Caren Hespeler Photo

Caren Hespeler

Heart Work Doula & Photography

Website: http://www.heartworkdoula.com

Phone: 408-655-4523

Birth Fee: $1600 to $1800

Fee Details: Fee will include the 2 prenatal visits, 2 weeks on call prior to due date until the delivery and 1 postpartum visit as well as help after delivery to establish breastfeeding with baby. I also offer birth photography for an additional fee.

Birth Doula Experience: 4 years and 75 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

Not Specified

Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 0 to 3

Attends hospital births? Some Hospitals
I prefer attending births at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos as they are a very "natural" child birth friendly hospital and feels somewhat like a birthing center than a hospital. The staff are more open minded to labor and delivery of a baby to be a natural human process!
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Over 40
  • Single parents
  • Surrogacy
  • Teens
  • VBAC
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Surrogates and intended parents

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

BABI member since 2013

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Los Gatos, CA
Travel Range: 20 Miles
Travel comments/restrictions: If travel is outside of my area, travel fees may apply.

Certifications for Caren Hespeler

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Client Testimonials for Caren Hespeler

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moriah manor

Initial meeting: We immediately felt comfortable with Caren. Caren was very thorough and it was apparent that it's really important for her to get to know us as a couple and as individuals.
We really liked her sense of humor, her honesty and her warmth. She was calming and assuring.
Labor & Delivery: It was our first birth and it took no less than 33 hours. During those 33 hours Caren was constantly available and came to our house when we needed her. Caren did everything she could to relax me, the mom: massage, TENS unit, changing positions and lots of encouragement.
In the hospital (El Camino Los Gatos) it was amazing to see how she instantly got us everything we needed. She was there during all the long hours of labor and birth and she was phenomenal. She knew the staff by name, she knew exactly where everything was stored.
Caren was also very helpful to the father-to-be. She advised him what to do and when. Those extra pair of hands were crucial
when my husband needed to take a break.
Caren was very connected to me throughout the the labor and birth and did everything in her power to make things easier for me. Caren was fresh, eager and excited to do her job. She's very professional and above all - loves and enjoys what she's doing.
After the birth: Caren was very supportive and ready to answer any question. She came to visit us and gave me some tips
to help me with breastfeeding, which helped more than those of the professional consultant in the hospital.
A few days after birth we got the chance to look at the pictures Caren managed to take during labor and delivery. They were
awesome, just like Caren! Our experience was amazing. Now I understand why my midwifes were so happy when I told them Caren is my Doula.
Summary: If you're looking for a Doula that will be with you 100% during the happiest occasion of your life - Caren is the right person to take with you on your journey.

Posted 10/11/2014

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Amanda Jamieson

I found Caren by attending a "Tea with Midwives" at El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos. As she introduced herself to the group, I could immediately see that she would be a great fit for us. She was kind, enthusiastic about birth, and I got this sense of genuineness that I was drawn to. I hesitated to contact her at first because I wasn't sure if I "needed" a doula since I had a midwife. Flash forward to my labor and delivery: I think I might have died without Caren. She was fantastic from the time she walked in my front door until the moment she finally got to go home (after being with me for about 14 straight hours). She always said the right thing at the right time. She made me feel comfortable and secure in a time when all I wanted to do was doubt myself and scream. Caren gave me so many tools to deal with the pain as I worked to have a natural birth. Her greatest tool was her encouraging words. She provided me comfort, reassurance, and what I can only describe as love despite only knowing each other for a short while. I felt empowered and safe. At the hospital, she continued to help me work through contractions. We walked the halls together and she continuously tended to me, bringing me water and snacks. When I reached a breaking point and decided to go ahead with the epidural, Caren gently reminded me of my goal of a natural birth and told me I could do it. I had become panicky and at that point, had my mind set on getting an epidural. Caren commended me for how hard I'd worked and helped relieve me of the guilt I felt about the epidural. It was perfect. I can't imagine feeling better about how things went. When things got a little scary during the delivery, Caren again made me feel safe and secure. There is no more important a feeling than that when you are giving birth, especially for the first time. The prenatal and postpartum visits were also wonderful. Caren got along famously with my husband and I and we will hire her again when we have another baby!

Posted 2/28/2014

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Cecile V

We interviewed Caren at the end of October and before we could officially hire her a couple of weeks later, I was in labor 5 weeks early. I called her from the hospital and asked if she would assist. She was at a school function for her kids, but was going to see if she could make it or find a back up doula. She got back to me after she was able to find someone to cover for her and came to the hospital to help me through my labor. This just goes to show just how dedicated she is to her work and (potential) clients.

During my labor, she suggested different positions, did counter-pressure massages, helped me get in the shower, and even gave my husband a break to eat something. Her attitude during my labor was helpful: she was very attentive, calm, confident and reassuring. She even was kind enough to take pictures during the delivery which we are so grateful to have and look back on.

As a new parent, our postpartum visit was helpful just taking to her and picking her brain about this and that. There was something very reassuring and comforting about the visit.

She is genuinely passionate about her job and you can tell just by talking to her. She is extremely helpful and resourceful enough that if she doesn't have an answer for you right away, she will reach out to her community to ensure she does get one for you. She's been great with communication like checking in every once in a while to ensure everything is okay.

Caren is an amazing doula and I definitely recommend her. Her services were indispensable and my husband and I are externally grateful to have worked with her.

Posted 1/13/2014

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gretchen weber

I cannot speak highly enough of Caren and what a wonderful experience it was having her as our doula. We hired her because we were attracted to her warm personality, her open-mindedness, and her inspiring enthusiasm for being a doula. ("She sure loves birth!" my partner said more than once). Caren was always available for advice, and once she was on call for me, she checked in frequently to see how I was doing physically and emotionally, always offering tips and encouragement, seeming more like a loving, wise old friend than someone we'd hired. It was a wonderful reassurance to have her attention during this time.

But it was during my labor and birth when Caren really made an impact on my life that I'll always be grateful for. She knows a lot, but what's so striking are her incredible natural instincts. She just knows what to do when, and she does it with love. My labor in the hospital was long and complicated, lasting 24 hours with a lot of that time spent in major pain due to back labor and a posterior baby. Caren was AMAZING. She arrived at the hospital at 2am just after we called (and stayed until after I gave birth, almost 24 hours later). Immediately she was a huge help, using massage, helping me find more comfortable positions (and positions that might turn the baby), encouraging me to get into the shower when it was time, holding me when I needed it, and helping me to focus on my breathing when things got really challenging. She worked as a team with my partner, including him every step of the way.

Caren was essential in making this labor and birth a positive experience for me. She was warm and loving, capable and dedicated, and she also managed to bring humor into the room during the in-between spaces. She was an integral part of my birth support team, which also included my partner and my mom, and I know they're both grateful she was part of the team, too. I couldn't recommend her more highly.

Posted 12/12/2013

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Irene Chen

You will be in good hand with Caren as your doula. We had our first child with Caren by our side. She did everything in her hand to make sure we had the birth experience we wished and wanted. Indeed, we SO did. I felt so proud to share the experience with my friends afterward.

She is friendly and very caring. She was on call 2 weeks before our expected date. Thanks for that! I was 1 week early. 24 or 48 hours wouldn't have cut it. She was available immediately when we called her when we thought I was in labor. She met up with us immediately at the hospital after our call.

Caren was there to guide my husband and help me to get through every discomfort that we had thru all the unknown factors of labor. She suggested me to use the shower, which was a quick get in and get out coping technique when it was time to use it (and Caren knew when that time comes). I felt great while in the shower that I didn't even want to get out of it during my transition labor.

Caren also took pictures for our keepsakes. We really appreciate it as we were able to look back and laugh at the moments where I couldn't really remember much in labor.

When I have my second child, no doubt I will call Caren back to work with me again.  

Posted 12/9/2013

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Tracy Newman

Caren was such a blessing to both me and my husband during the delivery of our child.  She was willing to work with me beforehand to make sure that it was affordable and doable for us to even have a doula because she is so passionate about what she does. Caren did a wonderful job making sure that I knew she was available any time of day or night if I thought that labor might be starting or if I had any questions.  The labor process was also so much better with her around. She came to my house when I was in the earlier stages of labor and her techniques really did help ease the pain and I appreciated how she listened and helped me to deal with the pain. I could not picture the process without her help.  She also provided us with lovely, tasteful pictures of the delivery room and our new son.  We will cherish those pictures forever! Since the birth of my son, Caren has been a useful resource and has contacted me to make sure that I have adapted well.  I am incredibly thankful for Caren.  

Posted 11/25/2013

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Gina Lunde

We called Caren upon the recommendation of our midwife, who had worked with her previously. We had a wonderful experience with her and recommend her highly.

I had a very fast and hard labor, and Caren's support helped me to get through the most difficult part and take the pressure off my husband. She was really wonderful about letting him be my primary support as he wished, but completely supporting me and showing us some pain management techniques that he wouldn't have known about. I remember her scratching my head while I was being stitched up to distract me from what was going on, and my husband started it as well...so not only was I able to manage the pain better, but my hair was full and luscious just in time for pictures : )

Caren was also invaluable postpartum. She came by and taught me the side-lying position so I could get more rest while breastfeeding around the clock, and also showed me some very useful techniques to help our baby expel gas, which was causing quite a bit of fussiness. 

I get the impression that Caren loves being a doula and truly cares for her clients. My husband and I both were very grateful for her assistance and would use her again in a heartbeat.

Gina, Eric, and Sam

Posted 10/20/2013

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eileen fajardo

I did not plan on having a doula, but my midwife suggested I work with Caren to get my baby in the correct position. My baby was not posterior or anterior, he was turned with his head facing my left side. I called Caren for the first time on Aug 26 (2 days past my due date) and we planned to meet the next morning to get my baby into position. I started having contractions at 2am on Aug 27. We met Caren for the very first time at the hospital and we immediately felt comfortable with her. Ideally, you want to meet your doula before you go into labor, but it didn't matter. Caren knew exactly what to do to help me through each contraction even though we had only just met. She made sure I stayed hydrated and helped guide my partner on how to help soothe me. She also captured pictures of all the key moments. My favorite is the candid picture of daddy Luke with the biggest smile on his face holding baby Luke Jr for the first time. I am very fortunate that Caren was able to work out her schedule to be my doula at such short notice. She stayed by my side the entire time and coached me every step of the way. I could not have done it without her.

Posted 9/12/2013

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Tootoo Hu

I think highly of Caren's work ethic and her attention to details.

Before birth--She was easy to connect with. She added valuable points to my birth plan. She checked in with me frequently. She made me feel I had her full attention even though I am not the only expecting mom she was supporting.

During birth---She arrived in hospital properly with all her gears. Her gentle rubbing eased my discomfort. She tuned a few mood adjustments that might be meaningless in any other occasion but felt like a big deal when I was dealing with contractions. She always put me and my husband's comfort in front of herself's. Not only she took care of me, but also my husband. She is the last one to rest and first to respond.

Overall----She is very in tune with this line of work, certain things I wouldn't think of myself but once she suggested, they all made sense. Some are because of her training and some are just because she is Caren! I had a wonderful experience with her and would certainly hire her again if I were going to give another birth.

Tootoo Thomson
Mt. View CA

Posted 9/6/2013

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Christine Patungan

There are many challenges for first time parent/s during the pregnancy period, among them is information overload. You read a lot of books, you go to classes, you hear a lot of old wives tales and every little bit of information you take to heart. But even if you are the most astute student, processing all that information when the real thing comes goes out the window. Fight or flight mode kicks in when that moment arrives.

We knew we would need help! And in one of our classes the instructor explained help exists: doulas.

During the interview phase, we knew Caren was perfect for us. She explained how important it was that we were comfortable with her or else it won't work. She was able to convey that she was doing this for the love of it, not as a job. When we had questions, we felt satisfied with her honest answers based on her training and experience.

Here is our open letter to Caren:

"Dear Caren,

The birth ball and other exercises got us through a quick delivery. Thank you.

You knew exactly where she needed the massages during labor. We both couldn't help with the pain but you were able to relieve the tensions she was experiencing. Thank you.

You knew exactly when to step in. You let me be the husband and relieved me when I needed a break. Thank you.

You were a great help in getting water for my wife and preparing the cool wash cloths for her forehead. But we are most grateful for the pictures. Without you, I would not have been able to support my wife and have the best moment of our lives captured on (digital) film. Thank you.

Your soothing instructions and positive encouragements during the focused breathing while in labor and through the "pushing" (pun intended!) moments helped her deal with the pain. It was a quick delivery because we had a coach to guide us through the process. Thank you.

We cannot say "Thank you" enough!

Sig, Christine and little Momo (Mauro)"

Posted 9/2/2013

Birth Availability for Caren Hespeler

= Available. Calendar last updated: 3/19/2018 5:18:48 PM