Birthways: Here to support you

If you only want the best for your family and your baby…

you’ve made it to the right place.

Welcoming a new baby into the world should be a joyful and nurturing experience. We are here to support you with highly trained, dedicated, and compassionate providers so you and your baby can thrive during this exciting time of transformation. When you work with Birthways, you’re partnering with nationally recognized experts and the most experienced doula service provider in the Chicago area. With over 20 years of experience, we've shaped postpartum care across the nation. We've even helped establish the first certification guidelines in the field.

​Our employees are trained to embody purpose-driven principles that propel our mission of helping to bring more mindful and compassionate care to parents and babies.


Around the clock support

We pride ourselves on providing reliable, consistent, and responsive care. We work you with to ensure you get what you need when you need it. If obstacles or questions arise outside of business hours, our 24/7 on-call administrators are there to support you


Experience you can count on

Get support from doulas who have the experience to meet your needs. We keep our providers and staff up to date on newborn care, women’s health, lactation, and emotional wellbeing so you know you’re always getting the best level of care.


Experts who understand you

Our labor support and postpartum doulas are specially trained to help you address special concerns such as high-risk pregnancies, multiples, advanced lactation support, postpartum depression, perinatal mood disorders, adoption and surrogacy, and other unique circumstances.

Birthways doula party
Founded in 1997

Our Story

Birthways was founded in 1997 by Karen Laing, who was previously the director of Illinois’ first doula agency, Dana Mothercare (DM). DM was the first organization to integrate mindfulness into home-based care, thanks to its founders Nancy Newton and Bill Brauer. When Nancy and Bill moved onto other projects, Karen gathered the doulas and founded Birthways. Some of the original DM employees are still a part of Birthways today!

Birthways has grown and evolved with a mission to bring mindful care to expecting and new parents across the nation.

Over the years, we’ve developed methods for delivering childbirth preparation services, collaborated with social service agencies to bring care to adolescent parents, provided neonatal hospice services, and served families facing all manner of challenges, transitions, joys and losses. 

Compassionate care delivered mindfully with our PACT:

Presence - get compassionate support built on a caring one-on-one relationship with you and your baby.

Awareness - know you're making the best choices with options attuned to the latest birth and newborn care practices.

Communication - feel safe and supported with care that's coordinated around your priorities and values.

Trustworthiness - have a reliable resource you can count on with integrity at the core of our model of care.

Karen Laing

Meet the Founder

Karen Laing is a mother, lactation consultant, midwife and educator. She was trained at Duke Integrative Medicine as an Integrative Health Coach, and is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor. As one of the early board members of the National Association of Postpartum Care Services, Karen helped establish the first national standards for postpartum doula certification. She has leveraged her decades of training and experience to develop unique models of care to support mothers with perinatal and postpartum mood disorders.

Karen has contributed a chapter to the book “Housecalls: Home based Interventions on the impact of doula care on postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders (PPMDs)” and co-presented on this subject to the American Psychological Association and the March of Dimes Conference.

Karen brings the benefits of mindfulness to parents through models of mindful caregiving, childbirth and parenting. Her heart feels most fulfilled when she sees the smiles and relief on new parents' faces as they know that they don’t have to face the journey alone and can fully enjoy each precious moment of the beautiful experience of birthing and parenting.

mission-based work

When you choose Birthways, you’re not only getting the best care but also supporting birth equity for all...

You’re also choosing fair wages, dignity, and sustainability.

You’re contributing to a world where all babies are given the opportunity to be born healthy and ready to thrive...because every baby is our baby.

​Some of the ways we give back include:
Project Indra Maternal Child Equity Fund
Sanctuary & Porch
Time to Give

Founded in 1997

Not just another doula or childbirth education provider...

When you work with Birthways, you benefit from partnering with nationally recognized experts and the most experienced doula service provider in the Chicago area.