Shawna Mertens Photo

Shawna Mertens

Third Coast Birth Services, LLC


Phone: 872-829-2935

Birth Fee: $800 to $1400

Fee Details: As your labor support team, our goal is to provide unconditional, unbiased support to you and your partner throughout pregnancy and labor. Welcoming a new baby into your family, whether it is the first time, or the fifth, is a life-changing event. It is helpful to have someone to walk that road with you. Our services include: 1-2 prenatal visits in your home Access to our lending library 24/7 phone and email support from the time our contract is signed Continuous support throughout your labor, and at least one hour of immediate postpartum support 24/7 phone and email access after the birth of your baby for questions and emotional support 1 postnatal visit in your home to discuss the birth, and life with your new baby

Birth Doula Experience: 4 years and 80 births attended

Doula Training

  • The Organization of Labor Assistants for Birth Options & Resources (toLabor), April 2014
Type of Practice: Partnership with 2 or more doulas
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • Multiples
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Elimination communication education
  • Infant massage education
  • Parenting consulting

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Chicago, IL
Travel Range: 25 Miles

Client Testimonials for Shawna Mertens

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Cordelia Grimes

Having Shawna as our doula and attending Third Coast's Birthomg Classes is one of the best investments my husband and I have made in the 11 years we've been together, seriously! As a first time mom, who, for 7 years was told that I might not even be able to get pregnant and then naturally became pregnant without "trying", I dove head first into joys and then worries of "Omg, wait, I'm pregnant? I'm going to give birth?" Shawna and her team at Third Coast Birth Services provided me with a solid foundation to navigate my pregnancy, enter labor and deliver, and transition into becoming a mother. The care, support, attention, and unwavering encouragement I felt from Shawna throughout this entire experience, no doubt, allowed me to have the most positive birth experience I could I have asked for (not exaggerating). I had a very smooth labor and delivered my healthy baby girl naturally without any pain meds. I ended my birthing experience feeling so proud and confident in myself for how I coped through the labor and I know I definitely could not have done it as gracefully without Shawna. She also created an environment where my husband did not have to worry and could support me in the ways that I wanted. I wholeheartedly recommend Shawna and Third Coast Birth Services for their doula services and birthing classes!

Posted 10/24/2016

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Katy O'Donoghue

We hired Shawna when I was pregnant with our 2nd child. I wanted to try for a VBAC and felt my chances were better if I worked with a doula. Shawna made me feel at ease right from the beginning and even though my husband was a bit skeptical about hiring a doula, he felt comfortable with Shawna and got on board. Shawna was always just a text away when I’d have questions or concerns during my pregnancy. She did a great job of reaching out throughout the entire pregnancy to check on me, which I appreciated. Shawna was a great resource for what to read/do to prepare for birth as we didn’t have the time to go through a birthing class again and needed some refreshers. I was in close contact with Shawna at the end of the pregnancy and when I went into labor we had Shawna meet us at the hospital when contractions became really painful. It was important to me to have a med-free birth this time around, and I don’t think I could have done it without Shawna’s support and constant encouragement- applying counter-pressure through every single contraction and helping me find more effective positions. Her presence was also just so calming. My husband was much more at ease this time around. There were a lot of babies born around the same time as my son, so we didn’t actually see the midwife at all until minutes before my son was born. I know that we would have both been terrified to have been in L&D all alone for that long, so we were beyond thankful that Shawna was there with us to coach us and ease all the jitters. After all was said and done, we had such a strong feeling of gratitude toward Shawna. My husband admitted that he wasn’t convinced about the need for a doula before, but was 100% sold after going through it with Shawna. The birth of my second child was a peaceful and healing experience for me and Shawna deserves a huge part of the credit for that. I would recommend Shawna wholeheartedly to anyone considering hiring a doula.

Posted 3/28/2016

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Cassandra Forcier

I literally can't say enough good things..but where to begin..

I contacted Third Coast Doulas in..wait for it...WEEK 37! Yes, I know, what was I thinking!? Truth is that I wasn't thinking that I needed the extra help until I realized that I was panicking. I wanted to have a natural VBAC after two C-sections and started to feel unsupported by my OB. Shawna called me within just a few hours and we talked for a few minutes and then, suddenly, we were best friends. I may as well have know her for my whole life. By the end of our short conversation I was like, come to my birth please! Oh, you want to meet for coffee first? You want to get to know me and my husband first? Well OK!

We met, I love her, my husband loves her. It was just amazing. We got the support we needed, when we needed it. She asked for daily updates, just to see how I was feeling. Every day, she gave me much needed words of encouragement and advice. My husband got his own encouragement and advice on how to de-stress when trying to help me. This was truly the full service package we needed from day one.

All in all, everything was perfect. I got the birth we wanted. All natural VBAC. YAY! I truly do not think that we could have made this happen without Shawna. It was the most beautiful experience that I could have asked for.

I didn't have a doula with my previous births, and now I really wish I had. I can't stop telling everyone to get a doula. Love your doula. This is the group you NEED. I haven't met any of the other lovely ladies, but I know Shawna, and if she works with them, they have to be amazing too.

Posted 3/5/2016

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Cassie Slater

We couldn't have asked for a more amazing experience with Ohana Parents and our doula, Shawna. Shawna went above and beyond in all three phases of her work with us: prenatally, during childbirth, and post childbirth. There was never a moment that I didn't feel supported and taken care of! I had a million questions through this process and she always had research based answers for me or she would refer me to people who would be able to help. My birth experience didn't go the way we had planned (I ended up being induced at 41 weeks)....but her presence in the room through the very long, 70+ hour process was invaluable. She helped my husband and I clear our heads so that we could make decisions that we were comfortable with. She laughed with us and told stories. She offered so many options for pain relief before I ended up choosing to get an epidural. She supported my decisions. She held my hand when I was scared. And stared in awe at our babe when she was born. She became a friend through this process. She's a rockstar. A doula rockstar....and we were so lucky to have her be a part of our daughter's birth story.

Posted 12/16/2014

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Anna Bernfeld

We loved working with Shawna! She was very patient with us answering all our questions and concerns before, during and well after the birth of our son. She has two kids herself so we keep asking her for advice even now when our son is 6 months old. She is very easy to work with. It was like having a supportive friend by our side who is also knowledgeable in deliveries and babies. Our labor took looong and exhausting hours and she stayed with us the entire time providing physical and emotional support. We are very happy we found Shawna through Ohana doulas and will recommend their services to our friends as well :)

Posted 12/13/2014

Birth Availability for Shawna Mertens

= Available. Calendar last updated: 8/17/2018 7:51:00 AM