Mama Matters

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Women who desire doula services for their birth and meet low income requirements may apply to Mama Matters for reduced fee doula services. Certified doulas and doulas-in-training (who have completed all doula certification requirements except attending births) will provide skilled doula care.


We provide support for families during the childbearing period, helping them to become empowered healthcare consumers and to achieve their own personal goals for their pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.  We provide support for birth paraprofessionals, striving for professional enrichment and building a collaborative community.



Mama Matters is a not-for-profit outreach program offered by BirthSmart. BirthSmart does not generate any revenue from the Mama Matters program, and our practitioners receive little to no compensation for the services they provide to Mama Matters clients. The program is rooted in a belief that all women deserve access to the unconditional support of a trained labor doula, and that has become a guiding principle of practice for all members of our team.


We offer any of our services on a sliding scale, based on income and social circumstances, for a limited number of clients who are approved on a case-by-case basis after completing our Sliding Scale Application.

Birth Doula Services

A doula provides physical, emotional and informational support during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.

Placenta Encapsulation Services

Placenta encapsulation is the process of turning a mom’s placenta into medicine that can be used postpartum to balance the hormones, increase energy, improve mood, and increase lactation.  We also provide placenta prints and umbilical cord keepsakes.

Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis Classes

Hypnobabies is a complete childbirth education course that consists of six 3½ hour classes, where couples easily and naturally prepare for childbirth using real medical hypnosis techniques.


The Mama Matters program has been gestating for almost a decade, and has gained momentum exponentially in the last year. The journey from a simple idea, to a structured and operational program, has been long and challenging, but more fulfilling than anyone could have predicted.

When Laurel Ripple Carpenter started training as a birth doula in 2005, she began outreaching to area nonprofits in search of pregnant women in underserved populations. This idea was appealing because it would not only serve to satisfy the training requirement for doula certification, but it fit well with Laurel’s background in community organizing and social justice.

In 2006 she began providing free doula services to women facing challenging life circumstances, and throughout 2006-2010 she served as a volunteer doula for clients such as mothers living with domestic abuse or in domestic violence shelters, teen mothers, single mothers, recent immigrants and non-English speakers. Referrals were made by local agencies on an informal basis and by word of mouth only.

In 2010 the business Two Rivers Birth Services was opened, offering birth doula and placenta encapsulation services. The team quickly began to grow beyond Laurel Ripple Carpenter, with several new staff joining on and with the addition of several new services. Currently the team includes Jennifer Oviatt, who provides doula services and placenta encapsulation services, and Miranda Richardson, who provides hypno-doula services and Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis classes.

As the TRBS business grew, it became more practical for the Mama Matters program to take on a more formalized shape. With the support of additional staff, the dream grew bigger; whereas previously Laurel had been able to serve just a few volunteer clients per year, the potential now exists to serve ten times as many clients as ever before.

In 2014 Laurel Ripple Carpenter completed the 20-week Family Leadership Training Institute, focusing on the development of the Mama Matters program as her community project. The FLTI experience provided many skills and resources that have been key to shifting this program up to the next level. For example, we now have formalized relationships with our referral partners that allow us to reach more families and to do so more efficiently and effectively. With the development that has occurred in 2014, Mama Matters is now able to serve up to volunteer and sliding-scale 126 clients per year with our three services.

In Late 2014, TRBS felt Mama Matters better fit under the umbrella of BirthSmart and the Board voted to accept this fantastic program.


  • To improve perinatal outcomes.
  • To strengthen family bonds by increasing mothers’ satisfaction with their birth experience.
  • To transform clients into empowered healthcare consumers who take ownership over their experiences.
  • To decrease the expense associated with giving birth, by decreasing the use of medical interventions in labor and delivery.
  • To provide experience for doulas in training, and in turn provide the community with better trained and experienced doulas.


Cost to the client is calculated on a case by case basis, from full price down to a minimum $45.00 Registration Fee.  The following grid details our three pricing tiers:

 Pricing  Qualifications  doula services  Placenta Encapsulation  Hypnobabies Classes
 1  Full Price - Open to the Public  $525  $175  $250+ $75 Materials Fee
 2 • CHP+ Recipients
• Non-English Speakers
• Clients placing baby for adoption
• CICP Recipients
•  Medicaid Recipients
• Age 19 & Under
• Clients with Special Needs
• Clients registered with other area nonprofits
• Expected Stillbirth
$225  $147 $150


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