~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,
~for unexpected outcomes~
I had an incredibly challenging labor and delivery (almost 40 hours, 4 hours of pushing and finally a c-section) and while it was not how I pictured it or what I would have wanted, with Sarah P as my doula I felt that my interests were well represented and my husband and I felt supported to make challenging decisions in the moment. We could not have done it without her. Her calm, constant and reassuring presence, strong support and great comforting techniques and ideas got us through many hours of unmedicated back labor. And she was incredibly supportive when it came time to decide to go for the epidural. She maintained a respectuful and productive relationship with all of the midwives, nurses and eventually OBs that were involved. I have never felt closer to a what was essentially a stranger in such an intimate setting, that is truly a gift and a great quality in a doula.
All the DC Birth Doulas have these qualities and I would have felt very comfortable with any of them at my birth. I can't recommend them highly enough- professional, considerate and kind.Sara,
~for second and third time moms~
I was well aware when hiring DC Birth Doulas that labor never goes as planned. I had two babies without a doula and opted for an epidural with each - even though I really wanted to give birth without pain medication. My husband tried but had no idea how to comfort me during labor and the nursing staff was there to make sure the baby and I were healthy, not fulling my desired birth plan. So when I found I was unexpectedly expecting #3, I researched doulas and found DC Birth Doulas through a coworker.
My birth plan was only "no epidural!" Amy helped me achieve that. It was so nice to have such amazing support and so much experience with me during labor and delivery. She offered peppermint oil to help with nausea and even though I normally don't prefer that smell, it worked like a charm. I now love peppermint aroma! I also love that I did finally have the labor I'd always wanted and discovered just how tough I really am! Best of all, she helped me bring my beautiful baby boy into the world (literally because the doctor didn't make it there in time, though the less than fantastic nurse arrived just in time to catch him).
I cannot say enough about them or how great their support was. My husband didn't agree with my decision until he witnessed a doula in action. He admitted how wonderful it was to have Amy's support and how cool is was to see a natural labor and delivery. He said having a doula also helped him relax knowing someone with her level of experience was in the room the whole time with us. I wholeheartedly recommend them!Jen,
My husband and I were DC Birth Doula clients for the birth of our son in May 2015. We chose this particular group because we wanted a group who would be supportive of us regardless of how our birth happened without pushing us into any one "preferred" birth outcome. I ended up with Sarah Paksima, who was amazing. She showed up at the hospital at around 12:30am (I had been induced earlier that day, but only recently had started feeling strong contractions) and helped me through active labor by rubbing my back. Since I had been induced, I was hooked up to monitors and that limited my mobility, but Sarah was able to help me relax in spite of that. I also had gone through several days of a failed induction earlier that week and she was an accessible and knowledgeable presence via text and phone, which I hadn't really been anticipating.
Ultimately, I ended up with an epidural and an instrument delivery. Sarah was great at helping me push through the epidural, and was also just a supportive presence to talk to and ask questions of during the rest of my labor. And, after my son was finally born, she helped me with breastfeeding and showed me how to get a good latch. Regarding the epidural, I had gone into this not wanting one, but after hours and hours of no progress, both Sarah and the midwife who was on call at the time thought that the epidural made sense. It was nice not to feel judged or like a failure when I made that decision.
If I were to have another kid in DC, I'd choose them again in a heartbeat.Sarah,