As a first-time mother who never expected to be a mother, my husband and I couldn't have done it without the amazing guidance and support from Amy. We had Amy come to our home as a postpartum doula, since we had no idea what to do with a newborn baby once we got home from the hospital. You can read all the books and Pinterest your heart out, but having a real, live person to help care for you and your baby and help with even the smallest things around the house is a total game changer. Amy showed us the ropes (bathing, how to solve the hiccups in a newborn, swaddling) for the baby AND helped me with my postpartum issues. The phrase, "Is this normal?" was heard a lot in our home those first weeks and Amy always handled my questions with care and support and left me feeling far more confident and relaxed as a first-timer than I would have been on my own. It was a joy to get to know her and have her in our home. I wish I could clone her and send her to all moms in town!
I worked with Amy during my first pregnancy and delivery at Washington Hospital Center. She shared lots of resources in our initial meetings to help me and my husband prepare for labor, including a chance to practice some of the comfort techniques at home. She also provided pictures and instructions we could reference when labor started.
In our case, I ended up being induced, and Amy was invaluable throughout - helping me understand what was happening, providing additional information when I had to make decisions (like whether to have my water broken by the doctor), and helping me handle the contractions until I opted for an epidural (about 13 hours after starting Pitocin). She then stayed up most of the night repositioning me and my numb legs, so that I would continue to progress I rested. She was never judgmental or pushy about any particular choice - I felt truly supported in making my own decisions throughout.
When our son was finally born, Amy was enormously helpful in coaching me through delivery. My not-so-little guy was over ten pounds, and her encouragement was so helpful as I figured out the weird mechanics of pushing. She was also a great resource for my husband, who was present during all of my labor and delivery but really nervous. She made sure he understood what was happening, gave him options for how involved he could be in the delivery, and unobtrusively captured some wonderful pictures of me and my husband when we first met our son. I am so glad we had her there!
My husband and I decided to hire a doula very late in my pregnancy -- so it is never too late! I think I was 35 or 36 weeks along. We met with a few doulas but ultimately went with Amy because she had the experience we were looking for and, you know, liked her!
I had a difficult delivery experience in that it lasted a very long time. I was induced and then my water broke on it's own on a Wednesday at 9:45am and I did not deliver until Friday morning at 4:30am. If you are about to say "but I thought you HAD to deliver within 24 hours because of risk of infection" so did I, but you don't (not necessarily).
Amy was an asset we couldn't have done without. Early Thursday morning I opted for an epidural and all day on Thursday Amy explained that, yes, labor really can take that long, constantly helping to re-position me (with an epidural) in order to keep the labor progressing. Helping me make really tough decisions and ultimately having a vaginal delivery despite everything. She was amazing.
Also, if your significant other isn't convinced a doula is something needed -- they need to read up! My husband was so so glad Amy was there to explain things and help not only me but him as well. Amy was there for US. A personal labor coach is someone in the room that is actually helpful (other than medical professionals)! Family is lovely but they aren't trained for this. Neither are you. I would hire Amy for every birth, not just the first one. So, if this is your second pregnancy and you didn't have a doula with the first one and you think you don't need one, maybe you're right, but you should definitely consider it! If you are still learning about what a doula is, the Stuff You Should Know podcast recently did an episode on doulas that you should listen to. Then call Amy to meet with her because she's awesome.
While I was skeptical about hiring a doula, my family and I are ALL so grateful that we had Amy's support through a difficult L&D! Amy was a great resource and kept in touch regularly before I went into labor. Once the labor started on a Friday morning, Amy recommended exercised to help it progress and kept in touch through the day. She came over that evening, and got right to work. Feeling that the baby was not ideally positioned, she used her rebozo to help re-position the baby. Next, she got me "in the zone," helping me get 150% focused on what was happening to my body. I can't describe, but it was incredible! We went to the hospital that night, where Amy continued to coach me through the night, as well as provide comfort measures. Now here's where Amy went from wonderful doula to doula-goddess... As my labor went off-script, Amy advised me on multiple courses of action, supported my decisions, and most importantly, provided emtional support to me and my family. When I finally decided to get an epidural, Amy was very supportive and non-judgmental. When my baby was in distress, Amy explained what was going on and managed to keep all of us calm (despite the nurses rushing all around me). When we finally got to the point where I had the option of either having a C-section at that point, or continuing to labor and hope for a vaginal delivery (with the risk of needing an emergency C-section), Amy helped me weigh both options, supported my decision to go ahead with the C-section, and comforted all of us about this major unplanned surgery. Amy stayed with my parents through the surgery until we were all reunited around 1AM Sunday. Amy spent approximately 30 straight hours with my husband, my parents, and I, and during that time, she became like a family member to us. Amy was a God-send not only to me, but to my entire family who relied on her tremendously through a very emotional experience. I'll be calling her as soon as I get pregnant again!
What can I say about Amy except that she is awesome and my birth experience would have been much harder without her. She is kind, knowledgeable and helpful, and will step in to do what needs to be done without being asked. We encountered some unforeseen complications, but with Amy's help and support I felt like I was able to make decisions rather than feeling forced into an intervention. She was a calming presence throughout the birth of my child and I cannot recommend her enough.
Amy was our doula for my second child and we were so glad to have her. I had a high-risk pregnancy so we really appreciated Amy’s openness to all kinds of birth experiences — she didn’t come in with pre-conceptions about the “best” kind of birth or pressure us to do things any certain way. Rather, she helped us really think through our preferences and was fully supportive of my/our choices. At the hospital, she coordinated well with our medical practitioners and helped us understand their advice and our options. She was a calming, supportive presence from start to finish.
Amy Durham exceeded my expectations in every aspect and was a tremendous asset and support from A to Z. A complete game changer and I would recommend her services to everyone and anyone. She has truly found her calling and is a wise, delightful, bottomlessly resourcesful, empathetic, expert doula. You would be lucky and blessed to have her as a resource in your team. I interviewed multiple doulas and am picky and felt an immediate fit and deep click with Amy, she really stands out. I have sincere appreciation and respect for this woman, and am so very glad I picked her. Book her now while you can!
Amy was a fantastic doula and I´m pretty sure I would have ended up with a C-section if it wasn´t for her. She came to my home and we practiced natural labor and delivery strategies, but when the time came I ended up having to be induced. Amy coached me to help speed up the contractions, gave my husband pointers on how to help me manage the contractions, encouraged me to labor as long as possible without an epidural, and when the time came and the pain was just too much, helped me be confident that I made the right decision in getting the epidural. When the baby´s heart rate started to drop when I began pushing, she had me adjust my breathing and body position, which saved me from having to have a forcep or C-section delivery. She had an excellent rapport with the doctor and nurse, and the nurse even told her she was looking forward to working with her again soon. I couldn´t have done it without her and will definitely hire her again!
Any family would greatly benefit from having Amy Durham as their doula. My husband and I are first time parents and we simply would not have had the birth experience we wanted without Amy's help, both as we prepared for labor and during the long process. In our pre-natal visit, Amy was extremely well prepared and organized, and helped us develop our birth plan. She provided information to my husband on how he could recognize the signs of labor, gave us lists of foods we could prepare and things to include in our "go bag" and gave me recommendations on exercises to position my baby into an ideal spot. She was responsive to our inquiries and her experience as a doula and as a mom herself put us at ease.
During my very long and difficult labor, Amy was a godsend. Performing like an endurance athlete/guardian angel, Amy was tireless in supporting me and my husband over nearly 24 hours. In the long stretches when no hospital staff were present, it was Amy who kept offering me comfort measures, kept me clean, and made sure my husband had the breaks he needed to continue to support me. She offered several techniques for me to manage my contractions, including different positions, use of a rebozo, and massage. She could recognize when I was flagging and took the initiative to keep me going, helping me achieve the natural birth I wanted. Her experience also helped recognize when I had a complication, and she was able to help us advocate for the attention I needed.
During pushing, Amy was right next to my husband, helping me cross the finish line, and telling me when to look to see the moment my baby was born. After, when an overeager nurse wanted to take the baby too early, Amy defended our little family so we could enjoy those precious first moments for the hour we had planned. She assisted with the first latch, and left only when our little family was settled. Hire her!
When my water broke in the middle of the night, Amy was there via phone and text messages to get updates and ask how I was doing all through the night and morning. She was very encouraging and supportive, and I didn't have to worry when I started my labor because I knew Amy would guide us through. It was also very helpful to have her there to tag-team with my husband. She was great at suggesting things for him to do, or filling in the gaps with whatever he wasn't doing. He felt like I was taken care of whenever he needed to get food or use the restroom (or deal with our car breaking down!), because Amy was there as our trusted companion, friend, and expert.
Amy was incredible at providing physical support, acupressure, pushing on my back for hours on end to provide relief during my back labor, offered suggestions of other positions to try to move labor along, and came prepared with many tools to make the labor process more comfortable, even the little things like mints and essentil oils when I got sick. Several times I was offered to make decisions that were not a part of my originally desired birth plan, and it was comforting to have Amy there to talk it through to feel like I was actively choosing what was happening. We loved working with her and we were so happy with how our birth turned out because of her involvement.
My husband and I are so glad that we selected Amy Durham as our doula. Prior to our son's brith Amy was willing to accomodate our busy work schedules for each of the pre birth sessions. She was always very organized and prepared. As first time parents we had lots of questions and it was clear that Amy is very knowelegable and does her research - her sugestions on books to read and pamphlets to review were always spot on. She was also able to offer her personal experices as a mother.
Amy took the time to help us determine what our birth preferences were. We were so glad we had discussed our preferences before hand. We discussed everything from the type of enviroment that would be most comforting in the labor room to our thoughts on different medical procedures. We appreciated Amy's approach of asking what we wanted and offering information when we did not have enough information about the topic.
Amy was fantastic the day that I went into labor. My OB was not sure that I was actually in labor, but based on a telephone conversation with my husband describing my condition to Amy, she had a strong hunch that I was in labor. She took the initiative to drive out to the hospital. It was a good thing that she did because the labor was quick and if we had waited for the doctor to let us know she would have not made it in time for the birth. Amy was a great confort during the labor and it was so reasurring for us to have her there to help us communicate with the hospital staff. Becasue my son was premature there was a lot of fast work by the doctors and Amy helped narrate was happening so I knew what was going on from the bed. She was very supportive during this scary time.
Once we were back home from the hospital Amy again was there to help us master the swaddle and idenify some needed baby care supplies. We would definitely reccomend Amy.
Amy was the BEST doula I could have asked for! The day we interviewed her, her experience as both a doula and a mother of 4 with different birthing experiences really grasped my husband and I. I really wanted a natural birth experience, and Amy affirmed me every step of the way! She answered all our questions, no matter what day/time it was. She was promptly responsive, helpful, and overall, her wealth of knowledge was unmatched by other professionals we consulted. She taught my husband techniques to assist me during labor and also She was my "peace of mind" after every OB appointment too!! Doctors were pushing me to get induced right at 40 weeks and scared me with talks of c-sections, but Amy checked in after every appointment and assured me that my body was "working beautifully" and that I could wait to 42 weeks if I desired. And I did just that! Amy coached me through labor pains and I delivered a healthy, beautiful baby girl at 42 weeks - no medication, all natural! I wouldn't have been able to do it without her :)
Amy, THANK YOU THANK YOU MILLIONS for being our biggest support for our first baby!
My husband and I had Amy as our doula for our third birth and she was amazing and just what we wanted and needed. She is kind, compassionate and she knew exactly what we needed. She was also so patient and encouraging as we waited a long time for our baby to finally arrive. I can remember being so relieved when she touched my arms after walking into the room. Her hands were a physical relief and when I said I had back pain with my surges she knew exactly where to touch and massage my back. It was amazing and very helpful and comforting for me. Not only did she help me, but also my husband as he was next to me holding my hands and I needed him in front of me. Amy was the best addition to our birth team. My husband told me the day after the birth he was so glad to have her because she knew what we both needed. I needed physical support and he needed that emotional support that all was going well and Amy did all that and more for us. I honestly do not think the experience would have been as beautiful as it was without Amy and I highly recommend her as a doula to anyone who desires an amazing birth experience. I am a nurse and Amy brought things I needed and desired I didn't think about and that says a lot to me about her professionalism and love for her career and how she cares for families. I am so thankful she was a part of our birth.
Amy was our doula for the birth of our son. It was my second pregnancy and the second time I was attempting a natural, unmedicated labor and delivery. I'm happy to say it was a success and we are so happy that we chose Amy! She was such a calming presence and was pivotal in getting us to go to the hospital even though I was convinced I had plenty of time. I would highly recommend Amy, it was a fantastic experience from start to finish.
Amy is fantastic and having her by my side before, during, and after labor was like having a close friend or family member there to support me. It's expensive to have a doula and being a first time mom I wasn't sure if I would regret my choice but now I'm telling anyone who asks about my labor how wonderful it was to have here there with me. We didn't get to labor at home and use many of the comfort measures we had practiced but knowing that she would be there and the preparation before baby made a great difference in how I felt overall when I look back on my birth experience. I would hire again and I would recommend her to anyone looking for a funny, comforting, and knowledgeable doula.
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