Everybody always asks me how I was able to push out a 10lb 13 oz baby boy naturally. Then they ask how I did it without pain meds. The answer is easy: my doula Rita Hunt!
My birth experience was incredible; I would not change a thing. Once my contractions became frequent, I was glad to have Rita by my side. When she arrived I was dramatically screaming through my contractions. She gently guided me to let the process take over my body so that I was breathing, not screaming.
he stayed by my side the entire time except when I had her running to refill my ice container. She massaged my back during contractions. Because my baby was “sunny side up” my doctor and Rita collaborated on the best positions I could get into to get him turned correctly. Rita eased me into these positions.
... I expect others to read my mind, and because of our prior preparation, I felt like Rita could. Even my doctor mentioned that he thought we were all a great team! Rita and her support were invaluable. She made every effort to include my tired and bewildered fiancé. Everybody else told me I was crazy to do a natural childbirth, but Rita supported and encouraged my wishes.
Cynthia helped me so much! Took wonderful care of baby while I rested.... brought me baby, water; she cooked meals, took care of my older children. Bathed baby. She put baby on her tummy while awake, her back, read books to her, carried baby in sling ... She took such good care of the baby that I never had to worry. I was able to rest after my C-section ... We winded up having Cynthia stay on longer because she was so wonderful."
-Mother of three in Ivy, Va.
My husband was an amazing support and we had a blissful experience just the two of us during early active labor - BUT when the intense part (transition) of labor hit - he was at a loss as to how to help me. Jen was invaluable. My transition lasted for three hours - and she helped me through it each and every moment. I pushed for two hours - and again - she was invaluable. I don't know what I would have done without her. Her knowledge helped me turn the baby from facing sideways to facing downward (which was hard work!). She was great with the nurses, Doctor, and my husband. And most importantly - me. She helped me keep my sense of humor, relax when I could, and work when I needed to.
I followed her instructions and stayed relaxed and I had the most amazing birth I could have ever imagined. She was absolutely instrumental in that. She became part of our family that day - and I will never forget it.
Zoe was AMAZING! Her calm demeanor allowed for me as the birthing woman to focus in on the process at hand. She and I strove for guiding the pain into vocalizations and to steer them down lower into my body for a more focused tone. She ran my bath, never stopped applying hot compresses and the right pressure to my hips. Birthing is such an intense experience! To have someone there like Zoe to willingly stand by your side at every moment was truly a unique experience.
She will advocate for your needs and support you in any way that feels most comfortable to you. A wonderful woman, a wonderful doula.
Emily was my postpartum doula for nearly 2 months after the birth of my first child. My pregnancy was difficult, and my first few months as a new mom were not much easier! I had lots of trouble breastfeeding, and spent my maternity leave in Charlottesville where my husband was working, but where I had no friends or family. Without Emily, I would have been completely lost and alone. Emily supported my breastfeeding efforts, and took excellent care of me and my baby daughter. She also helped connect us with resources in the community, which made our time in Charlottesville much more enjoyable. Emily was a lifesaver and helped turn a stressful time into what is now a series of special memories!"
I don't know where to begin to thank Sarah for her incredible and invaluable support during the VBAC birth of our little Clara. I will never forget the encouragement & praises that she provided while I labored and pushed. Sarah's voice was a pleasant and constant echo that, along with my husband Joe's words and touch, helped me through the journey of birth. Her helpful prenatal support may be the ultimate reason that my birth story ended up being a successful VBAC story. Because of my first birth that resulted in an emergency c-section, I had many fears of PROM & unnecessary intervention. Sarah helped me face and conquer those fears by encouraging me to strengthen my body and giving me the resolve to let my body do what it knows how to do, something that I wasn't truly able to do without a doula's support during my first birth. Because of Sarah's support, I actually enjoyed the experience of pregnancy and birth, and now, I can not imagine having had a baby without her help. Having Sarah with us was the best decision I could have made. Joe felt her constant comfort because she knew what to say when he didn't and she was was able to provide guidance when he couldn't. And following her lead, he was the rock that I needed. Sarah not only guided me, but Joe as well, and that was one of the most important parts of my experience. Thank you, Sarah, from the bottom of our hearts.
I can't say enough good things about our experience with Megan so inthe interest of brevity, here are three:
1. During transition, I started sweating and feeling overheated. Of all the people in the room, mother, husband, nurse, Megan was the only one who noticed and within a minute had come up with a cool compress.
2. Since our baby was born, my husband advises every parent-to-be that he knows to get a doula. He tells me that he especially liked the way that Megan worked with the hospital staff. She was able to advocate for our needs in a way that felt collaborative.
3. We had two meetings prebirth where we thoroughly explored my hopes for the birth and her role and she followed up afterward with a phone call and visit which helped me process my superfast birth.
My only regret is not having called her sooner.
A few pages would not be enough space to detail everything Priya did for us. She offered guidance and encouragement. She aided in communication with hospital staff. She ensured we were BOTH as comfortable as possible during the process. She was a calming presence. She allowed us to fully experience and enjoy our labor while taking care of all the details that needed attention. Her knowledge and suggestions really helped us to progress and feel confident and as comfortable as possible doing so.
- ER and JP