The Doula Bell
Santa Monica, CA Service range 12 miles
5 years and 36 births attended
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 2
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
My fee is based on the total number of hours I will be on call for you, active labor and delivery, and the services that I will provide to you and your partner. It includes 2 prenatal meetings lasting 1-2 hours prenatally to discuss your hopes for birth, pain management techniques, practice, making a birth plan, etc... Going on call 24/7 2 weeks before your estimated due date up until you deliver. (This means driving around with my doula gear prepared, having childcare available for my children, not going too many miles away, having my phone on me and on loud all day and all night so I'm ready to go at a moment's notice...) Being with you to support you and your partner for the duration of your labor and birth be that a 2 hour labor or a 24 hour labor! Basic breastfeeding support. Professional referrals. 1 Postpartum visit in your home to check up on how you're doing, review the labor and birth, and answer any questions you might have.
Santa Monica, CA Service range 12 miles
Michaela was amazing! Coming from the male partner, don't hesitate in using Michaela as your doula. It is worth it! We originally weren't going to hire a doula as we had a midwife and I didn't fully understand why we needed a doula as well. That would have been a big mistake! Michaela was extremely helpful, knowledgable and supportive of us through our home birth experience. I'm so thankful for Michaela and if we do decide to have another baby we would absolultey use her again.
From the first interview we knew immediately we wanted to hire Mikki. She was so relaxed, friendly, funny, and easygoing! We were planning a home birth with our midwife, but knew we wanted extra support for both me and my partner, Sean- especially since this was our first baby. I was extra excited to hire Mikki because she was very familiar with home births and had two herself. Mikki was super flexible with our crazy schedules and taught us everything we needed to know in our two prenatal meetings. It was fun to get to know Mikki as well before the birth because whether we liked it or not, things were going to get very personal. :) I ended up having a very long early labor, and Mikki was there every time we called her. She ended up going above and beyond for us- coming to comfort me at all hours of the day and night of my 50+ hour labor. I am so happy we decided to hire Mikki and would hire her again in a heartbeat!
My husband and I knew it wasn’t financially feasible for us to have a birthing center birth and we weren’t too sure how I’d be with a home birth. So having a hospital birth with a doula was a happy medium for us. We are so happy we found Mikki! She recommended we take the Bradley Method Classes. We took the class and met up with Mikki a month before our expected due date and we went over all the stages of labor, techniques, emotional sign posts and our birth plan(great refresher and exercise for us to know and explain our birthing plan).
On the day my water broke in the morning(small leak) we read and knew it was not necessary to rush to the hospital. I kept myself hydrated, monitored baby’s movements and went about our day taking it easy. Mikki was the extra affirmation my husband and I needed that were on the right track. She texted us through out the day to check in on us, encouraged us, and came in the knick of time as I transitioned to pushing stage at home and rushed to the hospital shortly upon her arrival. Mikki stayed calm consistent and steadfast throughout the whole laboring process. Just what I needed! When we got to the hospital, she even set up the delivery room with electric candles and made it so intimate and serene for me to continue laboring and have my husband a break a bit to grab a bite to eat. Her emotional support was huge!! And I loved how gracefully she managed the hospital setting. Staying firm yet respectful and supporting our birth plan all at the same time. All the while, managing to snap photos throughout the entire labor process! I was so impressed!! She was super! She is so humble she probably won’t tell you how awesome she is but I hope this review was helpful for whoever reading this that’s considering Mikki as a doula!
Our experience with Michaela (Mikki) was in short a truly momentous, amazing life experience.
Why we chose Mikki: She has a very relaxed easy way about her, she was totally relatable and right away felt like someone we would be friends with. I had been worried about doulas being too "granola" or pushing an all-natural-only agenda, but Mikki wasn't like that at all. She was very knowledgeable and didn't push any particular birthing strategy as "better", she was very open to what we wanted for our birth and provided info to help us decide preferences. We also felt like she offered a great value for her fee, including pre and post partum visits.
About our experience: The labor was long and difficult (48 hours total, 3 hours of pushing with a "tired" uterus and ineffective contractions, ending with a hemorrhage / placenta that wouldn't detach but also thankfully a healthy baby boy). Mikki was amazing through every part of it. It was so much longer than any of us could have anticipated, but she was steadfast through all of it. She was great in helping me get through really painful contractions (even after getting an epidural, towards the end they were just so painful). And I'm even more thankful for her coaching us through the pushing - I was so exhausted I was passing out in between each contraction but I couldn't have done it without her, my husband and the nurse all working together to get me to push harder than I thought I could have. She helped me uncover strength I never thought I had in me. She was so thoughtful and came to visit the next day to check on us (even though she had just come from another delivery right after ours!).
More important than the specifics about our particular experience and Mikki's services, our connection with her was so deep and real and the whole experience was truly spiritual and life changing. She felt like a sister to us and we are so thankful for the new friendship forged in such a special experience!
Michaela was phenomenal. Her skill and knowledge was vital to he success of our birth plan. Because of this, I was able to focus all of my attention on coaching my wife through the labor and not worry about changing positions or applying counterpressure, etc. I do not believe that our birth would have had even a tenth of the success without Michaela there. Her courage to push us and her grace to guide us through the process was a warm welcome in the difficult moments.
My experience with Michaela Bell as my doula completely exceeded expectations. To be honest, I did not realize just how critical of a role she would play in the birth of our daughter. Though we took a birthing class, lactation class, and read numerous books, I can tell you that without Michaela there, our birth experience would not have gone according to our plan. Michaela was there to not only encourage me and my husband, but to remind me of what was important to us. She was so strong throughout that entire very long day. She helped me find different positions that helped with my intense back labor and helped relieve some of that pain with counter pressure, and massage. She also reminded both my husband and I to stay hydrated and fed. She took notes for us to look over after our daughter was here which was so special to me. Her experience with not only her own birth experiences, but also as a doula for many others, was evident in the labor and delivery room that day. My husband and I agree that having Michaela as our doula was a priceless and critical addition to our birth team.
My husband and I hired Mikki to be our doula for the birth of our first child and I can't imagine having gone through childbirth without her guidance and support. We met Mikki about a month before my due date and knew immediately she would be a great fit because of her calm, friendly, and easygoing demeanor. My labor ended up being very long and intense but Mikki managed to keep me grounded and focused the whole time so I could stay relaxed and make informed decisions. I ended up requiring pitocin and an epidural and even though those hadn't been part of my birth plan she helped me feel good about my choice to accept both. I was impressed by her ability to sense what I needed and when without me having to ask and there wasn't a single contraction she didn't help me work through. Despite having been with us at the hospital for almost 30 hours, Mikki stayed with me until I was comfortably settled into my postpartum recovery room and came to visit us a couple weeks later to check in and answer any questions we had. Overall, Mikki is simply a wonderful person who immediately felt like a friend and who I will be recommending to anyone looking for a doula!
As a first time mom, the entire birthing process was foreign to me. Books and “friendly advice” would not have been enough to give me the experience I had. Mikki was beyond anything I could have hoped for. A calming presence the entire 30 hours of labor, an advocate for me when i didn’t know i needed one, and a smiling face when the 2 hours of pushing left me completely exhausted and defeated. In short, Mikki was my family when I most needed the unconditional support and love of a family. I highly recommend Mikki for any birthing experience, you will feel at ease and comfortable during the entire process.
As a first time father, I did not have a good understanding of pregnancy let along labor. As our pregnancy progressed I was able to find numerous books and online resources that help with pre and post pregnancy, but very little that discussed the actual labor. This is where Michaela (Micki) came in, she sat down with us before the birth to discuss what to expect, as well as what to consider as we made our birth plan. Not only did this give myself a better understand, but it helped calm a lot of fears that my wife had. Additionally Micki was always there for us via text or phone call to answer any questions we may have.
Leading up to birth there were numerous days where my wife had braxten hicks, Micki was always threre to help us determine if they were real or braxten hick. When the day came, Micki came over to confirm that my wife was in labor and stayed with us until our son, William, was born. My wife did not have an easy labor, she labored for 29 hours, and pushed for 2 hours before having an emergency c-section. Micki was there for it all. She was well prepared at the hospital, bringing iced coffee, snacks, oils, and even a swiss ball. Stuff I did not even think about until we were in the hospital. Throughtout the night Micki was advoacting on our behalf to the nurses and doctors, helping coach my wife through contracts, suggestioning different positions to help relieve pain, and even suggesting questions we should ask the doctors. Overall Micki was a very calming influcen and was a great guiding hand as we navigated labor.
Since my wife and I do not live by family, Micki was like our family during the labor. I honestly do not know how we would of done it without her. My wife loved having her in the delivery room. My wife and I couldn't recommend her more.
I had my heart set on a home birth with my twins, but unfortunately could not have one, due to changed laws in California. So changing my plans from home to a hospital was very scary. Thankfully, I had the best woman on my team, Michaela Bell. She came in towards the second trimester of my pregnancy and was available with any concerns I had. She came over numerous times and always made me feel like a priority! The day I gave birth she came over early in the morning and was on board the entire day. I went into labor at 4 am and the twins were born at 2 in the afternoon.She stayed by my side the entire time. She was my cheerleader, my voice when I needed her to be, and my ultimate saving grace during labor. There were a few pushy nurses and doctors, and i'm very quiet (especially while in labor) but she stood firm for me. I believe that birth went as smooth as it did because she was there, fighting for what I wanted. She knew my birth plan and helped me stay as close to it as possible. I had a dream natural labor with my twins, thanks to my amazing Doula! You would be crazy not to have her on your birth team! I cannot thank her enough for all the love, encouragement and support during the pregnancy and labor!
I wanted Mikki to be my doula from the moment I met her. She was respectful, listened to my hopes, and made me feel confident she could support me in the ways I needed. I had a c-section for my first child. Mikki knew how much I wanted a natural VBAC for my second. Mikki spent tim helping me process my grief from not having the birth I wanted with my first child and listened to me process my fears about having to have a c-section again. Her ability to hold space to allow me to process my feelings allowed for me to move through my pregnancy from a place of hope. Mikki began meeting with my husband and I to talk about labor, what we needed, pain relief techniques, and more-her sense of humor and knowledge made us so comfortable. When we realized my baby was breech, Mikki helped me research ways to encourage my baby to turn. Mikki continued to remind me that my body was carrying a healthy baby and kept me focused on what was going right. My baby did not turn and I had to have another c-sec. Mikki let me grieve but continued to bring joy each time we met that I had a healthy baby. She came to the c-section and during the prep - she kept my husband and me laughing when needed, used oils and massage to relax me, and even gave space when needed. During the delivery, she held my hand when my husband was with our baby, she took pictures in an appropriate way when I didn't need her by my side, and she calmed my fears by checking in with nurses when I was getting worried about something. I did not have a doula for my first c-section and I can say that I am so glad I had her for the second. Having her there meant I did not have to be alone and reduced my fear and anxiety during the c-section greatly. After my son was born, Mikki stuck around to help him latch, make sure we were comfortable, and had what we needed. Mikki is amazing and I whole-heartedly recommend her to any family looking for a knowledgable, capable, kind support person to support their birth.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 03-07-2020