Rachel Dolan Wickersham, MSN, RN, CPM, LM, CD, LCCE, CLS Photo

Rachel Dolan Wickersham, MSN, RN, CPM, LM, CD, LCCE, CLS

Transformative Passage, LLC

Phone: (630) 750-9444

Birth Fee: $1000 to $1500

Postpartum Rate: Not specified

Fee Details: I offer initial interviews 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.

Birth Doula Experience: 25 years and 400 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 20 years and 15 families served

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, January 1994
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 1 to 2 births and 0 to 1 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
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 a doula I am happy to provide services in home or hospital.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
I would be 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 as a midwife.

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Lamaze International
  • former Bradley Instructor

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Lactation Specialist (Lactation Education Consultants)
  • I've offered breastfeeding support for over 20 years and became a CLS 5 years ago. I've also offered support as a Mother Baby Nurse on a postpartum floor.

Other Relevant Certifications

  • American Heart Association BLS (Basic Life Support) Certification
  • CPM (Certified Professional Midwife)
  • DONA International - Birth Doula Trainer
  • HBC - Home Birth Consultant
  • LM (Licensed Midwife)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Certified (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • RN (Registered Nurse)
  • LM - Licensed Midwife (Wisconsin)

College Education

  • MA/MS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Previous birth trauma and/or birth injury
  • Single parents
  • Special needs babies
  • Surrogacy
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • Vaginal breech birth
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • Aromatherapy
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Military families
  • Reduced rates for women considering adoption
  • Satellite Doula (For remote and rural clients)
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Surrogates and intended parents

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Currently - Past President, 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

Languages spoken: English and some spanish

Certifications for Rachel Dolan Wickersham, MSN, RN, CPM, LM, CD, LCCE, CLS

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Client Testimonials for Rachel Dolan Wickersham, MSN, RN, CPM, LM, CD, LCCE, CLS

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Natasha

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!!!
 

Posted 9/27/2019

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Robin Ringleka Kottke & Steven Kottke

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.

Posted 9/22/2019

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Alena

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!

Posted 9/18/2019

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L. Dostaler

We are intended parents and had a beautiful girl through surrogacy this year. As the intended mother, I wanted to have a doula involved to help ease our surrogate’s labor, to help explain things to us during the pregnancy and labor and delivery, and to help get us more involved in the labor itself. There were also so many parties involved in this untraditional birth that I also believed that a doula could facilitate communication between us all before and during the birth and encourage our surrogate and the husbands to discuss any concerns they had. Rachel did all of this and more. What surprised me, but shouldn’t have, was how non-judgmental and empathetic Rachel was during this unusual pregnancy. She was supportive and open at all times. She brought in a back up doula as well and both were ultimately present for the birth. This decision allowed for support of both our surrogate and us through out the pregnancy and birth. The day of her birth, our OB said our daughter was going to be born via a c-section because of her position and was not particularly optimistic for a vaginal birth. Rachel was on the phone with us through out the night advising us on helpful positions and keeping us calm and focused. When our surrogate was ready to call her in for active labor, she came armed with specific knowledge on how to deal with this particular problem and set to work to help our surrogate and involve all of us in making her comfortable. She attended to everyone’s needs. Our daughter was born naturally with no complications-a fact we owe fully Rachel. Even the husbands who were skeptical about the need for a doula acknowledge now how helpful they were. We had the most amazing birth experience; we came together like family-our doulas included-to comfort our surrogate and bring our daughter into the world. We have no hesitation in recommending Rachel. She is a wonderful doula!

Posted 11/26/2011

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Kim Zlatin

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.

Posted 7/9/2011

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Sarah Booten

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.

Posted 11/7/2009

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Jacque Shannon-McNulty

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.

Posted 10/17/2009

Birth Availability for Rachel Dolan Wickersham, MSN, RN, CPM, LM, CD, LCCE, CLS

= Available. Calendar last updated: 10/12/2019 1:26:07 PM

Postpartum Availability for Rachel Dolan Wickersham, MSN, RN, CPM, LM, CD, LCCE, CLS

= Available. Calendar last updated: 10/12/2019 1:26:07 PM