While I enjoy supporting unmedicated births, my passion really lies in supporting the mother and her partner in discovering what is important to them and helping them through whatever challenges they face. There is no one way to give birth. A successful, joyful birth is in the eye of the beholder. Whatever a good birth means to you, I will work to help you achieve that. If “plans” need to change, I will help you navigate and process the change in “plan”.
My Style & Ideal Client
My style in prenatal meetings is to be frank, informative and slightly irreverent. I can laugh about the more uncomfortable aspects of giving birth and I really seem to connect with families that use humor to cope with difficult situations. My favorite clients are the ones who ask a LOT of questions because it helps me understand what they know, what they do not know, what their worries are and what they feel confident about. I really get to know clients this way and can tailor my services to their specific personality.
Having been a gestational surrogate, I also really enjoy supporting surrogates and Intended Parents (IPs).
In my doula work, I frequently use a piece of fabric called a Rebozo for comfort in labor. I’ve also received training in Spinning Babies (spinningbabies.com) techniques for optimal positioning and Acupressure points for pregnancy and labor.
I am a native Portlander, who was born at home in the late 70s. I’ve been fascinated with birth since I was a teenager. When I had my first child–a daughter–in 2002, my fascination only intensified. Between my first and second child, I decided to become a childbirth educator. That second child, a son, was born in late 2006 and by 2008 I was certified to teach childbirth classes. Not much later I began attending births for friends and it was clear that this was something I had to keep doing. So I did! I have been certified through DONA since early 2011 and have attended over 70 births to date. Our family is now complete, but in 2013/2014 I was pregnant and gave birth as a surrogate gestational carrier for a same-sex couple.
“My husband and I decided to hire a doula for the birth of our first child. We are not from the USA so don’t have family here and the birth process is pretty different to the UK so we felt we would benefit from a doula.
Scarlett was the first and only doula we met. We liked her straight away. She has a great warmth to her and also has a good sense of humor. Something important to both of us (she even got my husbands sense if humor which was a bonus!)
We also chose to attend Scarlett’s childbirth education classes which were a great help and also enabled us to get to know her even more. She was always open minded and encouraged us to be the same. We were hoping for a natural water birth but she always made sure we understood fully other options. This ended up being very helpful as after the natural water birth (and pushing for 2 hours) we ended up having to have an emergency c section. Scarlett’s wonderful education before the birth meant I wasn’t terrified when it had to happen.
we loved our time with Scarlett, before, during and after the birth of our wonderful daughter Lily. During labor Scarlett was a huge support to both me and my husband. I naturally leant on both of them a lot during a very painful labor, whether it was massage, water or words of encouragement. Scarlett even stayed in hospital until we came back from the recovery room, just to quickly check how I was and meet Lily.
I would not hesitate to recommend Scarlett. She is wonderful!” —Emma, Fall 2014
“Scarlett was amazing.
We had a little different scenario with an amazing surrogate carrying our baby boy. We wanted to make sure Alicia, our surro, was well taken care of during and right after birth so that we could focus on baby (but also knowing Alicia would need someone there during that time)…Scarlett was amazing- she came over to our house and met us all, she showed us some techniques to help Alicia with labor, she answered any questions, she made sure we had plans B,C, D and went over our birth plan. Her presence was perfect- she was there but did not interfere with the flow of what was happening (since that was what we wanted). She could magically change the direction of labor and helped Alicia as well throughout and after labor. She was a great support system and our biggest advocate. She was amazing and our birth story was smooth and wonderful because of our great team!
She visited, texted and called Alicia afterwards and came over to our house. She was a great tool in the postpartum period as well, helping all of us navigate hormones and feelings and new life with baby 🙂 We can’t thank her enough!! She was everything and then more!” –Julie, Summer 2014
“Theresa and I recently brought our little girl, Penelope into the world with great support from our Doula… Scarlett was professional, funny and very knowledgeable about all aspects of birth and possible interventions. Our birth story did not go as planned due to a breach baby – but Scarlett guided us to several resources to help turn the baby. Scarlett has been so supportive and we really appreciated having her with us throughout pregnancy and at birth. She even captured some amazing photos of our fresh little girl!
I highly recommend Scarlett and her team of resources – she is extremely positive, non-judgmental, supportive and knows her field very well.” –-Brian, Spring 2013
“My husband and I hired Scarlett for the birth of our daughter this summer. We were aiming to have a natural hospital birth but also understood that things often don’t go as planned. We wanted a doula who would be able to calmly and non-judgmentally support us if we ended up needing interventions. Scarlett was everything we thought we wanted and more. I was able to have an intervention-free delivery, and while much of that was due simply to the stars aligning, I also believe that the prenatal conversations we had with Scarlett enabled both of us to face the challenges of delivery and have the birth we wanted. During Scarlett’s prenatal visits, she encouraged us to think through different scenarios, talk through our anticipated emotions, and devise coping strategies. We did also enroll in childbirth classes and found our conversations with Scarlett to be significantly more valuable. I believe that one of the key reasons we achieved the birth we desired was that we were intellectually and emotionally prepared. Scarlett helped us get there. Her support during and after the delivery was also tremendously valuable, but for our particular birth, I believe the prenatal visits made the biggest difference. We whole-heartedly recommend Scarlett as a doula!” –Alyssa and Matt, Fall 2012
“We began working with Scarlett later in the birth process due to an availability conflict with our first doula. I was very nervous about making the switch but she came very highly recommended. Right away, my husband and I connected with her on a deeper level than expected, which made it easier to make the transition. When meeting with Scarlett, we explained to her that we had experienced previous child loss—our first beautiful daughter was stillborn at full term. Scarlett embraced our situation and approached it with great sensitivity and compassion. Her peaceful and confident personality made us feel at ease with her. Scarlett, among many other things, presented herself as a well-educated doula. My husband and I put our complete trust in her abilities and are so glad we did! Scarlett was there for us in every step of the process and truly listened to our desires for a completely natural birth. During the birth, my husband and I felt very united and enjoyed working as a team. Scarlett only complimented us in this way.She knew how to encourage me to go with the flow of contractions and welcome them as they intensified. Scarlett was a pillar of strength and calm. Because of her unique sensitivity, she also had a great deal to offer to the emotional aspect our birth. Scarlett helped us prepare to bring our “Rainbow” baby from the womb into our arms but, more importantly, into our hearts as well. Having Scarlett with us during our birth was a joyous and blessed experience. We walked away from this feeling like we have gained a new friend and absolutely recommend her to anyone who is looking for a doula with the whole “package!” In addition to the qualities we’ve mentioned, Scarlett also has a great sense of humor and a bright, reassuring smile that will make your experience with her one to always remember. Thank you, Scarlett! We can’t say it enough!” –Haley and Spencer, Summer 2012
“For the birth of our second child, my husband and I knew we wanted doulas to help us get through the physical and emotional effort of labor and delivery. We hired Scarlett Lynsky for her calm, practical, flexible, and humorous attitude, and her clear ability to both listen and understand what we wanted. She soon introduced us to Lena Wood, her backup doula for our due date, and we were relieved to have a second person on hand with a similarly calm and understanding attitude towards childbirth. My midwives had told me that my baby’s position often correlated with a fast, intense delivery. In my case, however, labor was both long and hard. Scarlett had another client in labor at the same time, so she and Lena traded off shifts at our house and, later, at the hospital. I still can’t believe how hard our doulas worked; over the course of nearly two days, they were tireless in their massaging, comforting, and creativity in coming up with techniques to help me adjust to labor and, eventually, to get my baby to come out. In my memory, they were both there all the time, although I know that wasn’t the case. They were a warm security blanket, and I couldn’t have done it without them. We also really appreciated their two postpartum house calls, to check and see how we were adjusting to life with our new baby. Having them get to know us before the baby was born was essential, because they understood what we wanted and needed better than the hospital staff did. But having them wrap things up afterwards really made it feel like a complete experience.” –Caroline and Caleb, Winter 2012
“Scarlett was great from start to finish! She was very responsive to questions leading up to the birth and great when the time came. She was excellent and providing us the support we needed during labor and reminding us of things we had learned but couldn’t conjure up in the drama of the moment! Scarlett knew I very much wanted an unmedicated birth, but I never felt she judged us for any choices we made. Thankfully I was able to go completely unmedicated, but I don’t know if we could have done it without her. Having a doula like Scarlett really allowed my husband to be present and focused on the birth process rather than trying to remember all the pain coping methods we learned. She could coax us along and we could focus on each other and our baby girl!” –Christina, Fall 2011
“Scarlett provided a huge amount of comfort to me and my husband as we awaited the birth of our second child. I really enjoyed our prenatal visits, where she took the time to answer all my questions, talk with me about my birth choices, and even cuddle my three-year-old son. My first birth ended in a C-section, and so I felt strongly about having a natural, vaginal birth this time around, especially since i knew this would be my last child. My labor progressed very quickly, and when she showed up at my house, I was doubled over and could barely stand through contractions. Scarlett grabbed my hands, hugged me, and reassured me that everything would be OK. I felt such a huge sense of relief the moment I saw her. She drove behind us to the hospital and stayed with us the entire time I labored, radiating calmness and strength. She talked me through contractions, helped me breathe through them, applied counter pressure, applied cold compresses, and had me pull her hands to get through the tougher contractions. Even when I was in transition and felt like my pelvis was going to split in half, she reassured me that everything I was feeling was normal and that I was doing great. Her confidence in me gave me the strength I needed to to go on. After 45 minutes of pushing, our little boy was born, and I’ve never felt as proud and relieved as I did at that moment. She helped make my dream of a VBAC a reality. We couldn’t have asked for a better doula than Scarlett.” –Karen, Summer 2011
“Scarlett was a great help to us in the birth of our first child. During my pregnancy, she met with my husband and I and guided us through many discussions about expectations, hopes, and fears. Her questions to us were very thought provoking and her presence calmed our concerns.
We had planned for as natural of a hospital birth as possible, but ended up with a completely different result. Two and half weeks past my due date, we went in for an induction. During labor, Scarlett helped ease my fears and helped my husband to relax; she taught us how to work together through contractions. Unfortunately, I ended up being Scarlett’s first cesarean section. During surgery, I felt so disconnected from the birth, and have a somewhat fuzzy memory of the whole event. Scarlett took photos of the birth, and those photos have meant so much to me, as they allowed me to tell the story of my daughter’s birth in a much more positive light than my memory alone served. Afterwards, I had a very difficult time dealing with the c-section, and Scarlett was very comforting, mostly because in our postpartum meetings she didn’t give me the standard line of telling me everything would be ok because of my “positive outcome.” I appreciated her candor, ability to withhold judgment, and empathy.” —Angie, Fall 2011
“Scarlett is amazing! She was present at the birth of my son-my first pregnancy-and for much of the time before the birth. She talked to me a lot before the birth about what to be prepared for and really helped support my decision to have a drug/intervention free birth and reminded me of that when things started getting difficult.
I labored most of the day at home and when I was sure it was time to go to the hospital, she helped my husband and I stay calm through the moments leaving the house and arriving at the hospital. When in transition, I started begging for drugs. I wasn’t sure I was really going to be able to give birth without some pain relief. Scarlett talked me through the benefits and risks, what would be good and bad and let me make the decision based on information, not fear. By the time the nurse had returned with the drugs, and told her I wasn’t sure, she agreed with the information Scarlett had given and I decided I could do it on my own. I had heard stories of hospital staff having “friction” with doulas and I did not experience that at all with my staff and Scarlett. She was very respectful of the work they do.
When my son was born, Scarlett was right there to help me get him latched on as soon as possible, which was another important aspect of my birth I had let her know ahead of time. I had a drug free birth and got to spend the first moments of my son’s life with him on my chest, and nursing. It was one of the best days of my life and my husband and I are so thankful to have had Scarlett by our sides.” –Leslie, Fall 2008
“Scarlett was the first and only person we interviewed when looking for doulas. Her warm, straight forward and extremely flexible style was exactly what we were looking for and what fit best for both of our personalities. During her pre-birth visits, Scarlett was such a comfort and wonderful resource for us both. She was extremely easy to talk to and while offering advice, she really honored our choices for our birth.
Scarlett worked equally with both of us, again honoring our beliefs and desires for birthing. She brought us information/DVDs and researched questions we had when there wasn’t a clear answer. She checked in all along the way after prenatal checks when concerns arose. She provided ongoing support in what was a very difficult journey with breast feeding after the birth.
My birth experience was phenomenal. We had a written plan with Scarlett’s feedback and while things did not completely as I had hoped, having Scarlett in the room every step of the way made the experience that much more amazing. She believed in my ability which allowed me to. She helped navigate family, knew when to step in and when to allow us to do our work. I highly recommend Scarlett. She is professional, compassionate, real, witty, and nurturing, which are all wonderful traits to have in someone supporting the most important journey in your life. I have already recommended her to several of my friends.” –Kim, Summer 2010
“My husband and I met with more than one doula, but I knew quickly that Scarlett was the one for me. Scarlett presented good credentials, but more importantly I felt very comfortable and trusting of her as a Doula. As a first time Mom I had many concerns, and the only way I felt that I could face the daunting birth process was by preparation. Scarlett was the best. She presented many of my options, and helped us work out a birth plan that made sense. Most importantly, words cannot express the way Scarlett was by my side with comfort, reassurance, and encouragement during the 27 hours of labor. Thanks to her I had an overwhelmingly positive experience despite some challenges.” –Kate, Winter 2011
“Scarlett was an excellent birth attendant, staying by my side and staying encouraging even with an unhappy change in plans, and a very fast and intense labor. She was calm and strong and cheerful, was always prompt and responsive when meeting before the birth, and fostered confidence from the very beginning. I look forward to having her at my next birth in January!” Erica, Summer 2008
“Summing up my experience working with Scarlett Lynsky is hard, because she did so much for us. Long before I ever got pregnant, Scarlett was a fountain of knowledge. She knew we were planning to start a family, so she counseled us and loaned me book after book to begin educating myself about childbirth and what to expect. Once I got pregnant, our doula relationship began with numerous pre-labor conferences to make sure she really understood what we wanted out of her services. We then took her childbirth education class. I know this is about doula services, but for us, attending the class was a huge part of the process. There was so much to learn from classes, even after all the reading I did, that I really recommend taking them.
During labor, Scarlett was a rock and a calming presence. She was there for us the whole time, of course, coaching, reassuring, and supporting both of us in general. There was nothing I lacked during the labor process because of her involvement. I honestly don’t know how I would have done it without her. My labor was long, and poor Scarlett, I don’t think she got a wink of sleep the whole time, but she was indefatigable and strong throughout the whole process. Scarlett was a fantastic coach from start to finish and I’d recommend her to anyone.” –Christina, Winter 2010
“I was anxious about natural childbirth because I had heard lots of negative stories. My experience, though, was very positive, very much because of Scarlett’s help and support.
My husband and I are private people who don’t like to ask for help, so we were reluctant about hiring a doula. Scarlett was a perfect fit for us: Professional but low-key, with no agenda except to listen, support us and help us make informed decisions. She met us at our home twice before the birth, and twice after.
My water broke about 1am or so, and the hospital instructed me to come in. Scarlett was at my house within 40 minutes, providing immediate support. My labor really started to intensify before we had left for the hospital, and Scarlett was indispensable helping us get on our way, remembering everything.
Once at the hospital, Scarlett was amazing at being there whenever we needed her, and in the background when we didn’t – she has a sixth sense for this. My labor was intense from when we arrived right up to transition about 10am. I had no idea I was in transition, and didn’t want an exam because I was afraid they were going to tell me I was only at 4cm or something. Scarlett could tell I was in transition, though, and in her signature low-key way indicated this to the hospital nurses. Sure enough, I was fully dilated at 10cm. Scarlett was there through out the birth, and provided help with my first try at nursing.
I can’t say enough good things about her. We would definitely use her services again, and recommend her highly.” –Wendie, Summer 2010
“I couldn’t have asked for a better doula. Scarlett was so sensitive to all my needs, both before, during, and after labor. She was a constant quiet presence… I knew she was there for me, but she was never overbearing. She worked great with the hospital staff, was flexible about how my birth plan had to change from home to hospital, and was so incredibly thoughtful. Scarlett made my husband feel comfortable being at the birth, which was a huge feat, and he also cannot say enough good things about her!” –Kari, Summer 2010