Supporting you through each phase of your birth journey.
Deena Abramson, Birth Doula, MSW (Pronouns: she/her)
Hello and Welcome!
I am committed to helping women and birthing people have supported, empowered and transformative birth experiences. I believe that together we can approach labor and birth with collective preparation, mindfulness, patience and courage. This process is an adventure and I am here to be a continued presence through whatever comes our way.
A former social worker, I address with particular care the ways our pasts, fears, hopes, losses, relationships and multi-dimensional identities can contribute to birth. I believe it's vital that these narratives are addressed so that we are vigilant the ways they may shape the birth of our babies and the ways we step into our new roles as parents.
I believe all pregnant people should have access to ongoing and compassionate birth support. I am dedicated to providing services to all birthing people particularly those most impacted by maternal and infant health disparities.
When I'm not birthworking, I enjoy drawing cartoons, swimming outdoors, facilitating healing groups, drinking herbal teas, camping and seeing live music.
Birth Doula Services
I intend to help you have the birth you imagine. I am trained in natural birth approaches and have also supported mamas requiring a variety of interventions. Throughout labor and birth, I hope to guide you away from the tunnels of the mind and back into a grounded, trusting body. My role is to ensure that you, and your partner, are nourished during labor and birth, are as comfortable as can be (ie. massage, positioning, comfort measures), and to help you remember your strengths and power when moments of doubt arise. I am here as a compassionate childbirth educator, holistic birth advocate, and steadfast birth companion. Let's soften, open and surrender to the beauty and intensity that is birth.
45-minute video or phone consult to see if we feel like we're a good fit
2 prenatal visits in your home (1.5 - 2 hours each). We will explore your ideal birth vision, your birth preferences, health during the 3rd trimester, labor positioning specific to where you live, comfort measures, preparing for birth and postpartum, relaxation techniques, labor signs, and when to call the doula.
Text/phone/email support throughout our time together. I am a resource for you and am here to answer any questions that might arise for you throughout your third trimester, labor and beyond. I am connected to other specialized birth workers (ie. prenatal massage and acupuncture) here in the Bay Area and am happy to share my library of evidence-based resources regarding healthy labor and birth. I want you to be informed and know the availability of a wide scope of resources to help guide your experience.
On-call for you weeks 37-42. I will remain with you through birth and for up to 2 hours after your baby has been born.
1 postpartum visit in your home. We will process your birth story, discuss your transition into parenthood, check in about breast/chest feeding, connect you to resources so that you and your family feel supported and connected in this fourth trimester/postpartum chapter.
Our current pandemic landscape calls for creativity and alternatives to typical birth support. I am trained and able to provide virtual doula support for expecting families at this time and open to exploring safe, informed, in-person support if possible.
I believe support in labor and birth should be a right not a privilege. I offer a sliding scale for my birth doula package ($1200-1600) depending on your income. If a fee here doesn't work for you, let's connect.
While I am not acting as a sibling doula at this time, I have experience in early child development and many resources and tools to use in supporting your older children prepare for your labor and the welcoming of a new baby into the home. Transitions can be hard!
Why Birth Work
I have been enamored with birth since I can remember. Having had two younger sisters by the age of 3.5, some of my earliest memories were of pregnancy and nursing which fascinated me.
My explorations into social welfare, community mental health, and gender + women's studies, encouraged me to think critically about healthcare access, social justice and the ways current systems have disempowered birthing people. I believe our bodies have a deep and profound wisdom that enables us to prepare for labor and successfully bring our babies earthside. My hope is to help birthing people celebrate, remember and restore this trust in their bodies and do it with confidence and curiosity.
After 10+ years of being a child and family mental health-focused social worker in Madison, WI and San Francisco, CA I finally decided to pivot my career and passions toward birth work. I completed the Core Birth Doula Training at Natural Resources and completed an apprenticeship with a team of well-established birthworkers in San Francisco.
As a white person, I am committed to engaging in anti-racist work and reflecting on the ways current U.S. institutions intend to keep black, brown, migrant, queer and unhoused families down.
Natural Resources: Core Birth Doula Training
Rachel Yellin: Childbirth Say Yes to Birth! Childbirth Education and Birth Techniques Series
Eri Guajardo Johnson: Supporting Survivors who Birth
Brooke Patmor: Supporting Families through Miscarriage and Stillbirth
Momumental SF: Postpartum Preparation & Newborn Care w/ Infant CPR
Ancientsong Doula Services: Supporting Doula Clients Virtually
Britt Fohrman: Prenatal Partner Yoga and Massage, Yoga for Pelvic Floor Awareness
Penny Simkin: Doulas at a Distance
UC-Berkeley: MSW Community Mental Health
UW-Madison: BA Social Welfare & Gender/Women's Studies
I highly suggest that all of my clients take a childbirth prep class in order to help them approach birth as knowledgeable and confident as possible.
Rachel Yellin's Yes to Birth! workshop series is an incredible way to get into a prepared mind, body and heart space for labor and birth. Rachel is a wise and warm facilitator and former birth worker whose hypnobirthing approach will be a tremendous asset to you on this journey.
More info. here: http://rachelyellin.com/childbirth-classes/
-Use affiliate code "deenathedoula" and list me as the referral source to get 20% off the "Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond" Audio Relaxation Program**
-Use promo code "25BUCKSOFF" for Rachel's "Childbirth Classes in San Francisco & Live Online"
**The Audio Program is included in the cost of all childbirth classes.
Resources worth exploring:
-Evidence Based Birth: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/resources-for-parents/
-Spinning Babies: https://spinningbabies.com/what-is-spinning-babies/
-HypnoBirthing by Marie Mongan
-Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
-Breastfeeding Made Simple by Nancy Mohrbacher
“Continuous support during labour may improve outcomes for women and infants, including increased spontaneous vaginal birth, shorter duration of labour, and decreased caesarean birth, instrumental vaginal birth, use of any analgesia, use of regional analgesia, low five-minute Apgar score and negative feelings about childbirth experiences.”
(2017, Bohren et al. ” Continuous support for women during childbirth.” 2017.
“Deena’s support was incredible from the day we met her. I was skeptical about hiring a doula at first, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions we made during the pregnancy. Deena showed unbelievable care, warmth, and positivity throughout our entire time with her - I really felt like she was part of our family. This along with all of her knowledge and advice put my wife at ease during times of stress. I couldn’t imagine having gone through the late stages of pregnancy, labor, and birth without her.”
- Danny and Laura, first-time parents
"Deena's...calm and quiet energy was exactly what we needed at that time and her presence was reassuring and respectful...I'm so happy we got to have her with us for those special moments."
-Sara, third-time mother
"My husband and I tremendously valued Deena's support before, during, and after the birth of our daughter. I ended up having to be induced at 37 weeks and as such almost nothing went according to our birth plan. The prenatal visits we had with Deena however prepared us to be able to advocate for ourselves at the hospital despite having to make decisions that were not aligned with our birth vision.
Although Deena couldn't be at the hospital with us in person, we used an iPad and FaceTime to have her join us remotely and it made a huge difference during the labor and delivery. She was still able to support me through labor and help me make decisions given how far off the birth plan we ended up. She was also able to take photos of the birth and provided updates to our families during labor and delivery so that my husband and I could focus completely on being present during the labor/delivery.
Deena's postpartum visit included recording us sharing our birth story which was also extremely impactful both in us processing the birth experience and having documentation of it to reflect on and share in the future.
Overall we were extremely happy with and grateful for Deena's support prior to, during, and after our birth journey."
Alex, first-time mother