The Olive Tree

Denika Anderson, MA, SBD

full-spectrum doula serving the Twin Cities & western WI

theolivetreedoula@gmail.com | (612) 865-3778

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© 2019 Olive Tree Doula, LLC & Denika Anderson

Welcome to the Olive Tree! 

 

If you are here because you’re looking for a live birth doula, you’ve come to the right place. If you are expecting a loss, please jump over here.

 

Thank you for considering me for your doula support! While I started my doula work focusing on perinatal loss and complicated pregnancies and births, I also support live births. I understand my support is uncommon, but fear not: I am here for your happy birth, too. 

 

There are a few terms used for live births by those who have experienced a loss. Sunshine babies are those born before a loss, or those born to parents who have not experienced a loss. Rainbow babies are those born after a loss (also referred to as “subsequent babies”). Pot of Gold babies are an additional baby born after a rainbow baby. If you and your baby fit into one of these categories, I am so happy for you, and I would be honored to serve you throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. 

 

Perhaps you’ve never experienced a loss, and you ended up here by referral. Some of the information on the loss birth side of this site may be unsettling—you may choose not to look around, or you might ready yourself for reading difficult information. Don’t worry, though; hiring a doula who serves families experiencing loss isn’t bad luck—in fact, being able to support both loss births and live births is one of my greatest treasures in my doula work, and supporting and advocating for families experiencing loss has given me the tools I need to help you navigate the ups and downs of birth. This also means that I know how important your birth is, how pivotal a moment it is in your life, and I approach every birth with honor and reverence.  

Looking for a sibling doula? 

When parents are preparing for birth and already have living children at home, a sibling doula serves as on-call support for the siblings of the child being born. Sibling doulas are on call 24/7 just like a birth doula, and provide specialized support for your children, either in your home or at your birth location (if giving birth away from home). This support includes 1-2 prenatal visits with you and your children, basic childcare & food prep, emotional support and preparation for welcoming a new sibling, and a postpartum playdate. If you have previously gone through pregnancy or infant loss, I am trained to provide support to your children as they navigate the complex emotions surrounding a new baby coming home while remembering and honoring the sibling(s) they carry in their heart. 

Style

Every doula has their own style and presence with their clients. Personally, I'm a big-hearted joker; I'll feel all the feels with you, with a heavy dose of sarcasm (when appropriate). I'm a straight talker--I tell it like it is, I won't lie to you, and I will always meet you where you're at. I am equally comfortable encouraging you and cheering you on as I am providing a shoulder to lean on and holding space for you to scream, cry, or whatever else comes your way. I am a huge nerd, and will happily dive deep into the science and mechanics of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, so if you're someone who wants to know the how and why behind birth, you've come to the right place. I tend to attract clients who are high-powered, cerebral, seeking evidence-based support, and perhaps prone to anxiety.

For those of you who are into personality typing, I am an Enneagram 1 wing 2, ISTJ, lawful good, and a Ravenclaw.

 

Philosophy

I am a Stillbirthday doula, which means that I am trained to provide support for complicated and uncomplicated live births, as well as miscarriages, stillbirths, births where baby is not expected to live long, and births where baby is expected to have complex health needs. I am also trained to provide postpartum support and grief support. A core tenet of this training is a four-part method for providing support: slow down, validate, provide options, supplement with resources. This means that I will help you to relax and calm your mind and body; remind you that your thoughts, emotions, desires, needs, and physical experience are real, understandable, and valid; offer and thoroughly explain available options for any situation; and provide relevant resources, whether they be books or articles, people you can trust, or other things you might consider. In every moment, I aim to bring peace through each of these modes of support. 

Furthermore, having studied religion and feminist theory extensively, I honor the sacred and holy within birth. I believe that the way we enter this world matters — as does how we leave it. Being invited into the sacred space of your birth is a holy experience and one I partake in with great honor and humility. There is something unequivocally beautiful about birth. 

As part of my education, I learned to look at certain things when interpreting a story from a feminist lens: power, voice, experience, and role. Your birth is a story and my job is to honor and serve you throughout it. I pay attention to who has power in each interaction, helping to you to find yours. I listen to your voice, hearing both your words and your emotions, and I help others to hear that voice too. I trust your experience of your own body — that you know yourself better than anyone — and I trust the experience of countless parents before you who have stood on the same holy ground of childbirth. I gently draw you back to your role, not as a patient or a statistic or a problem to be solved, but as a parent. In these ways, I hope to help you honor yourself and your baby throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. 

Pricing

The Olive Tree operates on a pay-what-you-can system — I offer up to 50% off of my full rate for clients with limited financial means. This is an intentional choice, as I firmly believe that anyone who wants a doula should have one, regardless of income. I work with clients to find a price that works for them, operating on the belief that the services I provide are valuable, but the amount a family can pay in any situation varies widely.

 

That being said, many people want to know what the “expected” fee is. My full rate for birth doula support is $800, though many clients pay less. I am also more than willing to set up a payment plan, and I am open to bartering depending on the service. Over half my clients have utilized an alternate rate, payment schedule, or barter/trade! In short, if you want a doula, but have a tight budget, let's talk! 

Sunshine, Rainbows, & Pots of Gold