Ashley Minihan CD(DONA), ICCE, CLC, CPST Photo

Ashley Minihan CD(DONA), ICCE, CLC, CPST

Empowered Beginnings LLC

Cheshire, CT Service range 50 miles

860-638-9133

http://Www.beginwithashley.com

Birth Fee

$1700

Birth Fee

$1700


Birth Doula Experience

4 years and 130 births attended


Doula Training

  • DONA International, September 2016

Type of practice: Solo practice

Clients per month: 4

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals

Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers

Attends home births? Any Home Birth


Special Services Offered

  • Child passenger safety technician services
  • Childbirth education services
  • Reiki
  • Virtual and remote doula support

Fee Details

Included in my fee is Childbirth education, Gentle birth class, breastfeeding education, advanced coping measures and the spinning babies parent class which teaches parents how to get their baby and body ready for an easier and less painful birth.

Cheshire, CT Service range 50 miles

Client Testimonials for Ashley Minihan CD(DONA), ICCE, CLC, CPST

Post a testimonial for Ashley Minihan CD(DONA), ICCE, CLC, CPST

Katelyn Murphy

4/17/2020

From the moment I met Ashley, she was so informative and calming. She is absolutely the perfect person to have in your corner throughout pregnancy, labor and beyond. She is incredibly easy to talk to and always makes time for all your questions and concerns (no matter how silly they seem). Our son was born during the COVID-19 epidemic; therefore, Ashley could not be at the hospital with us physically but was available via FaceTime and made many efforts to provide us with as many tools as possible beforehand. Since he has been born, she has checked in daily and has become not only someone we hired but a wonderful friend. If your looking for someone to help make your birth experience as loving and empowering as it can possibly be do  NOT hesitate to hire her. I promise that you will not be disappointed!!!

 

 

 

Susan

4/13/2020

Words cannot express how much Ashley helped our journey and beyond.

I recommended getting a Doula for my husband. He was concerned about not knowing what to do, about helping me through this journey. I personally did not think I needed one, but having a sounding board for him to lean on that day seemed like a great idea. I had extremely high anxiety about the labor process, and at the time did not truly understand the role of a doula. I had thought they were just another person in room to help with the labor...

Not once did I regret asking her to join our journey! I have no idea what I would have done without her. Ashley held me up physically and both of us emotionally during the remainder of my pregnancy. She took the time to explain everything, answer any questions we had, and had amazing referrals for other types of support. She spent time with Kevin teaching him all the ways that he could support me during the labor.

My labor ended up being 50+ hours. My birth plan was to have a natural vaginal birth, and my journey ended with a lot of drugs and my worst fear: a C-section. The plan took so many detours- but Ashley had anticipated them, and we had already discussed how to navigate through those speedbumps. I learned later that the length of my labor was not typical- and not once did Ashley make me feel as if I was taking up her time. When I was unable to make any decisions, she guided and empowered Kevin to help us get through.

Afterwards, she was there for the journey of breastfeeding, and was able to help provide support when I simply could not take any more challenges.

My babe is about to be three months, and I know that Ashley is still there for me whenever I need her. I started this journey terrified of the birthing process. Ashley pours so much love, care, and knowledge into her clients, and helped me (and my husband) to feel confident, empowered, and safe.

Ashley Hagaman

4/13/2020

From the moment I first connected with Ashley I knew she was a perfect match. Since getting to know her over the past 7 months, we've only grown to see what an incredible human she is -- not only is she an expert doula, but she is a caring, selfless, and thoughtful person that builds incredible community. Not only did I get to have Ashley's support during my pregnancy, labor, and postpartum (this was probably the best resource I've had my entire pregnancy/delivery), but she gave me access to a wonderful tribe of other women to share my journey, challenges, and questions. I had no idea I would gain so much by connecting with her and I could not be more grateful. Its impossible to write how wonderful Ashley is as a doula, a friend, and a resource -- it seems inadequate to say she's the best thing that happened to us throughout our pregnancy journey. I delivered on March 25, 2020 -- just as COVID19 was quickly shutting down birth wards, restricting support persons, and increasing anxiety. Ashley elegantly handled the situation, coming up with innovative ways to ensure we had as much support even though she couldn't be in the labor room with us. She made us a small 'doula bag' with tools she typically uses so we would have that with us. We skyped her into our entire labor and it felt like she was right there with us in the room. I hung onto her words of encouragement, support, and advice just as if she was there in the room. She took videos of my labor that I requested, she interacted with the staff, helped us make some in the moment decisions (membrane sweep and helping me avoid an epidural), and 'stayed with us' after our son was born. She checked in nearly every day for a couple weeks after and now, I'm about 19 days postpartum, she still hosts a weekly support group that I join. She even dropped a meal off, which we quickly devoured. We truly feel grateful to have Ashley as a permanent presence in our life -- and we hope you do as well.

 

Katie

4/11/2020

Ashley was such an amazing presence to have with us through our first birthing experience. Her energy and sense of humor is magnectic, but she's also incredibly patient and full of knowledge. I loved having her with me to help me thru pain management so my husband was able to focus on experiencing it with me rather than coaching me. If you're looking for someone high energy who knows stuff, Ashley is your gal! 

Kristen

4/11/2020

I tear up when I think about Ashley's role in my journey.  To say she was invaluable to my birth is an understatement.  My labor and delivery went nothing like I planned, and she supported me in a way I didn't even know I needed.  Her words, ideas and personality were a perfect fit for me...and the funny thing is, she was a back-up doula!  I went into labor early and my doula was traveling!  I feel blessed to have been connected with such an incredible human.

Vanessa

4/11/2020

I was lucky enough to have Ashley as my doula for the birth of my second child. After experiencing a traumatic birth the first time around, I knew I would need someone I felt comfortable enough with to let myself be vulnerable. I knew I'd need someone who could put me at ease, joke with me, and bolster my confidence - AND someone my husband enjoyed working with, too - and Ashley is that person. She is knowledgeable, caring, supportive, and encouraging, and very good at putting people at ease! I had a beautiful birth experience this time, even though parts of it didn't go how I planned (babies don't care what your plans are! ??), and a big part of that is due to Ashley's support. I am very thankful for her.

T.Collins

12/29/2019

There is so much to learn about preganancy and childbirth and as new parents we had a lot of catching up to do. We realized that finding a doula would help us get educated before the birth, but also take pressure off during the labor and delivery. It was a game changer to have Ashley with us on the big day (or I should say days!). Having someone so knowledgable and generous in the room put us at ease. When my birthplan went sideways, it was especially helpful to have Ashley guiding us, answering questions and making me less anxious. She worked seamlessly with the nurses and our midwives and most importantly was able to include my husband in the whole experience. I think the partners can feel superfluous at times and Ashley very deftly is able to breach that gap. She has an open and down to earth personality. She is also very approachable and I felt comfortable asking her anything. I cannot recommend Ashley more highly. You'd be lucky to work with her. 

Jennifer

12/20/2019

Ashley was the most amazing doula- I am so thankful I found her. I couldn't imagine giving birth without her presence and guidance.

I met her through a class she was teaching. Knowing she was a doula, I asked questions, and got this instant gut feeling, "you need her! This is your doula!" I had a feeling it was going to be the best thing I could do for myself, and I was right.

Her knowledge and support, calm demeanor and genuine positive spirit were totally invaluable. She knew what was going to happen before the midwives would tell me. She helped me feel in control of my birth experience. Most of all, she helped my partner to help me through the whole process from beginning to end. I told her what I wanted, what I feared, and she was always available to listen to me and give me what I needed. She is constantly learning more and getting more knowledge and certifications. She cares so much about providing the best service to her clients and being the best doula she can be. She loves what she does, and it absolutely shows.

I would recommend Ashley to anyone and everyone, I felt so comfortable and at ease with her, and could not have asked for a better or more beautiful birth experience. We got everything we asked for and more!

We discussed things in advance, such as who would "catch" the baby, who would cut the cord, if we wanted pictures (we did!), etc. Hours after giving birth I started getting sad thinking I had no pictures of the experience, and really wish I had some. I didn't even realize that Ashley had captured pictures for us of the birth! She sent them to us, and I was so grateful! She got them without being invasive, capturing genuine beautiful moments throughout, which I absolutely cherish. I had no awareness that any pictures were even taken. She is just so amazing at her job and knowing intuitively where and when she is needed to best help everyone to make everyone happy. Truly amazing, and an enormous blessing.

Griffen Stabler and Melanie Haas

12/12/2019

Ashley was a dream come true. She was approachable, knowledgeable, and confident and put us at ease with her energetic personality and clear expertise in the entirety of the baby journey. She taught us strategies for preparing for the delivery and was great about checking in throughout the pregnancy. On the day of the delivery, her calm and steady presence made everything seem more manageable, from the first contraction and continuing throughout the delivery. In the delivery room, Ashley was an absolute legend and godsend. She was present, invested and confident but never pushy, controlling or anything but supportive of our plans and wishes. She provided constant emotional and physical support and guidance for mom and dad and worked seamlessly with the hospital team throughout. She knew the right time to suggest changes in positions or approach but it never felt like she was being intrusive. When our delivery had complications, Ashley remained calm, reassuring and kept us informed of what was going on. While mom was in surgery after the delivery, Ashley stayed with dad and the new baby and kept everyone calm and collected--it may be a cliche, but I really don’t know what we would have done without her! In the days following the delivery, Ashley remained in touch and continued to be such an amazing resource and support. She provided lactation tips that saved us from a tough start to breastfeeding, visited us at home, and got us connected to some other amazing postpartum doulas who helped us transition into our new life. It is hard to believe that someone can have such an impact on your delivery experience, but Ashley really was a magician and such a blessing. Anyone looking for a doula to help them through this journey should stop looking now: Ashley is the one!!! Ashley is a kind, generous, and knowledgeable expert who became a friend over the course of our birth. We were lucky to have her help our son into the world.

Rachel

9/30/2019

Ashley is a wonderful, lovely woman who made my pregnant, birth, and postpartum experience as beautiful as possible. She was firm and warm as my husband and I needed reassurance throughout our first birth. I am so incredibly thankful for her patience in educating us about our options and pain management techniques. Originally my husband was worried about feeling left out and she did a fantastic job in helping him be a supportive coach. I felt so much more at ease with Ashley by my side throughout this entire experience. I cannot recommend Ashley enough!! 

Mary Migiano

9/29/2019

I had a c-section with the birth of my first child, so during my second pregnancy I started to do research regarding repeat c-sections and VBAC. I figured the best way to get feedback is to chat with people who had experienced it first hand. I posted to a mom group facebook page asking for people's experiences and Ashley had commented and offered to speak to me about her experiences as a doula. What I loved most was how passionate she was about her profession, so much so that she wasn't trying to "sell" me on her services, she was just genuinely happy to share her experiences with VBAC to help me in making an educated decision. After our phone call I knew a doula was exactly what I needed during this birth and decided Ashley was the right doula for us. This was the best decision I made. She provided so much support and guidance through difficult decisions (like changing my doctor practice to one that had a higher VBAC success rate). She was always available for questions and checking in on me. I was in labor for 43 hours and she was constantly connected to me and with me in person, and postpartum she was always available and touching base periodically as we settled in. I am very confident that i would not have had my successful VBAC without her. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Ashley, and would highly recommend selecting her as your doula. She is a great investment!

Debra W.

9/12/2019

Having Ashley by our side during labor and delivery was one of the best decisions I ever made. Ashley's knowledge and experience along with her bright smile and encouraging words gave me the ability to labor at home longer than I ever thought I could. Her enthusiasm was contagious and ongoing support priceless. I loved sharing the birth of my son with her!!

Brooke

7/25/2019

Working with Ashley was an amazing experience. After a difficult first birth (36 hours of labor, epidural, baby delivered face up, vacuum delivery), I had some anxiety about my second birth. Ashley gave me some exercises to do to help out baby #2 in a better position. She was always accessible via text during my third trimester when I had questions - it was truly like having a pregnancy and labor BFF! She is a lovely person to be around. I also loved that it was her goal to get to know my husband and me as a couple so she could support us together.

During my actual labor, she coached me via phone call through some tough contractions and I was able to stay home longer because of that. I was hoping for an unmedicated birth and I can honestly say I could not have done it without her support. We arrived at the hospital and I was 8 cm dilated and the baby was born within 90 minutes! Having Ashley at my side was an amazing blessing. You would be lucky to have her as a birth partner!

 

Nicole Piacitelli

6/26/2019

We decided to hire Ashley at 36 weeks after taking her childbirth class. We wanted a relatively low intervention birth. I had a strange feeling that I was going to deliever early, so she decided to offer to make our first appointment on Sunday, Mother's Day despite having a family of her own. My water broke on Tuesday morning and I panicked because my practice preferred to induce me, which wasn't part of my birth plan. Ashley helped me empower myself, ask the right questions, and stay calm. My midwife agreed to give me six hours to labor (though she was doubtful I'd make much progress). Ashley gave my husband and I techniques to naturally release oxytocin and move the baby down the birth canal. I ended up delievering our baby boy in 4 hours without even getting an IV placed! It was a calm and controlled environment. My husband was able to help control the intensity of the process with the use of the beautiful rebozo given to us by Ashley. I have never felt so connected to my husband and we will cherish that day for the rest of our lives. We will definitely be working with Ashley when we decide to have our second baby and I highly recommend working with Ashley for all aspects of emotional and physical support through pregnancy, delivery, and even the postpartum period!

Andi

6/3/2019

Ashley has been a guardian angel to my family before, during and after my labor. My first birth, without a doula, had been so traumatic that the second time around I knew something needed to be different. I spoke with several doulas, and when I found Ashley, I knew she had all the experience, background, and most of all, personality to be the support I needed to 'survive' my second labor. My husband was hesitant to get a doula in general. Well, Ashley helped that experience turn from "just surviving" to one of the most fond memories that my husband and I have. Her availability, support, and knowledge was exactly what we needed at a very vulnerable time in our lives. She listened to me and helped me find ways to have the labor experience that I so desired. Needless to say, my husband now is glad that we had Ashley to support us as a couple. She taught him skills that were trully helpful to me, which helped us bond and enjoy the experience of our second child's birth. I highly recommend Ashley to new and experienced pregnant mothers! 

Kelly Billings

4/7/2019

My husband and I are expecting our first child.  We hired Ashley to come to our home for a private birth class and lactation class (she did both classes in one session, which was our preference). She was wonderful!  From day 1 she was extremely responsive to my emails and questions.  When she came to our home she was professional, organized, knowledgeable and approachable.  I felt like I could ask her any question.  I am happy we met Ashley and my husband and I both feel more educated and confident about the birth process.  I also knew nothing about breast feeding and now I feel much more secure.  This was a great way to help put our minds at ease about what’s going to happen at the hospital and right after the baby is born.  I whole heartedly recommend Ashley.  

Meredith

3/28/2019

Ashley was wonderful. She did a fantastic job of both providing the caring support and the knowledge and logistic experience and direction to guide the end of my pregnancy, delivery and early months of momming.  My son is now 8 months old and I continue to have conversations with friends and colleagues about their birth experiences that remind me how much of my experience went smoothly because of Ashley's role in it. She did a great job of getting to know my partner and I so she could help guide us to make decisions consistent with our values as the unexpected part of having a baby inevitably cropped up. We are moving away from New Haven soon and I have joked with my partner that we should have our second child before we leave so we don't have to try to find someone as great as Ashley again.

I should also mention that I'm a physician.  I imagine it takes a special doula to work with physicians as we can be "difficult". Ashley was confident and understood that I respected and needed her expertise.  She also was always quick to provide the evidence or scientific basis for her recommendations (or share the lack of research on certain areas). She always respected my decisions, never pressured me in the least, and was warm, easy to talk to, and incredibly supportive.  We are so lucky to have worked with and gotten to know Ashley!

Joseph

3/17/2019

I can't say enough about Ashley. She came highly recommended by my wife's midwife and after initial meeting/consult my wife and I were both sold. With the diagnosis of a condition requiring delivery of at 37 weeks, Ashley spent time first listening, asking questions and learning about my wife's situation and what she was hoping for with the birth of our daughter. She then spent time talking to us about her approach, how she would be our advocate and how she would share her perspective but ultimately the decisions were up to us.

In the end, my wife's induction took almost 3 days, Ashley was in the hospital nearly the entire time and only left when my wife was sleeping or when we were 'waiting'. When not at the hospital she was "on-call" the entire time to discuss progress. Emotionally the last day was extremely tough for me as my wife had been laboring for nearly 12 hours late into the prior night. During that time, Ashley was there working with my wife and coaching her on the techniques they had practiced for pain management and to progress the delivery. After such an extended period laboring, my wife was physically and emotionally drained. Ashley reminded us both of discussions we had about an extended delivery and pain management that allowed my wife to confidently make the decision to receive an epidural to gain the rest critical for her to make the final three hour "push".

Ask any question and she would calmly lay out options or additional commentary on discussions with our medical team who also saw and treated her as a partner in the effort to deliver our daughter vaginally. My wife had never had a major surgery in her life and was confident that, despite her condition, she could deliver naturally. With Ashley's help and support, my wife delivered our daughter naturally. In working with Ashley, you not only get a wealth of knowledge and an advocate but a tremendously caring Doula who is completely invested in the birth of your child.

Laurie Moore

10/15/2018

My husband and I felt so much more confident becoming parents for the first time with Ashley by our sides! That confidence was so key throughout pregnancy, in the delivery room, and after we welcomed our son. Knowing that we had someone as loving and experienced as Ashley with us throughout the process made it less scary and allowed us to focus instead on the joys of childbirth. I credit Ashley with our son's quick (in a good way) and healthy delivery -- she provided lots of guidance in late pregnancy to help with his positioning, and during labor, she suggested positions that were effective and comfortable for me. My husband was so happy to have her there with us during our son's delivery -- he felt a bit unprepared to be a coach, and he felt that Ashley helped him be the best coach possible. After the birth, Ashley stayed with us for quite a while to ensure that our son had a good latch, and she visited us after we brought him home to make sure that we were all happy and healthy (we were). I look forward to having another baby with Ashley! The whole experience was so positive, and I can't recommend her enough.

Elizabeth Cardone

9/14/2018

Working with Ashley was such a great experience. My husband and I were undecided about having a doula, but after we met with her at 36 weeks we knew it was the right decision for us. Ashley was so easy to talk to and made us feel so comfortable, like a friend we had known for a long time. We didn’t have an exact brith plan in mind and she was willing to work with us to figure out what would be best for our family. Meds or not, she is so open to guiding you in whatever you are looking for in your birth experience. She even taught us exercises to help get the baby into position during the last weeks of pregnancy. She was part of the process before, during, and even after labor, helping us to establish breastfeeding as a certified lactation consultant. My husband was worried about being the only support person in the room and Ashley helped take some of the pressure off of him by offering suggestions for him to help me during labor.  She worried about all the small stuff so that we didn't have to and worked seemlessly with our care team.  I had such a quick and positive labor and delivery for my first baby, and we have Ashely to thank for all her support and guidance! She is 

Colleen Flynn

9/10/2018

Ashley Minihan is an amazing doula! My husband and I wanted an all-natural birth and she ensured our birth plan was carried out to the T. She met with us beforehand, asked us about our ideal birth and then a bunch of "what ifs"--what if I requested pain medication the day of, how should she and my husband respond? These were such great questions we had never thought to discuss. She helped us fine-tune our desired birth plan based on this discussion. She listened to our answers, made suggestions and brought up points that only someone with her amount of experience can provide. 

When the day finally came, she worked with my husband to figure out a good time to come be with us. She then provided care and support but also space to let us have moments together. Looking back I can see how delicate this balance can be and she managed it effortlessly. She guided my husband in how to assist me but then backed off once he was set. For instance, when I moved into the shower for some water relief, she showed him how to essentially massage my back with the shower head and once he got the hang of it, she left us alone for a bit allowing us to bond during this life-changing event. When I was in active labor and pushing, Ashley suggested I try a different position to help my baby down the birth canal since the one I was in prevented my baby from fully crowning. She made this suggestion so appropriately, at the best time and in the best manner. It was easy to see she sincerely wanted me to progress and knew switching positions would help my baby come quicker.

Ashley is sympathetic and knowledgable, two characteristics EVERY doula should possess. She won't act on our behalf or start dictating you do to this or that. On the other hand, she makes suggestions, is recpetive to feedback and truly has your desires in mind. I would recommend Ashley to anyone who is thinking of hiring a doula. She was exactly what we were looking!

Anna Balasingham

5/28/2018

I have had an amazing experience with Ashley. She is very experienced as a doula, i felt reassured and confident having her help me with my newborn. She is very kind and understanding and is always checking up on me, even after her services were completed. She is a wonderful person, great at her job! I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a doula. 

Adrienne Benoit

5/11/2018

When I got pregnant with my second baby, I had my heart set on a vaginal birth after cesarean (vbac) and was hopeful to do it without an epidural. I heard Ashley speak at a childbirth class I attended and reached out to her right after. I knew that I needed the most support I could get, and I was immediately drawn to her positive and calming energy. I cannot even put into words how happy I am that I had Ashley by my side during my pregnancy and labor. She was there for me every step of the way, sending positive affirmations, checking in on me towards the end when I was starting to get anxious, and when I found out my baby wasn’t in a great position for birth, she was right there with suggestions on how to get her to move. And they worked! I texted Ashley when I went into labor and she was right there at the hospital when I arrived. My contractions came on strong and fast and without her support and knowledge to make labor as comfortable as it could be, I don’t know what I would have done! Ashley was hands down my rock, and she guided me through my successful vbac without an epidural! She stayed by my side until baby and I were safe and comfortable. Ashley believed in me when I didn’t think I could go any further. I am forever grateful for her presence during the birth of my daughter! I would absolutely recommend Ashley to every pregnant mama!

Nicole Cyr

5/5/2018

This woman is the epitome of support, grounding and love. My birth experience was exactly as I could've hoped because of her. Ashley Minihan is amazing at what she does and made for the ultimate teammate. She worked just as hard as I did during my labor to make sure I could stay connected to myself and my little love throughout the whole process. Because of Ashley, her knowledge and calming presence I was able to have the natural birth I longed for. Gratitude doesn't even begin to cover it. And I now know that I LOVE giving birth. What an amazing life experience. 

Morgan Grunwald

3/11/2018

I recommend Ashley whole-heartedly and my husband and I feel blessed to have had her with us at my daughter's birth. I initally reached out to Ashley when I was expecting my second child, hoping that having a doula's support would help me to be more confident and able to have the natural birth that I wanted after having a difficult first birth experience. It took only minutes, during our first phone converstation, for me to decide that Ashley would be the perfect person to help me and my husband navigate this experience (and I was right!). Ashley is warm, cheerful, knowledgeable, open-minded, and a great listener. Ashley was in constant contact with me during the months leading up to my due date and she listened to my concerns and offered me the assurance i needed so that, when my labor started, I felt completely prepared, not fearful. Throughout my labor, Ashley remained calm and positive; her gentle encouragement was constantly felt and she was so graceful in how she balanced her presence with that of the doctors, nurses, and my husband. My husband felt that he was much better able to help me during this labor as compared to my first, thanks to Ashley's coaching. Just a few seconds after our daughter was born, my husband turned to Ashley and exclaimed, "I'm so glad you were here!" Thanks to Ashley, I had a beautiful, natural birth and I look back on my experience so fondly - it truly made me a more confident woman and mother. I feel so lucky to have gotten the chance to know Ashley through this beautiful experience and hope you have the opportunity to have her become a part of your story as well! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elise Hodgkinson

3/2/2018

There aren’t words that effectively describe just how wonderful Ashley is! I am a first time mom and interviewed 8 different doulas. I was getting discouraged that i wouldn’t find someone I “clicked” with when my midwife recommended Ashley. Within 10 minutes of talking to her on her phone- just on the phone- I knew she was the right doula for me and my family. She was there every step of the way, but not intrusive, a tremendous support. My husband was apprehensive at first when I told him I wanted to hire a doula, but Ashley put him at ease and in the end we were both extremely grateful she was there. I was hoping to go all natural, but nothing went according to plan and I had a long induction. Ashley was so helpful in ensuring we understood options and supported the various decisions we had to make. Her positive energy and enthusiasm is contagious and she is truly a delight to work with. She was my cheerleader when I wasn’t sure i could go on and knew exactly what positions and various things I could do to make labor more comfotable and productive. I felt supported, heard, and in control of the birth experience despite having to be induced. It was beautiful! I’m hoping to have more kids and hoping Ashley will be there to help bring them into this world too! 

Kristina Kehlenbach

2/21/2018

If you are a mom seeking a different birthing experience... constant support, encouragement , clear communication, experienced advice, a true advocate  throughout your pregnancy, post partum and beyond, I highly recommend my friend, certified doula and mom Ashley Minihan.  I knew Ashley was the perfect doula for me as she is very clear in learning about my desired birthing experience . She helped me understand how different  and more wonderful my delievery experience could be with her help.  I wish I found Ashley for my first birth but I am forever grateful I found her for my second birth. It was absolutely amazing experience.  I went into labor early in the morning and immediately texted Ashley who checked in with me throughout the day. As my contractions grew stronger, Ashley assisted me in techniques to help me cope with the intensity of the contractions and to also help progress my labor safely and naturally.  I dilated from 0-5cm at home with Ashley's support and help.  Ashley met me at the hospital where I delivered and was waiting for me with a wheelchair to wheel me up to the labor and delivery floor. She was my voice during contractions when I was not able to speak and made sure my wishes were executed during this critical time. Ashley coached my husband and me throughout the entire delivery from coping tecnniques, positioning, and kept me updated as to my progress throughout the entire delivery which was extremely important to me!  Ashley was accepted and respected in the delivery room by my medical team and was a true asset which helped create the most unbelievable experience.  She also assisted me in transitioning post partrum with breastfeeding, checked in with me at home and is always available for questions. Ashley, I'm forever grateful for you and truly feel you are a blessing to every mom you work with.  This is why I highly recommend Ashley for every mom:) 

Karleka Norman

1/23/2018

Ashley was AMAZING!!! My husband and I met Ashely when we were 37 weeks pregnant and my only regret was that I wish we had met her sooner. This was our first child and my husband and I had a plan for how we wanted our delivery to go. We signed up for a four session birthing class for which we read and practiced various breathing techniques. However, my husband was still unsure about what he could do or how he would support me during our unmedicated birth. Enter Ashley..She explained to us what to really expect and that she would make sure we received the birth experience we wanted.  She was very responsive to answer my every question via text and especially when it was go time. She met us at our home and we labored right up until she said it was time to go. By the time we made it to the hospital I was already 6 cm dilated (what a surprise!!!). Once we were in the delivery room, Ashley was extremely attentive and at our beck and call. She encouraged different positioning, provided positive commentary and was just a welcome addition to our birth team. Even after the delivery Ashely has been available to our family. She assisted with breastfeeding positioning and latching the night we came home from the hospital. She also provided a beautifully written letter to our son providing a detailed summary of our birth experience. That was such an unexpected and welcome gift that I plan to keep forever!!! 

Ebony De valda

11/7/2017

As I expected and learned through the birth of my first child, those you surround yourself with at such an important and memorable time is critical. I had the usual family and a highly recommended doula to support me. My doula was wonderful and provided great emotional and functional support during the birthing process. I was very satisfied with her services. Then soon after that amazing birth I became pregnant with twins. Having built trust with Ashley through previous interactions I asked her to be my doula for the birth of my twins! Ashley was supportive even before agreeing to be my doula but there was an even sharper awareness of my mental, physical and emotional state once she made the formal commitment. During the labor process Ashley lead me through multiple breathing techniques and movements that made labor more manageable. As we began the delivery process Ashley made sure I remained her focus while the physicians and nurses were focused on prepping the birthing room. The delivery was quiet impressive as I delivered the first baby head down and the second baby breached. Even in such an intense delivery Ashley remained calm and comforting. The birth of my twins was as magical as I imagined. Ashley was a large reason why the delivery went so well. I highly recommend her services and like me I am confident anyone who hires her as a doula will be satisfied with her work. Good luck!!

Nicole Fidanza

11/6/2017

There are no words to describe how important Ashley was to us during our pregnancy journey, the birth of our daughter (our first child), and the post-partum transition to home. Ashley is warm, compassionate, caring, and really knows her stuff! We were on the fence about hiring a doula but after one meeting, I was sold. My spouse was afraid he would lose his role/ be replaced by a doula, but Ashley facilitated the exact opposite- she helped us both navigate each step of labor. We wanted a natural birth- no meds except laughing gas- and I firmly believe this would not have been accompished without Ashley's presence and input. She has excellent working relationships with the staff at our hospital (YNHH) and thanks to her, we had the birth we envisioned! She also has helped us immensely with car seats and breastfeeding information and assistance. We cannot sing her praises enough! Thank you for everything, Ashley!

Alexandra Johnston

10/10/2017

I am so happy that we had the opportunity to work with Ashley for the birth of our first child. As excited as I was, I had a fair amount of anxiety about the labor process. Working with Ashley made all the difference. Her knowledge, kindness, and professionalism helped me approach my labor confidently and much more calmly.We decided to work with Ashley at the beginning of my third trimester. She was always accessible either through phone call or text. We were in regular contact, especially when I was diagnosed with a condition that required lots of extra appointments and an induction date 3 weeks prior to my due date. We touched base after every doctor appointment, and there were lots! As we got closer to my date, Ashley did a home visit and reviewed lots of strategies that aligned with my birth plan. She also worked with me to create my birth plan. She even provided a template for the plan when I said I wasn't sure how to format it and how detailed to be. The doctors and nurses at my delivery said it was one of the most comprehensive templates they've seen. What my husband really appreciated about working with Ashley was how she helped him to be more supportive of me in the delivery room. Because I had an unmedicated delivery, she worked with him on different moves that helped me with pain management. When it came to the actual delivery, I had to be induced a week earlier than planned, and due to medical reasons, I was unable to follow through on many aspects of my birth plan. Ashley was amazing and helped me stick to my goal of an unmedicated delivery by altering some of the methods we practiced earlier. Because of Ashley's support, I feel I had a wonderful labor experience despite my unplanned limitations. At my six week appointment, my doctor commented on how exceptional she thought Ashley was, noticing how supportive she was of my wishes. I’m really looking forward to working with Ashley again when my husband and I are ready for our second child!

Sylvia Janson-Slobbe

10/8/2017

Ashley helped me with first birth experience.

When my husband and I met Ashley for the first time, she came over as a very kind, open, caring person. After this meeting I already knew I wanted to hire her as my birth Doula. She asked me questions I didn't think of and wanted me to have the birth experience that fits me and matched my needs as much as possible. I really wanted to have a natural birth and Ashley helped me with that. Though I found labor harder than expected and wanted to go for an epidural at some point, Ashley, my husband and the nurse kept me from it, but in a good way! They knew I could do it without (and that's what I really wanted!) and were all super supportive. Ashley knows what a woman in labor should do to go through it as best as possible; breathing, poses, how to cope with a contraction.. Her mental and physical support got me through it and I had a natural birth of which I'm really proud of! According to my OB, I had the perfect birth (without any complications and post partum my body got through it greatly) and I would hire her again, definitely!

Eva Heenan

10/5/2017

Ashley was critical to getting me the un-medicated birth I always wanted. She provided support to both myself and my husband, offered suggestions that helped keep my labor progressing, and added that extra element that made me feel secure and supported.

Adding a doula to our birth plan was a last minutes decision for us, but after my first extended labor I was worried about a repeat for my second birth. After speaking to Ashley, I was comfortable that her positive energy and presence would alleviate that anxiety. During labor my husband was a very active participant, but his concern was he didn't always know what help to offer, and I did not always know what help I needed. Ashley was able to provide the next level of support with suggestions to help manage pain, as well as keep me focused and relaxed. Her knowledge also assisted my husband, so he felt more comfortable with his role as support person during labor. Knowing she was there allowed me to focus on my labor, while she offered guidance when needed. I have already referred Ashley to several friends, and highly recommend her.

Lauren Lavoie

7/11/2017

Ashley is an outstanding doula. Any woman who has the opportunity for Ashley to be present during their birthing experience is very lfortunate. Her knowledge, wisdom, professionalism, sense of humor, thoughtfulness, patience, open-mindedness and dedication is evident with every interaction you share with her, and most importantly during the labor process. Ashley was with us every step of the way. She is part of our family story. She provides resources and tools to appropriately, and with your approval, respond to the strenth and challenges that each birthing mother faces, in an empowering, mindful, compassionate, professional way. I would recommend Ashley to any and every expectant parent. She really is amazing. She listens to you. She knew what I was thinking and needed before I did. She respected all of our requests. I had a very complex and long back labor, also a VBAC, sunny-side up; despite these challenges, we had an amazing midwife and doula (ASHLEY!), and my son was born happy and healthy, without epidural. Ashley helped make this very sacred experience a successful one. 

Thank You Ashley!!

xoxo

Stephanie Bailey

4/13/2017

Ashley is an incredibly amazing and kind person. I chatted with several other doulas before talking to Ashley. When we first chatted on the phone I felt like she was someone I could trust, but it was after meeting her that I knew she would be the one for me. Ashley was very understanding when I told her I would likely go early with my birth as I had with my first. During an episode of pre-term labor Ashley checked in with me frequently to make sure everything was okay and to see if I needed anything. Her emotional support is phenomenal. Finally around 37 weeks I started to have frequent contractions for several days. Ashley was just a text and a call away and guided me through every step! When it was action time, Ashley was there to make sure all my needs were met. She was an amazing advocate and voice for me when thinking and speaking were not my strong suites. She was able to help talk to me and make sure I understood what was going on and happening. With Ashley’s help, I had an amazing birth experience. She guided me through one of my most vulnerable times, but made me feel strong and empowered through it all. Ashley will always have a place in my heart and will forever be a part of our story. I would ask Ashley to be a doula for me in a heartbeat!

Susan Donohue

3/29/2017

I LOVED having Ashley.  This was my second pregnancy where I was a single mom. The first I was given a name of a "Very experienced Doula".  My advice: Don't go on a name or experience. Meet the doula and see if they fit YOUR needs..  I'm sure my 1st doula was probably very knowlegable & experienced, however, she was very regimented and made me feel like I wasn't doing my job if I did not do the tasks she asked, she never called me throughout pregnancy, and she was too busy to get back to me often with all of her clients.  Ashley is caring, passionate about what she is doing and does everything she can (really) to make the process as smooth and comfortable for you as possible.  I immediately knew she was going to work for me, because she actually "listened" to my story and just wanted to know how she can mold her experience to my needs.  She "read" me and my situation to understand how she can make my birth as positive as possible. Unexpectedly in labor, I called last minute in the middle of contractions, late at night, at the hospital. She said "i'm on my way" and was there in maybe 15 min or so.   She was the FRIEND.. I needed to be there when I was scared of the pain, to just be there to support me when I was not getting breaks from my contractions.  She was the positive "go" girl that kept telling me I was "REALLY" doing great when I felt I wasn't coping with the contractions well. She supported me at every turn, speaking up for me if I was unable,  when the doctors were making requests that I had not agreed to.  After birth she checked in on me daily, came by my house to see how nursing was going and she wrote my son a beautiful letter to explain how he came into this world (which will go in a keepsake book) and a card to me. Both of which were truley sincere & from the heart . Very appreciated!  She really cares and is present for you during your pregnancy!

soule golden

2/18/2017

Ashley was my doula for my second daughter.  Both births presented the same but Ashley was instrumental in making the second birth more positive.  She was available every step of the way and very knowledgeable about labor practices, birth education, and breastfeeding and post partum care.  She helped by offering positioning advice and gentle touch massage to help my body relax through the many stages of labor.  She also guided my husband so he could better help me.  Through every decision and every phase I felt she went above and beyond to get more information about all my questions.  After a birth with a doula, I really think all women can benefit from having one at their birth.  I highly recommen Ashley!

Carolina Barbosa Maciel

11/30/2016

Unfortunately, relatively few families realize the importance of the support of a doula during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the early post-partum period. Despite being a healthcare professional (neurointensivist) and relatively aware of the benefits of adequate support during this time, I include myself in this group of people that initially had no idea of the impact of having a doula. And I met Ashley almost like by chance - as if there are such coincidences in life. I was 39 weeks, and  we met Ashley in a Child Safety class (she was the instructor for the carseat safety). Her semblance was tranquil, displaying confidence in her skillset, calmly answering our inumerable questions about our carseat and teaching my husband practical pearls regarding its instalation and proper positioning of the baby. We casually spoke about how far into pregnancy I was and Ashley mentioned she was a doula. During that week, I shared a little about myself and my husband, and the family we were about to create. Ashley support during that anticipatory week prior to labor and delivery made it crystal clear to me tthe importance of having her support in that moment. Before even agreeing to work with us, Ashley's compassion, empathy, sensitivity, and caring personality were evident. She calmly prepared for our labor by asking crucial questions so she would know how to proceed in every situation presented to her during my son's birth; she got to know our personalities, our choices, our believes and accomodated her guidance making sure our experience was as natural to us as possible. This is UNIQUE! She cared for me, my husband and my father-in-law during our labor, all night long! She was always approachable, available, caring, and respectful. The harmony between Ashley and our Ob team was incredible. I am confident that my post-partum period was as smooth due to my peaceful labor experience, and I give a lot of credit to Ashley. I whole heartedly recommend Ashley!

Birth Availability for Ashley Minihan CD(DONA), ICCE, CLC, CPST

= Available. Calendar last updated: 08-27-2020