A mother receiving support during birth.

Interview with Beautiful Birth Doula

Birthing is a delicate and precious experience, and it should be treated as such. Lena Forsgren, a professional doula and the owner of Beautiful Birth Doula, is someone you can look to in order to get the experience you need. She strongly believes in gaining your trust and making your birth as comfortable as possible. Forsgren is a wonderful asset to creating a beautiful birth of your own.


A doula is a part of the birth team. While they are not trained medical professionals and doing medical things is outside their scope of practice, they are very knowledgeable in the world of birth. Doulas are well trained to support families as they go through their parenthood journey. Doulas can help provide evidence based information, be an emotional support for both the birther and the partner, and give physical support by giving comfort measures (hip squeeze, knee press, massage, etc…) during labor to help the birther cope with the pain of labor. Most doulas (myself included) spend time helping the family know what to prepare for when it comes to navigating hospital policy and procedures, the varying options available such as medications, augmentation, placenta encapsulation, circumcision, breast/chest feeding, and even practicing labor positions and comfort measures… the list really does go on!
Doulas can be helpful in empowering a family to make the decisions that best suit them and their needs. As they work with their doula, they may find boosted confidence in birth and their ability to parent their new baby. It can be described best as a trio. The partner knows the pregnant person intimately. They are emotionally invested in the experience and in their baby. A doula is intimately knowledgeable with the process of a normal physiological birth. Together, the three of them can create an environment conducive to safety and calm, which is what birth requires to progress steadily and safely. It’s a sacred and life changing event for all parties involved and doulas can help the whole family relish in the experience! As they should, right?!


I saw my first birth when I was 14. It was your standard hospital birth, where she was in the lithotomy position (on the back with feet in stirrups), had an epidural, and so on. I stayed up all night with her while dad took naps and I ended up being RIGHT THERE holding her leg while she pushed. I always found pregnancy fascinating and I have always loved babies, but the palpable energy in the room was what got me. There is a mystery and even wisdom involved in birth and like a moth to a flame I was drawn in. It didn’t take long for me to head on over to Google and teach myself all about birth. I began to learn about the different places you can have babies and the history of birth and I realized (even in my young brain) how important it really is to consider how we enter into the world and how it impacts us as we grow. I became a massage therapist and have specialized in prenatal massage. I found my massage skills useful and did some self teaching for about a year until I could afford a training and certification. I started simple; a couple free births, a couple births with a very low cost, and I just took time learning and finding connections. Over time, pieces connected and everything was forming into my solo doula practice; Beautiful Birth! This business idea/dream began in massage school when I hoped to combine my love for soft tissue manipulation and birth, and was born Feb of 2018.


Haha oops! I answered some of this above. I’ve been a doula for 3 years now. I had some training at the University of Utah hospital and then went to Birth Boot Camp, which was a fantastic introduction for me. I learned everything I needed to know, got access to material that helped me build my business up, and when I began to outgrow birth boot camp, I began to develop my own material and formed my own way of doula-ing 🤣

**Side note**my focus has shifted in terms of birth work. It’s not so much about learning to be a doula now as it was then. Now my focus is the political and social justice that surrounds pregnancy and birth. The history of birth in America is systemically racist and for one of the most developed countries in the world we have one of the worst infant and maternal mortality rates. Research shows that racism and marginalization is contributing dramatically to these poor mortality rates and doulas can be a tiny part in improving those numbers. Birth boot camp failed to cover this topic, in turn almost failing doulas as they go out to serve. So I have not opted for recertification with BBC.


I am solo for now, but I have made some amazing friends who are also doulas, and I utilize their love and support by calling them in as back up if I ever need to (sleep, sickness, emergency, etc…)


I recommend getting a doula as soon as possible. This is for a few reasons.
-Doulas are human. They have families of their own, sometimes other jobs, and therefore doulas often limit the families they can serve so they can adequately do the job. For me, I take on 1-3 births a month, and that is also shared with my partnership in another doula agency. As a full time midwifery student and with my massage schedule, I work on a first come first serve basis. So if you are not sure who you want to work with, do the searching right away. If you already know, contact them as soon as you can to be sure they are available
-Doulas are not cheap (and for good reason). Most often payment plans can be worked out. On average, doulas here in my area cost about $1000.
-Relationship and trust is so crucial! I have an analogy that makes people giggle and nod their heads… Imagine pooping in peace while in a public restroom. You don’t notice the door is unlocked. Suddenly, a stranger barges in. What happens? Do you clench or are you still relaxed? My guess is that its not the latter. Birth is the same way. It is raw and vulnerable. If you are not comfortable enough to poop in front of someone (intentionally or on accident 😉) then you will likely not feel relaxed and safe enough during birth. Even if you hit it off right away, time to expand that relationship can be rewarding. Studies suggest that continuity of care is one of the best ways to take care of our pregnant community and I see that reflect in my work as a massage therapist and a doula as well. Clients who experience early and/or consistent pregnancy loss can find a lot of support and end up confiding in their doula, often becoming friends and returning to that doula when pregnancy is achieved again. Just like finding a provider you really trust, a doula is the same!! When I was undergoing fertility treatment I was worried about how I would go about telling people if pregnancy happened because of the “what ifs”. The advice I got was to share it with anyone you want to be involved in your pregnancy and anyone you would want to lean on if those what ifs were to become reality. I feel like a doula can be a great proverbial and literal shoulder to cry on, so find one you like and keep em!


Anywhere! of course, that is a loaded answer because this depends on their preferences. Often finances and insurance are the most important factors families are considering first, alongside the weighted risk/benefits to birthing in or out of the hospital. Studies have continually showed that out of hospital is as safe or even safer for low risk pregnancies and midwifery and out of hospital birth does tend to be a LOT cheaper. Considerations such as pain management, location, preferred provider, and so on also play a role in where someone may give birth. So The pregnant person (and their partner) can decide which route to take. I will be happy to serve families where ever they birth, within a 2 hr radius of where I live in Midvale UT. When hired early enough, I may even be able to assist families in making that decision by helping them understand the differences in providers, locations, etc. At the least I always have referrals for other birth professionals who can help too!


It is a common misconception that midwives are not medical practitioners and that has lead to a strange dynamic between CPM/DEM Midwives (certified professional midwives or direct entry; can practice in a birth center or within homes, but not in hospitals), CNMs (Certified nurse midwives), OBGYNs and other practitioners who attend births. The fact lies within a two folded truth; Midwives are trained to work in evidence based ways. They are trained by way of scientific methodology and are highly skilled medical professionals. Their specialty is normal, physiological, vaginal birth. OBGYNs are also highly skilled, however they are trained surgeons. Their training does not consist at great length handling a normal birth with limited interruptions. They are trained to handle emergencies.
I would love to see Midwives of all licensure and certifications stand equal and shoulder to shoulder with OBGYNs and other birth practitioners. There are too many things at play that need to be dismantled first before America sees them work well together, but I believe that low-risk birthers should be with midwives. Either in a hospital or in a birth center (or at home, of course) and high risk birthers should have their pick of a partnership perhaps of both a CNM and an OBGYN.
OBGYNs are SLAMMED with patients and simply do not have the time to look at the entire human. Health is not just physical, and midwives tend to form their practice in such a way that they can have an hour, sometimes two during their prenatal visits. This gives time to truly build a connection, answer questions, and it invites the entire family into the birthing experience. Everyone deserves that kind of care while also having the peace of mind that well-trained staff are near by and trust the midwives to make the right judgements if/when it is time to transfer car. Patriarchal history keeps this from working as simply as it sounds… So my long winded answer is that both are necessary, both are skilled, and both can work together to bring better health care to our childbearing community.
This is my personal belief on the matter and as a doula I do my best not to push my beliefs/ideals one way or another. 🙂


I go on call at around 37 weeks (individual circumstances sometimes arise so I am flexible in most cases!)

Labor with me as a doula can look however it needs to! In best case scenario, where labor starts on its own, I encourage clients to contact me if they think something may be going on. Usually, depending on circumstance, I will give some direction/advice, sometimes I will listen to them on the phone to hear how they sound, and often I encourage a call to their provider. When things happen at night and they are not sure if its the real deal, I may recommend drinking water, laying on your side, taking a bath, and making sure you try to sleep if not just rest… if things do not let up that is usually a pretty good indicator that perhaps birth is on its way! If it is during the day, I will usually ask about food and drink; have you eaten? I will ask about rest; did you sleep well last night? Do you feel like you have some energy? I am always happy to give some tips and tricks that may help move things along, but will always make nutrition and rest top priority! It is also important to note that the birth plan, location, and the specifics of every birther and baby goes into how I “doula” them. In these cases, again, where birth happens on is own, we keep in touch every couple hours or so until things progress. It is important that I am also refreshed, rested, hydrated and ready to go too! So my advice is usually to keep this kind of cycle until active labor begins. In the event that someone wants to labor at home as long as possible before they go to the hospital or birth center, I will then come to their home. I stay with them for the first couple hours after birth. I am happy to assist with getting feeding going, grabbing some good food, taking photos, or whatever else parents and the new babe may need.



I offer one postpartum visit with my services. During pregnancy we spend time preparing for this phase. We discuss PPD/PPA, maternal/paternal leave, meals, encapsulation, etc. I do my best to help the partner know how they can be supportive and helpful, especially in the event that breast/chest feeding takes place, as that is what the majority of postpartum consists of; feeding that baby! We talk about plans to manage visitors too!
My rule of thumb is to never show up to a house with a new baby without either a meal in hand or the intention to do chores. I offer to bring a meal of their choosing or my willing hands and will do laundry, mop, dishes, etc. Sometimes I even get to hold their little one and I definitely relish in those moments, as my job as a doula is about holding the mom, not the baby. My postpartum does not go into overnight care right now, but I have MANY amazing postpartum doulas I will refer to when clients seek that kind of care. I am always available by phone or text as well and usually, even though our contractual relationship has come to an ed 6 weeks pp, I don’t go anywhere and help however and whenever I can!


There are a couple quotes I love that sum this question up nicely;
“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” -John Kennel 
“I do not care what kind of birth you have… A home birth, scheduled cesarean, epidural hospital birth or if you birth alone in the woods next to a baby deer. I care that you had options, that you were supported in your choices, and that you were respected.” -January Harshe
This is a life changing experience for everyone. Studies show that patients with alzheimer’s are still able to recall their birth experiences and how they felt about it. Preparing for this event is really important and invaluable. Doulas are for everyone! Even if you plan to have a cesarean, there are things to navigate, questions to be answered, and support to be had. Everyone should get a doula!
Having a doula is so vital to the ideal birth. Beautiful Birth knows exactly what you need, and provides a sense of security as you approach such a frighteningly superlative experience. Be sure to reach out to Lena Forsgren to create your own beautiful birth. Her website is: https://www.beautifulbirthservices.com/
To read my other informational blogs on birth professionals check here!

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