$500 to $2200
$35 to $45
Years in Operation: 6
Type of practice: Agency
Clients per month: 1 to 20 births and 1 to 25 postpartum families
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
Rockville, MD Service range 35 miles
View all 5 agency doulas
I first contacted Family Ways based on a friend's recommendation. She did not steer me wrong! I don't have family in the area, so I wanted both a birth doula and a post-partum doula. I decided to work with Heidi as my birth doula and Emilie as my post-partum doula. Heidi provided amazing support prior to the birth for both my husband and myself. She's warm and inviting and helped me feel empowered to give birth the way I wanted to. Due to a last-minute scheduling issue (one of Heidi's other client's had a very long birth, and I had a slightly early, very short birth), Heidi was unable to make it to the hospital in time. However, one of the benefits of using a doula agency was that another wonderful doula, Tracy, was able to step in and provided absolutely amazing support during labor. Even though we hadn't met before, she put me at ease right away and helped guide me along the path to giving birth.
Afterward, Emilie gave me tremendous support during the early days. Having Emilie around felt like having the big sister I never had who'd done it all and seen it all before. She helped me with breastfeeding, tending to the baby so that I could sleep, and serving as a great resource. It was a comfort to have her around.
If we have another baby, I'll definitely contact Family Ways again. Their support was absolutely wonderful.
I had a fantastic experience with Emilie. She came to our house twice before my birth and educated me and my husband on what to expect. I'd read much of it in books, but talking to someone who'd both attended birth and given birth herself was really helpful. When I went into labor, I knew what to expect and I didn't feel nearly as frightened or nervous as I expected. The information that Emilie gave me empowered me to advocate for myself. While the hospital wanted me to arrive as soon as my water broke, I knew that I could wait and labor at home which is exactly what I did. Once I arrived at the hospital, I felt comfortable asking to wait on pitocin and the epidural and the hospital respected my wishes. Emilie was good at reading what I needed and I needed to feel empowered. She left in the late evening while I was at the hospital in labor but was available by phone and text. I didn't feel that I needed her at the delivery--my need was for information and feeling comfortable not agreeing immediately to what medical personnel suggested which is exactly what Emilie provided. I had a really good birth experience and I credit Emilie for that. Emilie followed up with me after delivery as well.
I was given the information about Family Ways and Emilie from a friend of mine who had used them for her birth and had a similarly positive birth experience by the way.
Again, I really credit my positive birth experience to Emilie and I'm very appreciative.
Family Ways was such a vital part of our birth team. From the first meeting with Rachel, our doula, my husband and I felt a strong connection with her. She made herself available for random updates and questions between visits. At the 36-week visit, Rachel took the time to show us all the places and ways we could labor at home. Rachel was very helpful in understanding how we'd move forward, which was great for me and my husband as this was our first child. Rachel helped us figure out which birthing method would work best for us as I only knew that I wanted a natural birth but not what the different methods were. She even helped get us set up with the Family Ways Bradley class with her colleague Emilie, who was also our backup doula. The class was great and really helped us prepare for labor.
When labor day actually arrived, Rachel's experience, calm, and flexibility were indispensable. I was immediately admitted to the hospital after an unfavorable test while visiting the midwife. Rachel graciously went to our house to get our go bags. Upon arriving at the hospital, Rachel helped us navigate the medical advice and tough decisions we had to make. While I eventually underwent a caesarean birth, Rachel's support was even more important in this situation. We spent the entire pregnancy preparing for a natural, unmedicated birth and such a deviation from our planned birth needed someone with the experience and compassion of Rachel. We were able to bounce our questions off of her and knew a caesarean birth was the best and safest choice for our baby.
Rachel was amazing after the birth as well. She was in my labor room waiting when we returned from the OR. She helped me breastfeed and provided emotional support after such a dramatic turn of events. Our postpartum visit was great as well, and she was able to help confirm my instincts about how my baby was doing. Should I have another child, I would definitely enlist Rachel to be our doula again.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 11-30-2019
= Available. Calendar last updated: 11-30-2019