Leah Kohlstrom, CBD, CCBE. CLC Photo

Leah Kohlstrom, CBD, CCBE. CLC

Birthing Mothers

Camden, ME Service range 60 miles

http://www.birthingmothers.com

Birth Fee

$900

Postpartum Rate

$35 to $40

Availability Remarks: Along with labor/birth support, I am available for postpartum shifts during the day as well as overnight care.

Birth Fee

$900

Postpartum Rate

$35 to $40


Birth Doula Experience

15 years and 100 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience

7 years and 15 families served


Birth Doula Certifications

  • Birth Arts International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators), January 2006
  • CAPPA - Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association, November 2018
  • Birth Arts International, June 2021

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.


Special Services Offered

  • Antepartum doula support
  • Babywearing education
  • Childbirth education services
  • Lactation consultant/counselor services
  • LGBTQIA+ Support
  • Military families support
  • Miscarriage support
  • Parenting consulting
  • Satellite doula (for remote and rural clients)
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Surrogates and intended parents
  • Virtual and remote doula support

Languages Spoken

  • English

Fee Details

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.

Service Area

Camden, ME Service range 60 miles

Certifications for Leah Kohlstrom, CBD, CCBE. CLC

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Leah Kohlstrom, CBD, CCBE. CLC

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Lauren Swegle

2/23/2024

I cannot say enough wonderful things about working with Leah. Leah was with our family for postpartum care. She was such a beautiful addition to our home during a precious time. Leah was a big emotional support for me. She would come over in the evenings with her loving presence and delicious. We would sit and talk about my concerns of the day. She was a great listener and so helpful with breastfeeding and other newborn issues.  She allowed me to get some much needed sleep. This was our second baby and we did not have this sort of help with our first. The difference it made was huge. We were able to more fully enjoy this amazing time with our baby. I am so grateful for our time with Leah.

Emily Esty

2/22/2024

Hiring Leah to be my doula was the best choice I made for my delivery. Originally, I thought I just wanted a doula to help support any decisions I needed to make during delivery, but Leah ended up being a lot more than that. Throughout my time working with Leah she was never pushy or judgemental. Being able to meet beforehand and talk about what delivery could look like for me was more productive and less scary than any Google searching would have been. Leah also shared informative birthing books with me and my husband, which we were able to go through together while I was pregnant. I tend to be an anxious person, so it was great to have Leah to help  calm my fears with facts and support while acknowledging that I was in the middle of a big, new experience. 
It was helpful to have someone on our 'team' who had been in the birthing suite before. I knew I wanted to labor in the bathtub with nitrous oxide, and had been told by hospital staff that would be an option multiple times before I went into labor. However, there happened to be a traveling nurse who wasn't familiar with the room's setup, and she incorrectly told me it wouldn't be possible. Leah was there to gently correct her, and tell the nurse that it was indeed possible as she had attended multiple births in that same room. When I'm stressed, I can tend to defer to whoever is in charge, so it was vital to have her there to help stand up for me. She was also level headed when my husband and I were not thinking straight, and remembered things for us, like a birth music playlist I had made but completely forgotten about in the moment. After delivery, my husband said that having Leah with us was like having the most supportive mother in the room with us. I would highly recommend Leah to anyone looking for a supportive and attentive doula during their birthing process. 

Laura S

1/29/2024

When preparing for the birth of our first baby, I found Leah on doulamatch (!) and then learned from a few friends that Leah had assisted at their births too, so I felt confident in reaching out to her. I took birthing and breastfeeding classes offered through our local hospital, read some books, and of course heard loads of stories of birth experiences. All of that gave me a practical understanding of birth but also affirmed that I could neither predict nor control much of anything about my own experience, and that I would be grateful to have a steady, confident, skilled doula by my side, whatever happened. Leah's visits with me and my husband throughout the pregnancy were almost as invaluable as her time spent at the birth itself -- she listened deeply, helped us think about our preferences and plan for what to bring to the hospital, and also shared some useful resources along the way that were relevant to my pregnancy and our family. Her check-ins over text and email were so grounding and cheered me up when I was struggling with physical discomfort or anxiety about what was ahead. When I went into labor, Leah was steadily communicative, validating my experience and reminding me of my own strength. She arrived at the hospital when we needed her and jumped right into supporting me (and my husband!) physically, emotionally, and mentally. She helped me breathe through contractions, consider pain management options, get (more) comfortable, and perhaps most importantly to me, she affirmed that I was working hard and well. She seamlessly supported the birthing process alongside the nurses and midwives, allowing the team to do their work and stepping in where useful. After the birth, she stayed alongside for long enough to support breastfeeding, visited us at home some days after, and kept checking in over those first vulnerable weeks. My baby is nearly ten months old now and I am so very grateful to Leah for helping us bring her here! 

Tatyana

1/21/2024

Even though this was my fifth baby, Leah was indispensable on this journey. Even though my precipitous labor kept her from being present for the actual delivery, I don't think I could have done nearly as well without her guidance, support, and resources beforehand. She met with me, patiently listened to all of my concerns and questions, helped me make informed medical decisions and provided resources. She helped me put together a clear, concise birth plan. She asked helpful questions that I hadn't even considered. When urgent medical questions came up, she helped me work through making the best decision for me and my baby, and was very available post-partum for any questions and support I needed. As a bonus, my older kids really enjoyed meeting and spending time with her!

I distinctly remember her coming on a post-partum visit and taking the baby while we chatted, and I felt so at peace knowing that I can take this break and "she's got this!" It felt like an older, wiser sister is here to reassure and comfort me as well as provide tangible support where I need before I even anticipated it myself. Thank you, Leah! 

Isabelle

1/4/2024

Leah helped us in postpartum right after the birth of our daughter. A help that I did not quite realize we needed before we met Leah! Having her support, her patience, her knowledge and overall kindness around us was a real gift. We felt like we could rely on her, share our experience with her, and ask her anything - and as first time parents we had many questions! She also accompanied me along my breastfeeding journey with amazing advice and tips, a real help in successfully breastfeeding my baby. We are very grateful for Leah's presence as we entered parenthood!

Kate Tagai

1/4/2024

I knew I wanted to work with a doula for emotional support during my second birthing experience after facing a devestating loss with my first. I also knew, given the grief and emotions we were likely to encounter during the process, that it had to be the right person.  Leah was the perfect doula for me and i've since recommended her services to other pregnant friends.  She held our heartbraking story, our anxiety, and our excitment alongside us, never minimizing it or getting uncomfortable.  She asked us probing, curious questions that helped us think deeply about the experience before it happened and encouraged us find ways to honor my husband's culture and traditions.  Then, during labor, she listened, asked questions, provided support and explained what was happening before we even had to ask. She found ways to enage my husband and bring him into the experience and encouraged him to take care of himself during the long periods of waiting.  The labor and deliver nurses were great, but Leah made me feel like I had the strength of a community of women in the room who had my back. She held my spirit, my body, and my mind depending on what my labor demanded of me. She helped me tap into my strength and my courage.  While I could have brought my daughter into this world without a doula, it was a more powerful, more positive experience having had Leah there. 

India Brand

1/2/2024

Leah made me feel supported and held throughout my perinatal journey. She met with me for tea a few times before giving birth, lending me relevant books and listening to my concerns. She wasn't a part of my birth experience, but postpartum she helped me and my partner process the event. She also brought tasty treats, held the baby (on some very sweaty June days) while I napped or journaled, and helped clean and prep food. I also had a painful and stressful start to breastfeeding and Leah was very encouraging. She also checked in regularly via text and brought me chai lattes and was so kind and loving throughout. Everyone deserves care like Leah provides during their prenancy and post partum recovery!

Meredith

1/1/2024

As first time parents we liked the idea of having someone who could solely hold space for us during our birthing journey, Leah came highly recommended. She knew when to provide a gentle touch, when to give us time together, when to guide us, when to encourage one another to recenter and when to take rest. As we approach our daughter's first birthday we can fondly reflect back and feel truly blessed that she was part of our circle surrounding us while we welcomed our little one into this world.

Joanna & Josh

12/31/2023

When I first got pregnant I was encouraged by family and friends to look into hiring a doula. I really had no idea what to expect when I started my search. After multiple phone interviews with other doulas, Leah reached out and suggested an in person meeting instead. It was clear from our first meeting, that she stood above the rest of the doulas we had interviewed. She imediately made us feel comfortable and shared lots of helpful information to help me work through my first preganancy. When my labor started she provided a calming and supportive presence that was needed in the chaotic setting of the labor and delivery room. Being a firstime mom, her after birth care was extremely helpful. I had a challenging time with breast feeding at first and she really helped with different techniques and feeding positions. Her amazing cooking and baking were also much appreciated when she came for after birth visits. I cannot recommend her enough and will definitely hire her again if we decide to have a second child. 

Kaly Rumery

12/28/2023

After a difficult first birthing experience with postpartum complications, I knew that I wanted to hire a doula for my second pregnancy. My husband needed a little convincing, but after our first meeting with Leah, he soon realized that a doula wasn't meant to replace him as a birth partner, but to support the both of us. I was hoping for a non medicated birth experience with little interventions this time, after a cascade of interventions led to a prolonged pushing phase, chaotic birth experience and subsequent nerve damage with my first. My second birth experience was everything that I hoped for and both my husband and I don't know if it would have been possible without Leah. She found ways to help with pain management and sought out the nurse manager who specialized in spinning babies to help get the baby in the optimal position for the unmedicated birth I desired. She went out to get food for lunch for us and encouraged my husband to take a nap, while she tended to my needs. He never felt like she was replacing him as my birth partner, but was an added support with the knowledge and experience of birth and labor that we didn't have. She was a calming and reassuring presence. She even visited us for a postpartum visit with pastries and had the magic touch for putting our newborn to sleep! Her knowledge and demeanor was everything we could possibly have asked for in a support person. 

Rebekah & Zachary

12/22/2023

When we were looking for a doula, we hoped for someone who could direct us to resources and provide emotional support during labor. Leah surpassed any expectation, and is nothing short of exceptional. She is kind, knowledgeable, and empowering. While working with her, she will give you such personalized attention and care, you will feel deeply understood and supported in whatever choices are right for your family. She provided us tangible resources, emotional support, and connection on such a deep level that her presence alone gave us a sense of calm. Prior to labor, her discussions helped prepare us- especially around nerves, as it is our first child, so much so that in labor all those concerns melted away. It allowed for a complete release of them. (But even they hadn't, she would have been there to guide us through it.) During labor, when she walked into the room, it filled us with a feeling of peace. Her experience and ability to connect with people, seemed to give her the ability to anticipate or respond to needs without them being verbalized. (She's very humble though, she may tell you that might not be true, but for us it was!) Post birth, she listened to us talk about our experience, supported breastfeeding, checked in with us constantly, and, maybe most importantly, reminded us that we were doing a great job and are the perfect parents for our baby. Connecting with Leah absolutely lead to a more informed, supported and beautiful experience and transition into parenthood. We will be forever grateful.

Rachel Felson

11/18/2022

Words don't begin to express our deepest gratitude for Leah. From our first meeting with her when she made us feel so comfortable, seen/heard & excited about our process to many, many hours together at home; to eventually being transferred to the hospital; she was the definition of a rock the entire time. So soothing, so grounding, so wise & curious, so gentle/empathic/intuitive & unconditionally loving.

She has stayed in communication post baby being born as well. She came over to help me navigate in the shifting times & I felt her non judgmental nature & ease so deeply. I would recommend Leah to anyone bringing life into this world. 

Megan S

11/4/2022

After having a troubling hospital birth with my first I wanted things to go very differently with my second. I planned a home birth with my second and hired Leah to be my doula. I am so glad to have had the relationship with her through pregnancy, it made me feel comfortable to call her once labor rolled around. I called her having anxiety once labor was starting (I didn't realize it at the time) and my little babe decided to come in a very speedy fashion and he was born before my home birth midwives or Leah could make it to my house (no fault of theirs!). Once Leah arrived, she took wonderful care of me in the immediate postpartum and continued to check in with me daily to make sure we were adjusting well at home. I also had Leah come and do a postpartum visit the first day my husband went back to work and it was amazing to have her help. She took it upon herself to organize and put away all of the things in our babys nursery (something I never had time to do) and my heart melted when I saw what she did. She was a wonderful calm presence to have in my life in the immediate postpartum and helped me troubleshoot all of my questions regarding adjusting to life with two little ones. If you are considering a doula, I highly recommend Leah. You won't regret having her in your corner during such a huge life transition. 

Kendra & Ethan

11/1/2022

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant I knew from the get-go that I wanted to hire a doula.  I found Leah and met with her shortly after and knew right away that she was who I wanted as our doula.  She was warm and welcoming and answered my many, many questions.  

From the beginning of my pregnancy, I had planned to have the most natural birth possible.  Toward the end of my pregnancy, however, I developed high blood pressure and gestational diabetes - meaning I had to be induced early, which I was very nervous about.  Leah was so helpful during this process, helping answer any questions I had after doctors' appointments, and was such a huge support person throughout the induction process, checking in with me regularly.  

My husband was definitely nervous about the birth of our daughter and felt he didn't know how to support me.  Leah helped him through these feelings and on the day of the birth helped my husband help me as much as possible.  They worked together as a team and it was exactly what I needed at the time. 

Although I had to be induced, with Leah's encouragement I still had as natural of a birth as possible, exactly how I had imagined things going once I came to terms with it all.  She was so encouraging, reminding me over and over that I was strong and that I could do this! 

After our baby girl was born we had some struggles with breastfeeding, I called Leah in a panic crying and telling her that my baby wasn't able to eat (she was having trouble latching).  She was able to calm me down and give me some tips, which helped tremendously! 

I would HIGHLY recommend Leah to anyone in search of a doula. She is amazing. 

Laura and Josh

10/20/2022

I had a great experience with Leah as my birth doula. She brought so much value to the entire process, including helping me form a birth plan and checking in during the weeks leading up to my due date. Once I was in labor, Leah helped me understand the right time to go to the hospital and how to find comfort at home. During the delivery, Leah advocated for me and helped me carry out my birth plan. She voiced supportive mantras and got my husband involved. Postpartum, Leah checked in daily and answered all my questions and uncertainties about caring for a little baby! I highly recommend hiring Leah for your birth doula. She made me feel supported and empowered during a time when everything was new to me. 

 

Jes & Jacob

10/15/2022

Leah was an incredible source of guidance and knowledge during a time where we were exhausted, clueless, and nervous. She made us feel tremendously comfortable and helped us bridge the transition into new parenthood smoothly, and we're so thankful that we were able to work with her. We couldn't possibly recommend her services more highly!

Morgan Kirby

10/14/2022

If you are looking for someone with the experience to guide you through your pregnancy, birth and beyond. Look no further. Leah is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. She was is so warm and easy to talk to and brings such a calming presence wherever she goes. My fiance and I are so thankful we had Leah throughout the pregnancy and for the birth of our son. I was really hoping for a natural birth with my first baby and Leah helped guide me to the birth of my dreams. 

I made the decision to be induced after going 2 weeks and a day over my due date. This was pretty dissapointing/upsetting to me because I had been hoping for it to happen naturally. I was afraid this could lead from one intervention to another. One of the most helpful ways Leah was there was answering any questions I had after my Drs appointments about being induced. She is very careful to help guide you to make your own decisions but supplies you with all of her knowledge on the matter. In the end no other interventions were needed.

I knew I wanted my fiance to be super involved in the labor and she made sure he knew how to be there to support me. She was my strongest advocate and this was so priceless especially as a first time mom wanting an unmedicated labor in a hospital setting. 

Alessandro

2/16/2021

A true life saver. We were at a quite stressful and difficult time, our twins were born premature, as a consequence of a car crash, in another State....

We really had very little clue about babies in general and twins in particular. Leah was extremely helpful, very human and a true ray of hope.

We discussed with her via zoom a few details about the girls and she guided us through the process. She was helping us a lot to elaborate, to understand our feelings. She gave a very important contribution in setting up the nursery and she took amazing care of our two baby girls from the day they were discharged from the hospital, for two weeks, up until the girls were strong enouogh and big enough for our journey back. When Leah came into the house we were renting, all tensions disappear, it was just pure joy. She gave us the time to take care of ourselves and to recharge, her help, experience, knowledge and extraordinary human touch were very appreciated. I can absolutely reccommend her highely and without reservation.

We will be forever grateful to Leah and Molly for their help, devotion and love that they have given to our family,

 

Megan

3/23/2020

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. 

Amilia Campbell

1/13/2020

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. 

Hillary D

1/10/2020

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! 

 

Abigail Mehrmann

9/30/2019

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.

Caroline

9/30/2019

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.

 

 

 

 

Meredith Lynt

4/30/2019

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. 

Cayla Miller

4/25/2019

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. 

Claire Jackson

4/21/2019

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. 

Jonathan Fischer

1/24/2019

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.

Eva Beauchemin

1/8/2019

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!

Amanda Murray

11/15/2018

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!

Brittany Daggett

5/7/2018

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!

Rhian Waller

5/6/2018

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.

Robin Payson

3/17/2018

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!

Amanda King

2/1/2018

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.

Deborah Shulman

9/4/2017

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!

Sara Wiseman

9/2/2017

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.

Sarah Wardman

1/16/2017

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.

Abigail Bernett

8/14/2016

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.

Molly Miller Staples

7/22/2016

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!

Jamie Ravelli

3/6/2011

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!
 

Birth Availability for Leah Kohlstrom, CBD, CCBE. CLC

= Available. Calendar last updated: 06-20-2024

Postpartum Availability for Leah Kohlstrom, CBD, CCBE. CLC

= Available. Calendar last updated: 06-20-2024