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!
Shelia was absolutely integral to the successful birth of our baby girl. We quite literally could not have done it without her.
Having recently moved to Seattle from the east coast, we wanted a familiar face in the delivery room, knowing family from home might not make it in time. Shelia provided that constant for us and so much more.
After being admitted to the hospital 2 weeks early and having to be induced, Shelia arrived to support me and my husband through the night. She helped to execute on our birth plan and, as labor progressed, provided the calm support we discussed in our earlier meetings. She also worked incredibly well with our doctor and the nurses on staff, with all parties agreeing that we had the most awesome doula!
In addition to providing unparalleled labor support, Shelia managed to take amazing photos that we will treasure forever, and write a beautiful birth story that we can’t wait to share with our daughter one day.
We feel very fortunate to have found Shelia and can’t imagine our story without her.
The birth of our first child went exceedingly well and I would credit that 90% to Shelia. She was knowledgable and confident from the first meeting. Every question about labor and birth, she could walk us through or direct us to sources who could. Our interview and 2 pre-birth meetings probably did the most to reassure me that the birth would go well, even if not exactly as planned.
Shelia was at our house within an hour of a phone call when I realized I was in labor. She gently offered coping strategies and positions. She was respectful of me saying, “No, this isn’t working” and immediately had another idea to try when I was open to it. During much of the active labor, Shelia was the face and voice I fixated on. My husband said later it was a relief to have her there when he reached the end of his knowledge and didn’t know how to support me through the pushing.
When things got a bit hairy and the ob recommended a vacuum, I felt like I had messed up somehow. But again Shelia was there, walking us through it, giving us confidence in our decision to go with it. The vacuum helped move my son down the canal and I ended up finishing with a natural birth and a beautiful healthy son.
She has visited us since the birth to be there as we processed the labor and birth events. It was neat to have her perspective as well.
I don’t what we would have done without Shelia. If we decide to have a second child, she will be my first call.
To be honest, after Shelia accompanied us through the birth of our first baby, we can’t even imagine having another child without Shelia as our doula. Her birthing knowledge and know how was exactly what you would expect from someone who has participated in over a hundred births. Her knowledge is matched by her clear communication and willingness to support both my partner and I in making our labor experience as safe and satisfying as possible.
She met us at our home and labored with us throughout the day and then continued to guide and support us at the hospital, serving as a crucial support and advocate through the final stage of our journey. She also left us with a handful of precious pictures we hold dear and we didn’t even notice that she had paused from supporting us to take the photos! We could not have asked for a better doula and would highly recommend her to anyone who endeavors to improve the labor and birth experience for baby, mother, and partners/spouses alike.
Choosing Shelia to be our doula was the best decision we made for our baby’s birth. Thinking back to that time almost a year ago, I don’t remember many specifics of the laboring, but Shelia’s calming and empowering presence alongside my partner, and, of course, the pure joy of meeting our son are still my most vivid memories.
I’m an introvert and a planner, and didn’t know what to expect when beginning our doula search. Would having someone else there feel intrusive? Would the support feel “woo”? Shelia was the first person we met of three promising candidates from doulamatch, and we clicked immediately. Her attentiveness, warmth, emotional intelligence, open-mindedness, and depth of expertise and experience shone through from the start. We didn’t need to meet anyone else before making our decision.
And as our doula? I was going to be a first time mom without the in-person support of family, and her support gave me the peace of mind to enjoy the pregnancy. At the hospital birth, which unsurprisingly didn’t go as expected—starting with my water breaking 2.5wks early—Shelia had an almost uncanny sense of knowing exactly what was needed, when it was needed. From helping me make sense of my options at each juncture and knowing just the amount of nurturing and space I needed, to the attention to detail like setting up candles for the tub to avoid using the harsh fluorescent lights or knowing where to get food after hours, she made me feel safe and cared for. My partner reported feeling more relaxed and present too. And I truly believe that it’s to her credit that I didn’t have to have an emergency C-section. On top of all this, she captured profound moments on camera and wrote our birth story.
Shelia is wonderful, and our hearts swell with love and gratitude for her time with us. We can’t imagine our journey without her.
When we found out we were pregnant with our first child and living in Seattle- 3000 miles away from our family in Florida, my husband and I knew we needed a doula to support us throughout our journey. we interviewed several doulas through Swedish, but Shelia felt like the best fit. She was supportive of my choice for an unmedicated birth- but during labor when it became too much for me and I got an epidural, she was supportive of my use of medication. She also took beautiful photos of the day and documented the whole process so we could share with our little girl in the future! Her visits postpartum helped us feel secure and were full of good tips and insight. I would recommend a doula to every mom- family in town or not, but more specifically I would recommend Shelia! we couldn’t have imagined our birth without her!
Shelia was such an amazing and important part of our childbirth journey, from the prebirth visits all the way to the postpartum visits. During the first meeting with her, my husband and I liked her energy, approach, and communication style. She’s warm, calming, and open-minded. She was very supportive of our hopes for our birth journey. Before our birth, she answered questions, made recommendations, and helped create strategies/techniques for pain management since we wanted an unmedicated birth. She was very parter-friendly and made my husband feel involved throughout the whole process.
She was by her phone and ready to help us stay calm at 3am when my water broke 2.5 weeks early. She was willing to be with us either by phone or in person, based on our comfort level. She was truly an advocate and a resource for us and what we wanted. Because of her, my husband and I felt better informed of our options and more empowered to make decisions and have the birth that we wanted, including laboring at home most of the day. During the labor process, she suggested several positions, helped my husband support me and feel involved, and coached me through my pain management strategies. She did a million little amazing things to help us, like recommending we order food from the hospital ahead of time so that I could eat in the middle of the night (my post-birth mac-and-cheese was delicious). She stayed with us for a few hours after the birth to make sure we were settled in and felt supported.
The photographs and birth story that she gave us are amazing and profoundly meaningful. She captured moments that make me cry everytime I look at them. We can’t imagine what this journey would have been like without her! We will definitely work with Shelia again for our next pregnancy.
Shelia has exceeded our expectations by far and we are very grateful!!! The whole birth wouldn’t have been the same without her in the room. She helped me out during contractions and made them more tolerable, she snapped some very nice pictures (with not too much of exposure and just the right amount of emotion) and also gave us a timeline of birth as well as a birth story addresed to the baby. These are such great keepsakes! She was also very supportive before and after labor. She provided great resources and referrals for all things baby.
We are extremely happy that we hired Shelia for our birth. Highly recommend.
There aren’t enough amazing ways to describe Shelia but we’ll try. We immediately clicked with Shelia during our first meeting. We knew we had to have her as our doula if schedules would allow. Shelia is a total expert, professional, experienced, knowledgeable, caring, very present and aware, sensitive, and on top of it all, has an incredible sense of humor. She was accessible throughout my pregnancy to answer any questions I had, and truly made me feel cared for. Shelia felt like a member of our family. When it came to our labor, we had unexpected events in our birth plan (shocker!). Shelia made us feel informed, prepared, and made us feel comfortable with all the decisions that came up during labor. She was a constant in the chaos and made everything feel less scary, less anxious, and less overwhelming. As our first birth, she filled in where my husband would have been lost, encouraged him and kept both of us focused. On top of all of this, she wrote us a birth plan and took photos of the whole experience. All of it was too good to be true. We will absolutely be using Shelia for our future births. We simply adore her.
This testimonial is increadily overdue- partially because I don’t know how to even begin putting my experience with Shelia into words. Like with most births, I’m sure, nothing went according to plan. My walking, tubbing, intervention free birth-plan with midwives very suddenly became an emergency induction with OB’s. It was a long and scary process, and I hit many moments of weakness and fear, but Shelia supported me in a way that I can’t really explain. I felt like she was laboring with me, and breathing through me. She was incredbily connected to the situation, very proactive in anticipating my needs, and encouraging when she could hear my fear. In the end, I fully attribute my epidural-free vaginal birth to her support.
My husband both agree that she was the single most important investment when it came to the birth of our son, and should we be fortunate enough to get pregnant again, she will be my first call.