Rachel  Hess Photo

Rachel Hess

Website: http://www.rachelhessdoula.com

Postpartum Rate: $40 to $45

Postpartum Doula Experience: 7 years and 80 families served

Doula Training

  • Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), January 2012
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 2 to 4

College Education

  • BA/BS
  • MA/MS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • Home Birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Previous birth trauma and/or birth injury
  • Single parents
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Twins
  • VBAC

Special Services Offered

  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Parenting consulting
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)

Languages spoken: English

Client Testimonials for Rachel Hess

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S and E

There are so many things I didn't know as a new parent - things that I didn't even know that I didn't know! I was so very grateful to have Rachel there those first few weeks to help. She has a relaxed but highly informed and nonjudgmental approach. She helped us wth so many things, from counseling us on my husband's (too soon!) return to work after the baby, to providing me with a host of local resources for new parents that I never knew would have existed. I'm so, so glad we worked with her. 

Posted 11/19/2019

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Sal and Megan

We hired Rachel has our doula for our baby daughter born in June 2019. In the time we worked with Rachel, we found her to be extremely helpful and responsive. Rachel arranged it so that she visited us the same day we returned home from the hospital. She helped put our minds at ease about the chaos involved with our new addition to the household. She answered our many, many, many questions, and she pointed out things we hasn't even thought of. During that first visit, when we were so focused on our baby, Rachel reminded us we had to take care of ourselves as well. She even made us dinner!

Over the weeks we worked with Rachel, she was consistently available by text and by phone whenever we had questions, and she often texted us, unprompted, asking us for updates on our baby. Rachel was very well organized, patient, and kind.

We are very happy we decided to use Rachel as our doula. We feel very confident about ourselves as parents, and we feel ready to tackle whatever the next challenge might be, in large part because Rachel helped lay that foundation for us during a time when we weren't so sure about ourselves.

I can't say enough about how great it was to work with Rachel, and I'd recommend her to any new parents! 

Posted 9/27/2019

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Jeff & Karina

Working with Rachel was one of the best decisions we made as we transitioned from a family of two to three. We figured she would help us navigate the logistics and how-tos of bringing a new person into the world, and she more than met our expectations, with deep knowledge, very helpful suggestions, and a strong network of additional resources when needed. But what we underestimated was just how much emotional support she provided. We really struggled in the first weeks of our baby's life, and she was both helpful tactically (figuring out how to do things), as well as emotionally. Most importantly, she helped to assure us and help us make good decisions when we needed to change how we were doing things, in ways we didn't expect. She did this with the utmost support, while still being entirely honest and informative. When we realized breast feeding simply was not working (after many efforts, lactation consultants, a chiropractor, and countless painful and disheartening feedings), she not only supported our decision to change course, but helped us feel good about that decision. At a time when every moment and decision feels incredibly consequential, Rachel helped us to see the bigger picture and make decisions that led to a more positive, healthy experience for our baby and for us. She really helped keep us sane, and supported us throughout, making us feel comfortable and increasingly competent as we figured out how to be new parents. I cannot recommend Rachel highly enough. 

Posted 6/20/2019

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Lisa Burzdak

We had our first child in March and had Rachel as our Doula. Having a postpartum doula was the best decision we made and I cannot imagine going through the last ten weeks without Rachel. Rachel was so great to work with, always on time, a great listener and easy to talk to. She had great tips and advise and never judged! I highly recommend Rachel to anyone considering using a postpartum doula.

Posted 5/28/2019

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Rachel has been a great help and we really appreciate her advice, wisdom, and service. She helped us get through early birth milestones and connected us to great resources about child care. Rachel would come with ideas to talk about and things to do but also was willing to discuss things on our minds as needed. We personally appreciated that Rachel supported both partners in learning about taking care of our baby and bonding with her. We are recommending a postpartum doula to all our friends as a result of the experience and especially Rachel if she is available.

Posted 5/27/2019

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Nathalie Paquette

Rachel was recommended to me by a colleague who is also a postpartum doula and enthusiastically endorsed her work, and we are so happy that we reached out and were able to connect with her to work together after we had our baby. Rachel was a calming and reassuring presence in our home as we learned to parent postpartum. She is kind, knowledgeable, and completely non-judgemental which was so helpful during a time when, as new parents, we had lots of worries and self-doubt. She helped us grown our confidence as parents and trust our instincts, while gently offering help and guidance. Always very accessible even outside of our meetings, and flexible around meeting times and what was most helpful for us. Thank you Rachel for being an invaluable support and source of such education! We highly recommend her to anyone in search of a postpartum doula. 

Posted 1/31/2019

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Brendan Jarboe

My spouse and I enjoyed the benefit of working with Rachel Hess for approximately six-weeks following the birth of our daughter in the winter of 2018/2019. Rachel was supportive, knowledgeable, kind, instructive, helpful and reassuring. We recommend her enthusiastically and without reservation.

Particularly early-on, having Rachel's expertise gave us such peace of mind, since it felt like there was so much to learn and no shortage of people eager to give conflicting advice. Rachel knows her stuff and her subject matter expertise was always paired with the practical and candid perspective of someone who has been there herself and seen it all. She was a great curator of options and resources and we came to rely on her counsel. She was terrific with our daughter.

Rachel combines a no-nonsense approach with patience and a generous heart that she wears on her sleeve. She's a true professional who is readily available by text or email, and is punctual and focused. But in short order having Rachel in your home comes to feel like having a wise and loving friend drop by.

We loved working with Rachel and would recommend her enthusiastically to anyone considering a postpartum doula. Honestly, if you (or your partner) are at all on the fence about hiring a postpartum doula, my advice would be to hire Rachel and don't give it a second thought - particularly if you are a first-time parent.

Posted 1/29/2019

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Shubha Sunder

We found Rachel's help invaluable as we made the transition to parenthood. Particularly in the first two weeks, when we were exhausted and overwhelmed, Rachel's calm, supportive presence was a godsend. She helped us learn how to care for a newborn--breastfeeding positions, diapering tricks, different ways of carrying, soothing, and bathing. She also helped us re-organize our apartment and stay on top of the dishes and laundry. She was always available via email and text to answer our questions and send us links to articles and local resources. Rachel's vast knowledge and experience, combined with her nonjudgemental, kind demeanor make her a wonderful resource for new familes. We are grateful for everything she did for us and cannot recommend her highly enough.

Posted 10/18/2018

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Matthew Hutchings

A dad's perspective.

Rachel worked with us as a postpartum doula following the birth of our second daughter. We all looked forward to her visits, and she was a great help in allaying our concerns and fears, and helping us to think things through. As we prepared for my return to work, it was great to have Rachel's knowledge and experience available, as well as practical help to get ready. And then once I was back at work, I know Rachel's visits were a great support to my wife.

I would definitely recommend Rachel very highly.

Posted 10/8/2018

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Courtney Swartz

1.  I could not believe how quickly you were able to contact lactation consultants and get Christine over to our house. I am so thankful that you were able to connect us to her, I am not sure how breastfeeding would have continued without it, especially given the fact that we didn't even know that these resources existed.
2.  I appreciated the support with the first time that we did many things with Avery - her first bath, my first trip "solo", preparing for our first set of flights, our first walk. You basically gave us the support along with a kick-in-the-butt in order for us to do many "normal" things that we had no idea how to do with a newborn.
3.  You helped me repeatedly structure and restructure my days and weeks so that I got out of the house, spent time with other new moms and other babies, and felt like I was giving Avery the stimulation that she needed.
4.  You helped to facilitate a conversation between Katherine and I about what our needs and expectations were for our families visiting and how to best communicate those needs to everyone. I am not sure we would have sat down and talked about it all in such detail without that.
5.  You always remembered her doctors appointments, the activities we were going to each day, any struggles we were having, and always texted to see how we were doing. 
6.  You gave me the peace of mind that I needed even before Avery arrived, as well as before I went back to work.  You made sure that we had everything that we needed in order to be as prepared as we could have been. That support made the anxiety of those transitions so much easier.

Being a new mom can be extremely isolating, and I have so much gratitude for all of the support and connections that you made for us so that we were that much less alone. 

Posted 2/9/2018

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Meredith Sandiford

We first used Rachel in 2014 for our first kid. At that time she basically taught us how to keep a newborn alive and kept us sane. The list of things that we didn't know before comng home from the hospital that first time was long and Rachel was the key to us figuring it out. She also encouraged me to actually leave the house and not be overwhelmed at the prospect - for example, she went with me on my first grocery run and walked through the whole "how do you use a cart and have a baby"

When I got pregnant again I knew we would need her back. The second time around she provided a completely different type of support - this time it was much more about helping us stay above water with chores (so much laundry) as well as listening and being supportive (and having some good suggestions) as we worked through the challenges of a toddler and a baby and other major life changes that came along with kid #2.

Rachel was a huge part of our having a succesful start in life for both of our children, I honestly am not sure where we would be without her support, knowledge, and general good nature. 

Posted 12/28/2017

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ashley dunn

After taking a class with Rachel about newborn care, we decided to use her as our postpartum doula for our first child and had a wonderful experience.

My partner was worried about his lack of experience with babies, and with no family close by, we were concerned about getting the right advice and just having a consistent resource to check on us and help us talk through any issues.

As a first time parent, I went through all the illogical guilt and anxiety that can come with hormones and sleepless newborn nights. Rachel was always available to give advice, help us work through a sleep or feeding issue, or just act as another set of eyes and ears to make sure things were going well.

Rachel helped us with practical things like learning to use the baby carrier, bathing, and even what clothes to wear for what weather.

Her help with breastfeeding and pumping was also invaluable, since we had never been through it before, she really helped us get off on the right foot.

Most importantly, she showed genuine care for us and our family, texting after our doctor appointments to check in, commiserating with tough nights and celebrating our daughter's milestones.

She made sure that we were taking care of both our new baby and ourselves, I cannot recommend her enough!

Posted 11/1/2017

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Kat G

Hiring Rachel as my postpartum doula was one of the best things I've ever done for myself and my family. The experience of having my first child would have been drastically more stressful without her. Rachel provided an education that empowered me to confidently take care of my baby. Over the eight weeks we worked with Rachel we covered a wide range of subjects: from postpartum depression to how to use a pump to baby-wearing to how to go back to work to how to deal with parents to how to organize the nursery. Her extensive knowledge was invaluable. 

The most impressive part of Rachel's practice is her ability to listen and her caring nature. Each visit, she checked in to see how I was doing emotionally. She also made sure to check in with my partner and his emotional well-being. She was great at anticipating my needs (knowing when I needed to talk, needed to nap, needed to eat, needed to not hold the baby). In addition to her support during visits, she often checked in via text between visits when we were going through fussy stages or encountering a challenge or had a doctor's appointment. I needed to know that there was someone supporting me during those early days. I also loved how we could ask Rachel any question (day or night). I found that I didn't have to read scary message boards on the internet. Instead, I could ask Rachel and she would promptly answer my questions and/or point me to a credible resource. Her willingness to take texts and calls 24/7 is selfless and extremely helpful, particularly during the first two weeks. 

Rachel was a caring, insightful, and knowledgeable doula. I felt incredibly comfortable with her. I will be recommending her services to friends in the future.

In short, I give Rachel Hess my highest recommendation as a postpartum doula. 

Posted 8/22/2017

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Kathleen Milnamow Stern

Rachel was definitely a lifeline in the first few days and weeks after the birth of my second baby girl. Before the baby was born, I had concerns about breastfeeding, as it was a struggle with my first child. My first child was also colicky and I wanted to build in supports before I was too deep in the trenches. Rachel came over a few days after her birth and immediately helped by showing me some more comfortable breastfeeding positions. I have stuck with one nursing position as my “go to.” It is going much better this time. She also always made sure that my basic needs were met—have you eaten? Do you want some more water? Why don’t you take a nap? Once my basic needs were met, she'd answer my questions or we'd just chat, which was essential in those isolating home-bound days early on. She’s not trying to push an agenda or certain approach to parenting or breastfeeding. She is a fountain of knowledge, sharing the research she’s read and the experiences she’s had. She is a great listener, hearing my concerns and questions (sometimes even unspoken) and responding with clarity and sensitivity.

She is also a baby whisperer. On my baby’s fussiest days (when a milk protein sensitivity emerged), she’d take her and rock her to sleep while I rested. Rachel is calm and composed around babies and they can sense it. I truly was able to let myself nap when she took the baby during a portion of her visits.

Lastly, she helped me with my 3-year-old daughter who was having trouble transitioning to the arrival of the new baby. Rachel was able to share her own experiences when she had a newborn and 3-year-old. She offered concrete advice about ways to help the toddler cope and help me and my daughter maintain and strengthen our bond.

Rachel is kind, caring, knowledgeable, practical and funny!

Posted 7/6/2017

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Alexandra Rogers

Rachel was an incredible resource for my newborn daughter, my partner and me. I lost my mother several years ago and knew that I would miss having her around upon the birth of my first child. I knew I would need some extra support once my husband returned to work but was unsure about what kind. I interviewed several post-partum doulas over the phone and in person. From the moment my husband and I met Rachel we knew she would be a good match! She is smart, kind and funny! She clearly adores babies and is a true professional. I immediately felt comfortable welcoming Rachel into our home and family. She is easy to talk to and gracefully managed both the anxiety and the many, many questions that my husband and I had as new parents. Rachel has a relaxed and easygoing manner but she knows her stuff! She is passionate and knowledgeable about infants and supplied us with many, many resources. We had countless truly thought provoking conversations about sleep routines, feeding schedules and some minor challenges I encountered with breast pumping. Rachel saw me through it all! Rachel helped me with everything from bathing my daughter, to learning how to use carriers and prepping meals. I eagerly awaited her arrival each week! Of course no one could take the place of my mother in "learning the ropes" of being a parent and having someone to confide in through one of life’s biggest transitions but Rachel did an incredible job. When I look back at this sacred time in my life I will always think of her and the compassion, patience and kindness she showed to my family and me. I am certain that I am a better parent and a far more confident Mama because of her!

Posted 5/24/2017

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Veronica Salsberg

My husband and I absolutely love Rachel and she was such a lifesaver during those early weeks of our newborn daughter's life. I didn't even know post-partum doulas existed until late into my pregnancy and now I don't know how I ever would have managed without Rachel! I highly recommend a post-partum doula for any expecting family and I whole-heartedly recommend Rachel. As new parents, we had a lot of questions and concerns and Rachel was full of helpful knowledge, practical tips, and relatable stories from her experiences working with other families as well as her own children. She came to see us the day after we got home from the hospital. I was recovering from a c-section and was physically limited in what I could do and I know my husband really appreciated having someone else help with the basics of laundry, dishes, and food preparation. She was also so incredibly helpful with support for breastfeeding and pumping, learning the basics of babywearing, strategizing for how to handle nighttime feedings and sleep, and helped me plan that first "outing" on my own with the baby once I was physically ready to do so, and made the transition of my husband going back to work and me alone with the baby less scary and manageable. In addition to all this, Rachel's emotional support for me was invaluable! It was such a comfort to have her to talk to - she is such a great listener and was always reassuring me and making things feel "normal." I credit a lot of my confidence in being a new mom to Rachel's fantastic help and support! Rachel was a comforting presence and we all looked forward to her visits with us. We would work with Rachel again in a heartbeat! 

Posted 9/8/2016

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Terri Lee

Rachel was our life saver. Not knowing what to expect or what we might need... we held off scheduling a doula right away. Yet when we realized we desperately needed someone Rachel made time for a few visits before we could get onto her full schedule. In addition, she made herself available to us via text and phone and gave us the peace of mind that she would be there for us. We connected with her and appreciated her honest advice and feedback when we first took an infant care class with her months before we were due and we were thrilled to have her help us one-on-one. She helped support and identify issues we didn't even realize were stressing us out and she helped guide us through everything from breastfeeding, laundry, nutrition, self care and of course all the nuances of caring for a newborn. She readily shared her knowledge and experience which was SO helpful since we just didn't have enough time or energy to read and assess all the information out there! And it helped shape and guide our decisions for how we wanted to raise and parent our newborn. I couldn't have asked for a more compassionate and caring support through the first few months of Max's life. She was our rock, our encyclopedia and our confidence. And when we were nervous to go a week without her, she gently nudged us and helped empower us to know that we were ready. It made me a more confident and relaxed mom and that energy is reflected in Max's attitude as well. Hiring Rachel was the best decision and gave us all a boost and jump start to what was a huge and exhausting transition. Words can't fully describe how much we appreciate Rachel. She will always have a special place in our hearts.

Posted 7/14/2016

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Judy Ellman

Choosing Rachel as my postpartum doula was one of the best decisions I made in preparing for the birth of my second child. Her kind, calm, consistent and reassuring presence was so helpful in the early weeks of navigating how to balance the demands of my newborn with the demands of my 3-year-old, not to mention my physical recovery and ever-present household tasks like laundry and dishes. She helped me strategize and develop new systems for bedtime and other routines, and shared great advice and anecdotes from her experience working with many different parents and families, as well as her own experience as a parent. Her visits left me and my family feeling very well-cared for. I wholeheartedly recommend her!

Posted 5/25/2016

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Allison Karthaus

From the moment I met Rachel at a “Preparing for Baby” class in JP, I felt a little calmer about having a baby. While I knew I wanted to be a mother, I didn’t have much experience with newborns and had really no idea what to do with a child under the age of 5. After the class, we met with Rachel again and hired her as our postpartum doula. I was drawn to her “do what works for you” perspective and the witty sarcasm and lightheartedness she brought to parenting. My husband was drawn to the fact that she had experience as both a mother and as a partner of a mother. We felt that this gave Rachel a unique perspective that could help both of us transition into our new roles as parents.My transition to motherhood was not a smooth one, marked by breastfeeding difficulties, postpartum depression symptoms, and of course not sleeping. Rachel was so caring and supportive during this time. She was great at making sure I was eating and resting whenever she was there, but was also a good listener and provided much needed advice and reassurance that I did in fact know what I was doing. She is a wealth of information and referral resources that was so helpful to a new mom. I would highly recommend Rachel and plan to use her again when we have another (it’s in part because of Rachel that I can even fathom having another!).

Posted 5/23/2016

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Eva Churchill

Rachel has been a true gift to our family.  We feel so so so lucky to have found her.  Neither my husband nor I had any first hand experience with a baby before our little one arrived!  Rachel was an integral part of our first weeks home from the hospital.  Before hiring her, we weren't exactly sure how she would be helpful, but we knew we needed some support.  Now I recommend Rachel to every pregnant woman I know!  Rachel is AMAZING.  Having access to her knowledge, skills, kindness and validation helped us feel grounded and normal during such a special, fragile (and hard!) time.  She helped with concrete things -- like, what sleep deprived parents wants to assemble a giant mechanical swing?!  And she was a godsend when it came to breastfeeding help, learning to use the breast pump and all things in that arena.  I cannot say enough good things about Rachel and how much she helped us.  I owe a lot of my early confidence as a parent to her help and guidance.  Did I mention she's AMAZING??            

Posted 5/23/2016

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Hannah Catabia

Rachel is amazing! My husband and I were unsure whether we needed a postpartum doula as my husband has a generous paternity leave. However, Rachel has lots of specialized experience and knowledge that was invaluable to both of us as new parents. She came over the day we got home from the hospital and helped us get on the right track with nursing. At four weeks old, my daughter is a champion breastfeeder, and I'm certain things would not have gone as smoothly if Rachel hadn't been here to guide us. She also answered our millions of questions and made both my husband and I feel confident taking care of our new baby. If you are a first-time parent like us, I would strongly recommend asking her to come as soon and as often as possible after you give birth. Those first few weeks are difficult, and having a wise postpartum doula like Rachel can make all the difference.

Posted 5/22/2016

Postpartum Availability for Rachel Hess

= Available. Calendar last updated: 9/16/2019 1:05:30 PM