Baltimore, MD Service range 35 miles
$25 to $30
$25 to $30
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 3 births and 1 to 2 postpartum families
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
Calm, patient and compassionate, I draw on 15 years of caregiving experience to help the birth giver and birth team stay confident and grounded throughout pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. As a professional doula, I provide non-judgemental support and prioritize my clients’ comfort, autonomy and vision. I honor that each birth is unique and each birth givers’ expectations, joys and fears are different. My encouraging, dependable and nurturing presence makes me an invaluable addition to any birth team. In addition to my birth doula work with Chesapeake Birth, I am a co-founder of and volunteer with the Baltimore Doula Project.
I understand that doula services are generally paid out of pocket and are usually not provided by hospitals or covered by insurance. I believe that every birthing person deserves a doula if they want one. I am open to working with your budget to find a price and payment plan that meets both our needs.
Baltimore, MD Service range 35 miles
My husband and I were going to be first time parents and we were overwhelmed with all of the information available. We wanted someone to help guide us through this first pregnancy. When I first heard about doulas and started searching for someone to work with, I came across Carling's website and I immediately had a good feeling about her. She responded promptly to my inquiry to set up a meeting. My husband and I both really liked how she came across as very calm but passionate about her work. As our doula she was supportive of all of our decisions and provided helpful information when we needed it. During labor and delivery was when I really relied on Carling and every time I think back, I am so glad she was there. She put my needs first and provided me with a lot of encouragement. She also helped guide us to make informed decisions. She got along well with the labor and delivery staff at the hospital and came across as extremely knowledgeable in the procedures being performed. Carling is our doula for life and we are blessed to have met her and to have had her be a part of the birth of our baby girl!
Carling was the perfect doula! She has an amazing energy that is both extremely peaceful but strong. This helps create a calm environment during birth but also provides the comfort of knowing you have a strong advocate.
I had an unmedicated hospital birth. Carling’s knowledge of birth helped me determine when to go to the hospital, allowing me to labor at home longer. She has a wonderful template for creating flexible birth wishes and offers her knowledge without judgement. During my labor, Carling noticed some of my birth wishes being ignored and gently empowered me to advocate for myself. Carling was able to suggest different positions and techniques to facilitate a comfortable labor. She explained what was going on when I was confused or concerned and checked to make sure that I was ok with everything that was happening.
Carling’s calm energy during labor was infectious and it helped my husband and best friend be present, confident and supportive. After my baby was born, Carling suggested that my best friend cut the cord (my husband didn’t want to). This was such a wonderful moment for all of us.
I needed some stitches after birth. While this was happening, Carling helped my baby latch. I am lucky to have had a wonderful breastfeeding experience and I think that Carling’s assistance in the first hour was instrumental.
We love Carling! If we do this again, we definitely want her with us. I am so grateful for the wisdom, kindness and love she has shared with us.
Carling was an amazing support to me and my partner during birth. Her ability to stay calm and grounded during an emotional time really helped us think through our intervention options. She reminded me of my birth plans and wishes when I needed it, and respected my choices when I changed my mind. She also kept my partner calm and supported when I needed a c section and they couldn’t be in the room while I was being prepped. We love Carling!
My baby girl was born on March 17th. We decided to hire Carling after inquiring with a few different doulas before making our decision. I chose Carling because she seemed genuine and had the calming personality I was looking for to help me through my labor. Carling was very thorough in our prenatal visits and always ensured we were informed and comfortable with our upcoming adventure.
While we had a due date of March 9th, we ended up being induced March 15th. Carling helped me (and my husband) through 36 hours of labor. I experienced extreme nausea and vomiting with the fluids I was on and she even helped me through all the vomiting and trying to find comfortable positions through the contractions. She was there to keep me positive, even after 32 hours of contractions and finding out we hadn't made it past 4 cm.
When we were told we would need to do a c-section due to lack of progression, she talked my husband and me through the steps of what was to come. We waited a few hours before going into surgery and she offered to join us in the OR, but I chose to just have my husband present. It turns out my girl was stuck in the birth canal, apparently my hips were not wide enough to get her through. Carling waited for us outside the room and was so supportive in the moments after the surgery was done. She helped me with the first latch and ensured we had everything we needed for our recovery.
I highly recommend Carling to anyone who is expecting, whether it's your first time or you've done this before. She is very informative and goes above and beyond to ensure her clients are comfortable and informed.
I was relieved to hear a dear friend tell me she had a doula she recommended because I dreaded the task of looking for one myself. My friend’s husband also recommended Carling which sold my husband on taking the plunge and hiring a doula. Carling was very helpful from the start, super flexible with times to meet, and regularly checked in with me about how things were going. She was a total rockstar when we got to the hospital and was doing double duty responsibilities because my husband had broken his collar bone the day before my induction! I think what impressed me most about Carling was her sensitivity to my feelings and her desire to hear about them especially when things got tough in the delivery room. She was behind me on all my decisions even when I changed my mind about medication. I really appreciated how she asked if I needed more time to make decisions while also immediately respecting my wishes, once I decided, without judgment. I was determined to have a VBAC and therefore so was Carling. Her presence was so calming and reassuring and I think it helped me to make it through our five hours of pushing! Thank you Carling for everything, we will never forget you and everything you have done for our family!
I knew when the time came to be pregnant that I would want to have an unmedicated birth. My husband really thought that I would change my mind as the time came closer. However, that did not happen. A close friend had suggested that I look into having a doula present during the birth. I was open to the idea but unsure about having a stranger in the room. I was worried that I would not be comfortable and what it they did not get along with my husband, doctors etc.
After meeting with a few different doulas, I knew Carling would be the perfect match for my husband and me. I could tell she would be approachable, calming, strong and encouraging which I was looking for since this was my first pregnancy. I needed someone who would offer their knowledge without being over bearing and supportive of my decisions without zero judgement. Carling was absolutely that person.
During our first prenatal visit, Carling had handouts which were so helpfully for me to understand the labor process and willing to answer all the questions my husband and I had about natural childbirth. For the second prenatal visit, she taught us physical techniques to help with labor pain so I could have the un-medicated birth I wanted. My husband was so appreciative that she took the time to allow us to practice the techniques and made him feel a part of the process.
When the time came to meet us at the hospital, Carling was there within the hour. She was extremely supportive of not only me but my husband too. She encouraged my husband to take care of himself by getting some food, rest etc. which he could do knowing that I was not alone. I was so appreciative that they both could provide the comfort measures that I needed. Carling was always a step ahead of offering the perfect suggestions of interventions, positions etc. My husband and I both agree that could not have gone through the labor process without her! She's unbelievable doula, and we cannot recommend her enough!!
Carling is truly gifted in caring for women through all stages of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, and I will be forever grateful for her support during the birth of our son in December 2017. From the beginning, Carling stood out as a doula candidate for us because she was 100% committed to listening, trusting, and supporting our birthing choices with zero judgement. Her presence exudes a unique mix of extreme tranquility and extreme strength, and she inspired us to keep calm and focused as we navigated all aspects of our hospital birth experience. I am further impressed by Carling's commitment to social justice and serving her local community. She is an all around amazing human!
Carling is amazing! She was recommended by my midwife group and instantly when I spoke with her, I knew she was the perfect match. I decided to hire a doula for my second pregnancy to help support my decision to have a VBAC. Carling was more than supportive, kind and knowledgeable during my pregnancy, labor and postnatal period. I felt comfortable calling and texting her at any time during my pregnancy with questions and concerns. I experienced false labor pains for the week before my labor, Carling was there for me with techniques and comforting words. The late evening that I went into labor, she met us at the hospital. I was only 2 cm dialated and exhausted! I was admitted into the hospital and given pain meds to help get some rest. The next morning I had dialated a little more and had to make the decision to break my waters and see what happens or go
for a c-section. After a pretty traumatic labor which then resulted in a c-section with my first child, I was very emotional and unsure of what I wanted to do. Carling again was extremely supportive and caring during this time, ensuring me that all labors are different and that I was strong and could do it. I woke up the next morning and was ready to push.... 50 minutes later our beautiful son was born vaginally with the support of my husband, Carling and the amazing nurses. Carling checked in on us after we settled in at home and came to visit. She also sent me the notes of my birth story and some wonderful pictures that she captured during/after labor. I would highly recommend Carling to any expecting mommas, no matter what your birth plan may be! Thank You Carling for being a part of our birth story/experience!!
After the first few minutes of meeting Carling I knew she would be the approachable, calming, strong and encouraging presence my husband and I needed through my first pregnancy and labor. She is so thoughtful, kind, and insightful- it's clear that she loves babies, and her excitement to be joining us on this journey was truly felt. She is a rock, comforting and reassuring without being overbearing, and has a depth of knowledge waiting to be prompted for input (rather than giving unsolicited advice).
During our first prenatal visit, Carling thoughtfully described a step-by-step portrayal of the entire labor process, with all possible scenarios; answering all of our newbie questions. It was so helpful to have in-person, one-on-one interaction with her; you can only prepare yourself so much with books and videos. For the second prenatal visit, she taught me physical techniques to endure the early-mid stages of labor, and guided my husband on the use of massage and pressure points.
The security of her presence was something we never anticipated in selecting a doula. We though we were merely "renting" someone to teach us how to be calm, and bear/breathe through the pain. We didn't know we were getting a confidant, guide and a friend. When labor started, she felt like family that you actually want to have in the room with you. She was encouraging and provided helpful direction during my labor that I would not have otherwise received well from my husband- some of which was hard to hear, but needed to be said.
She was right by our side through 48 long hours of labor, making it clear by her actions that our needs were her 100% focus. She was a shoulder for us to lean and cry on for support when things were at their worst, not wavering at all (b/c she's seen it all!). And after our baby was born, she took some gorgeous photos we will cherish for life. She's unbelievable doula, and we cannot recommend her enough!!
Prior to becoming pregnant, I experienced moderate "medical anxiety." When I became pregnant and had frequent doctor's appointments, that anxiety only heightened as I perseverated on all of the "what ifs" of childbirth and delivery. My husband and I decided to hire Carling as our doula to help combat my fears and help me have a more grounded and peaceful birth experience. We knew Carling was a perfect match for us as soon as we met her. Her extensive knowledge and calming demeanor were exactly what I needed to allay my worries about giving birth.
My labor ended up being induced and the whole process was long (almost two full days!) and not at all what I had anticipated, but I credit Carling for helping me get through it as well as I did. She guided me in asking the right questions at the hospital about procedures and interventions and she provided amazing moral support for both my husband and myself. My husband still exclaims how he does not know how we would have made it through those long two days without her!
There was only one major moment during my entire labor where I felt a sense of overwhelming anxiety. I alerted Carling to my feelings and she quickly took action by validating my feelings and coming up with a plan to support me. We called in a nurse to check my progress, and it turns out that that feeling was my body's way of telling me that I was ready to push! I ended up pushing for three hours, and Carling was the most incredible coach. Her encouragement helped me stay strong and have the vaginal delivery that I had hoped for.
I am now over four months postpartum and Carling continues to check in on me via email. She is the epitome of kindness and a true advocate for her clients. I cannot thank her enough for all of her support. Anyone looking for a doula would be so lucky to have Carling by her side!
I cannot recommend Carling enough! My husband and I initially sought a doula and ultimately hired Carling to help us have the unmedicated birth we so desired. Unfortunately, things did not happen as we hoped. This is where having Carling by our side was so essential and such a gift. Carling guided us through a long, physically and emotionally difficult birth. Carling helped us adjust our plans, provided us crucial information about procedures and interventions, created space for us to make decisions, and was a constant calming presence. She provided essential comfort measures, emotional support and physical relief for my husband, and held space while we labored to bring our son into the world. I cannot imagine the labor and birth without her. She is dedicated (she slept on the floor next to my mother during downtime during the long labor) and professional (provided prenatal visits and was always available by phone and text during the days and hours leading up to my labor). She visited us several days after the birth while we were still at the hospital and then visited us at home; and she has provided post-partum doula services for us as well.
My wife and I were initially debating on whether or not we wanted a doula present for our first birth. We were concerned that having a stranger in the room would potentially not only make us uncomfortable, but would distract from what we wanted to be a natural process.
We stumbled upon Carling's practice, Chesapeake Birth, and decided to meet with her to better judge if a doula would fit with our vision. We were both immediately comfortable with Carling. Carling gave us a great overview of what to expect from her over the coming weeks and for the big day. Following this introduction, we knew we wanted Carling there with us. We had a vision for how we wanted our first birth to go, and we believed Carling could help see us through it.
Our vision of a smooth, natural birth was systematically picked apart by reality. Through it all however, Carling was a rock we leaned upon heavily. From hour 7 of labor at home, when the time between contractions was shortening and we were preparing to go to the hospital, to hour 30 when an epidural was requested to help my wife survive the pitocin the doctors recommended after labor stalled at 7 cm, to hour 40 where all progress had stalled and a cesarean was required because three hours of pushing still hadn’t moved the baby down far enough, Carling was there offering support, guidance, pain management, and a calming presence. Carling helped us get through this birth. She helped guide my wife through the expected pains, and the pains of having to let go of the idealized visions we had. Carling helped calm me and guide me to be a more effective supporter for my incredible wife, who was in the middle of the greatest fight of her life.
To anyone on the fence of whether to hire a doula, I can comfortably say that Carling was well worth the investment. Should my wife and I have a second child in Maryland, I would not hesitate to have Carling by our side again.
Carling was absolutely amazing! I am very laid back and when in pain (normally) like to be left alone. This was my second pregnancy, and after a failed epidural the first time (which left me with sciatica pain), I knew this time around I wanted to go all natural. Carling fully understood my concerns, helped me form a birth plan, demonstrated different techniques to help labor pains, and explained things to me that I hadn’t even thought of.
My husband was several states away for training, and being a military spouse I had little support in my area. I called Carling around 2:30AM to let her know I was ready to go to the hospital, and she was at my house within an hour. She stayed with me the whole time, was there with anything I wanted or needed, and wasn’t overwhelming. Her customer service and attentiveness to my needs was A+
Highly recommend her to anyone in search for a Doula. Carling will listen to you, support your decisions, and help you along the way.
Thank you so much Carling!
-Jenna Sloan & Baby Arya
My wife Jessica and I had the pleasure of having Carling as our doula for the birth of our son Caleb, and we cannot have been more pleased with our choice. She was incredibly knowledgeable, professional, patient, caring, and calming, and always held our best interests as her top priority. There were some stressful and unexpected moments that occurred during Jessica's labor, and Carling helped us navigate and tackle these issues with a cool and collected presence. She served as an advocate for our birth plan, and frequently collaborated with hospital staff to ensure our opinions were being heard throughout the process. We highly recommend Carling as a doula for any expectant mother.
Carling Sothoron was my Doula in May 2017. My husband and I were having our first child and our midwife suggested getting a Doula for our pregnancy/birth. We sifted through a few profiles of local Doulas, when we came across Carling's she seemed kind and open to many different families. When we met Carling for the first time we were about four months along in our pregnancy, Carling had a warm and calming energy about her that made my husband and I feel very comfortable around her. We continued to get to know eachother throughout the pregnancy- we even did brunch! We always felt more of a friendship with Carling than a professonal relation. Carling was aware of our previous pregnancy loss and made sure to check in with us to assess our emotional well being as this pregnancy progressed. We really appreciated how she was able to comfortably talk to us about our feelings associated with the current pregnancy. It was important for her to know that this felt like a healing experience for us. I felt like she was on that journey with us and empowering us every step of the way. When I went into labor Carling was the calm guiding energy that my husband and I needed, she knew our wishes and was an advocate for us both. Carling had many helpful positioning suggestions, physical counterpoint techniques (so great for back labor!) and relaxation prompts during contractions that she used- I credit her that I was able to remain calm for so long. She tirelessly was by my side the entire time, her presence made a world of differene. My husband told me the next day that he was SO glad that she was there because he would take cues from her when he felt he didn't know what to do for me. The birth of my sweet daughter was so peaceful and everything that I wanted it to be. I can't thank my birth team enough. I'd book Carling in a heartbeat for my next birth if she were available, she is exactly the guidance any woman in labor deserves. -Alexandra Francik
Carling was the best decision I made for my family during this pregnancy! She was attentive to my needs, questions, and fears throughout my pregnancy (not just the last three weeks), she took the time to send me articles on topics I had questions about (delayed cord clamping, etc), she bonded with my daughter and encouraged me to prepare her for birth since she was going to be in the room with us. Carling is all around thoughtful and kind and always made sure I was taking care of myself and using my support system (including her). During labor, Carling came over and labored with me until it was time to head to the hospital. She stayed by my side all 35 hours (!)- I even had to force her to nap when my birth plan went out the window and I got an epidural. She knew my wishes inside and out, made sure everyone followed through, and supported me 1000% when I made the decision for medical intervention. I wish I knew a million pregnant women; I'd send them all to Carling!
Carling served as my doula during the birth of my daughter at Holy Cross Hospital. If it were not for Carling’s supportive presence and tireless encouragement, I believe it would have been much less likely that I would have had the mental strength for a natural birth without medication. Carling helped me to believe in myself because she believed in me without question and was fully supportive of my desire to avoid interventions. She provided pain management, to include massage and pressing on pressure points, and breathed with me through the most painful contractions so I was able to stay in control. When first meeting Carling, both my husband and I were immediately at ease. She has a calming energy and a real desire to help women during the birth process. Carling came to our home to discuss my desired birth plan. On the day I went into labor, she helped me labor some at home and helped decide when we should head to the hospital. She was 100 percent present with me and provided continuous encouragement. After the birth, Carling took some wonderfully moving pictures for us during the first moments of our daughter’s life which I will cherish forever. She visited me at home after the birth and brought delicious soup and advice regarding breastfeeding and baby carrying. I highly recommend Carling without reservation and would not hesitate to hire her again if I decide to have another child.
Carling supported me during my VBAC in 2013 and she was amazing! She was my voice when I was unable to speak, she nurtured me mentally and physically & she reminded me constantly just how powerful I am! I'll never forget two things she said to me during my labour: 1) When I doubted my efforts and said 'I can't do this' she encouraged me by replying, 'You ARE doing this!' & 2) After the birth of my son she complimented, 'This has been the most challenging and rewarding day of your life.' I'll never forget how good that notion made me feel!
Carling's services were invaluable & come highly, highly recommended!
We chose Carling to be our doula because when we first met her she seemed very calm and warm. She took her time to listen to our needs and was willing to support all of our decisions in having unmedicated natural birth. She is very knowledgeable about birth and showed us different massage techniques to help with back pain. During labor, she was an incredible team player with my husband and birth center staff. She was helping me with dressing, applying counter pressure, hydration, and breathing. When it was time to push, I held her hand and squeezed pretty hard. I felt like she was there for me drying the hardest part of my labor. Her kind words and support really helped during intense contractions. Carling also brought her proffessional camera and took breath taking pictures of my birth. We can not thank her enough for all the hard work and support she provided to us. I would highly recommend carling to anyone seeking a doula and want to have a support they need during birth.
Joe & Helina
Where do I begin? Let me first say that having Carling with me while I gave birth was the best decision I ever made. I have to admit I was skeptical about hiring a doula only because I didn’t really know what to expect or if I really needed one. After a few failed attempts at finding a doula I met Carling. When we first met she immediately put me at ease. She was very knowledgeable and insightful in discussing my birth plan giving me options that I didn’t even think of at the time. I knew going into labor that I wanted to have normal contractions and then eventually get an epidural if I couldn’t go any longer. Carling was very supportive in whatever decision I made and from the beginning we made a plan that I was comfortable with so she could read what my limitations would be. When I went into labor she was at the hospital shortly thereafter bringing numerous soothing options to make the pain/contractions as manageable as possible. Throughout my whole labor and delivery Carling had a real calming presence and was able to intuitively know what I needed. You don’t realize that remembering to breathe can be a difficult task when you are in the middle of a contraction (until you have someone there to be the voice of reason.) You can make a plan for how you want your birth to go it doesn’t necessarily mean that is how it will work out. Carling was adaptive and able to help me relax throughout the entire process; even when the doctors deemed it too late to give me an epidural and I had to labor and deliver naturally. There is no way I would have been able to give birth to my beautiful baby without her, she truly made the experience memorable. I highly recommend Carling to anyone considering a doula for their birth.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 05-28-2020
= Available. Calendar last updated: 05-28-2020