Midwife and Doula near Palatine, IL

Updated on June 23, 2010
S.Y. asks from Palatine, IL
16 answers

I've always visited an Ob-Gyn and am not familiar with midwives or doulas. Now that I'm pregnant, I've heard a lot of good things about midwives/doulas. If you've had experiences before, can you share the pros/cons from your point of view?

Additionally, do you have a personal referral for a midwife and doula in the area that you can share? If you could also kindly describe reasons why you recommend them that would be very helpful as well. I live in Palatine but nearby suburb areas may work too. Thanks!!

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answers from Chicago on

Yes her name is Sasha Farnsworth she is a Doula. Her phone number is ###-###-####. Let her know J. referred you.. And good luck to you!! :)

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answers from Chicago on

Yes her name is Sasha Farnsworth she is a Doula. Her phone number is ###-###-####. Let her know J. referred you.. And good luck to you!! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Call Dr. Tara at Hands On Family Health. ###-###-####. Her hubby is my chiro and she is a chiro that works with moms, children, infants, etc. She knows of good referrals for our area.



answers from Chicago on

Only good things to say about midwives, but I've never had a doula. I'm on my second pregnancy, with a 2nd practice of midwives. I delivered my daughter with Midwest midwives out of Alexian Bros. in Elk Grove. They have since changed a little bit, but I would still recommend them, especially Janet and Liz :)
I had some issues with her birth- because she was having decels, they kept me on the monitor so I couldn't get in the tub, but all in all a wonderful experience.
I am currently with West Suburban midwives in Oak Park. I love love love it there. They deliver at West Suburban hospital, in a home-like birth center, and I believe the only ones that will let you do a waterbirth. (Most will let you labor in water, but come out for the actual birth.)
Check out http://www.mothersnaturally.org/midwives/findAMidwife.php or feel free to ask me for more details. Good luck with your pregnancy!


answers from Chicago on

I decided to go with a midwife for my first baby. I'm glad I did. So much of the way babies are born in hospitals now a-days has nothing to do with what's best for you as an individual, but what is good the the hospital according to their lawyers. This leads to a lot of unnecessary and often unsafe interventions. The great thing about a midwife is that they are less likely to utilize those unnecessary things and help support you in the kind of labor you want and that is safest for you and baby. You're less likely to have a c-section, an episiotomy, etc. A midwife knows how to massage and stretch the perinium during labor so that you don't need to be cut--which makes healing go much faster and w/o all the pain. Midwives working in hospitals still have an MD to answer to and must follow certain protocol as well but they are more open-minded and have more tricks up their sleeves than regular OB's. I am now preg with my 2nd and seriously considering a home birth with a certified nurse midwife. I loved my midwife--she was very supportive but I still felt like a few unnecessary things were done because of having given birth in a hospital. However, my baby came out healthy, I was taken care of very well, my wishes were respected and I would never have an OB! I used Karen Barr through Rush Copley in Aurora. I hope you have a beautiful and healthy birth. God bless you!



answers from Chicago on

Hey SY,
Congrats on your pregnancy and for considering a midwife and doula! I'm due any day now with my second and am having a homebirth. We took classes at Birthways with Mary Sommers with our first pregnancy and birthed at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park where the offer water birth. I'm not sure how far that is from you, but that might be a good place to start looking.
If you are interested in birthing at home, I would recommend contacting any one of the 3 places listed below. I'm sure they can help you on your journey. Happy pregnancy and birthing!
The Nest
4650 N. Rockwell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625

3717 N. Ravenswood Ave., Suite 140
Chicago, IL 60613
(888) 506-0607

A Woman's Place Birth & Health
4650 N Rockwell St
Chicago, IL 60625-2941




answers from Chicago on

Sorry, I have never dealt with a midwife or doula.



answers from Chicago on

I had my first baby almost a year ago and I used the midwife practice West Suburban Midwife Associates in Oak Park and I loved them... very professional, but a bit more high-touch/less invasive than my experiences with OB/GYNs. I ended up being induced and I had an epidural... I found my midwives to be very supportive of any of my choices and decisions (a lot of people think that midwives are very anti-pain meds, which was not my experience - they just wanted the healthiest most natural outcome that was reasonably possible).

As for a birthing doula... I didn't use one. Didn't really see the need with my husband there, who is very supportive. Next time I will hire a doula... my hubby had a hard time seeing me in pain and was too quick to do what I said or asked rather than suggesting "hey, let's try this kind of breathing", etc. I need someone there who isn't afraid to suggest some other things and be a little firm with me to keep me on track.



answers from Chicago on

Congratulations on your pregnancy! To clarify: midwives are healthcare providers. A CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) is a registered nurse and has additional graduate training in midwifery. A doula provides labor support and is also certified, but is not a healthcare provider. She would be present at the birth, but not to checkups etc since that's not her role.

I've had *great* experiences with midwives - they are able to spend more time with you at prenatals and during the labor and birth (as opposed to an OB/GYN who will have the nurse manage things, give orders over the phone, and run in at the last minute to catch the baby). Also a midwife is much less likely to intervene if you and your baby are looking healthy, is more likely to suggest alternatives to medical intervention, etc. I always felt like my pregnancy was much less a "medical condition" and more of a normal thing with midwives. If you do run into problems during your pregnancy or birth that are out of their scope of practice, your midwife calls in her back-up physician (an OB/GYN that she collaborates with) and they work together to make sure you get the care you need. You can locate a midwife from this website http://midwivesofillinois.org/practicelisting.html and can read more about them at www.acnm.org. I also suggest reading the "Choosing a Caregiver" link at http://www.childbirthconnection.org/ - it has some really good information. This whole website is excellent.

For midwives, I really love West Suburban Midwives Associates in Oak Park. I also like the midwives at UIC. Don't know much about the suburbs, though I've heard that Kathy Puls, CNM (Evanston?) is excellent.

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

We have a doula at our home school workshop. If you send me your e-mail or phone number I can pass it on to her when I see her Friday and she can e-mail or call you. She lives in Cary but I am sure she has contacts.


answers from Chicago on

I feel Midwives are a lot more involved and if you are wanting a natural birth they are really more supportive. Doulas are great as they provide that support and voice to help you achieve the birth you want. I am actually a certified HypnoBirthing practitioner and also offer doula services in the west/southwest suburbs.

Best of luck!!!!




answers from Chicago on

This group of midwives at West Suburban Hospital is the group of hospital-based midwives that I give the highest recommendation of any in the area...


I give this group my next-highest recommendation...


There are also several certified nurse-midwives in the area who attend homebirths. If you want their names, please feel free to send me a message through Mamasource.

As for doulas, here are three links which can give you names of doulas in our area...




I recommend Rachel Wickersham, Susan Smartt, Rita DiRito-Surgal, Andrea Bukiewicz, Cindy Unger, Michelle Steele, Jacque Shannon-McNulty, and Barb Lindgren.










Best wishes,



answers from Chicago on


Congratulations on your pregnancy! I respect your effort to research and find the best option for you and your baby. I hope you find what works for you!

I delivered (about 9 months ago) at Rush-Copley in Aurora. Karen Barr was the midwife on call when I delivered but I saw Noreen Prokuski for the duration of the pregnancy.

I had a WONDERFUL experience and birth with Karen. I was induced, because of threatened pre-eclampsia, and was nervous that the delivery wouldn't go as planned. Karen was patient, supportive and extremely calm and professional. Outstanding bedside manner! I was able to labor and did a partial delivery in the water, if that is something you are looking for. Both Karen and Noreen were very supportive of our decisions to deliver naturally. They were very invested in the birth going as close to my birth plan as possible, without jeopardizing the safety of myself or my son. I can't say enough good things about them--I recommend the use of a midwife to everyone!

As far as using a doula, since I had a midwife, I decided it was not necessary to spend the extra money. I did consider my Bradley class instructor and would have gone with her, had I delivered with an OB/Gyn. If you go with a midwife, and have a supportive/involved support person, the role of the midwife and doula may overlap a bit.

Good Luck--hope all goes well!



answers from Chicago on

Well I had a midwife for my daughter and would never do anything different. Being my first baby I was thankful to know that she was going to be in the room with me the whole time if I wanted her to be. It wasn't going to be a nurse that I met that day and may or may not like. I knew that she would support my decision to be drug free and have the most natural birth possible...with the least chance of a c-section. I was able to have a number of friends and family in the room as well to support me, which wouldn't have been allowed had it been a doctor scenario. If you have a doctor, they stop in for a minute and try to make it back before you deliver. My friend's doctor came by and then left to go play golf. I just didn't want that. I absolutely love the practice that I went through. There is also one of the doctors in the hospital at all times if an issue arises that the midwife can't do (c-section, vacuum, foresepts). Otherwise they are great.

We used West Suburban Women's Health. They are in Willowbrook at the corner of Madision and Plainfield Rd just east of Rt 83. It's an all female practice. They have 3 midwives now. There were two previously. I had Patty for my delivery and my family loves her. They deliver out of Hinsdale Hospital, so that shouldn't be too far for you. You have some time after labor starts generally. Their number is: 630-654-baby.

Oh, btw, I have another friend that is now going to WSWH now that she's pregnant and she likes them. I also have a number of friends now going there for gyn, and really like them. It's a fantastic practice.

As for a doula, I didn't have one that I paid for, but the friends that were with me worked like a doula. It is a REALLY big help if you are trying to have a completely natural birth. I have a neighbor though that is a doula and she is incredibly nice and has had 4 children herself. She is well experienced. Her name is Carrie and her number is: ###-###-####. She's located on the east side of Bolingbrook.

Take care and congrats!


answers from Miami on

Hello, I have two kids both were natural -underwater -at home births- with midwives.

I was 19 years old when I had my first, I had made a birth plan and decided on a water birth. My mother has been a midwife in Miami, Florida for years.

Since I was 10 yrs old I've seen women of all kinds give natural birth at birth centers or at home. I was very confident. The experience was great. I believe that a midwife is the better choice do to the fact that Midwives are dedicated to mommy and baby only. Doctors are what I like to call universal Doctors, because they take care of so much and have a lot on there plates. A midwife is on call for you 24-7, she will be at your birth when it's time, unlike doctors midwives don't rotate.

You are in charge, you choose who you want at your birth, and what you need & want. If you decide on a at home birth you have the freedom to eat, to move around, to personalize your birth. I was able to personalize my birth with my significant other, we had a quite room picked out in the house with the AQUA DOULA, the aroma of lavender scented candles lit and personalized music, I had a hand full of people who brought over fresh fruits for me and one person recording. When my water broke I basically began nesting, never having to leave my house I preped my self- walked the dog- did the dishes- took a shower- laid down in my rob- passed out. Walk up to the midwife. She checked me and told me I was ready. Every one had a job to do, Aqua dula was ready and filled with warm water. I got in and did my thing for 7 hrs, the father was able to get in with me and aid in the birthing process, was able to cut the cord. I had a great birth. If you want to know more about my personal experience having a home birth or water birth email me and I'll give you all the cool details. I just wanted you to get a glimpse of how mines went more or less. email: ____@____.com

Midwives carry oxygen tanks and the proper tools in case of emergency, and know about the hospitals in the area in case they need to send you to one. They also have connections to doulas which aid in the process, they serve you, they are known to give massages during birth if you wanted them , but mainly are there for supporting you emotionally and spiritually.
The birth is very important for mommy and baby its important for it to go as smooth as possible for it will give you and your baby a good head start. Lots of luck hope to hear from you. peace.


answers from Chicago on

I've an OB for my first pregnancy. If I hadn't been reading, I could have gone on my merry way rather ignorant about how to take care of myself or understand anything about labor. OBs are really in and out in 5 minutes. A midwife is very different.

I wish I had had a doula for both my two non-medicated labors. My husband was good, but doesn't know what it's like and I could have used better support for managing the contractions. It's totally possible to have a natural childbirth, but having a knowledgeable, supportive woman nearby makes all the difference (I hear--no personal experience, but makes sense).

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