Certified Birth Doula, Childbirth International
I am Emily Likins-Ehlers (they/them), and I have been
fiercely supporting pregnant people since 2012.
Emily dreams of a world where every child is wanted, and every child is loved. Emily hopes that one day every parent will have the tools and structures they need to become the best version of themselves & envisions a world where all choices are sacred and all people are treated with compassionate, patient-centered care.
Emily has had one surgical abortion and two empowered cesareans. A three-time survivor of Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), Emily knows how challenging and stressful pregnancy can be.
As Fundraising Director for the International Cesarean Awareness Network, Emily works to improve cesarean care and reduce the number of preventable cesareans.
Emily has worked in abortion clinics, taught sex ed in public schools, knocked doors for countless elections. These days, Emily also consults for Reproductive Justice workers in abortion clinics and feminist workplaces. Emily writes a column for ReproJobs, and has organized workers for unions in over 20 industries.
Emily is a trauma-informed reproductive justice advocate; an abolitionist who believes in the power of harm reduction as a modality for collective liberation, and a genderqueer anarcha-feminist.
Emily is certified as a Trauma Informed Birth Doula through Childbirth International and supports all pregnancy experiences and outcomes. Emily specializes in crisis pregnancies, pregnancy during addiction, Fertility Awareness Method and IVF, pregnancy termination, scheduled cesarean, VBAC, and unassisted homebirth.
Emily attends births in your home, at hospitals, and at the birth center and supports all choices in childbirth. Virtual doula support available!
Emily lives three-doors-down from their childhood home near Joliet, Illinois. In their small farming community, Emily & their partner Adam work to embody the values of respectful parenting as they rear creative & hilarious children: Leo & Valorie. Together, the Likins-Ehlers love to go camping, swim, bake, make art, and do anything that gives them an excuse to be be silly or loud. Emily is an amateur herbalist with a robust garden and studied literature in college - Emily loves a good story, saunas, and hugs that last a little-bit too long.
My Family Centered Cesarean at Community Medical Center in Missoula, Montana can be viewed on YouTube. (CW: raw footage of surgical birth)
After a medically necessary C-Section, I desired a VBAC with my second child. Valorie's high-risk pregnancy and frank breech presentation left me with two options: ECV or C-Section. I chose to CBAC and achieved a perfectly-imperfect birthing experience -- empowered and patient-centered every step of the way.
My column about workers' rights in the Reproductive Justice Movement
Interview with Ashley Sipes: What is an Abortion Doula?
"The Millennial Search for Meaning is a podcast about struggling to choose a meaningful life over a comfortable life--as told through the eyes of a millennial." Adam and I tell Leo's Birth story -- a long AF labor, GBS, induction, and emergent C-Section in the Second Stage of labor due to a prolapsed cord -- also hear our whirlwind love story on this podcast episode. (CW: description of unplanned surgical childbirth & graphic language about medical / obstetric abuse)
"Delivering my Daughter After Trump" is an opinion piece I wrote in the weeks before Donald Trump was Inaugurated in 2017 for Mamalode Magazine.
During this episode of Speaking Light into Abortion, I discuss how abortion, IVF, and postpartum depression impacted my reproductive journey to a "revolutionary motherhood" -- and my path to becoming a full-spectrum doula.
Robin Marty wrote about the work we did in Montana to provide abortions after anti-abortion terrorists broke in & destroyed a family practice clinic that provided abortions in rural Montana.
Limitations of Doula Practice
I will not make decisions for you. I will provide information that may be helpful for you and/or your partner to make an informed choice.
I will not perform clinical tasks such as assessing blood pressure, checking the dilation of the cervix, monitoring the fetal heart rate, making any medical diagnosis, administering or prescribing medication, or any other procedure that qualifies as practicing medicine. My role is limited to providing for your physical, emotional, and educational support.
I will not provide medical advice or advice concerning any alternative therapies. Any information I provide should in in way be construed as medical advice and is not a substitute for medical advice, which only a licensed medical practitioner can provide. It is your responsibility to seek the advice of an appropriately qualified practitioner in case of doubt.
I will not speak to your medical caregivers on your behalf. I can discuss your concerns with you and provide information on options that may be available to help you with composing questions for you to ask your caregivers, but you or your partner will be responsible for communicating your needs to the medical staff.
I am not licensed or permitted to deliver your baby or to perform any clinical skills related to the delivery of your baby.