…and there is a time for birth! Offering labor and birth doula
services in the Portland, Oregon metro area.
My name is Crystalyn, and I am a certified labor doula (CLD) and a certified postpartum doula (CPPD). I have been passionate about the whole birth process since I was a child. I am comfortable in both both home births and hospital births. While I believe birth is a natural and an empowering process, I support a mother’s choice of how she would like to give birth. Helping to facilitate a positive birth experience is what I love, as I assist in being a physical and emotional support for the birthing mother. My demeanor is calm, compassionate and relaxed. I am honored to be a mother of four girls.
Giving birth to a baby is so much more than a physical phenomenon! It engages parents-to-be in a transformational experience, a key life event full of emotion and intimacy. A doula is a person who accompanies a woman in labor and “mothers the mother,” taking care of her emotional needs throughout childbirth. A doula also provides support and suggestions for partners to help enhance their experiences of birth.
In a nutshell, the doula takes care of the mother from the belly-button up, while the medical professionals take care of the mother from the belly-button down!
Questions I would ask myself, if I were in your shoes:
As for formal education, I am a certified birth and postpartum doula through Birthingway College of Midwifery in Portland, OR.
I have read just about every book that I can get my hands on about midwifery, conception, birth and doulas, and I have been doing so since I was a teenager. Though my formal doula education is recent, I have never let my lack of formal education stop me from following my passions in this area.
I believe my education may best be explained in my experience:
I have attended many births throughout my life. My referrals come primarily by “word of mouth,” or as I believe, by God causing our paths to cross. I began attending midwifery school in 2009, and I currently attend one or two births a month.
I began attending births at a very young age. I am the second oldest of 9 children, and I attended most of my siblings’ home and hospital births. I even delivered my youngest brother! From a very young age, I traveled with my mom and a midwife as a “babysitter for the siblings” at others’ home births. I have always been mesmerized at seeing new life enter the world. I am also endlessly amazed at the strength a woman’s body has, and the crazy design God made out of it all. It is the most beautiful experience in the world!
As I love to talk about birth, I began to be asked to attend births for friends and family. I soon realized that it could extend further than that, and I asked God to bring me people who needed support during the birth process, thus moving forward with this passion of mine. I am comfortable in all kinds of births: home births or hospital births, natural births or medicated.
Yes, and yes! I have had the honor of giving birth, so yes, I know what it is like personally.
Though I chose natural births for myself because I believe God designed a woman’s body perfectly for birth, I will support you in whatever decisions you make for your own birth – completely natural, epidural, pain medications, water birth, scheduled cesarean birth, etc. I will not press or pressure you with my personal opinions. Rather, I will encourage you to choose what you feel is best for you.
My philosophy is quite simple, really: It is all about the birthing mother. God designed the female body perfectly to give birth, and He did a pretty good job of it.
Intimacy. Birth is a highly intimate moment, and I believe that it is sacred.
Pain. This is usually associated with “something is wrong!” However, in childbirth, this means that something is right. Your body is working as it was designed, and nothing is wrong. It hurts, yes, but there is joy in the morning! And, this experience is a woman at her very, very strongest point. It is very much like watching her climb Mt. Everest, to reach the top, and stand triumphantly holding her newborn.
This is a very good question, and I am glad you asked. Because of the sensitive nature and intimacy of the experience, I completely respect your privacy. I understand confidentiality and professionalism. As far as privacy during labor and the birth, that is completely up to your level of comfort. I am perfectly comfortable with hands on support or the complete opposite. I am extremely flexible, and I respect the mother’s wishes.
My fees are competitive for the Portland, Oregon area. I operate on a sliding scale that averages $650.
Please see my Services page for further information about pricing for my doula services.
Yes, I have references upon request! I would encourage you to speak to them if you are interested. Please contact me for more information about my references.
Please also visit the Testimonials page for reflections and personal feedback from some of my clients.
As your birth doula, it’s very helpful if you have a birth plan written prior to our prenatal visit. During our prenatal visit, I’ll want to go over all the details of your birth plan with you, and I’ll ask a million questions. I need to know how I can support you, and it is really important to have this beforehand. It is also important that you know what choices you have for your birth. If you would like help with writing one, I am more than happy to help you.
Even if you choose to not have me attend your birth, I would love to help you create a birth plan specific to your individual needs, which is why I offer this as an a la carte service. Please see my Services page for more information about pricing for birth plan services.
My birth services include one postpartum visit. If you have a need for a postpartum doula, I may be available on a limited basis.
I am located near Gresham, Oregon, and I will attend births from the East side of Portland to the Mt. Hood area. Of course that includes all hospitals, homes, and birthing centers located within this region.
Amy, my backup doula, lives in North Portland, Oregon, so sometimes I will ask her to meet you at your birthing location first if it will take me longer to arrive.