Hollis' Story: Who is the NICU Doula?

Hollis Wakefield, The NICU Doula, is a former NICU parent turned birth worker and family advocate.

Due to complications from a previous cervical cancer surgery, Hollis' water broke at exactly 24 weeks gestation. Following a 5-day hospitalization, she gave birth to her daughter Kepley via emergency C-section. Unable to breathe on her own, septic, with nothing but a faint pulse, Kepley came into the world at just 1 pound and 10 ounces.

Hollis' womb teemed with an infection that wouldn't respond to antibiotics, and days later, while still recovering from the original surgery, she endured a hysterectomy in order to save her life.


After she was discharged, Hollis looked around the NICU every day and saw the insurmountable odds many of the other families faced. Some lived 2 hours away. Others were uninsured or underpaid. Most were undereducated about the healthcare system.

Her experience inspired her to pursue a doula certification, so she could advocate for NICU families and empower them to create an environment where the whole family can rest, recover, and thrive.

Experience and Education

Classes and Workshops
  • DONA Approved Postpartum Doula Training
  • Systemic Racism/Implicit Bias in Care Work
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