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.
Founded in 1997
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.
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.