. This helped to keep our communication clear and open and we found a great doctor! Maren’s support during birth was phenomena. Her and my husband worked together through our entire labor and were my dream team. She knew our analytical minds could deter the labor and helped to keep the environment light. I thrive on laughter and she knew that and used it to help calm me. Her knowledge and tools on so many pain relieving techniques were priceless. Having the support of such a strong woman and mother made it possible for us to have exactly the birth experience we had hoped for. Our daughter was born into a calm, safe and healthy environment because of her love and support!
WIthout any close friends or family nearby I knew that for our first baby I wanted to have someone there who could help my husband and I through the process. I had a vague idea of what a doula did and convinced my husband that it was something we should look into. We met with a couple of doulas and Maren stood out with her calm, confident, and fun personality. It was clear right away that she was the one for us! She also introduced us to an amazing birthing class led by several doulas, so that when my water broke at 38 weeks we were as prepared as we could be. Labor moved pretty fast for it being my first and with Maren on one side and my husband on my other side, I really could not have cared less who else was in the room. They were the only ones I needed. We had an unmedicated hospital birth with an OB and I really don't think it could have possbily gone any better. Maren helped me through nausea and vomiting, which was awful, but we got through it. Maren has a wide range of comfort measures in her bag and brain and was amazing at reminding me to drink water and breathe for my baby when I started breathing too fast or shallow. The worst part of the whole process was when I wasn't quite dilated to a 10 yet and my whole body wanted me to push. Maren was the only voice I paid any attention to at that point, she helped me breathe through those contractions until I was dilated enough to push. She stayed with us for several hours after our baby was born to make sure we were settling in and came by the house the next week. For those first couple of weeks she checked in several times to make sure we were doing alright. It was really comforting to know that if we did need help, she was right there with all kinds of resources. We struggled with breastfeeding in that first week and Maren came through with loads of resources that helped me figure out what I needed to do to be successful. Maren was key to our birthing experience and I'm so thankful that we found her!
Maren was wonderful! I would never want my wife to labor without a doula now. To be honest, I had never heard of a "doula" prior to our home birth. When my wife explained that she wanted one, I thought she had straight-up turned hippy on me; then we met with Maren. She spent as much time preparing me as she did with my wife. She helped us design plans for a successful home birth and then guided us to formulate a "oh crap plan" if we weren't successful. When it was time for the birth, she was a godsend to my wife in the respect of her vast knowledge base for therapeutic labor techniques. She was there to make sure my wife was mentally and physically prepared to have this birth medically unassisted. She also spent time ensuring that my mental stability was intact through the whole process. It was a great experience and comes highly recommend for a home birth or traditional hospital births alike!
This was my first home birth and I knew would need good support to go through with it. my husband was very supportive, but he was also nervous to have a home birth, and a knew a doula would be helpful to both of us. When we met with Maren my husband and I liked her right away, and we decided to go for it! My labor started very unexpectedly when my water Broke at 4 in the morning 3 weeks early! I called Maren and she answered right away. Said she would head right over. Because I did not expect my baby to come three weeks early I was very nervous and did not feel at all ready. She was so understanding and helped calm all my fears and helped me focus on what was important! Once active labor started she was amazing at helping me relax and breath. she never left my side when I needed her, and she got me through the hard stuff. She was such an amazing example to my husband as well and he started to pick up exactly how to help me best. by the time it came time to push he was my rock! I am so so greatful for Maren's service! I was so blessed to have a beautiful and peaceful home birth experience that would not have been the same without her! Thank you so much Maren!
Maren was an amazing part of the team that helped my husband and I at the birth of our third child. Maren was the backup for my first doula and I had never met her prior to going into labor at 38 weeks, but I immediately felt comfortable with her when we met at the hospital. Everything about how this labor progressed was unexpected compared to my previous labors, all of which I had been relatively short and I had been able to do completely unmedicated. I very much appreciated Maren's knowledge and humor as she supported me during those anxiety filled first hours and beyond. Maren left no stone unturned to help me in any way she could. Even after my first doula arrived after the first 18 hours of labor, Maren stayed and they worked together to try and help troubleshoot a labor that had become increasingly difficult (GBS positive, baby not engaged and waters already broken). Maren's presence was a huge comfort to me as I had to make decisions about interventions I had not wanted or planned on. After my first doula relieved Maren of her duties, Maren asked if she could come back to be a support at the actual birth (36 hours after it had all started!) which my husband I thought was really sweet and a true testament to how bonded my support team was to us. We were happy to have her come back for that, we felt incredibly blessed to have had her be a part of our birth experience. We had never used a doula prior to this birth, and afterwards I immediately regretted not having that support when my older two children were born. It made the biggest difference in helping me feel empowered througout the process, even though it hadn't gone how I envisioned it initially. By far my most difficult labor, it just might be my favorite because of all the love and support I felt from our doulas. I would recommend Maren to any family looking for a doula, we'd use her again for sure if we decide to have another baby :)
Maren was amazing!! With the birth of our child we had several complications but she helped keep us calm and in the right mindset. She is so easy to talk to and helps make you feel comfortable in any situation. She did such a great job helping my wife labor and also used several techniques to speed it up which we very helpful. As a man it is near impossible to know how my wife is feeling and to have Maren there who knows exactly what my wife is feeling was a huge help. I cannot imagine my wife going through labor without her. She was such a huge help and I would recommend her to everyone! Having a doula was the best decision we could have made.
My experience with Maren was not planned or even discussed, as she was the backup doula. I was a little nervous because I had never met her and was already in the hospital being induced, but I knew I could trust her to help me. She immediately calmed me because she talked openly as I started experiencing contractions. I was being induced last minute four weeks early due to hypertension and preeclamptic symptoms--which made it even harder to stay calm because it was not in the plan. I had also been practicing Hypnobirthing so I knew what I needed to do to relax, but in the moment I was having a hard time doing so. That's where Maren was the absolute most help in making my laboring process wonderful. As the contractions would come, she could tell when I tensed up even though I was trying to relax, and she would just touch my shoulder or stroke my leg and remind me to relax, breathe, and find whatever sense I needed to to get through it. She also guided me to "welcome" my contractions and then tell them goodbye. Maren stayed by my side from 10:30pm on Friday until 5 pm on Saturday after I gave birth. She was my solid foundation (my husband was wonderful but did not know what I was feeling like she did) and taught me other ways to help my body through contractions because I was unmedicated. Maren kept the environment unstressful. We joked between contractions, talked about everything; she knew when I needed it quiet, helped guide my husband in helping me, and held my hand during the worst of it. She even held my hand during my stitches after because my husband was with the baby in NICU. What I loved even more was that she encouraged me not to give up when I was exhausted and just wanted a C-section. She knew I would have regretted it and I would never regret going through the birth process that I did. Maren forced her way into my mind as it was shutting down (I went from 4cm to 10cm in 20 minutes) and kept me strong. I will always have a doula!!!
Hiring a Doula was one of best choices I've ever made. If you are looking to have an unmedicated birth, I would never suggest doing this without a doula. I've had 4 children and the one birth with a doula was my most cherished one. When I began looking into a doula, services, and cost, I wasn't sure it was for us. But after the initial phone call I knew I wanted her in my corner. She was extremely nice, straighforward, and we were able to joke with her and be relaxed like we had known her for years. I knew I needed someone who would stand up for us at the hospital, keep me focused, and make sure my husband was as involved as he wanted to be. Maren made all this happen. She met with us two times before the baby came, and after 36 weeks was there for me whenever, even if it was just for emotional support. I found this invaluable. Maren was supportive in every sense of the word. Maren has a way that allows you to feel comfortable, loved, important, and STRONG. She doesn't leave you with an option of feeling inadequate. I doubted myself a bit but Maren told me I could, made me tell her I COULD, and this allowed my body to realize I COULD. Maren came over when my contractions were 20 min apart. Thinking labor was hours away, Maren had tricks up her sleeve and within an hour, my contractions were 5 min apart. She distracted me the whole time with laughter, counterpressures, massage, and a feeling of safety. She was gentle when reminding me to breathe or relax my face. At the hospital, she held my hand and supported my every need while contracting and pushing. After birth she stayed until I was ready to move rooms. All this allowed for my husband to be there emotionally for me. He didn't have to worry that I was in pain or how he could stop the pain. Maren was also the only one who had brains enough to take some pictures! Maren will always be a part of my daughters history, and for that I am deeply thankful. I love you Maren! A million times thank you.
Ok guys, I know you are thinking there is no way spending money on a doula is worth it. I thought the same thing at first. And I was dead wrong. You know all those uncomfortable moments when you are trying to figure out what to do when your wife is in pain during labor? All of the sudden those are not your job to worry about anymore. You just have to be there for your wife and Maren takes care of keeping her as comfortable as possible. Honestly there is no way I would let my wife labor without a doula any longer. We used Maren on our 4th child. This was our only child to be born naturally (no anesthesia) and it was honestly the easiest of the 4 (for me that is.) my wife loved her, but honestly I kinda feel guilty now that Maren was such a huge relief to me that I feel like I should have been the one hiring her. Completely worth it I promise. Face it, we don't have a clue what it takes to give birth. You may as well have someone there who does so you don't have to be there acting like a fool when it gets stressful.
Maren was an invaluable member of our birth team and helped us to have the birth experience that we were looking for. She was able to help us find the answers to any questions we had and helped us know what questions to ask our midwife throughout the pregnancy, as well as during the labor process. She made sure that we were aware of many of the major decisions we could potentially have to make during the labor experience during childbirth and beyond and was great at asking questions to help me figure out what I wanted out of my birth experience. I really appreciated the top ten list she had me make so my husband and I had a chance to figure out what was really important to us and allowed us to easily communicate that to those that were helping with the delivery at the hospital. The labor process was much longer and different that anyone had expected it to be; Maren was excellent at thinking on her feet and helping to keep labor progressing. She was a great emotional support and really listened to what I wanted. She supported me in whatever decisions I made and did all she could to make things happen the way I wanted. I appreciated that my husband was able to focus more on the birth and not worry about me as much. We would love to have her with us again at our next birth!
My wife wasn't a first time mother but this was her first experience with a doula and it was an amazing thing for her. Maren helped in so many ways. To manage the pain she was feeling, help her process what was happening and perform at a level that was just unbelievable. She was focused on my wife when she had contractions and could her bring her attention back to her breathing and off of her pain. It made this often emotionally chaotic experience very directed and more calming
History: I've had 4 pregnancies and 5 live births. 2 pregnancies with no medication, 1 with epidural, and the last pregnancy was twins with no medication. This last pregnancy was the birth Maren helped with. I should've done it before!
Compassion: Maren has the utmost compassion. I was a surrogate for the pregnancy she helped me through. So, Maren was not only a support to me, but a support to the mother and father of these children AND to my husband as well. It was a large group to care for. Maren has lost a child of her own to still birth. One of the twins had a 2 vessel cord which put him at risk for spontaneous stillbirth late in the pregnancy. She was able to comfort my fears of not being able to deliver 2 healthy babies.
Education: I pretty much knew most of the material Maren was presenting, but the mother had no knowledge of anything regarding childbirth. Maren was able to give her a brief childbirth education class. And it had to be brief, as the parents were coming from over seas. The mother was so nervous and very fearful of so many unknowns and Maren was able to calm that.
Experience: Maren's help in so many other births helped her have a totally practiced hand in my birth. Maren was able to utilize her skills to address our very unique situation. Her practiced hand guided me to push on at the very end when I wanted to be done. I remember tearfully saying to her, "I don't want to do it again." And she found the way to urge me on. She kept my husband involved every step of the way. He never once felt like a 5th wheel. And that was important to me and to him.
Finally, Maren kept notes of how everything went; a timeline of sorts. I really enjoyed this, as during labor your brain goes to crap. If I ever do get pregnant again, Maren will get the call as soon as I test positive!
Maren was awesome! As a soon to be new father, I was absolutely clueless about the process of labor and delivery and how to best help my wife. Having a doula there turned out to be a must. Maren did a great job of keeping everyone calm and comfortable. She also was also able to adapt very well and quickly to new situations and really earned our trust and respect right off the bat. We have no complaints and would definitely recommend Maren to anyone.
At my birth, Maren teamed up with another doula during my labor. Wow, was it ever helpful having her there! I wouldn't have had my birth any other way. Maren was a great addition to our birth team. She was always right there and helped throughout the entire time. I felt more confident having her there and supporting me. She was always willing to get whatever we needed at different times throughout the labor process. She helped to relive pain during contractions, was willing to get ice buckets, use oils, helped me breathe, and so on! I remember during pushing she helped me breathe and to help get the baby oxygen. That was probably one of the biggest things that helped me was having help to breathe. I remember Maren also being very helpful during pushing.
Without having a doula at my birth, I don't think I would have been able to stay calm (at least as calm as I could) and make it through with breathing also. I am convinced that a doula shuold be part of every birth, no matter the birth plan. Having Maren there was also helpful to my husband. It was our first birth so he didn't really know what to expect. He was given so much help as well.
Maren came to visit us the next day at the hospital. Maren has a warm personality and was willing to help our family in many ways. I felt comfortable the entire time having Maren there...which was important to me. If you are looking for a great birth experience and support, Maren is a wonderful doula!
I never thought I would use a doula, because I thought they only attended "all natural" births. However, having Maren Bench be our doula turned out to be one of the best parts of my labor and delivery process!
She came to our home a few times the month before and got us to discuss what our expectations and hopes would be for labor and birth. This really helped us feel like we had a plan of what we wanted - with the idea that we would also go with the flow.
When I went into labor, I called and Maren came to our home at 3 am and helped me through back labor for several hours. She helped me remember different relaxation techniques, try different positions, rubbed my back, and even helped my husband know what to do to be helpful.
I believe that this help she gave me helped me stay at home a little longer and progress more quickly through labor, so that when I went to the hospital, I was already dilated to 5 cm and 80% effaced.
The back labor was really painful, so I asked for an epidural. Of course the nurse anesthetist took about 45 minutes to get there. During that time, Maren helped me labor in the deep hospital tub, and by the time I got out, I was dilated to 8 cm! Maren had helped me get through transition! My husband was amazed that I wasn't screaming - Maren helped me with visualization, oils, words to focus on, and deep breathing.
I was told that I could have gone on without an epidural, but once I made that decision, Maren was my advocate and let the nurses know that I still wanted it. Everyone said I was doing so well, but emotionally at that point I felt like I was just holding on until I could get the pain relief. So I was relieved when I got the epidural and got to rest a bit!
When I started pushing, she gave really helpful instructions of what to push and what to relaxe - I only had to push for about 40 minutes! Thank you!!
Maren Bench is really amazing. I was not sure about using a doula and wasn't sure how using one would be helpful. After meeting with Maren in the weeks leading up to our child's birth, she really made a great effort to get to know me. She validated any concerns I had related to having our first child. She let me be heard and helped me to understand different ways of looking at topics I discussed with her. Her communication with us was excellent. She was at every appointment she made with us. She opened conversations my wife and I had not had and help both of us to understand each other better.
The day the delivery, she showed up early in the morning and was there through the whole experience. The help and support she gave my wife was excellent! After watching how she helped my wife during labor, I know that it’s because of her support and techniques she used to help my wife that helped make the labor go as smoothly and quickly as it did.
I highly recommend Maren as a doula. You couldn’t ask for a better experience than the one she provides. She made the experience comfortable for my wife and I. I would also recommend using a doula in general to anyone who is having their first child.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 08-13-2019