About Corvallis Proud Mama Support Services
Proud Mama Support Services specializes in postpartum family support. We are a group of independent professional doulas and other perinatal service providers, serving Corvallis, Oregon and the greater Willamette Valley. Founded by Rachel Brinker in 2015, we have served over 50 families as postpartum doulas, provided over 2,000 hours of in-home consulting, education, and practical support to our postpartum clients, and have impacted over 450 local families through our services, public community events, and support group project. We pride ourselves on the excellence of our care and our professionalism. Each doula is certified in Mental Health First Aid, Infant and Adult CPR and First Aid, has cleared a criminal background check, and holds a current Oregon Food Handler's Card. Each doula is a current member of CAPPA, DONA International and/or ProDoula and upholds the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of these international doula certifying organizations. We form positive working relationships with providers of perinatal medical, mental health, and lactation consultant services across the Willamette Valley to make sure that we can refer our clients to the best care when their needs fall outside the scope of what doula support can provide.
What is a doula?
The word "doula" is a Greek word that means "servant of women." In the last few decades, this is the term that has come to be used to describe those professionals who provide a wide range of knowledgeable non-medical support to families during pregnancy, labor and birth, and the postpartum year.
The mission of Proud Mama Support Services is to provide top-quality mother-centered care and support to families while they transition to life with a new baby.
With everything we do, Proud Mama Support Services operates from these core values:
- Integrity - We are committed to our clients and our community. We provide consistent and dependable care to our clients at a vulnerable time in their lives. We recognize that providing care, education, and support for new parents, infants, and during someone's pregnancy comes with great ethical responsibility. Our clients and the community at large can trust that in every interaction, we will operate with professional behavior and boundaries. We will offer knowledge, experience, and our compassion in a balanced way, acknowledge our biases where they exist, and provide our support to our clients with no "birth politics" agenda, other than our agenda to provide the best information and support for our clients. We trust our clients to make the parenting and/or birthing decisions that are right for them, their baby, their family, and their circumstances.
- Curiosity - We know a lot about pregnancy, birth, babies, breastfeeding, pumping, infant sleep, parenting, etc. But, we don't know everything, and that's ok! We are never finished learning. As a parent, figuring out what it is you don't know, determining what information you are looking for, where to find it, and how to weed through all the unhelpful information available to modern parents, is a skill you will develop as you begin your parenting journey. We model for our clients a spirit of curiosity and acceptance of the unknown. If you and your baby are having a problem that we've never come across before, we'll learn together!
- Kindness - We work intimately with women and families every day. We are acutely aware of the negative impact that shame and guilt, so prevalent in our culture, especially "Mommy Culture," has on women's self-esteem, and their perception of themselves as mothers. We also understand that these issues also affect men and partners. Unrealistic expectations of what "should" happen, or not happen, during pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum year, leave many new parents feeling defeated and overwhelmed during this time. For this reason, we passionately value kindness--to ourselves, to our clients, to all parents, and to all children. No one can make the right decision for you and your family, except you. The way each of us births and parents looks different. There is no one right way. Be proud of you who are, be kind to yourself, and be kind to all other parents as well. This is hard work! We all deserve more compassion, kindness, and grace.
- Excellence - Our commitment to excellence means that we continue to learn about relevant topics to our clients, develop our professional skills, and continuously expand and hone our expertise. We are committed to operating with excellence in all aspects of our work. If we ever fail to meet the expectations of our clients, we will respond with a plan to make it right.
- Family - Your family matters. Our team members' families matter. As modern professionals, we all have many commitments to balance. Our team is drawn to this work of supporting other families because we know how vital it is for the future health and wellbeing of women, partners, and their children, to feel supported during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum year. We also know how vital it is for women who are caregivers for other families to be appropriately valued for their work so that they can take care of themselves and their families. Both of these commitments are equally important, and Proud Mama Support Services creates systems to ensure that all families--our team's families and our clients' families--are flourishing. Our clients can trust that our doulas will be present and available in their professional roles when called upon, because in our personal lives we value balance for family time, self-care time, play, work, and outside commitments.
- Contribution - We strive to make a positive contribution to our local community and to our culture in general. We regularly contribute our volunteer time, donation of goods and services, and funds, to local organizations that serve women and families, including healthy family initiatives, domestic violence shelters, mental health advocacy organizations, and parenting education groups. We aim to be a positive force in our community, and make the world a better place for all.
In our vision for the future described below, Proud Mama Support Services is the central hub through which independent birth support professionals who share our core values, are mentored and engage in collaborative professional and business development, and families can find top-quality, professional support that is the perfect fit for them and their family.
We work toward a future in which every person in Corvallis, in Oregon, in the US, and beyond, is aware that professional postpartum doula support exists. In this future, the postpartum adjustment for mothers and parents, early parenting, and infant development is studied, planned for, and supported as much, if not more, than labor and birth itself. This preparation and awareness begins before or during pregnancy, and is woven into the childbirth education, medical care, birth doula support, and the culture around pregnancy at large. Postpartum women, men, and all new parents have access to judgement-free peer support. Each person knows how to access professional mental health services, and those local services truly understand and respond appropriately to the uniqueness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) and other common postpartum struggles. Proud Mama Support Services is an integral part of the postpartum network of support in our local Oregon community.
Additionally, we envision a future where women who are professionally trained, carry specialized knowledge and experience in giving care and support to families during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, are a valued member of the family's collaborative support team during this life transition. Doulas, who invest in knowledge and skills that benefit families, babies, and parents, benefit from affiliation with Proud Mama Support Services because we are able to have a broader reach in marketing and network as a group than as individual doulas, and because all affiliated doulas align with the core values of Proud Mama Support Services. Clients benefit from choosing Proud Mama Support Services because they can trust that our entire team upholds the same values and the same commitment to excellence in our service to families. Families who hire support through Proud Mama Support Services have access to the cumulative knowledge, experience, and areas of expertise of the entire PMSS Team.
Proud Mama Support Services by the Numbers
- 6,500: The estimated number of times we have provided a judgement-free listening ear and helped a new mom or new dad feel more at ease with their new role.
- 5,000: The estimated number of diapers we have changed since 2015.
- 2,500: The number of hours of in-home postpartum support Proud Mama Support Services has provided since 2015.
- 950: The estimated number of times we have demonstrated how to swaddle a baby.
- 450+: The number of local families Proud Mama Support Services has impacted through workshops, guest speaking, resource sharing, classes, support groups, and community events such as Climb Out of the Darkness.
- 95: Our combined years of education, work experience, and training in related fields that help to inform our care and support of pregnant and postpartum families.
- 50: The number of families who have benefited from our postpartum doula services since 2015.
- 30: The estimated number of times we have demonstrated how to use a breast pump, or how to sanitize pump parts and bottles.
- 16: The combined continuing education training opportunities our team has invested in since each initial doula training. We are always deepening our knowledge in order to best serve our clients.
- 7: Our current team consists of seven independent professionals, working together as a team to bring top-quality support and education to families during pregnancy and the first year postpartum.
- 6: Our combined years of experience as professional doulas.
- 2: The number of massage therapists available through Proud Mama Support Services for in-home massage during pregnancy and postpartum.
- 1: The number of acupuncturists available through Proud Mama Support Services for in-home treatment during pregnancy and postpartum.
What Our Clients Say
Support from Proud Mama Support Services was most meaningful during times of complete emotional and physical exhaustion, especially because we do not have any local family. We really appreciated our doula." --Jen B., Corvallis
Rachel is an incredibly perceptive provider that approaches her clients with what they need before they can voice the words themselves. Any family would benefit from their services as they fill a massive gap in our healthcare and, too often, cultural systems." --Lauren V., Corvallis
As a prenatal/postpartum yoga teacher I encourage mothers to reach out to Proud Mama because I consider it to be self-care. I wish more people knew about Proud Mama Support Services because it is so critical during those first few months to have healthy support. I tell all my friends about Proud Mama because they will never be sorry for this investment." --Emily J., Philomath
Rachel is so dedicated to helping women navigate pregnancy, postpartum and birth recovery with all her heart! She is an amazing resource for the community, welcoming all Corvallis moms and families."
--Wendy F., Portland
I had the privilege of working with Rachel as a participant in one of her mama Pilates classes last summer. I was extremely impressed with her understanding of women's postpartum bodies and what support we need. She is such a caring and genuine person. I strongly recommend her services to any pregnant or postpartum woman." --Lyndsey Z., Corvallis