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Our Birth Doulas

As doulas we:

  • Providing nurturing and informed birth and postpartum doula services to expectant families in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

  • Recognize birth as a key experience the family will remember all their life.

  • Understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a family going through labor with a woman.

  • Assist the families in preparing for and carrying out their plans for birth

  • Stay with the family throughout the labor.

  • Provide emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the family get the information they need to make informed decisions.

  • Facilitate communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers.

  • Perceive our role as nurturing and protecting the families memory of the birth experience.

  • Allow the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level.

Judy Behr: Doula Associate

posted Sep 8, 2016, 10:14 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Apr 30, 2017, 2:00 PM ]

I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I have three adult children and one adorable granddaughter. I have always been fascinated with birth and wanted to be a Labor and Delivery nurse from an early age. My career path led me in a different direction, but I never lost my passion for labor, delivery, and babies. I became a doula almost four years ago, and it is definitely my passion. I love helping mamas and their families during their childbirth, and definitely feel that this is my calling. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, playing tennis, and volunteering in my local community at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center helping families who don’t have the means to hire a doula.

Nettie Pinell: Doula Associate

posted Sep 8, 2016, 10:10 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Sep 9, 2016, 7:24 PM ]

I’m a Midwest transplant and live in East Oakland with my husband, foster daughter, and several other families. I first felt called to doula work in 2010 while involved with outreach and mentoring to young incarcerated women in the criminal justice system in San Francisco; many of whom don’t have healthy support systems. Having worked with a very diverse spectrum of clients from all walks of life, I’ve been fascinated by the similarities between births for women whom have doula support. It’s truly an experience that bridges cultures and unites mothers and partners throughout the world.

Helping mothers and their (often nervous) partners bond throughout labor and birth is one of my favorite aspects of the entire process. I speak Spanish, am trained by The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) and I offer a unique perspective to mothers who are welcoming a child with special needs. I am honored to share my passion for the miracle of birth with your growing family!

Lisa Baracker, MA, CD(H&H) : Executive Director & Founder

posted Jun 12, 2014, 5:41 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Oct 21, 2014, 8:57 PM ]

I am married and live with my husband and three children. I went to school to become a Biochemist (which I am), but I never really liked the work because I felt isolated from the world working in a lab. I worked at a hospital in Colorado for four years, and then with a public health non-profit agency in Oakland for two and a half years. My goal is to become a health care provider and doing Doula work is my way of getting to know birth from the laboring mother's perspective. 

I attended my first birth in 1994, and have been in love with birth ever since! I received DONA Doula Training in October 2009 and am currently finishing up my Masters in Public Health at Touro University. I have also completed Heart & Hands training with Elizabeth Davis, CPM, an expert in women's issues and the author of Orgasmic Birth. Since beginning my training as a doula, I have attended over 150 births. I am a Heart & Hands Certified Doula who is very comfortable with labor and ready to help you through yours. 

As of August 2012 I have entered the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program at Touro University full time and will only continue my doula work with repeat clients and families.  It has been an amazing 5 years of Doula work and I look forward to seeing everyone on the flip side, as I continue my advocacy work for pregnant and expecting patients and start catching the babies as a Student Doctor.

Image Credit: Antoinette Clair

Scarlett Harris: Program Assistant

posted Jun 12, 2014, 5:31 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Dec 14, 2016, 8:08 PM by What A Doula ]

I am a Biology major studying at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Born and raised on California's Central Coast, I am absolutely thrilled to be interning with Whatadoula. Life has taken me on an amazing journey to this point, and my dream is a lifelong career helping women and their babies. Childbirth is one of the most beautiful, yet difficult, aspects of life, when women should be emotionally and physically supported. I have completed training as a birth doula and intend to continue my experience and education as a doula, and also become a Certified Nurse Midwife. I am fluent in Spanish and have worked as a translator for public schools and a hospital.

Scarlett is currently finishing her prerequisites for nurse midwifery school and working on Whatadoula's public health projects. 





Image Credit: Laura & Brian

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