Postpartum Doula Services with Marlee

Irvine lactation counselor breastfeeding support pink heart
Marlee gave my husband and I a comfortable setting for discussing things we weren’t confident with and questions that we had without feeling stupid or ashamed. It was a very positive addition to our first few weeks of parenthood! We had the extra support that we needed.
— Austin, Santa Ana

For many families, the time after having a baby (the postpartum period or "4th trimester") is a rite of passage in and of itself. It's common to feel unprepared to meet the challenges this part of the journey brings. As a postpartum doula, I walk alongside you as you welcome your new baby into the family. I offer gentle, nonjudgmental support and encouragement as you find your footing in your new role. My goal is to help you feel less overwhelmed, and to become self-reliant and confident in your new skills!


Costa Mesa postpartum doula Marlee and baby Billye

Postpartum Doula Packages

5 Visit Package: $650
Includes:

  • 5 postpartum doula visits with Marlee up to 3 hours long (includes lactation support if needed)

  • Car seat installation & education visit (learn more here)

  • 1 follow-up visit in baby’s first year (1-2 hours long and can be used for help preparing to return to work, introducing solids, addressing sleep regressions, developmentally appropriate activities, etc.)


8 Visit Package: $975
Includes:

  • 8 postpartum doula visits with Marlee up to 3 hours long (includes lactation support if needed)

  • Car seat installation & education visit (learn more here)

  • 1 follow-up visit in baby’s first year (1-2 hours long and can be used for help preparing to return to work, introducing solids, addressing sleep regressions, developmentally appropriate activities, etc.)


12 Visit Package: $1,600
Includes:

  • 12 postpartum doula visits with Marlee up to 3 hours long (includes lactation support if needed)

  • Car seat installation & education visit (learn more here)

  • 1 follow-up visit in baby’s first year (1-2 hours long and can be used for help preparing to return to work, introducing solids, addressing sleep regressions, developmentally appropriate activities, etc.)

  • 1 hour-long postpartum massage in your home with our favorite massage therapist (includes tip)


Benefits of a booking postpartum package:

  • Knowing you’ll have support when you need it most. Our clients who book postpartum packages have first priority on my schedule.

  • Continuity of care. I love seeing my clients through those first few days home with their new baby all the way through that first year. It really gives me the chance to learn about your values and priorities so my support can be completely customized for you and your family.

  • Additional phone/text support for quick questions in between visits. Many of my clients take advantage of the chance to check in with me about something in between visits.

  • Complimentary 1-hour consultation in your home before booking (if you’re booking before baby arrives) to help you feel 100% comfortable with the support you’ll receive when we work together. If baby is already here, I’m happy to offer a short phone consultation before you book a package, but most families find that at that point they’d much rather start working together and get the hands-on help they need.

Notes on packages:

  • Visits take place between 10am - 5pm. If you are looking for overnight doula support, we highly recommend Amanda Cagle at Your Birth Team (visit her website here).

  • Visits must be used within 3 months of our first visit together. Follow-up visits must be used before baby’s first birthday.


I offer several postpartum support package options to address various needs in the first months after welcoming a new baby. I take my supportive role with parents very seriously, and have crafted these packages over time to reflect the offerings my clients have found most useful.

Some clients know ahead of time that they want to book a 12 visit package, others aren't quite sure. If you're on the fence about how much support you need, feel free to book a 5 visit package to reserve your place on my calendar. If you decide to upgrade to a higher package later on, I'll be happy to apply your previous payment toward that new package amount. If you're interested in one of these options, contact me today to book your consultation!

Want to learn more about what it’s like to work with a postpartum doula? Read this blog post.


Single visits available

I offer a single visit option so families also have access to a more flexible form of support. If you’re struggling with something once your little one has arrived, I’d love to help.

If you aren’t sure you’ll want ongoing suppor but still want to work with me, I offer single visits to help you work through anything from sleep challenges to diaper rashes to creating a bathing routine that works for you and baby… and everything in between!

Scheduling depends on my availability. Clients with packages have priority on my schedule, but I always do my best to fit in single visits promptly!

Single visit: $150


Laguna breastfeeding support postpartum doula pink heart
It takes a truly caring individual to come into your home (or hospital or both!) and step in to help. These ladies truly care.
— Bree, Laguna Niguel

Recovering from a difficult or traumatic birth?

Birth Story Medicine® is a guided healing process to help parents move forward from difficult moments in birth. If your birth experience brought with it feelings of disappointment, abandonment, failure, or if you feel yourself feeling "stuck" in negative feelings or memories from birth, consider adding a Birth Story Medicine session to your postpartum doula package.


Mission Viejo postpartum doula support sleeping baby

I thought doulas were just for labor support. How can you help me after I have my baby?

Yes! My postpartum doula services assist Orange County and Long Beach families by:

  • Helping with feeding baby (breast and/or bottle)

  • Validating the experiences of early parenting and providing emotional support

  • Helping new parents learn what is normal regarding baby care, feeding, postpartum healing, sleep, etc.

  • Helping parents get some sleep by reducing chaos and creating a calmer environment

  • Meal preparation for parents (baby isn't the only one who's hungry!)

  • Teaching soothing tips to help comfort baby

  • Providing non-judgmental support and a listening ear

  • Encouraging parents in their new role

For many families, the postpartum period or "4th trimester" is a rite of passage in and of itself. It's common to feel unprepared to meet the challenges this part of the journey brings. As postpartum doulas, we are privileged to walk alongside you as you welcome your new baby into the family, providing gentle, nonjudgmental support and encouragement as you find your footing in your new role. Our goal is to help you become self-reliant and confident in your new skills!

Many parents express that loneliness and isolation were unexpected challenges for them in the first few months of their baby's life. When you have a postpartum doula, you don't have to worry about that! I will be by your side as you learn all about your baby, and how to balance your baby's needs with your own. Whether you have questions about breastfeeding or bottle feeding (or both), find yourself asking "Is this normal?" about 100 times a day, or just want some company while you process all the changes that are going on, I'm here for you.


Lake Forest postpartum doula newborn help pink heart
Every woman I’ve told that I had a postpartum doula has said she wished she had one! You have no way of knowing what needs or questions you will have, and that having a person who is ‘your person’ will enable you to feel successful as a new mom and have confidence as you start this new chapter in your life.
— Austin, Santa Ana

What will a postpartum doula visit be like?

First and foremost, my goal is to address your main concerns during each visit, whatever they may be. 

We'll spend some time at the beginning of each visit chatting about how things are going and answering your questions. Then, depending on your family's needs, my postpartum doula visits can include any of the following:

  • Breastfeeding support and/or bottle feeding support (we also offer stand-alone lactation support visits, but lactation support is built right into our postpartum support)

  • Answering questions! Education around postpartum healing, newborn care, baby gear… whatever is on your mind!

  • Education around infant sleep

  • Caring for baby so parents can nap or shower

  • Meal preparation, meal planning, grocery shopping

  • Light tidying, household organization, laundry

  • Helping caregivers adjust to a special need or high need baby

  • Helping older siblings adjust to the new baby

  • Cloth diapering basics/set-up

  • Pet care (feeding pets, walking dogs, etc.)

  • Identifying needs for further support or referrals


To learn more about how postpartum doulas support new parents, check out this blog post: What Does a Postpartum Doula Really Do, Anyway?


Fullerton postpartum doula pink heart
We hired Marlee as a postpartum doula and our only regret is that we didn’t hire her for the birth too. She was AMAZING and so much help! As a new mommy I was so overwhelmed and each visit Marlee brought such a calming presence and helped me with everything I needed from nursing support to caring for myself after childbirth to how to better care for my daughter. After each visit I felt so relieved and grateful for all the amazing help and advice she provided.
— Kara, Fullerton

Orange County postpartum doula support nutritious breakfast

Meal preparation

I love to help parents by preparing delicious, nutritious meals during postpartum doula visits. We can talk about what kinds of foods you like and tend to have around your home, if there are any important allergies or foods to avoid, and discuss postpartum nutrition as it applies.

Whether you have a favorite recipe you'd like me to prepare or are just hungry around the clock thanks to your breastfeeding hormones, I’m here to help by:

  • bringing you a cup of tea and a snack

  • helping you make meal plans and shopping lists for the week

  • stocking your freezer with homemade heat-and-serve meals

  • getting dinner started in the slow cooker for an easy evening meal

  • cutting up fruits and vegetables for quick one-handed snacks

  • preparing nutritious food for any older children in your home

I'll even tidy up your kitchen while I’m at it!


Looking for help overnight?

I offer postpartum doula support during daytime hours (typically 10am-5pm). If you're looking for support outside of those hours, I am happy to refer you to Amanda Cagle at Your Birth Team for overnight postpartum doula support (visit her website here).


Costa Mesa breastfeeding support pink heart

What our clients say

"Before working with Marlee, I was worried about making mistakes with my baby and suffering from postpartum depression. I felt comfortable asking Marlee questions, and she gave great advice and thoughtful suggestions. I didn't suffer from any depression.

Orange County postpartum doula client and her baby

We made lists of questions for each visit, and little lists of things to do during each visit. We nearly always got to everything! Having appointments with Marlee gave my husband and I a comfortable setting for discussing things we weren't confident with and questions that we had without feeling stupid or ashamed. It was a very positive addition to our first few weeks of parenthood! We had the extra support that we needed.

In addition to the great information, follow-through, and having an adult come over to talk to, I found the talks with my husband about what we wanted to 'get out of' the next visit most beneficial. It gave us another opportunity to work as a team and be successful. I also appreciated coming out with knowledge that I can share with other new moms. It's nice to have success stories! (I am telling friends to hire a postpartum doula!)

While everything done is done for the baby, it is wonderful to have someone see the benefits that caring for the mother will have on the baby. Marlee's first visit focused on helping ease my pain from nursing, and validating that it was normal. In addition, I can't stress the value of the little things and the friendship that is formed. I hope to see Marlee again as a friend sometime, and I feel comfortable with the prospect of asking her a question in the future should the need arise.

Every woman I've told that I had a postpartum doula has said she wished she had one! You have no way of knowing what needs or questions you will have, and that having a person who is 'your person' will enable you to feel successful as a new mom and have confidence as you start this new chapter in your life.

Thank you! I know that my family was blessed to work with you!"

- Austin, Santa Ana


"Marlee and Megan were so amazing to work with! From our first consultation I knew they would be a great fit! We hired Marlee as a postpartum doula and our only regret is that we didn't hire her for the birth too. She was AMAZING and so much help! As a new mommy I was so overwhelmed and each visit Marlee brought such a calming presence and helped me with everything I needed from nursing support to caring for myself after childbirth to how to better care for my daughter. After each visit I felt so relieved and grateful for all the amazing help and advice she provided. I'm so thankful she was there to help us at such a pivotal time in our lives. Thank you Marlee and Megan!!"

- Kara, Fullerton


Laguna postpartum doula client’s family

"After the experience I had with Marlee and Megan, I cannot even begin to list all of the invaluable things that they do as postpartum doulas. I had to have surgery when my newborn was only 2 months old. I was concerned about the baby, my 3-year old, and about my husband managing all of that (while worrying about me). I was also very concerned that the baby would not come back to the breast after being bottle fed for 24+ hours. 

Marlee and Megan met us at the hospital and helped with the transition from me being with my family to me being at the hospital. They cared for my 2-month old and 3-year-old (including diapers, feeding, naps, entertaining, etc.). They took care of me, helped me with getting up and around, with pumping post-surgery, running errands, etc. They were open to suggestions (I'm a bit of a control freak) and were flexible and easygoing when there were last minute changes in our plans. The fact that my family was taken care of in every aspect and Marlee and Megan helped get my baby back to breast after 24+ hours on the bottle is proof that this investment was well worth it.

It takes a truly caring individual to come into your home (or hospital or both!) and step in to help. Someone who does anything and everything to help out (including things you may not even think of). Someone who is proactive, but listens well and moves forward with the wishes of the family. Someone who is organized, but flexible enough to go with the flow when things change last minute. Someone who truly cares about people and is open to sharing their heart with the families they work with.

These ladies truly care."

- Bree, Laguna Niguel


Frequently Asked Questions

Long Beach postpartum doula mother and newborn

Can you help with feeding issues?

Absolutely! This is one of my clients' biggest concerns and something I am always happy to address. I am a breastfeeding counselor and offer assistance with breast and bottle feeding, as well as combinations of both. 

I can provide in-home support for:

  • Breastfeeding, including latch and positioning options

  • Healing cracked nipples

  • Coping with engorgement and plugged ducts

  • Guidance with pumping and washing pump parts

  • Helping to identify a type of bottle that will work for your baby

  • Teaching paced bottle feeding to promote an easier transition back and forth from breast to bottle

  • ... and so much more.

My support is nonjudgmental. No matter how you feed your baby, I'm here to help.


Can you help with sleep issues?

Yes! This is the second most frequent question I hear from parents after feeding challenges.

I love working with families to help parents and babies alike get more sleep! Take a look at my sleep support services to learn more about my approach.

Sleep consulting is wrapped into my postpartum support as a natural extension of the work we’ll already be doing together. If you really just want to focus on sleep, consider working with me in that capacity instead.


I thought that a postpartum doula was just for people experiencing postpartum depression.

Not true! It's a common misconception that the word postpartum only refers to postpartum depression. "Postpartum" actually refers to the time after birth (anywhere from several months to several years of physical recovery and adjustment). If you want to get technical, the postpartum period covers your whole life after giving birth!

Of course those suffering from postpartum mood disorders (postpartum depression, anxiety, and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder) may find great benefit in hiring a postpartum doula. But postpartum doula services can make a difference for anyone feeling they could use a little extra emotional support and another pair of capable hands 


What's the difference between a postpartum doula and a nanny or baby nurse?

A nanny or mother's helper is primarily concerned with taking care of the baby and performing small household tasks. While some have formal training, many do not. Nannies can be very effective in assisting families with multiple children, helping to care for older children and complete household tasks in order to allow parents to focus on their new baby.

A "baby nurse" (in California, the title of nurse is protected and limited to those who have completed specific nursing training programs, so we call them "baby nannies" or "night nannies") is someone who comes into the home whose primary role is to care for the baby. Night nannies may take care of all baby's needs during the night so parents can get some sleep. They usually have little to no training in postpartum recovery or family bonding practices. Some families choose to hire a live-in baby nurse to care for their baby 24/7.

The role of a postpartum doula is to "mother the mother," helping families transition confidently into life after birth or the adoption of a newborn. Doulas are trained professionals with education in postpartum physiology, baby care, and breastfeeding, all through the lens of sensitivity and support. Like a nanny, a postpartum doula can assist with household tasks and newborn care, but her primary role is to support parents as they learn the skills they need to care for their new little one.

Postpartum doulas can provide resources and research to help families make decisions regarding care of their new baby. The postpartum period can be a very sensitive one for many new parents, and a postpartum doula can assist with the emotional transition from pregnancy to life with a newborn.

If you're interested in hiring a nanny, we highly recommend working with Kaitlynn Lim at The Heirloom Company to find the right fit for your family. Read more about her services in our blog post.


What does "doula" mean?

The word doula ("doo-luh") originates from a Greek word meaning "a woman who serves." In 1969, anthropologist Dana Raphael, Ph.D. published an article in the scholarly journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine in which she used the word doula to refer to women supporting other women through the journey of childbirth and early motherhood. She later went on to describe a doula as a woman who "mothers the mother."

Nearly 50 years later, we would rephrase Dr. Raphael's idea of a doula as a person who "nurtures the family." The specific definition of what doulas do continues to be debated within the community of birth professionals (you'll probably get a different definition of a doula from each doula you ask!), but underlying all of those different ideas is a deep desire to support families through birth and early parenthood with compassion and understanding.

As doulas, we love to support not only mothers but their partners, families, children, and communities by providing a caring, encouraging, and knowledgeable presence during the childbearing years.