Years in Operation: 20
Type of practice: Collective
Clients per month: 1 to 20
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
Several of our doulas work as Midwife Assistants as well.
We offer doulas with all different skills sets from low cost students to some of the most experienced doulas in the nation.
Rockville, MD Service range 40 miles We cover NoVA, all of Washington DC, and most of Maryland. We also travel nationally and internationally.
View all 9 group doulas
Ursula and team are true birth ninjas!! We both took Ursula's class, and used her as our Doula, and would highly recommend both. The class was super informative and we left feeling as prepared as we could. That said, it was the actual birth where Ursula really shined. We had a few complications, and Ursula expertly guided my wife through the ups and downs, including some incredible on-the-fly adjustments that ultimately led to a healthy, natural delivery. Speaking on behalf of my wife (who is sleeping:), we are both super grateful for Ursula and all she did to help us have a happy and healthy son Fitz. In my opition, there arecertain things in life worth spending on a true professional who you can trust when times get tough, and Ursula is exactly that. We would recommend her / BYD 1000x over!
The amazing doulas of Birth You Desire helped my husband and me to bring two babies into the world in dramatically different fashions. Ursula’s presence at both births was invaluable. For us, working with BYD was a critically important choice.
Our first birth was a long process. Throughout it all, Ursula answered questions, advocated for me, and supported my husband, who was limited by a broken leg. We immediately felt less panicked in her presence: she has worked at all the area hospitals and it was clear that our midwife team and most of the hospital staff knew and trusted her. (Ursula was actually initially on call as backup, and we are so impressed by how quickly she adapted to the situation when called in at the last minute.) When things stalled and a discussion of possible interventions began, Ursula made several positioning and movement suggestions that we would not have considered on our own. She was firm but encouraging; when I was ready to give up, she reasoned with me; and when we finally welcomed our baby, we were joyous and feeling strong. The second birth 18 months later was a much faster process, and this time we needed a lot more support before arriving at the hospital. Once we determined we should go, I was especially grateful that Ursula was there because she was able to tell the staff about me—things were progressing quickly and they would not have had time to learn this information on their own. She recalled which strategies had worked in the past and tried them earlier. This baby was born within a few intense hours, and Ursula’s presence made the birth a much more supported and straightforward event.
Ursula is quick to respond, thorough, and encouraging. We have attended her Birthing Again class and value her advice. I recommend her services to anyone considering using a doula and will always be grateful to BYD for supporting my family at these crazy and vulnerable and beautiful times.
Ursula was truly a godsend for the delivery of my baby girl last year. Having several months to reflect on my birth experience, I can’t imagine a more positive experience because I had Ursula by my side coaching me and my husband through the entire process. Leading up to my delivery I was naturally nervous because this was my first birth and there are so many unknowns. Ursula was able to calm my fears, especially on the day of, because of her unmatched experience and deep passion for what she does. She truly wants the best oucome and experience for each of her clients, and I can’t thank her enough for all the love and support she has provided our family.
Ursula is worth every penny, and so much more!! I had my first son abroad 8 years ago in a country that assigns midwives who stay with you for the whole birthing process. The idea of giving birth to our rainbow baby in the US terrified me. Add advanced maternal age and several health issues and I knew there was no way I could do it without the help of a professional. Going into my delivery I had every confidence Ursula could help me achieve my goal of a natural delivery, but there were 3 separate instances that she caught that my medical team did not that could have quickly railroaded us into an emergency c section. Through her persistence and determination to try any and everything possible to help get our boy out safely her knowledge of positioning, pressure points and talking through all of the options helped us to achieve the best possible outcome. I got my natural delivery with a happy healthy baby boy. Ursula made all of our lives easier, including the L&D team/staff. She is well respected, has tremendous knowledge and an awesome sense of humor. If by some miracle we are ever blessed with another one, my first call after a positive pregnancy test would be to Ursula! She’s become a member of the family and I am 100% confident I never would have achieved anything other than a C section without her!!!
One last thing, her recommendations for Chiro, accupuncture, and breastfeeding help led me to a team of goddess providers that I will be using for a long time to come!
Usula and Birth You Desire are amazing! Ursula was our doula for both of our daughters' births and we owe her immense gratitude. My wife and I are both planners... we discussed, prepared, read blogs/books/articles, and did birthing classes. We still had anxiety and unease because of the unpredictable nature of pregnancy and the birthing process. Ursula coached us through every change and helped overcome frustrations and challenges. For every uncertainty or change, she was ready. We will forever be grateful for her presence and her coaching.
We had a wonderful experience and it is due to Ursula and Birth You Desire.
Ursula was instrumental in my successful breech vbac. During labor, she kept me calm, kept the hospital staff calm, made sure the right medical personnel were in the room, applied super helpful counter-pressure, and generally did everything necessary to provide me an amazing birth experience during which I could be present with the process and not worry about anything except my body and my baby. She is immenently knowledgable and truly has an incredible gift at supporting pregnant and birthing people.
She is accessible at all hours at any point and was able, on a couple of occasions, to calm me down when I thought (falsely) I might be going into labor early. She did so with no judgement and no hint of exasperation even though it was the middle of the night (both times).
She has encyclopedic knowledge of the birth process, positioning, resources, tools, etc.; personal relationships with seemingly every doctor, nurse, midwife, etc. in the DC area; and an incredibly warm, caring, and supportive demeanor. I am so grateful to her and recommend her confidently and whole-heartedly.
My first birth was a traumatic emergency one with a preemie and all kinds of craziness. When I was finally ready to have a second child I knew I needed a very specific type of support. Ursula and Birth You Desire did not disappoint and wisely helped me make my way through some difficult decisions. This paved the way for a birth and post-partum experience that enabled me to bond the way I wanted with my daughter, get the emotional and medical support I needed, and feel empowered and strong through it all. I highly recommend Birth You Desire and Ursula for ANY type of birth, including planned C-sections. There's so much to process and wade through before, during, and after any birth, and I'm particularly impressed by their post-birth support.
Highlight: Ursula is so incredibly talented that she was able to provide me the support described below VITUALLY via FaceTime and I can confidently attest that I feel just as supported as when she was there in person for my first birth.
Ursula is my birth rock. She helped me bring all three of my children into this world and the last two births she was a virtual doula over FaceTime. She keeps me grounded and present. She keeps me safe. She comforts me and pushes me. She builds up me strength and confidence so I can create any birthing experience I desire, truly living up to her name: Birth You Desire.
Ursula - You are amazing and found your true calling. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for our family. We love you.
We weren't initially sure we needed a doula since everything seemed to be going well during the first trimesters of my pregnancy, but we decided to go ahead with doula support anyway. We are *so* glad we did. Ursula was simply amazing--I really can't say enough to explain how incredibly helpful and supportive she was in the run-up to and during the birth. She was responsive to all our concerns, always available when we needed her, incredibly knowledgeable about all the medical procedures and options we were confronted with, and immensely supportive to me emotionally. I had no idea how complicated and challenging making decisions would be during the last few weeks of my pregnancy when I suddenly dealt with a breech baby, an ECV, an induction, and other unforeseen circumstances. Ursula made such a difference in ensuring that we felt we had made all the best decisions we possibly could, and I would never want to prepare for another birth without her!
This review is for all the dads/partners. There is a significant misconception that doula's are to help Mom's-to-be (or at least, I had that thought). This couldn't be further from the truth. A doula is entirely for the father/partner. Going through the birthing process without a doula, would be like an NFL game without a referee - it would be a terrible idea. Without guidance, the game would happen, but there would likely be more crying, tantrums, potential injuries, and upset players than there needed to be.
I have a medical background, but felt like I was on a 1980s stock market trading floor (in another country) when my wife was giving birth. The doctors and nursing staff have been through this 100s of times- you haven't. No matter how prepared you think you will be, there is no substitute to having an advocate for you, your wife, and your unborn baby, in the room - helping to make sure that your best interests are attended to. As great as your doctor and nurses are, they are likely juggling several other deliveries at the same time - not to mention there personal lives. It is impossible for them to care as much as you do about this birth. Having a doula gave me the comfort and the piece of mind that I could stand there like an ineffective, inanimate object, while this amazing event occurred - and there would be at least one adult in the room looking after my (I mean, my wife's) best interests.
You can't get any better than the doula's at Birth You Desire- Ursula is amazing and once you meet her, you will understand that she would not tolerate anyone working with her that is not just as amazing and experienced.
Congratulations and good luck.
We couldn't be happier with the support Ursula provided. I'll admit I started off skeptical of whether we needed a doula at all but wanted to make sure my partner felt fully supported going through the birth process with our second child. While I don't know if every doula would have been right for us, Ursula was amazing, providing the right information and support to my wife, me, and the care team. What was most notable was the way Ursula elevated the whole care team - she clearly had earned the trust of every care professional in the room and made everyone's life easier. I would highly recommend Ursula to anyone - especially if you are at all skeptical of whether a doula is 'worth it'.
We had the best experience with Ursula. As first time parents, she gave us the support and knowledge we needed to feel confident and really enjoy the full experience of labor and delivery. I experienced some unexpected complications during labor, but Ursula was able to coach me through it all and I was able to have the birth experience I was hoping for. You can really tell Ursula truly cares for her moms, dads and babies! I couldn't have asked for anything more or imagined going through it all without her!
I continue to reflect with such gratitude for Ursula and her gift of supporting my labor and the birth of my child. I actually can think of what it would have looked like without her there...and it’s not the empowering and amazing experience that she ensured my story to be.
She gave us knowledge and courage, she gave us safety and trust. Ursula's affirming, non-judgmental care allowed me to trust my intuition and my body. And through all the challenges and turns in the labor & birthing process, my narrative of the birth of my child highlights me as a total birth warrior. I celebrate and love every part of my child's birthday because it is our very special (albeit a bit long) story, which Ursula helped in every possible way to make happen.
We had the most amazing experience with Ursula! After a very traumatic birth with my first I felt very strongly that I wanted to deliver naturally the second time around. I was able to do just that with Ursula and I'm sure I would not have without her. I trusted her completely throughout the labor and delivery experience and was very thankful to have her there because she didn't let me give up on myself. As a result the birth was so empowering and my recovery has been so much easier.
Mt husband and I took an 8 week birthing class with Vynessa Pantano and it was great! The documents we received were well written and organized with really helpful photos and illustrations. Vynessa's friendly demeanor was comforting and she had answers to all of our questions. Her class wasn't just telling and explaining, it was showing and letting us practice as well. We even did a few meditation exercises and visualizations. It was a super great experience and my hubby and I were actually sad when it ended. But we feel so well informed that it made us more confident in our labor and delivery preparation. I highly recommend working with Vynessa, she's amazing!
Ursula is simply the best! She supported my husband and me during the births of both of our children. After the birth of our son in 2014 I told my husband I wouldn't have another baby without Ursula. She was that good! She was a reassuring, constant presence at the births which allowed me to relax and trust that I had an educated health professional supporting me with any decisions that came up. She offered hands-on support that eased discomfort and pain and also helped my husband support me by showing him what might help with various symptoms. We highly recommend her to anyone looking for a doula!
Ursula was our doula and childbirth educator for the birth of our daughter. She made us feel as prepared as we possibly could for an optimal pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. Our daughter arrived ahead of schedule and Ursula was out of town (we knew this would be the case), so Lynn was the doula who attended our birth, along with trainee Kelly. They were both of immense help during a difficult labor process and I credit them with keeping me out of the OR and enabling a vaginal birth. The follow up and support from all three ladies after the birth has been helpful and reassuring. I am not sure I would be in a good place without the preparation and follow up from birth you desire. They were also adept at helping my husband and me to bond during this process. I highly recommend them to anyone who is seeking wisdom and help on their journey to parenthood.
My husband and I had an excellent experience with Lynn Converse. She was very helpful before the birth in letting us know what to expect and helping us come up with a birth plan. She took the time to get to know us and what we were looking for in terms of support and our ideal vision of our child's birth.
During labor she was helpful in giving me breathing techniques, comfort positions and moral support. Lynn was enormously helpful in talking through the contractions and helping me with coping mechanisms through the labor. Lynn also knew hands on techniques that helped with pain and helped the baby get into position for birth. She knew when and how to use my husband for help as well.
We were able to look to Lynn for advice when decisions had to be made on the spot and she was able to explain what was happening and the pros and cons to any decision. It was comforting to have Lynn at the birth of our first baby as someone who has seen this before and who could reassure us of what was normal and what we could expect to happen. Though we had taken a class and read books, during the labor and delivery we seem to have forgotten everything we learned and planned, but Lynn was there to guide us through every step and remind us of what we wanted and how best to acheive it.
Lynn was patient, supportive, and clear headed, all of which was helpful both as we planned in advance and during the labor and delivery itself.
It was helpful for my husband to know that there was someone there who had our back and could help us through the whole process. It made a tremendous difference in the entire experience.
We could not be happier with our experience hiring a Birth You Desire doula. Lynn was so amazing!!! Her support before, during labor and birth and post partum was amazing. She made us feel like family! Her encouragement was beyond our expectations. During labor and delivery Lynn's presence was exactly what was needed. I genuinely believe that it was because of Lynn that I was so pleased by our birth exprience. Couldn't have been happier!! We recommend Birth You Desire with no hesitation!
Ursula was our doula for both of our daughters births. Diana was born in May 2014 and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that had it not been for Ursula I would have ended up with a c-section; which would have been okay but was not my preference or plan. Diana was a long 30+ hour labor due to PROM. She was in a compound presentation and thanks to Ursula (not the doctors)she figured out that I had a band of tissue that wasn't allowing my daughter to descend which needed to be sniped.
With the birth of our second daughter, Evie in November 2015 we again had Ursula by our side. Evie was a much better textbook kind of delivery with the exception of being in a DOUBLE compound; yet still was an easier delivery than Diana.
People always ask my why we used a Doula. For me personally having an advocate like Ursula by my side took the confusion, unknowns, and anxiety out of the equation. I 100% trusted her and she allowed me to feel very impowered and confident as a birthing mother. She's geniunely cares about her families and connects on a personal and emotional level far long after the birth of your children.
I can't even begin to image giving birth again without her. Truthfully she will know as soon as the stick has a second line :)
Ursula was present for the birth of my daughter in 2015 and was an amazing support. I arrived in DC from West Africa during the 34th week of my pregnancy. Being so far along I was unable to take prenatal classes, and as a first time mother to be was nervous about delivery. From my first contact with Ursula she talked to me about my anxieties and was available to answer any questions I had leading up to the big day. During delivery I could not have asked for better support. In addition to being technically competent, her attitude ensured a relaxed experience by balancing a great sense of humor with strong mental and physical coaching. Her constant presence by my side and her ability to make me feel at ease helped me birth my baby with little stress. I know that my time in labor was much reduced thanks to Ursula's coaching and I can't be thankful enough.
From the beginning of my pregnancy I was not set on any particular birth plan except that I wanted to avoid an unnecessary c-section. Although I wanted to see if an unmedicated labor would be possible for me, I appreciated how nonjudgmental Ursula was about the use of epidurals when that was the direction I chose to take, and when I opted for the epidural it was an informed decision. I cannot stress how important this was for me as during my pregnancy I often found the discourse surrounding labor to be strongly divided (and often nasty) between the all natural route versus the other end of the spectrum.
Ursula's support did not end at my baby's birth. During a post-partum home visit she helped me through difficulties I was having with nursing due to my baby being born with a tongue tie. She taught me how to improve my daughter's latch and referred me to a lactation consultant who provided us with continued support thereafter. I highly recommend that anyone in DC who is looking for a competent birth coach with an awesome bedside manner consider hiring Ursula as their doula, she is great!
My husband and I initially thought that Ursula was more doula than we might need, but we decided to go with her because we immediately liked her calm, take-charge energy and sense of humor. She turned out to be exactly the doula we needed, and working with her was possibly the smartest decision we made throughout my pregnancy. After my due date came and went and I was scheduled for an induction, Ursula patiently walked us through how that would go and what options I would have for maintaining freedom of movement, positioning, etc. When I went into labor the night before the scheduled induction, Ursula came to our house in the middle of the night even though it looked like we might have a long way to go. When my labor suddenly began to progress much faster, Ursula immediately realized what was going on and calmly got us out the door. She called the hospital (I delivered with the GW Midwives) and told them we were on our way in, and because the staff there know and respect her, they listened to her assessment! When I arrived at the hospital fully ready to push, I walked straight into the delivery room, and everyone was scrubbed in and ready to go. My baby girl was born healthy less than 30 minutes later! There were a couple complications during and after the delivery, but with Ursula by my side it didn't even occur to me to worry. She enabled me to access so much inner strength and is still a source of support to me now, even though my daughter is almost a year old.
Other than the intangibles, two things about Ursula are particularly noteworthy: first, she's really well-versed in pain coping techniques, so no matter how you're laboring she can get creative to help keep things manageable. Second, she has good and long-standing relationships with medical staff (at least at GW, where we were). I can't overstate how important that was for my birth experience.
We had the experience of working with Ursula beginning with her in-home group classes and as our Doula for our first daughter. From the father/husbands perspective, I am not sure I would have enjoyed the experience nearly as much if it weren't for Ursula's support, knowledge, humor and compassion. She ensured we were prepared for every step from start to finish and was an unbelievable resource for any questions or concerns we may have had. This made our decision very simple for our second and Ursula was our first call (even before family knew!) to ensure we could retain her services once again. I would highly recommend her or any of her partners for your pregnancy, birth and postpartum needs.
Ursula was an essential part of my birth team. I had dreamed of an unmedicated, natural delivery since before I even wanted children of my own so once we got pregnant, I knew we needed a doula. Ursula came recommended by two of my mom friends so we decided to take her class and hire her as our birth doula. Throughout our pregnancy, she was no non-sense yet kind, honest and full of humor. She made my husband and I feel prepared, confident, and supported in the months, days, and hours leading up to our baby girl arriving. Two things I want to highlight: 1. Ursula was incredible at working with the team at the hospital, our midwife and nurse. She was so hands on and made sure I had everything I needed! 2. You can't beat the access and experience that come with working with Ursula. She has seen it all, knows so many tricks, and has more resources than you could imagine at her disposal. Thank you, Birth You Desire and Ursula!
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