$1000 to $1700
27 years and 500 births attended
22 years and 15 families served
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 births and 0 to 1 postpartum families
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I've attended births at over 25 Chicago area hospitals and have now begun attending in the Iowa City area. I have personally given birth in a hospital setting twice - once by cesarean, once by VBAC. My third was born at home. I have worked as a nurse on a Labor/Delivery/Postpartum floor as well. As a doula I am happy to provide services in home or hospital.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
I am happy to attend in Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
My youngest child was born at home. I have experience both as a homebirth doula and midwife.
2018 - 2021 Legislative Liaison, Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives 2005 - 2017 President, Coalition for Illinois Midwifery 2004 - 2006 Executive director, Chicago Community Midwives 2000 - Co-founder, NorthEastern Illinois Doula Association
Initial interviews are free of charge. Once under contract, I charge a flat rate which includes two to three prenatal visits, the birth, and one to two postpartum visits. My fees are on the higher end because I am also a nurse and a Certified Professional Midwife. I am willing to adjust my fees, however, if there is financial need.
Coralville, IA Service range 30 miles none
We couldn't have gone through childbirth without Rachel Dolan Wickersham! We met Rachel when we signed up for her childbirth classes, and soon decided that there was no need to interview any other doulas. Rachel is highly knowledgeable, non-judgemental, caring, well-versed in many birth scenarios, well-connected in the birth community, thorough in all aspects of mother-care, and quick thinking for whatever birth situation arises.
Being a woman who has a knack for precipitous birthing, it became clear at the birth of our first daughter that we truly needed such a quick-thinker such as Rachel. Rachel cleverly managed to get me out of my home (I didn't want to leave) and in the car for a mad-dash trip to the hospital. Our first child was born three hours after the beginning of active labor. Without Rachel's bottomless wealth of knowledge and good judgement and very clever support, I KNOW my first delivery would have been very different and frightening. I look back on this birth with laughter and joy ~ and with so many thanks to Rachel.
The birth of my second child was even faster and, again, Rachel was ready for whatever scenario was presenting. Daughter decided to be born BEFORE our midwife arrived. Luckily Rachel made it to my home with 15 minutes to spare before Sophia made her entrance, and with my husband, caught my second speedy baby. Without Rachel's wisdom, we would have not known this baby had been born "in the caul" and that we needed to quickly remove her amniotic sac from her face. Rachel's vast knowledge again kept us from having a frightening situation on our hands.
Rachel coached me through child number three's speedy, yet much less frantic birth, but this time with the midwife at her side! I remember her suggesting many position changes to help with pain and smooth passage for my baby son's birth. I look back on this birth with peace and thankfulness, again, to my wonderful doula, Rachel Dolan Wickersham.
Rachel is a God send!! She was my doula for both of my children’s births. She always made me feel cared for, safe, listened to and validated. She was my advocate when I was unsure of how to express my thoughts. When I didn't think I could keep going, she was that calm voice next to me that I was strong, that I was safe, and that I WAS already doing it. I can't imagine not having her at my side during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. She is truly one of the best!!!
Steven and I feel so fortunate to have worked with Rachel aound both of our daughters’ pregnancies and births. We were under the care of a high-risk MFM group due to previous losses and some other issues that had arisen in the pregnancies.
Rachel brings so many gifts as a doula, and we sought her out specifically because of her decades of experience, warmth, and partnership approach with couples. She is something of a legend in the birthing world, with a stellar reputation not only with mamas, but with their partners and healthcare professionals alike.
Rachel provides a lot of anticipatory guidance, evidence-based care, and helps women advocate for ourselves. She worked beautifully (and tirelessly!) with my husband to help provide the emotional and physical support I needed to navigate gestational, birth, and postpartum periods.
We simply cannot imagine our births without Rachel’s support, nor would we want to. I can say with a fair amount of certainty (I have since become a labor and delivery nurse) that we would have had very different outcomes without her services. I find that as a mama and a women’s health nurse, I draw on my birth experience regularly. And I will be profoundly, forever grateful for all Rachel modeled and inspired in her work with our family.
Rachel was my doula for four births I had. She was there for me and I couldn’t wish for a better support. She is extremely knowledgeable, calm, kind and caring person. Her presence at my births made me feel so relaxed, confident and excited about the whole experience. When I was looking for a doula with my first pregnancy, I have met with so many candidates and with her it just clicked. Everything was perfect and what I was looking for. Someone who has attended so many births, is a mother herself, had experience with very different situation and had that “halo” that made me feel like she is that person I want with me in a birthing room. We consider Rachel our family. I always will be thankful for her care and love!
We used Rachel for the birth of our daughter in March and I would hire her again in a heartbeat. I was attempting a VBAC and also ended up with Gestational Diabetes this time around, so I felt like the odds were stacked against me at times. Rachel was there every step of the way to talk with me about my fears and doubts until I gave birth completely med-free at 40w1d to our beautiful 8 lb. 11 oz. baby girl. We didn't have a doula the first time and I really believe that my c-section could have been avoided if I had someone like Rachel by my side. This second labor felt very similar to my first that ended in a c-section, but Rachel kept me focused and we worked through the stalling labor vs. freaking that things weren't going right (that's how I felt the first time b/c of the nurses and midwives at the other hospital). My husband felt like he could really support me and enjoy the birthing experience as well since Rachel was there to take charge of everything else. She was firm, but not overbearing in the least. Even though some things didn't seem like a big deal at the time (like breaking my water at the very end), she knew that I didn't want that since we had discussed it before and gently suggested changing positions and holding off on it. Because of this and a little bit of luck I'm sure, I ended up with the perfect birth with no regrets. I know "perfect" is a pretty strong term, but it really was the birth I always envisioned and I can't speak highly enough about Rachel. I would gladly discuss our experience with anybody looking into hiring Rachel for their birth as well.
Rachel is an amazing woman and Doula! She was there during the hardiest time in my life.... Pregnancy was a time of emotional and physical turmoil for me and was there unconditionally, The premature birth of my son who was born at 27 weeks gestation was something that I was nowhere able to handle emotionally and my postpartum depression was so severe and so hard on me and my husband that we both relied on her on many occasions. She is the true embodiment of what a doula should be, kind, loving, epithetic, a friend to laugh with a shoulder to cry on and ear to listen and the most encouraging person I know. She brings a calm in crisis that is amazing beyond words. She was not only there for me, my husband and my son but also my mom! I am a doula myself and aspire to emulate her in my own work as a doula! I would recommend her to anyone any time, she is a true asset to have in birth.
I can't even find words to describe Rachel. and my births with Rachel as my doula. Rachel is an exceptional doula, she is truly the embodiment of mothering-the-mother. She is gentle and compassionate, intuitive and incredibly skillful. Rachel is aware of exactly what a mama needs in her birthing journey- even when a mama is not- and simply, elegantly, meets those needs- a sip of water, physical comfort, sacral counterpressure, a hug, encouraging words, helpful suggestions and even unwavering silent presence. She is kind, loving, incredibly skilled and profoundly helpful. Rachel's presence was instantly calming and grounding for all of us throughout both of the births that we were honored to share with her. She helped me feel safe and pulled me back from the brink, saw the worst in me and brought out the best. She inspired me profoundly. I absolutely adore Rachel and I recommend her unconditionally.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 09-18-2022
= Available. Calendar last updated: 09-18-2022