Heather Karlson Photo

Heather Karlson


Website: https://m.facebook.com/doulakarlson

Phone: (630) 926-7104

Birth Fee: $1100

Fee Details: I have been a birth doula for 7 years & have supported near 200 births. I believe that birth experiences are more satisfying when you surround yourself with a skilled, supportive team! I support all types of births, and part of my role is to help you seek out informed decisions along the way. I have completed the DONA certification and Bradley birthing course twice. I’m also trained in breastfeeding & infant loss. My services include a premeet, a prenatal (stages of labor, comfort measures, birth plan), support in active labor through postpartum, labor/birth photography, and a postpartum appt if you choose. My “testimonials” speak of a calming presence, while also having the ability to know how to keep labor going. Email me at doulakarlson@gmail.com. Text me at 630-926-7104. Or check out: facebook.com/doulakarlson. Read “Testimonials” (BLUE tab above) b/c every birth tells a story. Each is powerful in its own way.

Birth Doula Experience: 7 years and 200 births attended

Doula Training

Not Specified

Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 0 to 3

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
My goal is to assist you in the birth that you hope to have and help you make informed decisions along the way. I have attended beautiful births in hospitals- both medicated & non-medicated. I have been to Hinsdale, CDH/Cadence, Alexian Brothers, LaGrange, Delnor, Edwards, Northwest Community, Prentice, Swedish Covenant, Lutheran General, West Suburban, Rush Copley, and more. I believe there is an important relationship between you/your family, the hospital staff, and myself. One of my goals is that you will enter birth feeling like you have a "team" of people alongside you to empower you and help you feel supported.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
As someone who delivered 2/4 children at home, I do appreciate the home birth and the midwifery model of labor, delivery, and care. I attend both hospital and home births (attended by certified midwives).

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Bradley

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • I breastfed all 4 of my children, each from 1-2+ years. I will support you if you choose to breastfeed, with support, resources, and tips for successful nursing.

Other Relevant Certifications

  • CPR Certified - Red Cross

College Education

  • BA/BS
  • MA/MS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Over 40
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Remote and rural clients birthing away from home
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Cancer patients and survivors
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Stillbirthday Bereavement Doula

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

I have four children. The oldest two were born at hospitals (Hinsdale and Alexian Brothers) with midwives. The youngest two were homebirths. I know a number of people in the "birth community" including great OBs and midwives, other doulas, Webster-technique chiropractors, Bradley and Informed Beginnings instructors, massage therapists, counselors, etc. We often work together, depending on what you need prenatally or postpartum. I would love to meet you and help you work on creating a birth plan. I encourage you to rehearse relaxation and we can practice this together! As a doula, I support you prenatal, during labor, and postpartum, in whatever kind of birth you will have. I also include labor/ birth photography as part of my services. Please don't hesitate to contact me, and we can set up a meeting to get to know one another better.

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: West Chicago, IL
Travel Range: 30 Miles

Client Testimonials for Heather Karlson

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Alyssa Clements

Heather is an amazing doula! During our very first meeting, she listened to our desires for a natural birth and then helped us to choose a supportive provider and connected us with a Bradley childbirth class. She was there for us all throughout Alyssa’s pregnancy, answering our questions and encouraging us as we neared our due date. When labor started, Heather coached us over the phone and then came to labor with us at our home. Prior to heading to the hospital, she helped Alyssa practice what to do when we would arrive there. Her calm demeanor and clear coaching gave us the confidence we needed as Alyssa’s labor progressed. Heather and Forrest made a great team as they worked together to help Alyssa change positions, stay hydrated, and manage pain. She played music in our labor room and (without Alyssa even realizing it at the time!) took pictures that beautifully captured our labor experience. While Alyssa was in transition, Heather vocalized with her and provided gentle, clear guidance. She worked exceptionally well with the hospital staff and got the first pictures of our new little one when he was born! In the days following our baby’s birth, Heather was there for us as we processed our birth experience and adjusted to being brand-new parents. Even weeks later, she still checks in to see how we are doing, and we are so thankful for her friendship. Heather was instrumental in us having a positive, unmedicated birth, and we will definitely choose her to be our doula again in the future!

Posted 9/30/2018

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Monica Allen

I was a week overdue and my doctor started talking to me about being induced. I was already pretty on edge from the long wait and induction was definitely not my ideal birth plan. Heather helped keep me calm and used some of her resources and references to help. Chiropractic and acupuncture definitely got things started! I experienced painful but very infrequent contractions (maybe two an hour) overnight and throughout the morning. Taking a walk didn't really move things along so I took a nap. Woke up and contractions were more like 10 min apart so thought things were just starting up. Took a bath to relieve pain but again-- contractions weren't getting regular and close together like they should to signal "it's time to go to the hospital." We called Heather to come over and let us know what she thought about my progress and whether we should go in. I live 15 min from the hospital so we figured we had time. Well, instead I felt that famous pressure and knew it was too late. I stood up and hobbled to the bathroom saying "we aren't going to make it" and immediately my water broke. Basically dropped to the ground and couldn't help but push. Heather walked in the door at the exact perfect moment. She was calm and collected as she assessed the situation. She saw baby girl's head crowning, popped on gloves, had my husband get what was needed, and had a midwife on the line for help. She confidently delivered our baby while my husband called 911. Little one came out in about three pushes during one contraction and was super alert and content immediately. Heather handled it like a pro! She then helped navigate the emergency personnel and helped me deliver the placenta. And in the midst of the chaos, she helped clean up and took pictures too! She met up with us at the hospital to make sure everything was ok and we were settled. She was so good at taking more pictures and just celebrating with us! We are SO thankful she was there!

Posted 9/19/2018

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Rachael Goins

I was training to become a birth and postpartum Doula when I first met Heather. I was drawn to her right away. Her sweet smile and voice just made you feel like you already knew her.  I always remembered that feeling when she spoke at a Doula training event I was at . And years later when I needed a birth Doula myself I thought of her right away. 

I had support from family but I knew I needed someone who shared my veiws on childbrith. She listened and always told me the truth about what my options were. She came prepared with all the knowledge, tricks and ideas for labor pain aid and emotional support AND even her camera for when you dont remember because trust me you don’t remember everything about your childs birth :) 

Feeling safe and at peace is what I remember most about Heather as my Doula and I know she will give that to you as well. Whatever your circumstance maybe Heather will work with you and make it happen.

She is truly amazing and loves what she does.



Posted 3/9/2018

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Katie Kirkwood Patel

Heather is an amazing doula!  I feel fortunate to have different doulas for both of my births.  Heather was my doula for my secocnd child.  She came with great reviews and I did my own due diligence by interviewing her and 3 others.  My husband and I connected with her instantly.  She's very warm, personable, organized, and knows her stuff.  We had high expectations and she delivered.  Heather helped me achieve an unmedicated VBAC with my son.  Everything about my birth was perfection!  I labored at home through the night.  We let her know where things were while she caught up on a little sleep from another birth. :)  I incorrectly thought I was still in early labor (apparently I handle pain ok) and by around 10:00AM Heather listened to my contractions on the phone and said, "Let's all head to the hospital" in her sweet, confident tone of voice.  As it tuns out, I was 10cm when I arrived and the nurses thought I would push at any moment.  I felt pretty confident that the baby wasn't coming yet (after all I had been laboring for awhile and had a good sense of my body and the baby).  Once Heather walked into the room, it was everything I needed.  Labor got hard at that exact moment and she gently held my hand, assisted me in relaxing my jaw, and continuing to moan through my contractions.  She and my husband were the right amount of coach and cheerleader to beautifully welcome my son into the world at his time, on our terms.  After the birth, she took pictures, helped to order food (the important things :)), and knew exactly when to leave to allow our family to bond.  She has a gift!  I feel fortunate that she came to my home after our birth to make sure everything was going well.  She has always been an email, text, or phone call away.  Do your research and if you're fortunate enough to have Heather by your side, consider yourself in excellent hands!

Posted 10/27/2017

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Hannah Fridley

My labor started at 6am on Sunday, Heather came to our home around 11am and she stayed with us until nearly 4am the following morning! My labor was unusual in that while I was clearly in labor with close and strong contractions, they weren't always regular, which we know know is because my baby was asyncletic, so her position was giving my body a challenge to push through labor. Her position also gave me excruciating pain in my right side for nearly all of my labor. Heather was amazing as a source of calm and support - just being with us and helping me find positions to alleviate discomfort, massaging me, giving me tea to help my labor, answering questions, encouraging me/us, and lots more. We decided to go to the hospital just to see where my body was at, if midwife could come up with ideas to help baby move, and even possibly take medicine to help with the terrible pain in my side (I had always planned to have a completely unmedicated birth but I couldn't even stand). We got to hospital and I was 6cm dilated and nearly 100% effaced. But the pain in my side was so excruciating I couldn't even focus on my labor. The whole night Heather stayed with me holding my hand, helping me shower to have heat on my side, guiding me through positions, holding my hair back when I was vomiting, verbally affirming me and encouraging me about everything that was happening, that it was normal, and getting me focused on the end result! Her guidance with my breathing was a game changer when it came time to push. I pushed my baby out in 16 minutes without any medication, which apparently is pretty fast for a first time mom! I really attribute it to my breathing (which Heather guided me in).

Both my husband and I have told everyone we can't imagine having gone through this process without Heather! We are so grateful to have had her be a part of such a special and exciting time of our lives.

Posted 8/2/2017

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I had a negative experience with my first birth and decided this time I didn't want to go at it alone. I wanted a doula and from the start of our email conversations I knew Heather was the one. She was very informative and I could tell she genuinely enjoyed what she did and had a lot of experience. When I went into labor she was there for me right from the beginning with helpful tips and words of encouragement. She also helped my husband help me which he was grateful for as well. She got along so well with the hospital staff that they were cooperative with everything we wanted to try. I really felt so well taken care of. She helped me stay positive and believe in myself in getting thru it also. She checked up on me a few times weeks after I had my baby as well! I will definitely call her again if I have another child and I definitely recommend her highly to anyone looking for a doula!

Posted 2/19/2017

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Ashley DeBoer


Being pregnant you have enough on your plate, so if you don't want to read the remainder of this review, please just read this: Heather made my birth what I wanted it to be. Best money ever spent. Hire her as your doula and she will be your voice, support system, rock (along with your partner of course) and your epidural. If I get pregnant again, she will be my first call so I can lock her down to be my doula again :)

I was one of those over researchers while pregnant. Everything had to be perfect. True to my nature I did lots of research to find the best doula out there. After my very first meeting with Heather I knew she was my person. I immediately connected with her on a level that I connect with very few people. She is so warm hearted, compassionate, reliable, and has the most amazing calming energy. She was there for me my entire pregnancy. She checked in on me and I went to her with questions and support. She would always put me at ease.

My birth did not go as I had planned it to go... which tends to happen. I had to be induced due to low amniotic fluid. Despite this, Heather made my birth go as close to how I had planned as anyone possibly could. She was the reason I had a natural, drug free labor and delivery. I could not have done it without her.

Heather will always hold a large part of my heart. She helped give me the birth I want and I will forever be grateful for her.

Posted 1/20/2017

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Mike Heatwole

Heather was our Doula this past May 2016 and she is amazing.  We first met Heather in January and she spent 3 hours with us during our first meeting.  She was very kind and let us ask all of the questions that we had as first time parents.  As the due date got closer, we found out that our baby was breach and Heather was so helpful during this time.  She has a network of care providers that she was able to refer us to as we tried to turn the baby.  We ended up having a C-section due to the breach position and Heather was there every step of the way with support and encouragement.  Even after the delivery, Heather helped with questions on breast feeding and latching. We consider her a friend and are forever thankful to her for the support she provided.


Posted 12/16/2016

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Luke Wynsma

As a first time father with all of the natural nerves and fears as to what every wince of pain for my wife could possibly imply for her well-being and that of the baby, Heather filled every bit of my personal panic and alarm with a sense of divine peace with her loving personality, positive attitude, and God given talent in recognizing and responding to all stages of my wife'a labor. Heather allowed me to be strong for my wife and help her through the highs and lows of her labor. Heather made this possible by creating and setting a tranquil mood and feeling of togetherness for my wife and I (rather than doubting ourselves) with her helpful suggestions and in-depth knowledge of labor and delivery. I recommend her to all of my friends and family as someone to trust and lean on during this beautiful experience.

Posted 11/30/2016

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Kelly & Gary

I was an IVF patient with a goal to have an all natural pregnancy, this was extremely important to me & my husband to bring our baby girl into this world un-medicated.  Heather made it possible!  With out Heather, I know I may have requested an epidural or someone else to manage pain.  Even thought we took all the classes, we would have never remembered what to do without her.  Heather was not only a great Doula for me & but also for my husband, keeping him on track to be the best couch I could have had.  Heather was not only awesome to have by my side but came to the rescue when my original Doula was out of town & wouldn't make it in time.  Heather topped the experience by delivering pictures she took during labor, delivery & post & an adorable little gift fort our baby girl.  Overall, it was a wonderful experience with Heather, I would highly recommend her & we will hire her for our next baby too.

Posted 11/30/2016

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Ryan Farhat

Heather was amazing. Every step of the process from the planning, to the delivery itself was outstanding. We went to the hospital at 11pm so we knew we were going to be in for a long night. Heather was with my wife the entire time assisting her with her contractions and giving us BOTH confidence and emotional support! She stayed with us all the way until 7am when our child Gavin was born. It's great to look back 10 months later at all the pictures she took! She even has one of me when I came in the delivery room as they announced the gender of our baby! We will never forget how big of a help Heather was throughout the delivery and there is no way that I, as the husband and father could have made it through on my own! My wife couldn't have been happier Heather was by her side the entire time- tirelessly assisting her. Thank you so much Heather for everything- hopefully we will be able to use your guidance again for our next child, and we highly recommend you as a top Doula.

Ryan and Carrie

Posted 11/30/2016

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Whitney Belz

I'll admit, the doula finding/hiring process frightened me. We were having our first baby and had no clue as to how one would pick the person who is supposed to coach us through. After one failed attempt at hiring a doula I was feeling weary of the whole process. I was given Heather's contact information along with glowing reviews from several different women at my Midwife's office. When I finally got the guts to call and start the interviewing process all over again, I quickly discovered the gem that Heather is. Within minutes of being on the phone she had made me feel more comfortable and confident in my birth process then anything I had encountered yet. Needless to say, Shawn and I were eager to meet her. Heather gladly met with us on a week night between kids soccer games and dinner, and managed to seamlessly ease our anxieties of our impending birth. We felt comfortable to ask her absolutely anything, leaving no leaf unturned. By the end of our meeting we felt like family, and were now eagerly awaiting our big day! A few weeks later, when my water broke, Heather showed up at 3am ready for action. During my roller coaster of a birth, Heather kept me calm and confident the entire time. Her knowledge of the birth process, alongside her ability to keep things flowing,even when my labor stalled, made all the difference to us. Heather was an excellent team player with Shawn, and ensured that he was still a very active part of my support. From head rubs, to making tea, showering me with positivity, and catering to my odd requests for teeth brushing and clothes changing, Heather never missed a beat. After 26 hours of hard labor, our Son finally showed up to the party. Heather wasted no time making us all eggs, passing out celebratory cookies, and somehow still captured every precious second of meeting our son for our birth photos. We could not have done it without her, our family is grateful to have had such a fantastic birth story to share.


Posted 10/17/2016

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Shawn A Frick

I believe it was an act of providence that Heather ended up being our Doula. Being a man, I found it a little stressful trying to figure out how to even evaluate a doula in the first place, not even knowing what questions to ask. Never having been through a birth before, I felt inexperienced, and no amount of book reading was getting me comfortable that this baby was definitely coming and it was going to go down at our house. Nothing, I mean absolutely nothing gave the sense of relief that the first meeting with Heather gave. It was like ok, Heather knows what's she's doing. She has all sorts of confidence(maybe faith is the better word)in the process and makes you a believer. She was just what was needed for Whitney and I. We had a newer relationship, having yet to work out many kinks in getting along and dealing with conflict. Although the birth was fairly difficult, having over 18 hours of rather intense labor that began at midnight, add nearly four hours of pushing, yet somehow, considering,it couldn't have been more flawless. Plus, Whitney really was amazing too. :) But there is no doubt Heather was a huge contributor to the sense that everything is unraveling just as it should and really helped make the birth of our boy Ezra beautiful, like it should be. She really helped deliver Whitney's dream birth and for that, I feel so fortunate and grateful that she was there. It's worth mentioning that I did consider one thing to not make much sense when it comes to Heather. She absolutely does not charge enough for what she does.

Posted 10/17/2016

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Michaela Jaros

I had Heather as my doula for my second home birth in June 2016. From start to finish my experience with Heather as our doula was fantastic! Heather takes special care to make each of her clients feel comfortable, cared for, and prepared for their labor and delivery...she's no rookie! And it shows. I really appreciated the little things she did, from encouraging me to prepare certain things for labor day to stopping by early on in my labor to just "check in" and bring me laboring tea. When she arrived at our home for the birth her calm and respectful presence helped me sink into laborland. She was able to estimate that I was already in active labor and likely 7cm, something which my midwives confirmed when they arrived shortly after. It's difficult for me to imagine what my birth would have been like without her assistance, but I do know that with her there I was able to have the exact birth I had hoped and prayed for. She helped me manage the pain through massage, counter pressure, words of encouragement, and more. I also appreciated how she communicated with my husband throughout the process. She comes prepared - with snacks, oils, and more. She was even kind enough to make me eggs after delivery! Thank you, Heather!!

Posted 9/18/2016

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Carly Virginia

From the moment I first met with Heather at a Starbucks I knew she was the perfect fit for me to use as my doula. Her positive energy and love for what she does was very evident immediately and made me feel very comfortable. Choosing to have a home birth for my first child I knew I would need a great doula to help support me through something that was very new to me. My husband and I can not say enough great things about her and how she helped my birth to be just like I had envisioned it. She was a great coach, provided constant encouragement, and gave advice on different things we could try to keep the labor moving along. I honestly had the most amazing and positive birth experience and know that it would not have been the same without Heather there!

Posted 5/26/2016

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Rachel Kondraschow

We used a doula with our first born but she moved so I was very nervous about finding a new doula. I googled "Christian doula" and came across Heather's name. We were very happy that we found Heather to be our doula. She is very thorough and helps you understand the whole birth process. She was always open to texting and helping me figure out if it was "the real labor or not". On the night before I gave birth she encouraged me to relax and get sleep...this was such great advice. I would not have had as good of a birth experience if I hadn't gotten that great night of sleep the night before. Heather became more than just a doula- she has become a friend too which is so special. On the day of my daughter's birth she did an amazing job of massaging my back and hips to relieve the pain. She was encouraging and positive. She was also calming, respectful, and professional. I liked that she was hands-on. I highly recommend getting a doula for your birth and Heather would be a great choice!

Posted 5/13/2016

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Kimberly Pelletier

Heather was a godsend! This was our 4th birth and we were hoping for something different. We had a stillbirth, a medicated vaginal birth, and a cesarean...we were really hoping for a unmedicated non-interventive VBAC. We knew we needed support if this was going to happen.

We interviewed several doulas before deciding to go with Heather. We both connected easily with her and felt like she could support us well. We were right! 

Heather knows her way within the birthing scenario, she is intuitive in her approach but also full of tools to help to help with labor and birth. She gave me constant help in relaxation through every contraction while giving my husband a sense of peace that he never had before in our births. He didn't feel like he needed to have all the tools to help me, he could rely on her while simply being with me while anticipating the birth of our baby. Both of our experiences were impacted because of Heather's presence. I really don't think I could have held on like I did for the birth I wanted if it wasn't for her. Even the daily texts with my questions and her answers and encouragement leading up to that big day were a support I didn't even know I needed. 

I would highly recommended Heather as a doula! 

Posted 4/23/2016

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Julie Rosnick

My husband and I didn't learn what a doula is until I 30 weeks pregnant! We hoped for a natural birth, and a coworker recommended we work with a doula for our first baby. We found Heather on doulamatch.net and are SO glad we did. After 1 Starbucks meeting we knew she was a great fit for us. Despite being well into our third trimester and feeling late in preparation, she was tremendously supportive and encouraging every step of the way. We never felt like we couldn't achieve the birth we wanted. We did achieve it and we owe it to Heather:

  • She was a strong advocate for us and always simply supported the birth we hoped for
  • Pre labor she was there for all our questions, any time. She recommended books, a prenatal chiroproctor (covered by fsa!) and helped us find a natural birthing class in our area in the limited time we had left (all invaluable on "game day"). 
  • When I went into labor, we already felt completely comfortable with Heather. She labored at home with us all morning - massages, feeding me, walking me around the neighborhood, getting me in different positions, you name it - she helped us through an incredibly intense transition at home 
  • She kept the environment CALM and ENCOURAGING - all I needed
  • If I got to the hospital before 7cm I knew I would be so disappointed. Heather was a pro at watching my outward signs to help me labor at home to my goal. My water broke at the check in and I was 10cm ready to push - what relief and excitement!
  • Pushing was fast but harder than I anticipated and Heather was an amazing coach
  • She worked with the hospital delivery team SO well. The labor nurse even said Heather is her favorite doula she's ever worked with!
  • Heather's labor pictures are the best, unexpected memory

I will recommend a doula to eveveryone, and Heather is the absolute BEST OF THE BEST. We love her and can't imagine our delivery without her!

Posted 10/9/2015

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Megan Adams

Heather assisted us with our hospital birth on 8/10/15.  I can't not say enough good things about the knowledge, as well as emotional support she provided us throughout the process.  As a first time mom, I believe Heather was instrumental in helping us achieve our birth plan.  We had hoped to labor at home as long as possible and then deliver at the hospital about 35 mins from our house, without pain medications.  As soon as we were ready, she came to our house to assist with early labor and then supported us as we moved to the hospital, until after the baby arrived safely.  She worked with myself, my husband, and well as the nursing staff and that really put me at ease that we were making the right decisions.  Heather also provided many awesome resources throughout my pregnancy, all of whom I would also recommend.

Posted 10/2/2015

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Asta Svedkauskaite

"I've got you!" Heather repeated during my long transition. Her strong yet slim body, gentle hands and encouraging words eased me through each contraction. Gently, she told me what to expect next and reminded me how much closer to meeting my baby I was. She applied massage oils, ran water over my back,  changed my positions, vocalize WITH me! She kept everything going according to our birth plan and it was blissful. She arrived quickly after my water broke and blended into our environment, gave my husband a break, encouraged our toddler and my mom to give me sips of water, hold a shower over my back, hold my hand. We all felt calm in Heather's presence. I was able to labor effectively, on my own time, as my body moved me, and arrived to the hospital at 8 cm! Heather never left my side and I never had to open my eyes, just stay focused on my body. She dealt with all hospital distractions, guiding us, moving my hips, and allowing my husband to be a part of it all. It was as if she could see through my body and tell me exactly where the baby was and what to do next, even though it meant that things would get more intense every time I moved, Heather knew it wouldn't be too long before pushing. I got into the tub at perfect timing, and 16 min later our beautiful baby girl was born! Oh, that indescribable feeling of pushing out a baby naturally, in water, surrounded by loving team, and to be the first person ever to touch your own baby. I'm grateful that Heather was an essential part of this lifetime experience for us. I give her credit for my 7-hr long birth (my first birth was 32 hrs). I feel so lucky she could fit us in amongst her homeschooling four kids, moving into a new house (and painting it), and training for a 199-mile relay race to raise money for clean water in South Sudan! On top of it all, she took beautiful pictures of our labor and birth and gave the most thoughtful present to the baby which has a special connection to her christening name.

Posted 9/11/2015

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Annie Ittersagen

My water broke in the middle of the night. I had light, irregular contractions that followed, but I did my best to sleep despite my excitement...our first baby was finally coming!! The next morning I texted Heather to let her know our status, and my husband and I killed time. I was leaking a lot of fluid at this point, and it seemed to be discolored. Heather and I talked it over and decided that, unfortunately, it could be meconiun. I was thankful, even this early on, to have Heather to talk through the situation. My plan had been to labor at home for as long as possible, but now it was looking like we would have to go in earlier than I hoped. I was having consistent contractions at this point, and Heather met up with us at our home. For the next few hours we did everything we could to get labor to progress as quickly as possible. Then, we felt like we had to go to the hospital to make sure the baby was still okay if it happened to be meconium.
When we got t the hospital, I was so disappointed to find out I was only 3 cms dilated. Heather encouraged me and my husband and kept our heads in the game somehow; we needed that. No meconium – praise God – but now we were stuck at the hospital with a long way to go…
We labored for 7 hours at the hospital. Heather recommended different positions, kept me energized with food and water, and encouraged both me and my husband. Heather kept my husband involved, but gave him relief when he needed it. Looking back, my husband and I can both say that there is no way we would have been able to have been able to have a natural delivery if we hadn’t had Heather. I had no idea what my body could do, and I lacked faith; but Heather told me I could do it, and she was right! I pushed for a short 20 minutes and out came our beautiful son! We will never forget the totally vital role Heather played in his birth.

Posted 7/17/2015

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Virginia Massey

My husband and I had our birth experience with Heather which was nothing short of fantastic.  My hope was to have a natural birth without the use of an epidural and to avoid a c-section if possible.  Heather had helpful tips, resources, and referrals throughout the third trimester to combat discomfort, which was very reassuring for us as first time parents.  I opted to induce after a week past my due date, and went through with the use of pitocin which can cause more severe pain with contractions.  With Heather's knowledge, support, and skill set, I was able to endure it painkiller free.  Unfortunately due to some unforeseen complications I had to get a c-section, but was extraordinarily pleased to have made it as far as I did with the labor.  Considering I have a chronic pain disorder, it was outstanding to be able to do what I did, and I could not have done it without her.  Her calming and compassionate coaching were invaluable!  I highly recommend you go with Heather if you're looking for a Doula to add to your support team.

Posted 3/3/2015

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Karen Elizabeth

We used Heather for my fourth birth, and it was a wonderful experience.

My first two births were c-sections, and my third birth was a VBA2C. I used a doula with my third birth, and while I liked having a doula, I didn't feel like I connected well with the one I used. For my fourth birth, I knew I wanted to try someone new.

Heather was recommended to me by some friends. One friend said, "If you use Heather, you WILL have a non-medicated birth!" At the time, I had my doubts. Little did I know how amazingly helpful Heather would be! Heather joined us at home as we labored, and then we headed to the hospital. When we arrived, I measured 8cm. I had no idea I could manage labor so well, and it was all thanks to Heather! Her massage and aromatherapy techniques were very relaxing and helpful, as was her encouragement to do things like squatting when a contraction came--ouch! Heather was so supportive, calm, and experienced. She is easy to like and get along with! I can’t imagine having another baby without her supporting me as my doula!

Posted 2/24/2015

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Malia Ropp

I found Heather through a friend who had a wonderful home birth, so that alone made me feel very confident about using her.  Heather was very helpful and encouraging in the weeks leading up to our daughter's birth. I had been dilated and effaced for weeks, so I had a feeling the birth would be early or short (or something different!) and that truly ended up being the case. I texted Heather when I had a few easy and random contractions one morning, thinking maybe that night or the next day baby would come.  We texted a couple times over the next few hours and all of a sudden it felt like I went from zero to sixty in minutes.  I was home alone in the tub and after Heather asked me to time the contractions, we both realized they had freakishly become over a minute long and only about a minute or two apart.  Heather immediately got me on the phone and began talking me through the contractions. Had I not had her on the phone, despite  the Bradley classes we took, I think I would be gone into a complete panic. Heather could tell right away I was in transition, told me to call my husband home that instant and call the midwives and tell them I was in transition.  I obeyed her advice and we all met about 50 minutes later at the hospital.  I was completely dilated and began pushing seconds after getting there and 35 minutes later our sweet baby arrived. The midwife didn't even have time to change out of her street clothes! So much of the experience is a blurr, but I remember having real trouble with the pushing and Heather was really great about explaining how I needed to put my pushing energy much lower and not all in my face (which is exactly what I was doing). She also took some pictures that I will treasure forever.  Having Heather's knowledge and expertise was absolutely what we needed and even though I have a feeling baby #2 will fall out on the living room floor, I'm still going to hire her as my doula. She is priceless!

Posted 2/5/2015

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katie kenoe

Because my initial doula had to backout due to her own pregnancy complications, i was on a hunt asap.... Heather met me at a local whole foods and talked me off the ledge (just a few weeks before my due date) and calmed my nerves and made me feel extremely comfortable.  i met with a few that day and right away my husband nad i both picked her!  


Although i never actually even needed her at my house before my birth, her advice and encouragement leading up to my birth is probably what led me to have such confidence i didn't even know i was at 9cm when arriving to the hospital... and at that point helped me break my own water with positioning techniques and feel completely in control of my birth, she gave me the best gift during pregnancy which was empowerment and contentment.  I can't say enough about her... if i have anymore, it will HAVE to be with heather... she is truly gods gift and this is exactly what shes meant to do in life.

Posted 1/16/2015

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Christin Fairchild

My husband and I are firm believers that God puts individuals in our lives to guide us or teach us valuable lessons. We know Heather Karlson was brought to us for a reason! As we prepared for the birth of our second child, I knew I wanted a Doula to help me achieve my goal of a healthy, natural birth. For this to happen, I knew we needed someone special to help us on our journey. From the moment we met Heather, we knew she was a perfect match for us! Her warm smile, caring personality, and wealth of knowledge made us feel at ease. In the weeks leading up to my due date, Heather sat down with us to discuss our goals and what we envisioned for the birth. As the big day approached, Heather checked in to see how I was feeling and how my appointments were going. I always knew she was only a call or text away. When the day arrived, I labored at home comfortably while staying in constant contact with Heather. She met us at the hospital with that same warm smile that put us at ease the first time we met. Upon arrival, I was 8cm dilated. All I can say is thank God Heather was by my side! As I labored the final 2cm, Heather was a source of strength and comfort. Her encouraging words and techniques such as, massage and aromatherapy helped me stay focused and as comfortable as possible. When it came time to push, Heather was right there reminding me of how strong I was and that I was accomplishing my goals! After 23 mins of pushing, our healthy daughter was born! Had it not been for the support of Heather, I don't know if I would have been able to have an unmedicated delivery. Finally, but most importantly of all, Heather was a huge source of spiritual support. As I mentioned earlier, Heather came into our lives for a reason. I personally needed someone who I could connect with on a deeper, more spiritual level for the miracle of birth. If you are looking for a Doula that will support you physically, emotionally and spiritually, look no further than Heather!

Posted 1/15/2015

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Tori Farquhar

I first met Heather at our public library when I was 6 months pregnant with our daughter. My son and I were playing and. I happened to be talking to our librarian about my hopes for a natural delivery. Heather (thankfully) chimed in while playing with her kids and gave me some wonderful advice and encouragement even before telling me she was a doula. She immediately made an impression on me, as I had been feeling so discouraged lately by all my OB's.  I came home feeling encouraged and empowered and talking with her was just what I needed. Of course, I called her back and asked her if she would be my doula! 

She was so great during my labor with Ivy. She was at my home for 8 hours and at the hospital with us for another 8. She pushed me when I felt like I couldnt go any more and I loved her for that because she knew what I truly wanted. She was there for me the whole time, rooting for me. And while my daughter ended up being delivered via c-section, I was so glad I had the experience that I did with Heather'. Expertise. She even took some beautiful pictures of me laboring with my husband coaching me. I would definitely recommend Heather!

Posted 1/14/2015

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Esther Bendele

My husband and I liked Heather right away and appreciated her advice and support as we prepared for the birth of our first child. Our little one suprised us by coming early, and it was the first time that Heather couldn't make it and had to have her back-up Doula come instead. Though I had never met the back-up, she was great and I very much appreciated her calming and encouraging presence at the birth.  Heather came to visit us once she was back in town and brought little gifts for Mommy and baby. =)  

Posted 10/3/2014

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shirlee b

I found Heather on this website when I was 2 months pregnant. In our first conversation, I knew she was the right doula for us. She was easy to talk to, full of information and followed up quickly and thoroughly. She recommended the Bradley childbirth class to educate ourselves and alleviate anxiety I was feeling about giving birth.

For the next 7 months, Heather offered many insights, advice and encouragement to help me at each stage of the expectant mother process. With the knowledge from our birthing class and knowing we had Heather on our team, my anxiety about labor and giving birth had diminished months ahead of time. After going into labor, my husband contacted Heather by text in the middle of the night to let her know that process had begun. She immediately texted back and stayed in touch throughout the night. When she arrived at the hospital the next afternoon, I was still only 1 cm dilated, exhausted and frustrated. Before she even had her coat off, she was gently “in my face” getting me back on track to a sustainable mindset for the work I had ahead of me. From that moment on, she did not waver in her gentle, confident demeanor, continually coming up with new positions or techniques to attempt to move the process along whenever the dilation paused. She partnered with each shift of the hospital staff to ensure we were one big team. She gave my husband much needed breaks for food and rest and partnered with him when the going got tough. She coached me through the decision making process of getting an epidural every time I wanted to give up.

If it weren’t for her, I would have never made it through 34 hours of labor with a successful unmedicated birth. She also took lovely pictures of the birth, which we would never have had the presence of mind to take. It’s great to know we have her as a resource should we need anything going forward as new parents.

Posted 5/29/2014

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Lisa Rispoli

Heather really shined during the labor process. After laboring at home for 2 days, we headed to the hospital the evening of the second day. By the following morning, my water had finally broken. Heather arrived shortly thereafter and did not leave my side.

I was extremely exhausted and frustrated. I wasn't making progress despite all of our efforts. We tried a birthing ball, walking, swaying, a breast pump, different positions- all the tricks in the book. However, Heather remained persistent, focused, and undeterred.

My positive attitude wavered. My energy dwindled. Heather did not take offense when my emotions got the best of me. She keenly stepped to the side when it was time for my husband and me to work alone. She jumped right back in, not missing a beat, when my husband needed a break.

Unfortunately, after nearly 70 hours of contractions 5 minutes apart and several complications, a c-section was recommended by my midwives. With Heather, I felt assured I truly tried everything I could to have a vaginal delivery.
Heather jumped right in the operating room as soon as my husband left with our son to go to the nursery. She was right there with me as they sutured me up and transferred me to recovery.

Between the help of my midwife and Heather, my baby was able to latch immediately when we finally had the opportunity to meet in the recovery room.
I don’t remember how I got to my hospital room that night, but I do know Heather was right there with me. A couple hours later, Heather slipped out and gave my husband and I time to get to know our little one.

Posted 4/30/2014

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Kim Thompson

March 19, 2014

Heather would be the perfect addition to your birthing team!

We decided to hire a doula after attending childbirth classes. It was evident that an unmedicated birth would be the best decision for us.

When I was 34 weeks, I contacted Heather. She came highly recommended by great friends. Most importantly she was available. During our first meeting, her warm, extremely organized and very professional attitude was evident. Mike and I knew we had made the best birth decision with Heather on our team. She helped us to create our birth plan and continued to support and guide us.

My ‘first baby’ jitters shone through the night before our due date. I was experiencing much apprehension. Heather’s reassuring ways calmed me. Three days later, with the birth of our baby eminent, Heather arrived at our home. She eased my anxiety and my pain with her ‘tricks of the trade’ (comforting music, dimmed lights, warm bath/shower and heated rice packs). It was a blessing to have Heather as my angel.

We arrived at the hospital dilated to 7cm. I remember thinking we’ve got this. Heather worked with me as we went back and forth from the shower, to the toilet, to squatting and walking. However, I stayed dilated at 9cm for 5+ hours. Our baby was in a posterior position refusing to turn despite every imaginable solution we attempted. After 24 hours (and no sleep for any of us) a“C” section was the outcome.

Dedication? Heather was waiting for us taking pictures and toasting the birth of Kinsley Marie, along with our families. Heather is one of the most genuine people both Mike and I have ever met. She was our coach, our angel, our everything. We were able to achieve our goal of having an incredible childbirth experience.

If you are looking for the same goal, hire Heather! She will be able to help you achieve yours too!

Posted 3/19/2014

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Charlene oh

i was pregnant with my 4th child when I hired Heather to be our doula.  Even from our initial meeting, both my husband and I felt extremely comfortable and very personable with Heather, so much that 4 hours went by so quickly!  She was a great listener about my desires and expectations, fears and concerns, as well as, understanding that my husband wanted to be by my side as the main coach.  She made herself available by phone or email/texting, even as a busy homeschooling mother of 4 herself. Once my labor were consistently 5-7 min. apart and 1 min. long, we called her.  She immediately drove over 1 hour from her famiily vacation during Christmas break to drive down in the middle of the night.  Amazing!!!!!

Her presence, gentle soothing and encouraging words, massages, and her infamous rice sack were some of the ways she assisted during my intense labor pains.  My husband was free to rub my back, walk by my side, and whatever else I needed while Heather provided suggestions and constant support for me.  She provided the extra hand for my husband so that he could focus on providing physical and emotional support for me.  We got to the hospital in time for me to push my beautiful girl to be born without any medical intervention!  It was my dream and ideal form of delivery, especially since I was gestationally diabetic and of mature age.  Even at the hospital, she made sure I was hydrating myself (brought me her own electrolyte powder mix), making sure I am bonding with my new baby and nursing well; while she has been taking such momentous/memorable photos since her arrival at our home.  She also became the liaison between us and the hospital staff.  

Our whole experience with this birth was recaptured when she delivered the photos she took on CD, visiting us at home couple of weeks later.  Wow! From beginning to end, Heather was fantastic!  I strongly recommend her!

Posted 3/3/2014

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Jill Rietema

Heather was great.  She arrived around 1am, I was in active labor, and had me walking, squatting, and lunging during contractions.  My daughter was 9lbs 6oz and I think all of the moving really helped get the baby down the birth canal. She stayed with me at all times and offered water, food, and of course support!  When we arrived at the hospital she suggested I get into the shower which was a great place to labor.  I labored for a few hours at the hospital and delivered my daughter in the bathtub after only 11 minutes of pushing.  Heather was calm and confident which is exactly what you need a doula to be during labor.  I used a doula for my first labor and although it was a good experience overall she didn't offer nearly as much active support as Heather did.  My second daughter was a pound bigger than my first and if it wasn't for Heather I believe the labor could have been more difficult.  I highly recommned using Heather.

Posted 1/2/2014

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Monica Gee

Heather is one of a kind! She is everything you are looking for in a doula -- friendly, easy-going, intentional, educated, positive, and reliable. Even though this was my third pregnancy, I had a lot of questions and concerns during my final trimester. She was always prompt in answering texts or sending encouraging emails. She even offered to bring me Starbucks when she knew I was having a rough day! She was a valuable resource in the end of my pregnancy -- getting me supplements, tea, and arranging for acupuncture/chiropractic treatments that helped bring me closer to delivery.

On the big day Heather was everything I needed her to be. Calm, proactive, and steady. With her help, labor moved quickly and her experience gave us confidence in our decision to labor at home for as long as possible. Even after the birth Heather was extremely helpful and wanted to make sure we had all our needs met before she went home.

Before going into labor Heather had encouraged me to think through and envision exactly what I wanted my labor to be like. I can honestly say that got everything I wanted out of my birth, and I know that Heather was a big part in making that happen!

Posted 11/21/2013

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Kristy Haywood

Hire Heather!!

I was a first time mom who had just moved to the greater Chicago area at 30 weeks pregnant and clueless.

Heather was the game changer. I cannot imagine a birth without her!

Our first meeting was so amazing! My husband and I met with Heather and her back-up doula. They are so incredible, thoughtful, sincere and understanding (the list could go forever)! I hadn’t had many concerns about my pregnancy or delivery until one of the last visits with the new doctor (pre-midwives) where she raised some concerns about the large size of our baby. For the first time, I started to have anxiety about giving birth. I wanted as natural a birth as I could (no drugs) providing the safety of myself as well as my baby. Heather put any inkling of a worry at ease with her warm words of wisdom and experience.

It was less than two weeks between meeting Heather and delivering our beautiful baby girl!

My husband will tell anyone who asks what an amazing resource she was/is. He was most impressed with HER out of all the doctors, nurses, and midwives we encountered. We were only able to meet once before the labor, but even meeting her for the second time at our apartment at 3 in the morning I did nothing but trust her implicitly.  By constantly reminding me to relax, I released all my tensions and allowed my body to do what it is made for (labor and deliver a beautiful healthy albeit large baby). We arrived at the hospital and I was 9cm, ready to go!!  According to my husband, at the hospital she was the only person who was 100% focused on me. By continuously communicating, coaching, and feeding me she kept up my energy and spirits.

As if she is not already a godsend she took gorgeous pictures throughout the process for no extra fee!

I only hope we are in her area when we decide to grow our family in the future!! I really cannot fathom a birth experience without her!

Posted 11/7/2013

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Zara Kinsella

I cannot recommend Heather enough to any expectant Mom. She is absolutely fantastic! I began searching for a doula late in my second pregnancy (around 33-34 weeks). Heather replied to my inquiry that same day, and began providing me with guidance/counsel before I had even hired her! She is an incredible genuine and caring person, which comes through in the doula services she provides.

We met twice before the birth (once without and once with my husband) where we discussed my wishes for the birth, and what to expect with a natural delivery. I had a difficult birth with my first child full of interventions that I did not want or need, and Heather calmed my fears that my second birth would be anything like the first. She also helped me switch practices to a wonderful midwifery practice that actually encouraged natural birth (a rarity in today's medical field).

As my due date came and passed, Heather fielded many anxious texts/calls from me about what was happening and when I would go into labor, always calming and centering me. When labor began and we met at the hospital (things moved quickly!), Heather's calming presence and soothing actions made my second daughter's birth an amazing experience. She knew what I needed before I did, and her voice was the one that guided me through labor and delivery. I should also say that Heather was very vocal about being MY advocate. Should I have needed pain relief or any other help, I felt absolutely no judgement or shame from Heather. She was clear that this was my birth experience and no one else can know how I feel/what I need.

If we have a third child, Heather will be the FIRST person I call (after family, of course) to make sure she can be a part of that birth as well. Do not waste time - contact Heather for an amazing birth experience!

Posted 10/28/2013

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Kari Becker

Heather was the doula for our second birth.  I am not sure how I would have gotten through the last hour without her!  My labor came very quickly and she was such a support through the whirwind.  She offered guidance, comfort and helped me get through the pain those last few minutes to have the birth that I really wanted.  When she got to our house, I was already really laboring.  She helped calm my younger son, finish packing our bags and helped us quickly get to the hospital when we knew it was time.  Just having her there as that extra support was crucial for my well being and strength.  It also allowed my husband the freedom to do what he needed to do.  She is kind but strong and gives you a wonderful balance of emotional and physical support.  She checked in with me often both before and after the birth and it was wonderful to know I had someone watching out for me.  I would highly recommend Heather to anyone looking to have a partner on a wonderful birth expereince.  She also takes wonderful pictures during the labor and birth that are such a wonderful keepsake.  Heather is amazing!  

Posted 8/29/2013

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Heather was absolutely indispensable as my doula during my 22-hour labor. A first-time mom, I had many concerns about the physical and emotional aspects of giving birth, and she attended to them all. She not only diffused my fears, but she built up a reserve of strength and confidence which I needed to get me through the event. From the moment I met her at our initial consultation, Heather felt like a close friend. She followed up with several emails as my due date neared and passed, and she went out of her way to give me all the possible contact numbers for where she could be at any moment I might go into labor. On the day of the birth, she came with aromatherapy products, honey sticks, an all-natural electrolyte drink, a birthing ball, and many other tools. She also brought a nice camera and (at my request) took photos and video that we will cherish. When I was laboring in a birth tub and felt overheated, she ran ice on my upper body. She looked me straight in the eyes during contractions and coached me through them. She knew when to challenge me and when to let me take a break. She helped my husband stay involved, but also gave him opportunities to rest. She was the only person who stayed awake with me from the moment she arrived until well after the baby was born. She stayed for several hours and helped with the initial latch-on, made us breakfast, and then left when the time was right to give our new family time to bond. My husband, midwife and I were all incredibly grateful for Heather’s services, which were worth every penny!

Posted 6/20/2013

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Katelyn Paston

Heather is AWESOME! I'm a first time Mom wih serious anxiety and I honestly cannot imagine going through my son's birth without her! She is extemely patient and kind- perfect forthe job. She came out to my house immediately and labored with me until I was ready to go to the hospital.She followed hubby and I in her car and never left our sides afterwards until baby was here and safe. Extremely knowledgeable and worked well with my husband, midwife and the hospital staff. She even snapped a few action shots for us :-)

If we have another baby, Heather will be there! I would insist that anyone I love choose her- I can't say enough great things about her!



Posted 6/13/2013

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Massahoro Adja Traore

 I was already 34 weeks pregnant when I decided I wanted to hire a doula. I did some research online and found and picked 3 doulas I wanted to interview. Heather was the first one I interviewed with. After meeting with her, both my husband and I immediately knew she was the doula we wanted! Before I even went to labor, we were constantly in touch; I called or emailed her when I had questions or needed advice on something. She is very knowledgeable and always provided me with the best answer to my questions. She also called/texted me to check up on me when she didn’t hear from me for a week.
Heather provided me with great support during labor and delivery. She was with us for more than 20 hours. We labored a few hours at home before going to the hospital together. We did a lot of walking, squatting, birthing ball etc….I did have a very long labor, but overall I very much enjoyed every part of it. Thanks to a great doula!!! without her it would not have been possible! I would hire Heather in a heart bit if I were to do it again!

Posted 4/4/2013

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Lisa Krawiec Arledge

Heather was asked by one of my midwives-in-training if she would be interested in attending my home birth and thankfully she said yes.  It was just a few days later that and I went into labor earlier than expected!  Heather arrived at our house at the perfect time.  I was at the point in labor where I was starting to question my ability to handle the pain.  She came right up to the edge of the birthing tub and asked me what I needed without hesitation.  At that moment, all I needed was for someone to tell me that I was capable.  I needed a caring touch.  She was completely there for me and we had just met!  Heather has that natural ability to be warm, nurturing and help break down a birthing mother's fears that could inhibit the progress of birth.  It was a blessing that my 8-year-old daughter could be there and witness Heather, along with such a powerful team of midwives, bring a new life into the world in such a gentle way.  (Not to mention, she took some amazing photos with our camera that will help preserve the memory).  Thank you, heather, we will forever be grateful for your help as a Doula at our home birth!

Posted 2/20/2013

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Lisa Shah

 I figured since this was my second child, I thought I knew what to expect from labor. However, this time around, everything was completely different from my first birth. I was 37 1/2 weeks when my water broke in the middle of the night.  Once at the hospital, my midwife informed me that since nothing was happening, I would either be sent home, or if admitted then probably started on pitocin. I wanted neither, so from that time on, Heather was in full doula mode! She had me bring my breast pump to the hospital and shortly after hooking myself up to it, I started with regular, hard contractions. We alternated with the breast pump and walking the hallways to get labor going and my contractions more regular.  My husband and Heather took turns rubbing my back, walking the hallways with me and making me comfortable while I was in bed when I got tired. As labor progressed, Heather helped me through each and every contraction by having me squat and visualize the baby moving down. This visualization helped me to the very end. It was the only thing I would think of during the pain and got me through the contraction. Once in L/D, Heather suggested the shower to help with pain managment, and this is where I spent the majority of the time until it was time to push. Again, she worked with my husband to help me squat and get into positions that helped move the baby down all the time using the water to help with the pain. She got me in the most comfortable position to push and my daughter was out in 3 pushes!

I am so happy that I happenned to meet Heather and would completely recommend her doula services. She is patient, kind, non judgemental and extremely supportive. Such a wonderful person to have by your side during such an important moment in your life. 

Posted 2/8/2013

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Cathleen Tracy

I am so glad that Heather was my doula. I called her at about 3 am, when I knew that I was in labor. She actually beat me to the hospital, greeting me at the front desk with a big smile at about 5 am. As someone who wanted a natural birth, it was very helpful to have Heather there. She guided me into comfortable positions during contractions and reminded me to focus on something and breathe during the pain. She suggested positions to move the labor along. She also inspired me to walk around the hospital room and outside in the hall. She placed a nice warm heating pad on my back and even rubbed my feet. She pushed on my hips to minimize the contraction pain. She held me up with her shoulders as I swayed back and forth. These things really did help.

Heather is a very positive, gentle, and confident person to have in the delivery room. She was attentive and tuned in to my needs and eager to help. I was never afraid to ask her for something when I needed it. For example, sometimes I needed to be left alone, sometimes I needed ice cubes, and sometimes I needed a snack. She was quite flexible and easy going. There were times when she boosted my confidence in the process and made me laugh. It was great having her energy in the room. My husband was relieved to have the support and to not have to be everything for me for the 6 hours I was in labor. When decisions had to be made such as whether to break my water bag and/or take pitocin, I could process my thoughts with Heather. 

Heather was truly happy and excited when my baby girl was born. She took awesome photos with my camera and I didn't even have to ask. I feel that the birth was a better experience and life long memory thanks to her wisdom and support.

Posted 2/6/2013

Birth Availability for Heather Karlson

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