Certified Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, Certified childbirth Educator, Bereavement Specialist
Jen has long had a heart to serve families in birth support after being a childbirth educator in the Portland and Vancouver area for the past 15 years. She longed to become a midwife but after realizing the commitment involved would take her away from parenting her 3 kids during the important teen years, she shifted her gears to supporting families through labor and birth. We couldn’t be more excited to include her in our team offering birth support to our clients expecting twins, triplets, surrogate births, or any high risk birth situation.
Jen is a Certified Childbirth Educator (ICEA), a Birth Doula certified by both CAPPA and Stillbirthday, and a CAPPA trained Postpartum Doula, with additional advanced training in the care of parents of multiples.
Teaching Childbirth Education for the past decade and a half has introduced Jen to many different ways to welcome babies into the world, and she has a passion for each family to have a safe and supported environment even when there are are multiple medical interventions necessary to deliver a baby (or multiple babies). Her work doing tours both within the Legacy Health System as well as OHSU has familiarized her with the helpful staff and setup of multiple area hospitals who help bring babies into the world, even when there are high risk pregnancies or situations that require a more technical approach to birth. Jen calls these technical births, and they are often referred to as high risk pregnancies or births.
Jen also has a heart for the family that has experienced grief and loss, stemming from her own experience with miscarriage and support of a dear friend through a pregnancy ‘incompatible with life’. This became her catalyst to certify with Stillbirthday as a doula, and now she has been able to support multiples families who have experienced loss go on to have a successful subsequent birth filled with the bittersweet joy of a rainbow baby.
As a bereavement specialist she also offers support to families welcoming rainbow babies and those who have experienced loss. Although pregnancy can be a time of great joy and expectation, it can also be a time of great anxiety, fear, and can bring up a lot of feelings from past experiences that can muddy the waters of the process. Jen has additional training and extensive expertise supporting these families to help blend the joy and the pain into their own unique experience, with her full heart, all her labor and birth skills, and a calm understanding to normalize the experience, even when it isn’t what is expected.
Multiple births add an element of complexity to pregnancy and labor, and births are highly managed. We know the cesarean rate is significantly higher for families expecting twins and triplets, but that doesn’t rule out the need or value of a doula’s support. Jen has supported many twin pregnancies and wanted to offer a service specifically to families who may not feel they qualify for typical birth services. Jen will extend her on call period to 4 weeks (typically 2 weeks) so that she can be ready to support your birth, even if babies come early.
We are so happy to finally be able to include birth support that specializes in just what our clients have been asking for, and we are so grateful to Jen for her focus on the special needs of our clients. We think you will agree that having Jen be there for your birth—dedicated to providing you a supported and informed experience—will be worth it for the memories of your special time.
In her free time Jen likes to cheer on her kids at their different sporting events, work in her garden, and especially enjoys the aspect of having her first teen driver available to help her transport her bunch. She also is a long distance runner— although less for joy and more to to benefit her brain—and she enjoys good coffee only slightly more than good beer. When she has a minute between clients, she enjoys connecting with friends and colleagues over a delicious glass of something wonderful.