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