Welcome to our Year in Review2022 marked a return to more familiar circumstances for many families.

While we continue to practice infection reduction measures like masking, routine testing, increased air circulation, and the like, we at DOB are incredibly grateful to have been able to provide support to Baltimore families relatively uninterrupted during this last year. 

Throughout 2022, we supported 60 Baltimore families as they welcomed 60 babies (another year with no multiples!).

Childbirth Education & Parenting Workshops

DOB held 33 birth classes and parenting workshops. 15 in person group workshops at our beautiful studio space at the Cedarcroft Center, 16 virtual live interactive group workshops, and 2 private, in-home classes. 

In-home Postpartum Doula & Newborn Care Support

The biggest shift from earlier pandemic-era years was in our ability to provide exceptional support to families in-home. Through 2022 our team of postpartum doulas and Newborn Care Specialists offered a whopping 2040 hours (and counting!) of in-home postpartum support. This means that our doulas spent the equivalent of 85 full days in client’s homes! 

Top Birth Locations for Doulas of Baltimore’s Clients

It was a busy year for our birth doulas, too! For the second year in a row, the main campus of Johns Hopkins maintained the top spot on the list of birth locations for DOB clients with 18 births. Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center tied for second place with 10 births each, and with 8 births, St. Joseph Medical Center was the third most popular. 

Our clients also chose to deliver at home as well as the following hospitals: Hopkins Bayview, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Carroll Hospital, Franklin Square Hospital, Harbor Hospital, Howard County General Hospital, Sinai, St. Agnes, University of MD, and Walter Reed.

Supporting Baltimore, Families, & a Better Future for All

Together with our doulas, DOB has supported (through time, donations, and/or amplification) the following local organizations: The Family Tree, MOMCares, Fluid Movement, and Maryland Families for Safe Birth. Additionally, we donate a percentage of every sale to carbon removal efforts.

We remain steadfastly committed to Baltimore and to helping growing families thrive – by supporting parents, building community, and protecting the future for our clients and all the children of Baltimore.

Being pregnant and preparing for birth can feel overwhelming enough without considering what happens when you bring baby home. But postpartum planning before baby arrives can save you a lot of stress when you will want to be resting and recovering from delivery. And, you might have postpartum brain fog that makes thinking about your options (not to mention making decisions) hard. At Doulas of Baltimore, we think of the first three months at home as the fourth trimester. The postpartum period comes with its own challenges and joys. Here are some basic questions to consider before you go into labor that will make your postpartum life easier. 

What will your home look like?

Because nesting is very real, you may have already set up a nursery or room for your baby. But realistically, this isn’t where baby will be spending most of their time. For the first six months, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends baby sleep in your room. But where does baby sleep during daytime naps? Do you want to have a dedicated changing table, setups in different parts of the house, or a moveable station? Where will be the best place to feed baby during the day and at night? Consider the layout of your living space and the setup of cribs, feeding or pumping stations, and changing tables. 

What does everyday at home look like? 

A baby changes things: we know this. And postpartum planning involves thinking about the details of how things have changed. Who will feed baby when they wake up at night? Who will change baby? Who will cook meals? Who will walk the dog? Who will take big sister to school? Who will go to baby’s appointments? Who will clean and tidy the house? 

Who can you go to for extra support? 

While everyone might want to meet your new baby, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can provide the support you need. Consider which friends and family can provide practical support, like buying groceries, cooking meals, walking the dog, or taking care of siblings if you are at the hospital longer than expected. 

Who are the care providers you need?  

With care providers, there are the basic people you need to have planned out, and others that you may want to think about having lined up. While you’ve been dealing with an OB, midwife, and/or doula before birth, afterward you’ll need a pediatrician. You may also want a postpartum doula or lactation consultant. If you are concerned about postpartum depression or emotions after birth, you may want to find a mental health provider before delivery since they can have Before you leave the hospital, you’ll need a carseat installed, and we recommend having it checked by a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) or “car seat tech”.

What does post-parental leave look like? 

There is unfortunately no standard for parental leave, so consider when parents will be going back to work and what happens then. Do you have a nanny, babysitter, friend, or grandparent who can care for baby? Will you need a daycare? 


This is just a short overview of questions that we see new parents considering as they bring their babies home. Over the next months, we will be going more in depth on these questions and providing guidance and advice for the postpartum period.

We know that bringing your newest family member home can be exciting and challenging, even if you prepare for baby’s arrival with childbirth education classes and prenatal support. Our trained and certified postpartum doulas help you with a smooth and manageable transition as you welcome a new member to your family. Through a combination of daytime, evening, and overnight shifts, we are here to support your family’s unique needs. Here are the ways we offer practical, informational, and emotional support at home, when you need it. 

A postpartum doula’s practical support helps you take care of baby, yourself, and your family. 

Many times, people come to us looking for practical support when baby comes home. This can include feeding, caring for baby so you can attend to your needs, or helping prepare meals. During an overnight shift, a postpartum doula might put baby to bed, change diapers, and settle baby back to sleep. During a day shift, our support might allow you to take a shower, cook a meal, or breastfeed in peace. As helpful as the practical support is, many families express deep appreciation for the information and hands-on teaching their doula provided during the postpartum adjustment.

We provide information so you understand the 4th trimester. 

The first weeks and months after baby is born are often called the “4th trimester”, and many parents have just as many questions about what to expect as they did during pregnancy (if not more!). Postpartum doulas can do many specific tasks around the house, but many clients report that our value comes from being childbirth and newborn experts. We provide feeding guidance, offer soothing techniques, answer questions about postpartum and newborn health, and information on sleep habits. 

In the morning after a recent overnight shift, our doula talked to one partner about how the night went, and how to get baby sleeping for longer stretches. She offered advice such as creating sleep associations, keeping baby awake during the day for developmentally appropriate stretches, and nursing demands during the day. We are here to provide the support you want, but your doula will also work with you and your family to create the household, feeding, and sleep routines that work for you so that we are no longer needed! 

Emotional support from a postpartum doula helps your family grow and adjust with confidence. 

In general, our postpartum doulas provide fifty hours of in-person support during the baby’s first five weeks at home. These can be split between daytime, evening, and overnight shifts. However, our job as postpartum doulas is to create a smooth transition and give you and your family the skills and knowledge needed to manage the addition of baby. 

For example, during one daytime shift, our doula spoke to one partner about returning to work. He was looking forward to it, but felt guilty about leaving his partner with the new baby at home. Our doula talked about ways to continue contributing and how he could alternate bedtime duties. We are here to provide steadfast, non-judgemental support so you can feel confident about welcoming a new child into your family. 

Learn more about our postpartum doula offerings or contact DOB today!

At the very beginning of our Complete Childbirth Education classes in Baltimore, we ask you to fill in sentences about how you feel about birth. While “I am nervous about…” is definitely not the same for everyone, over the last year, COVID-19 has made expecting parents nervous. And it brings up lots of questions for new moms: What does coronavirus mean for a hospital stay? Could baby meet grandma and grandpa? Who will be able to help me after delivery? 

Although 2020 was totally unexpected, at Doulas of Baltimore, we’ve tried to keep the safe, nurturing, and smart perspective we’ve had serving you for the last 7 years. As things are slowly getting back to normal, we wanted to share how 4 lessons from our CBE classes helped us get through this past year. 

Need to Make a Decision? Use Your B.R.A.I.N.!

Use your B.R.A.I.N is a philosophy we use in class. When making a decision, think about benefits, risks, alternatives, intuition, and what would happen if you did nothing. At the very beginning of the pandemic, we used this philosophy to think about what services we could safely offer to you all. While we’ve always known the benefits of comprehensive support, there were many risks involved in continuing in-person classes and doula support. Our intuition (and clients and friends who work in medicine) helped us make the call to move all of our support to an alternative – virtual classes and support – until it was safe to be in person again. 

Confidence and Support Help Get Us Through

Doulas are experts who provide steadfast and nonjudgemental support to you and your family during pregnancy, labor, and after baby arrives. While our classes continued with all of the regular topics, we also dealt with the most pressing issue: navigating the obstacles of COVID. What is the absolute need-to-know information? How can we help make this a less stressful situation in a very stressful climate? Like in all of our classes, we focused on evidence-based information and provided straight talk about birth and postpartum care in the pandemic. We also used that same evidence-based information to make decisions about how to run our business and what we could safely offer to clients. 

Take a Deep Breath 

Was that a contraction? A real contraction? Or just pre-labor? In our classes, we always go over the stages of labor  and how to tell the difference. Over this past year, each time a wave of infections started coming down and businesses started opening up, it was almost like Braxton Hicks contractions. They are stressful, because you are trying to figure out if they are real or not, but ultimately, they are not the real thing. 

When we went virtual, we wanted to wait until it was safe and realistic to provide in person support again, and we wanted to know the difference between pre-labor and real labor. The last thing we wanted to do was tell a client, “Yes, we can be with you in the hospital,” and then back out. Now, as vaccinations are available for everyone, case numbers remain low, and hospitals have permanently re-opened for professional doula support, we can offer in-person support again. 

Adapting is Key

If you’ve been in one of our classes or been pregnant, you know: labor takes many paths. And what you want to do is know the unexpected situations and what to do about them. No one knew what 2020 would bring us or when, and adapting to the ever-changing scenarios has become key to keeping our support going. We were able to bring classes to a virtual space, and some aspects of online meeting and learning are great (including no commutes on weeknights!). This is one reason we plan to continue to offer some classes online in the future. However, some things such as comfort measures, are hard to teach over Zoom. And, a big part of what we do is supporting you during and after birth, in person. So, we are adapting again. This fall, we will be offering a few classes in person in addition to our online Complete Childbirth Education class, and we have begun working one-on-one with families in person again for both birth doula support and in-home postpartum and newborn care

You can find out more about our classes here and contact us to find out more about in person doula support this summer and fall. 

Greetings DOB family, 

You may have noticed that we have been pretty quiet over the past year. As doulas and entrepreneurs we are well-versed in being flexible and living in the moment, while always keeping an eye on planning for the future. All of that still did not quite prepare us for living through a pandemic. Like so many small businesses (and families), the past year did not look anything like we had planned for. We hunkered down with our own families, continuously evaluated and reevaluated how we could be of service to expectant parents, and simply made it through as best we could. 

We remain committed to what we do, while adapting to how we do it. We want to share with you how we shifted our business over the last year, and what we are planning for the rest of 2021 and into the future. 

In the early days of March 2020, while watching and listening to former clients and friends who work in medicine and epidemiology, we decided not to wait for the inevitable decision to be made for us and opted to suspend all in-person support and classes. 

We set  to work immediately, transitioning doula clients to virtual support and fashioning internet-based childbirth classes and parenting workshops. We knew that between the news cycle and long days of working from home, we could not expect people to have the same attention span. We distilled our usual content down to the truly “need to know” information and provided students with videos and other supplemental materials. 

Our classes also dealt with the most pressing issue: navigating the obstacles of COVID. How can we help make this a less stressful situation? As is always our approach, we focused on evidence-based information and provided straight talk about birth and postpartum care in the pandemic. 

We did not want to add more uncertainty into the lives of our clients (or our doulas) by going back and forth between in-person and virtual doula support. We knew that the situation was ever-changing, so with few exceptions, we have only been offering entirely virtual support over the last year. 

At the end of 2020, we did not know what the future held for DOB. Like many other small business owners, we asked ourselves, how much longer can we do this? We had some serious and difficult conversations. In the end, our commitment to Baltimore families felt bigger than our struggles. Thanks in part to grants and other pandemic related support, we’ve been able to take the time to think about what we offer and how we offer it, and plan for the future. 

The real turning point came this spring, when our doulas were able to be vaccinated and hospitals began allowing an additional professional support person in labor and delivery again.  

We have fine-tuned our popular virtual Complete Childbirth and Baby 101 classes. We are planning a couple of limited-size in-person classes later in the year. With hospitals allowing professional doula support in addition to a partner, we have doulas who are fully vaccinated and are available to attend a birth in person for this summer. And our in-home doula support and newborn care has been re-worked with COVID-19 safety protocols. 

Take care and thank you for continuing to support us as we help Baltimore families thrive,

Emily & Debbie