Gracie Koester Photo

Gracie Koester

BirthRoot Doula Services

Website: www.birthrootdoula.com

Phone: (651) 278-6163

Birth Fee: $1200 to $2000

Postpartum Rate: $35 to $45

Fee Details: Birth fees are sliding scale $1200-$2000 Postpartum fees are $40, $45 weekends & holidays

Birth Doula Experience: 8 years and 300 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 7 years and 200 families served

Doula Training

  • DONA International, October 2007
Type of Practice: Partnership with 2 or more doulas

Clients per Month: 1 to 4 births and 1 to 4 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Nursing Mothers Counselor (Nursing Mothers Counsel)

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Addiction Recovery
  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Domestic Violence
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Relinquishing mothers
  • Single parents
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Abortion Support
  • Acupressure
  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR
  • Antepartum doula
  • Babywearing education
  • Belly casting
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Cofounder and Co-Director of Metta Lineage Doula Mentor Backline Talkline Advocate Oregon Doula Association member Nursing Mothers' Counsel Volunteer

Languages spoken: English, Norwegian

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Portland, OR
Travel Range: 25 Miles

Client Testimonials for Gracie Koester

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Stephanie Gioia

Gracie was our doula for the birth of our daughter in October 2015. Gracie was wonderful to work with and the perfect balance of organized and intuitive. The preparation process was thought provoking and helped us feel prepared for what was to come. When the big day came, Gracie helped my husband and me work as a team at home through labor, making adjustments for my comfort and positioning the baby for delivery. She helped us know when it was time to head to the hospital and, once there, really advocated for our birth plan. I don’t remember much, since it seemed to go fast and I chose to deliver unmedicated, but I know that everything went very smoothly because of all the support around me (I specifically remember fresh cold compresses with every contraction). After our daughter was born, Gracie was dogged about making sure nursing was going well, which in retrospect I realize that it wasn’t. Gracie helped me sort out what was “normal” and when we needed to keep searching for answers. She taught me latching techniques that no one at the hospital really showed me. She really advocated for me getting second opinions, even after 3 (!) lactation consultants insisted because my daughter was gaining weight that nothing was wrong. Ultimately, we found that our daughter was tongue tied and had a quick procedure which made feeding much less painful. I’m a “grin and bear it” type of person, so I really appreciate Gracie being a stronger advocate for me than sometimes I am for myself. Nearly a month into our daughter’s life, breastfeeding is such a precious part of our experience I really appreciate Gracie helping make that possible. Thanks Gracie - we love you - see you for #2!!

Posted 9/12/2016

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Tony Peters

Our son was born on October 2, 2015—after thirty six hours of labor, the last five all arduous pushing. I have no idea how long we were on the birthing ward after that. Nevertheless, when the time finally arrived, it seemed like he had entered the world just as he was supposed to. He was happy, healthy, and huge.
Our first desire was to write a faithful review for Gracie Koester...as soon as we could find the time to. It was important to us that we give back to her. Yet—look at those parameters: be accurate, do it as time permits, return in-kind.
Obviously having a baby is an all-consuming endeavor. But the other hold-up has been just that daunting task: To write a truthful account of those hours, enumerating and encompassing Gracie's many-faceted, completely integral part in them is...a lot. Time, in this case, does not permit.
Moreover, what isn’t possible, really, is to return to her even a fraction of what she gave us over those hours. “Returning in-kind,” for not just her presence during labor and delivery, but for all of the attentions we received preceding and following our son's birth—for all that—isn’t really possible.
Gracie fully managed what seemed to this participant to be a largely unmanageable situation. She confidently, professionally, and compassionately navigated the lanes between the laboring mama (who went places nobody knew existed in her), her baby (who was having his own experience), a terrified, but resolved and sometimes intransigent papa (me), and the weirdly mundane yet incomprehensible medical universe surrounding us. Those chasmal spaces in-between—perfect breeding grounds for trouble—Gracie calmly filled with the kind of motherly love and wisdom that directs and comforts, but also gets shit done. The thought of going through all that without her nearly brings tears to my eyes—no joke. We very, very highly recommend Gracie Koester.

Posted 5/18/2016

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Tony Peters

Our son was born on October 2, 2015—after thirty six hours of labor, the last five all arduous pushing. I have no idea how long we were on the birthing ward after that. Nevertheless, when the time finally arrived, it seemed like he had entered the world just as he was supposed to. He was happy, healthy, and huge.
Our first desire was to write a faithful review for Gracie Koester...as soon as we could find the time to. It was important to us that we give back to her. Yet—look at those parameters: be accurate, do it as time permits, return in-kind.
Obviously having a baby is an all-consuming endeavor. But the other hold-up has been just that daunting task: To write a truthful account of those hours, enumerating and encompassing Gracie's many-faceted, completely integral part in them is...a lot. Time, in this case, does not permit.
Moreover, what isn’t possible, really, is to return to her even a fraction of what she gave us over those hours. “Returning in-kind,” for not just her presence during labor and delivery, but for all of the attentions we received preceding and following our son's birth—for all that—isn’t really possible.
Gracie fully managed what seemed to this participant to be a largely unmanageable situation. She confidently, professionally, and compassionately navigated the lanes between the laboring mama (who went places nobody knew existed in her), her baby (who was having his own experience), a terrified, but resolved and sometimes intransigent papa (me), and the weirdly mundane yet incomprehensible medical universe surrounding us. Those chasmal spaces in-between—perfect breeding grounds for trouble—Gracie calmly filled with the kind of motherly love and wisdom that directs and comforts, but also gets shit done. The thought of going through all that without her nearly brings tears to my eyes—no joke. We very, very highly recommend Gracie Koester.

Posted 5/17/2016

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An Os

I was determined to deliver naturally (spontaniously, at my own pace, and under my own power) in a hospital setting and I couldn't have asked for a better partner. I had the most incredible birth and Gracie gave me and my husband a few gifts:

1) Time - she was never in a hurry. She spent hours with us prior to my delivery seeking to understand our goals, hopes and fears. She was available over the phone, email and text before birth (including a visit to meet my OB) and during labor, as well as post partum.

2) Resources - I cannot stress enough how inspirational they were. Articles, videos, even podcasts, sometimes not directly labor-related but always very educational. It is thanks to one of them in particular that I fought and won a battle to deliver my placenta without getting "massaged".

3) Support - Gracie was my shield in the hospital. Discreet yet impactful, firmly stating my requests (No, she prefers to walk. She has her own gown. Etc.) She was very familiar with a hospital setting and helped us own the space. At one point, one of the nurses said to her  "You've done this before, haven't you?" I was glad I had my husband to initially take care of the paper work and Gracie to take care of me. She was extremely encouraging in every step of the process.

I'm grateful Gracie was our partner in this experience. In the hospital room, she grabbed a marker and wrote on a whiteboard: our names, her name, and the "goal for today": "Gentle Birth". This has become our mantra in how our child came to this world and how he's been growing in it. We are very grateful for Gracie's help and we will definitely be seeking her support again for the delivery of our next child! I definitely recommend Gracie for anyone in need of great doula service!

Posted 1/24/2016

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Andi Bakos

We heard about Gracie from a friend and contacted her for an interview, as well as a few other doulas.  After our intial meeting with Gracie we went ahead and just cancelled all other doula interviews, she was THE ONE.  In our pre-birth meetings she fielded every little question that was on our mind and when we didn't even know what else to ask she kept the conversation going with her own thought-provoking questions. Gracie is obviousily very passionate about her line of work, it's as if she was put on Earth to help babies come into this world! She's super well informed about pregnancy, birth, babies, everything! When my due date came..and went..and 5 other days passed my doctor suggested I get induced which I was really sad about! It just wasn't what I had planned for myself.  Gracie was really there for me, helped me weigh out the pros and cons of getting induced and made me feel good about my decision.  During the birth she was AMAZING!! She was this great force of energy and helped me through contractions by showing me different ways to labor and coaching me through each "wave" of pain.  She helped my husband know what to do and allowed him space to be there for me.  She even grabbed the camera and got some beautiful and emotional shots of my husband and I during labor! I look back at those photos and am so grateful she thought to capture those moments.  Postpartum she came to meet the baby, help me with breastfeeding, taught us swaddling tricks and how to use our various bay carriers.  SHE IS THE BEST.  Hire her, you won't be sorry.  I'm SO glad we did!! 

Posted 1/18/2016

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Roopa Karia

Gracie was an enormous help and comfort for us during the last few months of my pregnancy through the first weeks with our newborn. She helped us prepare by providing us with solid information and creative ideas to make informed decisions about the birth process. Gracie is open and completely non-judgmental and we always felt completely supported and confident in all the choices we made.


In the months before delivery, Gracie gave us many tools to prepare for delivery and my husband and I believe we worked better together as a team as a result.

During labor and delivery, Gracie spent a full 24 hours with us. She was an expert coach and an excellent support for my husband. I felt so confident in her guidance, she never seemed to run out of ideas to make me feel more comfortable, to help move labor along, and to make pushing more productive. When we were faced with hard choices during labor, she gave us sound advice and helped us feel confident in the decisions we were making. Gracie’s kindness, calm presence, and humor helped me stay focused and manage my anxiety. After delivery, Gracie provided excellent advice on newborn care and, especially, breastfeeding.

It’s clear Gracie finds great joy in helping couples birth babies, and we are so happy we had Gracie as our doula.

Posted 3/27/2015

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Lindsay James

Dear Expectant Parent,
My husband and I recently had our second child and as we were planning and preparing for this birth we found ourselves back to the wavering decision of do we have a Doula or not. Having a VBAC was very important to us and we ultimately decided that we wanted to stack the deck in our favor and have a strong support team to increase our chance of a successful VBAC. We emailed a few doulas recommended to us and had this really strong gut feeling right away that Gracie with Birth Root Doula Services would end up being our Doula. Her initial response back spoke to many of the questions and concerns we had like does she have experience with VBAC's (yes - lots of experience), is she familiar with our hospital (yes, she knew many of the staff and was a seamless and welcomed part of our team), and is she affordable (yes - she offers a sliding scale based on what families can afford).
With the support of Gracie we ended up with a successful VBAC after a long labor. It was hard work and we are certain that without Gracie we would not have felt as comfortable, cared for, or confident in how our labor progressed. Her bag of tricks seemed endless as she helped us through this experience. Her expertise in differing positions, massage, comfort management, food intake, hydration, being an advocate for us with the medical staff, and helping to clarify some of the challenges we were faced with as the birth progressed slowly ultimately led to a successful VBAC.
When people now ask us about our birth we feel so grateful and honored to be able to say what a wonderful experience it was. Without a doubt we could and would not feel so positive and empowered by this birth if it was not for Gracie. Her gentleness combined with passion, wealth of knowledge and humor made her such a perfect fit for us. We would highly recommend her to support you and your family on your birth adventure.
Lindsay James

Posted 1/9/2015

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Eleanor Wilkinson

I couldn't have imagined a better support and encouragement than what we received from Gracie during the birth of our first child. The pre-birth sessions were great in helping us mentally, emotionally and organizationally prepare for birth, labor and post-pardum life. When I went into labor Gracie & her mentee arrived at the hospital within an hour of us checking in equipped with snacks, massage tools, LED candles and most importantly encouragement and support to get me through the next 17 hours of labor. They meshed well with our hosiptal staff and were given the nickname the "Duoing Doulas." Gracie's support and knowledge were monumental in helping me have an epidural free birth, which allowed me to stay mobile and out of bed, one of my prime goals throughout labor. My husband also greatly appreciated the tips and trick Gracie provided to help him comfort me and know how best to assist. We couldn't have asked for a better experience and would HIGHLY recommend her!

Posted 12/8/2014

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Liz Robins

Deciding to work with Gracie was one of the best decisions my husband and I have ever made! In the months leading up to our son's birth, she provided us with invaluable information, resources, excercises to do at home and so much more. Gracie always gave us excellent info if we requested it, but never overloaded us with information as we were trying to make decisions related to labor, birth, etc. By the time we went into labor, we felt informed, confident and positive about what was to come. 

She stayed with us throughout a very long labor and was a great source of comfort, reassurance and help navigating decisions that came up along the way. And she's the best coach I could have dreamed of to help me get through the toughest contractions. Her calm and kind demeanor, vast experience and breadth of knowledge made her the perfect person to have on our team as we welcomed our sweet son into the world. 

In our early weeks with a newborn at home, Gracie made what could have been an overwhelming time more manageable by offering postpartum help and outstanding resources when asked, from breastfeeding help and newborn care to health-care providers. Throughout the entire experience she helped set us up for success, and for that we'll always be grateful!

Posted 6/3/2014

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Greta West

After our daughter was born, my husband looked at me and said: "how does anyone do this without a doula?" Asking Gracie to be our doula was the best decision we made concerning our birth experience. She was such a calming, grounding presence and her expertise was invaluable. My husband felt secure and confident knowing that she was backing him up, and I looked to her for support and encouragement throughout my labor. Our prenatal and postpartum visits with her were a joy. She was full of helpful information and helped us to feel confident and prepared. We will use Gracie as our doula for our future children, and we recommend to her to all of our pregnant friends.

--Greta and Mason West

Posted 12/23/2013

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Emily Hutson

We had a great experience with Gracie for our birth this August. As it was our first child, my husband and I were very nervous and Gracie was great with guiding us through the process! She helped us before, during, and after our birth. We wanted a doula who would be comfortable working with us in a hospital birth setting, and Gracie was the perfect fit. She also was extremely helpful providing us with lactation and other new mama support resources after the birth. Her wisdom and calming energy put us at ease during our birth process. So glad we found Gracie!

Posted 11/6/2013

Birth Availability for Gracie Koester

= Available. Calendar last updated: 6/4/2018 9:22:11 PM

Postpartum Availability for Gracie Koester

= Available. Calendar last updated: 6/4/2018 9:22:11 PM