For expecting mothers, it can be difficult to anticipate what kind of services will be necessary when the baby comes, but for Tracie Brecka’s sister, she had a very specific scenario in mind.
Brecka was asked by her sister to be her doula, a supportive role designed to aid women during and after labor.
“I took the class and realized I love it,” Brecka said. She lives in Reedsburg.
Brecka has worked as a medical assistant at Reedsburg Physicians Group for 11 years. In hindsight, she’s not surprised she found doula work fulfilling.
“I’ve always been drawn to my pregnant patients,” Brecka said.
As far as she knows, Brecka is the only doula currently living in Sauk County.
According to DONA (Doulas of North America) International, a search for doulas within 25 miles of Sauk City only yields Dane County doulas located in Madison and Middleton. A trip from Reedsburg would be quicker than either of those two locations.
While hospitals provide medical support to mothers in labor, they can be busy places.
“Nurses have to leave for other patients and they change shifts,” Brecka said. A Doula stays by the client’s side during and after labor offering any physical, emotional or informational support needed.
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Brecka said more people are opting for doula services.
“Madison is becoming more and more popular for doulas,” Brecka said. “Milwaukee and Chicago have a lot.”
So far, Brecka has worked six cases as a doula, with most clients also living in Sauk County. She is pursuing official certification with DONA, which is earned by working a sufficient number of qualifying cases.
“My services run for $600,” Brecka said. “I’ve seen them anywhere from around $1,000 up to $2,000.”
In the future, more options to pay for a doula may be available. “I know in Wisconsin they’re working towards eventually having medicaid cover doula services but it’s not there yet,” Brecka said.
Brecka’s husband, Travis, said the work is a good fit.
“She always wanted to be there helping the mother,” Travis Brecka said. “Going through that whole birthing process.”
Brecka said anyone interested in her services can learn more at breckadoulacare.com or the Brecka Doula Care LLC Facebook page.