We’re first time parents who live far from our families. Since it was important for us to feel well supported throughout my pregnancy and the birth process, we decided to hire a doula. It was the best decision we made, and we couldn’t have found a better addition to our team than Shelia. She offers her clients an incredible balance of warmth, calm, knowledge and humor. We had lists of questions, each of which she answered in great detail and by offering additional information and resources. She asked helpful questions that guided us further in our decision making, always with a focus on ensuring that we, as a team, were on the same page about our preferences for the birth. She worked with us to learn what our priorities were and to help us identify the coping and comfort mechanisms that would bring me the most relief. When I said I wanted to be as mobile and do as much dancing as possible, she was game to talk about our playlists. She even danced with us during labor!
Shelia was a steady, reassuring presence who expertly guided me into different positions and through coping techniques as my needs changed in labor. I felt truly cared for and valued. I also appreciated the care she took of my husband during my labor, ensuring that he eat and take occasional breaks so that he could remain present and supportive of me when I needed it most. She helped us be better advocates for ourselves when we reached key decision points during labor. And the gorgeous photos she took and birth story she wrote for our son are things we’ll always treasure.
After our son was born, Shelia also provided invaluable support to our family, helping us navigate early challenges with breastfeeding and sleep. It’s an understatement to say that I can’t imagine how different our birth experience would have been without Shelia. If we have a second child, we will hope to have Shelia on our team again!