Kara Jo  Prestrud, CD(DONA), CLEC, Lactation, Hypno-Doula Photo

Kara Jo Prestrud, CD(DONA), CLEC, Lactation, Hypno-Doula

Birth Made Beautiful

Hudson, WI Service range 27 miles Will travel to most East Metro or Western Wisconsin (St Croix Valley) births

(715) 418-1470


Birth Fee

$1000 to $1100

Postpartum Rate


Birth Fee

$1000 to $1100

Postpartum Rate


Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula
  • Hypnobabies - Certified Hypno-Doula
  • HypnoBirthing (Mongan Method) - Professional Doula Training Certification

Postpartum Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Postpartum Doula

Birth Doula Experience

11 years and 258 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience

5 years

Doula Training

  • DONA International, August 2008
  • DONA International, June 2010

Type of practice: Solo practice

Clients per month: 2 to 4 births and 1 postpartum families

Postpartum limits/restrictions: Prefer non-smoking households

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
My preferred list of hospitals & providers in the East Metro and Western WI includes: * Western WI Health in Baldwin with Dr Denny Hartung or the midwives * Hudson Hospital * Woodwinds or St Johns with Dr Ryan Dick (Entira Family Clinics), MN Women's Care Midwives (including the former Hudson MW's), or HealthEast Midwives * Dr Matt Anderson (AALFA Family Clinic) at St John's. *** While I have attended births all over the metro area, because my client calendar fills every month, I now focus primarily on births with these providers and hospitals. I'm happy to make exceptions for returning clients or on a special case by case basis if space is available.

Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
We have wonderful freestanding birth centers to choose from in the Twin Cities! Most of my east metro clientele chooses Health Foundations or MN Birth Center (St Paul) but I also have some experience with Roots and Willow, and will attend at those locations also if I have space available.

Attends home births? Any Home Birth
There's something extra special about a birth that takes place at home! I've attended homebirths with many different midwives throughout the Twin Cities area & WI, though like to focus on those in the east metro and Western WI. Ask me if you need recommendations!

College Education


Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR
  • Antepartum doula support
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Childbirth education services
  • Infant massage education
  • Lactation consultant/counselor services
  • Miscarriage support
  • Parenting consulting
  • Placenta encapsulation
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Reduced rates for women considering adoption
  • TENS units rental

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

5 years volunteer doula at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury MN, active member of DONA International, Breastfeed {Naturally}, and Bella Birth Professionals of The Twin Cities.

Fee Details

Birth fee includes: 2 prenatal visits (one is at your home), phone, text, and email support throughout pregnancy, on-call availability for your birth, birth photos taken, a postpartum home visit as well as breastfeeding & local resource support. Limited postpartum services typically offered in 4 or 6 hour weekday daytime increments.

Hudson, WI Service range 27 miles Will travel to most East Metro or Western Wisconsin (St Croix Valley) births

Certifications for Kara Jo Prestrud, CD(DONA), CLEC, Lactation, Hypno-Doula

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Client Testimonials for Kara Jo Prestrud, CD(DONA), CLEC, Lactation, Hypno-Doula

Post a testimonial for Kara Jo Prestrud, CD(DONA), CLEC, Lactation, Hypno-Doula

Heather Hawes


Of course after having Kara Jo with us for the birth of our third child in 2017 we DEFINALTY wanted her support for the birth of our fourth child this past July 2019! When we found out we were pregannt my husband and both agreed we needed Kara Jo. That is his really only request when it comes to the birth of our children is that we have Kara Jo present! He valued her being with us and guiding him how to support me.  I can say having Kara Jo's support and guidenace was essential. Her help with positioning and ideas to keep going and even resting was key! I am so thankful to her. 

Heather Hawes


This is LONG overdue. From the moment of our consultation for the birth of my third child I had so much peace knowing Kara Jo would be with us. Kara Jo was extremely knowledgeable and helped me with the questions I had about my pregnancy and when updating my birth plan. She has such a calming and gentle approach. We had such a wonderful experience with Kara Jo as our Doula for the birth of our son in May 2017.



I can’t recommend Kara Jo highly enough! She has a vast depth of knowledge, resources and experiences, and offered invaluable physical and emotional support to me before, during and after delivery. In all, she supported us through three VBAC births, two of which were full-term and unmedicated. She is calming, empowering, easy and fun to be around and gave my husband and I the tools and confidence to self-advocate, trust ourselves and have the birth experiences we were hoping for. I found Kara Jo when I was pregnant with my second baby, who unfortunately we lost at 20 weeks. Kara Jo’s support and guidance allowed my husband and I to navigate our loss with thought, meaning and on our terms. After having her walk that road with us, we knew we wanted her to attend our subsequent births. I only wish we had found her sooner! 

Jenna Vodinelich


Baby blanket: $19.99, 1st Outfit: $ 24.99, New Carseat: $349.99, Labor and Delivery: $12,000, Kara Jo's Doula services: Priceless!

As a new mom-to-be, my sister encouraged me to hire a doula because I wanted to have a natural birth. She told me that the support, encouragement and advocacy of a doula would help me achieve and stick to my birth plan. Boy was she right!

Kara Jo was amazing from day one. We met her at our birth classes at WWH and it immediately felt like a good fit. The time she spent helping us prepare, helping me write my birth plan and walking us through what to expect, was incredibly helpful and comforting. She was so encouraging and as scary and intimidating as I thought labor and delivery was, I felt calmer knowing she would be there.

When the big day arrived, she responded to my call as quickly as possible. Labor was very long and difficult and she helped me keep to my birth plan. She not only helped me to remain calm and focused, but was immensely supportive for my husband. She was able to give him suggestions on what to do to, that made him feel like he was contributing and helpful.

Kara Jo was with us until our daughter was born and then some. She even made a personal visit to our home to check in. She always made herself available for guidance and support, even after the birth.

As my husband and I look back at the series of events, we know we couldn't have achieved our personal birth plans without Kara Jo. Labor and delivery is not easy, but Kara Jo has a special gift that helps moms and dads through the journey. She is truly amazing! I can't imagine going through the journey without her.

Brittni Kulla


Kara Jo is a phenomenal doula who is supportive, intelligent, kind, and warm. She is extremely knowledgeable in evidence-based birthing practices, which was invaluable in formulating and executing my birth plan. She assisted me in finding a doctor at 37 weeks pregnant who was more aligned with my laboring goals after several negative interactions with my previous OB practice. Switching providers so close to my due date was scary, but ultimately I couldn’t have been happier in my choice of doing so and it wouldn’t have been possible without Kara Jo’s assistance. My birthing experience was long and arduous, as many inductions are. There were times I didn’t think I could endure, but Kara Jo was right by my side gently cheering me along. She knew when to push me and when to allow me time. She stayed awake and at my bedside for over 24 hours, only taking short breaks to meet her own basic needs. She not only supported me, but my husband as well by reminding him to take rest periods or eat and offering him suggestions in helping me labor. Kara Jo is also a phenomenal photographer, capturing beautiful pictures of my labor and delivery that I will cherish forever. If you are on the fence about hiring a doula or who to chose, you shouldn’t be. Trust me you want a doula and you want Kara Jo. It’s worth every penny. Hiring her was the best care decision I made during my whole pregnancy!



Kara Jo has supported us with the births of our last three babies. She's a constant, calming presence to have around and a fount of knowledge. As a Hypnobabies mama I love that she's a Hypno-doula and especially enjoyed the birth rehearsals we did before each baby. They left me feeling really connected to Kara Jo, prepared for my births and like she knew exactly what I wanted during each birth. The photos she was able to snap during our labors are true treasures and I have no idea how she managed such beautiful shots (it truly felt like she never left my side!). From the labor notes, to check-in texts, pictures and post-birth processing session Kara Jo goes above and beyond to serve her families well. I'd highly recommend her to any expectant mama!

Alexis B.


I highly recommend Kara Jo to anyone looking for a professional, experienced doula who is committed to helping mothers get the type of birth experience they want.

I used Kara Jo for two births, one natural child birth in a standalone birth center and one hospital birth where I received an epidural. Even though my pregnancies and births were healthy and straight forward and I liked my providers, there was definitely a value add in having Kara Jo be part of the process.  

The pre-natal visits with her were very calming and allowed me to ask a lot of questions and get a realistic understanding of what my options would be during the birthing process.

As a person, I found Kara Jo to be kind, approachable and very knowledgeable. I was surprised at how quickly I felt comfortable with her and how eager I was to have her be part of a very significant time in my life.

Kara Jo also took photos of my babies right after they were born and captured moments that I really treasure.

My husband loved working with her and I enjoy hearing him tell other men what a great experience having a doula was for us.

Ashley W


Oh how much I want to say. I was skeptical about doulas until I made a friend who was one. I sought out a doula after learning some of what they can provide and found Kara Jo via Google. She also coincidentally ended up being one of my facilitators for birth and breastfeeding courses at my hospital.

I cannot express enough holw deeply satisfying it was to have her at the birth of my son. She supported me, my husband, and staff. She made sure I ate, drank, kept moving, and made sure I was in charge of my experience along the way. She also kept track of the things I said, when moments like water breaking happened, and when I started to push. Things that you forget really fast once your heart shows up on your chest.

I moved out of the area and am already mourning that she won’t be there for future babies. But I’m so grateful for her and she will take such good care of you.



Kara Jo helped make our birthing experience our own from start to finish. As first time parents, there was a lot we didn’t know going in. She walked us through every decision and didn’t pressure it to go any way but the way we were comfortable with. When Baby Day came she beat us to the the hospital, was my voice of calm when I couldn’t be that for myself, and never left our sides. The passion she has for what she does and the love she pours into her families is evident. Our experience would not have been the same without her. 

Kelly M


Kara Jo was everything I was hoping to have in a doula, and more! She is so kind, sweet, knowledgeable, supportive and encouraging. Following Kara Jo's guidance and advice on hospital and mid-wife recommendations, I was blessed to call what I would consider a "perfect" birth experience (even though not all went according to my birth plan). Having Kara Jo there during labor and delivery brought me great comfort. From the first time I contacted Kara Jo, she walked me (and my husband) through each step in the process in a very gentle, laid back and respectful way. I cannot recommend Kara Jo enough! 

Kate Mason


Kara Jo was a wonderful doula for the birth of our second child. The birth of our first daughter was very traumatic, in an unplanned c-section. Heading into our VBAC attempt, I was very nervous and wanted as much support as I could find. Kara Jo provided many pre-labor exercises to help with our daughter's positioning and ease my discomfort. She was a steadfast support in the hospital for our family. Even when labor slowed to a halt, she was positive and very helpful with allowing us to see all of the options available when making decisions. Best of all was the photos she took when Emery was born. I am still in shock that I was able to get the VBAC I had been dreaming of and I love looking at the photos and reminding myself how amazing that experience was. So thankful to Kara Jo for her unrelenting support. 

Ashley Walton


I have had the privlage to work with and be a client of Kara Jo’s. I knew from the first time I met her I wanted her to be part of my next birth. She is very knowledgeable about birth and the natural birth process. She had a calming, supportive, nonjudgmental presence during our initial visit and our home visit that gave me such mental clarity. Just what I needed before going into labor. She brought my husband and I together for a healing and bonding birth experience. I felt like she was someone who understood my birthing/postpartum wishes and was there for support throughout. I can’t say enough about Kara Jo. She is respectful and nurturing. Her passion, caring for woman during labor, is very strong and is what helped me to have the most healing waterbirth I could have ever asked for.

Stephanie Mitchell


Do it. Do not hesitate. Just do it. The cost of a doula is so very worth it. Having Kara Jo’s expertise at my labor/birth was instrumental in achieving the natural water birth for my last baby that I so very much wanted and needed. She brought an air of calmness that both me and my husband needed when the contractions were unbearable. 

My baby flipped and flopped head to toe from 38 weeks to 41+. The whole time Kara Jo made herself available to me via call and text offering suggestions. When I went in for an ECV she accompanied me and helped with some Spinning Babies to try to help baby flip. 

At 41 weeks I was induced when we found baby was finally head down. She spent the entire day with me from about 11am to 130am. She had me up doing lunges and stairs, made sure I was eating and drinking and provided physical and mental comfort. 

If another baby was in the cards for us, I would not hesitate to contact Kara Jo again. 





We’ve had Kara Jo support us through both our pregnancies and births, she was everything and more that we were expecting! Her greatest strength was her ability to guide my husband in how to best support me. Him being able to support me left us feeling like we accomplished something amazing together as a couple and has strengthened our marriage and family in ways we never thought it would. Kara Jo humbly guided us and left us feeling like we accomplished our births together. I am forever grateful for her support and how it has impacted our family! 



Having Kara Joe as my doula was one of the best decisions I made for myself and my family! Not only did she help me throught my 28 hours of labor, never leaving my side! But she was also a big support for my husband, giving him time to go grab food in cafeteria or just reashuring him that everything was going good and that I was doing great. Kara Joe helped keep me on my natural labor path, even though I had times I didnt think I could do it. She was the strength and support I needed right along with my husband. I felt very safe while she was by my side and I will definitely be having her with me again when we have baby #2. 

Alyssa Moulton


When we first found out we were pregnant with our third kid I wasn’t even thinking I needed a doula but knowing I wanted to have a VBAC so bad I knew I would need as much help as I could. So when we met with our midwife she recommended Kara Jo to us.  So we ended up meeting with her and from the moment we met with her we knew we wanted her to be there to support us my husband was a little hesitant on it at first but he also knew I would need as much support as I could get to get to have my VBAC. She was calm, friendly and just knew from the first visit that I could have one after just hearing how my last two births went!

When it was time that I needed her I was a emotional wreck on Saturday after dealing with Prodromal labor for a day and a half and I just wanted to give up and go for the c section but she talked me down that day suggested different things to try. Never once got upset when I kept bugging her the entire weekend and kept checking on me throughout the day all weekend. She called us on Monday after I got done with work  helped make a plan on what I could do on Tuesday to keep my mind off everything had us talk to our midwife about a plan with her for the next day. Finally she ended up joining us the next day at the hospital and kept reassuring me I could do it even when I said I couldn’t. She was by my side every contraction talking me though it. I was doing pretty well with it until my water broke and my contractions were so much more unbearable after getting the pitocin she was by my side through it all. I don’t know how much more I could say thank you to her for everything she did for us! You can’t go wrong with hiring Kara Jo! You will get a wonderful, amazing, kind, warm hearted person help bring the best thing that could ever happen to you into this world and she makes it a little bit easier to do even when you question if you can do it.

Susanne Grochett


Working with Kara Jo for the birth of our first child offered us support and comfort as we walked down a road we had yet to travel. And the road can be scary especially when anticipating the experience of childbirth. I was looking for a partner who could assure and reassure me through the unfamiliar process. We found this in Kara Jo. And not only did she offer me this support, my husband felt the same.

Kara Jo was instrumental in guiding me through my birth plan - explaining the many different options and familiarizing us with verbiage. She offered recommendations and, being unfamiliar with so much, I followed her advice. During my labor and reflecting on it afterwards, I am thankful these choices were made and detailed in my birth plan. I am confident they made my labor the positive experience it proved to be for me, my son and my husband. 

Kara Jo's most shining gift she shares with her clients, in my opinion, is her calm and strong energy. I felt taken care from the beginning of our relationship which allowed me to focus on myself and my baby. In the moments I felt weak and unable to continue, she encouraged me quietly but strongly. She was committed to support the birth process according to my plan. And, knowing I was safe and progressing appropriately, she guided me down a challenging and rewarding road. Our son was welcomed into the world as we had imagined. Always Kara Jo will be an instrumental person to us in the story of my pregnancy and my son's birth. 

Gina Lokken


Kara Jo is amazing! I highly recommend her if you're considering hiring a doula for your birthing journey. I knew after our first meeting that I wanted her as my doula. She is professional, knowledgeable, thoughtful, caring, and attentive to your specific needs. This was my first baby and I could not imagine going through my pregnancy and birthing time without her. It took some convincing on my part to get my husband on board, but even he couldn't see going through this journey without Kara Jo either. Having her as our doula helped us stick to our natural-unmedicated birth plan, advocate for the birth that we wanted, and feel comfortable in our own ability to go through our birthing time just as we had envisioned it. She was completely attentive to our needs and never made us feel like she didn't have time for us or that we were bothering her. She sent encouraging texts and checked in with me to make sure I was doing okay. She was prompt at answering all of our questions and made me feel like loved and understood. Having her really put both my husband and I at ease because if we didn't know what to do before or during our birthing time, she was able to direct us. My birthing time was exactly as I had envisioned it and Kara Jo made sure she did all she could to make that happen for us. If you are considering a doula, hire Kara Jo! You will not be disappointed!



As second time parents we were skeptical about hiring another doula. With our first our doula experience wasn’t very good. But we also knew that since we were trying for a VBAC we would need a good team on our side. We can't speak highly enough about Kara Jo and everything she did for us before, during and after our birth. We are so glad we had Kara Jo on our side though! Her expertise and knowledge was irreplaceable and gave us the confidence to make it through pregnancy and birth, to make informed decisions throughout its entirety and to have the TOLAC/VBAC birth that we had hoped for. Kara Jo was never unavailable to us leading up to the birth and gave us valuable resources to help us make the best choices for our family, as well as, positive motivating information and exercises to stay centered for the birth to come. During labor, Kara Jo was encouraging and her experience showed when trying to get the baby to engage. She suggested multiple position changes and helped us make wise decisions to help me progress and have the birth experience we needed, even though we had a repeat csection. Not only was she a tremendous help for me, she was also an irreplaceable supporter and encourager for my husband as well. Kara Jo feels like a long lost friend and I couldn't have asked for a better person on my labor team. We highly recommend Kara Jo as a doula! Laura Chlds

Kristina Blanda


I've heard people debate whether or not they are the type of person that would like a doula at their birth. To be honest my husband and I were not sure we 'needed' a doula as we were preparing for the birth of our 3rd son. This wasn't our 1st child and we had not hired a doula in the past but thought we had comfort and support measures down... that said my first labor ended in what I believe was an unnecessary FTP c-section, the 2nd in an emergency c-section. With us wanting so badly to experience a vaginal delivery we thought it was best not to leave any resources unused and do all we could to avoid any 'what if' questions if TOLA2C didn't result in a vaginal birth.

Not wanting to run the risk of asking 'what if' after the fact I decided I needed the best doula I could find! I knew Kara Jo had a great reputation and was familiar with VBAC and VBA2C mamas. I knew she was a seasoned doula and that she was well versed on the VBAC/ RSC world. I was excited she was passionate about self-hypnosis during labor. The 1st time my husband and I met with her we were impressed with her friendly demeanor, knowledge and kindness that we knew she would be a blessing to both of us! We are so thankful she was a resource we could call on while I prepared for labor. She seemed to understand without me ever articulating it the doubts and fears that creep into my head after feeling like my body had some how failed me in the past and could just as easily let me down again. She was a gentle ear for me to vent to when my choice to TOLAC was being doubted by those close me. Kara Jo was able to provide me with fact based support to help regain my confidence. She pointed me to wonderful resources throughout pregnancy.
When labor came on feeling fast and furious she again was there for me with what I needed to most which was the constant affirmation that I could, and was having a baby! She was my champion and my coach and for that I will always be grateful!

Kristi Hall


Choosing Kara Jo to attend the birth of our daughter was the best decision we could have made. After a difficult labor/delivery and recovery with our first child, my husband and I knew that we wanted to do things differently with our second child. We had already made the decision to give birth at a birth center with a midwife, and I wasn't sure if I would "need" a doula there or not, since it wouldn't be the typical hospital setting. After meeting Kara Jo, we both fell in love with her calm, supportive spirit and decided to hire her for our birth. The birth did not end up going as we had planned, and Kara Jo helped us every step of the way to slow down, talk through our options, and make decisions we felt good about. Though I ended up needing an induction due to preeclampsia, I didn't need any pitocin or pain medication, thanks in large part to Kara Jo's knowledge of natural induction methods and her unwavering support and confidence in me. The birth was an amazing, powerful experience that my husband and I were able to share together, and we will forever be grateful to Kara Jo for helping make that happen!

Heather Fjelstad


My husband and I originally hired Kara Jo because of her solid reputation as a doula in the community paired with the good chance my husband couldn't stomach the labor and delivery of our first child and my need for a support and neutral guide. We absolutely could not have been more pleased with her knowledge, gentle leadership, and sensitivity to our wants and needs. It is because of Kara Jo that we both were able to not only get through a challenging delivery but also do so on our own terms at all times. Both my husband and I would argue each other that she was more helpful to our own individual needs and that is a fight that I'm willing to have. Kara Jo was an essential player in our daughter's birth and someone we are very happy that we trusted in very hard circumstances.

Cara Melvin


Pregnancy and birth offer endless opportunities for all the emotions. And Kara was on board with us for the ride! She was an amazing sounding board through my pregnancy, offering evidence based information every time I had questions or concerns and always left me feeling supported and at ease. She worked hard to understand our preferences ahead of time so that she could be our advocate at the hospital and offered ideas and options for us to consider that we didn't know about. 

Kara's knowledge, experience and professionalism followed right through the labor and delivery process. Kara believed in me when I was doubting my own abilities and was instrumental in supporting me to achieve an unmedicated natural birth. We felt so lucky to have partnered with Kara for the birth of our son!

Cheryl Harbeson


We used Kara Jo for the birth of our second daughter and she was AMAZING! Helping guide us threw our entire birthing journey from prenatal to postnatal. Having her there to help support us during labor was so wonderful, made it everything I had hoped for the second time around! I definitely recommend her to all expecting parents!

Sandra Maurer


Working with Kara Jo was the best decision we made for this pregnancy and birth. She was incredibly intuitive, thorough and professional. She knew the best resources for us and was completely non judgemental of each and every decision we needed to make for our twin birth.

Since this was my first birth in a hospital setting she was crucial in helping us navigate what was best for us. We are so grateful we found her as our doula!

Kari Danek


Kara Jo is an outstanding doula.  She is passionate about birth and supporting mothers in any way possible. She not only provided comfort measures during labor, but also information necessary to make informed decisions about my daughter's birth. She responded promptly and was always available to talk through any questions or issues that I had during pregnancy and labor. She also helped me create a birth plan and gave me all the resources I needed to be ready for labor. With Kara Jo's help, I was able to have a natural VBAC birth. She helped me stay focused when labor got tough, and she never doubted my ability to birth even when I did. When labor got difficult, she was ready with suggestions to help me cope and she worked tirelessly to keep me and my husband calm and comfortable. All the while she was taking beautiful pictures which I will always cherish. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a doula.

Sarah Marsh


We were so glad to have hired a doula and selected Kara Jo for our labor and delivery! We loved her calm and reassuring presence from the first meeting to suggestions on writing our birth plan, to her encouragement and comfort at our home and during delivery. I felt like she really tailored the experience to us, based on our conversations of likes/dislikes, fears and expectations. We were able to labor at home for a long time (which was my wish) because we felt so reassured having Kara Jo there with us. Her gentle suggestions for labor positions certianly helped labor progress and aided in my management of back labor. To top it all off was the postpartum visit to discuss delivery, adjustment to parenthood, breastfeeding and the wonderful photos she took. Such a treasure. I would recommend her to any one and will use Kara Jo again!

Amanda Bratton


My husband and I had not hired a doula for the birth of our first son, but we felt like we really needed additional support to navigate the birth of our second son. We didn't know what to really expect (and my husband was a little skeptical), but we were completely won over by Kara Jo and were so pleased and thankful for her in the end and would absolutely hire her again!

In particular, my husband and I were very impressed from the beginning that Kara Jo so easily was able to be both completely professional as well as extremely caring and compassionate. Kara Jo was an amazing resource for me all throughout my pregnancy as she patiently answered all my questions and was a huge help in selecting a doctor when my own was no longer available. She kept me calm in the weeks leading up to delivery and helped me feel confident and at ease that I could deliver this baby! During labor and delivery Kara Jo was an essential part of my birth team as she was a sounding board for decisions, assisted with communication between my husband and I, and assisted us as we communicated with my midwives and doctors. She also was very knowledgeable in helping with pain management, knowing a great array of positions to try for comfort, massage techniques, spinning babies, and not to mention her presence just helped bring assurance to me for the hugely emotional piece of childbirth.

Kara Jo was instrumental in making my labor a positive and wonderful experience; I felt cared for, listened to, and respected. Honestly, by the end of delivery it truly felt like Kara Jo was not just a friend but a part of our family... she had been such a wonderful and intimate part of one of the most important days in our family's lives and for that we will always be incredibly grateful to her! I wish I could have babies every year so I could spend more time with Kara Jo! She is truly, truly a gifted doula, and we were blessed to have her as part of our son's birth!

Kate Gregory


Where to begin?! We LOVE Kara Jo. I first met her when I was completing my birth doula training (she was continuing her education), and I knew there was something special about her. When we became pregnant with our second child, I called her almost immediately to make sure she'd be available for our home birth! Kara Jo has the sweetest soul, always ready with words of peace and encouragement. This was especially appreciated when we went 16 days past our due date; she was gentle, encouraging, and helped me remember to trust my baby and my body. Before we needed her with us, she talked with me on the phone, helping me to relax into early labor. For the actual birth, it was a relief to see her enter our doorstep!  I had a fast labor, and she was right there with me the whole way. Even though I am a certified birth doula and natural childbirth educator, in the thick of labor, I needed the peace and fortitude that she helped provide, even simply by her gentle presence. I know that I can trust her, my husband feels comfortable and calmed by her help, and we can't wait to have her present at our home birth this summer of our third child. She encourages and inspires me as a doula myself, and I honestly can't imagine a birth of my own without her there!

Laura Richert


Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for Kara Jo and the services she provided for my husband and I. To say I was nervous going into my delivery was an understatement. After having 3 beautiful daughters via C-section and 2 VBACs, my husband and I had two miscarriages, one stillbirth, and one preterm labor resulting in death at birth. My mind and heart could not even process birthing another live child or all the emotions that would surround that day. Kara Jo became my doula knowing that she may have to help me through a pregnancy that could end in heartbreak. She held my hand and prayed with me as I poured out all of my emotions of fear, heartache, pain, and nerves. She never once tried to talk me out of my fears or nerves, she just planned around it. My birth plan was not fancy and created no barriers. It was simple: Birth a baby. No matter what interventions needed to take place to have a baby safely in my arms, she was prepared for and in turn prepared me. On June 14, 2013 Kara Jo sat quietly with my family and I as we waited for our rainbow baby's arrival. You could have heard a pin drop waiting to hear our baby girl cry for the first time. The emotions flooded in as soon as she was placed on my chest! She was here and she was alive!!! I was honored to have Kara Jo by my side in the months up to and through delivery of our sweet baby girl. She was the calm during the storm and the sunshine on a gloomy day. Her services and companionship were invaluable during my pregnancy and delivery. I am forever grateful!!!

Cori Pierson


We absolutely loved our experience with Kara-Jo as our doula. I don't think I could have had such a wonderful birth experience with out Kara-Jo and the rest of my birth team - She was incredible. Without a doubt, you can see & feel that being a doula is truly Kara-Jo's joy, passion, and gift - her sweet spot. Kara-Jo was a perfect fit for us!

She is gifted and experienced in what she does, and was amazing at discerning our specific needs and desires moment by moment during my labor. Her coaching and visualization during labor was extremely helpful.

The entire labor Kara-Jo instilled such great confidence in myself as I labored and gave birth completely naturally. Her encouragement was always very timely and just what I needed to keep going through each contraction. She was so wonderfully peaceful in her words & approach, which helped relieve any fears that I had. And she always spoke in calm, soothing, and comforting tones.

Kara-Jo was very knowledgeable in the various birthing positions of a natural birth, and helped us find the right relaxation techniques that I needed (Which changed frequently during the entirety of my birth). We appreciated how thorough she was in our meetings prior to the birth as well. We also had a lot of hard questions and decisions to make due to the many aspects and opinions of birthing and she shared a lot of helpful resources from various sides and sources that really helped us be educated and informed in what we were choosing. Lastly, Kara-Jo was thorough with our birth plan, desires, & wishes and did a fabulous job honoring them to whatever extent was possible within her means.

I would highly recommend Kara-Jo as a doula. You can be confident she will be your advocate for all your labor and birthing wishes & desires. She loves what she does, and I felt very cared for in so many ways.

Amanda Janet


Kara Jo was a great help to us during our last week of pregnancy.  My midwives dropped me because I was a vbac at 41 weeks with possible shoulder distocia.  They sent me to their clinic OB/GYN who I had never met before.  I frantically called Kara for help and she was available on short notice.  We met once before delivery (over a week later) but she provided numerous phone calls, texts, emails and literature during that time.  She was amazingly supportive during a stressful time when I had felt abandoned and insecure with the delivery process.  At the hospital, she was encouraging, patient, and did a great job of keeping me calm.  She spent hours after delivery talking with us and assisting with our new baby.  She took pictures of the whole delivery and provided a disc and photos of the entire event along with a written timeline of when things happened!  Thanks Kara for all your help in making our birth story amazing!

Sarah Holmgren


I don't know what we woud have done without Kara Jo! She was the perfect addition to our birth team and instilled confidence, determination and calm in me and my husband. I look forward to working with her again in the future! 


Jennifer Simper


My experience with Kara Jo Prestrund CD (DONA), HCHD was overwhelmingly positive.  My husband and I were expecting for the first time; twins.  We were seeing an OBGYN and had a date scheduled for a C. section.  In the last couple weeks, we changed doctors, hired a birth doula and cancelled our surgery.  We believe that birth is a miracle and wanted to allow nature to play a bigger role in the birth of our babies.  Kara Jo was so generous and flexible to offer her services on such short notice and around the holidays.  Even with the time crunch we felt she offered informative resources to help us feel prepared (specifically Ina May's book).  One of the important lessons she taught us was the empowering question, "what will happen if we do nothing?"  This simple question gives couples the permission to wait and see.  There is a time and place to ask this question, but all too often in modern hospital deliveries laboring mothers feel urgency and in desperation agree to interventions that in hindsight may not have been necessary.  Kara Jo listened intently and passed no judegement.  She wasn't there to tell us what we should or shouldn't do, but only to advocate for our desires.  She has a peaceful vibe and positive energy.  She had good repoire with the doctors and nurses in the hospital.  A doula is a person who mothers the mother and she does that in a beautiful way.  She taught me how to cope with pain and ways my husband could help during the labor.  I loved her calming, loving presence.  I would recommend her to anyone looking for comfort during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum.      

Calie Bloom


Kara Jo was an amazing doula! Without her I'm not sure I would have made it through labor without meds. The brith of my second son was such an amazing experience and one I relive a lot. She was a great support before, during, and after labor. It was the little things she did during labor that really help to keep me calm and relaxed. I hope to have her as my doula again should I have another baby. 

Cindy Chien


Kara Jo was our doula for the birth of our second child.  She was very responsive and helpful to my husband and I during the months leading up to our birth, and during the actual L&D, she stayed with us nearly every minute of the unexpectedly long labor and waterbirth delivery.  I loved how calm, collected, gentle, and considerate she was and how she was completely mindful of everything in our birth plan throughout the entire process.  She did a very thorough and conscientious job of photographing and videotaping the L&D process-- and even included handwritten notes and a personalized photo album so that we could have something to look back on after the birth.

Even more than her abilities as a doula specifically, what I appreciated most about Kara Jo was her character, and the integrity, honesty and kindness she displayed throughout the entire time we interacted with her.  She was such a blessing to work with and we are so grateful that we could have Kara Jo on our birth team.

Megan Schmelzer


We met Kara Jo just over a year ago as we planned the birth of our first son. We had hoped for a natural childbirth and many sources we referred to suggested hiring a Doula to assist with the labor. Kara Jo's name came up as one of the Doula's located in the area we lived so we scheduled a meeting with her and several others. Upon our first visit my husband and I knew she was a great fit for us. She was very calm and knowledgeable about child birth and everything leading up to it. What also drew us to her was her ability to make us feel like we weren't crazy with the millions of questions and concerns we had as we began our new chapter. While Kara Jo was a great resource to us as we prepared for the delivery, Kara Jo really went above and beyond when the labor finally began. Nothing about my labor and delivery was typical and Kara Jo was there for my husband and I for all 61 hours until our Harrison finally made his appearance. For the entire labor Kara Jo was with us talking us through every decision and helping us with different strategies to deal with the pain. Kara Jo was also documenting the entire process with her great photographs and detailed account which she wrote up and delivered a week after we left the hospital. While it has been over a year since we have seen Kara Jo we will forever be grateful for her support and the role she played in the birth of our son. While we will be much more prepared when we have a second child, we will without a doubt need her help again.

Britt Gangeness


Kara Jo was with us for almost 24 hours as we labored. She was very calm and supportive. She provided reassuring continuity between the 4 shifts of nurses and midwives. When I was at my 'low point' during labor, she reminded me of my preferneces and reasons for choosing my birth plan. With her support (as well as my husband and a great team of nurses), I gave birth without any pain medications. This was a goal of mine. I also really appreciated the hand written notes and the photos (what a great record for me to have, especially if I never get around to writing my birth story!).

Kate Seitz


Kara Jo is a phenomenal doula. She is compassionate, knowledgeable and goes beyond expectations to prepare moms and dads for labor, delivery and post-partum. With the birth of our child, it was important to me and my husband that we have another person in the delivery room to help us achieve our ideal birth experience. Kara Jo not only provided the guidance we needed; she was hands-on with comfort measures, was a cheerleader for both of us and she captured our baby's first moments of life in priceless photographs. We are grateful for Kara Jo - she will always hold a special place in our hearts. 

Jamie and Joey


Kara Jo is AMAZING! When we found out that we were expecting twins I was nervous I'd need a c-section or lots of interventions. She listened carefully to our concerns & hopes for the delivery. She did a great job teaching me how to relax, as well as teaching my husband how to help me relax. Despite being induced, we had a drug-free birth experience. She encouraged me when labor was tough, which was exactly what I said I would need her to do. She listens to what you want, follows through & helps you have the experience you want. We're so thankful for the help she provided during the labor, as well as the notes & pictures she took to help us remember the experience. The breastfeeding support was great too.

We had planned to have Kara Jo at the birth of our third child as well, but she was stillborn at 22 weeks so things did not go as planned. We had 2 weeks notice that our baby would not live & Kara Jo was beyond helpful to us throughout the experience. She did a fabulous job of preparing us for what was to come. As hard as it was to have to talk about the death of your child when they are still alive in your womb, Kara Jo handled our situation with much love & care. She made phone calls & did research on our behalf. This was a tremendous gift to us. There are just some calls no parent should have to make & we were so thankful she did this for us. Thanks to her efforts, we went into our birth experience with a lot of information & specific plans for how to honor our daughter's life & spend what short time we could with her. Many parents of stillborn babies have regrets or things they wish they had done while with their baby, but I can honestly say I have no regrets. Even though she wasn't able to be with us at the birth, she played a huge role in our experience & I'm so thankful.

We're now expecting our fourth & she will definitely be our doula again. She is a fabulous addition to the team!



Hiring a doula was my husband's idea, and I'm so grateful we found Kara Jo. We were hoping for a natural childbirth for our first baby, and our early contacts with Kara were informative and reassuring. I was four days past my due date when my husband and I were in a car crash, which led to a scary day in the emergency room. When the staff determined that I had to be induced for everyone's safety, Kara was on the phone, talking me through the early contractions. When she arrived at the hospital, I was at the end of my rope, dealing with minor but painful injuries from the crash along with the stress of labor and delivery. Kara Jo's calm suggestions helped me cope without any pain medicine. She comforted me, coached my husband, stayed with us for hours and ultimately helped me avoid a C-section.

Her experience and calm demeanor were a gift to us. I can't recommend her enough.

-- First-time parents, St. Paul



Kara Jo is an AMAZING doula! Her knowledge & gentle ways will make you feel at ease. She is full of love, patience, kindness… & always seems to know what to say! The birth of your child is such a memorable day… parents (& babies!) deserve to have this kind of support to help fully appreciate the miraculous experience!

Birth Availability for Kara Jo Prestrud, CD(DONA), CLEC, Lactation, Hypno-Doula

= Available. Calendar last updated: 05-21-2020

Postpartum Availability for Kara Jo Prestrud, CD(DONA), CLEC, Lactation, Hypno-Doula

= Available. Calendar last updated: 05-21-2020