I cannot recommend Rhiannon and her doula services enough! During my consultation, Rhiannon made me feel so comfortable, calm, and peaceful about the birthing process. She is such a smart, loving, and down-to earth person to have in your corner! I was so nervous about labor and delivery (and everything else that comes after!) But Rhiannon helped me with a birthing plan, (and postpartum plan) gave me GREAT TIPS, and most importantly, listened without judging me, my choices, or my many fears (no matter how small!) When pregnant, EVERYONE gives you advice, but Rhiannon really listens to what YOU want, and helps you to achieve that goal. I also utilized her postpartum services too, as I was very nervous about breastfeeding/pumping. She came to the hospital and gently explained how the pump worked (my little one was in the NICU) and sat with me as I went through that first time pumping. As she sat with me, we had such a wonderful conversation. She makes sure to focus on the Mama! Naturally most people are interested in the baby (and she was WONDERFUL with my little girl too) but she helped me feel like everything I was going through, and feeling was SO normal, especially when my hormones were making my emotions go up and down. It felt like having both a counselor, and a best friend by my side, at the same time. You will not regret using Rhiannon as your Doula! She will care for you, advocate for you, and most importantly, help you feel happy and calm about bringing your little bundle into the world!
Rhiannon has been a close friend of mine for years, but since she is one of the hardest working people I know, hiring her as my doula when I got pregnant was a no brainer. She helped me make the most of a relatively traumatic and unexpectedly difficult delivery, and made sure that I was able to stick to my birth plan as much as medically possible. Rhiannon kept me (and my husband) sane throughout an extremely long and upsetting delivery that ended in an unplanned c section, and has repeatedly checked in on my physical and mental recovery since I had my daughter. She also was a huge support to my parents, who were unable to come to the hospital for the birth of their first grandchild due to covid. She gave them peace of mind that someone with an education in birth was looking out for my best interests. Knowing that I have someone knowledgable at my disposal, day and night, throughout my whole pregnancy to come to with my fears and concerns was my favorite part of having Rhiannon as my Doula. I knew that I could rely on her to pay attention to the details so I could just focus on having a baby, and it allowed me to release some control. My birth experience was not what I planned for, but having Rhiannon there to guide us through the process was extremely valuable. Rhiannon is incredible under pressure, very smart and hardworking, and a loyal friend. All these qualities and more inform her ability to be a fantastic doula and I would recommend her to anyone.
Having a birth partner in general wildly improves birth outcomes, but I was struck by the growing body of evidence for the support of a doula specifically - someone other than your partner/co-parent who is trained in the best ways to to support you; logistically, physically, and even emotionally. I know that so much of giving birth is out of one's control, but I at least wanted to up my chances of a both a positive experience and positive birth outcomes, especially as a first-time mother. My goal, other than to have a healthy baby of course, was to have an unmedicated birth if I could handle it. It ended up that I could not. Rhiannon's counsel was immeasurably helpful when I could hardly think straight in the throes of labor. And after helping me reach certain decisions, such as getting the epidural, she helped me feel less anxious and empowered in those decisions. My first few days postpartum were pretty rough. It meant so much to me when Rhiannon would check in. I was allowed to complain or ask for advice in as much detail I wanted without feeling bad about it. She really gets it.I think many of us are motivated to hire doulas by fear of the medical establishment. But it's not even so much that. Even if you take out the cynicism and assume that every medical professional has you and your baby's best interests at heart, that doesn't change the fact that there are multiple ways to do things with more little choices to make along the way than you could have imagined. L&D nurses and doctors are BUSY. They have a medical opinion and you can take it or leave it. Your doula has the time to talk things out with you; to remember your past conversations and honor what is most important to you. Your doula can validate your instincts. Your doula can assure you that other clients have desired or refused similar things, and it is OKAY. I thought, for example, that refusing medical students was somehow pretty "extra." I was afraid that being perceived as such could affect my care. Rhiannon told me that that was a completely reasonable and common thing to do, especially as a first-time mom. If I'm ever to give birth again, the number one thing that would bring me back to Rhiannon would be her calm demeanor. I would think that this largely has to do with her confidence and intent to help you feel calm, but it just seems to be her nature! Even her voice is pleasant. I felt like a rockstar my entire labor and delivery, and I gave birth during a pandemic, so that's saying something! The other thing I particularly love is that she does not have any axe to grind. She wants to help you achieve YOUR birth plan, not abide by any of her own ideals (although I did frequently seek out her opinion, which she was happy to give).