Encourage | Educate | Empower
To create systemic change in hospital births for everyone, everywhere!
Our collective experience of knowing the need for more support in hospital birthing
began long before we even dreamt of our venture.
Meet Marnie Lea
Before I even comprehended the concept of a doula, my instincts guided me towards the desire for more education and profound support during my hospital birth. Pioneering this notion, I forged a new path by enlisting the aid of a trusted massage therapist to stand by me throughout my birthing experience. I even meticulously drafted a robust birth plan long before its popularization, a plan that remains relevant even decades later. My unwavering commitment is to offer individuals across the globe the invaluable gifts of encouragement, education, and empowerment strategies to positively impact and elevate their hospital birth journey.
Meet Lisa Collins
In preparing for my own births, despite being as proactive and knowledgeable as I could be and fortunate enough to possess every possible privilege laboring in a popular suburban hospital, I faced serious life-threatening situations in 2 of my 3 hospital births. The fact that they were preventable complications, and I simply wasn’t listened to, set me on my course to improve hospital birth. I had hoped things would have improved over the last 2 decades, but unfortunately as a hospital doula I see that nothing could be further from the truth. I am compelled to improve hospital births for everyone, everywhere!
How Did We Become Business Partners? Signs Abound!
After years of searching high and low for that unicorn of a doula who aligned with my passion for hospital birth, I felt like lightning struck when this perfect person showed up at my door for a doula training workshop. I literally gasped when I saw Marnie and her beaming smile, dressed professionally, hostess gift in tow. I saw her heart and passion for helping others immediately. – Lisa
I was looking for a mission centered career change when a common acquaintance had suggested that I attend a doula training certification being held at Lisa’s house. More than one person had independently recommended that I’d make a great doula but it made very little sense at the time as I was in a completely different profession. But show up I did! I stayed long after the group had gone home and Lisa & I began talks immediately about the possibility of becoming business partners. At every juncture there were uncanny commonalities in our lives and a constant barrage of signs that we were indeed on the right track and meant to be going forward together on our mission. – Marnie
The Planets & Dogs Aligned!
Over many meetings with Lisa’s life sustaining cups of coffee and Marnie’s Canadian cups of tea, writing on giant post-it notes stuck to a wall, we talked about everything! It was at one of these many meetings that Lisa passed a note to Marnie. Without skipping a beat, Marnie wrote back on the note and the rest is history!
We even have similar handwriting!
A potential deal breaker would have been if our dogs didn’t get along…but they LOVE each other!
A Different Kind of Doula
The Hospital Doula! All Facts-No Crunch!
Our Big Idea – We chose to break ranks with other doulas and be the different doulas! We’re modern doulas that specialize in providing service to those planning to birth in the hospital setting. We’ve seen that those individuals need the MOST support! Many in the doula community consider a Hospital Doula to be an oxymoron with doulas often in an adversarial relationship with the hospital staff. Our very presence can inherently be a statement that the care or support the hospital is giving is simply not enough. But we saw ourselves working WITH the hospital team. There’s a way with respect and dignity that we can work together. We know that nurses are overlooked, have multiple responsibilities to their superiors, hospital policy and the obstetricians on call. They are overrun with charting responsibilities all while trying to keep you and your baby safe throughout labor.
All Facts, No Crunch - That's Us!
There has always been lots of support for the “crunchy” birth experience if you were willing or able to give birth at home or a birth center. It’s also not representative of the 98.5% of people who give birth in the hospital setting by necessity, choice, or compromise.
Lisa, a doula for over a decade, longed for a likeminded professional willing to cater to this group of people who really needed more information. She became an Evidence Based Birth® Instructor to impart real information and not just opinion! Marnie, with a background in the dental field knew that preparing her patients with evidence based knowledge and education was key to decreasing their fear and having a better overall experience!
The Hospital Doulas Circle is Born
Why the Elephant logo made sense:
We both loved elephants and how they symbolize strength, wisdom, family, and admired their ability to feel and show strong emotion in life, in death and every moment in between.
They have the longest pregnancies of any animal, lasting 22 months.
Sealing the deal was the fact that elephants are one of the only animals that seek out the comfort and protection of other female elephants when laboring.
Female elephants instinctively form a protective circle around the potentially vulnerable birthing elephant, encouraging her and celebrating the birth with triumphant trumpeting and even tears of joy.
Encourage Educate Empower
Our Hospital Doulas Circle exists to encourage, support, pass down vital wisdom, knowledge and celebrate YOU and your journey to a hospital birth where you feel prepared, confident, and empowered to advocate for yourself.
The Golden Baby Elephant signifies the Gold Standard of Care that we both bonded over early in our partnership. We’re the kind of ladies who don’t do anything halfway. If we’re going to do something it has to be the very best! That’s what we would expect, and we know it’s what our clients DESERVE.
In January 2020 we had our first photo shoot and put the finishing touches on our website. We were ready to roll with a doula agency model for in-person certified hospital doula services.
We launched The Hospital Doulas & Associates in January of 2020…Hmmmm in a matter of weeks we never could have imagined that we would not be ALLOWED in the hospital with our clients! Our big idea was going bust…Or was it?
Pivot We Did!
We promptly extended refunds to our clients, yet intriguingly, each one opted to retain our services in a virtual capacity. Enhancing the depth of our preparation and knowledge sharing proved to be a transformative step. We engaged in frequent Facetime calls and messaging throughout their journeys, and without exception, every client expressed complete satisfaction. Most notably, we observed their remarkable individual achievements as they navigated the process independently.
Their elation stemmed from their ability to advocate for themselves and make well-informed choices, resulting in a profoundly intimate couple’s experience without any lingering regrets. This realization underscored the potential of a comprehensive online preparation approach to benefit a much broader spectrum of expectant parents, thereby effecting a systemic enhancement in hospital births – a core objective we had always held dear.
Despite our agency model involving the training and additional doulas, our capacity to make a meaningful impact had left us dissatisfied. Our aspirations yearned to assist many more rather than a mere handful. In response, we swiftly transitioned towards virtual care, redirecting our energies into crafting a comprehensive array of online, evidence-based resources, classes, and Zoom-based support. This marked the birth of our gold standard, private, one-on-one, virtual, evidence based Hospital Childbirth Preparation classes and support, embodying our commitment to catalyzing positive change on a grand scale for everyone, everywhere!
Sunny Days Are Here Again!
Our Business Meetings have evolved in sunny Florida.
Behind the scenes – getting camera ready to create vital online content. Fulfilling our mission of creating systemic improvement in hospital birth, one couple at a time!
(Yes, in case you were wondering, COVID also brought the opportunity for Lisa to “slay the silver” and rock that hair!)
High risk pregnancies
- Families conceiving with ART and IVF
- TOLAC (VBAC)
- Scheduled Inductions
- Survivors of Sexual Trauma
- Rainbow Babies
- Scheduled Cesareans
- Bed Rest Requirements
- Premature Birth
- Lactation Preparation & Support
- Couples Communication Guidance
- Family Boundary Issues
- Postpartum Mood Disorder History
Trainings & methods
- Hospital Childbirth Masterclass
- Insider Secrets Class
- R.E.S.T.™ Support
- Evidence Based Birth®
- Bradley Method
Here’s to Less Fear and More Love
Reproductive Emotional Support Team™
Our compassionate Reproductive Emotional Support Team™ is dedicated to being there for you the R.E.S.T.™ of the way!
We understand the significance of this journey and are committed to providing you with the confidence, education, reassurance, and essential tools you need to fully embrace your pregnancy and successfully navigate your hospital birth.