The nation’s capital is now home to its first LGBTQ-friendly birthing and doula collective.

The Rainbow Doula DC, founded in November, is Washington, D.C.’s “first local childbirth community and referral service for folks who are gay, lesbian, nonbinary, trans and queer,” according to a story in the Washingtonian.

Kelsey Carroll, founder of Rainbow Doula
Kelsey Carroll, founder of Rainbow Doula DC | photo via Twitter

Kelsey Carroll, who identifies as queer and has a trans spouse, founded Rainbow Doula DC after discovering there were no LGBTQ+ spaces in the childbirth community during her training to become a doula. Doulas provide emotional and physical support during pregnancies and childbirths.

Carroll told the Washingtonian that during doula training she suggested the instructor to use nonbinary terms instead of “mom” and “dad.” The instructor told her and said “she would be referring to people as their chromosomal makeup,” according to the story.

“It definitely created a space that did not feel very welcoming or safe to queer folks,” Carroll said.

Rainbow Doula DC also has a referral service and is working on a database that will include LGBTQ-friendly midwives, physicians and other childbirth experts.

Rewire.News reports nonbinary parents often face difficulties during childbirth.

Doulas and midwives are filling the gaps in birth care for queer families, Rewire.News also reports.

Some suggestions for LGBTQ+ people planning to become parents include identifying and consulting birth workers before trying to conceive. Doing so allows for plenty of time to determine whether a caregiver is compatible without the deadline of birth looming.