Somatic birth doula

Tap into your inner resources of movement and mindfulness

During your pregnancy I help you prepare for natural birth with mindful movement practices and resources for informed health choices. I provide you with evidence based practices as you write your birth preferences to guide your medical providers in your vision of birth. Prenatally I teach you and your partner balancing and alignment activities to prepare you and baby for an easier birth.  With these you can enable your baby to be an active partner in birth.

I also provide somatic bodywork to relieve discomforts and to position baby well for birth. Myofascial release and toning release helps your body relax into alignment.  With mindfulness and body awareness practices you can deepen physically and emotionally during this time of turning inward and communicate with your baby. During birth I help you tap into your own strength and softness to find the inner place of great spaciousness for the birth journey. I assure and suggest comfort measures that your partner can provide. During birth you can awaken a deep connection to heaven and earth to allow birth energy to flow through you and your baby. I can help you move through labor abiding in each moment.

Confidence in birth

Catherine gave me confidence I needed to go into labor. By using vocal tones, I was able to focus on pushing and not be distracted by pain. I probably reduced my labor time by 6-10 hours because of my willingness to try different movement, yoga postures and sound during labor.         – Theresa


With your newborn’s arrival I offer lactation support and gentle craniosacral therapy, if needed, to help baby and you initiate breastfeeding with ease and to resolve any of the intensity of labor immediately following her birth.

Prepare yourself and your baby to be active partners in birth

My Somatic Birth Doula services package include these sessions & support. I provide:

  • Initial free consultation
  • 1st Prenatal visit
    • Birth planning
    • Spinning Babies® alignment activities for pregnancy & birth
    • Comfort measures & partner support
  • 2nd Prenatal visit
    • Birth and newborn care planning
    • Spinning Babies®  alignment activities for pregnancy & birth
    • Decision making
    • Comfort measures & partner support
  • 3rd Prenatal visit
    • Somatic bodywork session: myofascial release & craniosacral therapy
    • Helps you find easy alignment & to ground, open and connect with your baby
  • 4th Prenatal visit
    • Breastfeeding
    • Postpartum planning
    • Signs of your birth beginning
    • Alignment activities & partner support for active birth
  • Birth
    • Continuous support for your and your baby at birth
    • Come to your home and to the hospital
    • Attendance for the first 1-2 hours after baby arrives
    • Help with beginning breastfeeding
    • Craniosacral therapy for baby if needed following birth
  • Postpartum visit
    • Birth story
    • Postpartum resources
  • Plus scads of links to best practices for your pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting resources

I provide a somatic bodywork session for your prenatal care at my Riverbluff home office in Minneapolis. Your bodywork session is 1:30 hours. For all other sessions I will come to your home. Prenatal home visits will typically be 2:00 – 2:30 hours.

Add-on services available for continuing care:

  • Craniosacral therapy session for breastfeeding support for baby if additional support is needed
  • Postpartum bodywork for mother’s recovery from birth

Somatic therapies

I draw on many qualities of somatic touch, including craniosacral therapy and myofascial release & toning to release tension and support you in alignment, softening and grounding. I offer somatic movement activities for pregnancy and birth, and I provide somatic emotional support drawing on mindfulness and Hakomi.

Your MamaBebe doula package can be supplemented by additional craniosacral & bodywork sessions. Gift certificates or packages provide affordable support for mother and baby when they need a little extra TLC.

What to expect in a session


Essential wellness for mother and child

Body-mind integration from the beginning

Prenatal movement & sounding

While I was learning prenatal activities, I didn’t know how I would use in them labor. But then during birth I drew on so much. I needed my helpers to push on my back.   I stretched in between contractions.  I did yoga poses you taught. Cecelia came out while I was in child pose. 

I could stay on top of the flow

Because we had practiced beforehand I was able to be uninhibited in the hospital.  I think that’s what got me through labor.  I really used my voice to open up while Cecelia was coming out.  I wasn’t just moaning, I heard melodic music in my mind.  I was doing opera, with just lots of big sound.  I felt that I could stay on top of the flow of labor.    – Anne

 Water birth


Calm & energizing

M sweetling_sml

I cannot thank you enough for all you have done to support Nik, Maja and me over the past several months. We feel so blessed to have had you as our doula and a support for Maja following her birth. You have a calm, yet energizing demeanor, and have provided me with so much confidence going into motherhood. You are truly gifted at what you do!   Thank you again! – Love, Emily, Nik & Maja Lewandowski

My birth preferences all fulfilled!!

We are so thankful for all your help preparing for and during our birthing time. I feel so fortunate to be able to say that my birthing preferences were all fulfilled!!

Hospital day 1 vertical unglared

Leo is fabulous. He’s changing daily & loves to play with his hands and feet, make sounds, listen to music and hang out in our front facing carrier. He’s all smiles and laughs too! – Heather, Alex & Leo Swinney

For the full tale, see Heather, Leo and Alex’s birth story:

Slow & steady: Rocking my baby down

Somatic healing

red cabbage sml sq

I can not recommend Catherine Burns more highly. She provided incredible support and care to my family during the birth of our second child. Her skills as a somatic practitioner enabled me to pass through and heal from trauma experienced during the birth of our first child. In a large part because of this support we were able to have the type of birth we hoped for. I will be forever grateful to Catherine for helping our family of four get off to a strong and healthy start. – Juliana Keen

Information & encouragement during scary times

To us preparing for childbirth meant education. Cat’s professional approach as an educator meant that we received the data we needed to confidently and happily reach the conclusion of the pregnancy and begin the birth.

Close up a few months old

Erin faced challenges at the end of her pregnancy that were at first confusing and scary, and while we had the support of our OB and nurses, we were very lucky to have Cat’s support to complement their advice. She provided professional journal articles and offered interpretations that did not conflict with the medical advice that we were given, but instead enhanced our understanding of Erin’s challenges.  

– continued —

Erin was able to calm herself & her body

Our idea of Freya’s final months in the womb and her arrival were altered significantly. We were not allowed by the hospitals to have the birth we wanted. We were risked out and categorized. It was a difficult time. But instead of being in the dark, Cat advised and encouraged us with thoughtful and evidence based data that both calmed our fears and inspired us that the new path could be good for both mom and baby.

She worked with us tirelessly through the 3 day birth process, advocating for us and providing information as the conditions of the birth changed, which seemed to be an almost hourly event. Erin was able to calm herself and her body in large part because we better understood the events that were unfolding before us. Mike was better able to provide support through the delivery because Cat was there, outside of her own need for sleep and rest, to give perspective and translate the medical jargon. Cat was a rock.

With Cat’s guidance we were able to start our time as parents to Freya with confidence. Because of that we know have a healthy, happy and thriving girl who is everything we hoped she could be. – Erin Salisbury & Michael Madson

For their full story, go to Erin & Freya’s birth