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.
We found Shelia through Swedish’s website, and read through her testimonials and felt an immediate connection, which continued after we initially contacted her. She was very knowledgeable, and continued checking in with us throughout the pregnancy, with recommendations for further information. When I went into labor at 38 weeks, Shelia was such a calming presence. She arrived at my home, and helped me through a few very intense contractions before assessing the situation and getting us to the hospital. Once we were there, she continued helping us through the chaos that a fast labor can be, and recommended different ways to help keep me relaxed. She knew the exact spot to apply pressure to when I was having intense back pain based on how my baby was positioned. I intended on an unmedicated, intervention free birth, and while all signs pointed to that at the beginning, after a few hours of pushing with no baby, she helped the nurse come up with a variety of new positions to try, to help us attempt to preserve our original plan. When it was clear that the baby was not cooperating, she continued to encourage us to discuss our options, and gave us the space to do so in private, which we appreciated immensely. When we finally decided to go forward with a c-section, Shelia made sure she was in the room and advocated for me even when I was not able to do so for myself. Due to all the medications I was put on, I was unable to remember the majority of my daughter’s birth; Shelia took the most amazing pictures, and wrote up a beautiful birth story to help me fill in the blanks. She also met with us for a postpartum visit to help us figure out latching and to just check in with us and make sure we were adjusting, and made sure to check in with us each day as well.
We fully intend to hire Shelia for any additional births, and feel very fortunate to have had her present for the birth of our daughter.
When going into the process of finding a doula to help us with the delivery of our first child, my wife and I honestly didn’t know exactly what we wanted. We were hoping to find someone with an extensive background and experience who could simultaneously be flexible and understanding enough to deal with us at what we imagined was going to be a time of sensitivity, vulnerability, and chaos.
From the very beginning of our time working together, Shelia made herself abundantly available to us, at all hours, for questions big and small. She laughed at my terrible jokes and then shook her head in sympathy for my wife, just like every other member of our family. She did an amazing job of checking in with us leading up to the birth, even when we didn’t know we needed someone to check in!
As my wife progressed from early into active labor I remember feeling so overwhelmed… That is until I remembered to call Shelia. Even at 3:30 AM she was strong, supportive and knew exactly what to say, and that was before she even got out of bed to meet us at the hospital. Though nothing about our birth process seemed to go according to what we had been prepared to think was ‘normal,’ we felt calm, prepared, and empowered throughout the process.
Throughout labor, Shelia offered great suggestions and support without forcing her way into the foreground. She was seemingly both everywhere and invisible, and always at the right times. She adapted quickly and kept reminding us that we were in control of what was going on, which was exactly what we both needed. She allowed me to be supportive physically and emotionally for my wife without feeling like I was unsupported myself.
After we got home we realized just how thankful we were for Shelia’s presence during the delivery. Shelia’s post-partum visit allowed us to talk through the whole event and process our emotions and thoughts. The fact that she could provide some additional lactation support only added to the usefulness of her post-partum visit.
And if all that wasn’t enough, Shelia somehow managed to juggle a camera and take some wonderful photos of us with our newborn daughter without it feeling like a spectacle. We’ll treasure both the photos and the support that Shelia provided during this amazing experience for the rest of our lives.
We are so fortunate to have had Shelia as our doula. We met Shelia through our childbirth class; was obvious from the outset that she’s a genuinely wonderful human being — she’s so warm, supportive, and caring, and it’s really clear that loves what she does.
In the weeks leading up to my due date, Shelia made sure we had what we needed for any questions/issues we had along the way, and gave me resources to facilitate straightforward and productive conversations with my caregiver about how I’d ideally like the labor and birth to go. Advocating for yourself can be intimidating (even with the most understanding of caregivers), and having Shelia’s knowledge and experience to draw from gave me the confidence to do that effectively.
On the big day, Shelia was in contact and encouraging via text and phone starting in the wee hours of the morning until we were ready for in-person support. My labor moved very fast. Once Shelia arrived at our house, she was able to calmly assess a pretty intense situation, and helped me change my breathing and get into a headspace to hold on until we could get to the hospital. We were so, so happy to have her with us — Shelia’s support and reassurance for both of us was invaluable, before, during, and after delivery. We are both grateful to have had her present for such an intimate and incredible experience.
I would absolutely recommend Shelia to anyone looking for a doula. Shelia is amazing. Thank you Shelia!