Access to compassionate doula care in Denver

At Rose Medical Center, we are proud to offer the Doula Connection program, a staff of hand-selected, deeply experienced birth doulas who are fully incorporated into the Rose labor and delivery team of caregivers. Rose doulas are available to laboring moms 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rose is the only hospital in Denver to offer this level of support to expectant parents.

Doula services are advantageous in any birth, from unmedicated to epidural to C-section. Your doula can support you in various ways, from photography to pushing instruction, and from moral support to standing by your side during a C-section. Your preferences can be discussed with your doula in advance.

Once you choose your doula, you will have an extensive opportunity to get to know each other, including consultation about your upcoming birth experience, your vision for your doula’s role and anything else you would like the doula to be aware of. Following that discussion, you will be more than welcome to text, email or call your doula with any questions as you count down to your due date.

On the day of delivery, your Rose Doula will meet you at the hospital within one hour of notification, and then she can be by your side for up to ten hours of labor, delivery and postpartum recovery.

What is a doula?

Doulas, or labor assistants, provide constant and attentive care for laboring women and their partners. While they do not provide medical care, they do provide emotional and physical support for families by utilizing techniques such as massage, touch, position, relaxation, breathing and more.

Doulas do not replace mom’s birth partner, but rather act to assist mom and her partner in having the birth experience they desire. Doulas are there to support families through whatever they wish, be that a medicated or non-medicated delivery.

Doula informational seminar

Do you want to learn more about the Rose Doula Connection program? Join us for a free informational seminar about our program. All sessions are held Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Physician’s Office Building right across the street from Rose Medical Center. We meet in the Goodstein three conference room.

Register for Rose Doula information seminar

Doula fees

The Doula Connection program at Rose is offered at a reduced flat rate of $450. This fee includes up to 10 hours of the doula’s time to be with you during labor and delivery and postpartum portions of the childbirth process. The average labor and delivery at Rose lasts nine hours. If needed, more time can be added for an additional fee of $50 per hour.

Please note that your $450 registration fee is non-refundable and is required at the time of registration.

To learn more about the Rose Doula connection program, please call us at (303) 320-2001.

Benefits of working with a doula

There are many reasons to have a doula by your side during delivery. Recent studies involving more than 1,000 women have shown that the presence of a doula during labor and delivery has the following benefits:

  • Shorter labor
  • Lower levels of fear and anxiety
  • Higher satisfaction with birth experience
  • Reduced pain medication and epidural rates
  • Lower C-section rates
  • Reduced need for vacuum or forceps assistance
  • Improved communication with the medical team
  • Lower levels of stress hormones
  • More successful breastfeeding
  • Improved neonatal outcomes
  • Lowered chances of postpartum depression
  • Continuous, uninterrupted support for mom and her partner
  • Improved parent-infant interaction and bonding

Kelley’s experience with Rose Doula Connection

I recently delivered my daughter at Rose with the help of Barbara Moore as my doula. One of the best things about Barbara was feeling comfortable with her right away, even before we met in person. We had several phone consultations, especially during the two days before I delivered my baby.

Not knowing it then, I had started labor early. On a Thursday, I called my doctor and Barbara, trying to sort out if my contractions were false labor or the real thing. Both said it could be either, but Barbara talked me through it and made me feel comfortable with how things were developing. She gave me excellent advice and told me to sleep well, because my baby would NOT come in the middle of my sleep—I would wake up for sure if it was time. The sleep advice ended up being the best thing, as I went into true labor the next night.

Additionally, Barbara was there when I started pushing—the first time I met her in person. We had talked on the phone a couple of times when I started labor but agreed that she didn't need to come to the hospital until I started pushing. Unlike anyone in the room, she was totally focused on making me more comfortable (I know that sounds impossible, but there are ways!). She "guided" my husband, and together they wiped my face with a cold washcloth for two hours—which was so needed during the last stretch of labor, even with an epidural.

When my daughter was born, she helped with breastfeeding for the first time and made sure it was as soon after the birth as it could be. Once things had settled down after the birth, she also made sure that I ordered something to eat right away—something that I wasn't focused on at the time, but really needed to do. Finally, Barbara is also a lactation consultant, so three days after the birth I hired her to come to my house and assist with breastfeeding. The continuity of care was wonderful, and it was a very good experience having the same woman who helped with my daughter’s birth also help with my breastfeeding. She also encouraged me to go to the Rose breastfeeding support group, which I did a couple of weeks later. Knowing she would be there helped propel me to get out of the house and go. And, by going, I had confirmation that breastfeeding was going well, and my daughter was taking in enough milk at a feeding.

Meet the Rose doulas

Sarah Bruss

Birth philosophy

My name is Sarah Bruss, and I have been a certified birth doula through DONA since 2013; I am also a trained Hypnodoula. I believe that birth is beautiful. My goal is for your birth to be a beautiful memory for you and your family. I have helped couples give birth at about a dozen different birth places in and around Denver, including hospitals, birth centers and homes.

My favorite aspects of the doula role are:

  • Helping Dad help Mom. I strive to enhance his role, not detract from it. By hiring a doula, you take the pressure off Dad to perform as the sole labor coach (when this is probably his first rodeo), you allow him to enjoy the birth with the support of a professional’s guidance and objectivity, and you provide him the opportunity to take necessary breaks during the birth without leaving the mother on her own.
  • Reassuring both parents. Our culture has taught us that birth is frightening. Many times, dads have turned to me during a birth with an expression that says “Is this normal?!” and moms likewise have wondered “Can I really do this?!” I try to assuage fears within my scope of practice by encouraging you in what you are doing well, being a calm presence during the labor process, and providing ideas for making your birth more comfortable and calm.

I also serve as a sibling doula. This means I tend to the older child(ren) while mom and dad focus on the Birth Day. Since I am well-versed in birth, I can easily explain the process to older siblings if the family chooses to have their children in the birth room for any part of the labor. In addition, I care for your children’s needs as a nanny would – eating, sleeping, playing, etc.

My husband and I live in the Highlands/Sloan’s Lake neighborhood of Denver with our growing family.

Julie Burns

My name is Julie Burns, and I am a stay-at-home mom of four sweet little girls, as well as an active Registered Nurse.

I love assisting women in childbirth, and I find it fascinating that every birth experience is as different and unique as the mother herself. My birth philosophy is simply this: I believe birth is best experienced as a normal and healthy bodily process, and I encourage the mother to let labor progress naturally until or unless the time comes when medical interventions are desired or necessary.

What you can expect from me during labor:

  • I will support you in a non-medical way by staying by your side and encouraging and assisting you with your labor. This may include the use of gentle coaching, ice packs, warm tubs, rocking on a birthing ball, relaxing music, walking, pressure-point massage, squatting and breathing techniques.
  • I will make sure you get information, as much as possible, about the pros and cons of any possible procedures before any important decision is made.
  • I work with the attending physician and nurses as part of your support team. My primary goal is to help you to have the best birthing experience possible with the end result of a healthy mother and baby.

Liz Foster

I am inspired by the way birth transforms a person from woman to mother. It astounds me every time! When I walk into a room to find an incredible laboring woman, my heart jumps for joy at the opportunity to help her in that present moment, on her journey into motherhood.

My name is Liz Foster and I am obsessed with making positive birth experiences an outstanding norm for all. I was awakened to labor and birth when, as a single mother, I birthed my son via emergency cesarean. Never again do I want a mother to feel the dread and despair I felt during pregnancy and birth. Five years later, I successfully delivered my daughter via vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), and I finally understood the strength and power we should all feel throughout the birth process. I was thrilled to experience what everyone in the natural birth world was talking about!

Birth philosophy

The keys to a joyful birthing experience are safety, security, preparation, support, and a calm mindset, all planned in advance to be by your side for anything that should arise. My aim is to activate these pillars of power in you to the best of my ability and to embrace what is out of our control. In choosing me as your doula, I do not judge the way you decide to labor (unmedicated, medicated, or cesarean), but I respect your space by holding it with the utmost care.

During labor, I will:

  • Acknowledge and support your unique ways of coping with labor as we take each challenge minute by minute. I offer:
    • Movement, breathing and pain management techniques
    • Encouragement, visualization, and power statements
    • Physical comfort tools: massage, acupressure, hot/cold packs, aromatherapy, rebozo, TENS unit, and more…
  • Assist your partner or support team to offer you physical, mental or emotional comfort
  • Advocate for you by:
    • Facilitating communication between you and your medical team
    • Offer access to information about the benefits, risks, and alternatives to any procedure before you make a decision
    • Encouraging you to ask questions and stand up for what you feel is right for you and your baby

Here’s to an amazing journey for you and your family!

Susan Geissler

Expertise, calm, and encouragement—these are the gifts I bring to doula work. I am completely hospital-based in my doula work. I chose Rose because of its consistent excellence in labor and delivery services and because I am welcome always on the labor deck as part of the team, which includes parents, the doula and the nursing and medical staff.

I know one thing for sure. There is no best way to have a baby. I focus on keeping mom positive and not fear-based, and couples really appreciate that.

  • I am pro natural childbirth: I am highly experienced in supporting couples that clearly want un-medicated labor, as well as those that would like to wait and see how things go. Each couple needs a combination of physical, emotional and informational support to get through the tough and sometimes lengthy challenges of un-medicated labor. I work creatively and collaboratively as each unique labor evolves, providing support based on parental preferences.
  • I am pro epidural: About 40 percent of my clients are planning epidurals at the outset. What a great time for this choice! Advances over the last 10 years have increased the safety of this procedure and have reduced dramatically the practices of episiotomy, forceps and vacuum delivery which used to go hand in hand with epidurals. I will support you to stay active in labor until you are ready for the epidural and will support you in your decision.
  • I am pro Cesarean: Most parents want to avoid a Cesarean, but sometimes it ends up being the safest way. I have never worked with a couple who had a Cesarean that regretted it or second guessed the reason or process of determination. That says a lot for the effort that everyone puts in to safely move towards a healthy birth.

I have over 20 years of experience as an educator and doula. My love of babies goes back to my earliest memories and my love of birth goes back to the first birth I attended at 16 years old. Over the years, I have provided labor support to hundreds of couples and still haven’t seen it all. Each birth I leave, I am amazed and enthused about new life.

Rachel Gellert

Birth philosophy

My name is Rachel Gellert and I am a certified birth doula and educator. I am committed to providing comprehensive, affirming support across the full spectrum of pregnancy experiences. I combine my professional experience in sexual and reproductive health with my passion for birth and healing. I believe all people deserve compassionate, nonjudgmental support, and the right to make decisions about what is best for themselves.

As the oldest of twenty-eight cousins and two siblings, I have been surrounded by babies and pregnant people for as long as I can remember. I am passionately nerdy about pregnancy and birth. I trust in the birth process. I am skilled in physical comfort measures, mindfulness strategies, and breathing techniques. I support all families and have significant experience working with LGBTQ parents. I honor my clients’ choices and I love my role as a doula through every unique birth experience. As a doula, I am part of your team. I am there for both you and your partners – to reassure, to provide information, to encourage, and to support you every step of the way.

When I am not at a birth or talking about the importance of reproductive health education, you can find me traveling, reading science fiction, or snuggled happily at home with my partner and our cat Ava. I am certified with Carriage House Birth and have continued my education with Ancient Song Doula Services, Bebo Mia Inc., and Full Spectrum Doula Circle.

Tessa Joos

Birth philosophy

My journey into motherhood launched my passion for birth. Having two children now and using a doula both times, I appreciate how every birth is different. With wonderful and positive support surrounding you, it can be everything you’ve imagined. With my support, I am able to help transition the mother and their partner positively into their parenthood journey. I, myself, trained to have Hypnobabies for my births; however, I don’t believe there is one right or wrong way to have a baby. A healthy baby and mother are the ultimate goals. Whether you choose to have an unmedicated, medicated or cesarean birth, I am here to support you and your partner on your birth journey. I am there to provide non-biased emotional, physical and informational support during the stages leading up to labor and shortly after the birth. I will be there to nurture you and help you trust your body to do exactly what it is designed to do: have babies. I hope every mother has the opportunity to have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience no matter what the road to get there looks like.

Naomi Lopez

Birth philosophy

I am a multifaceted birth and postpartum doula of five years. I provide full spectrum care to families and babies. As a doula, I believe in working with you and your body in a way that trusts the birthing process while respecting the role of allopathic medicine. You can expect me to guide you through birth with comfort, ease and patience. I will try my best to make your stay at Rose feel like a warm nest for you and your family. As your doula, we make decisions as a team based off of your desires and needs. I want my clients to understand their options so that they are empowered and have an overall satisfying birthing experience. My postpartum practice incorporates holistic wellness, ceremony, education and overnight care which provides clients with a contemplative and comforting experience.

Jessica Potter

My journey into the birth world started when I had my first child in 2007, after experiencing the amazing care and support of my midwife, who later took on the role of doula when I had to be transferred into the hospital at the end of my labor. That personalized care was pivotal for both my husband and myself, and it made a huge impact in our birth experience. It was only a few short months later that I began my certification with CAPPA to become a labor doula. Since then, I have continued to serve families all over the Denver metro area in a variety of birth settings, joining the doula team at Rose in 2016, and getting my certification as a childbirth educator through CAPPA.

As a doula and childbirth educator, it is my passion to help expecting parents experience a birth that is both transformational and empowering, no matter what the birth plan may be. I strive for all parents to find their true voices during birth, and to help them explore all the many options and choices that are available to them. I count it as a blessing to be welcomed into the birthing team, and enjoy holding space for families as they discover their new boundaries.

Heidi Roark

Hello, my name is Heidi Roark. I’m from Minneapolis originally, and have lived in Colorado for 30 years. I am married to Jon and have four children and a 10-year-old dog named Lady. I have been a certified labor doula for 11 years and have worked in the Denver Metro area hospitals and birth centers. I have worked in the counseling field as well as elder care.

Birth philosophy

My birth philosophy is supporting families as they find the best possible path for them during their birth. I enjoy listening and getting to know each family and assisting them in creating a birth plan that meets their specific needs. I believe birth is a natural process and should be supported and trusted.

During your birth I will provide non-medical support that includes massage, relaxing breathing techniques, encouragement for mom and partner, comfort measures including warm bath/shower, utilizing the birthing ball and different labor positions and aromatherapy.

I will assist you with any questions you may have during your birth, helping you find the information you need to make informed decisions.

I look forward to each birth I attend. It is a great joy to come alongside families during this special time and help families find their way through the birth process and welcome their baby into the world.