Birth Doula

Sacred Birth Journey’s Birth Doula service offers both the practical and nurturing care that mothers deserve.  In having Shelley as your doula you will feel nurtured and loved physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

I have been attending births and offering labor and birth doula care since 2012 for parents in the greater San Diego area, including hospital, birth center and home births. I am comfortable and experienced working with a variety of health care providers.

What is a birth doula?

A birth doula is a companion and guide that walks the path into parenthood with couples.

She is a compassionate and loving person who is willing to be fully IN the birth experience with couples, understanding how they feel, and holding space for them, knowing that they will make it to the other side. A birth doula witnesses the strength and power a couple learns to access in their most vulnerable moments.

How is hiring a doula helpful?

I have the skills and experience to help families navigate through the birthing process.

During our prenatal visits we will work together to address your wishes, needs, questions and dreams. In addition to our conversations, we may decide to practice a variety of tools such as: learning comfort measures, positions for labor and birth, pain-coping practices, baby positioning, visualizations, breathing techniques, preparing for unwished for events, how to make decisions about interventions, and more.

As your doula I am experienced with birth, having both attended many births and having given birth to my own babies.

I provide emotional and physical support to both the mother during labor and birth as well as the partner and family. I assist the partner in supporting the mother during labor and birth. I may suggest positions, pain coping practices, or comfort measures such as massage. I may offer breathing techniques, encouragement and a shoulder to lean on.

With a background in Ayurvedic cooking, I always bring healing foods for the birthing mother so that she has the strength to push her baby out, as well as the proper intake of nourishment to help her body heal and recover.

Most importantly, I respect the process of labor and I am a constant grounding source of strength for couples to draw on when faced with the unknown elements of birth.

I’m a compassionate witness and guide on your journey, bringing peace and love to the birth, no matter where the process leads.

“Our doula, Shelley is absolutely incredible and a seriously gifted healer. Pregnancy is extremely physical but it is equally as emotional. I think that all too often the emotional body gets forgotten in our current model of pregnancy. Shelley really nurtures that part of the journey. She is the least judgmental person I have ever met. My husband and I always felt safe talking to her and navigating through pregnancy and postpartum. She also is phenomenal about including the husbands in a way that makes sense for them. She can be mystical and practical all at once which worked perfectly for my husband and I. Shelley fostered some of the best conversations he and I have ever had.
“I knew after taking her prenatal yoga classes and learning that she was a doula that I wanted to have her at my birth. My husband and I do not have any close family and I knew that he would need support just as much as I would.

Shelley helped me step into my power as a woman, she provided the spiritual guidance I had been seeking.

“She made me feel like anything was possible and that was absolutely the energy I needed in the labor and delivery room. She helped me lift the veil and find out who I really was deep down inside, and what my heart really really wanted. At first when we would dance at the end of yoga class I would feel SO uncomfortable but by the end of my pregnancy I was really able to let go.
“I distinctly remember a beautiful moment as I was in transition labor. I was having a contraction and I opened my eyes and met her gaze; all I remember is an intense knowing, we were communicating without saying a word and it was exactly what I needed. Her female and maternal energy anchored me in my femininity during one of the most vulnerable times of my life.
“My husband and I are so thankful that she was there and part of our experience. I cannot imagine how my birth would have gone if we did not have her there. I cannot say enough good things about her.”
~ Holly and Paul Masgras

“Contraction is the place before expansion.” ~ Pamela Madsen

Interested in interviewing me for doula services?

My Ayurvedic Doula Care includes:

  • A free initial interview
  • At least two, in-home, prenatal planning visits
  • Unlimited email and phone support
  • On-call 24/7 starting two weeks before due date
  • Ayurvedic foods for labor, birth and immediate postpartum
    • Fresh, home-cooked bone broth and other easy to digest, nourishing, homemade foods and drinks for labor
    • As an Ayurvedic Postpartum Caregiver, I always bring fresh, homemade, nourishing food and herbs to the birth for optimal digestion after giving birth
  • Belly Binding and massage before leaving hospital
  • Support with the transition from home to hospital
  • Continuous by-your-side support throughout your labor and birth as desired, until approximately 2 hours after the birth of your baby
  • Comfort measures to ease and pain
  • Spinning babies techniques utilized for baby positioning
  • Support with decision making
  • Emotional support/listening
  • Assistance to or relief for your spouse or companion
  • Massage and aromatherapy

Two, in-home, postpartum healing sessions:

  • Postpartum massage and belly binding
  • Infant massage tutorial
  • Birth Story Listening session for emotional healing and integration
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Ayurvedic meals and herbs for healing
  • Vaginal steaming
  • Vaginal Sitz bath herbal support
  • Vaginal Scar Tissue remediation
  • Ritual and ceremony for “closing the bones”
  • Placenta burial

My rates for birth doula care are $1300.

Payment plans and sliding scales available. Many insurance companies will reimburse for my services.

“I’ve known Shelley for 3 years. I went to her Birth Warrior prenatal classes with my pregnancy 3 years ago and again this year with my last baby. I knew I needed a doula to coach and support me during labor. I had a unique situation in that my husband didn’t feel comfortable being the main labor support person. In fact, he’d rather not be in the room when things got intense. After explaining this to Shelley, she was not phased at all by this and was very willing to be there for me when the time came.
“Shelley came for an initial prenatal visit to meet my husband and understand our wants/needs. This was my 3rd baby and by far the most difficult pregnancy. I had multiple scares throughout the pregnancy. I had a c-section with my first pregnancy and a Vbac with my second and was hoping for a vbac again. Shelley was there to support and reassure me along the way. She was very supportive of all my choices along the way.
“The last couple of weeks in my pregnancy I had decreased fetal movement. This alarmed my doctors when combined with other factors. We then decided it would be better if baby was out ASAP. I wasn’t having consistent contractions and OB wouldn’t induce due to c-section history. I ended up needing a repeat cesarean but Shelley was still there to provide support. She came over to meet with us the night before to teach my husband some techniques to comfort/ground me in the OR. She also arrived before my surgery to help and stayed until I was out. She even brought me a thoughtful post surgery recovery basket!
“Shelley came for a postnatal visit where she did a reiki massage which was very healing. I know that she would still be there for me today if I needed her. Shelley is one of the best doulas you’ll find! She was a friend, mom, and sister when I needed her.”
~ Courtney Neimeyer

Here is a post-birth poem and sketch I created after returning home from a beautiful and sacred birth.

As a doula, it’s more about WHO I AM rather than what I know.

It’s about the energy and love that I bring to the birth.

It’s about the reverence that I feel in the presence of a birthing Goddess.

It’s about the peace in my heart that awakens for all of humanity when I witness a birthing father’s heart, mind and soul expand beyond what he ever knew was possible.

It’s about the love that is transferred to the mother and baby from my touch,

And through my eyes.

It’s about holding a place of love for her so that she can love herself, regardless of the birth outcome.

It’s about being witness to her as she moves into another dimension, and being there for her when she returns, with an understanding of where she just went.

It’s about feeling the sacredness of every breath the couple takes together as they work to birth themselves as parents.

It’s about the space I hold forever in my heart when I experience a baby enter earthside,

And how I bring that beauty with me everywhere I go.

~ Shelley Rahim

Doula Contact Form

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