Birth Matters NW

Birth Matters NW

Website: http://www.birthmattersnw.com

Phone: 425-835-3872

Birth Fee: $1600 to $2000

Postpartum Rate: $35

Birth Doula Experience: 4 years and 190 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 1 years and 12 families served

Birth Doula Certifications

  • Madriella Doula Network - Certified Labor Doula
  • Pacific Association for Labor Support (PALS) - Certified Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, October 2013
Type of Practice: Partnership with 2 or more doulas

Clients per Month: 3 to 5 births and 1 to 2 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
In addition to other local area hospitals we are also participant in the Swedish Doula Program
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Great Starts Birth and Family Education

Other Relevant Certifications

  • 4. Biologix Solutions Bloodborne Pathogens for Placenta Encapsulation Specialists Trained
  • Rebozo Training

College Education

  • BA/BS
  • MA/MS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Belly binding
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Placenta encapsulation
  • Satellite Doula (For remote and rural clients)
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • TENS units rental

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Active board members with Pacific Association Labor Support (PALS Doulas), member of the Swedish Doula Program (Feb 2016), DONA Postpartum Doula training 2017

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Kirkland, WA
Travel Range: 15 Miles
Travel comments/restrictions: no ferries

Certifications for Birth Matters NW

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Birth Matters NW

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Cammie Hanratty

My husband and I attended a birthing class at Swedish in which they discussed doula services. Prior to that I'd not considered a doula- I planned to have a medicated birth at a hospital- surely I wouldn't need a doula, right? Luckily my husband encouraged me to just interview doulas to see if there was a fit. 

There was an immediate connection when I spoke with Mariah and Gina. They answered all the questions-- and believe me, there were plenty. They didn't pressure me into a birthing experience they wanted, but rather encouraged me to delineate exactly what I wanted. 
 
When my baby was ready to be born, Mariah showed up, advocated for and with me, and made me feel safe and confident during what could others have been a scary time. My mother and husband were in room and they were able to bc remain in the moment as Mariah took the lead in supporting me. 

The before and after birth sessions are invaluable. Both Mariah and Gina completed home visits, answered my anxious questions, and continued to encourage me to call, text, email if we have questions. 

All in all, the experience working with this duo was beyond impressive. You will be supported and cared for before, during, and after the birth of your child. I will continue to recommend these two women. Give them a chance and you will too. 

Posted 11/4/2019

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Erin M.

Gina and Mariah were a priceless resource to both me and my husband while preparing for birth and delivering our daughter. We were late to the game and only decided to look for a doula a month before my due date. We planned to interview a handful of doulas and after one meeting with Gina and Mariah, we were set - we didn't even want to interview anyone else! 

The pre-labor meetings were so helpful in identifying what kind of experience we hoped to have and made us both feel so comfortable with each doula. 

Gina was there for us when I went into labor and was with us every step of the way - answered our questions over the phone and in text messages in the middle of the night and helped me labor at home for as long as I could. At the hospital, she helped me navigate triage, advocate for myself throughout the delivery, and was so thoughtful and considerate in every detail of how she cared for me and my husband. 

We wanted as private of a delivery experience as possible and having Gina there as our doula felt like the perfect addition - never "just another person in the room". She supported me directly, supported my husband so that he could be there for me as much as possible, especially helping him remember to take rests so that he could be there for me during the most strenuous parts of my labor. She was with us for all 26 hours and then some -- it was the best investment we could have made in having the best possible labor and delivery experience. We are forever grateful! 

Posted 7/8/2019

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Sonia Byrne

I was able to deliver at Sprout Birth Center in Mountlake Terrace in big part because I had the best team! My midwives, students and our doulas gave me the environment and support to be my most powerful self and have the most precious birth story.

Gina is magical! She was THE person I need for my 38 hours of labor. Gina was my primary support and she was attentive and caring. She encouraged me at my most difficult moments. I had MANY difficult moments. She used several tools to assist me in navigating through the pain and took such great care of me.

Gina was up with me through the night as I labored at home. My husband was asleep in our bed. Now, if someone told me that their husband slept during their labor, I would be pissed for them - But, because he slept that night, he was fully present through the final hour. My husband and I shared the most intimate moments while I pushed out our son. This was because Gina was with me, supporting me while he slept. Silly maybe, but true. Labor is exhausting for all people involved and he needed rest to best support me at the most critical time. My birth story would have been so different without our doulas.

Now, when I got to the Birth Center, Mariah was there. Mariah is a ROCKSTAR. They really both are - They are the perfect team. Mariah was able to be with me in my most uncomfortable moments. Maybe TMI, but I was laboring on the toilet and Mariah was inches away from me with her strong steady support just rooting me on. Not like a cheerleader, but like a mother of two who knows what it's like. She was able to meet me right where I was, every time. Being in labor and pushing out our son is the hardest thing I've done and i know I had the best team. I am beyond grateful and so fortunate to have Gina and Mariah as part of my birth story.

Our choice to hire them as our doulas was the best decision. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Posted 6/30/2019

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Yadirell Ty

My wife and I are not only first-time parents but also had the blessing of twins.  Initially, we felt overwhelmed and didn't know what to expect or what to do despite the classes we had taken.  However, both Mariah and Krystal were there to support us when we came home with our twins.  They made the extra effort to accommodate overnight coverage when we ended up coming home on a weekend. 

From there Krystal became a pillar for both my wife and I as were adjusted to parenthood.  We can honestly say that we learned a lot in the time that Krystal was here, and she also gave us the confidence we needed to trust ourselves as parents.  Now we have our twins are doing great, and Birth Matters were the training wheels that provided us the foundation of becoming new parents of twins. 

Posted 6/29/2019

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Lauren Collins

I first met Mariah back in the fall of 2018, after learning that I was expecting twins due February 2019. I was immediately taken with what a calming and warm temperament she had. She instantly made me feel comforted, protected, and safe. I knew right away that I wanted to hire her for her night doula services.

As part of my baby registry, I asked friends and family for financial gifts so that I could acrue some hours with Mariah. I was fortunate enough to get 2 full weeks, but my husband and I chose to have Mariah continue to come regularly because not only did she give us some much needed rest, but we noticed how well our girls were doing on the nights that Mariah was there.

Our first night with her was after our babies had been home for about a week, and we were really struggling with understanding why our babies were so fussy at night. Mariah worked her magic and instantly figured out how to make the babies more confortable so that they slept soundly! We learned so much from her on how to care for our babies and ourselves. She has a true gift when it comes to caring for infants. That is because she really CARES about her clients and their babies. She works miracles!

I alsp really appreciated what an easy and professional booking system Mariah has set up. Anytime I wanted to make a reservation, all I had to so was log onto her site and select my date - then I received an email with a confirmation and an iCal link. That was essential for my twin mom brain!

Our babies are now 4 months and starting to sleep though the night. I honestly believe this is in large part because of Mariah's help and best practices. We felt comfortable starting sleep training with her support, and I know if I ever need help, Mariah is just a phone call away! 

I cannot recommend her enough - both professionally and personally. We just love her!

Posted 6/19/2019

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Kirsten

Mariah provided overnight postpartum doula support for my husband and I after the birth of our first child earlier this year. I cannot recommend her enough! Having a postpartum doula was worth every penny. Not only did it ensure some much-needed sleep for me and my husband, but she was a wealth of information. I spent much of the time nursing asking Mariah questions and for advice. I really appreciated her calm demeanor and her rapport with my child. Getting overnight postpartum doula support is the number one thing I recommend to anyone who is pregnant.

Posted 5/30/2019

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Hanna

Mariah helped us get through the first few months of parenthood by caring for our new babe while we slept and recharged. Her warmth and ease was contagious and her knowledge was very helpful navigating all the unknowns in those first few weeks. She is trustworthy and kind. We would recommend her highly to anyone, and are so glad that we worked with her during a vulnerable and special time of our lives. Her services are invaluable. Thank you, Mariah!

Posted 3/6/2019

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Cassie Lycke

Mariah was amazing! My husband and I weren't sure if a doula was right for us after interviewing another individual; however, we decided to talk with Mariah before completely ruling out having a doula participate in our first labor experience, and I am SO glad that we did.

We had two meetings prior to delivery where we could ask questions and really get to know Mariah and her support style - and also help her get a feel for our individual personalities and what we would need from her when the time came. But more importantly, it really helped us feel as prepared as we could be for the birth experience. It was so nice to have somebody that we could reach out to with questions at any time of the day and not feel silly for asking them (and I feel like we had a lot of questions), especially when labor started.

Mariah was calm and supportive throughout the entire delivery and made both me and my husband feel like we were in control of our experience. Mariah did an in-home visit a day or two after our baby was born and helped me work through some nursing challenges, which has since led to a very fulfilling bond with my baby during feedings. I absolutely recommend Mariah and when the time comes for Baby #2, you can bet she'll be hearing from us again. Thank you, Mariah! You are wonderful!

Posted 3/6/2019

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Kylee Qualey

Both Mariah and Gina were the greatest assets to our birth. They were so supportive before, during and after birth and truly not sure how I would have gotten through without them. Highly recommend for those looking for the encouragement, support and love that one needs during such an intense process.

Posted 2/20/2019

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Jess HeLal

My husband and I met with a number of doulas prior to making the decision to work with Mariah. We felt that she was the best fit for us personally and we liked her sense of humor! I was extremely nervous about the labor and birth so having a doula that could be calming and confident was the most important thing for me. I was scheduled to be induced so Mariah met us at the hospital a few hours after we were admitted. She talked me through decisions about medical interventions and really made me feel at ease with the process. She was no nonsense and my advocate during the whole process, including supporting my mom and husband while they were present. I ended up with back labor and she was able to apply counter pressure that got me through some really rough contractions. I even got an amazing massage from her partner that was wonderful. I felt that Mariah knew when to step in or step back. I'd absolutely have her again for our next baby. Thank you for helping me deliver our beautiful baby boy! 

Posted 11/17/2018

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Vincent Ching

We had an amazing experience with Mariah at Birth Matters NW. At first we were a little doubtful with if getting a doula was a good idea since it was a long waiting period before we actually needed her in person but when that day came she was a god send. I , the father, did not know what I would have done if Mariah wasn't there during the birth. She was able to help my wife with making decisions, knowing the outcomes, preparing for the possibilities, and physically helping with the labor process day and night. If we were to do it again, we would hire Mariah and her team in a heart beat! 

Posted 11/8/2018

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Suzanne Vannatter

Mariah was such an amazing doula. She was patient and helpful and kind and compassionate and wonderful. We are so grateful to her. She made the whole birth experience better. Not to mention we were having twins so it was a very intense experience. She decorated the labor room in lovely twinkling lights and made the atmosphere like a home. She rubbed my feet to distract from the contractions. She took care of my husband as well, and always made sure the two of us were her priority. She worked beautifully with the nurses and I felt like I had an entire team in my corner. We absolutely love Mariah and she is such an excellent doula I would recommend her to anyone and everyone!!

Posted 11/7/2018

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Nicole Bulow

I have put off writing a review for Mariah because it is challenging to describe exactly how instrumental Mariah was during the birth of my son. In a nutshell Mariah was exactly what we need at every moment during the labor. She was calm when I needed to be calmed. She was encouraging when the intensity started to increase and I needed to be encouraged. She was creative when my labor was slowing down and we needed to keep things moving. She was a guide for my husband in his support and involvement. She was supportive when I decided that it was time for an epidural. She shared in our joy and exhaustion when my baby was finally born. She was everything we needed her to be and more.

Posted 6/26/2018

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Janani Vasu

We hired Mariah for the delivery of my first baby. I decided to have a doula for the north mainly because my husband worked out of state and I wanted someone who could be my support and strength. I talked and immediately clicked with Mariah. During that first meeting, she patiently listened to me. The main reason I hired Mariah was because she did not judge me or my decisions and was ready to support me as it was. I felt at ease talking to her. She went above and beyond the one hour for the prenatal visit and helped answer all our questions. After that she was ALWAYS available for questions, sometimes even responding at 2 am! When I discussed concerns from my ultrasound she would put my mind at ease with data and research articles. Apart from me, my husband also really appreciated her taking time to answer his questions patiently. Mine ended up being a C-section and Mariah was there with me and my husband in the operation theatre, continuosuly telling me what was happening. Even after the birth, we look to her for help with our questions. Overall,  I would highly recommend hiring Mariah as uour doula, her calming influence and confident knowledge will put you at ease during the stressful time of your pregnancy. 

Posted 6/18/2018

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Hanna Kreiner

I give Mariah my highest recommendation. Working with Mariah was one of the best decisions we made for our family. Mariah is knowledgeable and helped answer our new parent questions, all with compassion and caring. She is flexible and kind, easy to work with. She supports parents so they can be the best versions of themselves, and sleep is a major factor! In those early weeks, I could actually rest easy and recharge knowing my baby would be cared for and soothed by Mariah. 

Posted 6/18/2018

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Tiffany Whitehurst

My partner and I hired Mariah as support for the birth of our first child who was delivered without an epidural. We are so glad we hired her. She was readily available to answer our questions in-person, by text, or by speaking on the phone. On delivery day, Mariah was quick to support me in ways that initially I didn't think I would find valuable. During our visits pre-delivery, I told her I would like to manage my pain by moving around, listening to music, and not using the tub. However, when she arrived at the hospital suite, I was in the tub, and proceeded to lay down through the majority of my contractions (with no music on). Mariah is flexible and has subtle gauges to see where her client is in their pain scale/tolerance. Mariah was my cheerleader during a very long (4 hours!) pushing session, as well as kept both me and my partner hydrated and nourished. Mariah was a great resource in those turbulent few days after returning home with our newborn. She gave us practical tips for making our and our baby's life easier. 

Posted 6/8/2018

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Alex Nankervis

Mariah was a life-saver for my wife and I. She watched our son, Felix, a few nights a week while he was 1-3 months old and gave us a chance to get some sleep and regain our sanity. Felix had a lot of feeding problems early on, which had taken an emotional toll on us - we were not doing well and needed the extra support.

We felt completely at ease with Mariah from the first day. Mariah would show up at bedtime to take over and watch Felix downstairs, and in the morning we'd often wake up to find Felix asleep in our bedroom. She was amazing with Felix, and also provided great emotional support to my wife and I. It relieved a huge burden from me - I was going through my own issues at the time, and it was very difficult for me to handle that while also trying to provide emotional support to my wife.

We were reluctant to outgrow our need for Mariah's help - after all, she pretty much saved us and helped us feel alive again - but around the 3 month mark, Felix was starting to sleep through the night and we had gotten past the worst of it.

Thanks Mariah! For the next kid, we're contacting you right away :)

 

Posted 5/25/2018

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Rei Bryan

My husband and I are thankful for Mariah. She made my labor and delivery as comfortable as possible.During the initial visit of Mariah she spent few hours coaching us what to do about different stages of labor. She gave us all the tools that helped us stay as long as possible to labor at home (which is what I wanted) before finally going to the hospital. We're just few minutes ahead of Mariah when we arrived at the hospital and everything is going so fast. I was in so much pain that I consider using epidural (which is not what I wanted to do). Mariah encouraged me that i can do it without epidural (I always wanted to have a Natural normal delivery) and Mariah helped that happened. Also, at some point my baby's is coming out face up which delays the progress of delivery, Mariah helped us rotate the baby's face down by using her skills (which speed up my delivery). She stayed for quite awhile after delivery and made sure we're ok. 

Again, we're thankful that we had Mariah as our doula. She made our dream labor abd delivery come true. 

 

Rachelle Bryan

Posted 2/9/2018

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Alyssa Reeb

I was on the fence about hiring a doula. I am a labor and delivery nurse and thought "well I already know more or less what to expect and won't that just be a lot of people in the room - the midwife, the nurse, my partner...those hospital rooms aren't that big!". However I wanted to attempt an unmedicated vaginal delivery and knew that not only was a doula valuable in my experience with patients but that research actually supports that your likelihood of having an unmedicated vaginal delivery usually increases 1) the longer you labor at home and 2) with continuous labor support in the form of a doula. My husband - bless his soul - is not in the medical field, and although we took birth classes together, has said that there was no way he could have possibly prepared for the experience of labor and that having the doula there was hands down the best decision we could have made and that he considers it a necessity for any future births. It felt invaluable to him to have someone that knew the screaming/ pain/ uncomfortableness was normal and to remain calm. The birth of my beautiful baby boy was a very intense and crazy 13 hour ride, and I don't want to think about what it would have been like without Mariah there. She labored with me at home, and very shortly after she arrived palce the TENS unit on my back which helped me a lot, if for no other reason than giving me something to do/ feeling like I could control some sensation on my body. After about 9 hours of labor at home, we decided to go to the hospital where I was found to be 7-8cm along! That was a great and validating moment for me. The immediate moments after birth were not what I expected, as trasition had really put my mind on a roller coaster; however Mariah, Ildi, and the midwife helped me process what happened in the days after the birth. I am so grateful to have had these ladies by my side leading up to birth, during labor, and throughout early postpartum. I would hire them again in a heartbeat!

Posted 1/24/2018

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Lia Carpeneti

Ildi helped us with our first birth and Mariah was there for our second and we would really highly recommend them to anyone looking for a doula. They spent time to learn what we wanted from the birth and then helped us achieve it. For instance, I got an epidural both times and they helped us know when a good time was and then helped move me once I got it to ensure I was comfortable and labor progressed. They were both active in helping not just me but also everyone else who attended the birth and also stuck around after birth which was really helpful. They took notes, pictures, and videos, which were special to have. They provided help with managing pain, help with managing interactions with doctors, and a ton of information. If we have another baby, we would definitely want them to help again. 

Posted 1/24/2018

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Emily Calkins Charyk

Working with Mariah and Ildi was wonderful - I especially appreciated the visits before and after our daughter was born.

Posted 1/23/2018

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Wendy Harden

Mariah was worth her weight in gold to my husband and I! She was enormously supportive during my pregnancy and during my birth. I had some complications and ended up with a C-section and Mariah was calm, respectful, warm and re-assuring the entire time. She knew exactly when to step in and what to offer and worked seemlessly with the Midwives and staff at Swedish. During my C-Section she even told me fairy tales to help me stay calm--and it worked! We would recommend her in a heart-beat to anyone!

Posted 9/13/2017

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Gene Chatham

Mariah was fantastic!  She helped us through a successful VBAC every step of the way.

In the pre-birth meetings, she seemed to really care about getting to know us and what we hoped for with this birth experience.  She helped talk us through some of the anxieties we had lingering from our last birth (which ended with an unplanned c-section). Our first baby was poorly positioned for a vaginal delivery. Knowing this, Mariah was determined to help baby #2 get into good position. She was very confident and knowledgeable about techniques for doing so.

During labor, Mariah was a wonderful coach.  She has a very calm and reassuring presence about her.  Left on our own, we would have run out of laboring positions and coping techniques in probably two hours.  Mariah, fortunately, had a never-ending bag of tricks to help the labor be productive while still being as comfortable as practical.  

We were very fortunate to have the birth we wanted, and we attribute a lot of that success to Mariah's help.

Posted 6/23/2017

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Kathleen King

My husband and I interviewed multiple doulas before deciding to go with Mariah and Ildi. Immediately after our initial meeting, we hired them on the spot. We instantly felt comfortable with them. We liked their energy and caring nature, as well as the abundance of knowledge and experience they provided. We cannot say enough wonderful things about them. They provided two very informative and helpful prenatal visits. They were attentive and listened to our vision of the birth and our needs, in addition to answering all of our questions and then some. They were not only available via phone or text leading up to the birth and after, but were very encouraging to us to reach out when questions arose. Mariah was our doula. A day before I gave birth, we had lots of questions throughout my prelabor. She was available and very attentive. We felt supported and assured. When my contractions started to become more consistent and closer together, she came over to our home late that evening. She helped alleviate the pain through the use of a TENS unit, massage, and various other techniques. When my husband and I attempted to get some sleep during the night, she stayed with us at our home and was available but provided us with the perfect amount of privacy. She was very attuned to my needs, as well as my husband's needs. She recognized that my husband was very sleep deprived. She told him to go sleep in our guest room, while she laid with me providing comforting touch with every contraction while I attempted to sleep. At the hospital, she continued to provide excellent support and care to me and my husband. She provided me with whatever I needed, whether that be a massage, additional information so I may make an informed decision or emotional support. Mariah continued to be available to us after the birth. Without a doubt, we would highly recommend Mariah and Ildi. In addition to being wonderful doulas, they are wonderful people. 

Posted 6/22/2017

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Rashmi Mansur

Ildi and Mariah have been a substantial help in making the birth experience of my first child extremely joyful. My husband and myself were initially apprehensive about hiring a doula and then met Ildi and Mariah. We were very impressed at the first meet with their wealth of knowledge and a certain calming presence. In a short time we realized that hiring them as our doulas was the best decision we made as new parents. Both of them have been phenomenal in showing all the love, care and assurance new parents need to have a great experience birthing a baby! They have provided constant support for every decision we made and have helped us with their vast knowle and experience along the way. Havimg Mariah by our side as our advocate was so helpful and calming, it made my husband and myself very confident and comfortable right from the last few weeks of my pregnancy upto the birth of our son. She also provided excellent post partum support later on and was always just a text or phone call away for any questions or help. i highly recommend their services to anyone who wants to remember the birth of their child as one of the most special and comfortable experiences of their lives.

Posted 4/5/2017

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Nicolette Mills

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Ildi and Mariah!  

We decided to get a doula for our second daughter because the birth of our first didn't go anything like we wanted, expected or planned!  With our first (no doula), we wanted to go the unmedicated route but, things quickly headed in a different direction and one intervention lead to another.  During my long (and medicated) labor we felt lost and out of control.  Afterwards, I felt liked I was robbed of my birthing experience and frankly - tramatized by it. I so wished we would have had Mariah or Ildi the first time around.  

With the birth of my second, we had Ildi for the labor and delivery.  She was amazing and I could not have done an unmedicated birth without her.  My birthing experience the second time around was EXACTLY what I had wanted.  I was able to labor at home with confidence as long as possible.  Ildi let us know when it was time to head to the hospital.  She helped us every step of the way.  The support we recived before, during and after delivery is truely the best gift I have ever received.  Having a knowledgable person to help you cope is a must but Ildi's energy, compassion and personality is what made having her there so special.  Having an advocate and expert along the way allowed me and my husband to focus on laboring, delivery and then our beautiful daughter.  

They are a wonderful team and anyone would be lucky to have them!  Again, I cannot say enough wonderful things! :)  

 

Posted 3/16/2017

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Erin Machaj

My husband and I hired Birth Matters NW to be our doulas for the birth of our first child in November 2016. I initially met with Ildi (she was the first doula I interviewed) and instantly told my husband they were the ones for us! There was an instant connection with both Ildi and Mariah that I never expected but was so glad I had found. They were all about what I wanted for my birth plan and never pushed me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with.

Prior to the delivery of our daughter, we met with each of them in our home to discuss our birth plan and they even showed me tricks/techniques to help me feel more comfortable in those last weeks of my pregnancy. My water broke while I was at my 39 week checkup so the doctors sent me straight to the hospital. We called Mariah and she came by to see us after I was admitted. We discussed our birth preferences again, made a game plan for the next several hours (I still wasn't dilated so it was hours before true active labor). Mariah headed home, rested up and was ready to come straight back as soon as I progressed and felt that I really needed her. As contractions became stronger and more consistent (about 20 hours later) we called and she was right there by our side. She helped me stay calm and collected, helped me breathe through the contractions, and showed me things to help manage the pain that I never would have known or even thought to try. I did receive an epidural as that was part of my birth plan but I was very proud of myself for hanging in there for as long as I possibly could with Mariah's help.

I can't imagine having gone through labor with any other doula. Mariah was by my side the entire way and I swear, she made it feel easier than I ever imagined possible. I am forever grateful for the help and support that Mariah provide me and my husband during this monumental moment in our lives.

Posted 2/28/2017

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Neeloufar Gharavi

From our first meeting through our prenatal visits, Mariah and Ildi knew just what I needed to feel taken care of. They played with my daughter and joked with my husband, and I thoroughly enjoyed their visits.

During my 37th week, I had a full 24 hours of mild, non-progressing contractions after two days of bloody show, and I was feeling frustrated, confused, and exhausted. Eventually, my contractions became a bit more intense but in no way regular. The midwife told me that I would “know” when to page her. My husband needed sleep, so I called Ildi.

I cannot tell you what a welcome sight Ildi was after I had been pacing around the living room for almost an hour, laboring alone. She suggested I do three pelvic tilts and belly lifts to improve the baby’s position. Then she massaged my back through a couple of contractions.

And then - whoops! - I was pushing. Ummm...this would be the time I “knew” to call the midwife.

Long story short: Ildi was actually the person to catch the baby. Thank goodness she had been paying attention at all those births she assisted! She knew to rotate the baby after it crowned and to check the baby’s vitals signs for the Apgar score. She even noted the time of birth. She was so thoroughly calm and professional, that it was a long time before it occurred to me how nerve-wracking the experience must have been for her. After all, baby-catching is NOT a doula’s job, and it was the first time Ildi had needed to fill a midwife’s shoes.

People have asked me if my labor was traumatic and scary. It wasn’t at all -- because Ildi made me feel safe for every bit of it. I cannot recommend her highly enough.

I also want to say that Mariah attended our baby’s naming ceremony, which was definitely above and beyond. I know that I would have been just as supported had she attended my birth. I recommend them both with love and gratitude!

Posted 2/22/2017

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Deborah Hathaway

I am very thankful to have been able to work with Mariah and Ildi. Leading up to the birth of my daughter, I felt that I was in very good hands and when I encountered new challenges, particularly at the end of my pregnancy, they were both extremely responsive to my questions and concerns. I ended up needing a c-section unexpectably and Mariah was at the hospital before my husband and I had even arrived! I know most people would wonder why you would still be thankful for a doula when you don't have to go through the laboring process, but I can't say how thankful I was for Mariah's support before, during, and after surgery. She calmed me down on the phone when I received the news, she was able to quiet my anxiety effortlessly at the hospital, and after our daughter was born, she was still my biggest cheerleader. She advocated for me and made me feel calm and confident in my decision-making as a new mom.

There was a moment that sticks out to me that shows how Mariah cares for her families. While we were waiting to go into the O.R. we found out that the musician Leonard Cohen had died. Mariah found some videos of the song "Halleluyah" to play for me to calm my nerves and brighten my spirit. It was exactly what I needed in that moment and I was so grateful to have her next to me during the surgery. She helped me and my husband immensely! We would highly recommend working with her and Ildi!

Posted 2/22/2017

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Elizabeth Hunter

My husband and I had a wonderful experience with Mariah and Ildi as our doulas for the birth of our first daughter, Cora. We interviewed two other doulas before we met with Mariah and Ildi. We were confident about Birth Matters NW's certifications, expertise and professional standing, and they made us feel happy and safe.

We valued the two pre-birth sessions to discuss what to expect and how to allieviate both late-pregnancy discomfort and labor discomfort. We never felt rushed or embarrassed to ask questions. I try to tell all my pregnant girlfriends about the rebozo sifting and sidelying release that Mariah and Ildi taught me!

My daughter came two weeks early and fast. We texted Ildi the minute we realized I was in labor and she was in touch with us throughout the experience, met us at the hospital, and stayed for hours after Cora was born. Because my labor progressed so quickly, my pain relief options were limited. We tried for an epidural but by the time it was all set up and ready to go I was minutes away from delivering the baby. Ildi was a calm, organizing force in the room. She stayed and worked with me to help baby to latch and breastfeed, despite initial difficulty. Ildi also came over in the first week and helped us settle in, fed us, and recommended a lactation consultant (who was amazing herself). 

 

I love these kind and brilliant ladies. A memorable and wonderful experieince. 

Posted 2/21/2017

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Rachel Lipsky

I worked with Ildi and Mariah for the birth of my second child. They were on the list from my doctor of recommended doulas who have experience with VBACs. I had a doula-in-training with my first baby, and was honestly on the fence about hiring one for #2. I didn't feel like I got the full advocacy and support I needed from the trainee. But, all the research points to better likelihood of VBAC success with an experienced doula, and Ildi and Mariah were very affordable. I'm so glad I invested in them! I enjoyed the pregnancy support and birth preparation, and all the experience and research they bring. I loved their personalities, too - just enjoyable women to be around, and very calming and supportive in the challenging times. Ildi was the one on call when I went into labor. 12 hours later I had my healthy, happy  VBAC baby in my arms! Ildi helped me get the best room in the hospital, labor without medication for several hours beyond what I thought I was capable of, negotiate with the anaesthetist when he tried to give me fentanyl without warning, labor with a peanut ball to continue progress after an epidural, and finally figure out how to push, and work through pros/cons of vacuum assistance. She was a joy throughout, and took a few pictures and wrote up some sweet notes. The postpartum visit was a blur, but a pleasant one ; ) I strongly recommend working with this experienced, professional, evidence-based, and personable team. We're glad we did.

Posted 2/18/2017

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James Seidman

(Written by my wife)

Our experience with Ildi and Mariah was outstanding.

Due to complications, I had to be induced on my due date and Ildi and Mariah spent time before helping me try to convince our daughter to start labor before that date. They made sure to check in on us in the week leading up to the induction, which helped me feel prepared for the induction.

Ildi was at the birth, and made the experience so much better than it might have been. We took a number of birth classes, so we felt like we had learned many strategies to cope with labor pain. But labor itself was an overwhelming experience, so having someone there to tell me when to change positions, to set up new positions, and to support me or help my family support me in the positions helped me cope with the pain and relax between contractions. She also took care of the other people in the room, like making sure my husband took time to ice his back (he has a slipped disk, one of the reasons we decided to hire a doula) and could therefore be present throughout labor. She suggested my mom and sister hold my legs as I pushed, which was special for all of us. She supported my decision to get an epidural and moved me around after that to help labor proceed and not slow down. She took pictures of the birth which have helped us remember special moments of that night.

We cannot overstate how glad we were to have Ildi with us during our daughter's birth and would recommend Birth Matters NW to anyone. We look forward to working with them again if we have another child.

Posted 11/10/2016

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Heather Grdinic

Mariah and Ildi are fantastic doulas. Their focus is about helping to empower you to get the experience you want from birth. While they both have a huge wealth of knowledge and experience to share, they led with getting to know me and digging into my wishes and fears around birth. Then they brought out the tools that would help me and my partner navigate through this very intense period of our lives.

Our service with them included two in-home pre-birth sessions (one with each), the birth, and two in-home postpartum check-ins. During the pre-birth sessions, they learned more about us and tought us different laboring techniques, pain coping mechanisms, and prenatal exercises to help with baby positioning and prep for labor. Each of them had their topics to cover, and we got something from each. The sessions gave me the confidence I needed going into labor.

When my labor started, they were there on call, coaching me through over the phone until it was time to do it in person. I started laboring two days before my water broke and they were texting me tips and affirming messages that kept me calm, relaxed, and made me feel supported. Mariah was my doula when active labor really kicked in. She was there with us through the end helping us with laboring positions, reminding us both to rest and drink water, coaching me through pushing & breastfeeding, and helping us get more help when we needed it. I am not sure I would have delivered naturally without having had her support.

Now, that I'm 6 weeks postpartum, the thing I treasure the most is when Mariah captured the first moments of meeting our baby on my husband's phone. As you might imagine, we were too preoccupied at the time to even think about doing that and my memory of the experience is fuzzy at best. It's so wonderful to have those moments captured.

Posted 11/9/2016

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Laura Lemire

When we met Mariah and Ildi, I knew they were a good match. Both struck me as super strong, competent women. Both were self-possessed in a way that gave me great confidence in their abilities and made me feel reassured about their presence at our daugher's birth. I appreciated Ildi and Mariah's different brands of warmth. I was impressed by their commitment to continuous education about childbirth.

I had great pre-birth meetings with Mariah and Ildi. As an older, plus-sized mom, my confidence needed work! THey both helped me build confidence and trust in my body. Both gave me exercises to do with my husband to increase my comfort. They also checked in with me emotionally to determine the type of support I needed. Both were helpful in recommending books, other professionals (e.g., accupunturist) and activities I could do while in the last weeks.

My pregnancy went well past the 40 week mark. Mariah and Ildi gave me tips to induce labor and helped me stay centered as I waiting for signs of labor. Both were available via text messge and were very responsive. When I went into active labor, Mariah gave my husband tips to increase my comfort over the phone, and she came to our home very quickly. I was so relieved when she showed up!

Mariah remained with us for 30+ hours! I had complications and eventually a surgical birth. Mariah took great care of me and my husband. She worked tirelessly to make sure I was as comfortable and sane as possible. Mariah helped us work through difficult decisions and explained things when my nurse/doctor failed. In the weeks after my birth, Mariah helped me emotionally process aspects of my birth, which helped me get over some hard feelings I had about how everything went. And, Ildi gave me some good advice regarding breastfeeding. I'm so grateful for Mariah and Ildi! I recommend Birth Matters NW to any expecting families.

 

Posted 11/6/2016

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Karen Caplan

So glad we found Mariah and Ildi for our doulas! Their experience and advice was key to our positive birth experience and the advice and support they provided afterward has been essential in helping us transition into parenthood.

Mariah was the doula with me during my c-section procedure, she talked to me through the whole surgery helping me stay calm and distracted from what was going on. I don't think my experience would have been nearly as positive or successful without her. After my baby was born she was able to assist with skin to skin and advise on initiating breastfeeding. Without her help I don't know that either of these would have been as successful as they were, both of which I'm sure contributed to the overall health of my new baby. Having someone to stay by you that's been through a large number of different kind of births and can keep you informed on what to expect was incredibly helpful in preparing for birth as well as during the process.

Posted 10/22/2016

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Damon

We are so thankful that doulas Mariah and Ildi were part of our birth experience. Both provided excellent coaching and support leading up to and after the birth of our daughter. On our big day, Mariah helped keep mom focused, positive and comfortable- all that helped us avoid medications. Mariah was very responsive and available throughout the entire process. We would highly recommend her as a doula.

Posted 7/24/2016

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Evgenya Veretennikova

My husband and I are forever grateful for having Mariah and Ildi as our doulas. We are especially thankful to Mariah for being with us during labor at the hospital. Her calm and positive coaching approach made us feel like she was part of our family during this experience.
Their pre-labor coaching sessions are very informative, well organized, and helpful. We will definitely recommend both of them and again feel very fortunate to have picked them to share the birth of our baby girl.

Posted 5/3/2016

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Meagan Niebler

The first time we met Mariah and Ildi, we immediately knew that they were the doulas for us! They were respectful, compassionate, made us laugh, and were just fun and great people to be around. The prenatal visits with both of them were exceptionally helpful. They both brought different strengths and expertise, so it felt like we learned so much from both of them during the last few weeks of pregnancy. When we went into labor and arrived at the birth center, stepping out of the car and seeing Mariah there made me feel immediately at ease. Mariah's help during my quick labor was amazing and she seemed to understand immediately what I needed. After my baby was born, Mariah made sure we were fed and hydrated, and followed us home when we left the birth center three hours after my daughter's birth. Once we were home, she tucked us all into bed, got us a plate of food and snacks, took care of my dog, and made sure we were all settled in and comfortable before leaving. However, the most valuable thing that Mariah provided for me was the postpartum visits. My milk came in really fast and I had no idea how to manage breastfeeding and engorgement. Mariah's support, guidance, tips and tricks, and information helped us feel confident with breastfeeding and manage the engorgement. The two postpartum visits really helped us feel empowered to take care of our little one, and were an amazing opportunity to share joy, happiness, and laughter. Having her come to our house during the first few days and weeks was the most amazing gift to help us transition into parenthood. I would strongly recommend working with Mariah and Ildi if you are looking for an amazing team who will support your values and decisions, coach you during difficult moments, provide information, resources, tips and tricks during the prenatal and postnatal period, laugh with you, and be as excited as you are to welcome your little one into the world!

Posted 4/13/2016

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Karen Burner

We are so grateful we found Mariah! We immediately connected with her calm, genuine, and down to earth personality. She was extremely non-judgmental and we knew that she would support our choices and goals for our child’s birth, no matter what those were. Mariah was available to meet with us and answer any questions prior to the birth of our son. I don't know what we would have done without her during my labor! Mariah really empowered me by helping me to realize my inner strength and not to fear childbirth. Specifically, she offered strategies for positioning and words of encouragement during labor. She helped translate what the medical providers were telling me and when the doctor said I needed to "kick it up a notch", Mariah helped define and guide me through what that meant by counting down through my contractions. I had a non-medicated birth and really believe that it was Mariah’s guidance and support that allowed to do so. Her genuine care for me made me feel that I had a friend or family member supporting me. In fact, Mariah stayed with me after the birth when I unexpectedly had to go into surgery and my husband stayed with our baby in the NICU. It was so comforting to know that I would have a familiar face when I came out of surgery. And after his birth she continued to check in on us and helped connect us to other resources (e.g. a lactation specialist). I cannot emphasize enough what a huge support she was to us and highly recommend Mariah as a doula.

Posted 3/25/2016

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Heather Bardsley

After going over numerous doula reviews and profiles, then cross matched with a list of preferred doulas from the midwife group at NW Hospital, I found Mariah and Ildi of Birth Matters NW. After doing multiple interviews with other doulas, my husband and I decided to go with these amazing ladies for a few reasons: They are both knowledgeable in all things birth and baby, personable and overall just friggin’ great. When we first met them, we clicked with both of them and immediately felt at ease. We also took comfort in knowing that they work as a team and if one was with another birth (or unavailable for whatever reason), we'd get the other one!During our birth, my husband and I were fortunate enough to have Mariah with us for almost a solid 24 hours. In that time, Mariah was a constant positive force for us both. When she saw that I was tiring of one position, she prompted me into another, reminded me to take care of myself, snack and drink, all while exhibiting strength and calm. She was a great help to my husband, ensuring that he was caring for himself through it all as well.My goals for the birth of our son were for the experience to be a loving, relaxed and natural one. Though we didn't get the all natural birth we had practiced and planned for (because of circumstances beyond our control), with Mariah's help, we were still able to achieve that. In the end, we had our healthy son, we were sleep deprived, but intact, and the room was filled with love. At the risk of sounding redundant, what I found most valuable was just knowing that she was there. A constant and a support. And I couldn't imagine our birth going any other way.

Posted 3/25/2016

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Rose McMahill

Mariah has been great to work with.  We didn't get to have our second prenatal visit because my son arrived early, but she gave us so much information in our first meeting that my husband and I felt well-prepared for what to expect and how to manage the birthing process to match our desires as much as possible.  Of course, it ended up being completely different than what we'd anticipated so all bets were off, but Mariah did a fantastic job of anticipating our needs in a quickly changing environment and ensuring we were comfortable with the process.  She has a calming presence and a great knowledge of both general hospital birthing procedures and Swedish Issaquah specifically; having someone there who'd been through it before, knew what we should expect, and could help explain everything as we went along was so reassuring!  We very much appreciated her end-to-end support, and felt very cared for in her efforts to follow up with us to ensure our transition back home went smoothly.  Despite circumstances preventing us from carrying out our original birth plan, I still feel like I had a great birthing experience, and a lot of that was thanks to Mariah helping out both emotionally and logistically.  She was a great asset to us and I'd highly recommend her!

Posted 3/17/2016

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Gwenn Hennon

My husband and I are both scientists and had read that having a doula significantly reduces the chances of complications and cesarean section, so we knew we wanted a doula for the birth of our first child. We found Mariah and her partner Ildi online and on our first meeting with them we felt immediately at ease and knew they would be wonderful to work with.

Mariah and Ildi visited with us (one time each) before the birth to help me mentally and physically prepare for labor and delivery. Mariah in particular helped me to change my perspective about pain as progress in labor that I found extremely helpful through out the process. I had several false alarms near the end of my pregnancy where both my husband and I were convinced I was in active labor. We called up Mariah each time, once at 2 am, to ask her about the contractions and she was always very helpful and reassuring. When my water finally broke a week later at 2am, we called Mariah up again and she excitedly agreed to meet us at the hospital.

Through out the labor Mariah was a calming influence, helping me remember to try different positions and keep my positive outlook on my progress. My husband also said that Mariah was helpful to him, by making sure he was eating enough and keeping both our spirits up. Also, by watching Mariah early in my labor he was able to learn and was really effective at being my "rock" later on when I really needed him for emotional support. I was hoping to achieve an unmedicated birth, but I got stuck in transition at about 9.5cm dialated. After about 2hrs of being stuck in this exhausting state and fighting the urge to push, I decided to get an epidural. Mariah was totally supportive of all of my decisions, and although it wasn't what I had planned I have no regrets about the way it went. I would happily reccomend Mariah to any expectant parents. She was immensely helpful and professional, while still managing to be warm and cheerful.

Posted 2/14/2016

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Katie Hable

I chose the doula team, Mariah and Iidi because I liked the way that they complemented each other and liked the breadth of knowledge they supplied in all aspects of birth

During the time of my birth, Mariah was on-call and arrived at the hospital

What I really liked about Mariah
-She was helpful in suggesting positions for me to try at home (and later at the hospital too) since my water broke and contractions hadn't started and also talked to me about what the midwives may want me to do so I could anticipate my answers ahead of time.
-She is innately maternal and has a very calming presence - I distinctly remember during the most painful part of my labor when I was in a tub she was pouring water over and it was so soothing

-She read the non-verbal loud and clear. During the most painful parts of my contractions, she could tell if I needed my space, if I needed to sit on the birth ball, if I just needed to breathe

-She was proactive in making sure I was drinking, eating and trying to get the rest I needed; and also making sure my husband got to rest a bit. Mariah was an advocate for me when everyone else in the room (myself included) was focused on the baby arriving.

Mariah was also awesome during the 2 postnatal appointments at home since I was still recovering, in a daze and was trying to understand what happened. It was good to have someone come over, hug you and say "all of this is very normal, you are doing great"; sometimes that's all you need to hear!

Posted 11/11/2015

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Jessica Smith

Mariah was very knowledgeable and understanding-- we connected right away in our first meeting, so it as easy to for me to trust her.  During my birth, she swapped out with Ildi right after I had chosen to get an epidural, so most of the support I received from her was emotional, and also reassurance that I was doing what was right for me body.  When we ultimately decided that I needed to have a C section, she was very caring, gentle, and completely non-judgemental, as she knew that was a hard choice for us to make.

Posted 11/10/2015

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Sally Aristizabal

Mariah was always available to us pre- and post-partum with advice and encouragement. When birth time came, Mariah was there for us as soon as we checked in to the hospital. In our case, I had to be induced, and was placed on a drip for 36 hours before my labor began. Labor itself then lasted another 13 hours, and Mariah was there by my side, supporting me and my husband the whole time! It was so lovely and comforting to have her with us during the induction, and during labor, she was indispensable. Although my husband and my best friend were 100% present, I knew that we had a teammate in Mariah who we could all count on, who was experienced, knowledgeable, and caring. While I labored, Mariah was always close, watching my every move, anticipating every need, and encouraging me and supporting me through every contraction.

I highly recommend Mariah. She is a loving, dependable teammate. 

Posted 6/22/2015

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junita sutanto

My experience with Doula Mariah and Ildi was great. They are good combination. They were always on time whenever we had appointment. All I can say is they are knowledgeable and caring. My husband and I are glad that we chose them!

Posted 6/8/2015

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Devin Monas

Mariah is amazing. This was our first child and both my wife and I were feeling a little overwhelmed even after taking classes and reading all the books. Mariah was absolutely fantastic. She was there for us before labor when we had questions and helped us every step of the way. She was available and completely dedicated to us regardless of the time or her personal commitments. When labor started, Mariah was right there and I do not know what we would have done without her. She was right at our side for more than 10 hours and spent the whole time helping us in every way she could. I would recommend Mariah to everyone I know without hesitation. Even after our son was born, Mariah has been there to support and help answer even of most silly questions. Thank you so much.

Posted 5/13/2015

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Krystal Winter Manchester

We met with Mariah to interview and see if she was the right doula for us. I knew right away that she was. Throughout my pregnancy she was there to answer any questions and reassured me on my concerns.

We went in for our regular doctors appointment at 37 weeks. After doing tests we found that my little girls cord fluid was low and my body had no room to accommodate her growth. So, that same evening I was admitted to naturally induce. Mariah was just a phone call away. She came to the hospital quickly and talked me through everything. My husband was nervous. Her support of kind words and reassurance were enough to make him feel at ease. After 7 hours of very intense back labor and 48 hours of no sleep, I was feeling tired and doubtful as to wether I could do it. I felt like I had nothing left in me. Mariah reminded me that my body was made for this. My baby was ready. I jut had to release and let go. Let it happen. Her hands gentle but firm on my body where it ached. Her words soothing. Mariah has a comforting quality to her style. She understood what I was feeling and already knew what I needed before, I had to ask. If I didn't understand something she helped me to feel comfortable in asking questions until I did. She helped me feel stronger when I didn't think I could do it, and she focused my attention toward letting my baby be born rather than me tensing up and holding her back. Her skill in helping others in the room to feel engaged and part of things is just short of phenomenal. If I were to have another child Mariah would be the first person I call. She has become more to us than just our doula. She is a great friend that has shown us so much love and support.

Posted 10/29/2014

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Karen Neiman

We loved Mariah and her gentle, knowledgable support. Mariah was my doula for the birth of my second child, which I desperately wanted to be a drug free VBAC. The support and knowledge she provided leading up to the birth helped me feel so much more confident and ready to try for a VBAC. My labor progressed very quickly to 9cm and then stalled for hours. Mariah was wonderful getting me through contractions and helping with various laboring positions to get baby into optimal position. I also felt very supported in my decision to finally go for drugs. I felt her calm encouragment flowing into me and it gave the strength I needed to get my body dilated that last centimeter and then have a successful VBAC. I can't imagine having done it without her and will be forever grateful for the awesome support she provided.

Posted 10/2/2014

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Tricia Lee


Mariah was our doula for our second baby. She has a wonderful calming energy which not only helped me release my apprehensions around my decision for a natural birth, but also helped calm my husband. During my pregnancy she was available to us and was able to answer our questions. Her faith in me was constant. I felt she supported my decisions without judgment. She helped me with affirmations that I could and would own my birth and its outcome, and her confidence that I could achieve it were not only a source of strength to me, but helped me trust myself and my body. During our daughter's birth, she was with us; offering encouragement, strength, and sustained us through the arrival of our beautiful daughter. She stayed with us for a few hours after Kylie’s arrival, taking some first moment pictures that allowed us to be completely present with Kylie. I would definitely recommend Mariah. Her love, care and confidence contributed to what made our experience amazing. Tricia Lee

Posted 6/8/2014

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Katherine Maxwell

Mariah was very professional, knowledgeable and enthusiastic throughout the pregnancy, labor, and post-partum time. She was available to me through phone, email, or text anytime I needed to reach out to her, and always got right back with the information, reassurance, or encouragement I was looking for. She is a great source of information regarding things I felt impacted my pregnancy and labor choices, providing me with a variety of information that allowed me to make the most relevant choices on my own (Use your BRAIN!). Mariah was confidant, warm and down to earth. She made it easy for my husband and I to voice concerns and ask specific questions. When I went into labor and called her (at 3am!), Mariah showed up without delay and stayed with us for the 14 hour labor, helping both of us as needed. She gave helpful techniques and support to help with progression and discomfort. The atmosphere she helped maintain was peaceful and supportive, communicating with the midwife and we really felt everything was in full support of our home birth experience. Our labor was a positive, peaceful experience with Mariah’s presence. She visited a couple weeks after the birth to check in and offer more support and feedback. We both agree that not only will we have a doula for our next birth experience, but Mariah is our only choice. Katy M.

Posted 6/3/2014

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Frank P

My son’s birth two months ago was amazing and beautiful. My wife and I feel Mariah’s support was instrumental. She was everything Sara and I wanted and needed; providing gentle guidance, information and support through her natural labor and delivery. Sara’s water broke really early, something we were not planning on. Mariah came right to the house and just her being there helped both of us relax. Mariah helped her move around, try different positions, massaged her back (showed me how to help) and supported us in ways that we are forever grateful for. When it was time to go the hospital, she was right there with us. She helped us remember questions we wanted to ask of the hospital staff, and encouraged us to stay focused, to rest, and helped reduce Sara’s anxiety. For me, a large relief was in knowing that Mariah was there for Sara, 100% of the time. Sara and I believe that choosing Mariah as our doula was the best decision we made during our pregnancy and we would both highly recommend her to anyone seeking a doula.

Frank P.

Posted 6/3/2014

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