Phone: (804) 387-8847
Birth Fee: $900 to $1100
Fee Details: I’ve been attending births as a certified doula since 2001. My passion is educating and supporting couples on ways to work together in labor to have their best birth. Evidence-based practices and informed decision making is the core of my doula work. I especially love working with VBAC moms and have attended seventy. Through the prenatal education and suggestions during labor, I see birthing people acknowledge their strength as they navigate the work of labor. Tools I use include mindfulness, massage and acupressure, emotional support, aromatherapy, and various positions and techniques that encourage progress and relaxation. I have extensive training in Spinning Babies, postpartum hormonal adjustments, and am certified as a lactation counselor. I find that the emotional support that a doula provides carries through to their postpartum with navigating the 4th trimester- healing from birth, breastfeeding and bonding with your baby.
Birth Doula Experience: 19 years and 285 births attended
Clients per Month: 2 to 3Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Other trainings include childbirth trauma, Side by Side working with LGBTQ+ parents, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), cesarean and VBAC support, Spinning Babies, Acupressure with Dr. Keith Bell, and Penny Simkin. I am a member of toLabor, The Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition and have worked with midwifery advocacy groups to improve options for birthing families
Languages spoken: English
Sarah was a fantastic advocate to have by my side during labor and delivery. When I reflect back on the process a year later, what vividly sticks out in my head is the countless times she offered guidance and reassurance at exactly the times when I needed it. It was like she could read my mind and knew what to say to motivate me, calm me down, or provide reassurance during the different ebbs and flows of delivery. Even under the fog, I noticed her professional manner and way of building rapport with the midwife and nurses. So glad I had her support!!
Sara was our Doula for our second kid in May 2019! After the birth of my daughter not quite being "what I wanted," I decided that I wanted to try things a little different with our next and final baby. We reached out to Sara and I knew immediately she was the best fit for our family. She was the relaxed to my crazy anxiety, and the perfect support for my husband. I loved that she had worked with my midwife numerous times, and that they would be the perfect team to help bring our baby boy into the world.
Being 2 weeks late, Sara helped to support me mentally and emotionally in ways I cant even explain. When the day came that we had to give little man a little "coaxing" out, she was right there! It took WAY longer than anyone expected, but she was patient, supportive, and just there. Just being there was everything for my husband and me. Finally our little guy made it out into the world and she captured pictures and a narrative of his "birth story" that I wish cherish forever. I have told her before that I wish I could have another baby just to work with her and our midwife again......but since we arent, you should!!!! Love you Sara! We didnt just have "a Doula," we gained a friend!
I chose Sara as my Doula through MyBirth RVA. From the beginning I appreciated her calm, composed personality to mitigate my anxious state of pregnancy. Throughout pregnancy, she checked in on me and provided materials related to pregnancy and birth, many of which helped to guide my birth preferences. When I actually went into labor, Sara helped to keep me from going to the hospital too early due to false labor, and provided essential suggestions on how to help baby get in the right position - which ultimately put me into true labor! I imagined myself giving birth without an epidural, but once I was in the thick of it, I could not have done it without Sara. My husband and I both truly benefited so much from her moral support and suggestios on how to progress, especially once active labor and transition kicked in. Sara also took some really wonderful photos of the birth that remind me of how powerful my body was in those moments. I will definitely be calling Sara when we are expecting our next child!
We were so fortunate to find Sara in preparation for the birth of our first child. From the moment she stepped through our front door for our interview, my husband and I felt calm, reassured, and confident that Sara would be the perfect fit for our family and the birth we hoped to have. Sara was there to calm and re-center me when I was very stressed in the last weeks of my pregnancy, and had great suggestions for how my husband and I could redouble our efforts then to work as a team, and how he could better support me. My labor was very fast for a first-time mom, and caught me off guard in that way. But Sara was there for support all through it, and I'll never forget her comforting me and staying with me in the hours immediately after, while I was still reeling from the speed and intensity of it all. I'll also never forget her visit the next day, in the mother-infant unit, there to calmly reassure me and my husband and provide some very helpful tips about coming home, and postpartum care.
Sara made me feel like my struggles were normal and surmountable, and she gave me confidence in my own abilities -- throughout my prenatal and birth, and at key points in my postpartum experiences.
Though my son's birth is past, and my fourth trimester is now coming to an end -- hard to believe! -- I will always consider Sara to be my doula, and I'll always be grateful for her presence, comfort, kindness, and healing force in mine and my familiy's life. Thank you, Sara.
My first birth was a postdate induction that ended in a c-section and left me with some residual trauma. I hired Sara early in my pregnancy due to some unforeseen hurtles and complications and less support than I was expecting with my VBAC desires; having her support throughout was invaluable!
I really learned the importance of being well informed, self advocating, asking your providers lots of questions and following your intuition. Sara was an excellent guide, providing resources and support throughout my pregnancy. About halfway through my pregnancy I was not feeling good about the midwife practice I was with and Sara helped me to review my options and I ended up switching providers which made a huge difference in my state of mind and confidence.
I had a lot of anxiety waiting to go into labor and Sara’s support and encouragement was really helpful in those last weeks. Knowing that my husband and I would have an experienced support person by our side though the birthing process along with our excellent Midwife (props to Meghann Batten) was so reassuring.
In labor Sara was really supportive and it was great to have her there to remind us of the little things that are easy to forget (comfort measures, staying hydrated) as well as the big things, like figuring out when to go to the hospital! She not only held my hand and gave encouraging words, she also took pictures of the birth and was by my side until we were ready to go to our room. It was wonderful to have her for postpartum visits, she reminded me of signs of hormonal changes like when your milk comes in and just to talk everything through, process the birth and get some suggestions for self care and recovery.
A doula truly fills a unique roll in the birth experience, they support the family in a way that is so important and not talked about enough, I wish I knew more about doulas with my first birth. I am so grateful to Sara for helping me to achieve my VBAC!
My husband and I worked with Sara for the birth of our first baby and would highly recommend her as a doula. It is hard to fully capture in words the value Sara brought to the process. We took a number of labor and delivery classes, which were very informative- but so informative that we left thinking, “how are we going to remember and implement all of this when I am actually in labor?” It turns out that we didn’t have to! We had Sara, and she brought that wealth of knowledge- and far more- into the room with us. Having her experience as a resource gave us confidence in the decisions we made as labor progressed, encouraged us along the way, and very significantly contributed to having exactly the experience we hoped for. She brought a sense of calm and was able to answer questions and relieve concerns. She was also able to offer practical and smart tips and touches that made a huge difference for labor, recovery, and adjustment to life with a newborn. She also was a significant support for my husband as labor progressed- he had a coach to help him know how he could best help me. We were both very happy with our decision to work with Sara and would definitely do so again.
Sara was the best thing that could have happened during my labor. There is no way I would have been able to do it on my own or without her. I was nervous about having an unmedicated birth but knew I didn't want to deal with the pain I had from a previous epidural. My son was turned facing the wrong way which caused horrible back labor. Sara applied counter-pressure in the all the right places that helped allievate my pain. She helped me breathe through the contractions as she rubbed my back. She picked up on all the signs that it was time to have my baby even though the staff didn't take them as seriously. In the end I had a perfectly healthy baby and was able to have the med free birth that I had dreamed of having. I can't imagine having another baby without Sara by my side.
Sara was amazing during my pregnancy. I experienced a lot of anxiety and she was extremely supportive in answering my questions and quelling my anxiety. Sara is extremely knowledgeable and experienced and was an extremely integral part of my birth experience. She was very helpful in supporting my husband as well. Sara also provided a lot of support postpartum when I experienced complications. We could not have done it without her. My husband and I both highly recommend Sara and plan on using her doula services in the future.
I was very apprehensive about how my labor and delivery would go because I have type 1 diabetes and it was my first pregnancy. Sara immediately put me at ease her experience working with other "high risk" pregnancies, assuring me that we could find ways to minimize unnecessary interventions. My OB/GYN recommended inducing labor around 38.5 weeks to mitigate potential complications. Sara helped us navigate the most current research and develop a plan along with my OB to postpone induction until 39 weeks, as long as my non-stress tests were normal. I made it to 39 weeks without issue and went in for my scheduled induction at 39 weeks. Sara prepared me that induced labor could be more rapid and intense once things really got going, so I planned to have an epidural. I also wanted to manage my own insulin pump throughout the labor and delivery, so I thought having an epidural would allow me to be lucid enough to pay attention to my sugars and adjust my insulin requirements. Sara was respectful of all my preferences and kept open communication with both my husband and I about the pros/cons of my preferences. Before my epidural, she guided me on positions to help baby drop more quickly. We avoided the epidural for as long as possible, which I think shortened my overall all labor. Ultimately I ended up having an IV drip of insulin which wasn’t what I had planned, but Sara facilitated communication with my care team to make sure that it was what was in my best interest and that I was comfortable with it. Without her calm demeanor and coaching, I might have ended up having a slower labor requiring more interventions. Overall I was extremely happy with my birth experience and the post-partum check in. Sara is a very warm, caring person. I also appreciated how she actively included my husband throughout the whole process. I will absolutely be referring Sara to pregnant friends and family, and would call on her in a heartbeat for future pregnancies!
I'm so thankful to have had Sara as my doula for the birth of both of my sons. My husband and I wanted to work with Sara because we felt comforted by her at our first meeting, and knew right away that we could trust her and her experience to guide us through the prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum experience. At our first prenatal home visit, Sara walked us through what to expect in labor and shared many stories with us that helped us to answer questions we didn't even know we had. I felt more empowered after our meeting and thankful my husband and I would have Sara on our team. We really felt like a team! Sara was a calming voice when my water broke in the early morning, and she coached us through laboring at home and when to go into the hospital. Once in the hospital, she used essential oils in the tub to help my stay calm, and had helpful suggestions on labor positions. She and my husband worked well together to support me.
Working with Sara for my second baby was even more meaningful because we'd already shared one birth together! I was able to confide in her about my fears of delivery (even though I had a great first birth experience, I still had fears). We talked through the fears, reflected on what went well the first time and developed new strategies (I really wanted to deliver off the bed). Then I practiced envisioning the labor I wanted and became very confident going into labor the second time. At one point during pushing, I told her I was starting to feel scared again, and she reassured me I could do it. That was exactly what I needed and my son was born right after, off the bed just like I wanted.
Working with Sara felt like being with family. We're so thankful for her!
We worked with Sara for the birth of our second child. We couldn't have imagined a better doula. Sara is full of knowledge, kindness, and compassion, and her many years of experience are evident in her approach. She was a calming and empowering presence throughout the pregnancy and during labor. I really appreciated how she stayed in touch with us on a regular basis throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy--she always wanted to hear how my midwife visits were going and how i was feeling. She was exactly what I needed during labor: a calming and loving presence reminding me that I could do it (and the massage techniques and aromatherapy were awesome!). Sara helped make our birth a really beautiful experience.
After experiencing a traumatic late pregnancy stillbirth less than a year earlier, I knew that for my second pregnancy I wanted to hire a doula (if for nothing else, the additional emotional support). I interviewed several doulas, and ended up selecting Sara which was truly a divine gift from God. Sara is kind & tender, yet incredibly knowledgeable and confident in what she knows about birth. She constantly provided information that empowered my husband and I to make the best choices possible for the kind of pregnancy and birth we were looking to have, and yet never pushed her suggestions upon us. She was always available for updates and questions we had, and worked hand-in-hand with our OB to prepare for our ideal birth.
As soon as I went into labor, Sara's presence was a constant source of comfort & courage. She partnered so well with my husband, and gave him the confidence to be the support I needed while laboring. Her 17 years of experience was evident in her ability to discern when I might need to change positions for additional comfort, or try the tub to help with relaxation. Sara's involvement during our birth was priceless! During the final stages of pushing, Sara even took my camera and snapped photos of the entire process - memories I'm forever grateful to have. We are hopeful to have Sara be our doula for all of our babies to come!
Sara was a comfort and a coach for my 3rd baby. He was a successful VBAC and I'm convinced having Sara on my care team made that possible. I could go on and on about her calming presence and how she anticipated my every need. She even kept my can't-sit-still husband in the moment, showing him how to be helpful. I wish I would have had her there for my first two deliveries!
We hired Sara to assist with our birth and had an amazing experience with her! As a first time mom I was seeking support, information and expertise to guide us through the birthing process.
During the prenatal period we met with Sara few times and spoke by both phone and email. Sara offered us information, guidance and expertise. She was patient; answering questions, offering information on what to expect as labor began. During labor Sara was accessible and attentive. As labor intensified Sara offered support and guidance. We ended up meeting Sara at the hospital instead of our home due to my labor progressing quickly and the weather being a factor, my son was born during a snow storm.
I strongly believe my birth would not have looked the same without Sara. Sara was attentive, loving and supportive to me as I labored. She also took time to ensure my husband and my dear friend present at my labor were supported, taking care of themselves as they took care of me in labor. Sara took care to create a warm, inviting environment for me during my labor. She adjusted the lighting in the rooms, made sure we had music playing, aromatherapy and all the other comforts she thought would make my labor easier for me. This kind of care was so thoughtful, we really appreciated all the time she took to attend us and to the environment, adding these beautiful pieces of my birthing process.
Sara ensured that all of my wishes were honored by the nurses and the midwives. She helped guide my husband and I when my labor shifted and we had to make some decisions. She was so helpful in advocating for me and my baby. She ensured my voice was heard and my decisions were my own. Sara helped us welcome our son into the world in the way that felt right for us, and I am so grateful she was there with us. Sara was present during one of the most vulnerable times in my life, and she was a calm, loving presence, a gift I will always be grateful for.
Sara was my doula's "backup", and came to the rescue when my original doula caught the flu a week ahead of my birth. I had an unusual start to my labor with painful contractions that were close together from the very start. Sara's expertise on laboring positions, aromatherapy and general supportive and calm demeanor were immensely helpful during what turned out to be 30+ hours of labor! I especially appreciated her support post-partum. We had a phone call and in-person visit after the birth where Sarah provided great support and resources for breastfeeding and physical recovery. Sara is a wonderful listener, clearly knows her stuff and I feel fortunate to have met her through this process. I would work with her for future births in a heartbeat!
Sara was simply the most wonderful doula that we could have asked for during my pregnancy and birth of my first daughter. Her calming presence during the birth was greatly needed and appreciated as my labor intensified. She is a grounding person and offered tips on coping with the pressure during pushing and what to expect during the transition. The meetings my husband and I had with Sara before the delivery were great ways to get to know each and offered great insights into what Sara would do to help us as well as what to expect during the delivery. I would highly recommend her to assist with your birth experience and preparation. I've also kept in touch with her since the birth and she continues to offer support for us a new parents.
We hired Sara to assist in the birth of our third child, our rainbow baby, after losing our second child 10 days postpartum. Our needs were unique in that we hired her primarily for emotional support during what we anticipated to be an axiety-filled experience, full of triggers and emotions. In my two previous births, I was induced and had an epidural, so I wanted this to be a different experience. Sara was amazing. She was the perfect blend of confident expertise and supportive kindness that we needed. In our prenatal meetings, she prepared both my husband and I for what to expect, which helped prepare us for the birth. She was always accessible through phone and email when I needed her. Knowing our history and our fears, she used her resources to connect me to the most wonderful nurse at the hospital who was amazingly on shift for my labor. Sara met me at the hospital after contractions started at midnight and empowered me through a completely natural labor for 11 hours. Through massage, aromatherapy, mood lighting, positive affirmations, and her kind words, I delivered a beautiful and healthy baby girl. When I say that I truly could not have done it without her, I mean every word. Sara was everything that we needed that day and if I were to have another child I would hire her again in a heartbeat to be a part of the journey again.
Sara was a calming presence during our birth process from the very start. We began with a genuine, thoughtful phone call, then an in person meeting to ensure the relationship was the right fit for everyone. We met with Sara a few times before the birth and she was very helpful in providing the information needed to prepare as first time parents. We cannot imagine going through the actual labor and birth without Sara. My labor did not go as planned (as they never do) and Sara was there to help inform us and help make decisions every step of the way. My husband and I felt more comfortable and confident with the choices that we were making since we had Sara's guidance. We would have felt lost without her. Needless to say, I would highly recommend working with Sara!
Right away we felt comfortable and at ease with Sara and knew that we wanted her to be our doula. We were not at all disappointed with this decision in having Sara accompaniy us on this life changing journey. Sara made us feel so supported, encouraged, and confident every step of the way, from prenatal to post. Our birth was very long and had its challenges and Sara was there every step of the way. She was also wonderful in processing the birth afterward. We are very grateful to Sara for helping us have the best experience possible in bringing our little one into the worod!
I didn't have any braxton hicks contractions. I had no idea what contractions felt like! So when I started to go into labor, I freaked out. I do not handle pain particularly well, and I thought how in the world was I going to do this - it hurts this bad and it's only the beginning!
After maybe half a day laboring at home, Sara came over at midnight. I still remember the immediate sense of calm I felt when she got here. She brought with her an incredible amount of peace, confidence, and composure when she arrived at our house.
Over the next 12 hours, she helped me with various positions and pain management techniques. We did a lot of hard work, and I kept hoping we would go to the hospital soon.
But after 12 hours, my labor fizzled out!
So Sara went home, and I tried to get some rest. My contractions started up again, and we met Sara at the hospital. As my labor kept fizzling out, I started on some Pitocin.
Fast forward oh, another 12 hours, labor was progressing but it became obvious my little one had wiggled herself out of her perfect anterior positioning, and had turned her head. Sara and the nurses looked up some spinning babies techniques, and guided me through what felt like hours more of contractions and crazy positioning. It worked! My baby turned back the right way, and before I knew it we were ready to push...
Overall, I can't say enough about how positive my experience with Sara was. She was professional, calm, knowledgeable, and brought peace to the whole room. She gave me the confidence I needed to believe I could go through labor without pain medication. And without her last-second spinning babies techniques I most likely would have had a c-section.
If we have a second child I plan to hire Sara again. <3
After meeting Sara I knew she would be the perfect doula for me and great guide for both my partner and I in our birthing journey. She's very passionate about her work and expresses what she does effortlessly. Each of her visits to our home was a great time. We chatted as friends, she shared insightful birth stories from her many experiences and prepared us for things to expect - from birth education to remembering to trust my body, trusting that primal wisdom we all carry. What she was able to offer is invaluable, both my partner and I felt she was beyond helpful and a catalyst in creating the natural, present birth we wanted to experience. Without someone as trustworthy, easy going and gentle spirited as Sara, I wouldn't have felt confident enough to endure all those healthy pains child birthing comes with. Having Sara's presence at the time I was going into active labor strengthened me. She was at my side during labor and delivery in the hospital. I appreciated her soothing essential oils that she infused the birthing tub with. She gave a little leg massage to help calm me right before delivery which felt amazing. I'm so grateful that Sara was a part of our amazing birthing journey as she holds a special part in it. Thank you Sara.
Sara was amazing to work with. Leading up to the delivery she provided education and emotional support for both me and my husband as we awaited the arrival of our first child. She was always sensitive to our needs, but also really fun. Sara was with us through labor and delivery, which she documented with photographs we absolutely cherish. She worked well with the staff as we delivered in a hospital setting. She even surprised my OB and the nurses with her really helpful comfort measures. The whole delivery room smelled like lavender from the essential oils she used to create a calming environment. I think it even soothed the delivery team! Sara followed up with us after the delivery with a home visit and a telephone call. She helped us work through a lot of emotions and helped to make our birth experience really positive.
Ah, where to start - lets just say, I could not have done a natural birth without Sara's services. She was amazing. I hired Sara for my second birth. I tried to have my daughter naturally but ended up asking for an epidural after 12 hours. The second time (this birth) I told my husband we needed a doula. Cue Sara! She met with us 2x before the birth prepping us with lots and lots of info. I found this super helpful. Even though I had taken classes with my daughter - it was nice to have a refresh and your own personal birthing coach. Sara met us at the hospital (St. Marys) at 3am after I had labored at home for a few hours. Sara was amazing. She kept me moving (and hydrated) the entire 7 hours. She put me on the ball, shower, bath, toilet, back to the ball, over the bed. Massaged my back with yummy oils. She worked really well with the nurses and Dr. Hirata. It was so nice to have someone who is just there just for me. I had a few unzen moments and Sara (and my husband) were there to push me through. and she took awesome pictures too! SO I will tell you again....there is no way I could have done an unmedicated birth without Sara's help. She knows what she is doing! My baby boy was delivered naturally weighing 9lbs 8oz! Sara came over for one last visit after the birth.
My husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first almost a year ago. Shortly after finding out I knew I wanted to hire a doula. I was scared about having a baby. Not the oh my goodness we are about to be responsible for another human being but also scared about the actual birth. I decided I wanted a doula because I thought doula's provided support, warmth, encouragement, compassion and information. And that is exactly what I found in Sara.
When I started looking and interviewing others for a doula I found something just off about the people that I spoke with, I just didn't click with them but once I met Sara we immediately clicked. After our meet and greet appointment and as soon as she walked out the door and we closed the door behind her my husband and I looked at each other and said, that's our doula.
Sara is an amazing doula. She provides the support that you need to get through such an emotional time, the space you require to explore your own pregnancy and journey, and the warmth that you and your family need to experience something amazing. I would highly recommend Sara and would gladly speak with anyone who would like to discuss our experience with her as our doula. She is forever a part of our special day and our son's life.
As I watch my 7 month old babbling in her rocker, it makes me go back the time clock exactly an year ago when I reached out to Sara for being our doula and how thankful I feel for the decision I made. Having our 1st baby through a Cesarean wasn't something that I had expected and hoped for myself and then my OBGyn was adamant about doing only C-section with the 2nd baby also.I knew I wasnt prepared for that route. From the moment we signed up with Sara, it was big relief.She had all the resources that she wanted me to study/work on during my pregnancy-be it articles on VBAC or exercises to keep me going with my pregnancy discomforts/pain while I worked on my dental patients.She visited us 2 times during pregnancy and answered all the questions me and my husband had. She has such a warm personality that you would instantly connect to. Just the right person you would want to be with you at time of your labor. Although I have to admit that my labor went very fast and by the time I called Sara I was already ready to push and be at the hospital. I called her 3 AM in the morning and just from the voice on phone she decided it was time to reach the hospital and she would see us there. Once we reached the valet parking, Sara was already standing with a wheel chair. She sped up the L & D and in no time we reached the room. Once examined, the midwife said it was time to push and that I was already 10 cm dilated !!!! Wow , I labored completely on my own AT HOME -Thanks to Sara's coaching. Through out the pushing I had an eye contact with Sara and just the reaffirmation in her eyes made me believe that everything was going the right direction. I started to push around 4:30 AM and my baby was out at 5:34 AM without any interventions (a complete unmedicated NATURAL BIRTH). I would highly recommend having a doula by your side for any labor and yes, if I were to have a third child again, I know who would be my GO TO doula. THANK YOU Sara Krivanec-Your the BEST !!!
The birth of my first daughter ended in a csection. When I became pregnant with my second, I was fairly confident that I wanted to try for a VBAC. I ended up switching providers to see an OB at VCU due to their low csection rate/high VBAC rate and had plans to hire a doula. My OB was actually the one who recommended Sara to me due to her training and experience.
Sara has attended quite a few VBAC births and she herself has had two VBACs. It was important to me to give myself the best possible chance for a successful VBAC, which included hiring a doula to coach and support me through labor. At the end of the day, my labor did not go as planned as my baby was not tolerating my contractions well. My baby's heart rate was decelerating with each contraction and there came a point when my doctor recommended a csection before the situation became emergent. Sara was a huge encouragement to me through this--providing emotional support and affirming my decision to go ahead with the csection. Sara and my husband both affirmed to me that I did everything within my power to try for a vaginal delivery but there came a point where it was no longer in the best interest of our baby. My husband and I both value having Sara at our birth. Not only is she trained and experienced; but she's patient, calm and has a soothing presence. We wholeheartedly recommend her as a doula.
My husband and I are so thank for Sara's calming presence and endless support before during and after labor. From our first meeting, we knew we were going to be able to trust Sara and feel very comfortable with her attending our first birth. We learned so much from our two pre-natal meetings with Sara - she had so much experience and so many inspiring stories to share with us. Sara gave great support while I labored at home and then at the hospital. I will continue to recommend Sara's services to all my friends.
Where to begin? When I first met Sara, I was 3 months pregnant and my marriage was crumbling. I hired her, not knowing how much I would rely on her support in the coming months. A month later, my ex-husband and I separated. Sara stepped into the role of close friend so seamlessly, it felt as though I had known her and trusted her for years. Her knowledge and experience was such a comfort, and her support was invaluable. Through most of my pregnancy I wasn't sure who would be at my birth. Who would drive me to the hospital? Who would stay and admire my baby that first night? Sara was my steady- she would be there, she said. She would drive me. She would stay. Sara went above and beyond, and brought me relief and security in a time when everything felt uncertain.
In labor, I felt prepared. I knew what to expect-Sara and I had walked through this many times before. When my beautiful boy came, my parents stayed for a week. When they left, they hired Sara to come check in on us. Sara played with my older son, did my laundry, let me sleep and nurse my baby. Those first weeks were overwhelming, but knowing Sara was coming made it easier.
My birth had challenges, more personal than medical and every birth scenario is different. Sara brings vast knowledge coupled with the flexibility to meet your needs, and an overabundance of compassion. I would highly recommend her.
Having Sara as our doula was a fantastic addition to our birth team. From our prenatal visits, through labor and delivery, and Postpardum she always had a reassuring voice, calming presence and professional insight. I would recommend her highly to anyone looking for a doula. Every woman and her partner deserve and owe to themselves the support of a doula like Sara!
I recently gave meidication free birth to a baby boy and Sara was my doula. I met Sara twice, prior to going into labor, and felt comfortable with her right away. Sara was a great listener, attentive and genuine. When my labor started, Sara was readily available on the phone to discuss my labor symptoms and provide support. Once labor progressed enough, I went to the Hospital and Sara met us there. I loved how relaxed, calm and comforting Sara was throughout my labor. She made suggestions when needed but was not pushy in any way. She was able to provide guidance to both myself and my husband and put us at ease, during more stressful moments. In addition, she gives a killer lower back massage. I had a great birth experience and Sara was a huge part of it. I would definitely recommend her services.
Sara was our doula 3 years ago. She was highly recommended by my OBGYN. She met with us for several sessions before our birth, and provided a lot of information. My labor was 36 hrs, and she was with us the whole time, providing support and useful suggestions. As a first time mom, I had no idea how things were going to be and was fearful, but Sara put us at ease. I highly recommend Sara!
We found Sara through my Naturopathic Doctor in town. He said that all his colleagues only had high praise for her. And we can now say the same. She was a supportive, professional, and experienced companion for my husband and I during our final prenatal months, the birth, AND postpartum. She cared about us personally and brought a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to our labor and birth. After working with Sara I really feel like it's a huge loss NOT to have a doula! She made such a difference for us, guiding us in our thinking about the birth, actively working with me and with my husband during labor, and staying in touch with us for our first weeks with the baby. HIGHLY recommend her! A gem in Richmond!
Sara was amazing! I felt comfortable with her from our initial meeting. The prenatal visits were very helpful and informative. She was easy to contact and quick to respond to questions/requests.
During labor, she showcased her expertise and calming personality. She was extremely professional in the hospital and ensured I understood what was happening every step of the way and the pros/cons of the choices presented.
I would highly recommend Sara as a doula and will definitely hire her for my next birth.
Sara Krivanec was the doula for both of my births. My first child was born premature and very quickly. Sara provided me with insight and education regarding an early birth and was able to help me to the shower within 30 min of giving birth. For my second child, which was an induction, Sara was there for all 3 times I was admitted to the hospital and provided a pressure point massage to my legs to help stimulate labor. During labor, Sara is the type of doula who allows the family to be the main focus of the birth. She has many years of experience and I beleive is someone you want on your side if you are having a long complicated labor, or not many family members to be ther with you throughout the process.
Sara also met with me pre and post partum which allowed time for face to face education and communication. She was able to watch me breastfeed and give tips and advice on the process. She also loaned me books from her library which helped me learn more about the natural birthing process. Which were all very helpful.
Sara was great. I had had 2 c-sections and didn't want another one. All the research that I had done told me that a natural birth was the safest way for me to have my 3rd baby, and that is what I wanted. Sara having had 2 VBACs herself was knowledgable and understanding of my desire to have as medicine free a birth as possible. She helped me stack the deck in my favor for the most rewarding experience of my life so far. I know she was a comfort to my husband during the labor, making suggestions and never showing fear or anxiety even when the sound of my pain was very loud. If we have another baby, I hope she is available to join us on another rewarding journey.
If you are interested in reading a positive VBAC story, I wrote mine on my blog: trekkiemom.com My VBAC Story. All the times noted in my blog are thanks to the thoughtful notes that Sara wrote down for me.
Sara help me and my husband create the birth experience that we wanted. You will never know how it will all turn out (I was not the quiet powerhouse I wanted to be through contractions), but I had pushed my baby out all by myself, and I have never felt so powerful.
I can't say enough wonderful things about our experience working with Sara! When we met her, we knew she was a perfect fit for us. Her easy, kind manner made my husband and I feel at ease immediately. Plus, she REALLY knows her stuff!
We learned so much from Sara during our prenatal visits. Knowing that I was unable to have an epidural for medical reasons, I was concerned about and scared of labor. I wondered if I could handle the pain. I worried about the possibility of a c-section. Sara respected my concerns while assuring me that I COULD do it, and that I would. My husband learned so much from her, too. She really prepared him for what to expect.
When my water broke, I texted Sara. It was just after midnight, and she was over the moon for me. She texted me back: "Yay, you're gonna have a baby!" We all thought I'd get some rest and regroup in the morning. When things started moving much more quickly than we had expected, my husband was in constant contact with Sara. She made suggestions for things to try, which he relayed to me, and she helped him recognize what to look for as I moved quickly through the stages of labor. At one point, she called us so she could hear me have contractions. We agreed that I should call the hospital again and have my midwife help me make a decision. When we headed to the hospital (only 4 hours after my water broke), Sara met us there.
In the hospital, Sara was so supportive. She has a way about her that's hard to describe--but it's perfect! She was there for both me and my husband. She made sure I always had a washcloth for my forehead, helped me try different positions in the tub, and even took pictures with my phone during all the critical moments.
At our postpartum visit and afterward, Sara was reassuring and knowledgeable as always.
Bottom line: I can't imagine going through this experience without Sara! She is one of the best choices we made during my pregnancy.
Sara was great to work with! We chose her for a number of reasons - her great knowledge and experience, her being a good friend of my good friend, and a strong recommendation from one of my coworkers who'd been helped by Sara. As a doula, Sara was also our cheerleader, teacher, and coach. Meeting with her and reading her carefully selected articles helped make the upcoming labor process real for both my husband and I. We felt that we were actively and thoughtfully preparing for the process. I liked that she related easily to us, was kind and warm, shared tons of useful information, and stayed with us for our marathon labor. I love the midwives at VCU, and we would have had a great experience anyways with them, but it was definitely an added sense of safety and support having Sara right there with us the whole time. She also took wonderful pictures of the birth of our son, and though I didn't think it would be something important to us, after delivery it was really a treasure to have them!
Sara was exceptional and a critical part of our birth experience. From the moment we met her, she was supportive and available. Sara's involvement in the prenatal care alone was a huge benefit to having her. She provided relatable education and stellar reading recommendations. Her calm demeanor translated in to a comfort and peace for us as first time parents. Our son turned breach at 36 weeks, and Sara was only a phone call away to console and reassure me while also providing constructive advice on natural options to flip a baby. Her knowledge and natural tranquility are a powerful combination and they proved very valuable to both my husband and me during labor. My labor advanced quickly in the beginning, and Sara was at our home with very little lead time. She helped us feel confident and comfortable staying at home as long as possible. As labor advanced further, her recommendations for positions and soothing techniques were excellent and allowed my husband to be an active and helpful participant in the labor process. She provided aromatherapy and massage, both of which I distinctly recall appreciating around transition time. She helped encourage and reassure us through the whole process such that we and our child could enjoy a natural birth. We can't sing her praises loudly enough and will be seeking her services agaim in the future.
Sara was incredibly supportive and reassuring during our meetings before labor. During these meetings she went over the birth process and left my husband and me feeling confident and informed. She seemed genuinely interested in finding out how she could best support me and my husband based on our personalities and beliefs. When I finally went into labor I felt safer knowing she was there. During labor I felt like my husband was my main source of support but it was wonderful having Sara there providing massage and support. I also appreciated the pictures she took later of the first time we met our son! I would recommend Sara to any pregnant woman but would especially recommend her to first time mothers or those who feel anxious about the labor/delivery process.
She was just wonderful.
Sara was awesome! She was compasionate, patient, knowledgable, easy going and easy to get to know. She helped me prepare for and acheive my VBAC with my second daughter. We would not have been able to get through it without her! She helped me push through labor and get to my end goal: natural VBAC. We loved working with her and would recommend her to our friends and family and anyone else who might need her!
The minute I met Sara, I knew she was perfect for us. She has a calming, pleasant way about her. She is very informed and knows a lot about births. During the birth of our little girl, she was very hands on. I can’t think of a moment when I looked around and she wasn’t there. She knew what I needed, when I needed it which was extremely helpful. Her calmness made me feel safe throughout the entire experience. When things got tough, she was there for me and talking through it. I feel so lucky that we had her there. My husband also appreciated her very much. She guided him and helped him by showing him what to do and explaining things to him. He later told me he couldn’t have done it without her. It was comforting seeing them together as a team while going through labor. I felt like I had all the support in the world. Sara also stuck around after the birth to help me latch the little one. She was in no hurry to leave even though it was late and in the middle of the night. Thank you Sara for being so wonderful and for being there during such a special time for us. You were the best decision we made for the birth of our little girl.
There are really no words to describe how wonderful our expierence with Sara was. From the beginning, Sara made us feel calm, comfortable and confident that we would have a positive birth expierence. She spent quality time getting to know us, understanding our needs, and educating us. All of her prep work really paid off when the day came!
Unlike most first time mothers, I delivered in less than four hours after my water broke. My contractions reached less than 3 minutes apart 30 minutes into the start of labor. My husband and I couldn't mentally grasp the fact that things were happening so quickly and, if we hadn't had Sara, I seriously doubt that we would've made it to the hospital in time! Sara instinctively knew what to do and kept us calm in the process.
Sara came to our house and got us in the car quickly. We followed Sara in our car and she contacted our midwife while in route! Sara and the midwife agreed to meet at an emergency exit, and I was greeted by Amber, my midwife, as we arrived. As soon as I entered the birthing room it was time to start pushing. Every minute counted that day and Sara was instrumental. Our son, Lawson, was born less than an hour after we arrived at the hospital.
For anyone wishing to speak in more detail about Sara, please feel free to call us! Choosing Sara will be the best decision you make.
Stephanie (757.613.6068) & John (804.822.6872)
Even before we met Sara, we were aware that she has an incredible reputation throughout Richmond as a very capable, knowledgable and influential doula. Still, our experience with her as our doula reached beyond our expectations. Her professionalism and know-how is administered with tremendous authenticity, warmth, patience and humor. I would recommend Sara to anyone looking to have a natural birth.
Sara was absolutely amazing during my pregnancy & the delivery of my sweet daughter, Paisley!
she provided excellent support to my husband and I during our labor. Sara is skilled & professional! She ended up feeling like a part of our family. During my labor, transition was extremely difficult & she quickly mixed up the most amazing blend of essential oils in the bath and it helped relax and ease my mind. She gave me and my husband the most useful information & what to expect before our delivery. Sara also captured some of the most intimate photos of my birth & that's exactly what we wanted. She is the best at what she does & We definitely can't imagine having a baby without her & look forward to bringing her in for baby number two!
From the moment we first met Sara, we connected with her. As first-time parents planning an unmedicated birth, we knew that her calm energy and extensive experience would be an invaluable asset. Sara helped us through a very long labor, and we felt we could completely trust her opinions and advice. She labored with us at home and helped us decide when it was time to go to the hospital. My husband was especially grateful for her presence there, as it allowed him to completely focus on me. Sara is definitely a familiar face in the L&D unit at MCV, and she worked seamlessly with the midwife and nurse as a part of our highly skilled team. Sara's talents are the stuff of legend around Richmond, and we consider ourselves extraordinarily fortunate to have had her play such a major role in the natural birth of our baby boy. She will be the first person we call (after perhaps our families!) when baby #2 is on the way!
My husband and I used Sara as our doula for our second birth and had an excellent experience with her with all aspects of our pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postnatal care. Sara came highly recommended from my midwife and everyone I talked to at the hospital in which I received care. Sara worked within our financial situation and was very accommodating. At the prenatal visit, she not only discussed labor and delivery topics but also how to help my toddler transition to her role has a sister. I really appreciated her help and insight into these other areas that weren't necessarily pregnancy/birth related.
When I went into labor, my phone calls with Sara helped me to relax when things started to progress quickly, and she helped me determine when it was time to go to the hospital. Even for a second time mom, it was helpful to have someone to talk through those early labor stages with. Our birth went very quickly, but Sara's presence was such a blessing. She kept me calmed and reassured as the labor got very intense. She also documented everything for us which my husband wasn't able to do because things happened so fast. In the days following the delivery, Sara helped me through breast feeding and taking care of myself amidst so much life change. Her help after the baby arrived, particularly with breastfeeding, was invaluable as I was being pressured to supplement, and she helped me keep my goals in sight. I have many friends who have utilized Sara's services, and everyone has had a fabulous experience. She is a very soothing person, and I wouldn't want to have anyone else as my doula.
We are so grateful for the love, knowledge, and support Sara showed us throughout our pregnancy and birth. She really boosted our confidence and we couldnt be happier with our birth story, even though it was unlike anything we prepared for. We felt secure in all the decisions that we made and Sara was a huge part of that. And now we get to enjoy the outcome - our beautiful baby.
I can't say enough wonderful things about Sara and highly recommend her. From the first time we met her we knew she was the right doula for us. She is very kind, supportive, and knowledgeable. Her 2 pre-labor visits were very helpful and she gave us so much information. I called her when I started to have contractions and she came to our home when it was time. She helped me breathe through the pain and was very reassuring. She was very helpful to my husband too by answering questions and assuring him things were fine. She helped us decide when it was time to go to the hospital and met us there. Sara obviously had a very good reputation at the hospital and the nurses and midwives were happy to work with her.
She was such a huge support to us and was very encouraging. When my labor stalled out after many many hours, she helped us talk through the options the midwives had given us. Once labor started up again, Sara helped me cope by massaging me, helping me with different positions, and encouraging me to use the shower and tub. At the same time, she was offering my husband reassurance and support. She was by my side throughout the whole labor and the delivery.
From the time Sara came to my home to the time she left the hospital, she had been with us for almost 30 hours without a single complaint! Alex and I couldn't have done it without her!
Having Sara as part of my "dream team", as I called it, was a key ingredient in what I believe was the perfect recipe that made my labor and delivery experience more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.
I have been terrified of being pregnant and giving birth for my entire life. When it came time to start our family, I knew that I had a lot of work to do to get myself prepared to do this. My husband and I are both Type A personalities who love to be as prepared as possible. That is the way that I am able to best handle situations like this, ones that I have no real control over. For prenatal care, we used the Midwives at VCU. The midwives and Dr. Isaacs are an incredible team. We also enrolled in the 10-12 week Bradely Method course.
When it was time to look for a doula, I emailed a few people to meet with. Sara was one of the 3 that I met with in person and we fell in love with her immediately. I didnt realize how lucky I was until I started telling people who I was workign with. Everyone from our Bradley instructor to all of the midwives knew exactly who she was and she clearly had the reputation as the best in town. So, we got lucky that she was one of the names we had picked from the list! And we got lucky that she was available to work with us.
From the moment that we decided to work together, I knew that I had picked the perfect doula for us. We met several times before the delivery and I was confident that I had done the homework that I needed to mentally and physically prepare for this experience. The support that Sara brought to my husband and I, is unable to be put into words. Sara has a calming strength that really balances our sometime intense personalities. Sara's experience working at our hospital and with the nurses, staff and midwives was a great bonus.
I am so grateful for everything Sara gave me to help me have the birth experience that I am so proud of. I can't wait to do it again!
I can't believe I didn't know about Sara when I had my twins in 2010! After having a c-section with my twins (that I really didn't want... but was led to believe it was essential if I didn't go into labor by 37 weeks) and dealing with post-partum depression, I know that the next pregnancy would be so different.
Sara was recommended to me as THE VBAC DOULA! from a dear friend. The minute we met Sara, we knew she was the perfect doula to help our family. She eased all our concerns about having a VBAC (vaginal delivery after cesearian) and prepared us for every possible outcome. She also helped us to create our dream team of midwives + support to ensure that the delivery of our third child was exactly what we wanted.
From the moment I went into labor, Sara was right there with me! It was amazing to have her come to our home to help out during early labor -- with our three year olds and inlaws over, we were a little overwhelmed with how we were going to manage it all. But she was able to give me the support I needed to stop worrying about everyone else and just focus on this little baby!
It was the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life... but having Sara by my side helped me to stay calm and focused even when labor was pushing me to my edge. I never knew how strong I was but now I know I can do anything!
Thank you Sara for helping us to welcome our baby into the world!
I found Sara an invaluable resource, guide and sounding board during my second pregnancy. My desire to have a VBAC was fully supported by Sara, who at times was the only person who believed I could do it. she is amazinglyintuitive and incredibly knowledgable about birth and pregnancy and fetalpositioning.
i could not have done it without her.
I would highly recommend Sara to anyone interested in a doula! She was a kind, calming, respectful, and confident presence during our loooong and not so easy to navigate labor. Sara was always there to answer any questions and give guidance when needed. She is a wealth of information in just about every aspect of birth from guidance of what prenatal classes and practitioners are available, to various positions and techniques during labor to help move labor along as comfortable as possible. She is truly passionate and dedicated about helping women and families through the entire birth experience. If we have another baby we'd love to have Sara by our sides again.
We have had two beautiful sons and Sara has been there for each birth. My first pregnancy we wanted to have an unmedicated birth, and we did a lot to educate ourselves about the process, but of course it is very difficult to know how things will go. I ended up having a very long birth (about 30+ hours) where I did not progress. I went 30 hours without the epidural and I dilated one centimeter in that time. I ended up getting an epidural, which was the best decision I could make for myself at the time. I ended up having a beautiful boy vaginally. The birth itself it is a blur for me; however, my husband was right there the whole time. I felt like he was holding me up and he felt like Sara was holding him up. Sara helped me so much as well getting into different positions, actually educating the hospital staff on tricks to help my pain (which they were very open to--I don't think she would have done that if it had to be done in a pushy way but she had such excellent rapport with the staff at our hospital), and being a general support to me. But my husband also went on and on after the birth about how much she helped him because he felt such pressure to be there for me and to help me get through without the epidural, but of course, he was experiencing it all for the first time as well and did not know what to do either!! We felt so indebted to Sara and all that she did. The second birth was much easier (thank God!!), but it was still so wonderful to have Sara there. I wasn't as overwhelmed the second time around so I was able to focus more on her helpful suggestions. We really had a wonderful experience the second time around, and I was glad that she was there. Overall, the benefit of having a doula (and Sara in particular) is like having someone with a latern walking beside you down a dark path. She is a kind, gentle person who is very reassuring to have by your side.
I chose Sara to be my doula because not only does she possess a wealth of knowledge about nutrition and supplements helpful to mommas, labor and birth, and coping strategies but she has the perfect disposition for this work. She is soft-spoken, nurturing and gently encouraging in her manner which is exactly what I needed. Sara was my doula for the births of both of my children. My first child was delivered via an emergency c-section. Although I did not have the natural birth I desired, Sara was still a great help to me, providing me with informatin to help me process my birth and later to prepare me for the VBAC I desired. Knowing that she personally had been through an unplanned c-section and later successfully had both a VBAC and a home birth was encouraging to me. Sara worked with me extensively on baby positioning & made excellent references to resources to give me the best chance of having the labor and birth I desired. During my actual labor, Sara worked tirelessly with my husband and I throughout the night and worked seamlessly with my midwife and the nurses. At one point, when I was experiencing a tough bout of back labor, it was Sara who suggested a technique to give me the relief I needed. She was able to anticipate my needs and to give a voice to what I was feeling when I was unable to. She was a calming influence on my husband as well and he has confided to me that she helped him a great deal just by giving him guidance on how to help me. With her help, I was able to finally have the birth I desired, successfully delivering our son vaginally. I would (and have) enthusiastically recommend Sara to any momma to be, but especially to moms like me who are seeking a successful VBAC. Her support was invaluable to us and I am deeply thankful to her for all that she did.
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