What is a doula?

The Greek word doula means servant, or woman caregiver. We now use the term to describe a trained and experienced labor companion who provides the woman and her husband continuous emotional support, physical comfort and assistance in obtaining information before, during and just after childbirth.

The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well being of mothers and infants.

What does a doula Do?

  • Recognizes birth as a key life experience the mother will remember all her life

  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor

  • Assists the woman and her husband in preparing for and carrying out their birth plans

  • Stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor

  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint, and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions

  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner, and clinical care providers

  • Perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience

What is a monitrice?

A monitrice is similar to a doula in that her primary role is that of continuous hands on labor support, but there are some added benefits.  She also does clinical skills for you at home before going to the hospital, such as monitoring the baby's heart rate during labor, mom's vital signs, and assessing cervical dilation. This enables you to stay home as long as you would like without going to the hospital too early, (which may lead to unnecessary interventions), or being sent home to return later.

The primary difference between a doula and a monitrice is that the monitrice has professional training in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care that give her clinical skills that she can use during birth, in addition to providing the emotional support that a doula provides.

What if there is a problem with Mother or Baby?

The monitrice has been trained to recognize danger signs. If anything is abnormal during labor or postpartum, she can help the family access medical help in a timely manner. She can also help communicate with the woman's doctor, and will work collaboratively as part of the birth team (without speaking for the woman). These skills come in very handy for women planning VBACs, as well as first time moms.

debbie shelton doula san diego.png

debbie shelton doula san diego expecting your miracle birth


  • Free consultation to determine if I am a good fit for you

  • At least 2 prenatal visits before the birth, more if needed

  • Unlimited email, text and phone support

  • Assistance with creation of birth plan, if desired

  • Emotional and informational preparation for labor and birth

  • Monitor you and your preborn baby while you labor at home

  • Continuous support during labor, birth and recovery

  • Give father/coach tips on providing support for laboring mom

  • Notes taken during labor to help with the details of your birth story

  • 1 Postpartum visit to review your birth story and evaluate breastfeeding

  • Spiritual support if desired

Terms and Fees:

  • $1200 for Monitrice/Doula care

  • $600 deposit due when signing contract to reserve date

  • Remaining balance by 38th week

  • Military & other discount available, payment plans

If you are in need of monitrice services but are having a hard time coming up with the funds, call me and I am sure we can figure something out! I prefer when I can start providing support early on. Meeting with a woman when she is 24-30 weeks gestation helps us to begin to build a foundation of trust in one another. This trust is essential when we enter the labor room. During her pregnancy, I will provide resources and information on various pregnancy, birth and newborn options. We will work together on understanding a mother’s wishes for her birth journey, and the ways in which those desires can be met. During labor, I arrive when the mother asks me to. I can meet a family at their home, or at their birth place-whichever is desired. Each woman is unique. Each labor is unique. Therefore, the support I provide will vary from family to family. There are births in which I provide hours of physical hands-on support. There are births in which all I am asked to provide is my presence. I understand this is an amazing moment in a family’s life, and I understand that a woman’s desires may change through the course of her labor. My role is to support the mother and her family in any way I can.

Payment Options

Deposit: $600

Balance: $600

Payment in full: $1200