Interview with a therapist and doula in Astoria, Oregon

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Lauren Mengedoht MSW, CSWA of Lotus Counseling and Birth Services from Astoria, Oregon.   She is a birth doula and therapist.  We are so fortunate to have her in our community!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest but a year and a half ago, I made the best move of my life to the Oregon Coast. When my parents introduced me to Astoria 7 years ago, I instantly fell in love and couldn’t wait to have a place of my own in this lovely community. After a number of years in New York and Seattle, I had the opportunity to relocate to Astoria. I’m delighted to live and work in my historic home close to downtown with my sweet hubby Gordon and darling sons, Sebastien (5 years) and Samuel (3 months).
I love my work as a therapist and birth doula! There is nothing better than guiding women, couples and families to a place of healing and inner peace. I’m most passionate about working with pregnant and postpartum mamas who may be struggling with postpartum mood disorders, birth trauma or the daily challenges of raising young children. Last year I completed my training as a birth doula and became even more excited to guide families through the birthing and postpartum process. I truly feel honored to be a part of each families unique birth story.
When I’m not working I love spending time with my family. We enjoy gardening, cooking, playing music, going to the beach and fishing. I also enjoy spending time with my lady friends as I’ve found having a large network of women becomes even more important when you have a growing family.

How do you work with women during the postpartum time?

I offer a variety of postpartum support services. Many mamas can feel isolated, confused or overwhelmed in the first weeks or months with a new babe. I like to meet with moms and even families prior to the birth of their baby to speak about counseling options, local resources or even birth plans. Sometimes just sitting down with someone to go over a list of hospital bag items, meal plans postpartum or to answer questions like “What happens if I’m not ready to be intimate with my partner right away after the birth?” can be helpful. If or when days become more difficult emotionally, or perhaps women are challenged by a traumatic birth experience, that’s when I like to be available to offer counseling support.

I offer free initial consultations for both counseling and doula clients because I believe comfort is key. Women, couples or families can contact me via telephone or email. I enjoy meeting at your place or mine and my hours are very flexible. My sessions are typically 50 minutes for individuals and 90 minutes for couples. Babes in arms welcome. The number of sessions depends on the issues at hand. I love to incorporate birth art, journaling, visualization, humor and mindfulness into my therapeutic sessions.

I am also in the process of securing a location for a free postpartum support group for local women. I hope to have it up and running in September. The group will meet once a month.

I also offer two groups:
A FREE postpartum support group every 3rd Wednesday of the month starting  September 17th.   It will take place 10:00-11:00am at Columbia Memorial Hospital Education Building Chinook Room.  Babes in arms welcome!   This group is designed to help postpartum women experiencing emotional, social and physical challenges from birth or pregnancy regain their sense of self and inner peace.  All postpartum mothers welcome.

The second is Low Cost Loss and Grief support group, please contact me for more info. This is to support women and couples who have suffered a loss or traumatic birth, or struggling with miscarriage.

When I work as a doula, I provide on call services and support as families may need. I provide two prenatal visits, birth support and two postpartum visits. All visits are between 90 minutes and 2 hours. These are all done at your home at a meeting place of your choice. Doula clients receive a free Labor of Love care kit including Sitz bath and lactation tea. At our postpartum visits, we discuss breast feeding, bonding/attachment, sleep, infant care, you name it!

All of my services are offered on sliding scale up/down and I have a price list on my website. I do not currently participate with insurance.

And finally, what would message would you like to send out to all postpartum women?

Breathe. Trust yourself and your baby.

You can find Lauren at www.LaurenLizana.com