Birth is one of the most beautiful and complex processes in life.
I believe that every woman has a right to be informed about all aspects of her pregnancy and labor. It is my desire to inform women of their options.
Thank you for visiting my website.
I hope you find a wealth of useful information as you journey into parenthood. I have many services to offer, but more importantly, I have many resources for you as you seek out your needs and desires for your labor, birth and beyond.
It is my hope that you find the encouragement to look into all of your options, ask questions, make your own decisions, and be responsible for your own personal childbirth experience.
There are many options for the location of your birth (home, birth center, or hospital) and your care provider (OB, CNM, CPM). Each option comes with its own risks and benefits. There are many wonderful doulas in Charlotte and the Greater Charlotte area. NC and SC are blessed with a large community of home birth midwives.
I believe that every woman has a right to be informed about all aspects of her pregnancy and labor. It is my desire to inform women of their rights and options. I believe all women will make the best and safest decisions for themselves and their babies if they are given all the information. I want to make sure they have access to that information. I believe that women have a right to choose where they give birth and who attends them. Birth is a natural process and one of the most beautiful and complex processes in life. It should be respected. I am honored and awed at each birth I attend. I think birth has a lot to teach those willing to be open and learn from it. I enjoy being a member of a woman’s birthing team.
“It is my hope that you find the encouragement to look into all of your options, ask questions, make your own decisions, and be responsible for your own personal childbirth experience.” – Brooke
A testimony from a father for a father
A few words on why you, as a husband, should be 100% in favor of your wife hiring a doula for her natural childbirth experience, and specifically hiring Brooke Atkinson as your doula.
If you are expecting your first child you are probably like me and you have no idea what a doula is. So, when my wife came home and said she hired one, I just said, “OK”, but then asked, “What’s a doula?” When I found out it was a childbirth coach, I was “OK, whatever you want, sweetie,” assuming she knew what she was doing (she did). However, I was not aware of the positive impact the doula experience was going to have on me.
Again, if this is your first child, erase any knowledge you think you have on labor that you may have derived from watching TV or listening to your friends. Believe me, they’ve edited out the tedious and sometimes most graphic parts. Personally, I thought my responsibilities as a father stopped at conception and would resume upon being asked to cut the cord…that’s far from the truth. Thanks to Brooke’s classes on natural childbirth, I became educated on some of the necessary exercises and techniques required to ease labor pains and ensure as safe and pain-free a delivery as possible for my wife.
In as much as you think at this moment your wife is going to want you by her side for all of this, she may not. With all of the discomfort from contractions and hormones racing through her body, your best friend might want anyone BUT you by her side for her labor. Don’t be offended. This was my experience with my wife…and this is where Brooke came in.
Basically, Brooke did all of the “heavy lifting”…the stretching, the pain easement, assuring my wife that everything that was happening was natural and not to get worried. Those were three things I didn’t know how to do in the first place, and was not allowed to do when my wife said “don’t be offended, but I want Brooke in here with me, not you.” Had we not hired Brooke, this point in my wife’s labor could have become a catastrophe.
My wife had a long labor and the end result was a C-section. Brooke is obviously in favor of natural childbirth and against unnecessary surgery and artificial hormones unless absolutely necessary. But after 28 hours, and all natural and medical techniques had been exhausted, we realized there was no other option for my wife in order for us to have a healthy baby upon delivery.
Even after the birth, Brooke has stayed in touch with us constantly, helping with breastfeeding and other feeding and parenting issues. She has been a wealth of knowledge and a good friend to our family.”
This is a side note from Brooke: Some women do not want dad to leave her even for one contraction and others prefer having a woman with her primarily. That doesn’t mean that she does not want the dad involved, but the involvement may be more emotional and holding her hand. It varies birth to birth and is not a reflection on dad at all!
I would highly recommend Brooke to any mom preparing to give birth.
We chose Brooke as our doula for our first born child in the fall of 2007. Her knowledge, experience and commitment to unmedicated natural childbirth proved to be invaluable. During our 48 hours of labor, Brooke was an integral member of our team. She worked amazingly well with the nursing staff and midwives at the hospital. We never expected our labor and delivery to last two whole days but having Brooke there to encourage mom, assist dad, and work with the labor and delivery team on our behalf was priceless. We especially appreciated her willingness to pray with us, and for us before, during and after the birth of our son.
Roxann & Fred
Quite simply, she was awesome.
I think the best part of taking Brooke’s class was seeing Davey (my significant other) go from being scared to death of having a baby, to confident he could participate in the birth and, if need be, deliver our baby himself! Her class definitely helped both of us be better prepared and able to actively participate (and enjoy!!) our labor and delivery. Brooke was a fantastic instructor – very knowledgeable on the material as well as labor, delivery and birth in general. I would recommend this class to anyone.
Brooke was a fabulous doula and well worth every penny. My mother and two of my girlfriends were with me during my labor and all have commented on how wonderful Brooke was. I could have gone through labor without her but I wouldn’t have wanted to!
She was very attentive to me during my pregnancy especially towards the end. I remember her calling me on Christmas Eve to give me the number at her mom’s house, just in case I went into labor and needed to get in touch with her. I also remember one time Brooke and Simon went to the movies and she told me that she sat with a cell phone in each hand so she could feel them vibrate if I called. And she gave up her family holiday trip to Atlanta. All that meant a lot to me.
Brooke’s support during my labor was priceless. She was well worth 10 times the money we paid. She was a calming force not only for me, but also for Davey. She knew just where to massage my back and how much pressure to apply. I remember one time when I was lying on the bed and Brooke had gone to the bathroom and my mom was sitting with me. She was rubbing my back during a contraction and I got aggravated because she wasn’t doing it right and I told her to ‘Get Brooke!’
After Bax’s foot popped out (my son was an unexpected footling breech), Brooke was calm. She still seemed to know just what to do – I remember her getting a wash cloth to clean me up a bit. She was still focused on me and what she could do to make me more comfortable. In the event of an emergency (which we did end up having!), I guess I assumed she would go to the hospital with us. However, she again went above and beyond by going back to my house, getting snacks and food, and then staying at the hospital until the wee hours of the morning. She was the first one in my room after Bax was born (sneaking in behind a cup of water!), she encouraged me to eat, even going so far as to feed me a cup of yogurt.
When I think of words that describe Brooke, the first that comes tomind is ‘dedicated’. She is a kind, caring, supportive doula, very calming and encouraging and well worth every penny. We loved having her with us during Bax’s labor and delivery.
Not only did Brooke help us to successfully achieve our goal, she has also become a good friend and an important person in our lives.
With the goal of having a natural birth, my husband and I took Brooke’s birthing class and ultimately hired her as our doula. It ended up being the best decision we made in preparing for our birth. She made us feel very comfortable from the moment we met her and it was obvious that she had a lot of experience and a wealth of knowledge regarding natural childbirth. I must admit that although my husband and I knew giving birth naturally was what was best for our baby and for me, we definitely had reservations. We were pretty apprehensive about the pain and whether or not I’d be able to manage it without the use of medicine. Brooke eased our anxieties and made us feel confident and empowered. We actually began to look forward to what promised to be a beautiful experience as opposed to dreading it. But, we didn’t realize how necessary having Brooke would be until delivery day.
My water broke at around 3:30 in the morning, but it was several hours before I finally went into labor. While we anxiously waited, Brooke provided much needed encouragement and information. From the first contraction they were coming with literally only seconds in between them. It was all happening much faster than we anticipated and my poor husband was racing around the house trying to make sure we had everything we needed. By the time I was brought into the delivery room I was beginning to transition. Although my husband tried to help ease my discomfort, Brooke was the only one who seemed to be able to offer me any relief. Her soothing voice helped keep me calm and she knew where to apply pressure to my lower back. Throughout the pushing stage until post delivery, our doctor had several questions for my husband and I that we weren’t quite sure how to answer without Brooke’s guidance. Our baby girl was ultimately born at 7:37 PM, less than three hours after my first contraction. If we hadn’t had Brooke as our doula, we would have surely checked into the hospital before I began labor and I would have likely been induced and needed an epidural.
Brooke is very passionate about childbirth.
She taught my husband and me, through her childbirth class, that childbirth is a very natural process for a woman. It was helpful to learn in advance each stage that your body goes through during labor. It takes away the fear that is so commonly associated with giving birth. Brooke focused on the positive aspects of labor and how each passing minute brought me closer to meeting my baby. She gave great advice on breastfeeding and has always been available to this day for any questions or support. Brooke was also our doula and supported me during my 5 1/2 hours of labor. I was comforted by the fact that she was present and I knew that if any complications arose, she would be able to offer information to help avoid any unnecessary medical interventions. Giving birth was an empowering experience and I am grateful that Brooke was a part of it. From her childbirth classes to postpartum care, she is an excellent addition to any birth team!
Matt and Megan Krumholtz
Without the class it would have been like flying a plane without training
As a student in Brooke’s childbirth class I was amazed at all the things that go into a healthy and drug free birth, and the role the husband/birth coach is to play. Without the class it would have been like flying a plane without training…of course you know how to pull up and down on the stick but you would never be able to figure out what all the buttons are for. In short, my wife and myself would have been ill equipped for the natural childbirth of our son without Brooke’s class. She made things fun and interesting, while also giving you a sense of ease that you as a Husband and father-to-be could provide an absolute crucial role in the birth of your child. From the nutritional information, the detailed tools to prepare mom and dad both physically and mentally, the breakdown of the labor process, and everything in between, Brooke was a fantastic teacher in every aspect. During my wife’s labor Brooke was our doula. She was very helpful. She was available and responsive to our questions, giving encouragement to both of us along the way. She was there to provide reassurance that what we were doing was productive and safe, while also guiding us during those uncertain times. As the birth coach it was good for me to know that Brooke was there to provide knowledge, calm, and care to my wife and me. She even parked our car at the hospital…she does it all!!!
Brooke came highly recommended to us. We now know why and would also like to highly recommend her to anyone.
As this was our first child, my first birthing experience, I was at first quite hesitant to actively pursue the natural child birth option. However, my husband and I were adamant about a natural birth. Brooke came recommended as a doula and we cannot sing her praises enough. Through her childbirth classes, she answered all our questions and gave me, and my husband, a great gift of trust, friendship and knowledge. The classes were very much appreciated as Brooke was able to share her knowledge and experiences with us and help us understand what was to come.
Brooke made herself available at any time and for any questions that popped into our heads. She was able to be at our doorstep in what seemed like only a minute after we called her when contractions deemed her be at our house. Her presence was invaluable as a calming one as she talked me through my contractions, explained what was happening and what was to come. She remained until after midnight from a 10:22pm birth to make sure all was well and her subsequent follow up calls and visits were, once again, a calming presence as she was able to understand what I was going through as well as what I could expect for myself and my new son.
I am so pleased to write about my experience taking Brooke’s classes.
Multiple weeks of classes may sound like a huge commitment but certainly worth every minute! Brooke is a phenomenal resource for an expecting couple and makes herself available as a support to all her students even outside of class. Though Brooke covers all the necessary information and activities she brings a truly human and light-hearted approach to teaching about childbirth. She keeps the class atmosphere loose and casual, making all feel welcome and accepted. Most important, no question is too silly or stupid… just ask my husband! Brooke designs her classes so that they fit the needs of the group with which she is working. Both first-timers (such as myself) and second or third timers benefit from her presentations. Brooke appropriately interjects her personal experiences both as a natural birthing parent and as a professional doula into all class materials. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her as my teacher and I was honored to have her assist in my child’s birth as our doula and friend.
Brooke I can not thank you enough!!!!
Brooke’s childbirth class and doula services are the best investment I could have made toward getting the labor and delivery I wanted. I couldn’t have done it without her knowledge and support. There are manytimes I needed to talk and ask questions she was always available to listen and offer information. Also, my son might have fallen on the floor if Brooke wasn’t there to catch his head when he started coming out while I was standing up. My labor was short – 3hrs 45 min, but intense. Brooke really helped me out with giving me suggestions for different positions. Because of Brooke I was able to have the birth I wanted….unmedicated and natural!
I’ve never met anyone as devoted to their work as Brooke.
Her heart is truly dedicated to instilling the knowledge of natural childbirth into couples as well as helping them have the best birth experience possible. My husband and I attended Brooke’s childbirth class and she was also our labor Doula in the fall of 2009 for the birth of our first child. Her class was not only informative, but enjoyable and we had the opportunity to build relationships. She was available for my husband and I even through a major trial in her life. We truly believe that she was meant to be a part of our labor process. She was my support system along side my husband during my delivery. I felt safe with her being there knowing that she would protect my husband and me from anything that we hadn’t planned for in our birth plan. By her being there, it allowed my husband to focus on being there for me, rather than dealing with the nurses and medical staff. He was even able to take a nap when he needed to (smiles). I must add that I was in labor for 48 hours! Brooke is absolutely amazing, and her passion doesn’t stop at the end of her class or after the baby is born. I still reach out to her for questions and referrals as she is still a part of our lives. I would highly recommend Brooke to anyone looking for an empowering journey throughout pregnancy and childbirth!
Many people feel they can go into labor with no preparation and have the birth they desire – this unfortunately is not true. There are many options when it comes to childbirth, each with its own risks and benefits. I encourage you to look into all of your options with an open mind.
Here are just a few of the questions that will be answered in an informative class:
What tests will be performed during my pregnancy and what are the risks/benefits?
What should my diet be like during my pregnancy?
What can I do to prepare my body for giving birth?
What are comfort measures I can use during labor?
What are the stages of labor and what can I expect in each stage?
Can I tell how far I am in the labor process?
What is my partner’s role in pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum?
Where and how will I give birth?
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
What are routine newborn procedures at the hospital?
What can I expect in early postpartum?
…And much, much more.
My class prepares you to make informed choices for you and your newborn.
It focuses on natural childbirth, but the class would benefit anyone preparing for birth.
The greater Charlotte area is blessed with many wonderful midwives. CNM (Certified Nurse Midwives) work in the hospital and CPM (Certified Professional Midwives) work exclusively in out of hospital settings.
Midwives Model of Care™ Is Woman-Centered
The Midwives Model of Care™ is a fundamentally different approach to pregnancy and childbirth than contemporary obstetrics.
Midwifery care is uniquely nurturing, hands-on care before, during, and after birth. Midwives are health care professionals specializing in pregnancy and childbirth who develop a trusting relationship with their clients, which results in confident, supported labor and birth.
While there are different types of midwives practicing in various settings, all midwives are trained to provide comprehensive prenatal care and education, guide labor and birth, address complications, and care for newborns.
The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events.
Doulas are not just beneficial during hospital births. A doula’s role extends to almost every area of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum to some degree. Even in home birth and birth center settings, a doula usually arrives at your labor much sooner than the midwife. Additionally, a doula would be with you continually – even in the event of a transport. Doulas offer support. Midwives and primary care providers guard the process.