$25 to $35
13 years and 75 births attended
6 years and 10 families served
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 3 births and 0 to 2 postpartum families
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I have had very positive hospital experiences and work to develop collaborative relationships with the medical staff. Both of my older children were born in hospitals and I am quite comfortable in this setting. My goal is to create a safe and warm space for the mother to birth despite the often sterile surroundings.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
Having given birth to my youngest two children at home, I am quite comfortable with both the theory and reality of birthing at home.
While I have a set rate, I strongly believe that every woman deserves support. As such, I am willing to discuss creative options such as bartering and trade. If you are interested in my services yet feel my fees are out of reach for your family, please call or email to discuss the options.
Camden, ME Service range 75 miles
I had a lot of anxiety during my pregnancy! I suffered four miscarriages before finally concieving my son and that experience altered my birth plan from what I had always wanted to have - a homebirth, to a hospital birth. In the end I just wanted my baby here saftely. I struggled with this decision for my entire pregnancy, just never feeling totally at peace with the decision to birth in a hospital. I worried about all the things one does when planning a hospital birth - unwanted interventions, impersonal staff, stalled labor, etc. I knew that I wanted an experienced doula to be there for me, expecially as I was birthing in a hospital environment with care providers I didn't really know or fully trust. I wanted a doula to bring a sense of calm and normalcy to my birth, someone who had enough experience that they could help me navigate any potential interventions that might be suggested. We decided to hire Leah because she checked all those boxes. When it was time to give birth to my son, I honestly think the outcome of my birth may have been different had she not been there. My labor progressed pretty quickely and without complication. The hospital staff was busy entering information into the computer and offered no comfort or help dealing with labor naturally. Leah was there to help - getting me water, rubbing my back, holding a cloth to my forehead, offering words of encouragement. I really needed that! After he was born she stayed in the room with us for few hours and that was really just maybe the best part of having her there. It just felt right and natural for someone else to be there with us. For weeks after my son's birth Leah would check in and helped me establish breastfeeding with advice and encouragement. Leah brought so much care and love to my birth, I would have her there a million times over.
My biggest worry during my pregnancy was about my birth plan. I didn't know if I wanted a hospital or home birth. I have a friend who is a midwife in Maine recommend that no matter what type of birth I would eventually have that I should hire Leah to be there. I am so glad I listened to her. Leah was a very supportive presence throughout my pregnancy. I ended up transitioning from a hospital birth plan to a a home birth plan half was through my pregnancy. I was so glad to have Leah as a consistent member of my team throughout this time.
Early on in my pregnancy Leah had me and my partner write out a birth plan and send her a physical copy. It took us a while to finish but in the end I really appreciated the process. It helped me make some important decisions and prompted a lot of great conversations between my partner and I. After further reflection there were many instances like this where Leah facilitated discussions, helped set goals, aided in planning and logistics and was an all around helpful member of my birth team.
I cannot recommend Leah highly enough. For all women, hospital or home birth, anxious or excited about labor, first pregnancy or third Leah is right for you. She is an amazing, loving, organized, knowledgeable doula. Who knows how to be supportive during pregnancy, labor and postpartum.
My biggest concern before hiring Leah was being able to advocate for myself. As much as I thought my husband might be able to focus on my needs and the doctors simultaneously, it became clear as we discussed our birth plan how beneficial it would be to have a neutral person in the room. Someone who had the experience and wisdom to help with any decisions that came our way and would give us the space and time to make them. Hiring Leah removed the extra burden from my husband who then was able to focus his attention on myself and our daughter without feeling like he was dropping the ball. Leahs presence was just what we needed. Leah was a wonderful asset to have in the birth room. She was calm and extremely professional, she immediately focused all of her attention on me and when she could would occasionally check in with my husband. She coached me through my contractions and reminded me to breath and let them pass. She spoke encouragement and tenderness, telling me how great I was doing and how I was strong enough to continue doing it. She made sure I was as comfortable as I could be and checked in with me about it often. I can’t speak highly enough about Leah and her sweet care of my family during this unique time. Leah is great. She is attentive and professional. She really cares about her work and her clients, paying attention to the smallest details to make sure you have everything you need. She is even willing to work with you about payment and is very realistic about it depending on your circumstances. I really think it is a must to have a Doula in your delivery room and Leah is a wonderful one. You will really love her!
I could not have asked for a better doula than Leah. Her warmth, compassion, and calm demeanor were essential in getting me through the unmedicated home birth of my first child (not to mention the last few months of my pregnancy!). She used her extensive knowledge of the process to comfort me physically, to reassure me with her words, and to ensure that I always knew exactly what was going on around me--no small feat when I was in the throes of active labor! When I had to transfer to the hospital immediately after the birth for a severe perineal tear, she was with me every step of the way until the OB on call was able to discharge me and send me home for the night. When I was struggling with my recovery and with postpartum depression for weeks after the birth, she continued to visit me, check in on me, and even rubbed lotion on my itchy stretch marks--a small gesture, but one that meant so much to me when I felt like a hideous troll in my stretched-out postpartum body. Even now, three months out, I still get texts from her checking in on me and my sweet baby boy!
My husband and I have spent a lot of time reminiscing and talking about the birth, and he agrees that we couldn't have done it without her. Her presence and direction gave him the confidence to support me in the ways that I needed as I worked to bring our child into the world. We are both so incredibly grateful to Leah for the essential and life-giving service that she provides, and we would absolutely recommend her to everyone we know, regardless of the circumstances or type of birth that they wish to have. Birth is a powerful, intimate, and transformative experience, and it takes a special bond of trust to invite someone to share that experience. We are so glad that Leah was with us during ours.
I hired Leah to attend my home birth of my second child. I hired her because during my last birth my husband got lost in the shuffle and roles during my labor. Leah made sure that he was involved and by my side the whole time. She made sure everyone at my birth felt included. She was very calming and encouraging during my labor.
My favorite part of Leah's care during my labor was that she always checked in with me to make sure I was comfortable adding people into my birth space when they arrived. I had a photographer at my birth so when the photographer arrived Leah made sure I was ready for the photographer to be involved. Even after the baby was born Leah always checked with me before my family members came in to meet the new baby. During the postpartum I was having a difficult time with breastfeeding so she helped me set up an appointment with the lactation consultant and went to the meeting with me. I honestly can't say enough good things about Leah. She has helped me in more ways than I can say.
I would and will recommend Leah to my friends and family having babies that are looking for a doula. She is an amazing doula who genuinely cares about the people she helps.
We were so lucky to have Leah with us during the birth of our son! Leah kept in constant contact with us through a long induction process and was there for us as soon as I went into labor. Although we tried for as natural a birth as possible, nothing really went as planned and we ended up needing a lot more hospital intervention than expected. As labor progressed things got a bit complicated and would've been downright scary without Leah's normalizing, informative and reassuring presence. She helped explain things to us without judgement. Ultimately, our son was born via C-section and Leah was right there with us, again, normalizing what for me was my first OR experience. There was a bit of time between when our son was born and when he was placed on me and Leah ran back and forth between he and I taking pictures to share with me, that seemingly small gesture meant everything! I ended up having to be separated from our son while I recovered and so that he could have some additional monitoring and Leah helped run interference from my room and the nusery to share what was going on, and asked the peditritian to come check in with me. She also stayed with me into the wee hours of the morning while my husband stayed in the nursery with our son. Though we ended up having to stay in the hospital for an entire additional week after the birth, we all went home exhausted, deliciously happy, and healthy. Leah checked in on us daily and continues to check in on us on a regular basis to see how we are all doing. I know that if I need resources or a listening ear, I can call on Leah. We are so grateful for the role she played in the creation of our family. I can't recommend her enough.
Leah is absolutely wonderful. She is warm and sweet and asks great questions. She got me through six more hours of hard, hard labor past when I was ready to throw in the towel. She has a great way with hospital nurses and doctors, helping me advocate around their monitoring rules in a very firm but kind manner, which I think was very effective. She was able to get me what I needed without offending or upsetting any of the hospital staff. She has been amazing about following up and checking in with me after the birth, spending several hours in person talking with me, and even brought us muffins! She really knows how to ask the right things to make you really think about your options and choices. 110% recommend Leah to anyone, but especially those considering a VBAC like I was. While ultimately I did have to have another c-section, I really felt like I was able to give it my all first, and was heard and respected in my choices, and Leah was a huge part of that. While the hospital didn't let her into the OR with us, she waited outside the whole time and was right there in recovery with me, helping me nurse for the first time.
Leah was our doula for the birth of our daughter Saylor Quinn. Saylor was due Dec,16 2018 but decided to make her entrance into the world at 1:17am on Christmas Day! We were so grateful to have Leah's support before, during and after Saylor's birth. From the beginning, Leah was available to us for any questions and concerns we had leading up to the birth. We also took her one day parenting class that was very helpful in preparing my partner and I for the realities of parenthood and the birth itself. I think this class was particularly impactful for my partner who used many of the techniques Leah introduced in her class during the birth. We will always remember and cherish the contribution Leah and her family gave to our family on Christmas 2018.
We appreciated Leah’s help, especially in a time that was quite difficult for us with health challenges following our daughter’s birth. Leah was personable, kind, took time to get to know our situation, communicated very well, and the nights went without a hitch. One morning we even woke up to the smell of freshly-baked pumpkin muffins! She also checked in on us and obviously cared about how we were doing on a personal level. Even our young daughter smiled at Leah! Were we to have another baby we would look to her first as a postpartum doula. Thank you, Leah.
My fiance and I chose Leah as our doula as we were hoping for a natural childbirth and felt that someone like Leah, with lots of experience and a calming presence, would be helpful during the process of labor and delivery. I had a somewhat loose birth plan but strong feelings about having a natural delivery with limited medical interventions. Sixty hours after my water broke I had my son by c-section. Leah was incredibly helpful during this difficult journey. She took some of the pressure off my fiance, providing us both with much-needed support. She teamed up well with our midwife as they brainstormed how to best help us facilitate a natural childbirth. Leah reminded me of my rights early in labor when I was encouraged to take induction medications and supported my decision to leave the hospital and return 24 hours later in active labor, a decision I may not have felt as confident about making without her support. She stuck by us through the whole process - and it was a long one! She even missed her husband's first race to be with us during my labor, for which we were very grateful. Physically, my post-partum recovery went very well but I struggled with insomnia, some symptoms of post-partum depression and feelings of disappointment and self-doubt regarding how my son had eventually entered the world. Leah was very helpful in normalizing what I was going through, encouraging me and reminding me that we had literally tried everything possible to encourage a natural childbirth and that I was strong and should be proud of myself for giving it my all. She encouraged me to schedule an appointment with a post-partum counselor sooner than later. She's thoughtfully texted me a number of times to check-in and see how we are doing. If you're thinking about hiring a doula, I would strongly recommend Leah Kohlstrom!
My husband and I chose Leah to be our doula for the birth of our second baby because of her warmth, professionalism, and tremendous depth and breadth of knowledge and experience - as a childbirth educator, a local doula, and a mother herself. We also live in the same town and felt reassured knowing she would be near us and near our hospital. She is very well acquainted with the PenBay Medical Center procedures and staff, and has a great rapport with them; that was a huge plus, since we were new to the Midcoast area and new to PenBay. It was important to me to try to have a vaginal birth with as few medical interventions as possible. Leah is incredibly well organized, approaches her job seriously and with a big, open heart, and I always felt like I could reach her any time I needed; she's a responsive and proactive communicator, checking in regularly and offering her support. She was amazing during my labor - quietly strong, steady, reassuring, and calm. I felt connected to her and grateful for her support, experience, and encouragement both during labor and in the fragile postpartum hours, days, and weeks! Thank you, Leah!
My husband and I can not say enough about our extremely positive experience with Leah! She was a true pleasure to have all along our journey from our meetings while pregnant, labor, delivery and postpartum home visit. She is a true calming force with an extrodinary amount of knowledge and experience. She met with us getting to know our wants all while supporting our every decision and providing her knowledge along the way. Leah checked in via email and/or text before, during and after birth to see how we were doing and wanting to lend a hand if needed. She has an abundance of tools to use while laboring to keep a calm, secure and comfortable environment. She was a great teammate with my husband, supporting him while encouraging him to be my number one supporter and coach. Our labor and birth did not go as planned what so ever but in the end I wouldnt have changed a thing because Leah made it all manageable and never left our side. I labored for 40 hours and ended with a very unexpected c-section, Leah never left our side and even stayed after to make sure we were settled and comfortable. Leah’s caring, calming and kind demeanor is something I can’t possibly put into words. We HIGHLY reccomend Leah for Doula services, she is truly amazing.
I am happy to be contacted for anyone who is thinking about working with Leah to provide my story and experience in more detail. Bdaggett84@yahoo.com.
Thank you Leah!
Leah came to us as a postpartum doula when our son was about 6 weeks old. I had an emergency c-section 5 weeks early and had many medical complications post birth that left my husband doing much of the round the clock care for our son, as well as working full time and caring for me. Leah came in at a time that we were both exhauted and feeling a little lost, as we hadn't been able to get into a good routine for ourselves and our older son as well, and breastfeeding for me was challenging and only partial because of my complications. Leah came in for five overnights and one daytime visit, and we can honestly say she saved us at a really trying time. Overnights she would come in and feed and care for our son overnight, and then bring him to me to nurse first thing in the morning. This allowed us to get some rest (especially my husband), but also helped me to build my supply (to what is now a fully breastmilk baby) in a gentle and caring way that worked with my medical issues. Not only did she do all this, she also folded herculean amounts of laundry at the same time and baked amazing treats for breakfast. The daytime visit I found especially helpful, as my husband was away on a work trip and she came in and provided both company, invaluable help for baby, and actually helped me feel like I achieved something in the day (we sorted baby clothes into sizes). This daytime visit was somewhat transformative for me, it was the first time i'd really talked to anyone about the things that led up to a traumatic birth, and it made me feel like I really could cope for the first time since the birth. Despite not knowing Leah well at that point, she was easy to talk to and interested and caring in her responses. We both felt well looked after and needed the "reset" that Leah provided for us. We wish we could have done more visits, but even the few we had were so invaluable, and I think it would have taken us so much longer to feel comfortable at home without her.
Leah is worth her weight in gold! My husband and I decided to hire a doula for our hospital-based, med-free water birth and we couldn't be happier with our choice in Leah. We found her rates to be very reasonable for the amount of knowledge and assistance she provided all the way through the process; from our really informative meetings leading up to the birth of our baby, to her kind, gentle, comforting support during labor and delivery, all the way through to her post-delivery home visit. We loved that she was always close by to offer advice on the choices we had to make, but didn't necessarily offer her own personal opinion. She guided our choices by giving us the knowledge and facts to make the decisions on our own. Plus, being first time parents, we had no trouble putting our trust in a mom of four! We highly recommend Leah's services to other families, without a doubt. Yes, you can read her very impressive resume top to bottom, front to back, and inside out, but there are some skills that can't be put in to words. It's a vibe, a feeling, an impression that she makes when you're face to face.... and hers is a face that made pushing a baby out much more manageable!! THANK YOU LEAH!
My husband and I hadn’t considered hiring a doula for the birth of our first child because privacy and intimacy were very important to us and somehow I, wrongly, imagined that having a doula there would change the dynamic and take away from that. Near the end of my pregnancy, a friend recommended I reconsider since I was ”planning“ an all natural water birth at the hospital. After meeting Leah first myself and then a second time with my husband it became undeniably clear to both of us that her presence not only wouldn’t diminish the intimacy of the experience but only support it and provide even more love, respect, and security. My pregnancy went nearly two and a half weeks past my due date and she was there every step of the way to educate us and guide us through making some tough and important decisions. Without her graceful care and calm approach it would have been very difficult for me to remain confident in my choices and, ultimately, the decision we would have to make to have a c-section. She was an incredible sounding board as we processed all the medical information and I my own fears and insecurities, both leading up to the birth of our daughter and afterward. Our gratitude for her presence is unending and she continues to remain supportive as I navigate the challenges of being a new mother. I would highly recommend Leah to anyone in the process of finding the right doula for any type of birth, including those who, like myself, are not yet convinced of the massive benefits. Although we can never truly plan our birthing experiences, Leah helped to make ours even more powerful, beautiful, and without any regrets, even with the unexpected. If we choose to have a second child, we would be honored to have her loving presence there once again. Thank you Leah! You made a monumentous occasion even more special and I will always look back at the birth of our little girl with gratitude and appreciation.
I contacted Leah somewhat late in my pregnancy and thank goodness I did. She stepped right in and helped quell my fears. Her calm demeanor was soothing and her confidence was reassuring. One of the services she provides, which I think helps make her unique and valuable is that she doesn't take any other clients around your due date so there is a much better chance that she will be available for you on your special day. Other doulas I talked to had back ups, but I didn't like that I was going to build a relationship with one doula and have someone else at my birth.
On the day of my daughter's birth, things moved quickly. We called her on our way to the hospital, but by the time she got there, I was already pushing! However, her presence was a great renewal of energy as I worked with my little one during birth. She was supportive and encouraging, helping me navigate the 'right way' to push. She stayed after the birth for several hours, helping with the baby, feeding me, and congratulating me. She was just awesome. Lastly, I had several postpartum complications and she kept checking in with me even though she didn't have to. She clearly cared about me, my husband, and my little girl. Honestly, she was such a blessing to have as part of my support team leading up to, on, and after the birth of our little girl. We will definitely call on her again for #2!
From our first interaction with Leah, we felt at ease as to-be new parents. She's a great listener and really got to know us at our prenatal visits. She helped me think through my options at the hospital when I needed to be induced. She is very knowledgable, but it is her calm nature that I feel makes her an amazing doula. She knew what could help me manage the pain before I even knew to ask or what I needed. She's intuitive and she worked seemlessly with my husband to support me. I knew after delivering my first that I would want her to be there for next birth - and she was. Leah gives encouragement, offers gentle touch, suggests positions and breathing techniques that really make a difference. She knew when to offer cold compresses or ice chips. She also helped me process the birth experience postpartum and the new stages of motherhood. I couldn't have found a better match in a doula. It is clear she has found her calling and I'm so glad she was there to bring my son and daughter into the world.
Leah has been our Doula for our past two births and we are excited to have her Doula presences once again for this current pregnancy. She is an outstanding person and I'd highly recommend her Doula services to anyone expecting! She brings comfort and support to both myself and my husband. She is an encourager and simply a great support to have.
We would strongly recommend Leah to any family looking for a doula. She is incredibly kind, knowledgeable, and helpful in making decisions without imposing her own beliefs or preferences. We had a challenging birth experience, with many unexpected circumstances, and Leah was there to support us the whole way through. She knew what questions to ask to help us clarify what we really wanted and why, with each choice we had to make during the birth. Leah worked well with our providers and made sure both mom and dad were taken care of throughout. I was so glad to have her calming presence there during some stressful moments, and her depth of knowledge gave me confidence. Even after the birth she has stayed in touch, been available to answer questions, and supported us as first-time parents. She went above and beyond what I would have expected from a doula.
We welcomed our twin sons June 20th, 2016. We hired Leah while planning our cesarean birth. As a doula myself, I knew the benefits of having a doula, but there is nothing that can capture, in words, the support that Leah provides. Leah is extremely knowledgeable in all birthing methods, but has a great deal of experience with surgical birth. She prepared me for the sensations of a cesarean, the room, the plan, the experience. She touched base with me often and provided resources and planning assistance for my birth. She helped me to *own* my decision to birth by cesarean, and supported my choices with nonjudgemental and unbiased support.
Leah helped us to navigate our emotions before our birth. She was in the OR with us and helped me to stay focused and calm. She reassured my husband and I, and she gave us space to experience the moment of hearing ur babies cry for the first time. She took some pictures to help me to remember the space in which we birthed our sons. After our birth, she stayed and helped me get settled into my room. While in recovery, she helped welcome my family and my husband's family and supported us as we nursed our boys.
In our time postpartum, Leah visited (and brought me a coffee, how fabulous) and texted. She provided space to process our birth, she talked to me, discussed birth, parenting, nursing, etc.
I can't actually identify all of the ways in which I felt Leah's support. She helped filled all the gaps in my birth plan, in my confidence, and allowed me to have an AMAZING cesarean birth.
I'm forever thankful to her, and would recommend her to anyone.
Thank you Leah!
Leah’s calm nature, warm heart and passion for childbirth were few of the many reasons why we chose her to be our birth Doula. Having three children of her own, she has a vast knowledge of pregnancy, labor and birth. During pregnancy, Leah diplomatically discussed birth options as we created a birth plan, without imposing her own itinerary. With her knowledge and wisdom, Leah assisted in alleviating our anxieties about the birth process. She instilled feelings of confidence, joy and anticipation.
Leah was a tremendous help before, during and after labor. During labor, she was with me the entire time, holding my hand, providing soothing massage techniques, ensuring I was well hydrated, and coaching me on timing and force of breathing. In addition to providing comfort measures during the labor, she was able to communicate my desires with the medical staff. This allowed me to fully focus on birthing my bundle of joy! She was as much help to me as she was to my husband, working to encourage him as my primary coach and support.
Leah provided a post-natal visit, assisting me with swaddling and baby wearing techniques. She even brought us a meal and washed our dishes! Following the birth, she has been a strong resource and source of encouragement for me with breastfeeding. Leah superseded our expectations of her role as a Doula, and we would highly recommend her services. She is not only an amazing person, but an incredible Doula!
= Available. Calendar last updated: 11-20-2020
= Available. Calendar last updated: 11-20-2020