Having a baby can be overwhelming and scary sometimes, but certified doula Kim Williams has the experience and passion to help women through these tough but wonderful times. And if you haven’t heard the term, no worries. “A doula is hired, and we stay with mom during their prenatal time and then we’re there when they start labor,” Williams says. “We don’t leave until two hours after the baby is born. We’re there from beginning to end. And then we do one to two visits once they get home.”
Williams learned about doulas and their unique caregiving while she was present for her granddaughter’s birth; her daughter had a woman from her church attend. “Someone said, ‘she’s kind of a doula, but not,’” Williams says. “And I was like, doula, what is that? So I Googled it and found out.”
Williams has always had a passion for pregnancy, birth and the miracle of bringing a baby into the world, but assumed she couldn’t do anything unless she was a nurse. “So that’s all it took was hearing that word. And knowing what they do,” Williams says. After researching more, Williams trained with Dona International, which allowed her to get her certification. “It covers breastfeeding, childbirth education,” Williams says. “After that, you learn about different techniques and different positions to help mom labor in.”
Williams opened an office in Vadnais Heights in March 2017, where she serves about three clients per month. When Williams is hired, the first time she meets with a client, she talks about their history and information—including how their pregnancy is going, whom they’re birthing with and where they’re birthing. “We talk about any concerns that they may have and fears that they may have about going into birth and delivery,” Williams says. The second time they meet, they discuss what the mother wants for the birth, how to cope during labor, feeding options and more. “We go over their birth plan and preference of how they want to birth, make sure we cover all of that, and then we talk about comfort measures and we put them into play to see what they like and what they don’t like,” Williams says.
Williams says most people assume doulas only help with at-home, all-natural birth. “That’s not the case. We support all types of births. Even if it’s a scheduled cesarean section, doulas go in,” she says. Williams says most of the births she’s participated in have been in the hospital. “I have only been at one home birth,” she says.
Doulas usually charge from around $300 to $1,500, depending on their qualifications and how long they have been in business. Williams says her prices run somewhere in the middle. Insurance doesn’t usually cover the price, but she does offer to write out a receipt the families can submit to their insurance company. “There’s a handful of people who get reimbursed,” Williams says.
With Williams’ experience and passion, it’s clear she is a wonderful choice for a doula. “Being a part of families’ giving birth, that’s the most intimate and empowering time of their life,” Williams says. “It’s just so rewarding to see a family become a family.”