Shadow a Postpartum Doula

Orange County shadow a postpartum doula parent holding infant

Start your journey by shadowing a seasoned postpartum doula.

If you’re a new postpartum doula in or near Orange County, California and want to see an experienced postpartum doula do they’re thing, this is for you! Beginning in 2019, Marlee is offering the opportunity for new postpartum doulas to shadow her as she works with new parents and infants.

After a preliminary screening process to make sure we’re a good fit for each other, I’ll offer the following:

  • An initial 2-hour meeting with me to review the basics of my approach to supporting clients in the early weeks postpartum (every postpartum doula is different!), answer your initial questions, and go over the logistics of our work together.

  • Attend 1, 2, or 3 postpartum doula visits as a “fly on the wall” as I work with my clients around Orange County. Depending on how many visits you choose, you may see me working with the same client a few times or observe visits with several families.

  • 30 minute debrief after each visit you observe to talk about your questions or things you observed and found noticeable.

  • 3 half-hour mentoring phone calls as you work with your own clients. You can use these anytime, and topics can include anything from preparing to meet a possible client to helping a client work through feeding challenges to how to respond when a client talks about a disappointing or difficult birth experience… or whatever else is coming up for you as you begin your own postpartum doula practice.

  • Membership in our private Mentor the Doula Facebook group for ongoing support and guidance as you build your practice.


  • $200 to shadow 1 postpartum doula visit

  • $250 to shadow 2 postpartum doula visits

  • $300 to shadow 3 postpartum doula visits

*Payment plans are available.


  • See what the postpartum time can really look like. Unless you’ve already been working as a postpartum doula for a while, it can be really helpful to witness what that fresh postpartum time looks and feels like. What questions do parents have? What sorts of challenges come up? What does a doula’s role in those situations look like? Observing a doula as they do this work can bring a whole new level of perspective.

  • See doulas in action. It can be so hard to imagine what doula-client interactions are like until you’ve experienced them first-hand (especially if you haven’t worked with a postpartum doula personally as a client). Get a practical sense of the flow of a postpartum doula visit, the way these conversations sound, how a doula can validate the challenges and joys of new parenthood, and so much more. Remember: every postpartum doula has their own style and areas of expertise, so this is a glimpse into my perspective and practice.

  • Experience without pressure. In your role as a shadow postpartum doula, you don’t have to worry about doing the right thing, saying the right thing, or knowing everything clients might need from you! All you have to do is maintain a gracious, space-holding presence in the room as you observe what goes on.

  • Debriefing is worth its weight in gold. Those debriefing conversations after a postpartum visit can be some of the most dense real-world learning you’ll ever do as a doula. Being able to have an in-depth conversation with a seasoned doula about a situation you both witnessed can give you so much context and wisdom for future encounters you’ll have with your own clients.


If you’re interested in shadowing us, fill out an application. We may ask to meet for an in-person “interview” to make sure you’re a good fit for this opportunity. If you are selected as a shadow doula, we will proceed with payment and an agreement that lays out your role, our roles, and what you can expect from this experience. Then we’ll go from there!

Not quite ready to apply? That’s ok.

I plan to offer shadowing opportunities on a rolling basis, so check back in when you feel like it’s the right time for you to explore this opportunity.