Client Testimonials for Devon Handel

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Amy Rackley

Devon has a calm and reassuring demeanor which was exactly what my husband and I wanted. She is very knowledgeable and shared her knowledge and resources during home visits. She was available to us throughout the end of our pregnancy to answer questions and offer reassurance. During labor and delivery Devon was incredibly supportive and encouraging for both my husband and myself. We are grateful for Devon and highly recommend her! She goes above and beyond what her contract states! 

Posted 1/4/2018

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Nicole Kanarr

Our experience with Devon was nothing short of wonderful. From the very first meeting we knew she was the doula we wanted to be present during the birth or our little boy. It was important to me in interviewing potential candidates that they value the teamwork present between partners. We hired a doula not because we felt we needed more support but instead to enhance the support and relationships already present. Devon exemplified this. She is a wealth of knowledge and we very much enjoyed her ideas such as spinning baby techniques and ways to be prepared for the birth. Her presence during the birth was magical. She seemlessly entered into the hospital room and my husband will say now, relief washed over him. She remembered all of our wishes and presented as the calm and encouraging expert we had hoped for. I cannot say enough about Devon. She was the light that guided our birthing journey (before AND after the birth). She advocated for us when we needed, and stepped back when the time came for special new family moments. The highest complement I am sure is that if and when we are hiring a doula again, we will hire her!

Posted 12/7/2017

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Erica B

We went back and forth about having a doula for our second birth, having not had one for our first, we were not convinced it was necessary; we are beyond happy that we chose to! Devon is the reason my birth, which by all accounts would be considered scary and out of control, was the most empowering and magical moment of my life. Devon helped us through a precipitous delivery on the side of the highway. Her calming presence and knowledge of the situation made what could have been a very overwhelming experience, beautiful. She guided both my husband and I so lovingly throughout the entire experience and my baby boy came into the world as peacefully as one can on the side of the road. Having Devon as our doula was quite literally the best decision we have ever made. She was an excellent resource throughout the pregnancy and afterwards. When we were taken to the hospital (departing from our birth center plan), she was an advocate for me and our baby, making sure we were well taken care of and heard. We are so incredibly thankful for Devon. She helped me birth with dignity and grace in the most unlikely of situations. She started out as our doula and ended up as part of our family.

Posted 10/16/2017

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Safiyyah Hassell

I would like to thank Devon, an amazing doula who help my husband and I get through the most moving, touching, and heartfelt experience that we had ever experienced. Her services were amazing and she changed our perspective of pregnancy and childbirth for the best. I was truly amazing with her compassion and expertise in the labor and delivery room. She helped me through my induction from beginning to end. She performed stretches, messages, concentrated on pressure points, and so many other ways to ease my mind. Devon also concentrated on the parents expectations in the delivery room, and she acts as a spokesperson when information from the doctors and nurse felt overwhelming. My husband and I thank you so much and it was a blessing to have worked with you. I have gladly passed your information to my friends and family.

Posted 9/13/2017

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Maylene Laguna

Where do I begin? First, let me preface this by saying that I'm a critical care nurse, and even though hospitals and blood etc don't make me uncomfortable, I knew I wanted a doula because of all the positive outcomes associated with doula assisted births. My husband and I are kind of new to NC, we don't have family or any of our life long friends here for support so we knew that a doula was something we needed. Prior to meeting Devon, we miscarried and unexpectedly got pregnant right away. The wounds were fresh and I was terrified of pregnancy. We met Devon and she made my husband feel really comfortable about inviting this unknown person to a very intimate and frightening experience. Devon was awesome throughout my pregnancy, helping with all kinds of techniques and hands on adjustments to help me deal with the aches and strains of pregnancy. She was also a great resource for my husband... then came labor. I'll spare you the details but I was high risk and we knew having a natural child birth was risky. I didn't get the glorious natural childbirth I wanted, but Devon did something else for me that was absolutely priceless. there were moments in my long labor that I was distraught and she was able to give my husband the tools he needed to provide me with the support I badly needed. In the most challenging moments, her guidance allowed him to give me a genuine comfort that I had never experienced from him. i didn't just fall in love with my newborn son that day. I fell in love with my husband again and I wholeheartedly thank Devon for the gift she gave us. I can never thank her enough for what she has done for my marriage. She's an amazing doula, and you would be crazy to choose anyone else. 

Posted 8/5/2017

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Shasta Lewis

After switching to midwifery care more than halfway through my pregnancy, I knew that hiring a doula was going to be essential to allay my fears and support me through my daughter's birth. From the very first meeting, my partner and I knew that Devon was the right doula for us because she was very receptive to our ideas and possesses both a professional and calm demeanor. During our prenatal visits, Devon took the time to listen to my anxieties and provided both an empathetic ear and helpful insight to work through my anxiety. She also helped my partner with ways to support me through those last few weeks and make me more comfortable and prepared for birth.

I was able to approach birth with an open mind and open heart having worked with Devon. Though we planned for an unmedicated, vaginal birth at a birth center, my daughter and I had an unforeseen complication that required an emergency c-section and a subsequent 5-week NICU stay. The night I went into labor was very scary, and the first person I called was Devon. She supported my decision to go to my local hospital and met us there very quickly. She helped advocate for me when I insisted for an ultrasound and then provided immeasurable support to my partner when I was in the OR and our daughter was being resuscitated. Since we don't have family nearby, Devon was absolutely critical during this difficult and emotional ordeal. My partner attributes his stability during that time to Devon.

Since we had such a difficult and different kind of birth, Devon took the time to visit me in the hospital during my recovery and stayed in touch throughout my daughter's NICU stay. That is above and beyond what I would expect from a doula, but Devon is just that kind of wonderful human. I am so glad that she was part of our birth experience and I would highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for doula support.

Posted 7/3/2017

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Carrie Whitaker

Devon served as our doula for the birth of my daughter in May 2017.  Devon was absolutely wonderful and I'm so glad we chose to work with her! 

Prior to our due date, Devon met with us for an extensive session covering all the important topics: pre-birth exercises, our birth plan, preparation for labor, etc.  I was impressed with how thorough she was in covering so many topics.  She was very careful to gain full understanding of our preferences for the labor and delivery and to identify ways she could support us at every turn. 

On the evening of our birth, Devon met us at the hospital and sprang right into action, supporting and encouraging me through the whole birth process.  Devon brings an incredible sense of calm and peace to the process; the medical staff at the hospital does not have the bandwidth to provide continuous emotional support to laboring mothers, so I was very glad to have Devon present.  She was a very reassuring presence, stood by me steadfastly throughout my labor, and had the right words to say during some of the more intense moments.  I am thrilled to say I was able to deliver my daughter without IV pain mediation or epidural and I honestly do not think this would have been possible without Devon there to guide me through the process and help me figure out how to work with my body during contractions and pushing.

Devon was also amazing in providing support and encouragement to my husband.  She gave him gentle guidance on how to remain involved during my labor and she was always by my side when he needed a moment to step out or to rest. 

I am incredibly grateful to Devon and so glad that she is a part of our birth story.  Hiring her was easily one of the best decisions we made in the whole pregnancy/birth preparation process.  I'll be forever grateful to her!

Posted 6/25/2017

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Emily Carmody

We could not have had the birth we wanted without Devon! Devon helped us to welcome our second daughter into the world with a VBAC delivery.

Her prenatal visits were really helpful for my husband and I, and they helped us to think through how we wanted this birth to go. During the deliver, as soon as Devon arrived I knew I was in good hands. Devon supported my husband and myself throughout the birth by suggesting different positions, providing amazing massage, and being our guide through labor and delivery. There were many times where I didn't think I could get through labor without an epidural, but I did because of Devon's expertise and encouragement. 

I highly recommend Devon for first time and repeat parents. She is a great support to have in the room with you!

Posted 4/1/2017

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Heather Thorstensen

Hiring Devon as my birth doula was one of my best decisions during pregnancy. My husband and I picked her because of her calm demeanor, the guidance she could give us to make evidence-based and informed decisions, and her positive attitude. She gave us confidence to shoot for the birth plan that I really wanted, and to stick to it when my healthcare providers threw in some hurdles. She helped us prepare mentally by letting us borrow her books, physically by giving us stretches and labor positions to practice at home, and emotionally by being a listening ear to my worries and concerns via email. She helped to open important discussions between my husband and me so we were on the same page about my wishes for the birth. During labor, she was a constant source of support, physically and emotionally. I had my ideal labor and birth experience and I give much of the credit for that to Devon.

Posted 3/21/2017

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Andrew Thorstensen

As the (at the time, to-be) father, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical of getting a doula. But my wife researched it and it brought her a great sense of comfort. After some research, we hired Devon and it was the best decision we made during the pregnancy.

My wife and I both appreciated that Devon was explicit in what she would do with us - two prenatal visits, the birth, a postpartum visit, and unlimited communication between us and her.

During the prenatal visits, my wife and I learned several stretches that helped her body prepare for birth. We spoke to Devon about what our concerns were, about the birth plan, and more. It really helped us to feel prepared for what we were going into. I was also convinced that in the heat of the moment, I would forget something, and Devon knowing our plan was a bit of insurance to make sure I didn't.

Devon was there at our labor right as we needed her. Through the labor, she and I worked together to ease my wife through the laboring process. My wife swears by Devon's hip squeeze, and my wife was able to have her 'plan A' labor.

After that, the postpartum meeting was incredibly useful as well. At that point, you are stressed, learning how to interact with your baby, and just tired. Devon taught us some techniques that over night made our interaction with our child easier. We're getting more sleep, he's less fussy, and its a more efficient household already.

Devon is worth every penny. Even the hospital staff took us aside afterwards to say how impressed they were with her. I can't believe how well everything went, and we know her guidance, support and care are a huge part of that.

Posted 3/21/2017

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I was committed to having a natural childbirth and knew that having a doula would help me to achieve that goal, but Devon proved to be key to my natural childbirth. This was my first time going through labor, and I had no idea how contractions would feel. They were intense, but Devon was all the "medicine" I needed during my 40 hours of unmedicated labor. She was completely present and engaged during each and every one of my contractions (except a few, when she took a very brief, desperately-needed nap at hour 37 or so, and handed the reins over to another one of my birth partners). It semed to me that Devon went above and beyond to help me through each contraction with both her expert hands-on assistance and her words. With Devon by my side, right there with me through each "wave," I never felt like I was going through the wildness of labor on my own--she was there, shouldering the intensity with me, and her skill in doing so was what allowed me to power on for as many hours as I did. 

Also, Devon is immensely knowledgeable about natural health and wellness (to the extent you are interested), gentle, and has the physical strength and stamina to manage hundreds of double-hip-squeezes and other physical maneuvers and comfort measures for hours on end. She is also an assertive advocate for you with nurses, etc. should you need that. Devon was generous with her time and energy, much more so than I had anticipated. For example, when she offered to stop by for a visit after my water had broken and I was waiting for contractions to begin, I thought we might have a discussion about what to expect or how to prepare, but it ended up being a dense, multi-hour session of hands-on labor induction strategies and more. 

In sum, Devon was a vital part of my birth team, and her dedication and skill helped me to cope. I also greatly appreciated her authentic commitment to natural health and wellness. 

Posted 10/10/2016

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Stephanie Westen

At our initial meeting with Devon, I told her that my main goal was to have a vaginal birth, but that I had a lot of anxiety about this. I also told her that my preference was to give birth in a hospital setting and that I planned to have an epidural for pain relief. Devon responded to this by telling me, “This is your birth.” She explained that her job was to enhance our birth experience according to our own vision, whatever that may be.

Our prenatal visit with Devon covered a huge number of topics including pain management, exercises for preparing for labor, and what to expect from both vaginal and C-section births. She continued to ask us questions about how we envisioned the birth, and these questions really did help guide my husband and me through issues we had not yet addressed.

During labor, Devon kept me moving and helped the time pass remarkably quickly. I walked, bounced on the birthing ball, stretched, lunged, and squatted, relaxed in the shower, and danced. Most important was the massage - every time I started having a contraction, Devon would apply a lot of pressure to my hips and lower back, and this significantly helped me manage the pain. I am so proud that I was able to remain calm and upbeat throughout labor and I absolutely credit Devon for this. When I did eventually decide that it was time for an epidural, Devon never attempted to discourage me from this and I greatly appreciated that. As I was pushing, Devon assisted the nurses by suggesting various positions and encouraging me with every contraction.

I would highly recommend Devon as a birth doula to anyone who is looking to get the most out of their birth experience. My memories of giving birth to my daughter are overwhelmingly positive, in large part due to my outstanding birth team. I felt so comfortable with Devon, and her presence in the room helped me to maintain that inner calm that I believe is the reason that I was able to achieve my goals.

Posted 6/14/2016

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Anne Privett

My husband and I met Devon towards the end of our pregnancy (8th month). We had no idea that I would be admitted into the hosptial the following week with preelampia. We were told our baby had to be delivered immediately. I was very sick and scared - this was not a part of our birth plan! Devon was by our side throughout the entire experience and gave full support to myself and to my husband. Her thoughtfulness, kindness, calming techniques and overall support were so important to me & I know it made a huge differece for myself & my family during this diffcult time. She gave me confidence I didn't think I had when it comes to managing pain and was encouraging me throughout my labor. She was my advocate and I am so thankful we chose Devon as our doula. She was so helpful after we all came home from the hospital with breastfeeding tips and we have been sucessful at it ever since. Our baby boy is now four months old! Devon is simply amazing. Anne, Rusty & Henry Privett

Posted 3/31/2016

Birth Availability for Devon Handel

= Available. Calendar last updated: 1/22/2018 1:51:21 PM