Cris Van Grol and Family


Hi, I’m Cris, a doula, as well as a photographer, living with my little family in Rochester, NY. I have two boys, Wren and Flip, and a steadfast partner, Rory.


I came to birthwork through photography, where I noticed myself wondering if the new parents I photographed were struggling or thriving, had enough support and had people they could talk to about the realities of new parenthood. As their photographer-only, I felt it wasn’t my place to ask. This led me towards training as a doula through Carriage House Birth. I am partnered up with a dear friend to serve through Rally Doulas.


I know that the transition into parenthood can be thoroughly joyful and you can feel thoroughly supported.

But I didn’t ALWAYS know that.

With my first child, Wren, nothing prepared me for the shift from independence to a tiny, squeaky being, dependent on me for survival. When it came to my second pregnancy with Flip, I put my doula studies into practice and was much more prepared for birth and the postpartum shift. I learned that birth and postpartum can be centered around the birthing parent- that it is possible to feel heard, supported, and have a positive experience. The difference between my two experiences confirmed what I already knew - it doesn't have to be so hard.

And this is what I love to offer you, as your doula. An opportunity for informed validation for your choices, practical care as well as a steady, caring hand. I can also offer to document the details of this special time (sometimes forgotten thanks to oxytocin highs and sleeplessness) via unobtrusive, candid photography.  

Together - there will be lots of high-fives and maybe even some tears too because the happy, the sad, the messy, the joyful moments - they all have a place in our human story.