Having an unmedicated birth was so much harder than I expected it to be. There's no way I would have been able to do it without Rachel. She is exactly what I was looking for in a doula. She came in and quietly took control of the situation. She was in tune to what I needed and gave me the physical and emotional support that I needed to get through each contraction. When I felt like I couldn't go on, she gave me the encouragement I needed and helped my keep my perspective. She also directed my husband to how he could best support me. I had a positive and empowering birthing experience due largely to the support I received from Rachel. I would recommend her services to any pregnant woman wanting amazing support during labor.
My husband and I cannot say enough how much we loved having Rachel as our doula. She was amazing through pregnancy, our birth experience, and postpartum. She was always attentive to our needs and our wants. I love how calm and positive she stayed during the entire experience. She had so many ideas how to work through the discomfort and to help me stay in the right mindset. We especially loved how well she worked with my husband. She was really good at helping him help me without overstepping boundaries or interfering. She added so much to our birth experience. We love her! If you are looking for a great doula, we can't recommend her enough!!!
"Working with Rachel for our third birth, but first unmedicated birth, was just what my husband and I needed. When I first mentioned that I was interested in having a doula for this delivery, he was skeptical as to why I would want one and why I would want to deliver unmedicated when we had two previously healthy children. However, our experience with Rachel has converted both of us to the benefit of working with a doula (and Rachel in particular). She encouraged us to discuss many topics prior to the baby's arrival and to decide individually and as a couple what we anticipated would be important to us in the upcoming birth experience. She helped us develop a birth plan based on our preferences, and connected us to helpful resources but never made decisions for us or imposed her own views. This helped us to realize how many more choices we actually have at a hospital birth, and at the time of the delivery were able to express our preferences and create a very positive experience. Rachel also worked with us prior to the delivery and helped my husband be aware of things he could do during the labor to help me relax and manage the pain; because of the time she spent with us beforehand and her gentle coaching (of him and me) at the time of labor and delivery, my husband felt needed and was a huge asset. Rachel's knowledge and calming personality were tremendous factors in making this a beautiful delivery, a time when I felt empowered and connected to my baby and also to my husband." - The Dallas's
Having Rachel involved in my labor and delivery process was one of the best decisions we made. She helped my husband and I get on the same page with how we wanted our labor and delivery process to go. She was informative, professional, and quick to respond to any questions we had along the way. She brought a calm and supporting presence into my labor. Her attention to detail was spot-on and she came prepared with ideas and tools that eased my labor and made the experience one to remember. She brought stuff so I could brush my teeth after I delivered, kept me covered up during labor, and brought a mirror so I could look at my baby’s face while we had our first skin-to-skin experience. My labor was hard and fast. I had back labor and I got stuck in transition with my baby sunny-side up. Rachel remained calm, focused, and encouraging through it all and I couldn’t have done it without her. I appreciated that I was her number one concern and we would use her again in a heartbeat!
We had Rachel as our Doula for the second time and I can't imagine how we could have gone through our experience without her. She was ready to go when we were and was constantly communicating with us to make sure to let her know when she was ready to show up. After she arrived, it was magic seeing her get to work and help talk us through all the things that we never even thought about. There were some decisions that we had to make with the doctor and before we made them, she helped us understand how important it was to go through all the pro's and con's of our decision. Brooke was grateful that we went through that process and she made the right decision because of it. As Brooke started labor, Rachel was there to do everything she could to help her be as comfortable and relaxed as possible, while even getting through the contractions (Surges) as they got stronger and stronger. She had a calm confidence with everything she did. She has many techniques and even soothing oils to bring the right environment for delivering a baby. I even heard a nurse comment that she was impressed and had learned some new things to help other ladies in labor become more relaxed and focused.
I was impressed on how she worked closely with the nurses and doctor as Brooke delivered a beautiful healthy baby unmedicated. Rachel helped Brooke get through it all and shared her sweet messages to give Brooke the strength and encouragement she needed to stay focused and strong. I can't imagine how anyone can do that without that type of support and love for giving birth. Rachel truly is a professional and I would recommend her to everyone I know. She was an angel! Thanks Rachel!
Rachel is a fantastic doula! She provided my family with so much support and additional resources to help me have a successful VBAC. This was my second pregnancy but the first time having a doula. I know I would not have had as positive of a birth experience without her there. Rachel provided both physical and emotional support throughout labor and delivery and helped my husband understand how he could help as well. She was diligent in helping me and my caregivers keep to the birth plan. Rachel is very personable and is very supportive of helping you achieve your ideal birth. It was also great to meet with her postpartum to discuss the birth and how I felt about it. Thank you so much Rachel for helping to make Jacob’s birth a wonderful experience!
Approaching the second half of my first pregnancy I began to consider a natural birth and it wasn't until my husband and I took a birthing class that we first learned about doulas. We contacted Rachel pretty late, around 36 weeks, but she was quick to respond and meet with us. She came to our home for our prenatal visit to discuss our birth plan and help us with some laboring positions to use while laboring at home before we went to the hospital which was very helpful.
Before going into labor, Rachel was always quick to answer any questions we had and provided us with research and articles to help us make informed decisions. She was always easy to get a hold of. I was always impressed with her research.
When my due date passed and we were approaching 41 weeks, Rachel provided continuous support and encouragement to try to induce labor naturally. When my labor finally started, Rachel met us at the hospital when we needed her support and stayed by my side for over twelve hours. My husband and I tried to prepare for a natural birth by taking a class, but having Rachel with us made all of the difference. Her constant guidance and calm presence helped me carry out my birth plan. During each contraction she was by my side helping in some way whether it was applying counter pressure or a cold wash cloth. She was a great help to my husband during the entire labor and helped direct him in ways to ease my pain.
Reflecting back, the guidance and support from Rachel was priceless. She helped keep a peaceful and calming atmosphere while also directing me through each contraction. She helped me move positions when I would not have thought to in order to keep my labor progressing, applied counter pressure, provided essential oils to help with nausea, and coached my breathing through contractions. I never had to ask her for anything, she was already ahead of me! With her help I was able to have an unmediated birth, an experience I will never forget.
We met at our house a week or so after our son was born and Rachel provided resources for breast feeding and postpartum care. We could not have been more impressed with her organization and attention to detail. We would both highly recommend Rachel. I know she will help enhance your birth experience. I do not think I could have done this without her. We will definitely use her in the future!
We can't say enough good things about Rachel. We met Rachel at our Bradley method birthing class. During the weeks of our class she had lots of great stories and information. She was very reassuring to the class of first time mommies, being a mom of a two-year-old. Our class ended and I was thinking my husband and I "got this" we don't need a Doula. Thinking about it for another couple of weeks we decided to call Rachel and were very glad we did. The weeks leading up to our birth she had tons of valuable advice. Great suggestions on how to keep me comfortable in the weeks that I felt the buggiest and prepare my body for the birth. Also wonderful tips that I never thought of, on how to bond with my baby while he was still in my belly. She would call regularly to see about progress and if I needed anything or had any questions. Being two weeks passed our due date I think she was just as anxious as us for the little one to make his debut. She checked on me almost daily.
Come birth day she was the most valuable asset we could have added to our birth team. She took amazing care of my husband and I. She was amazingly encouraging when I swore I couldn't do it anymore. She always had a great idea for a different position. Kept us both hydrated. Also made sure my husband rested and ate. I loved the Doula bag she had, she had thought of everything to bring. She had things ready before I even knew I needed them. The massages she gave were wonderful and bless her heart for all the hips squeezes that she did. (My husband did some too.)The best part, is when I would start to panic, she kept me calm and helped me direct my breathing. When it finally came time to push they told me that the baby had cocked his head and I would need to do some hip movement in order to straighten his head out. By then I was so tired Rachel actually held me up and helped me do the hip movements to get my babies head straight so I could push. She even thought to capture a couple of great pictures when my baby was handed to me. Which we wouldn't of had it if she hadn't done that. We are so lucky to have found Rachel and that she is part of our birth story. She will definitely be our Doula when we have are next baby.
PS she also did the follow up appointments a week after the baby was born. My husband even learned how to burp the baby. Plus you want her as your doula because she makes the best lactation cookies.
-The Z family.
Going into my first pregnancy and wanting to have an unmedicated birth, I knew I needed some extra help in addition to having my husband there with me. I wanted a doula that could help coach and motivate me through the labor process. Rachel did just that! Rachel is extremely knowledgeable, professional, patient and kind. She was a tremendous help to my husband and I before, during, and after the birth. We met with Rachel before our daughter Grace’s birth. She was so helpful to answer all of our questions and provide us with information that helped us be more prepared and not feel so overwhelmed for her birth. Rachel was very accessible and was always available to answer our questions by phone or email in the days leading up to her birth. During labor Rachel was very sweet and motherly while also being very motivating which is very comforting when you are in a lot of pain. She was very helpful with having me try different positions, massaging me and coaching me with breathing through contractions. She worked extremely well with the nurse and doctor and served as an advocate for us when things weren’t going as planned and serious medical decisions had to be made. She helped to keep the environment calm and relaxed as possible in a hectic time. Rachel followed up with us a few days after Grace was born and was a great help in answering questions and giving information for resources on breastfeeding and newborn care. I would highly recommend Rachel as a doula. My husband and I truly feel we couldn’t have gone through this process without her help. There is no question we will have her as our doula in the future!
-Makell & Keith Bessinger
"I contacted Rachel very last-minute in my pregnancy, I think I was around 35 weeks. I didn't think I was going to need or want any extra help but as my hypnobirthing class came to a close, I realized I was still wanting some extra guidance, this being my first pregnancy. I contacted Rachel and she seemed very knowledgeable and caring the first meeting we had. She was thorough in the preparatory information she gave, including some great website resources for birth plans. When I went into labor, I ended up having contractions in my back, something I was not expecting or prepared for. Rachel was essential in helping me get through them! She not only helped hands-on with back and hip pressure and rocking, she also was able to direct others in the room as to how they could help me. This included my husband. Even though I knew he was very capable of helping me had we been on our own, there was no way for him or I to know exactly what to do. Rachel anticipated my needs and remained proactively engaged the entire labor. I never had to ask her for anything, she was always right there with a suggestion or question about how to make me more comfortable. She was encouraging of my own style of relaxation, something she got a feel for at our meeting a few weeks prior. Her questions during that meeting allowed her to recall what helps me relax and what doesn't help me relax. This type of individual care was so essential for me. She even introduced me to a breathing technique that I didn't know of previously and with EVERY contraction that I can remember she was guiding my breathing by breathing out loud like I should. I was resistant to make any noise because I thought I would be embarrassed. But I was in so much pain that having someone else making noise helped me not care about how I sounded and just focus instead on the breathing and the sounds, and not on the pain. At one point, I was so anxious about things that I said something like "I don't think I can do this anymore!" to which Rachel replied gently "You ARE doing it! You're doing it right NOW!" That was exactly what I needed to hear. And 6 hours later I had my beautiful perfect baby boy on my chest, naturally and with no intervention. After the delivery, Rachel stayed to help with initial breastfeeding attempts. As I still had problems with that, she followed up with a postpartum visit and a few phone calls to suggest lactation consultants and to offer her encouragement. She provided even more resources for postpartum care of not just the baby, but for myself also. These included books, websites, and direct contact information for other professionals. I feel comfortable now almost 3 weeks later contacting her with questions. The only thing I regret is not contacting her sooner in my pregnancy!" -Lauren Nielsen