~for unmedicated births~
"We had our first child in May 2017 and had an amazing experience with the DC Birth Doulas . We first met the doulas at the open orientation and immediately felt comfortable with all of them. Once we decided to move forward with the group, they were readily accessible and responsive to all of my questions and concerns (regardless of how silly they seemed). After the birth class and pre-natal visit we felt prepared and educated about our birth choices and came up with a "birth plan" that was tailored specifically to our needs and desires. For example, we discussed things such as my hope to have an unmedicated birth, what to pack, the preferred ambiance in the hospital room, and even what playlists to make.
On the day of our daughter's birth we were fortunate enough to have Casey as our doula. We honestly could not have asked for a better doula/person to go through this experience with. Casey was warm, encouraging, and clearly born to be a doula. She helped me labor at home for as long as possible and once it was time to go to the hospital she took charge. She was familiar with the hospital (WHC), managed hospital staff, worked hand and hand with our midwife, and suggested various things my husband could do that were both helpful and meaningful during the birth. Casey was able to strike the perfect balance between compassion and motivation. Her involvement did not stop when our daughter was born. Casey followed-up with us for weeks after to check in. She is simply THE. BEST.
From the initial orientation to the birth of our baby the experience with DC Birth Doulas was everything I wanted."Lauren,
~for medicated births~
While I knew I wanted an epidural, I wanted someone who could provide info., support, advocacy, and to help ward off unnecessary interventions. Sarah turned out to be exactly what I wanted and needed. She talked me through signs of early labor via phone and text message. She gave me great ideas on things to buy and do to prepare, which were very useful. When I was in labor she was at my home as soon as I needed her, and helped me do early labor for hours before going to the hospital. At the hospital, Sarah coached me through what to do to get through contractions, what monitors were doing, what examination results meant, what options I had, what to expect, how long things would take, etc. I felt completely empowered and confident, and pretty much stress-free during what I thought would be an insanely stressful time, because Sarah was there. My husband, who was supportive but skeptical, was utterly converted. Sarah was critical in helping me get far enough along to do an epidural without my having to fear slowing down labor and risking a C-section - I could not have done it without her, and I think it would have been beyond stressful for me and my husband to cope with the pain without her. After the epidural, she was critical in letting me know what was happening, what my options were, what to expect, etc. And she even stayed to help me establish breastfeeding - which was key as I didn't yet have access to a lactation consultant at Sibley Hospital during the golden hour after delivery. Sarah's follow up visit to my home helped smooth breastfeeding even more."Katrina,
~for planned cesareans~
I had a fantastic experience with DC birth doulas and highly recommend them.
I went into my pregnancy with the full intent of having a natural, unmedicated birth but learned around 37 weeks that I would have to have a c-section because my baby was in breech position and stubbornly unwilling to flip. I was devastated about this and reached out to the dc birth doulas team to simply notify them of the change to my birth plan. During the final weeks of my pregnancy I spoke with Amy multiple times - both leading up to an ECV procedure (attempt to flip the baby manually) where she talked me through what to expect based on other clients with whom she had worked. After the ECV was unsuccessful and it was confirmed that a c-section would be necessary, she helped me think through some of the logistics of the c-section and educated me a bit on my options, specifically in the context that attempting a VBAC with future pregnancies was important to me.
I wound up going into labor naturally before the c-section and had about 5 hours of contractions. Sarah P. was present for the hours leading up to the surgery, during which time she did a fantastic job of helping to relieve my pain and also ease my anxiety about the procedure. While I believe it's atypical for a planned c-section patient to have a doula present, I would have still signed on with the DC birth doulas team had I known at the beginning of my pregnancy that the outcome would be a c-section.
Sarah was an incredibly comforting presence to have there with me throughout such an anxiety-inducing event, and she did a fantastic job of keeping my husband involved in the process and making us both feel at ease. We were joking around and laughing far more than I ever expected going into a surgery I was so fearful of.
I will definitely be reaching out to dc birth doulas for my next pregnancies and cannot recommend them highly enough.Emily,
~for single moms~
As a single mom by choice, I knew that having a doula would be an important aspect of the birth experience that I wanted. However, I underestimated how truly critical this would be. I attended a "Meet the Doulas" event several months before my due date and really like the philosophy expressed by this doula team. Even more important, I really liked each of the doulas personally and felt comfortable knowing that this team of knowledgable, caring and very competent women had me covered no matter what.
Amy was my specific contact throughout my pregnancy. She answered some key questions that popped up along the way, which really put my mind at ease. Our pre-meeting was really helpful in clarifying some things for me and built my confidence that Amy knew what things were most important to me so I didn't have to worry about them.
Amy was absolutely amazing and critically helpful to me during labor and the birth itself. I honestly know that I couldn't have done it without her. She was a great calming influence. It was so helpful that she should interpret what was happening for me and provide the counsel that I needed to make decisions. I also really appreciated her sense of humor as things got more intense.
I highly recommend Amy and the DC Birth Doulas team. Of all of the birth preparations (e.g. classes taken, books read, etc.) that I made, this was, by far, the most valuable and helpful.Alison,