New to the state in 2006, Leah DeCesare took a year to settle her family into their new community then dove back into the world of birth and babies. She was surprised that in such a small state, there was no doula group so sought out other doulas individually and a seed was planted to organize a doula group.

In the late spring of 2008, Leah had plans to meet Severine Degnan. They each told their husbands they’d be out for a short time to meet another doula but immediately connected and spent hours getting to know one another. Early that fall, Leah shared her vision of a Rhode Island doula group and Sev jumped at the idea. Before she reached her house only a few miles away, Sev called Leah with the name of the group, “Doulas of Rhode Island and we’ll call it ‘DoRI!'”

Shortly thereafter, the duo reached out to every doula they could find in the state and the first meeting of DoRI was held in October 2008 in North Kingstown. A handful of enthusiastic doulas arrived eager to share their passion for birth and new mothers and to support one another as they support birthing families.

Through the years, the group has grown and become more formalized and in 2011 received 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit with the federal government. DoRI continues to welcome doulas who are new to the profession or new to the Rhode Island area and is proud of it’s place in the Rhode Island birthing world.