Victoria Michonski, CD, HCHI, CLC Photo

Victoria Michonski, CD, HCHI, CLC

312Doulas & vdoula.com

Website: http://www.vdoula.com/

Phone: 773.301.3002

Birth Fee: $1400 to $1800

Postpartum Rate: $25 to $30

Fee Details: It is an honor to help parents meet their babies! A care plan is crafted to meet your unique needs and wishes. My 312Doula partner and I provide 2 educational and labor preparation prenatal visits, come to your home during labor, provide support for you and partner for the duration of labor, assist with post-delivery breastfeeding, 1 celebratory (yeah baby!) postpartum visit, breastfeeding & newborn education. Together we develop the best care plan for you! Please see my personal website www.vdoula.com for more details about my philosophy, offerings, experience and resources for this wonderful time in your life. Please see my new Facebook business page: 312Doulas for exciting information about birthing babies!

Birth Doula Experience: 10 years and 410 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 9 years and 35 families served

Doula Training

Not Specified

Type of Practice: Partnership with 1 other doula

Clients per Month: 4 to 5 births and 0 to 1 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I've been to each of the following hospitals many times and love to provide labor doula support to families at Prentice, Swedish Covenant, Evanston North Shore, UIC, Elmhurst, West Suburban, Hinsdale Hospital, Illinois Masonic, McNeal, West Lake, University of Chicago, Norwegian American, St. Mary's of the Angels, Highland Park, Alexian & Delnore Hospitals.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
I've provided labor support for many families at home and have special homebirth training!

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • HCHI Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
  • I am very familiar with many childbirth education modalities and I am childbirth educator. I've supported clients who have taken Birthing from Within, Bradley Method, ALACE, Lamaze, Hypnobabies, Hypnobirthing and various hospital based childbirth education. I support any method of childbirth education.

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Lactation Counselor (The Center for Breastfeeding)

Other Relevant Certifications

  • Perinatal Educator – Midwest Maternal Child Institute
  • CPR, Waterbirth credential from Waterbirth International, Placenta Encapsulation Services, Spinningbabies.com bodywork

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
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Aromatherapy
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Monitrice services
  • Placenta encapsulation
  • Reflexology
  • TENS units rental

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Chicago, IL
Travel Range: 20 Miles

Client Testimonials for Victoria Michonski, CD, HCHI, CLC

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Livia Kenney

We used Victoria for the births of both our children and couldn’t speak more highly of her. Victoria has an incredible depth of knowledge about childbirth. She helps you navigate how to successfully have the type of birth you want by equipping you with the questions to ask your doctor, possible problems that may arise and how to deal with them, and wonderful pain management tools. She is so kind, warm and encouraging. I wish every woman who has a child could have Victoria by her side!


For our first birth I knew I wanted to do it unmedicated but I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do it. To top it off, I had blood pressure issues, which put me at high risk and I would very likely be induced at 39 weeks. I was wavering in my confidence that I could get through an induction without an epidural. Victoria helped both my husband and I navigate our options with the induction. During labor she was fantastic. She helped me with breathing and encouraged me to try many different positions and places (bed, ball, shower) to manage the pain. I think she was as much of a help to my husband, who she was able to keep calm and reassure him that everything was progressing the way it should. Our daughter was born healthy and I felt so incredibly proud that I was able to do it the way I wanted, even with the induction.


For our second child there was no question as to if we would hire Victoria again. This time I went into labor naturally and since I hadn’t experienced natural early labor before it was really wonderful having Victoria there to text and call in the days and hours leading up to the delivery. Once at the hospital the baby came fast and furious. Victoria was coaching me every step of the way and I was so thrilled to have the completely natural birth experience I had wanted with our first child.


If you are on the fence, jump over it, and hire Victoria as soon as you can!

Posted 4/5/2017

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Angela Sager

I attribute one of the most victorious experiences for me personally, one of the most memorable and fond triumphs of my life (and I'm not exaggerating!), and the most beautiful introduction to my youngest son, in great part to Victoria. She is so knowledgeable, so connected, so in tune with a birthing woman, and so dedicated to her craft and calling. I am a really private person and retreated into my own little world during labor, but Victoria worked in the background to make me comfortable, while being a total advocate for me, being a team member with me and my husband, and helping me realize my goal for my birth experience. I recommend her so highly!

Posted 4/5/2017

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Angela Sager

I attribute one of the most victorious experiences for me personally, one of the most memorable and fond triumphs of my life (and I'm not exaggerating!), and the most beautiful introduction to my youngest son, in great part to Victoria. She is so knowledgeable, so connected, so in tune with a birthing woman, and so dedicated to her craft and calling. I am a really private person and retreated into my own little world during labor, but Victoria worked in the background to make me comfortable, while being a total advocate for me, being a team member with me and my husband, and helping me realize my goal for my birth experience. I recommend her so highly!

Posted 4/4/2017

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Barbara Davis

From my husband: Heather and Victoria were great throughout my wife's pregnancy. Their communication was phenomenal the entire time she was in labor, and they gave great guidance and advice until we needed them in person.

Victoria arrived at the hospital and helped my wife labor in the tub by assisting her with breathing, relaxation techniques, and nutrition to keep her strength up for pushing. Victoria soothed and helped my wife keeping her on track with her wish of an all natural birth. Mom and baby were happy and healthy and this Dad is very grateful.

Posted 3/9/2017

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PuraVidaBeat

I had interviewed 5 doulas before choosing 312 Doulas. Heather and Victoria assisted me with my pregnancy and labor/delivery and I am so incredibly grateful for their help. They are the best of the best and a wealth of knowledge and experience with everything having to do with a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. Though Victoria was not the on call doula when I went into labor, she was how originally how I came to find this amazing team.  You can tell they truly love what they do.

If you are in the market for a doula don't look any further, they are the best.

Posted 12/23/2016

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Katie Brown

 From the moment we first spoke on the phone, Victoria's calm manner and nonjudgemental stance  put me immediately at ease. I felt from the beginning that she was there to be my supporter and my advocate. When we met Victoria in person, we knew she was the right person to support both of us and help us to have a positive birth experience. Through a 21 hour induced labor with  Pitocain, Victoria was right there at our side , caring for us and supporting us in whichever choices made, changing positions, creating a calming environment to facilitate relaxation and hopefully labor, feeding me healthful foods and staying up with me so that my husband could sleep. When my son was born and was just slightly bluish and needed to be checked , Victoria calmly explained what the doctors and nurses were doing to him, every step of the way, so that I felt included and informed. Knowing that I wanted to breastfeed immediately, Victoria was right at my side to help me with positioning and to encourage me, even though I felt clueless and tired. When she came for a follow up home visit, she helped me to begin to master babywearing, more nursing help and to make sure that I was eating and sleeping well.  With my second son, we were stuck in a small triage room  for several hours through the initial stages of labor. Victoria kept our spirits up and basically kept me distracted and comfortable as we waited for a room. When I was moved to an actual room and was in transition (known as the most uncomfortable and difficult stage of labor) and was acutally requesting medication (I had previously stated i wanted a drug free birth) Victoria reassured me that it was "my birth" and that I could "have whatever i wanted." it hugely relieved me to know that she was there to empathize and support, never to judge or persuade. I cannot recommend Victoria more highly. If you want to feel calm, empowered, informed, supported and relaxed, Victoria is for you! 

Posted 1/13/2016

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Kelly Meissner

I highly recommend Victoria as a doula. I was successful in having a natural (no epidural) birth at Prentice, but I could not have done it without Victoria. She is very knowledgeable about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and has a calm but firm demeanor that is essential for this type of work.

In addition to high praise from me, she earned similar praise from my husband and obstetrician. My delivering obstetrician (Dr. Elizabeth Nye) said that Victoria was a great doula and that she enjoyed working with her. This is a particularly meaningful compliment because Dr. Nye is a bit 'old school' and does not specialize in natural births. (I was supposed to have the nurse midwife from my OB practice that specializes in natural births, but she ended up being on vacation when I delivered.)

I did not have an easy labor and delivery but having Victoria on call and by our side was incredibly helpful. I was in labor/delivery for about 40 hours total. My water broke first (not ideal) and it took about 24 hours until I was in heavy labor. I went to the hospital about 30 hours after my water broke and was 6 or 6.5cm dilated. It took me another 6-7 hours to get to 10cm, and then I pushed for about 2 hours. I ended up needing a little pitocin to keep my contractions going during pushing (my first two hours of pushing pre-pitocin were essentially useless).

Even if you are not trying to have a natural birth but just want someone around who will keep you (and your husband!) calm when you go into labor, I highly recommend Victoria as a doula.

Posted 1/4/2016

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Rachel Lin

Having Victoria as my doula is the best decision I made for my birth! I am originally from China and having my first baby in Chicago was very overwhelming. Victoria has been a cornerstone to me throughout the whole process. I had natural birth at Prentice Hospital and I truly believe it was having Victoria made it possible.

When we met for the first time, her expertise truly impressed us. We almost wanted to hire her right away. But she was the first doula we met, we decided to interview some other doulas. Eventualy we hired her. We communicated in English and her soft skills made our communication very smooth. During my pregnancy, Victoria came over twice and offered many insightful suggestions. She was willing to address everything I was wondering about. Due to Victoria's encouragement, I made up my mind on natural birth. I also attended some popular birth class and the class at Prentice Hospital. However, Victoria's visit was much more useful than these birth classes.

My water broke a little around 12 am. Victoria responded my texts at once and she was willing to come over if needed. She slept on her couch that night in case I needed her to come in the middle of the night. My constraction started around 7 am and became stronger at 12 pm. When Victoria came, she prepared with oils and worked with accupressure massage to keep my contraction going. It was extremely useful and I was 7 CM dialated when I came to hospital. She supported me both physically and emotionally. She always knew how and what could lessen my pain before I even knew it! My baby was born after arriving in hospital for merely four hours! During the postpartum visit, Victoria helped me with breastfeeding and again supported me emotionally. She prepared placenta capsules as this is needed in our culture. She is the only American doula I know who could take care of that! I could not have a non-medicated birth without Victoria. I cannot recommend her highly enough! :)

Posted 12/12/2015

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Julie Downey

I don't even know where to begin with this review so I'll start by saying that Victoria was nothing short of essential to our birth experience. Natural births can happen at Prentice Hospital and I truly believe that having a doula made it possible.  

Victoria had come highly recommended to us, but we interviewed a handful of doulas to make sure we had done our full due diligence. She was warm and engaging and I felt immediately comforted by her, even from our initial phone conversation. She came to our home twice during my pregnancy to meet with myself and my husband. We got to know each other a bit better, she walked us through the birth process and gave us a better idea of what to expect since this was our first time.

When the day arrived, she was available in the middle of the night for texts and phone calls when my water broke, and would have come over to the house if I had needed her. She met us at the hospital and right away went into action. She came prepared with oils and got to work with accupressure massage to help keep my contractions going. She worked to help me find comfortable positions as labor progressed, and just seemed to know what I needed before I did (at one point she appeared with popsicles which felt like the greatest gift in the world at that moment!). She was able to give my husband a break and he felt OK leaving for a little bit because she was there. Honestly, I cannot say enough about how much she did to physically and emotionally support us through the process. She stayed with us for the 13+ hours of labor at the hospital and after, to ensure that we got a good start to breastfeeding. Post birth, she was available by text and email at any time for a huge range of questions.

I'll end by saying that my husband was super skeptical about having a doula and he refers to Victoria as a ninja  :)  Can't recommend her highly enough!  

Posted 11/10/2015

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Ashley Lin Ames

Victoria was kind and patient while she held my hand during pregnancy. During our conversations she learned who I was and recommended wonderful texts that helped me prepare for labor and my post pregnancy care. I was absolutely confident and excited when labor began, instead of nervous and scared. When Victoria arrived at the hospital her calming voice and bedside manner helped me, my husband, and my baby have a successful birth. Having a kind, patient, knowledgeable person on my team, who knew amazing breathing and movement techniques, was instrumental to my birthing story. I could not have done a non-medicated birth without Victoria; I know this as a fact.

Posted 11/9/2015

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Emily Finegar

Working with Victoria was an absolutely wonderful and amazing experience and I would HIGHTLY recommend her services to anyone. I know for a fact I would have not had the VBAC I so wished for had it not been for her expertise and support. Not only was she a calming and supportive resource over a few weeks in preparation for labor, but her being there with us at the hospital was crucial to our VBAC success. She was there to support me through a very intense early labor- keeping me moving, massaging, applying pressure, mentally reasuring me, etc. Due to my experience of very intense back labor that provided no relief from my contractions, I eventually did recieve an epidural.  Victoria kept me moving in different positions and using the peanut to keep me open even when restricted to the hospital bed.  She provided comfort through heated blankets , talking me through contractions, bringing ice chips, etc. When the doctors suggested a potential repeat C-section (after 18 hours of labor and slight stall at 9 CM) Victoria suggested introducing Pitocin to move the contractions along and help bring the baby down a bit further.  The doctor was hesitant, but agreed and sure enough, 2 hours later I was 10 CM dialated and ready to push.  Victoria again was what got me through 2 1/2 hours of pushing- keeping me cool with wet rags, rubbing esesntial oils on my temples, under my nose, etc. This was my first time pushing and it can take a while to get the hang of it, but her description of how to push each time was the only one that resonated with and I'm sure that was what was keeping the baby moving in the right direction as well. I can't recommend her enough, if you are looking for doula support- look no further, I can't imagine anyone else being as wonderful as Victoria!

Posted 11/9/2015

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Olga Allen

I had a very good experience with Victoria Reed Michonski, even though things went very differently than I planned at my birth! She met with me and my husband on multiple occassions and was very responsive to any questions, she was not judgmental, and she made me very excited for my upcoming birthing experience. She would email me great articles and recommended reading which we appreciated. She really had recommendations for everything I needed, including an acupuncturist when the baby was not making progress in arriving! I did not have the birth I dreamed of due to certain issues, none of which Victoria could have predicted or prepared me for, but after my baby was born she really made a difference. My goal was breastfeeding, and it was a rough start that resulted in many tears and thoughts of giving up. Victoria visited me at home after the birth and while she is not an IBCLC, she was excellent at helping me figure out latch, proper positioning, etc. I do think without her help I would have quit, but here I am almost one year later and my nursing relationship is one of my favorite parts of being a mother. 

I recommend Victoria if you are looking for someone who is extremely knowledgable about child birth, who is down to earth, who will not pressure you or make you feel bad about decisions you make, and who will be available at the most dire moments. That is exactly what I wanted in a doula so I was happy with my choice.

Posted 10/16/2015

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Vanessa Dubick

I couldn't imagine going through prenancy, labor, and delivery without the help of Victoria.  I was very anxious about the whole process, but Victoria's knowledge and expertise helped me be at ease every step of the way.  She is a wealth of information and provided information and details beyond what our midwife had time to share with us.  During labor, she served as an advocate for our predetermined goals, helping us to take the time to consider options as they arose.  Her massages alone were enough to help me relax during labor! We will definitely use Victoria's services if we are lucky enough to become pregnant again.

Posted 10/16/2015

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Meredith Wroblewski

We worked with Victoria for the delivery of our first baby. After interviewing several other doulas, we found our perfect match in Victoria! She is very kind, patient, knowledgeable, comforting, respectful and accomodating. Victoria agreed to meet with us for weekly private childbirth classes (about 5 total if I recall correctly), at which we learned a lot of valuable information and developed a great relationship. Throughout the end of my pregnancy, Victoria told me what to expect at my doctor's appointments and gave me tips on how to manage my health to ensure that I was able to give birth according to my birth plan without any extra interventions. Victoria gently informed us of research supporting many options surrounding labor and delivery, and was non-judgemental of our choices.

When my water broke at 4:30am, Victoria responded promptly and reassuringly to my text questioning whether meconimum might be present. After a series of texts and phone conversations, Victoria appeared at our house right when we needed her and started to work her magic on me (and my husband, keeping him clam and focused, too). Labor was not easy, but Victoria was a very strong, compassionate, and encouraging partner through it all. When we arrived at the hospital fully dialted (which was part of my birth plan), she was the one who breezed us through intake. Immediately after our baby was born, Victoria took many great pictures (PG rated) on my phone without being asked to do so, which we were so thankful for! She stayed with us for several hours following the birth during which she helped me start breastfeeding and provided general support. About a month later, Victoria came to my house for a follow-up visit and helped me problem solve some struggles I was having as a new mom.

I am so grateful to have met and worked with Victoria. I would highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a great doula. I will definitely call on her again if we have another baby!

Posted 10/15/2015

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Daniel Engel

Victoria was my wife's labor doula for the recent birth of our first child and I can't fathom the end of the pregnancy, labor, birth, and recovery proceeding any easier, all thanks to Victoria.  Her kind, patient, and peaceful personality shone in every interaction from developing our labor/birth plan to most importantly coaching and assisting my wife through her (successful) natural delivery.  

While undoubtedly her greatest value is during the delivery process and immediately afterwards, the confidence and calm she instills in developing the labor plan during the pregnancy has a tremendous impact as well.  By answering any question through her extensive knowledge and experience with patience and equal gravitas (especially mine), I believe any anxiety or trepidation either of us felt was completely minimized.  The importance of this on the "big day" cannot be overstated as not only were we prepared for any contingency but so confident in our understanding of the process and labor curve that we often found ourselves calmly discussing things and "what was next", allowing us to embrace the event and appreciate all of its wonder.  

Victoria not only completely respected all of my wife's wishes and expectations but also was careful to always assess and ask what she thought was best for her in the moment, catering to any need, explaining any new development, and working with complete integration and seamless cooperation with our OB/GYN and all medical staff.  As the labor progressed and became more difficult she was the ultimate coach, advocate, and friend - taking any stress away from me which let me focus solely on praising and supporting my wife.  Once our baby was born Victoria's presence felt like family, and we cannot imagine sharing this joyous event, or any future one, with anyone but her.  She is the rare professional who truly does what she loves and possesses every gift needed in her craft. 

Posted 10/15/2015

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Anna Weiss

I reached out to Victoria only weeks before my due date as my other doula match had sadly fallen through. She stepped right up to the short notice and made herself available to me as soon as possible and it was just as well as my waters broke three weeks early and only a few days after our meeting! From the moment I met Victoria I knew she would be the perfect match for us. She has an amazing level of experience and her manner is perfect, she is kind and calming. I decided to have a doula with me for my second child after a very traumatic birth experience in the UK with my first child. I had struggled with difficult memories from that time, and with another birth on the horizon I was in desperate need of someone knowledgable and calm who would be there for us for our second. Beacuse of our first experience we opted for a hospital birth but wanted to keep it as natural and calm as possible. Victoria was so understanding of our situation and knew when to help. Our OBGYN practice were also very understanding and so between Victoria and the hospital, we had a perfect birth which has helped me move beyond my fears. I am so grateful to have found someone like Victoria and I would not hesitate to reccommend her for any scenario (home/hospital). Good luck! 

Posted 10/7/2015

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Candice Graham

I've only given birth once, but I think Victoria has to be the best doula in Chicago. We met with Victoria several times before giving birth to talk about what to expect, and how to prepare, which helped us feel more relaxed about the "big day". We also talked through the birth plan together, which was really helpful to make sure we were all on the same page, and Victoria had several helpful suggestions we hadn't considered. My labor happened very quickly so I ended up meeting Victoria at the hospital where I was already 9 cm. Even though the labor was short, I had an hour in the tub, and 3 hours of pushing. All during that time, Victoria was giving me sips of water and Gatorade, massaging my back, suggesting different positions, giving me advice when I was pushing and so on. I managed to deliver an 8 lb 6 ounce baby boy naturally and I didn't even need any stitches afterwards. Victoria stayed to help try and get my son latched on during the first hour after the birth. She followed up with me a few days later, and when she learned I was having breastfeeding trouble, she helped connect me with donor milk organizations, as well as found a few willing donors for my son. She also provided an IBCLC referral who helped me further. Victoria visited me at home a week or so after my birth to make sure things were going well, and she even gave me a sweet little gift for the baby. All of this was really more than what I expected. I can't recommend her enough-she is worth every penny, plus some.

Posted 9/29/2015

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Erin Nakayama

Whenever my husband and I talk about our birth and things we would do next time, Victoria is the first thing mentioned.  I would have her present again at my birth in a heartbeat and I cannot recommend her highly enough.  If I was giving birth in another state, I would fly Victoria to me so that she could assist us again.  She was instrumental in my positive birth experience because:

1.  The midwife-in-training misread my cervix and told us in triage that I was dilated 9 cm.  When they tried to break my water, they discovered I was only 5 cm dilated.  Victoria took over, diplomatically asking everyone to leave the room so that my husband and I could metabolize this news.  I was so dejected, and she reentered the room and told us exactly what we needed to do to get through the next few hours.  

2.  I told her I no longer wanted the midwife-in-training to be part of my experience, and she took care of it.

3.  She ensured I stayed hydrated and fueled throughout the birth even when I didn't want to.

4.  She gently and effectively coached my husband throughout the experience.

5.  My baby was 8.5 lbs and the hospital wanted to perform glucose tests on her.  This often results in the baby being fed formula within the first 24 hours. Victoria knew one of my goals was to exclusively breastfeed.  Victoria explained to me what this was and why I should be wary of this.  She encouraged the nurse to make absolutely sure that my daughter needed this, and the nurse returned to explain that we did not.  Without Victoria's presence, I would not have known to question the nurse and my baby would have been taken from me unnecessarily to get a glucose test.  

6.  Victoria was communicative, no matter the hour, before, during, and after my birth and thoroughly answered all my questions.  

Posted 9/29/2015

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Danielle Gosnell

Victoria is amazing! As a first time mom, I had so many questions about..everything. Victoria has a lot of experience and knows what she is doing! She gave me and my husband great information, providing us with evidence and research on all topics we were concerned about. She never  pushed us to do anything but provided us with the information we needed to make an educated decision. I remember calling her on the phone just a few days shy of 42 weeks because I was getting a lot of pressure from my midwives to be induced. She was extremely compassionate, non-judgemental and provided me evidence based information about induction. Although I was not able to have the birth expereince we planned for, she was great through the entire labor and delivery. My favorite thing about Victoria is that she has such a calming and relaxing voice and feel about her. She is very motherly. I remember thinking, Victoria is here, everything will be ok. Or when I was stressed or confused about something I knew that I just had to call or email Victoria and she would help me figure it out. Also, post-partum was probably where I really felt the value of a doula. Victoria really helped me postpartum with breastfeeding issues/questions/concerns and depression. I have every intention of having Victoria as my doula for all of my future babies (if she will put up with us again :D)!

Posted 9/29/2015

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Aya Barnea

My husband and I feel so fortunate that Victoria was our doula. She is incredibly supportive, knowledgeable, and warm and I cannot imagine how we would have gotten through labor and delivery without her. From our first meeting, we were immediately put at ease by her extensive knowledge about childbirth and how the hospital works. She helped me formulate questions to ask my OB as well as helped my husband and I come up with a plan that made the daunting process of labor seem manageable. And, when that plan went out the window because I was induced, Victoria helped us prepare for the induction and was by our side to make sure I was as comfortable as possible. She's basically a comfort measures wizard. Victoria would appear as if out of nowhere with exactly what I needed in the moment - whether it was juice, a cool washcloth on my neck, or pressure on my back. Victoria also helped my husband help me, such as by showing him where he could get me water and ice. During the pushing stage, she was a fantastic coach and remained super calm and encouraging even as it became clear that things were not progressing as they should. I ultimately had a c-section, but feel good about the outcome because with Victoria's help, I felt that I did everything I could. And, Victoria even talked to our families, who were in the waiting area, about how long the c-section would take, which was very appreciated and put them at ease as well. At our postpartum visit, Victoria was full of helpful suggestions about feeding and how to find support as a new mom while on maternity leave. In short, Victoria is amazing!

 

Posted 9/28/2015

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Gala E

I'm happy to share my experience working with Victoria.

She was our doula with both our kids. I really wanted to have a natural birth. We attended classes for expectant parents at a hospital. The question of an instructor: "Do you all plan to have an epidural, right?" raised a flag.

We found a doula Victoria. She helped a lot during the labor providing massage and needed reassurance. She also gave many good advice during her postpartum visit on how to nurse and care for the baby.

My husband and I were absolutely satisfied with her and we hired her again to help with the birth of our second baby. Again Victoria helped us to have a natural birth and establish breastfeeding.

I highly recommend Victoria to any expectant mother wishing for a natural labor.

Posted 1/26/2015

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Karen Livescu

My husband and I are thrilled to have had Victoria by our side before, during, and after the delivery of our second child.  She came highly recommended by friends of ours, and we have since bumped into another family who coincidentally had and loved Victoria as their doula.  

We did not have a doula for our first son's birth; for our second we felt we needed the added support, especially if my husband would be busy with our older son.  We now don't know how or why we managed without a doula the first time around, or why everyone doesn't always have one by their side!  I am sure it is not just *any* doula that will do the trick, though; Victoria was a great blend of skill, experience, supportiveness, calmness, and flexibility.  I was comfortable that, even though I didn't know exactly what I would want during labor, Victoria would be supportive of it and would "go with the flow".  She has a big bag of tricks, ranging from traditional to new-age, and she's willing to use as few or as many of them as desired.  She understood and anticipated my preferences and needs, and advocated for me perfectly at the hospital.  Before the birth, she helped with preparation and with suggestions for dealing with a late-term complication I was having.  At the post-partum visit, she helped with lactation.  Throughout, she was available to help with questions or concerns via email/phone.

In short, my husband and I had a great experience and highly, highly recommend Victoria.

Posted 10/17/2014

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Claire Honeycutt

Victoria was truly exceptional and we were so lucky to find her! I was very nervous about labor - I suppose every one is - but all the women in my family had 24 hour + labors with their first babies and several had to be induced. I very much wanted a natural birth and thought it would never be possible with a day long labor. But then Victoria came into my life. She was essential even before the labor began recommending books, baby positioning techniques, and was a wealth of information that was thoroughly researched! She was such a calming influence even before I went into labor. 

My water actually broke before labor and if Victoria wasn't there I probably would have rushed to the hospital and had a very different birth story - but instead she calmly went through my options - never telling me what to do but simply informing me of my choices. I ended up deciding to stay home and wait for labor to start - which it did only a few hours later. After that Victoria was on the phone with my husband, talking him through everything. I know it was because of her that I was able to stay home as long as I did, which proved absolutely essential in my goal to have a natural labor! She came to our home and even drove me to the hospital! Once there, she knew exactly where to go, who to talk to, and everything went so smoothly! She was our advocate when we needed one. She knew hospital policy and also knew what I wanted and made sure that pushy nurses didn't step all over us. In the end, I was able to have the birth I wanted I know that Victoria was a large part of the reason. 

She was essential with helping get my baby to latch and get started nursing. The lactation nurses were no help and Victoria patiently sat with me for what must have been several hours trying to get a latch. I didn't realize how essential that would be in the coming days! 

I can't recommend Victoria enough! She is truly phenomenal!

Posted 10/2/2014

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Kristina Patai

Victoria was my Doula in August of 2013 for the birth of our first daughter at home. She was absolutely wonderful!  From the "pre-birth" visits, to the birth, to the post-birth visit - she was present, nurturing, educational, informative, loving, supportive, and calm. She helped my husband too and her presence at our home during my long labor was so important to me as there were times when I didn't think I could keep going. Between Victoria and the wonderful midwives, I pulled through to the other side and gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl in the comforts of our home. I can't recommend Victoria highly enough!!!!  

Posted 9/7/2014

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Rachel Georgakis

I can't imagine my pregnancy or labor without Victoria. When I hit some complications in my pregnancy she was extremely supportive and was always there for me through text, phone calls, and our in person meetings. She helped me navigate the medical concerns for my baby by giving me guidance, information, and suggestions of questions to discuss with my doctor.  This both calmed and empowered me.

I don't think I would have made it through 56 hours of natural labor without her support. Her voice was so calm and gentle and helped me and my husband to stay that way as much as possible. She helped me to understand some medical interventions the baby and I needed by further explaining the medical terminology the doctor had used. This also really helped my husband stay calm and Victoria was wonderful at guiding him as to how best support me.  Her comfort measures were amazing! She was like a human epidural and brought me so much relief! I really felt that she attended to my every need. After the birth, she helped my daughter and I begin our breasteeding relationship.  I can't imagine laboring without Victoria, and I definitely would not want to.  I'm so glad that she was a part of our daughter's birth and should I ever become pregannt again, Victoria will be one of the first people I call!

Posted 7/26/2014

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Rachel Poretsky

Victoria was my doula by chance; she was a back-up for the doula I had been working with and who was unable to be there the day my daughter was born. Although I was disappointed that my original doula couldn't make it, it was actually a bit of a blessing in disguise because Victoria was AMAZING. I met her for the first time as I was in the midst of some major rushes on the floor of my living room, but she jumped right in and made both my partner and I feel a whole lot calmer and comfortable. Amazingly, I felt I could trust her the moment I saw her. My partner initially had no strong opinion about involving a doula in our birth experience, but if you ask him now, he will tell you how amazing Victoria is and how worthwhile it is to have a doula on your side. Her gentle touch, calming and encouraging words, knowledge, and support were exactly what we needed. She knew when to speak up and advocate on my behalf in the delivery room, and when to let the doctors do what they needed to do when the situation looked worrisome. I credit her, in part, for helping me have the mostly natural, unmedicated birth that I had hoped for. Victoria stayed with me after delivery for several hours and helped me nurse my daughter for the first time. She continues to be a source of information and support when I ask for advice or have questions. I will say it again: she is amazing.

Posted 4/30/2014

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Abigail Lovett

Even though Chicago is a first-rate city, it is lacking in birth centers and, in my opinion, "truly modern" obtestrics care. When I became pregnant with my first child, I wanted to race back to my home state of Colorado and embed myself in a birth center surrounded with smart, progressive experts. As that wasn't an option, I began to search for another way of having a safe, informed, supported and "pro-mom" delivery. That's when I found Victoria.

From our first meeting, I immediately felt at ease with Victoria. She is a warm and caring woman -- but more than that, she is EXTREMELY knowledgeable about childbirth and post-partum care. Further, she is deeply passionate about the field, and is studying to become a midwife. I told my husband she's an awesome "triple threat" (knowledge + passion + warmth) -- and that comes through in her work. I didn't want someone to rub my back and tell me that it was all going to be okay; I wanted a woman who really knew what she was doing. If you feel the same way, I highly recommend working with Victoria.

We met twice before I delievered and, frankly, it was part childbirth education, part therapy. I shared every fear, anxiety and thought I had about delivering and post-partum issues, and Victoria was gentle in her informed responses. When I went into labor, I was less than a joy to be around (:)) and she was extremely cool during my quick delivery. Following delivery, the OB on call asked me how I remained so calm (commenting that she rarely/never sees women who seem so relaxed) and I credit my attitude in large part to Victoria and my husband. We were all on the "same team" and focused on a loving delivery for my little one. 

Following her birth, Victoria has visited my daughter to make sure all was well. She has stayed in periodic contact to make sure we're off to a good start as a family, too. (Like I said, what a cool, caring woman, right?!)

No question - she's the best.

 

Posted 1/23/2014

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Phil Olson

I give my highest recommendation to Victoria. Victoria was amazing during the entire process. She met with both Amy and I at our home and was always 100% focused on our wants/needs and what would make the birth process most relaxing and comfortable for BOTH of us.  When the big day arrived, Victoria showed up in a HUGE way.  Without Victoria's intimate and hands-on help, the birth of our son wouldn't have been an enjoyable experience. My number one recommendation for any expecting Moms/Dads is to work with a Doula and if possible, work with Victoria. The stories about modern hospitals simply treating you like a "number" and on their schedule is absolutely correct. However, Victoria showed up at the hospital and immediately transformed the labor process into the experience WE wanted. Victoria knew all the "ins and outs" of the process, the hospital and techniques to make both of us most comfortable. I tell people that Victoria really delivered our baby and the doctor/nurses were just observers. She made both of us feel like we were in control and was so inspirational throughout the entire labor - as a result, we did a natural labor with no need for drugs, etc. and both my partner and the baby are doing great. We would not have been able to do it without Victoria - she is absolutely the best. Not only does she listen to what you need/want, but she connects with you on a personal level so you feel like she is part of the family.  Also, she has such great experience and "know-how" that can't be replicated.  We loved working with Victoria so much that we requested her to help us with postpartum.  If you have not had the opportunity to meet and talk with Victoria, I highly recommend you do so; you will be so happy and thankful that you did - we cannot say enough positive things about her - she truly is the best and was such a lifesaver during the labor process.

Posted 9/30/2013

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Leah Burt

Victoria was such a pivitol part of our daughter's birth!  The first time we met with Victoria she really took the time to listen to my husband and me about what sort of experience we wanted our birth to be.  Victoria then taylored her services to our vision, providing coaching and guidence to achieve our goal of a natural, partner led birth.  At the hospital on the big day, Victoria was both a calming and guiding presence.  I really feel like Victoria was the reason that we were successful with a natural childbirth.  As first time parents, both my husband and I were a bit frazzled.  She was able to partner with my husband and help me through the contractions.  Her hip sqeezes are the best!  We will definitely be using Victoria for any future children.  And we fully recommend her to others! 

Posted 11/8/2012

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Bettina

I had my son Julius on 9/11/2012 at Prentice. Victoria was the best coach I could ever imagine, even if my labor went a completely other way than planned. Actually we wanted to stay at home with Victoria as long as we can during the early labor but since my water broke we needed to go to the hospital. Victoria was the best emotional support during every second. She knew exactly how I felt, what I could need, how to support my husband. We had a 23 hour birth with an foreceps-end and I have no idea what I would have done without Victoria. Every clinical decision was frightening for me and just looking into her face (especially at the end when it came to the foreceps) gave me freedom and the conviction that everything will be good. I have my labor in a very good memory even if there were some bad intricacies and I will tank Victoria for ever!!!!

Posted 10/19/2012

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Amy Ege

I had a great experience with Victoria. At the initial interview and two pre-birth home visits, my husband and I were impressed with her listening skills, warmth and knowledge of childbirth. She helped us feel confident and relaxed in the weeks leading up to labor.

I wasn’t sure I would need a doula at the birth itself. As it turned out, my labor was long and painful, as so many labors are. Victoria provided the emotional support I needed to keep going and give birth naturally.

Victoria did many things to help. She helped us decide when to go to the hospital, kept me company during early labor, made sure I stayed hydrated, suggested position changes, used aroma therapy, took pictures and helped me establish breast-feeding. Most importantly, Victoria reassured me over and over again that I was successfully bringing my baby into the world. She had faith in me when I didn’t have faith in myself, which was enormously helpful.

I now realize that a doula is there to do whatever a laboring woman needs, and I didn’t know what I would need prior to giving birth. Victoria was very in tune with me during labor and provided what I needed throughout.

Victoria is a kind person and a skillful doula. I definitely recommend her.

Posted 7/23/2012

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Alexandra Sneed

My experience with Victoria was great.  I had a wonderful delivery, thanks to her expertise and guidance, and I highly recommned her.  

My story is that I was  expecting my first baby and the goal was to have a natural delivery with out an epidural.   I also did not want to be induced.  It turned out that my baby was a week overdue and my doctor wanted to schedule an induction.  I discussed this with Victoria and she recommended a few different things, including acupuncture.  I was apprehensive about it but after trying everything posssible to induce  labor (including a special eggplant parmesan recipe)  -- I booked an appointment for accupuncture.  It worked.  The next day I went into labor and Victoria met me a the hospital.   Everything went well because she was there helping and guiding me along the way.  She is truly incredible!  My husband said that she was invaluable.   We  were so grateful, and we would use her again if some day we decide to have  a second child.

Posted 5/19/2012

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Tanya

We knew from the first time we met Victoria that she was a jewel.  My husband and I felt very comfortable talking with her and confident with her knowledge and experience.  She offered extensive breastfeeding support prior to the birth as well as lots of information about various topics of interest and concern. 

We planned on having a natural child birth at home (with our first child) and felt that having a doula would be one way we could help accomplish this goal.  In fact, we underestimated how essential having a doula would be!  Victoria played a key role in helping me stay focused on our goals and provided incredible emotional and physical support.   My husband and I are extremely grateful and we will never forget how wonderful Victoria was.

We hope that she will still be practicing when it is time for Kasandra to have a little brother or sister!

 

Posted 12/15/2009

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Megan Zolna

Victoria played an important role in making the birth of our first child a truly positive and joyous experience. From our first meeting, I was impressed by Victoria's willingness to listen to my ideas and preferences and offer her support and insights. Victoria shared her knowledge and experience in a non-judgmental fashion and demonstrated a willingness to participate in births in a variety of settings. As my pregnancy and needs of our baby changed, Victoria remained in touch and offered great references for information and treatment (i.e. wonderful chiropractor, websites, books). When she arrived at the hospital, Victoria was like a breath of fresh air as she provided a great massage and good conversation while we waited. She was also extremely helpful in practicing then the actual pushing process. Victoria was able to gently offer suggestions and anticipate my needs, from offering to get me beverages to taking the first photos of our new family. We were greatful for Victoria's  support throughout my pregnancy and birth and highly reccomend her services as a doula.  

Posted 10/22/2009

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catherine czerepak

 I knew from my first meeting with Victoria that she was the right person to help us with the birth of our first child.  She has a naturally calm, comforting and supportive nature, which were wonderful assets during the birthing process.  Leading up to the birth, Victoria proved her knowledge regarding techniques and procedures and was able to answer all of my questions and put my mind at ease.  I felt much more confident and relaxed going into labor knowing that Victoria was supporting us and would be at our side.  During the actual labor, Victoria was able to suggest different techniques, with fabulous results.  She was so calm and supportive throughout that I couldn't imagine going through labor without her.  Even my mother, who was fortunate to be present at the birth, comments to this day about how wonderful Victoria was and what a difference she made!  We will be forever grateful for her support during the birth of our daughter and would highly recommend her.

Posted 10/2/2009

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Teresa M Lemieux

Victoria was so calm and confident the first time I spoke to her on the phone that I knew she would be the right person to help me through labor.  She was knowledgeable about labor, delivery, how to manage pain, nutrition - I felt confident that she knew what to expect and what her part was in the labor process.  This in turn made me feel confident about my decision to go through labor and delivery without pain medication. She was by my side for the last half of my labor (from 6pm to 7am!!) doing whatever it took to help manage the pain and keep me calm, offering her own suggestions at just the right time and responding quickly and effortlessly to what I needed from her, never once flustered or amazed by whatever I said or did that I didn't even want my husband to witness! My labor might have gone on longer had she not come to the rescue with a technique for getting past an anterior lip.  The nurses were no help after telling me what the hold-up was but Victoria put me into a position using the Yoga ball that picked up the speed and fixed the problem!  I attribute my success to go through with a med-free birth almost entirely to her care; I can't recommend her enough.

Posted 9/29/2009

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Dana Gillis

My husband and I didn't consider using a doula until 2 weeks before my due date, and we feel unbelievably fortunate to have been matched up with Victoria.  As first time parents, my husband and I were very nervous.  In our initial meeting, Victoria spent a considerable amount of time with us answering all of our questions and making us feel very comfortable.  My daughter arrived a week early in very atypical first-child fashion, as in fast and furious.  Victoria showed up with no time to waste and immediately took control of what could have been a very nerve-wracking situation.  Fully dilated and effaced, I was convinced we were going to have our baby on the bedroom floor; but Victoria calmed us both down, reminded us where our focus needed to be, helped us get to the hospital through full-on active labor, coached us (hands-on!) through a completely successful natural birth, communicated and advocated for us with the nurses and doctors, and more.  Looking back, my husband and I could not have asked for anything more towards having the birth experience that we wanted, and we credit Victoria completely!  Above and beyond it all, we really like Victoria as a person and were very happy to be able to share the birth of our baby girl with her.  We would recommend her to anyone, and already have!  

Posted 9/28/2009

Birth Availability for Victoria Michonski, CD, HCHI, CLC

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Postpartum Availability for Victoria Michonski, CD, HCHI, CLC

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