Blissful Beginnings started when three passionate doulas saw a need in the Eugene area to connect families to professional doulas. We have grown so much over the past two years and along with that growth came some changes in our own lives.

Blissful Beginnings will continue to be dedicated to matching a hand-selected team of doulas to families in the Lane County area with Laura Finnegan (one of the original founders) running the business.
 Heathir Brown relocated with her family a year ago and will be focusing on building a business in South Florida. Sarah Boothe, after much thought, has decided that her priority at this time needs to be focused on homeschooling her children and raising her family. Heathir and Sarah exit knowing that Laura will do a fantastic job continuing their vision of helping families navigate the changes that pregnancy, birth and postpartum bring.


Meet Laura Finnegan – It has been my pleasure to serve birthing families in Eugene/Springfield for the past 10 years as a doula. I have been fortunate to spend these years building positive and professional relationships with OBs, Midwives, and Labor & Delivery Nurses. I am familiar with both local hospitals, the birth center, and home birth practices. I am grateful to have these connections as it enables me to serve my clients wherever and with whoever they choose to birth.

Summer Fun


The weather is heating up, school is out, and if you are planning to stick around town this summer you will enjoy this list of some  places to go for family fun.  We have included parks with water play, indoor cool off spots, and even a road trip.   Did we miss your favorite spot? Tell us where you love to go!

Water Play –

Fairmount Park (East 15th Ave and Fairmount Blvd)-  This park is usually pretty mellow and offers a relaxing place to spend an afternoon. It has shade, water fountains that spray from the sidewalk with the press of a button, a basketball goal, merry-go-round, swings, and a slide.  It’s a smaller size that allows you to be able to keep an eye on the kids while you sit at the picnic table or bring a blanket and hang out in the grass.

Washington aka Cheese Park (2025 Washington St.)- This park is usually very busy but it is also lots of fun.  It features the cities newest water play so be ready to get wet!  It’s even fun for grown ups! Sometimes called “cheese park” because of a giant concrete structure resembling swiss cheese.  Play structure with balance beam, slides, swings, and sand.  The City of Eugene offers free programs with activities on the weekdays during the summer.

Emerald Park (1400 Lake Dr.)-    A free wading pool for small children is open daily 1:30-4:30 (weather permitting.) There is also lots of shade at this park and a large play structure for climbing, sliding, and swinging.  The park is large and usually filled with families enjoying BBQ on one of the many grills in the park.

Indoor Fun-

Putter’s Pizza ( 1156 OR-99, Eugene)– If you need a break from the sunshine this is a fun place for all ages.  A large indoor playground, mini-golf, laser-tag, and arcade.  Insider tip: use the door on the left side if you want to skip the arcade.  Food for sale includes pizza, salads, corn dogs, chicken nuggets.

Science Factory ( 2300 Leo Harris Pkwy)– There is a special area just for toddlers to play and discover, older children will be just as entertained with rotating exhibits that are educational and interactive.  Insider tip: A family membership is also valid at OMSI.  Families receiving SNAP can enter for $1 each after showing your Oregon Trail card.

Adventure Children’s Museum- Eugene’s newest place for families.  Located in Valley River Center Mall, this is a great place to cool off and create and explore with your children.  There is even an occasional Breastfeeding Cafe for drop in education and social time.

Regal Summer Movies- Valley River Center theater will feature films for kids all summer. Enjoy $1 movies every Tues/Wed at 10am.  For the schedule please see their schedule here.

Bijou Baby Time- Want to enjoy a movie that isn’t for kids?  Bring your baby (infants only) to the movies the first Wednesday of each month at the Bijou downtown. Sounds are lower, dim lighting, and even a changing table.

Outdoor Fun-

Lone Pine Farm (91909 River Rd, Junction City)- Get your grocery shopping done and have some fun too.  Many staples are available as well as farm fresh produce.  Enjoy a scoop of ice cream or a fresh baked cookie.  This farm has goats that entertain, bring quarters for a gum-ball machine full of goat food and you can feed the goats. There is a playground but not much shade so bring sun protection.  Older children will enjoy purchasing a bag of “mining rocks” that they can then filter in a mining station to discover their treasures.

Hideaway Bakery (3377 E Amazon Dr)- Tucked behind Mazzi’s Pizza, this bakery has delicious coffee and treats and a shady outdoor seating complete with a small sand box.  Enjoy a mocha with a friend while the kids play.

Mount Pisgah (34901 Frank Parrish Rd) – You could spend the day climbing the mountain, wandering through the shady wetlands, or wading in the river.  The trails are easy for little feet and there is lots of shade available.  Parking is $4.

Day Trip or Camp Out-

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park (Florence, OR)- You can camp overnight or just spend the day.  This park features a small lake with a little “beach” and swimming. Paddle boat rentals are affordable and fun, a snack bar with coffee, hot dogs and popcorn is available. Fishing is also an option and many picnic tables are available.  There is also a playground near the camping area and access to the dunes if you want to sandboard or sled.  Nature presentations and activities are available for campers and the camp sites have bathrooms and showers.  If you are lucky you may even be able to snag one of the yurts.  This campground is our favorite because it’s also not too far from town so if you forget anything it’s a short and easy trip to get supplies.



Doulas! Just what the doctor recommended.

Did you know that this week the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) issued a joint statement: Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery recommending doulas?  See excerpts below:

Increasing women’s access to nonmedical interventions during labor, such as continuous labor and delivery support, also has been shown to reduce cesarean birth rates.”

Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.”

“…the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery.”

Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized.”

You can read the full statement here.

This is something that doulas have known for years but it is wonderful to see that the medical world is noticing positive results from having us present.  Many area Obstetricians recommend their patients to our care and with this new statement I expect many more to follow.

When doulas and doctors work together towards improving maternal health outcomes incredible things can happen.


Holiday gifts for expecting and new parents.

adorable-21998_1920Have you ever thought about the gift of a long winter’s nap?  Postpartum doulas do much more than help parents catch up on sleep.  They help find the new normal for your family and ease the transition of your new addition.

Birth doulas support families in all birth choices and locations.  Long gone is the rumor of doulas only supporting unmedicated home births, we are found in the hospitals and supporting those birthing with epidurals, and caesarean births as well.

Do you want to give a gift that will improve the life of your loved one?  A doula is the perfect choice.

Our gift certificates are available for easy online purchase here.


Building Positive Relationships With Your Providers and Nurses

Building positive relationships

A while back, a nurse I had not work with before, entered my client’s birth suite,  I approached her to introduce myself.

“Hi, I’m Laura, I’m so-and-so’s doula.”

Her response was essentially that she had already asked the other nurses about me and was happy to have me there.

Before that time I hadn’t thought about it. But of course, the nurses are going to share experiences and tell each other which doulas they not only got along with, but also had positive things to say about our support role. They also share this insight with the doctors and midwives.

Our doulas though independently working for the families who hire us, are also responsible for making sure we are team players with the doctors, midwives, and nurses we are working with and will eventually work with again. It is important to us to walk into the hospital or birth center with our client knowing that the staff will welcome us and not feel negatively about our presence. We are grateful to have built and established relationships with these hard working medical professionals. This helps us to offer you a more peaceful birth setting.

So with this in mind, we have worked hard at building positive relationships with your providers and nurses.  They know our faces. They know we are here to provide you with labor support without our own personal agendas. They can rest assured that we work within the scope of practice laid out by our various certifying bodies.

So don’t be surprised when the nurse walks in and smiles because they see you have hired a Blissful Beginnings Doula! They will be as happy as you will be with the support we provide.

Laura Finnegan

Blissful Beginnings Agency Co-Founder