Doula & childbirth educator
I cannot pinpoint a time in my life when I became interested in pregnancy and childbirth. The truth is I think it may be an inherited passion. I can remember, as a small child, sitting through Lamaze and childbirth education classes that my mother taught. Most people recall a dramatic story of "THE TALK" they had with their parents. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know where babies come from.
As the daughter of a childbirth educator, doula, and obstetrical nurse, I have lived my whole life with some knowledge of the childbirth process and a deep respect for the laboring woman. My first experience as a labor assistant was in 2002 at the birth of my oldest nephew. That day I saw firsthand what a woman’s body could do as I watched my sister allow her baby to be born. It was beautiful, miraculous, empowering, and exciting! I fell quite naturally into the role of a doula although I had no formal training. My involvement in my sister's labor prompted me to begin attending births for loved ones. After the birth of my second child in 2011, I felt The Lord calling me to follow my passion. My experiences with family and friends proved to be invaluable as the role evolved into a career. I obtained my certification through the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA).
I believe that every laboring woman and her partner deserve the support that a doula offers, regardless of race, age, marital status, religion, or lifestyle. Whether the mother desires an all-natural birth or plans to receive medication, she has the right to choose how she should get to bring her baby into the world. My hope is that each mother is well-educated about birth before her big day arrives and makes sound, evidence-based choices that will be most beneficial to her and her baby.
Of course I have my own ideas concerning what I think is an ideal birth. However, I understand that what works for me may not best suit another mother. I believe that women are strong and able. I’ve also learned in my training that pain is physical, but suffering is emotional. If a woman plans to have an unmedicated birth, but during the most difficult time of labor changes her mind and requests an epidural, she may feel that she has failed. Her memory of the birth may be tainted by feelings of inadequacy. By the same token, a woman may plan to confront childbirth with minimal pain, but a rapid labor and birth leaves no time for medication. This, too, could potentially scar her memory. As a doula, it is my mission to assist women so that even when things do not go according to plan, the mother remains calm, in control, and supported. My greatest desire is to see healthy babies be born to mothers who remember childbirth with a great sense of pride, accomplishment, and satisfaction.
As I continue to pursue my passion, I pray that I will be able to make an impact in my community that will be helpful to women and their families for years to come. But most of all, I hope that this work will be used in a way that honors God and is pleasing to Him.
A doula is a woman who understands the physiology of birth and provides continuous support to a laboring woman and her family.
“I am already taking childbirth classes. Why would I need a doula?”
Doulas are intended to enhance, not replace the services of your childbirth instructor. Your doula will be with you to remind you at appropriate times during labor of what you have already learned in childbirth classes.
“Isn’t birth supposed to be private? I’m not sure that I want a stranger in the delivery room with me.”
Birth is a special experience, and the doula believes that these memories should be cherished for a lifetime. The doula is a professional whom you will meet with prior to the birth to make sure you are comfortable with her.
“My birth plan includes an epidural, so I don’t think I need a doula.”
It is a common misconception that doulas are only interested in natural childbirth. While epidurals provide excellent pain relief most of the time, they do not replace the support and encouragement of a doula. In addition, a doula will help after an epidural is in place by offering suggestions for positions and movements that will help labor continue to progress. This can be essential if you feel strongly about avoiding a cesarean section.
“I will already have someone with me during labor. Why would I need a doula?”
A doula can enhance the support that your partner will provide. Often, your doula has a level of knowledge and experience that your partner may not. Your partner may also have questions or feel emotional during labor and benefit from the support of a doula.
“I am planning a hospital birth. Won’t my nurse provide the additional support that I may need?”
Your nurse is an integral part of your birth team. However, she will most likely be tending to the needs of several other patients as well. Not to mention, she has charting and other duties that require her attention. Though many nurses would love to have the time to provide continuous support for the family, this simply isn’t practical.
During labor, I may use:
Also an ICEA Certified Childbirth Educator; I provide private education to mothers seeking information about pregnancy, labor & delivery, and breastfeeding. Schedule your private session today!
*This does not obligate you to employ me as your doula.
Information and registration for group childbirth classes can be found at
UT Medical Center Event's page.
This 3-week class series is held on Monday evenings from 6:30-9:00.
*It is NOT necessary for you to give birth at UT medical center to attend group classes.
what clients say...
"Deciding to have Elizabeth Streeter of MotherWorks at my side was a relieving decision, not only for me, but also for my family members who were in the room."
"Her willingness to get involved was unrelenting; from the bigger tasks of communicating with nurses, doctors, or family members to the smallest tasks of putting up my hair or massaging me with lotion, Elizabeth was there ready to help."
"She immediately dropped everything and came over to our home within the hour. After a couple hours assisting us in breathing, movement, and various exercises, she followed us to the hospital and cleared the way for our admission."
"I recall telling her afterwards that we couldn’t have done it without her. Looking back now, of course physically we could have, but she was the emotional and moral rock for both of us."
"I’m forever thankful for all that she did for us during my pregnancy, birth, and afterwards. If I’m fortunate enough to be in Knoxville and get pregnant again, she’ll be one of the first people I call. I highly recommend her to anyone searching for a doula who is a knowledgeable advocate, teacher, and friend."