Mary Ellen Gabrielsen
Phone: (206) 683-8366
Postpartum Rate: $35
Fee Details: I invoice weekly on the last day of work in the week and do request a retainer to hold the time requested.
Postpartum Doula Experience: 11 years and 150 families served
Clients per Month: to 5Postpartum limits/restrictions: No smokers. I do work in home with pets but do not provide pet care such as walking or maintenance.
Languages spoken: English
Service Area MapArea of practice: Issaquah, WA
I was referred to Mary Ellen by another mom of twins. We do not have family in town and were venturing into the territory of first time parenthood. I posted on the Seattle Families of Multiples website asking if anyone had experience with her. The feedback I received was positive, incredible, exciting and 100% accurate. I met with Mary Ellen while still pregnant and liked her immensely. She is confident without arrogance, reassuring, calm natured and witty. It is clear that she speaks from a position of experience and love. She kindly entertained my naïveté when I told her we wanted to spend the first week home alone with our twin girls. Much to my absolute JOY, after being home the first night and sleeping for only 30 minutes, Mary Ellen was immediately available to come over and help. She met with my husband (while I took the greatest nap ever), gave him pointers, bought supplies we didn’t know we needed, helped get my girls on the breast and provided additional nursing support throughout her tenure with us. When our girls became very fussy and started to refuse their feedings, Mary Ellen watched them closely and told us they might have reflux. Our pediatrician confirmed this and was pleased that we’d found someone educated about reflux to help us. When I ended up back in the hospital 6 weeks postpartum with a massive infection, Mary Ellen coordinated with other experienced and reliable doulas to come and be with our family when she was unavailable while I recuperated for nearly 2 weeks. Our entire experience with her was like this. She was able to anticipate our needs, tell us about upcoming changes with our babies, provide advice and support to us as first time parents (with twins!), help us get the girls on a schedule, and also helped us maintain our home. She is amazing. If I had to do it all over again, I’d have her waiting for us the day we came home like she suggested!
Mary Ellen has been our peace of mind for both of our children born in 2005 and 2007. I never imagined the impact that her sound advice and constant reassurance would give to us as new parents. She has helped us through breast feeding both of our children to bottle feeding, answering every question that we have had with ease and a caring hand. Mary Ellen is an open book without having to turn a page. She has helped us achieve a sound sleep schedule for both of our children, teaching them both to sleep through the night and encouraging us all along the way. Even in the fussiest of time has given us the tools and knowledge to achieve success. There hasn't ever been a question that she didn't have a great answer for, wether it was in person or over the phone she has made herself available to us. We would not be the parents that we are today without her loving and constant care for both of our children. We trust her implicitly with our children and their well being. Mary Ellen is truly the Mary Poppins of all Doulas!
We went to Mary Ellen at wit's end after our first child was born, and we couldn't figure out how to get him to sleep welll and consistently. She had all the right questions--and a lot of right answers. She suggested we try often simple things that seemed totally counter-intuitive, like putting him in a crib for naps when we could barely get him to nap in our arms! It worked. We've referred her to many of our friends who have needed help after birth (don't we all, really?), and had her in for several hours a week after our second child was born to ease the transition.
I honestly don't know how we would have coped without her!
When I became pregnant with twins, lots of people suggested I get a postpartum doula. I resisted, thinking I probably did not need one - after all I had friends all lined up to help. Once the twins were born I still was not convinced of a postpartum doula's value. However, with the encouragement of my birth doula, I called Mary Ellen.
What a godsend! I can't believe I considered doing those first several months without her! She helped with everything from breastfeeding support, to help with sleep issues, to washing dishes. She is so knowledgeable about all things baby related and is connected and up to date on all the latest issues. Also, one of her greatest strengths is her ability to support and empower the parents. And she was incredibly respectful and supportive on those few occasions when we disagreed. I did not want to ever let her go! In addition to all of the practical help she offers, she is fun to be with. The boys adored her and so did I. I would highly recommend her to all parents, especially those of twins.
If I was to have another child (which I am not!) I would call Mary Ellen the moment I knew I was pregnant to get on her books. SHe is truly a wonderful person to have with you as you navigate those first few months with a new baby/babies.
Our family has relied on Mary Ellen for expert help and advice since my first child was born in 2004. He was a horrible sleeper and we were in a state of collapse. We initially worked with Mary Ellen on improving sleep routines (boy, did it work!), but then realized that her expertise was far broader than just sleep. I think I was still in the first trimester of my second pregnancy when we signed Mary Ellen up as our post-partum doula. None of our parents lived nearby, so having Mary Ellen's help was a lifeline!
Mary Ellen helped with everything from lactation and sibling issues to cooking and cleaning. She cared for our toddler as well as the baby and her sense of humor was as useful as her encyclopedic knowledge. I still call Mary Ellen for help and advice, and have found that if she doesn't know the answer, she always knows who will!
My husband and I had the privledge of having Mary Ellen as our doula following the births of our two children, one in 2006 and the other in 2009. With our first, I honestly do not know what we would have done without her. Upon bringing the baby home from the hospital, we needed someone to take charge - someone who understands babies, understands new moms, could provide perspective to the continuous question of "is this normal" and help us get some rest. Family and friends are great, but having a true professional in the house who is up-to-date with childcare topics is immensely valuable. When we had our second child a few years later, we knew more about newborn care, but still needed a refresher and someone to help us with the transition to a family of four. Mary Ellen not only helped us with the new baby, but also gave special attention to our toddler son when he needed it very much. She also was available to answer urgent questions via the phone and provided calm guidance when we needed help. I wish all new parents had the opportunity to have Mary Ellen support them at the start of the wondeful journey of parenthood.
= Available. Calendar last updated: Updated 5/21/2013