5 years and 300 births attended
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 2
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
I am a student midwife and experienced birth assistant.
Alexandria, VA Service range 50 miles
It was not an easy decision to post this review, but I decided I should share my experience w/ expectant mothers. My experience with Ryann was not favorable. I hired Ryann as my midwife and doula at 30 weeks pregnant. The last few weeks of my pregnancy did not go as planned and I was scheduled for a c-section at 38 weeks. During this entire time Ryann made only 2 house visits and never followed up by phone to see how I was doing. I mentioned this to her, and she texted me only twice before the procedure. It was my understanding that the midwife and doula do more than just show up the day of and say “push.” It was my understanding that they attend to the health and well fare of the baby and mommy. This was not my experience with Ryann. After the procedure I had an extremely tough time breastfeeding and Ryann gave me HORRIBLE advice. She encouraged supplementing with formula on day two and could not even come to the hospital to help me. She sent a friend who spent 45 mins with me, showed me how to use a breast shield, and said “Good Luck.” On day 2 Ryann finally showed up and was pleased to get the baby on formula. I later learned that the best advice would have been to have a dedicated lactation consultant who would focus on breastfeeding. I thought I had paid an expert to tell me these things. My little one NEVER did breast feed. I pumped around the clock and lost so much time w/ him. I felt like I was always pumping and someone else was always holding him and feeding him. My husband and I are currently working on baby number two and because pumping increases the risk of miscarriage, I had to stop. Through all of my trials and tribulations, Ryann has never reached out to me to see how I’m doing. She was made aware of breastfeeding woes and offered very little support. After the thousands of dollars I paid her, she never, not once, made a follow-up home visit. It was so disappointing and regretful.
I would highly recommend Ryann! When I worked with her, she was part of a group of three doulas that worked together. I had a very long, unusual, and stressful labor, and she arrived towards the end of my labor to relieve the first doula who had been with me since the day before. Having Ryann's calming presence and knowledge there throughout the tough decisions I had to make during my labor and then also following my son's birth as he was taken immediately to the NICU was such a relief. And my husband really appreciated having another person in the room to help since he was also exhausted after my 42 hour labor. I also really appreciated Ryann's post-birth follow-up visit to our home to check how things were going. As a first time mom with very little experience with babies, I was feeling very overwhelmed. She gave us a lot of great tips and made me feel so much better about how I was doing with breastfeeding. We have since moved to another state, but if we still lived in the area I would definitely hire her for the birth of my second child!
Hiring Ryann for both of my births (a csection and a vbac) was the best decision I could have made. Labor and Delivery is the hardest and most rewarding experience I've ever had. You need that confident voice by your side coaching you throughout the process, preparing you mentally for each contraction. Ryann is so intuitive, professional, and supportive. I couldnt have asked for a better coach. At my first birth, Ryann confidently guided me through my 36 hr labor and C-section. Sometimes your birth plan goes off course, and Ryann helped me feel good about my decisions and what was best for me and my baby. She was the only one (not the doctors or nurses) that prepared me for what to expect during the Csection And recovery. She helped ease the concerns of my husband and mother-- which to me was a major blessing.
She also supports you throughout. Throughout my pregnancy, she was a listening ear, knew exactly what to do and how to ease my mind. It was such a relief to have an experienced person to rely on.
My second birth was a Vbac (vaginal birth after csection). Ryann put me in touch with the supportive midwife team and helped me advocate for the birth I wanted. During labor, when I would get discouraged, she knew exactly what to do to help me continue. She stayed by my side for days of excruciating labor. She made me laugh, wiped my tears, and held my hand right when I needed someone to. Ryann empowered me to balance the joys and challenges of labor. I owe so much of my success to her. I hope you get to experience a birth with a doula like Ryann. I couldn't recommend her more. She's invaluable.
Ryann has seen me through two very birth experiences and was amazing both times. With my first baby I had a c-section due to a late turn to breech position. She was there before and after the delivery, and when I came home she made sure everything was set up to make recovery and taking care of my son as easy as possible. Ryann also helped me breastfeed my son who refused to latch. Without her guidance and support there is no way we would have gone on to have the beautiful breastfeeding relationship we had. With my second baby I was determined to have a natural VBAC. Ryann provided in-home childbirth classes and gave me confidence that I would have a successful VBAC. On my daughter's birth day, Ryann provided constant labor support and reassurance that everything was going great. She made sure I had the birth experience I wanted. Ryann gave gentle reminders when it was time to change positions to make sure labor continued to progress. After delivery, she stayed to make sure my daughter was nursing. With both babies, she provided placenta encapsulation and had it ready when I was home from the hospital. Ryann has always been generous with advice whenever I needed it. Words cannot express how much she means to me and my family.
Ryann believed in me, my body and the process and was our birthing advocate in a hospital setting. Looking back, that's what I needed the most. Having never been around birthing mothers, my baby's birth was going to be my first. I was nervous.... I tried to read as much as a could about the birth I wanted. Took the classes, etc etc. But nothing can take the place of talking to another woman who's done it. On top of that, Ryann hasn't only done but she's taken a ton of midwifery training in addition to being a doula. She's posesses an infinite amount of knowledge and is well respected in the field. (I knew I was in good hands when the midwives at GW, said 'Oh hi Ryann.' ) In choosing a doula, I also wanted someone to be our advocate and know their way around doctor speak. I didn't want to become a victim of a doctor's schedule. Ryann was just the right amount of support I needed to bring my baby girl into the world. She respected our space, spoke up confidently when needed and let us be a family for the first time. I'm really glad I chose Ryann to be there. She's an integral part of our story.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 10-10-2017