Birth You Desire ® LLC Photo

Birth You Desire ® LLC

Rockville, MD Service range 60 miles We cover NoVA, all of Washington DC, and most of Maryland. We also travel nationally and internationally.

http://BirthYouDesire.com

Birth Fee

Not specified

Postpartum Rate

Not specified

Black Owned/Operated Collective

Birth Fee

Not specified

Postpartum Rate

Not specified


Years in Operation: 25


Type of practice: Collective

Clients per month: 1 to 20 births and 1 to 20 postpartum families

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.


Fee Details

We offer doulas with all different skills sets from low cost students to some of the most experienced doulas in the nation.

Service Area

Rockville, MD Service range 60 miles We cover NoVA, all of Washington DC, and most of Maryland. We also travel nationally and internationally.

You are viewing all 3 doulas.

Birth Fee: $2500 to $3000

Postpartum Rate: $45 to $55

SEE FULL PROFILE

Updated 4/16/2024

Certified Doula
VERIFIED CERTIFICATION
Years in practice
YEARS IN PRACTICE
12
Testimonials
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
34

Birth Fee: Not specified

SEE FULL PROFILE

Updated 11/15/2023

Certified Doula
VERIFIED CERTIFICATION
Years in practice
YEARS IN PRACTICE
25

Birth Fee: Not specified

SEE FULL PROFILE

Updated 7/6/2022

Years in practice
YEARS IN PRACTICE
10
Testimonials
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS
1

Client Testimonials for Birth You Desire ® LLC

Post a testimonial for Birth You Desire ® LLC

C.H.

5/20/2024

I have known Ursula Sabia Sukinik for 20 years. I have met a few of her clients over the years and they all gave positively glowing reviews. When my child and their spouse got pregnant, I reached out on occasion for advice on local Doula services, pregnancy questions and other related things. Recently some problems developed with my grandchild-to-be and Ursula came through with advice and contacts to help the nervous parents work through things. She has always been generous with her knowledge and emotional support, and I cannot recommend her and Birth You Desire highly enough!

Carly

4/28/2024

We loved working with Amy! She was full of amazing information and resources throughout my pregnancy and I truly appreciated all her follow-up afterwards to make sure the baby and I were adjusting smoothly upon getting home from the hospital. It was wonderful to be able to turn to her during labor and ask for her opinion. She helped us navigate through some tough decisions (such as an unplanned c-section) and feel confident we were making the right choice. Amy expertly and calmly spotted issues during my labor and helped us navigate thorough labor so that both our baby and I would be okay in the end. My husband and I constantly remarked that hiring Amy as our doola was the best investment we made during our pregnancy. 

Carrisa

4/8/2024

Giny was an incredible birth doula! Not only that, we are so thankful to currently have her as a postpartum doula as well. Giny was along side me during a very vulnerable time when I was nearing the need for a c-section during delivery. I truly believe that the confidence Giny have me during labor and the advocacy she provided, I was able to keep my heart rate down and successfully deliver vaginally. Having someone that knows the process of birth and your wishes, is worth the cost every time. I will never forget the moment when Giny was holding my hand while the room waited for my baby to begin crying; since Dad was at the baby's side, it was Giny that was providing me reassurance and comfort during the longest moment of my life. She is truly a professional while proving the comfort of a dear friend or close family member.

Alli

3/10/2024

Ursula was an incredible helping our family get back up and running after the birth of our second kiddo. The baby was born without a functional immune system and mom was recovering from a C-section while also having just come off cancer treatment during the third trimester.

Ursula came to the rescue as we all tried to get back on our feet, get the baby healthy and get mom and dad back to work while making way to support our toddler with the transition.

Ursula was available when Mom needed to leave the baby and head to doctor and other recovery appointments. This enabled the baby who's immune system was fragile to get stronger by the day at home and keep her on schedule.

We can't say enough about the support Ursula provided, we felt so fortunate to find her during such a stressful time when trying to get the baby healthy and with all that mom was going through.

If you're looking for a flexible and supportive partner in trying to get through the 4th trimester, no matter the challenges and circumstances, check out Birth You Desire!

Olga Guerrero Horas

3/6/2024

Amy has been a solid rock to us on the lead up and during the birth of our son. She helped us navigate the choices we had with the right amount of information, provided reassurance when needed and was a very valuable resource during my complicated and far from planned delivery. Amy is reliable, approachable and makes no question or choice seem unimportant, whilst still helping to navigate it and taking the weight off things. We are extremely grateful for having her and for the support she is providing post partum too!

Sarah C

2/5/2024

Our experience with Amy Lentner for prenatal, L&D, and postpartum doula support was excellent. It was very helpful to have someone consistently with us in the lead up to our due date to discuss our preferences, think through options, and raise questions. She was always supportive and non-judgmental, and was very easy to get in touch with through email, text, and calls. She helped me through a long unmedicated, induced labor with counter-pressure, suggesting positions, and general moral support; our L&D nurse also happened to be a doula, and she commented that Amy was one of the best doulas that she had seen in the delivery room. During postpartum support, she helped us get the hang of basic baby care, which we absolutely needed as sleep-deprived first time parents. She also provided much needed baby care during an overnight when we needed sleep, as well as during a few nights out to allow us to feel like adults again. She was always very flexible in scheduling, and she was very mindful of helping us keep our baby healthy in the height of cold season. I recommend her services without hesitation.

Alanna Tondi

1/29/2024

Royan was our postpartum doula for our first-born and was instrumental in making sure the entire family system was set up for success from day 1. Early on, we were having trouble getting our daughter to sleep on her back and Royan offered sleeping techniques to soothe our little one into her crib. Our daughter also had challenges with rapid weight gain, so as an IBCLC, Royan’s expertise came in handy to recommend schedules and techniques for breastfeeding, pumping and offering formula. After a few weeks working with Royan, we are more confident in our day/night schedule, ability to nurse and our daughter now sleeps almost anywhere! We loved working with Royan and highly recommend bringing her onboard to ease the transition to parenthood.

Alanna Tondi

1/29/2024

Vee was our birth doula for our first-born and was a huge support throughout our entire journey from pregnancy to labor and postpartum. She went above and beyond by coming to our house on multiple occasions to walk us through our birth plan and provided exercises that helped us feel prepared before going to the hospital. When we were in active labor for several days, she also coached us through our options to reduce potential interventions, ultimately reaching our goal of having a safe and healthy labor for our daughter. In addition to her coaching and advocacy at the hospital, Vee also specializes in belly binding and offered to help us with a few overnight shifts over the holidays to make sure we could rest and reset. Vee has been amazing to work and we highly recommend working with her as a birth doula, belly binding expert and postpartum support. 

Kelly G.

1/21/2024

Giny is everything you could want in a postpartum doula. She was our postpartum doula with our first child and we were quick to reach out to her again when pregnant with our second! Giny expertly helped us with all the new parent stuff – such as bathing, cutting nails, soothing, and establishing sleep routines – supportively working with us to increase our confidence. She has a true gift for supporting the well-being of the parents as well as the baby, thoughtfully listening to our specific challenges and customizing her recommendations to be a good fit for our parenting style. With our second child, we asked her to help with meal preparation and laundry in addition to watching the baby during the hours she was with us, and she very capably juggled all of these tasks. On top of all this, Giny clearly loves what she does and is a warm, caring human being – she elevates the mood of the house while she is there and leaves parents feeling much better than they did when she arrived. I threw a lot of sleep-deprived, hormone-fueled anxieties her way and she handled them all with calm, empathy, and grace. Our kids are toddlers now and we continue to reach out to Giny for the occasional support needs we have. I give Giny my highest recommendation – any family would be very lucky to have her as part of their parenting journey!

Lisa

1/17/2024

We had a great experience with Birth You Desire.  It was nice to be able to interview a couple of doulas to find one that matched our needs and personality.  We contracted with Amy L for birth and postpartum due to her many years of experience and the wealth of knowledge and resources she shared with us.  It was very helpful to talk through with Amy what was shared in our doctor's visits in those final weeks leading up to the birth.  We had a scheduled C-section but it was still very helpful to have her there with us to explain how it would go and be there initially after the procedure for skin-to-skin and the initial breastfeed. She was available via text while we were in the hospital.  Postpartum she stayed overnight with us during our first night and throughout the first few weeks for the many "is this normal?" questions we had.  We're so grateful to Amy for walking us through this life-changing experience and all the unknowns that come with it.  

Keely

1/15/2024

Giny from Birth You Desire was our postpartum doula for our first-born child and we could not have done it without her. She taught us how to give him his first bath, change his diaper without a huge mess, and set a schedule for our lives. Giny stayed on with us way beyond what we expected, even filling in for us on certain nights 4 months after he was born. Giny is so caring, amazing with babies, and incredibly reassuring to new moms and dads. We would recommend her to everyone and still keep in touch.

Laura Herman

1/12/2024

Amy was a fantastic doula - she is a calming presence and really supported us leaning up to, during, and following our birth. I really appreciated how her energy would match mine and we got off to a great start as she affirmed my hospital and OB practice choices. I always felt like she had my best interest in mind, and was never trying to persuade me, but rather educate me on my options. She was a great sounding board in the months and weeks leading up to our due date as I had any pregnancy questions. When our actual birth went a bit differently than expected (don’t they all!), Amy was incredibly flexible and supportive. I’ll never forget her joining us in the recovery room and teaching me how to feed our new baby. It was a pleasure to work with her and I strongly recommend her!

Rachel Carver

1/12/2024

Giny was an excellent Doula! Very attentive and knowledgeable. Not to mention her bright and infectious personality which honestly was such a Godsend in those later very hormonal months. I feel like Giny took extra special attention and had great tips and support for my pre and post-natal care! I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking a doula!

Mat G

11/8/2023

Ursula and Birth You Desire are amazing. This is the second baby for which we used her Doula services. God help us if we have another child, but if we do, there is no question that we will use her again. There seems to always be a new challenge that arises, and given that everyone (Drs., nurses, and everyone) has competing needs, goals, and requirements- having someone who is on your side, looking out for your interests with 100s and 100s of delivery experiences... is just priceless. Guys, do not hesitate to use a doula and BYD- you will be so glad you did.

Rukhsana Jewayn

11/6/2023

Ursula provided me with the most amazing birthing experience I could have imagined. I dreamed of a natural birth, and because of her, I was able to have that for my second child. I worked hard to visualize this in the years before, but her confidence, expertise, and know-how were life-changing for us. Her work deeply moves us, and we couldn't recommend having her on your journey toward the birth you wished for more!

Veronica

11/4/2023

Our pregnancy, labor, and delivery experience would not have been the same without Jenn. From the moment we hired her, she served as a helpful resource for questions that arose, no matter how big or small. We also took Birth You Desire's infant CPR class with Jenn, which was great for us as first-time parents. In the lead-up to our due date, we had multiple hour+ long zoom sessions with Jenn to discuss the labor process and expectations around birth. When we found out we'd have an induction, Jenn offered another zoom to walk through how this process would be different and how she would support us. During labor and delivery itself, Jenn offered calm, even-keeled advice, coached us through positions, and worked seemlessly with the hospital staff to make sure we felt safe and taken care of. A week after delievery Jenn made a house call to check in and offer additional resources to us. Thank you, Jenn! 

Our postpartum experience was a bit of a rollercoaster and we found ourselves in need of last-minute support at night. Birth You Desire immediately connected us with multiple night doulas who provided invaluable support beyond just allowing us to get a full night's sleep! We worked with Vee and Giny who provided us advice on everything from swaddling to burping and were warm and comforting with our newborn. 

We cannot recommend BYD enough! Thank you Ursula and team! 

Elena Thomas

10/9/2023

We had a wonderful experience with Ursula from Birth You Desire! As an anxious first time mom, I had a lot of questions that I felt required a little more time to talk through than what my OBGYN could give me. We hired Ursula as a virtual doula to help us with those questions and concerns, and she was WONDERFUL. Not only did she always make time for me, but I felt like I was actually being heard and respected. My anxiety and stress was so much lower because I knew I had someone who genuinely cared about my birth experience by my side.

We had some complications with our pregnancy and the doctor was not very clear on what we should be expecting when we got to the hospital. Ursula told us exactly what we could expect and assured us that there would be solutions to what we were experiencing. What she had told us to expect happened exactly the way she said it would down to a t. That gave us so much peace of mind in a very trying time. I can honestly say that without her, my birthing experience would have been a disaster. With her, I think the whole thing was just wonderful and magical despite it not being "perfect".

If you're thinking about hiring a virtual doula, do it. If you want the best of the best virtual doulas, hire someone (but specifically Ursula) from Birth You Desire.

P.S. we also took birth classes through Birth You Desire, they were great! Not only were they informative, but we felt like there were so many tips and tricks to make pregnancy an easier experience that you can't find anywhere online. We would highly recommend the classes to first time parents in particular!

Preet Ahluwalia

10/2/2023

Ursula and Birth You Desire were a huge help to us during our labor prep and birth experience! They were recommended to us by our local doula for TENS unit rental. I found the ObiTENS to be a huge help for me during labor for our firstborn!

I cannot thank Ursula enough for her kind guidance through the process of renting the unit and getting it set up. As we were preparing for our delivery, I ended up needing to be induced sooner than anticipated and Ursula worked tirelessly to ensure the unit was shipped to me from across the country so that I would have it on time for our delivery!

Regarding the ObiTENS unit -
I had an epidural during my delivery and knew I wanted to stay as active as possible before that. I found the ObiTENS unit to be profoundly helpful and was able to have a few hours where I could walk around, stay active, and feel more myself. It was nice to feel like I had some control in managing the pain with my contractions since I could adjust the intensity through the experience. As this was our first baby, I did not know what to expect, but found that I had more back pain with my contractions and found the TENS to be really helpful for management of that! I definitely plan to rent a unit for our next baby!

Overall, I strongly recommend anyone to work with Birth You Desire for TENS rentals. It is abundantly clear they are a wonderful and compassionate team who truly take a patient-centric approach to care!

Dana

6/21/2023

I worked with Amy at Birth You Desire and highly recommend her. Even as a second time parent with a quick birth, I'm so glad I had her in my corner. She helped me prepare for labor, helped me during labor and with latching immediately after, and gave me advice on infant feeding and sleep after my baby was born.

Jonathan Lees

6/20/2023

Ursula did a great job matching us with Amy as our doula. We really feel lucky that Amy helped us birth our child. She listened to what we wanted and anticipated what we needed. We both wanted someone with experience to help expand on what was going on and to be a calming presence during active labor; Amy provided just that. We also had some specific medical concerns that she was more than happy to take into account. Both of us felt that the pre and postpartum sessions were useful addressing questions that we had and planning. Finally, Amy arrived at the expected time and was with us for all of active labor, a luxury we wouldn’t have gotten with just a hospital nurse.

Ziyue Gu

5/31/2023

Working with BirthYouDesire is the best decision we’ve made as first time parents! We took the childbirth class with Ursula, and it prepared us well for what’s coming. Ursula checked on me regularly before my scheduled induction, which made me feel cared for and supported. When my water broke a couple days before the induction and caught us by surprise, my birth doula, Ursula, was the anchor for me and my husband. Throughout the ups and downs of my labor, Ursula shower so much expertise but also meticulous attention and care to both me and my husband. We didn’t know how much we needed Ursula until we actually went through the birthing process, and now we couldn’t imagine giving birth without a birth doula. With Ursula’s help, I had an amazing labor experience that I didn’t dare to dream about.

We are also very happy with the postpartum doulas who cared for me and my baby after the birth. We were so clueless and anxious after being discharged, but Royan made everything a thousand times better. She helped me with breastfeeding and establish a great milk supply. She taught us all the basics of caring for our baby. Even my OB were amazed by the care BYD provided. We also worked with Portia until our baby’s 3 month old. She is the sweetest. She really took great care of our baby and was so kind and empathetic. She’s also very knowledgeable and helped us catch baby’s silent reflux problem. We can’t thank Royan and Portia enough for helping us navigate our first time parenthood.

BYD is a very efficient organization. Quick and timely responses. Simple process. Great communication. Ursula was able to find us back up postpartum doulas within an hour of request when we were in urgent need. We are really impressed by all the doulas and by the quality of care BYD provided. Would totally come back for the next round :D

Ziyue Gu

5/31/2023

Working with BirthYouDesire is the best decision we’ve made as first time parents! We took the childbirth class with Ursula, and it prepared us well for what’s coming. Ursula checked on me regularly before my scheduled induction, which made me feel cared for and supported. When my water broke a couple days before the induction and caught us by surprise, my birth doula, Ursula, was the anchor for me and my husband. Throughout the ups and downs of my labor, Ursula shower so much expertise but also meticulous attention and care to both me and my husband. We didn’t know how much we needed Ursula until we actually went through the birthing process, and now we couldn’t imagine giving birth without a birth doula. With Ursula’s help, I had an amazing labor experience that I didn’t dare to dream about.

We are also very happy with the postpartum doulas who cared for me and my baby after the birth. We were so clueless and anxious after being discharged, but Royan made everything a thousand times better. She helped me with breastfeeding and establish a great milk supply. She taught us all the basics of caring for our baby. Even my OB were amazed by the care BYD provided. We also worked with Portia until our baby’s 3 month old. She is the sweetest. She really took great care of our baby and was so kind and empathetic. She’s also very knowledgeable and helped us catch baby’s silent reflux problem. We can’t thank Royan and Portia enough for helping us navigate our first time parenthood.

BYD is a very efficient organization. Quick and timely responses. Simple process. Great communication. Ursula was able to find us back up postpartum doulas within an hour of request when we were in urgent need. We are really impressed by all the doulas and by the quality of care BYD provided. Would totally come back for the next round :D

Katie

4/9/2023

Ursula is an incredible doula who worked with me for the births of both of my sons. She is highly experienced, has tremendous expertise, and I felt fully prepared and supported through each successful natural birth. Highly recommend!

Nicole Jennings

3/28/2023

Ursula is incredible! She is informative, patient and kind. We had set out to have a natural birth with Ursula in attendance and in the end our child had different plans as he was breech and we opted to have a cesarean. Ursula was there as a sounding board as we took steps through various techniques and options to flip our child and was willing to assist us should we have decided on a breech birth. While I didn't labor the way most women will, my water did break and I did go into labor for a few hours before an OR opened up. Ursula kept the mood calm and peaceful, which is everything you need before your child is about to enter the world. She was such a source of comfort throughout and after our birth. She becomes part of your family as you have this journey together and beyond. Her services are beyond worth it!

Noel

3/19/2023

I cannot recommend Ursula more highly. It is hard to imagine we would have had anywhere near as successful a delivery and post-partum period without her. A few things stand out:

- Her knowledge of complex medical conditions. Ursula was well-versed in how my underlying conditions could impact pregnancy, labor, and recovery, and she strategized with me from day one on how best to prepare, including preparing for a birth without pain medication. When one of my conditions popped up during delivery, Ursula recognized it and made sure the medical team dealt with it swiftly.

- Her effectiveness in the delivery room. Immediately on entering the room, Ursula integrated herself seamlessly with the hospital team and gained their trust. That allowed her to effectively advocate for me and really take charge of my labor. Ursula directed my first and second stages of labor through different position changes and pain relief techniques, including a TENS unit. She helped me avoid pain medication, tightly controlled the second stage, and helped the baby turn to OA.

- Breastfeeding support. I sincerely believe I may not have been able to breastfeed if not for Ursula. After our child was born, Ursula recognized a tongue tie (that the hospital pediatrician and lactation missed) and educated us as to the challenges ahead. Ursula made sure we were seen within days by the best lactation consultant I could imagine, who put us on a completely different path than what was recommended by lackluster hospital lactation and made all the difference for establishing a supply—and for maintaining my sanity.

If I ever become pregnant again, Ursula will be my first call!

Roberto

3/19/2023

I cannot recommend Ursula enough for pre-labor, labor, and post-labor services. My wife and I just had our first child, and Ursula was an integral part of our pregnancy and birth journey. The class was informative and refreshingly efficient. Ursula has extensive knowledge and contacts about different providers in the DMV, including hospitals, PTs, lactation consultants, etc., and when you sign up for BYD, you are also getting access to her amazing network.

One highlight of our experience with Ursula was her focus on preparing an individual care plan for my wife, who has a handful of medical conditions that indicated potential issues during pregnancy and delivery. During delivery, Ursula effectively advocated for us to the medical team and, frankly, commanded the room. Ursula's attention to my wife's conditions made a potentially difficult and dangerous delivery into a safe and controlled labor.

Following the birth of our daughter, Ursula continued to check in on us and put us in touch with professionals to help address our daughter's tongue tie (which Ursula noticed and flagged for us about 2 MINUTES after our daughter was born!). Thanks to Ursula, we were able to successfully address the tongue tie and work with amazing lactation consultants to help my wife meet her goal of breastfeeding our baby.

If we are ever expecting again, we will definitely be seeking Ursula's services.

Spencer Cantrell

1/25/2023

Ursula was absolutely amazing as a birth doula. Leading up to the birth, we checked in after doctors appointments as things kept changing (baby’s position, date of induction, etc.) Ursula helped me understand what was happening and what my options truly were. Once I shared with her the issues I had during a previous birth, she worked so hard with my provider to ensure and reassure me that this labor and birth would be different.

Once we were at the hospital for the induction, Ursula provided the emotional and physical support to help me have a successful VBAC. She knew what positions to place me in to optimize baby’s positioning and how to frame it for me to give me the confidence I needed to power thru labor. She also encouraged me to ask questions and I felt really empowered and informed throughout. She helped me use the TENS unit which combined with a short labor helped me avoid an epidural. She also helped me husband support me during labor, sharing ways with him he could actively support me.

I am so appreciative of all that Ursula did to support me in having such a restorative birth experience. Before, during and after labor she was an encouraging and realistic presence helping me deal with the ups and downs . I highly recommend her and Birth you Desire. The classes and resources she provides are so helpful too!

Ursula is amazing!!

Paige

1/12/2023

We worked with Lynn for our birth doula doula and Royan and Nobee for postpartum help and our daughter’s birth and first few weeks of her life were made something to be enjoyed instead of survived thanks to all their loving and professional assistance.

I had always planned on an epidural so wasn’t totally sure I would need a doula but Lynn absolutely made my birth experience. She knew how to massage me and guide me through different positions even after my epidural and I felt safe and cared for and could just focus on getting to meet my baby instead of being afraid, which is exactly what I had hoped for. My daughter’s birth was a wonderful experience because of her. She was also great at helping my partner know how to help me and involving him in the birth. Lynn, my nurse, and my husband truly worked as a team to be there for me as I brought her into the world, which was the hardest and most meaningful thing I have ever done.

After she was born, Royan’s assistance as a night doula was also invaluable. She taught us how to bathe her, swaddle her, soothe her. I struggled to breastfeed and she was there to help me but also completely respected my decision to move to formula and helped us make that transition. Nobee also came a few nights to support us and was so warm and kind. It was so wonderful to go up to bed and get some sleep and know our baby was downstairs in great hands for the night. Getting some sleep and some help is the best investment you can make in getting your new family off on the right foot, and I’m so thankful we were able to work with the team at Birth You Desire. Thank you all!!!

Christina Randall-James

1/3/2023

I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for Ursula. I did not think of myself as a doula sort of person really, but after a traumatic cesarean with my first baby I really wanted a VBAC and as I got closer to the due date it became clearer and clearer that the doctors did not see that as a priority and I knew I needed someone in my corner to advocate for the birth I wanted. We found Ursula at 36 weeks pregnant and instantly knew she was the right fit for us: she is frank, down to earth, strong, kind, no nonsense and instantly made us feel at ease and that we were in capable and compassionate hands. She helped me parse out my priorities for the birth ahead of time, kept me focused and calm throughout 19 hours of labor, took time to explain before the doctors came in to check on me each time what they were likely to advise and why, and helped me make decisions with my goals in mind. My birth didn't look like I imagined it - I ended up with both petocin and an epidural by the end, when I had hoped to birth naturally - but thanks to Ursula I felt confident about those choices when I made them and not only did I get the VBAC I hoped for but I actually smile when I think about delivering my daughter. It is a precious and joyful memory and I absolutely credit Ursula with getting me to that place. She was an amazing rock and guide and our whole family is grateful for her. 

Stevie Carter

12/10/2022

I cannot recommend Birth You Desire enough. I was in labor for 20 hours, with maybe 2 hours of that interacting with the healthcare team at the hospital (no complaints, they were pleasant and professional but that's just how it goes). There was a lot of time in the room in between where my husband and I were just sitting there, sometimes worrying and sometimes just at a loss as to what to do.

After Ursula came in, that down time was spent being repositioned to try to facilitate the baby's position, her checking in with us as to how we're doing, her checking with hospital staff as to the progress of things (she had a lot of experience with the staff at my hospital), informing my husband how to facilitate my healing after birth (exercises, etc.). She kept in constant touch with the charge nurse, informing her of my progress as I began to show signs of infection. As my OB started pushing for me to be taken back for a C-section when I started showing signs of infection Ursula helped facilitate the process a couple of steps ahead of my OB with the staff.

Aside from all of that, she was always available for questions before birth and is also there if I need her after.

I had a wonderful experience and highly recommend Birth You Desire!

Milly Huizinga Hicks

11/20/2022

How can you put into words the gratitude you feel towards someone who helped bring your child safely into this world?! Lynn was our amazing doula with Birth You Desire, and we are SO glad we made the decision to work with such an amazing woman to welcome our first baby. Through a complicated pregnancy, Lynn was our sounding board, our voice of reason, and a calming presence. As labor began, Lynn was there for us every step of the way cheering me on and helping my husband support me in the best way possible. By the time our little boy made his arrival, there was nothing my husband and I wouldn’t trust Lynn with! And we certainly would NEVER go through the birth process without a doula. And even after our little one arrived, she was there for the pep talks when I so badly needed them, always encouraging and down to earth. We love Lynn and are so grateful to have been supported by such an amazing woman through our first birth!

Jean Ennis

10/20/2022

I have used BYD for all 4 of my births and it is the best decision I have ever made. Birth was much more challenging than I had expected and it was necessary to have the emotional and physical support of my doula, Ursula. Her experience with positioning, coaching, and pain relief made all of my birth experiences feel safer, better, and gave me more hands on attention than my hospital nurses could provide. Birth is a battlefield and you are have nothing to lose and everything to gain by hiring Ursula.

Emily Helpern

9/20/2022

We've worked with Ursula through the birth of both of our daughters and my husband and I both always say, "we could not have done this without Ursula". Through both births Ursula guided us every step of the way. During pregnancy, we participated in Birth You Desire's birthing class and Infant CPR classes - helping us go into labor and postpartum with more confidence. Through both very different labor and birth experiences, Ursula helped us make important decisions to achieve the birth experience we wanted and helped us understand and make sense of different options and courses of actions. Ursula does an amazon job of establishing a great relationship with doctors and nurses in the room. Ursula provided both my husband and I the right support for our needs, which allowed us to be focused on each other and the birth of our daughters. Cannot recommend working with Ursula and Birth You Desire more.

Anonymous

9/20/2022

Vee, thank you for being our post-partum doula. We really appreciate all your help during such a difficult time. You were so professional and will be missed!

Josh Snyder

9/14/2022

Both of my daughters were born with Ursula and Birth You Desire at their side. After going through the experience, I couldn't imagine doing this without their guidance and comfort. For all fathers-to-be: you don't know anything about birthing a baby!!! You need this!!! An unbelievable resource that provided peace of mind throughout the entire birth process from pre-planning to postpartum check-up. This was hands down, the best investment we could have made in ensuring our daughters had a healthy birth. If you are considering working with Birth You Desire, do not think twice. You will have such a better experience with them by your side. Can't say enough good things about our experience!!

Ann-Marie Luciano

8/24/2022

Over 13 years ago I was so lucky to meet & have the privilege of hiring Ursula as my doula for the birth of my first son (csection) and second second (natural VBAC). I will sing her praises from the mountaintops! Ursula is the best of the best - tons of experience, super knowledgeable, incredibly responsive, compassionate, nonjudgmental, and resourceful and full of ideas for every question (& there were many!) I had. I love Ursula so much I always tell her I wish I could keep having babies just so I can work with her again. Yes, she's that good. Ursula helped me navigate my anxiety, empowered me to have an unmedicated VBAC, & expertly guided me when I experienced post-partum anxiety and breastfeeding issues. I cannot recommend her more highly for any woman, no matter what type of birthing experience you seek.

Shaunte Duverna

8/18/2022

I am a 36 y/o African American woman who sought out a doula to give me the best chance to avoid another c-section with my 2nd child. There is no doubt that Ursula made it possible for me to get my VBAC. I had many obstacles - my son flipped sideways (transverse position) before we could start the low dose of pitocin for my induction which meant I was having a c-section. Luckily my doctor wasn't scheduled to come in until noon, which bought me time to see if he would flip back and he did! However, we still had more obstacles. Ursula recommended that we wrap my belly to prevent my son from flipping back and guided me through spinning babies techniques to move him down and facing my back (optimal position). From the time I actually started my induction and gave birth was around 6 hours, and of that I pushed for 15 minutes. With Ursula's coaching and guidance I truly got the birth I desired.

Not only did she support me, but she also supported my husband and worked well with my OB and nurses (my doctor actually said she was the best doula she has worked with). Ursula made sure that I knew what questions to ask during my prenatal appointments and at the hospital. I felt heard, supported and informed. It honestly felt like having a favorite aunt coaching me and although I had previously given birth, I learned a LOT. The guidance, coaching and advice is invaluable. If you are able to secure Ursula or her team, it will be one of the best investments you could make for yourself and your family. 

Karen

8/18/2022

 Velesha was my doula during the pandemic for a large part of 2020 and part of 2021. Although we had video appointments and were unable to meet in person, I always felt I was well supported, well educated, and well prepared during my birthing journey. Although this was my last child, there was so much I learned from working with Velesha (and so many things I wish I had known before). In addition, this was a child had after a loss and because of that there saw a lot of anxiety I had about being pregnant again and giving birth. Doula Vee went above and beyond to answer questions, address fears and supported me pre and post birth. She is simply the best.

 

 

Megan N.

8/14/2022

We picked Lindsey for the birth of our first child because our OB recommended her, and we liked the fact that she had a medical background.  She was very good at being in touch and answering our many questions.  We also chose to do the Birth You Desire childbirth class with Ursula, which was so helpful, my husband I had no clue on what to expect with birth and we wanted to be prepared.  When we found out we needed an induction Lindsey made sure to sit down with us and go over why my doctor was recommending it and what to expect in the hospital.  This greatly helped decrease my anxiety and reassured me that I was making the safest decision for my baby.  My birth didn’t go as we had planned but my husband and I felt incredibly supported by Lindsey and my doctor.  When my contractions got intense, she showed up to the hospital at just the right time.  Her recommendation of the use a tens unit for my pain helped me labor without an epidural and I am so grateful!!  An unmedicated birth was my goal and with Lindsey’s help I was able to achieve that!  Thank you Lindsey and Birth You Desire!!

Kristin

8/13/2022

When trying to decide which doula would be the best fit for us, my husband and I chose Lindsey because of her experience as a registered nurse in labor and delivery. This provided additional reassurance for us knowing that she had the medical understanding of what was happening and could explain things to us and advocate for me, when necessary, in the delivery room. Lindsey is a good listener and helped reassure me, especially as a new mother. I felt better knowing that Lindsey was available for questions leading up to my delivery day and that she would be in the delivery room. The first week after our baby was born was very challenging, including breastfeeding. I was tired, overwhelmed, and having a really hard time. Lindsey came for a home visit, talked through a lot of things with me. I felt heard, understood, and reassured having her talk through options with me. During my pregnancy and after delivery, Lindsey offered many helpful ideas and additional individuals to contact to help in various areas. I highly recommend working with her.

Randolph

8/5/2022

When my wife first talked about hiring a doula, I was not at the least excited about having someone in the delivery room. With that said, my wife made me sit in on multiple interviews with doulas. At our first consultation with Ursula, I immediately felt at ease. Her knowledge and candid conversation made me forget about all my initial hesitations. So, we went with Ursula, more for how comfortable she made us feel and for the experience (more than 2k births). My wife's delivery was not smooth sailing, as in the movies, but Ursula was a godsend. My son ended up being transverse before the induction. Ursula took charge and coached my wife to force the baby boy to flip down, using spinning baby techniques. She prepped us for the questions we needed to ask the nurses and doctors. She worked well with the hospital staff and made my wife's delivery successful. After working with Ursula, I am a firm believer that a doula is important to have during delivery. With that, if you are considering Ursula, you are making the right choice.

Char

8/2/2022

My husband and I decided last minute to hire a doula. We were so fortunate that another mom had gone into labor early, so Ursula had a spot open up! My husband was skeptical of hiring a doula (at first) but said he would do whatever I wanted to make birth the best it could possibly be so he went into our meeting with Ursula with an open mind. Part of what sold him was that she would be able to help him be able to help me through labor. Smart man because he hasn't seen any births before. Needless to say, Ursula did that and more!

I expected my labor to be quick and easy due to my family history, while still knowing that anything could happen. And I thank my lucky stars that my husband and I had Ursula with us. I had complications that ultimately led to a C section, despite wanting an unmedicated birth. Had we not had Ursula, I would have second guessed every decision I made, wondering if a C section could have been prevented. Ursula explained things to us in a way that made it easy to understand and we knew we could trust her even though our relationship was built fairly quickly due to us realizing very late in the game that we wanted the support of a doula. The nurses and doctors were all amazing, but since my labor was so long, I had several different nurses and teams of doctors which made it hard to build a connection with them. Having one person with me consistently throughout my labor made a huge difference in how I felt about my experience.

Being a survivor of sexual assault was part of what led to me wanting a doula. Ursula explained what to put in the birth plan to alert the care team of my wishes and made sure to advocate for me in addition to teaching me how to advocate for myself in a medical setting. I was terrified of having an epidural and not being able to see or feel what the medical team was doing but I felt safe and supported with Ursula there.

Ursula's experience and knowledge is worth the world! 

 

Jade Floyd

8/1/2022

Ursula has been with me through the birth of both of my children during the pandemic. She was instrumental to a smooth birthing process for both and also ensuring that my healing journey was filled with the support and experts (from lactation to acupuncture) I needed. I have recommended her to several friends as well. She's incredible and I highly recommend her to you for your birth and postpartum journey.

Nicole

7/30/2022

I was blessed enough to have Velesha as my Doula. She really made a big difference in my birthing experience. To look at it on a more positive side, feeling empowered than going in with fear. Before birth she made sure I prepared me with some exercises, affirmations etc as well as checking on me. She was very present during my stay in the hospital with daily visits and after that checking on me mentally as well. It's been such a great pleasure working with her and would definitely 100% recommend her services

Lidwine

7/22/2022

Nowadays, natural childbirth in a clinical environment requires to be very strong and fiercely advocate for yourself. Giving birth in 2020 was especially nerve wrecking. I was particularly blessed for having met Vee, who was my childbirth educator and virtual borth doula. During the whole process, Vee reassured me that my needs where valid. She helped me see ways to maneuver the insecurity of the year of covid 19.  Vee is experienced. She helped me remember my own strength. With her in the picture (although she did not physically assist my delivery), I could make my wish for an unmedicated, natural birth a reality. Thank you so much for your emotional guidance and for being my rock Vee. 

Also, I really appreciate that Vee supports small black owned female entrepreneurs. Way to go.”

Jasmin

7/22/2022

Doula Vee was everything I prayed for and wanted for my second pregnancy. I always wanted to try a doula from the beginning of my children bearing years but as life would have it I was not able to have a doula with my first pregnancy, so when I met doula Vee in the beginning of my second trimester I was extremely excited. I did not know all that doulas did but I knew going into my second pregnancy and wanting to be a VBAC momma I wanted some help and guidance with the birthing and post partum process. Doula Vee really helped to change how I looked and felt about my birthing experience. Even through this time of living through a worldwide pandemic Doula Vee guidance helped me and my husband to implement the techniques and positions to help guide our new little one into this world. Also the post partum support that Doula Vee gave this momma was much needed and extremely life altering as I was able to ease into my new life as a mommy for a second time. Doula Vee has a very calming and soothing presence that every new mommy,2nd time,or even a multi child mommy would want on their team to assist them in their pregnancy or post partum care.

Holly B

7/18/2022

I cannot recommend Birth You Desire (BYD) and specifically Ursula and Lindsey highly enough. We used BYD as a one-stop shop for our birth preparation, taking their online birth classes and infant CPR classes as well as utilizing Ursula and Lindsey as our doulas. We found all the classes to be very helpful and it was great having them all in one place as it's one less thing to think about in the run up to having a baby. Ursula and Lindsey's support throughout the pre- and post-natal period was fantastic. I found the prenatal support so helpful as it provided me with another set of expert opinions to ask questions and get reassurance in those final few weeks. And both Ursula and Lindsey were incredibly responsive over text, email, and calls when I had questions or concerns. Lindsey was present at the birth and truly I don't think it would have gone as smoothly without her there. Just when I started doubting my ability to make it through to the epidural, Lindsey showed up and her calming presence, humor, and guidance made it possible to push through multiple hours of back labor. (Also shout out to the TENS unit which Ursula and Lindsey encouraged me to rent through BYD. It 100% made the 12 hours of back labor bearable. I was skeptical but HIGHLY recommend!) Lindsey not only was able to guide me into different positions pre and post epidural, but was able to help explain in terms we could understand information from our nurses/doctors, next steps, and potential upcoming decision. After pushing for 2 hours, due to several complications, I ended up needing an unplanned, urgent c-section and again Lindsey's calm guidance was so, so invaluable (she even went above and beyond and packed up all of our bags while we were in the OR!). Even though I had planned for a medicated, vaginal birth, labor and delivery has a way of throwing you curveballs and I was so glad to have both Lindsey and Ursula's support.  

Suzanne Thorpe

7/4/2022

Ursula is a amazing!  She supported us in the birth of all three of our boys as well as through a very emotional pregnancy loss in the second trimester. She was so knowledge and made me feel safe and supported through all of my pregnancies, labors, and births. I had a low platelet count in all of my pregnancies where the doctors wanted to discuss induction. With my goal of an unmedicated birth, I did not want the added pressure if induction. Ursula was able to recommend the use of some natural herbal supplements that safely raised my platelets out of the worry zone!  When I went into labor, Ursula was available to support me with pain coping techniques and positions and helped  my husband in knowing how to support me so he felt like an integral part of the birth of his sons. She was an expert in guiding us, but never taking over, our birth experiences. With her support I achieved my goal of three unmedicated births. I could not imagine labor and delivey without Ursula by my side!! 10/10, would recommend to a friend :)

Jessica R

7/1/2022

Having just had my 4th child, I decided it was time to share again how incredible of a doula Ursula Sabia Sukinik is.  I have been blessed to have had her by my side for all of my pregnancies, miscarriages and deliveries.  Each one of my pregnancies was different and she was able to provide the knowledge and support needed for each unique situation.  Ursula has the most calming and reassuring presence.  She empowers YOU by making sure you know what to ask and get the answers you need.  If it was not for Ursula, my birth experiences would have been totally different then I would have wanted.  She helped me create the best possible birthing plan before having my babies and then molded them into the best options during the birth.  What I have learned from having 4 children is, you never know what can happen.  But having Ursua's support makes all of those unknowns less intimidating.  You can truly have the birth you desire! Having just moved to another state, I could not imagine having a baby without Ursula's support.  Thankfully, she also offers virtual services and so we were able to have via zoom which was the next best option.  
If you are having a baby, you NEED a doula.  If you want the BEST doula, hire Ursula! 

Jacqueline Devereaux

7/1/2022

Summary: Ursula is incredible. She has helped us bring 4 children into this world. Ursula was first our doula in 2015 (hospital birth) when we moved to California shortly afterwards. Because of her unmatched support and impeccable balance between comfort and encouragement, even though we had moved, we hired her to be our VIRTUAL doula for our births in 2017 (birth center), 2019 (homebirth), and 2021 (homebirth). 


At our last homebirth, our labor was slow for 20 hours, and then picked up within 45 minutes before I had the baby. In that 45 minutes when it became clear the baby was coming quickly and the midwife was still in transit, Ursula simultaneously and seamlessly communicated with our midwife, calmly explained to my mother how to deliver a baby in roughly 10 steps and discreetly slowed my progress, and all the while I felt completely connected with and supported by her. She had all the bases covered: informing the midwife, preparing my mother in case the midwife couldn't get there, and trying to slowing my progress just enough to try to buy some time. And it worked! The midwife arrived 7 minutes before the baby was born.


I could go on and on about all the details of each of my labors, but the point is: we've invested more money into Ursula than we have put into almost any other provider and we wouldn't change a thing (and my husband is an accountant, so that says a lot)! In fact we spend weeks post-delivery thinking about how else we can show our appreciation, and any material item always seems to fall short of the incredible gift she gave us. Her support, knowledge, calmness, and dedication created the perfect birthing environment for our children to enter into this world. We cannot recommend her enough!

Stephen Devereaux

7/1/2022

Partner’s Perspective: I highly recommend Ursula for any expecting couple that wants to have an informed and collaborative doula as part of their birth experience.

Ursula provided great support for both my wife and myself throughout the birthing journeys of our 4 children. She was a calming influence through was can otherwise be stressful situations. She provided us with great guidance before birth in helping to set us up for success (both mentally and recommended products and supplies.

Ursula was incredibly thoughtful with how she managed the birthing teams for each birth, working collaboratively with the midwives, creating a positive atmosphere. After working with her during our first birth, we decided to never birth without her again!

V. Pantano

6/30/2022

We hired Ursula to be our Childbirth Educator as well as our birth assistant/Doula for all three of our home births. Each birth was completely different as were the skills and support provided to perfectly match what was needed each time. Ursula provides intuitive, firm, and loving support and knows exactly when to make the right suggestion to help with whatever is presenting, beginning from the first day of hiring. My first birth was extremely prolonged (as they can be) and Ursula stayed with us for all 20+ hours even though I was in early labor for a lot of that time, which allowed my husband to rest just prior to the birth. For my third birth I was very sick with the flu and Ursula was intrumental in helping to make the birth as efficient as possible given the extra challenges of the situation. While the midwife slept, Ursula did hip compressions, supported me through transition in the shower, and ended up having to call the midwife upstairs because the birth was imminent. She even saved the carpet in my bedroom by placing a pad underneath me seconds before my water broke. My husband and I treasure each our birth experiences with Ursula and the incredible support she offered, before, during, and after the births of my three children. She is an integral part of our birth journies and helped to make each of them an empowering experience!

Patricia McCanna

6/30/2022

My daughter was fortunate enough to find Lindsey when she was looking for a doula.  From their first meeting it was clear that Lindsey was the professional my daughter needed to add to her team.  While her OB was wonderful and her husband was supportive, the extra level of care and encouragement that Lindsey brought made the world of difference.  She was able to calm my daughter's fears by explaining in detail what would need to be done in each of the several scenarios that could happen during the birthing process.   When it was determined that an induction was necessary, Lindsay met us at the hosptial and set up the room to provide the most comfort for my daughter.  She and my son-in-law worked as a team to make sure that my daughter was supported and that everything was explined in detail.  Even when she was not at the hospital (the induction process took several days) she was in touch to see what she could do to help.  Once it was determined that a C-section was required, she again helped explain everything to my daughter and give her and her husband as much support as they needed. Because of COVID restrictions I could not be at the hospital but I knew that Lindsey was there and that gave me a sense of peace that I can never thank her for.

Harold

6/29/2022

As a second-time client of Birth You Desire, my wife and I couldn't have been more pleased with the birth experience, thanks in large part to Ursula. We took a one-day "refresher" birth course that BYD offers (we also took BYD's full-length 6-week course several years ago before the birth of our first child) and felt well prepared to welcome our second child. During labor, Ursula was present every step of the way via phone, text, and then in person. She was instrumental in helping us feel incredibly supported and assisted us in navigating each step of the birth experience. With an unmatched depth of experience coupled with a keen intuition about how best to support mothers and their partners, Ursula is incredible. Her calm demeanor, preparation (e.g., my wife credits the TENS unit Ursula suggested using with making it possible to have a natural birth) and instruction made us feel like we had 100% of her attention during the entire journey. Without hesitation, we give her the highest rating and we absolutely recommend BYD and Ursula to anyone seeking doula services.

CG

6/28/2022

As a dad, it is hard to know what your partner will need in labor. I wanted to be the best I could but I knew I needed help. My wife and I found Birth You Desire through a friend and we could not be happier! Their compassion and communication before, during, and after the birth was excellent! Just yesterday we we're talking about having her again for the next baby! 

Nikki

6/28/2022

Having Ursula and the BYD team with me exceeded my expectations. I was induced and one of the doulas stopped by and checked on me while she was at the hospital with another client. Ursula checked in hourly and made sure I was doing ok. As soon as things got scary she showed up and helped me to birth, my second baby, vaginally. 

I felt incredibly supported and had full access to her through all 26 hours I was in the hospital. Ursula’s face, voice, and guidance was my anchor throughout the pregnancy, birth, and long after the contract was over. 

Nadine Ajaka

6/28/2022

I want to respectfully share my negative experience with "Birth You Desire," run by Ursula Sabia Sukinik. I employed BYD and a doula named Lindsey Mehan for nearly $2K out-of-pocket since I knew I’d be anxious giving birth and wanted support during the day. I thought she’d be there for the duration of my labor at Sibley. Instead, she left for hours at a time — up to seven — under Ursula’s guidance to attend another birth, during which a host of scary things happened (I got a fever, baby became tachycardic, I learned I may need a c-section). These were the moments when I really needed a doula. I felt terrified and alone, and ended up having a birth experience that was traumatic and that I can’t talk about without crying. When I told Ursula how disappointed I was that the doula was absent for exactly half my labor in the hospital, she told me “I’m sorry you feel that way." After I asked for a refund, Ursula wanted me to sign a refund agreement that included a non-disclosure section limiting who I could speak to about my experience. I'm not sure how many other women have had bad experiences with BYD and Ursula but are silenced in this manner, so I feel like I need to speak up for those who can't or won't for whatever reason. My advice would be to avoid BYD, since after the check has been cut they seem to have little interest in actually supporting you during what should be one of the most important days of your life.

Erin

6/14/2022

I have worked with Lynn from BYD for three births (all at GWU). I would not have had the immensely positive birth experiences without her help. With each birth, Lynn supported me and my husband in talking about our options before birth, ensuring we felt safe and supported through labor and delivery, and afterwards. Lynn has legitimately become part of our family after being with us when our kids were born (the most amazing day of our lives!). We are so grateful for Lynn and the BYD team!

For our third, I knew I both wanted and needed additional support in the postpartum journey. We worked with Amy for our postpartum care. Amy has been coming two times a week for the last 8 weeks to ensure we get some better sleep and care for our baby. Amy's knowledge of newborns, love of our daughter, and immense care for her cannot be over-stated. She immediately put me at ease the first night and every night since. I have gotten good sleep, felt supported in breastfeeding our daughter, and ensured I was supported for each part of the postpartum journey.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about BYD and the doulas on their team. So immensely grateful for them and all they have done to help our family as we have grown with each child!

Amanda

6/7/2022

We had a truly wonderful experience with Ursula, Lynn and the entire Birth You Desire team. My pregnancy had multiple complications with gestational diabetes, a breech baby, and blood clot. Additionally, I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility type. I was fully supported during the entire pregnancy, delivery and after. Honestly, I am not sure how I would have survived it all without Ursula and her team. Ursula was always available to answer questions and support me as things came up. It was also AMAZING to have a doula that fully understood my EDS and its implications on my pregnancy and delivery.


Due to a breech baby, I also had an ECV. Lynn and Ursula were both so incredibly helpful in explaining and supporting me through the process. In the end, I had to have a c-section. I was so thankful that Ursula was able to support me and advocate for me in-person both pre and post operation. I am endlessly grateful to the Birth You Desire team for all the support during this challenging pregnancy.

Maria

6/6/2022

I had the most excellent experience with Jenn Carlson. My labor was long, complicated and required a lot of decisions to be made. In general my labor went totally different compared to what I had planned. But thanks to Jenn, her support, patience, knowledge everything ended very good and I have very positive memories about the labor. I'm 100% happy with my labor experience and this is totally thanks to Jenn's.

Larissa Rosenberg

5/10/2022

I have been meaning to write this review for quite awhile, but have been distracted by motherhood in addition to not quite being able to find the words to properly describe how invaluable Ursula was. We had our baby in June of 2021. Ursula took time to really get to know us, specifically my husband, as they would be working side by side as my support team. She calmed our nerves, helped us craft our birth preferences, and assured us that she would be there every step of the way, whether virtually or in person. Thankfully, she was able to attend the birth. I had a long and arduous labor. Things did not go entirely according to plan and some of my birth preferences had to be reevaluated. Ursula was by my side, helping us make the right decisions for me and my baby. There were moments where I felt defeated, frustrated and discouraged. She was able to find a way to talk to me, to communicate in a way where I could hear her in order to get me back in the right frame of mind. Even in my low moments, there was never a point where I felt I couldn’t get through it, and that was because I knew Ursula was part of my support team. In the end, everything turned out great. We are blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby boy. She checked in with us as soon as we got home from the hospital as we navigated the challenges of breastfeeding and sleeping. The fourth trimester is a crucial time and she made sure we had the tools and resources to navigate that process with confidence. I cannot recommend working with a doula, and specifically Ursula, highly enough. It is money well spent and you will not regret it. I can’t imagine what our experience would have been like had we not had a doula.  If my husband and I decide to have more children, we would absolutely use Ursula again. We continue to have a friendship with her, and enjoy keeping her updated on how our son is doing because she was so instrumental in his delivery.

Amy

4/19/2022

We are so grateful to Ursula for everything she did to help us achieve our dream VBAC. After our first child was born by emergency c-section, we began researching how to attempt a vaginal birth for our next child. Ursula was highly recommended and had extensive experience helping families achieve VBACs. Impressed by her experience, expertise, and empathy, we began working with her from the very first weeks of our pregnancy. Her support—from the earliest weeks through to labor, delivery, and postpartum—is truly what enabled us to achieve the VBAC we’d been praying for. She took the time to understand our situation and hopes. With honesty, kindness, and true expertise, she provided us with week-by-week recommendations for a diet, exercise, supplements, providers, and birth plan that could all work together to optimize our chance of a VBAC. If we hadn’t worked with Ursula, I feel certain we’d have had a repeat c-section. Having guided thousands of families through pregnancy, labor, and delivery, Ursula provided us with the best road map and support to achieve a perfect labor and delivery. Thank you Ursula! We are so happy and so grateful to you!

Greg Mueller

4/13/2022

My wife and I worked with Lynn, who was absolutely fantastic. From our first visit, she made us feel comfortable, was prepared for everything we brought to the table, and helped us prepare a plan and feel as confident as possible. My wife's birth didnt go as expected, and Lynn was solid as a rock and helped us advocate for our needs even when we were being pressured to make a decision we werent ready to make. In the end, it worked out AND we felt proud of how we handled the situation. In our follow up, she helped my wife process some of her emotions and uncertainties regarding that day, and helped her find peace with how everything turned out. She is warm, caring, competent, and a fierce defender of your rights as parents. Highly recommend!

Allegra McLeod

3/24/2022

I have worked with Amy Lentner for both birth and post partum doula support and she is truly wonderful, a godsend. Amy is deeply knowledgeable, kind, warm, responsive, full of helpful ideas without ever being overbearing, flexible, COViD cautious, and has taken amazing care of both our baby and me. We are so grateful to have found her and benefited from her thoughtfulness and care during this momentous time of welcoming our second child.

Prior to our baby’s birth, Amy provided useful information in response to every concern I had about the pregnancy and delivery and helped me prepare with a birth ball, evidence based resources to read so I could make my own informed decisions, and was willing to take extra precautions so I felt safe with pandemic related risks.

At the birth, my partner couldn’t be present because I went into labor in the middle of the night a week and a half early and we hadn’t arranged childcare for our preschooler son. Amy helped me feel completely supported, even decorating the room at the hospital with soft string lights, and enabling me to have an unmedicated natural birth that felt calm and beautiful despite all the physical intensity. Our son came relatively quickly and both of us were healthy and well, which we credit in significant part to Amy’s presence.

Amy has also provided regular ongoing post partum night doula support and helped with everything from nursing to laundry and enabling my partner and me to get much needed nighttime sleep. We adore Amy and could not be more grateful to her.

 

Pat

3/4/2022

My wife and I worked with Ursula at BYD in preparation for the birth of our first child, and we could not have asked for a better experience. Although our birth plan needed to change multiple times, Ursula was able to help us navigate. She was knowledgeable, a thorough and easy communicator, and extremely helpful to have present during delivery. As a first time Dad, her presence was reassuring at every step of the way, and I would highly recommend to anyone considering a doula in the DMV.

Elizabeth

3/3/2022

As first time parents, we really wanted someone around for our pregnancy and birth who had experience with our medical providers and the birth process as a whole. Based on a recommendation from family, we hired Ursula as our doula. Throughout the pregnancy, she alerted us to things we should be thinking about. We also signed up for her birth class and found the information and group environment very helpful to prepare for what to expect during birth. In the last month, when our low risk pregnancy turned higher risk, we appreciated her ability to help us think through questions to ask our providers and reframe our expectations for our birth. During our scheduled induction, Ursula was present the whole time and helped us advocate for our birth preferences, as well as understand the risks and benefits of a few unexpected challenges during birth. We’d highly recommend her to other first time parents, and would likely hire her again for any future pregnancies.

Lucia

2/24/2022

Hello everybody! First time mama here ??

Even if I had a slightly complicated labor (my water broke and my contractions did not start so I was induced with Pitocin for a long time and ended up with an epidural but yet a beautiful vaginal birth!), our birth experience with Ursula as a doula was amazing and smooth. 

Ursula was with us the whole time at the hospital since my active labor started! She is a strength of Nature … she nourished me with food, she calmed me down with herbal drops in my mouth, she amazingly cooperated with all the nurses and the midwives at GW, she made useful maneuvers to descend my baby into the cervix (he was not well positioned and he had a hand stuck next to his head that obstructed the exit … Ursula was able to liberate that hand and help the baby to move down).

Ursula is very confident and she has a lot of expertise in her field; one of her best talents is to make you too very confident that you can do it, mama … I think that is very important since many first-time mamas don’t exactly know what to expect and may start doubting about themselves and not believe in themselves anymore in those challenging moments. She is able to transmit a lot of strength, power, tranquillity … I felt that both me and my baby were safe, protected, loved and cared about in her hands the whole time. In addition, she created an amazing atmosphere in the delivery room … thanks to her management and problem-solving skills, she, my fiancée, the nurses and the midwives worked as a tight equipe that was there to take full care of me and the baby! I could not have wished for a better care than the one we received from the whole staff that day! And I won’t be able to thank her enough for the help she gave to my family there! She is really good at her job and you can really see how she loves it too!!!!

R.H.

2/3/2022

Julia was a huge help to us after we brought our baby home from the hospital. She is kind, friendly, responsive, knowledgeable and professional. Especially if you are an overwhelmed first time mom (like I was), you’ll be glad you hired her! 

Nori

12/7/2021

We just had our second baby, and wouldn't have thought of asking anyone else to be our doula. Once again, Ursula was supportive, knowledgeable, professional, and available at all times, even during a last-minute unexpected trip to the hospital over the Thanksgiving holiday. Ursula's expertise and responsiveness were so reassuring, and she really made a huge difference in our birth experience. We would always recommend her to anyone looking for a doula--she's amazing!

Ivy K

11/27/2021

We had Lynn and Ursula by our side for our first and second deliveries, and I couldn't imagine it any other way. They offered tremendous support and knowledge during pregnancy, during labor at the hospital, and post partum. If you are considering having a doula for support, do not hesitate to use BYD. Their knowledge and support blew us away both times. Just like I would not climb a mountain without a sherpa, I would not deliver without a doula. We also enrolled in the CPR and birthing class, both of which were informative. 

Chris P

11/24/2021

We had a great experience with Ursula, Lynn and the entire team. My wife and I were fully supported by them during the entire pregnancy, during delivery and after. My wife's pregnancy was a bit challenging—gestational diabetes, breech baby, risk of blood clots, constant nausea—but any question or concern she had, she could turn to our doula (or any on the team). They have years and years of experience and have seen it all. It was so helpful for my wife to be able to reach out to our doula first and talk things through before going to her doctor. My wife had to have a c-section, which was not her plan unfortunately. I was so thankful to have our doula's support through it all because we were not as well prepared for a c-section and the recovery. Ursula made sure we knew what to expect and helped keep us calm before the procedure and has been giving us great guidance for recovery. As a support partner, it can be overwhelming to feel like you have to be everything your partner needs throughout delivery—especially when you have little to no experience attending births... I'm so thankful we had a doula to help us navigate all the possible outcomes and help make sure we had the birth experience my wife wanted given the medical limitations.

Cameron Jensen

10/13/2021

We knew that we wanted the support of a doula for the birth of our first baby and had a vague idea of how it worked. We were absolutely blown away by the expertise, professionalism and support given by Ursula at BYD. Not only does she bring years of experience to the table but she gets to know you, listens and provides the steadfast care a new nervous parent needs for the birth journey. I was so surprised to learn that she knows the ins and outs of all area hospitals and has wonderful relationships with the doctors and staff. Truly grateful for her support!

Margaret

8/18/2021

I am so grateful to have been able to have Ursula by my side to welcome my daughter! I will be forever grateful for the insights she gave to me during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum! I was so impressed with how well Ursula worked alongside the nurses and doctors! I highly recommend Birth You Desire to all in the DMV! 

Nicole

7/20/2021

We worked with Ursula before, during and after the birth of our first child and are so glad that we did especially once we found out our birth story would not be what we had initially hoped for. Ursula has an incredible wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise and not only helped us to prepare for the arrival of our child but was a tremendous help when faced with unexpected decisions prior to the birth of our child as well as during labor and delivery. Thanks to Ursula, even though our birth experience had to be different from what we initially envisioned, it was the best “plan b” that we could have imagined and her assistance was truly invaluable during the birthing process. We could not recommend Ursula enough, no matter your vision for your birth story and look forward to working with her again in the future.

Lerone Carson

7/7/2021

My experience with BYD exceeded my expectations of the care I would receive from a doula. I worked with Ursula, and she was simply amazing. She was friendly, personable, and professional. From our first call together, she listened well, and helped me identify my personal priorities for a good birth experience. As a first time Mom, this was extremely important to me. Ursula was with me (virtually) during the entire L&D process, from the moment I noticed the first contraction, through following up to review the birth experience postpartum. I wasn't sure how we were going to maximize our experience with a virtual visit due to COVID, however, I was extremely satisfied and grateful for the support Ursula provided during labor. I am happy that I chose BYD, and highly recommend them.

Dana Dachman-Soled

3/8/2021

My baby was due in February 2021. Due to COVID hospital restrictions which allowed a single support person (and must be same in L&D and potpartum), and since my husband had to be home with our other children, our plan was to hire a doula to support me during labor and then I would stay for one night in the hospital (either by myself if I was feeling up to it, or with the doula). We hired Priscilla McGee after being impressed with her knowledge and demeanor during a Birth You Desire information session.

Since my baby was breech, Priscilla met with us over Zoom an extra time to show us exercises. When baby was still breech after the next ultrasound, she drove over to our house to show us a more complicated exercise in person.

Unfortunately, I needed to have an unexpected C-section at 36 weeks.

Priscilla dropped everything and came when I called her from the hospital in triage. She gowned up and accompanied me to my c-section, provided support and took pics of those precious first moments.

Priscilla then stayed with me for **three** days and nights. She was there to support me during that whole time, not leaving the hospital and only taking a few moments to text her family. Throughout our time together, her demeanor was calm and kind and we actually enjoyed the time spent together. Priscilla assisted me with:

--breastfeeding, positions, latch, and even using an SNS (supplemental nursing system)

--emotional support when baby was taken to NICU and when I had complications after the c-section

--changing baby's diaper and handing him to me for feedings throughout the night

--interacting with hospital staff, asking questions about procedures when necessary

In summary, I cannot overstate the help that Priscilla gave me. I do not know what I would have done without her. I very highly recommend her as a doula who is skilled, caring and consistently goes above and beyond to help her clients.

Brandon

2/12/2021

My wife and I were expecting our first child and wanted a crash course in preparing for labor. Ursula came recommended and she was exactly what we were looking for. She was flexible and professional in setting up virtual classes that fit our schedule. She was engaging and charming and presented the information in an easy-to-understand manner. We felt supported and cared for, knowing Ursula was a call or text away. She really went above and beyond and I would highly recommend her expert services to anyone looking.

Sharon McCabe

2/8/2021

I worked with Ursula as my doula for my first birth this past January and I am so so glad that I did! As a first time mother I was understandably nervous about birth, so when my midwives suggested getting a doula, I immediately began searching.  Birth You Desire was recommended by several people, including my midwives, and I'm so glad I went with Ursula!

Ursula was beyond knowledgeable about every aspect of pregnancy, birth and care for myself and my baby afterwards. She was always available (I'm not sure when she sleeps!), and was a critical part of my birth. From helping me with optimal positions during active labor to talking me through tough decisions when things didn't go as planned, I felt supported, loved, and safe with Ursula on my team during my birth and will 100% call her and Birth You Desire for my next pregnancy!

Matt

1/23/2021

Dad here. First time dad. Hopefully this review gives perspective to the soon-to-be birth partners out there who are trying to figure out what the heck a doula does. I wasn't sure what role they played and was not sold on the cost associated with it. I will say that it has been worth every penny. We worked with Ursula who has TONS of experience and has seen pretty much everything there is to see when it comes to birth. Before the birth Ursula made herself available to guide us through the unique decisions we had to make (changing providers, medical requirements). You can take all the classes in the world, but somehow a lot of that info seems to slip away. Our plan was to have the birth in a birth center but we ended up with a surprise home birth. Ursula was our primary point of contact as she was the steady anchor throughout all of the various people we had to be in touch with (midwives, birth assistants, etc). She stayed on FaceTime with us throughout the whole process. She coached us through the fright and pain of contractions, helped coordinate getting the birth team to our house, got up close and personal with Mom's backside to consistently evaluate her status, coached me through what materials to prep for a potential Dad-delivery (Didn't happen fortunately). I like to describe Ursula's general demeanor as "warm and demanding". She is no nonsense and will tell you what you need to know without sugarcoating it. But she does so in a way that immediately earns your trust and makes you feel comfortable. One thing I appreciate about Ursula is her attention to the birthing partner. Ultimately, the birth process is centered around Mom, naturally. But the partner plays a big role (more so depending on the type of birth). And Ursula was there every step of the way to guide us and me, specifically, to best support Mom. Ursula was there for us post-brith as well to help connect us to different resources based on some concerns and questions we had

Anna M

10/13/2020

Bringing Ursula into your birth experience is literally like bringing hundreds of years of traditional birthing wisdom, in addition to her own many years of experience as a doula in the DC metro area into your experience. The combination is seriously the “best of both worlds”! We worked with Ursula for all three of our births- each very different from each other with their own challenges (in a nutshell-we had an unplanned home birth with Ursula catching the baby, a hospital induction and a planned home birth during COVID-19). For each one, she expertly helped us navigate various decisions, showing the broad range of experience that she has with different birth environments and family choices. Taking her birth class several years ago when we were expecting our first child not only opened our eyes to both informed, evidence-based childbirth, but helped us prepare for parenting- her recommendations helped us to find a chiropractor, lactation consultant and pediatrician, all of whom have been very important resources for us. Ursula also provided a sense of continuity across the different providers we had, and her availability and experience provided an initial sounding board for questions and concerns when we weren't sure what we needed. During birth her knowledge of optimal positioning also enabled us to both physically prepare for and have three very smooth deliveries, with her reassuring presence helping us to relax in a variety of birth settings. She is someone who we felt we could reach out to for advice even in between our pregnancies and we know we will stay in touch with for years to come! We not only believe so much in her, but in everything that she stands for in terms of supporting families in their birth choices and wanting to support them in having the best possible birth experience. Thank you Ursula!!!

Lauren Talarico

8/29/2020

There are truly NO WORDS to express how grateful we are for Ursula. She was our doula for all 3 of our children and coached me through a natural, unmedicated birth each time. That may not seem like that big of a deal...but to coach a mom through an unmedicated birth in a hospital setting can be very challenging these days!

I had a very serious complication after the birth of my second child, and if it wasn't for Ursula staying by my bedside I might not be here today. Needless to say, when I got a positive pregnancy test with my third child, Ursula was the first person I texted (even before my husband!!!)

Throughout each pregnancy Ursula was available for questions and responded extremely promptly. She never made my questions feel insignificant, which was something I really appreciated. Her experience is invaluable and she really listens to every mother's fears, wishes and concerns (trust me...I had a LOT of concerns with this pregnancy given the current pandemic conditions!)

We truly consider Ursula to be a member of our family. She is an absolutely amazing person, friend and doula. We cannot recommend her highly enough!

Rachael

8/27/2020

I’m so glad Priscilla was our doula! Without her, I suspect my son’s birth could have gone very differently. She was skilled at preventing me from getting in my own way and helped me shed my self consciousness so I could focus on the hard work of childbirth. Due to covid, we didn’t meet in person until our postpartum visit, but working together remotely was totally fine for us. In fact, since my labor accelerated quite quickly, it meant that she was at our side with eyes on me for the entire process. So, from the early afternoon when I wasn’t sure I was experiencing labor and she suggested my husband and I practice positions, to several hours later and the car ride to the hospital, where my husband felt like he could focus on driving safely because Priscilla was talking to me and keeping an eye on me via Facetime. Once we were at the hospital, having an advocate in the room, even digitally, made me more comfortable expressing what I needed. We highly recommend Priscilla.

 

L.Gutierrez

7/30/2020

During a stressful time exacerbated by a racial justice movement, a health pandemic, and political division, Ursula provided much needed comfort and support. Ursula provided us with virtual doula support during our labor and delivery, but her support began during pregnancy. She answered my hundred questions because as a first-time mom, I worried about everything. She was prompt with her responses and always provided non-judgmental advice. She is so knowledgeable of the birth process in the DMV and had an answer for most of our hospital questions. During our labor, she was able to guide us as we made decisions about medical interventions. We are grateful to have had such an experienced doula by our virtual side, and we hope one day everyone can have a doula by their side. A doula ensures you feel empowered in your decision making and ultimately that your birth experience is yours and led by your desires.

Liz

7/18/2020

I cannot say enough great things about Ursula, both as a doula and as a birth educator.

Before the birth of our son, my husband and I took Ursula’s birth class. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the instruction was virtual. However, even over Zoom, Ursula’s warm and caring demeanor came through, and over six weeks, I really felt like I got to know her. She provided wonderful instruction on labor, delivery, and postpartum, and made my husband and me feel more confident about the process. As an additional bonus, because she and her team were assisting with so many births during the pandemic, she was able to provide real-time information about all of the area hospitals’ COVID-19 policies and how labor and delivery would look, which made me feel prepared. Even my expecting friends who did not take the birth class appreciated this insider insight! 

I also hired Ursula as my doula. Knowing that I would likely not be able to have a second support person in the delivery room because of the pandemic, I chose her because of her experience providing virtual services pre-pandemic. I felt better knowing that she already had a tried and true virtual system in place and was used to providing services remotely. Throughout my labor at home, she was constantly checking in with my husband and talking me through the contractions. And, when I got to the hospital, she talked me through two-and-a-half hours of pushing and stayed on the line with me the entire time. She knew all of the midwives and nurses in the room and was chatting with them as well as me throughout the delivery, which made me feel like she was in the room. 

In the end, I feel incredibly satisfied with how the birth went, which is in large part thanks to Ursula. Having Ursula as a support person—even virtually—made what could have been a scary and defeating experience feel empowering, and I cannot recommend her enough! 

Liz

7/18/2020

I cannot say enough great things about Ursula, both as a doula and as a birth educator.

Before the birth of our son, my husband and I took Ursula’s birth class. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the instruction was virtual. However, even over Zoom, Ursula’s warm and caring demeanor came through, and over six weeks, I really felt like I got to know her. She provided wonderful instruction on labor, delivery, and postpartum, and made my husband and me feel more confident about the process. As an additional bonus, because she and her team were assisting with so many births during the pandemic, she was able to provide real-time information about all of the area hospitals’ COVID-19 policies and how labor and delivery would look, which made me feel prepared. Even my expecting friends who did not take the birth class appreciated this insider insight! 

I also hired Ursula as my doula. Knowing that I would likely not be able to have a second support person in the delivery room because of the pandemic, I chose her because of her experience providing virtual services pre-pandemic. I felt better knowing that she already had a tried and true virtual system in place and was used to providing services remotely. Throughout my labor at home, she was constantly checking in with my husband and talking me through the contractions. And, when I got to the hospital, she talked me through two-and-a-half hours of pushing and stayed on the line with me the entire time. She knew all of the midwives and nurses in the room and was chatting with them as well as me throughout the delivery, which made me feel like she was in the room. 

In the end, I feel incredibly satisfied with how the birth went, which is in large part thanks to Ursula. Having Ursula as a support person—even virtually—made what could have been a scary and defeating experience feel empowering, and I can not recommend her enough! 

Andrea S

7/15/2020

This was my second birth with Ursula and we once again found her to be a vital part of the process - one we wouldn't want to do without her. Unfortunately given my due date in early June and the current state of the world, this meant that Ursula was only available to us virtually. Regardless, Ursula was super supportive and extremely helpful throughout. Leading up to our due date, she had her finger on the pulse regarding all of the constantly changing guidelines and was very proactive in communicating them to us. Whenever I experienced anxiety or stress (which typically was specifically related to the pandemic and how my L&D would be impacted), Ursula was a much needed calming and centering support and was readily available to discuss plans of action to talk me down. During labor, Ursula was there (virtually) every step of the way and was instrumental throughout with her advice and words of support. Her presence was extremely felt and appreciated within the room from start to finish. So much so, that once my husband and son had moved to our post partum room and were settling in - I realized we still had our TENS unit that we had rented from Ursula and I anxiously said to my husband how we had forgotten to return it to Ursula after labor (as we had done after our first birth assisted by Ursula). Only after the words were out of my mouth did I realize how silly they were because obviously we could not have returned the unit to Ursula given that she was only there virtually! However, I think this anecdote really sheds some perspective on just how much we felt Ursula within the room throughout labor, despite her only being there virtually. While we would have loved and preferred her physical presence, I just can not stress enough how helpful Ursula was virtually and how I would never want to deliver without her. 

Ambor

7/9/2020

There are no words that can express how Birth You Desire helped educate, prepare, and guide my husband and me in our children’s birth. We took classes with Birth You Desire for our first child, and the information covered was all-inclusive to help prepare us for any outcome. I was experienced with birth knowledge, and my husband was not. He continues today to advocate for women and to push other men to take a class. His words are, “I wasn’t happy to have to go to the class at first, but having the information on how to support your wife, work with doctors, and learning about any birth outcome made the whole process easier. I wouldn’t do it again without them.” Our second child, we re-took the classes and also had Ursula as our Doula. Ursula made sure that she knew us well. My husband and I both felt so comfortable having someone in the room who knew us so well and had been with us throughout the entire pregnancy. She was the first one to arrive and helped implement all our plans so that my husband could focus on what he needed to. We had a different Midwife for all of our birth’s, but Ursula was present at the last two and knew my history and needs without looking at a chart. For our third birth, knowing that Ursula was going to be there gave us such peace in the process that we weren’t concerned about who might be on call for us. Post birth she provided nursing support, doctor recommendations, pain management, and we felt comfortable calling her for any little question. Her wealth of knowledge is priceless. Our second child ended up in the hospital with fever before turning 30 days, and just speaking with her on the phone was soothing and reassuring. Five months after our third she was still on call to guide us with her knowledge and connections to doctors in the area. Ursula was a pivotal part of our birth journey that can not be expressed in words.

Amy Wilson

6/12/2020

Ursula was our doula for all five of our births.  Having her present influenced each of our birth experiences for the positive.  Our first child's birth was long and ardous, but Ursula was there by my side from 9pm when we arrived at the hospital until 11am when he was born.  She was steadfast in her support every step of the way, and she helped me achieve my goal of not using pain medication and avoiding a C-section, which was a feat since he was 10lb, 10oz and many complications arose during labor.  Our second child was born in the car outside the hospital, but Ursula could recognize from our phone call that things were going fast, and so she got the hospital to call "code Stork".  They were waiting for us right when we pulled up to the ER roundabout, so the midwife was able to safely deliver my son in the car.  Our next three births were also "precipitous", and though we were not at the hospital long before each of them, Ursula's connections at the hospital and knowledge helped each of those natural births go as smoothly as possible.  During our fifth birth, I mentioned to Ursula in the hospital elevator that my left hip had been bothering me the prior few days.  She pushed on my hip a certain way right there in the elevator, and I could almost immediately feel the baby drop, and our little girl was born about 10 minutes later.  It was "little things" like this that helped make big positive differences in our birth outcomes.  Ursula's advice and guidance was invaluable not only at the time of birth, but also in the months of pregnancy leading up to it.  When I heeded her advice closely during my last four pregnancies to prepare for labor, I believe this helped to set myself up for the smooth and fast labor and deliveries that they were.  If you have Urusula by your side during pregnancy, labor and delivery, she will help your outcome to be the best it can possibly be!

Chrissy M.

6/9/2020

My husband and I hired Lynn Converse to be our doula and assist with the birth of our 2nd child after a traumatic first birth. We were a high risk pregnancy, in addition to pursuing a VBAC, and we knew we wanted strong and compassionate support for the process. Lynn was exactly the person we needed to help us in the preparation for this birth, and to help keep us grounded and centered during the birthing process. Our son was born during the COVID-19 pandemic, and so it turned out that Lynn would not be able to join us in person for the birth as I wanted my husband to be present as my one allowed support partner. We brought our laptop and Lynn was present with us via Zoom for all 36 hours of our process! While it would have been amazing to have her with us in person, we were pleasantly surprised with how well it worked. And, when it was time for 2 hours of pushing, we set the laptop up so Lynn was pretty close to my head...I could easily hear her coaching and it actually wasn't occurring to me in the moment that she was in the room via a remote connection. If you're expecting during a time when hospitals are still limiting support partners, we highly recommend engaging your doula remotely! It made such a positive imprint on our experience and we would highly recommend working with Lynn.

Emily

4/9/2020

I cannot recommend Ursula and Birth You Desire strongly enough. Ursula supported me through two successful unmedicated VBACs. Throughout both pregnancies she was amazingly helpful with every question and issue that came up - helping me manage a host of anxieties and when necessary pointing me to one of her many referrals. There is no one better networked in the dc area birth community than Ursula!

She was also an incredible presence during both deliveries - helping me to feel in control and guiding me to direct my pain and energy to progress my labor. My final VBAC was truly a 10 out of 10 delivery experience, and I have no doubt that Ursula’s involvement helped me to achieve this amazing birth outcome.

Lauren Alexander

4/5/2020

Birth is an intensely intimate, emotional and life-changing experience.  Having Ursula to guide me, listen to me and witness my transformation into motherhood was important to both my preparation for birth and, perhaps even more so, in processing my births.  As a first time mom, I didn't realize the depth and complexity of the transition from pregnancy to being a mother.  Ursula did and was available to me any time I needed her help.  Understanding my births and being able to speak freely about them with someone who not only understood them but could offer factual explanations of parts that I needed to work through was beyond words for my recovery emotionally and physically.  I would not be in the healthy mental and emotional space I am in now 9 months after my son's birth without her help.  When I started my search for a doula, I thought their purpose was to help with pain management during delivery, but I understand now the extent of the importance a doula can be.  During both of my pregnancies, I worked with Ursula entirely by phone and FaceTime because we are on opposite coasts.  Though she was not present for my deliveries, she was available anytime we needed her (which we took her up on!)  I can't emphasize enough the comfort of her professional warmth and her confidence in me to create our family.

Kimberly Sutton

4/4/2020

Short version:

Having Ursula provide her doula services virtually exceeded my expectations! I was nervous when the hospital changed their guidelines, but Ursula had it all figured out! I felt incredibly supported and had full access to her through all 36 hours of labor. It truly was like she was in the room with us. She was even still able to snap photos via screen shot for me and my husband! 

Longer version:

I cannot thank Ursula enough for guiding my husband and me through the delivery of our first child. As hospital policy was constantly evolving, I was 38/39 weeks pregnant and hitting refresh on Sibley’s website regularly to see if my doula (and evening my husband!) were still allowed in the delivery room. Ursula checked in almost daily with updates about how the hospital was responding to COVID-19 and adjusting their policies. When we learned that the policy had been changed to either a doula or a partner, Ursula was completely un-phased. Having provided virtual doula services for years and years, she put my mind at rest with a simple “I do this all the time for clients. It really does work.” And she was absolutely correct. 

Through my 36 hours of labor and pushing, Ursula’s face, voice and guidance were a constant via FaceTime. It really did feel like she was in the room with us and it was completely effective. I was nervous and, honestly a little skeptical going in, but it exceeded my expectations. 

Adam V

2/11/2020

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!

Emily M.

1/10/2020

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.

Shannon S

1/2/2020

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.  

Kayla Owen

12/30/2019

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!

Zack Nagel

12/2/2019

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.

Jessie

11/6/2019

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. 

Becky

11/5/2019

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.

Jacqueline Devereaux

10/3/2019

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.

Nori

10/2/2019

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!

Mat Glassman

8/29/2019

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.

Zack

8/6/2019

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'.

Alex

7/30/2019

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!

Jamie

4/8/2019

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.  

Marion

3/12/2019

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.

Stuart F

3/10/2019

??My first child was born recently, and my wife and I are so happy we had Lynn as our doula to help us in this most important period in our life. She was highly recommended to us by a friend who just had her first baby, and now we can see why!

?Speaking as the husband/father, I am so happy we had Lynn as our doula. Like most men, I had no experience with pregnancy, labor, delivery, or post-partum care. I tried to be diligent by reading and taking courses, but I knew nothing I did would come close to the wisdom Lynn brings from having supported so many women through childbirth. 

I loved that Lynn was there entirely to support my wife. Nurses, doctors, and midwives are all wonderful, but they have other patients and other obligations than just my wife. And providing emotional support is not necessarily part of their jobs. That's why having Lynn was special and important - she was there to support my wife 100%. Lynn also helped me better assist my wife - giving helpful suggestions throughout the process that I really appreciated.

Our baby came very quickly in the middle of the night, and Lynn was there at the drop of the hat to be there for us, doing things both big and small to help that we will never forget, and we even had her cut the umbilical cord which was also a special moment. Lynn worked seamlessly with the midwives and nurse, who I think really appreciated having her and her expertise there as well. My wife and I are so grateful for Lynn, her extensive knowledge and experience, her warmth and thoughtfulness, and that she played such a special role in the birth of our baby. Needless to say, I would highly recommend Lynn as your doula!

Ellen Huang

2/4/2019

Words cannot express how much I appreciate Ursula/Birth You Desire. I’ve used her doula services twice and taken two of her birthing classes (one for new parents and one birthing again refresher class). She has provided me great emotional support and provided valuable advice (including for my two pregnancies and labor, and for the miscarriages I have experienced). I had such a good experience with her the first time that when I got pregnant with my second, she was one of the first people I contacted, to make sure she saved a spot for me for her services. We are so grateful for her because she helped us have the natural births we desired. I could not have achieved this goal without her.

Regarding her birthing classes, they are very informative, teaching you things like the different stages of labor and different positions to labor in (knowledge is power). Her refresher class also made us consider things like how to help our first child adjust to welcoming a sibling.

Regarding her doula services, I could not recommend them more. Ursula is extremely knowledgeable and has a lot of experience; she’s helped delivered over 1200 babies. She also has a great intuition and understanding of the birthing process. For example, I wanted to labor as much as I could at home before going to the hospital. For my first, I labored at home for over 10 hours. For my second, Ursula wanted me to go to the hospital after laboring at home for 3 hour and I was hesitant. But she told me it was time to go, which was a good thing because I delivered the baby 2 hours after arriving at the hospital. Also, when I was in labor, she kept me calm and helped me keep tension out of my body. She gave me the confidence I needed to know I can trust my body. Even the nurses and doctors commented how well I labored and how calm I was, which I can largely attribute to Ursula. Again, I give BYD/Ursula my highest recommendation for their doula services.

Latrice Willis

12/10/2018

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!

Olga Feschenko

10/2/2018

Words can not express how lucky and greatgul I am that I had Ursula assist me with the birth of my third child. I had a unmedicated quick birth — everything went even better than I was hoping for. Retaining her services was one of the best decisions I ve ever made. THANK YOU

Amanda Johnson

9/7/2018

If you want the best, hire Ursula. She supported me and my family through our two births: first in 2015 and again in 2018. We consider her part of our family after being so intimately involved in the two biggest experiences of our lives. She is the reason I was able to vaginally deliver a 9lb 6oz baby over 23 hours of labor with no pain medication, and she is the reason we were able to help control for the delivery of a smaller baby (8lb 9oz in 6 hours) with her nutritional advice on our second go-around. I used a TENS unit for pain management in both births at her advice to great success.

Ursula’s experience with all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum recovery is deep and wide. She doesn’t just support you through labor and delivery either — her approach is very holistic and also focuses on your family’s emotional needs as well as your physical ones. Ursula is intense and she is a force of nature — but as a Type A person who needs someone else to kick my butt from time to time, her calm but forceful presence is what I needed. Her bag of tricks is huge based on her many, many years of experience, and she brings all of them to your birth to help facilitate your goals.

Ursula is a true birth professional and she is highly regarded within the DC-area birthing community. She worked seamlessly alongside our medical team through both of our births (including an apprehensive old-school OB who didn’t think much of doulas). Having her support is priceless!

 

Marc Johnson

7/23/2018

As a second time client of Birth You Desire, my wife and I couldn't have been more pleased with the birth experience, thanks in large part to Ursula. We took a one-day "refresher" birth course that BYD offers (we also took BYD's full-length 6 week course several years ago before the birth of our first child) and felt well prepared to welcome for our second child, who ended up arriving 3.5 weeks early. During all stages of labor, Ursula was present every step of the way via phone, text, and then in person. She was instrumental in helping us feel incredibly supported and assisted us in navigating each step of the birth experience. With an unmatched depth of experience coupled with a keen intuition about how to best to support mothers and their partners, Ursula is incredible. Her calm demeanor, preparation (e.g., my wife credits the TENS unit Ursula suggested using with making it possible to have a natural birth) and instruction made us feel like we had 100% of her attention during the entire journey. Without hesitation, we give her the highest rating and we absolutely recommend BYD and Ursula to anyone seeking doula services.

Joy Cato

7/1/2018

My experience with Ursula was incredibly rewarding and helped me achieve an unmedicated, midwife-attended VBAC.  She was my backup doula, but transitioned in to help me without a hitch.  She is so incredibly knowledgable, connectied to so many resources, and already had a great working relationship with my care provider. I appreciate my experience with Ursula and by extension, Birth You Desire, beyond what words can convey.  It was most important for me to find someone with whom I felt comfortable and I was grateful to feel at ease with her.  I also expressed that I needed someone to believe that I could make it even when I started to doubt myself, and she did that.  I highly recommend Ursula and have so much gratitude for her. 

Sara Schoen

6/1/2018

Ursula is an extremely experienced and knowledgeable doula, which will serve any client who works with her well. Shw was extremely responsive and proactive throughout my pregnancy, responding immediately to provide support as I worried about my blood pressure and practical tools to help me manage it. This was my second birth and while I loved the doula/s I worked with for my first, I felt that Ursula provided a much higher level of proactive, extremely organized information throughout the process to support moms in having the healthiest pregnancies and deliveries possible. I really appreciated her deep knowledge of natural and alternative remedies and the organization with which she shared information.  She was there for me many times to calm my nerves and offer emotional support, months before I went into labor. Ursula has great knowledge of the hospital where I delivered (GW) and knows the nurses and midwives well. That insider knowledge allows her to navigate the hospital extremely well - she advocated for me to get a delivery room while we were waiting in triage because she knew I was close, and she saw that the nurse was overwhelmed and therefore not reading my cues as well as she normally would. I might have delivered in triage if not for her advocacy. She was also able to adjust my sacrum when she arrived at the hospital - her knowledge of the birthing body allows her to provide pro support like that easily. Ursula assisted the nurses and midwife more than I knew a doula could - she acted like a nurse/midwife's assistant, and given how busy the hospital was the day I delivered, it benefeitted me in terms of the care I received and also the nureses and midwife who attended to me because they were overloaded and needed the extra support. Lastly, I had expressed a desire to Ursula to feel my baby's head as it was coming out for this second birth of mine, and she made that happen for me. 

Christina Lohs

5/21/2018

Ursula was my doula for my three children. When I was looking for a doula, I wanted to have someone that could lead me through a natural childbirth, but also realistic about using traditional medical interventions if needed. Ursula gave me confidence that she would honor my birth plan and desires and needs out of childbirth. Ursula is confident, compassionate, and logical. She woks well with mother and partner. My husband and I needed very different things during labor. She was able to flex back and forth with ease between my husband and me. I was induced for my first child. Ursula was there to talk to us about what to expect in an induction along with giving me the confidence that she would do whatever she needed to help me still have the birth experience I wanted. In addition, she managed a hospital that was very traditional and inexperienced with women seeking a natural childbirth. Amazingly, she guided me to have a natural childbirth. For my other two children, I had a midwives. Between Ursula and the midwives, I had an amazing team. Their working relationship made my labor and postpartum stress free. Moreover, Ursula truly cares about her clients. We love Ursula and would recommend her over and over again!

Rachel S

4/3/2018

We took a childbirth review class with Ursula, as we had previously taken the longer childbirth class. Ursula provided a very refreshing and informative overview of the childbirth process, discussing strategies for pain management, signs of labor, strategies for self-care, and pre- and post-partum health. As always, the services Ursuala provides were incredibly helpful. She has a passion for the material, and a deep knowledge about childbirth. We highly recommend this class, and Ursula's doula practice overall! Everyone we've worked with has been exceptional through birth you desire. 

Katie Scott

1/30/2018

I can't say enough good things about Ursula. She made my natural twin birth a positive and empowering experience! I literally would not have known what to do withouth her. With her extensive knowledge, expertise, and energy she took away all the worry for me and my husband so that we could focus on what really mattered. Don't hesitate to work with Ursula! 

Anne Gialanella

1/4/2018

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!

Erin Eckles

12/15/2017

Hiring Lynn was the best decision my husband and I made to help us have the most positive birth experience. From the moment I spoke with Lynn she was calm, knowledgeable, and positive about making sure that I had the birth experience that I wanted. This was my first pregnancy and Lynn was incredibly helpful in answering all of my questions about labor, pregnancy discomfort, etc. Lynn eased any fears I had about labor and delivery. I knew before I went into labor that having Lynn in the room would ensure that we would have the most positive birth experience.

My labor was incredibly fast and intense for a first-time mom and Lynn coached me through every stage of labor. With Lynn, my husband, and the labor and delivery nurse, I felt so supported during the entire labor and delivery. I had planned on having an unmedicated birth and I was able to achieve my goal, even with pushing out a 9 lb baby. Lynn acted as a calming presence during the entire labor and even when the pain was so intense, Lynn calmed me and cheered me on. Any time I looked worried, Lynn assured me that I was handling each contraction and that I could do this naturally. Because of Lynn I have only the most positive things to say about delivering naturally.

We feel so blessed to have had Lynn with us during the birth of our son. Lynn will forever be part of our lives as she helped welcome our son into this world. I highly, highly, recommend Lynn. She is professional, kind, caring, and lighthearted. I look forward to having her be part of our lives for years to come.

Joy Cato

11/27/2017

Lynn far exceeded my expectations as my doula.  I was preparing for a VBAC and had some of the doubts and lingering issues one might expect.  Lynn was such an encouragement and an unwavering support to me.  She is a wealth of information, she helped me with preparation aspects that I would not have thought of and also helped me through some of my birth-adjacent worries.  

From our first meeting, she listened and gave advice and was available for answers when I needed them.  When it came time to go to our hospital Lynn met us there and was an advocate and comfort to me from the beginning.  In the end, Lynn called in her back up doula as another client was progressing right along at the same time as me (Lynn is in high demand!), but it was a smooth transition and it turned out to be in the same hospital as me!  Lynn's care combined with our back up helped me to have an unmedicated VBAC and I cannot be any more grateful.

I highly recommend Lynn and her caring, professional service without reservation.

Tsveta Polhemus

11/12/2017

Ursula is the best and here is why: she empowered me to do what I felt (at the time) to be impossible. Ursula was by our side for the birth of our son in March 2015 and most recently for the birth of our daughter on October 6, 2017. This was my third natural (medication free) birth and it was not any easier than the first two. I also develped gestational diabetes this time and was emailing Urusla quite frequently because my OB was starting to get pushy and talk about an induction. Urusla was the voice of calm and reason throughout. She responded to all my email and questions very quickly and helped me get through these challenges before the actual birth. She made it very clear that I must control my gestational diabetes (which I did) if I wanted to have a case for a spontaneous birth should baby decide to wait until 40 weeks.

 

On the day of the actual birth, Ursual was waiting at the hospital and had already spoken with the nurses and my room was set up and ready to go. She communicted my desire for an intervention-free birth and my fear of tearing. Even though this was my third birth, I was scared and didn't think I could do it. Urusla believed in me and made sure to tell me so the entire time. She also worked very well with my husband to provide me with the support that I needed. Toward the end I was very tired and didn't feel like pushing (baby was almost there) due to my fear of tearing and also because I was tired; Urusula, suggested several different positions until we found the one that allowed me to feel comfortable to push. I should also note that the OB and nurse were gone for about 25 minutes before I started pushing (not sure what one is supposed to do if they don't have a doula with them). Our baby girl Hayes (8 lbs and 11 oz) was born without any complications or need for repairs on my end. I was able to walk to the restroom within an hour (after bonding with baby, etc.). 

We highly recommend Ursula!

Jane Knisely

11/8/2017

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.

Bryce Jacobs

11/5/2017

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.

Shelley Megquier

10/10/2017

Hiring Lynn as our doula was one of the best decisions my partner and I made related to our daughter's birth. She'll forever hold a special place in our hearts due to the comfort and support provided to us during our pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  

I loved working with Lynn every step of the way and fully believe that her skills allowed me to avoid a c-section. Lynn was a supportive and affirmative presence during the lead-up to my due date. She was reliable and offered helpful information during our prenatal visits. She took our birth preferences seriously and nothing we said or shared was ever met with judgement. Each time I met with her, I finished the meeting with a renewed sense of confidence and ease. 

During labor, Lynn's role became even more vital, especially during a long early labor and after, in the hospital, it became clear that our little girl was in a bad position for vaginal delivery. Lynn sensed that there was a likelihood of a c-section and asked for time to try to manuever the baby into a more optimal position.  She then worked me through a series of inversions and belly lifts to move the baby into a different position. Her efforts paid off and I'm so grateful! Throughout the long labor, Lynn helped us talk through and understand difficult decisions and offered effective, soothing comfort measures including massage, TENS unit, and aromatherapy. She patiently spent over 24 hours with us before our girl was born. Lynn was an incredible source of strength and encouragement at some low points when I needed her the most.  She worked smoothly side-by-side with my partner: letting him take the lead in supporting me, giving us space when we needed it, and providing him with tools to best comfort me.  

Lynn is kind, supportive, knowledgeable, judgment-free and endlessly patient. I recommend Lynn highly to whoever is considering her services, regardless of the type of birth they plan on. 

Brandi Wilkins

9/15/2017

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!

Jacqueline Devereaux

9/7/2017

Summary: Ursula is phenomenal. Since our first birth, we moved to California and because she was so amazing at our first birth I couldn’t imagine having our second without her, so we did a cross-country Face-Time session for the second delivery. We implicitly trust her, her judgement, and her support and we weren’t willing to risk losing that trust for the convenience of someone closer. She has a special ability to focus me during my deliveries and say just the right thing to calm me down and help labor progress. She tailors her approach to adapt to the person and the situation and provide the most effective support. Her pre-delivery and post-delivery support is also fantastic, which again, we did remotely. If we have any more babies, we will most definitely continue to use Ursula.

Details:

When I was first pregnant and talking with Ursula (who offered to help me find a doula in California that I was compatible with) I had a moment with my toddler of seeing a doctor and not completely trusting their recommendations. It was at that moment that I realized the true value of the trust we had in Ursula. Although we were all a little apprehensive because the virtual doula service was new to all of us, the importance of the implicit trust we have with Ursula far out-weighed any inconveniences and challenges the Face-Timing may have introduced.

Despite having some technical difficulties, Ursula remained present and patient through it all. She was equally as supportive as if we had her physically in the room, and it actually gave my husband an opportunity to be more involved.

Reviewing Ursula is such a struggle because it’s so difficult to put into words her true value and the unbelievable support she provides. It’s like having your mother there, minus the opinions and emotions and add the medical knowledge and calm demeanor. We truly appreciate being able to share such an important life event with Ursula.

Brenda Norris

6/26/2017

This is a very long overdue review for Ursula's invaluable role in my successful VBACx2 in August 2014. I will just briefly say that there are not many hospitals or OB/gyn practices in the Washington DC area that will allow a VBACx@ attempt. I was lucky enough to switch to a doctor and practice that not allowed but supported a VBACx2 (GWU) and Ursula's role was the perfect compliment to that supportive environment. Given that it was my third delivery (the first was a long labor which ended in c-section and my second was a scheduled c-section), I did not need much hand-holding on what to expect in general terms. Ursula joined me in being extremely results-oriented. She played an invaluable role in helping me prepare for my attempt with concrete suggestions in terms of diet, fitness, supplements, etc. She also presented her research to me on the merits of an epidural in VBACx2 deliveries and I was grateful for her insights. She was great the day of and you could tell that the entire hostpital staff was very comfortable with her presence and assistance. I cannot recommned her more highly, especially if you are considering a VBAC or VBACx2. 

Ona Pappas

6/6/2017

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 :)

Emily Singer Hurvitz

4/7/2017

My husband and I agree that hiring a doula, and specifically hiring Lynn, was the best decision we made in our efforts to have a natural birth without interventions. Lynn has a very warm and positive personality and she made us feel much more relaxed leading up to the labor and birth. My husband travels a lot for work and I was comforted knowing that Lynn would be there for me if he were out of town when I went into labor.

My water broke in the morning but I did not go to the hospital until the following morning because my contractions were not strong enough. I communicated with Lynn while I was home and she provided support and suggestions. When I arrived to the hospital, I was given an oral prostaglandin to help get labor started. I communicated with Lynn by text until my contractions got stronger and I was ready for her to meet me at the hospital. Once my labor was in full swing, Lynn was absolutely critical in enabling me to deliver my baby without any additional interventions. Lynn provided us with suggestions for positions to use during the contractions including using her tens unit at one point and then recommending that I labor in the shower (which I did for several hours), she kept the environment in the room calming by using her essential oils and salt lamp, she was very hands-on in helping to relieve my pain when it got very intense, and she supported both my husband and I throughout the labor. I was in active labor for 18 hours and I am certain that Lynn’s presence and her amazing abilities as a doula played a major role in enabling me to have the natural birth that I wanted. My husband and I will always be thankful for our positive birth experience, which we certainly could not have had without Lynn.

Mila Liachenko

3/13/2017

Lynn was recommended to us by our friends who had a wonderful experience with her as their doula. After the initial conversation with Lynn, we knew that we found our doula and were reassured of our decision during the two meetings prior to me going into labor. Lynn came over to our house twice before labor to meet with us to discuss our birth plan, suggest activities to ensure that the final weeks of my pregnancy were as healthy and happy as possible, and to go over our plan of action once labor did begin.

Unfortunately, our original plan for an un-medicated birth went out the window when I had to be induced 5 days post due date due to low amniotic fluid. We stayed in constant communication with Lynn after we were admitted to the hospital until she arrived on day two of induction. Through the ups and downs of labor, Lynn was a calm and reassuring voice of reason that helped my husband and I navigate through the many interventions that we were not originally planning on. Lynn was there to talk us through all the options and ensure that I voiced my questions and concerns. Lynn worked with me to help me get into different positions, coached me through breathing, and even used some essential oils to help with relaxation. Her constant presence and support also allowed my husband an opportunity to rest and take a break during an almost 60 hour labor.

We are beyond thankful to Lynn for all her guidance and support and see her as an integral part of the birth of our baby girl. Thank you, Lynn!

Nicki Greenlee

3/1/2017

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!

Heidi Lambert

12/17/2016

Lynn was such an important part of our birth experience and hiring her was one of the best decisions we made. Her knowledge, support and compassion were integral to creating the precious and positive memories we’ll always have of our son’s birth. She made us feel strong and confident—always listening and providing great suggestions, advice and ideas. She’s one of the most genuine and caring people I’ve ever met—with a true love and enthusiasm for her work. I was sent to the hospital unexpectedly at 37 weeks (with preeclampsia), which resulted in a three-day induction process. Lynn was with us the entire time, going WAY beyond what was expected, providing continuous encouragement and support during a confusing time. Her knowledge and experience helped us navigate the constant flow of doctors and all of the options they provided. She helped us stay optimistic and kept working us towards the birth we had been planning for. I truly believe that the work she did with us in the delivery room helped me avoid having a C-section. Lynn was so many things to us: a support system, an advocate, a teacher, and, ultimately, a friend. She was with us day and night, reassuring us when things got tough, explaining things when we were delirious and helping us enjoy every minute of an experience that could’ve become overwhelming. When the active labor began, she transformed into a motivating coach—helping us summon strength and energy while giving clear instructions and enthusiastic encouragement. By the time we got to the delivery, I was prepared, confident and feeling strong, supported and excited. We will always be incredibly grateful for her generosity, compassion and for making what could’ve been a scary and chaotic hospital experience into a very positive, empowering and fulfilling memory. We’ll forever hold a special place in our hearts for Lynn and all she did for us during this life-changing time in our lives.

Andrew Kehr

12/6/2016

I really can't put into words just how helpful Lynn was during our pregnancy and birth, but I will try.

From our first meeting, Lynn was always professional, but exceptionally warm and friendly.  In our meetings, we discussed the various fears my wife and I had for the pregnancy and birth, and Lynn proceeded to work with us in our future meetings to give practical advice on how to overcome those fears.

In the end, my wife was in early labor for about 36 hours and active labor for another 14.  During that time, Lynn was constantly available for support by phone/text and gave lots of advice for foods to eat to keep up our energy and when it got to the point that we felt we couldn't handle things by ourselves any longer, Lynn came to our support.  She came in the evening and immediately began helping my wife with different positions to help move the baby around, and told me to go take a nap because I was exhausted.  An hour later, when I woke up, I came out to the living room to see a completely different scene than the one I had left... Lynn was coaching my wife to conserve her energy by keeping her breathing slow and steady and to use low noises to moan instead of high.  When we eventually arrived at the hospital, Lynn regularly transitioned my wife into a new position to get the baby to move down and reposition.  Her touch in the L&D suite was obvious, from the salt lamp in the bathroom to keep the light low and soothing while laboring in the shower, to bringing cake pops to celebrate our daughter's birth.

To sum up our expereince, Lynn gave excellent advice and support throughout our time together and provided me (the father) with additional support for my wife so that I could rest and be prepared to help later in the night.  Lynn gave me advice to help manage my wife's pain during labor and made our experience especially meaningful.  I highly recommend Lynn.

Jacqueline Devereaux

11/19/2016

Ursula is amazing. For those of you that are “cut to the chase” - Ursula is unbelievable and born for this job - she has an amazing heart and soul and is willing and able to share it through her work.

Emotional Review: It is so difficult to put into words the appreciation we have for someone at such an important and intimate event in our lives. Some words that I think of are: knowledgeable, genuine, authentic, professional, trustworthy, available, caring, warm, and sincere. One of the strongest word associations is Motherly - not in an annoying way, but in the true caring-, nurturing-, always-look-to-them-for-the-answer way. Like a mother, Ursula strives to provide as much information as she can to reduce the fear-factor of the experience. However, where a true mother may bring in their own emotions and experiences, Ursula is focused only on you and what you need. Having Ursula in the delivery room was calming because I felt as though I had someone who was medically knowledgeable but also understood me and how to translate the events that were going on in a language I would understand - again, a non-emotional, knowledgeable, strong motherly figure.

Events Review: Throughout our birth experience Ursula was always available at any hour to help provide us with information, suggestions, and guide us through what was happening. As part of her process, my partner, Ursula, and I had previously discussed our individual communication styles and expectations - all of which Ursula considered and navigated perfectly. Her preparation class was at the appropriate level of telling you what you need to know and not beating around the bush. It was far from a “boiler-plate” class that a hospital or someone would put on - it was well vetted, current, and informative. Her post-partum care was excellent, thorough, and thoughtful.

Whitney Martz

8/30/2016

Lynn was a godsend for my husband and I, her calming demeanor and genuine love for her job was apparent in everything she did. We met with her twice before I ended up getting a pretty nasty case of food poisoning at 37 weeks sending me to labor and delivery. We had a nurse that told me (without warrant) that I would most likely be going back for an emergency c-section. Lynn rushed up to the hospital, and even when we found out that I was not going to be delivering that day, she stayed with us until I was discharged and distracted both of us with cute stories and photos of her family’s dogs. When labor did come she was there each step of the way- providing guidance over the phone and making arrangements to meet us at our house. Labor ended up starting out intense and fast moving, so she met us at the hospital and provided my husband and I both with techniques and strategies to make it through the quickly coming contractions. My baby ended up being OP and things stalled out. Lynn was there with music, snacks, a Himalayan Salt Rock lamp, fresh tube of Burt’s Bees for my lips and all the moral support she could provide. She advocated for me in a way that did not make anyone on my birthing team uncomfortable and encouraged me to speak up for myself when I was unhappy with the direction things were going. Ultimately, I had to choose between a c-section or a forcep delivery and by that point I was emotionally and physically exhausted. She calmly guided me in what she thought was the right direction for us and helped my husband feel at ease. I learned after the fact that they were texting one another, Lynn assuring him that the baby and I were fine. Her postpartum visit was a treat as well, because both my husband and I genuinely enjoyed her company through the entire process. In short, this review does no justice to how amazing Lynn truly is. If you want someone who is knowledgeable, calm, and a great advocate make sure to have Lynn on your team. 

Kate B.

8/12/2016

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.

Sarah Barak

7/20/2016

I have to admit that I hesitated to contact Ursula at first : I had several friends sing her praises, but they also described her as a forceful personality. I was also put off by her higher-than-average doula fees. Boy, I am so glad that I overcame my doubts and called Ursula! I found her forthright personality a welcome change from the hippy-dippy doulas I had dealt with in the past. I was so impressed by Ursula's thoroughness, experience, knowledge, professionalism, and positive outcomes with VBAC patients that I decided to invest in my health care and my birth and hire her. Ursula charges more for VBAC patients, which I now understand.

Ursula was very holistic in the true sense of the word: she understood how all of my other medical issues -- there are many -- would play into my pregnancy, birth, and post-partum recovery. She keeps up with medical literature, and was able to make very targeted, appropriate suggestions for me, like, "You potentially might need your doctor to adjust this medication after your birth." She referred me to other providers who helped me get my body in the best shape to optimize my pregnancy/wellness to increase the likelihood that I would have the birth I desired.

I had a lot of anxieties throughout my pregnancy, and Ursula was always available to help allay my fears and answer my questions. She took many calls and texts from me, always responding promptly and with appropriate advice/assurance.

Ironically, Ursula did not attend my birth: I had a very precipitous delivery on my own at home! However, it was a completely marvelous experience, and there is no doubt in my mind that it went so well BECAUSE I followed Ursula's advice throughout my pregnancy. I would highly recommend her, especially if you are a VBAC mama.

Matthew Abrams

7/20/2016

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.

Anne Gialanella

7/20/2016

My husband and I had a wonderful experience with Ursula when I gave birth to my son in 2014 and I cannot recommend her highly enough! She empowered me and supported me to have the birth I was hoping for. When I was in labor I was experiencing a lot of back pain and she was very honest and straightforward about what I could expect- that it wasn't going away! But she helped me find ways to cope with the pain. At the hospital, she was fantastic and translating the medical jargon and keeping my husband and myself informed about the process and what was happening. This was my first pregnancy and so much was unknown and having Ursula there helped calm my anxieties about giving birth.

Megan Lucas

7/20/2016

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!

Anne Clark Baker

5/5/2016

Lynn was an incredible presence throughout our pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and she was an absolutely critical force in making our birth experience a positive one.

Lynn's calm, compassionate demeanor, depth of knowledge and experience, and clear love of her job made her an invaluable guide. She put a great deal of time and effort into getting to know us well ahead of our due date, and made us feel like we were her sole focus in the days leading up to our birth. She was always readily available by phone and email, and met us at the hospital in the middle of the night to guide us through labor. Her ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with the other professionals in the delivery room made us feel immediately at home, and like we were part of a team.

She was by our side every step of the way, and had an uncanny ability to help us focus on comfort, relaxation and joy at the moments when we needed this the most. As first-time parents, we are so deeply thankful for her presence and contribution to bringing our son into the world. We came away from the experience with a great deal of trust and respect for Lynn, and would highly recommend her services to others. Thank you, Lynn - for the lasting gift you have given us!

-Anne & Rob Baker

A. C. L.

5/4/2016

Ursula is nothing short of amazing and I will be forever grateful that I found her for the birth of my second child. My first birth experience was a disappointing c section. I knew for my second that I wanted to have a VBAC and that the only way I would feel comfortable with a VBAC would be to have a doula by my side. Ursula is extremely knowledgable and explains all the facts. She tells you what you need to hear and she doesn't sugar coat things. She is straight up and honest, and at the same time caring and considerate. I ended up going two weeks overdue and she supported me every step of the way. She helped me keep my head in the game and helped me really believe in myself. I ended up delivering a 10 lb., 9 oz baby via VBAC at 42 weeks and 40 years of age and it was truly the birth of my dreams. I absolutely could not have done this without Ursula's support.

Nicole Jennings

4/30/2016

We got the news that our baby was breech and we tried all possible methods of moving it, some peaceful and one aggressive measure to allow me to be at peace with that a cesarean was in the cards for us, much to my disappointment…. Ursula was there as a sounding board as I went through all possible options to turn the baby and was willing to be supportive should we have wanted to attempt a breech delivery. In the end we decided that the baby was telling us there was a reason and we made the decision to schedule a cesarean after our due date to see if I would go into labor and not be choosing when the baby would come. On our actual due date my water broke - much to my surprise as I had sent my husband to work and was headed out to lunch with a girlfriend. Ursula beat us to the hospital and stayed with us for the 7 hours we had to wait for an ER to open up and stayed until we were both in post op. I was so thankful that she was able to mentally prepare me for the procedure and to be such a source of comfort as our lives were about to radically change. Her input and calming voice are everything, and her big mama bear hugs make your soul smile. Any family that has had the honor to work with her knows this, and anyone considering if they should have a doula... yes, yes a million times yes you should!

April D. Martin

4/2/2016

After giving birth to my twins six years ago via a c-section, I wanted a different birth experience; one in which I felt in control of and had a great support system that was advocating for me and my baby. Without a doubt I found that with Ursula. From day one she was caring, listened to my concerns, answered my questions, and helped me step by step through the birth of my baby boy. Although I had some touch decisions to make, she was a constant alley through this journey. Being a potential vbac mom, I wanted someone that had a great deal of knowlege of the challenges to come and could help me ask the right questions of my doctors and the hospital. I can't say enough about her pre-, during, and post professionalism and experitise. I would highly recommend Ursula and Birth You Desire! 

Erin Fackler

2/17/2016

Ursula was everything that I could have asked for in a doula. She is extremely knowledgable about the DC birth community, she provides support before, during and after labor and she cares about you and your experience.

 

She has helped deliver more than 1000 babies and has been working in the Washington DC birth community for 17 years. Any question you might have or professional you might need a referral for, she knows about them. I got referrals for a chiropractor who was very helpful getting my baby aligned before birth, she recommended night nurses in case we were interested in that and she knows people at every hospital and lactation center and can tell you who to work with. She delivers many babies at GW, where I delivered, and has a wonderful relationship with my obgyn and the entire staff at GW. 

 

In terms of the last two, as a first time Mom, Ursula was happy to answer any and all questions that I had. She offers a birth class at her house, which in retrospect, I wish I would have done. She was especially useful as I got closer to my due date and was trying to figure out when I was going into labor. Post-partum, she was invaluable as I struggled with hormones and issues with being a new mom.

 

There are only a few drawbacks that I would mention. We had to reserve Ursula very early. She only takes on a limited number of mothers a month, and fills up quickly. She also has a fairly large fee. It's not out of line with other well-respected doulas in the area, but it is a major investment. For the fee, you get a pre-natal visit, support during the labor and an in person meeting after as well as unlimited support via email/ text. The only other thing is that she tends to focus on herbal/ homeopathic remedies in lieu of more common recommendations you'd get from an obgyn, but she isn't insistent on following her plan. 

Rebecca Mann

2/15/2016

We highly recommend Ursula as a Doula. She’s extremely knowledgeable, not just about the biology and physiology of pregancy, birth, labor, and delivery, but also about the ins and outs of all the local hospitals. We were impressed with how seamlessly she worked with our nurses and midwives. She took the time to get to know us and our hopes for our birth experience; with her help and a little luck we had the birth we were hoping for. During the labor she was self-assured and reassuring, helping us understand what was going on and pushing us when we needed to be pushed. It was a great relief having her there in the room with us. If we have a second child we will most certainly be asking for her help again.

Hannah Northey

2/11/2016

Lynn was fantastic and really put my husband and I at ease leading up to and throughout the delivery. She's easy to work with and put in extra time (and provided good advice) when we found out the baby was sunny side up. She worked well with the hospital staff and provided good information -  ultimately, I believe, helping me to avoid a C-section.  highly recommend Lynn and am very grateful she was present at the birth of our son. 

Kami Ugel

2/5/2016

Let's start by saying this: if Ursula moved to another country, my partner and I would pay (literally) to fly her in for the birth of our next child. Ursula was THE factor that made the delivery of our first child seamless.
Like many couples we were unsure of the value of having a doula. Especially as we had the medical side covered with my nursing knowledge, we had the patient advocate side covered with her strength as an attorney. After a negative experience in the OB office, we realized the doula would provide the perfect cushion between us, our needs and our desires and the medical team. And she was.

Ursula was 100% with us through 2 false alarms and a birth that was everything I wanted it to be in the end despite a few birth hiccups. She arrived with me as her focus. She rebooted me. She refocused me. She guided me. She labored with me. She soothed me. She energized me. She redirected me. She reminded me that my body was made to do this. She supported me. She stood up for me...and stood up for my partner when I was a dragon. She educated me. She nursed me. She advocated for me.
In the end my body was made to deliver a baby, but it was Ursula & my partner who made me feel safe and loved. #LGBTsupportive

Amanda Sauer

2/2/2016

Ursula was my birth assistant for all three of my births (one birth center, two home births). She is everything you want and need at your birth and more. She manages the family, keeps your labor going, takes photos - you name it, she's on it! She is so professional and organized that you can relax and focus on what you need to do (and if you need help to relax and focus, she helps with that too!). I can't recommend her highly enough, you will be lucky if you can get on her schedule!

Robyn Baggetta

1/18/2016

I was referred to Ursula by the doula we used for my first birth (who was no longer working as a doula). We loved our first doula - as she provided the most amazing care every step of the way of my pregnancy and postpartum - and it was hard to imagine going with anyone else for the second birth. Alas, I wanted to have another unmedicated, hospital birth attended by the GW midwives, and I knew having a doula would be integral to achieving that goal. During our first meeting, Ursula was very matter-of-fact, had a great sense of humor, but was also very professional and knowledgeable about pregnancy and birth as well as my care providers. Her passion for birth and pregnancy were immediately apparent. Since my first pregnancy and birth were textbook, I expected the same with my second. Wrong. I faced a host of issues toward the end of my pregnancy, which led to my daughter being born very close to 42 weeks (my first came spontaneously at 39 weeks). Ursula was with me every step of the way leading up to the birth - she checked in via phone/text/email frequently, offered advice on natural induction methods/positions as well as allowed me to vent about my frustrations, and offered many words of encouragement. Despite my labor happening spontaneously, my baby had still not made her way into the birth canal. Enter Ursula who, at my request, coached me (literally) for 12 hours at the hospital to ensure my labor didn't stall. If not for her, I'm sure my labor would have been even longer and more arduous. She found the most efficient and effective positions and never left my side. Ursula continued to provide much needed emotional support to our family following my daughter's birth and two subsequent hospitalizations for extremely serious illnesses (meningitis and another apparent life threatening event). I have already recommended Ursula to pregnant friends, and she'll be the first person I call should we decide to have another child. 

Tami

12/30/2015

Lynn is fabulous. She is incredibly calming and soothing, both before labor starts with any types of anxiety or concerns, and especially during labor. My labor with my son progressed quickly, and she helped me relax during contractions, both with her demeanor and her touch. At our request, Lynn drove us to the hospital, so I could concentrate on contractions and my wife could sit in the back with me. Once we got there, we had a few complications and she was very helpful in getting us through them as calmly as possible. Our son was born at 730 am, and once we were settled, she picked up breakfast for us, which was greatly appreciated. Then she stuck around to make sure that we were doing alright and that nursing appeared off to a good start.

Lynn has a whole bag of tricks to help with labor, among them massage, visualization, aroma therapy and the tens unit. Before becoming a doula, Lynn was a medical assistant at GWU-MFA's OB/midwives' office, which is a bonus if you are delivering at GWU: she already has good relationships with many of the OBs and midwives there.

Lynn is also very helpful with nervous partners. She was a calm, unflappable support for my wife, who was nervous about my giving birth.

I should have written this review sooner (my son is now 2 months old) because details have faded from my memory--but I can tell you this for sure: she was a phenomenally helpful presence and provided a lot of help and comfort during my labor and delivery.

Nefrit El-Or Sever

12/25/2015

I wanted to share my amazing, empowering experience of birthing my daughter, Anwen this week.
3 years ago, my labor with my son, Teva, was quite a terrible one. After 25 long hours, it ended up with a c-section.
I wanted to have a different, positive experience this time, one that will be filled with bliss. I wanted to have a VBAC.
I got my wish. And it was as amazing, and blissful as I could have imagined.
I had an unparalleled team of support; my amazing husband and mom who survived on 2 hours of sleep, clementines and protein bars, and didn't mind me yelling at them to 'stop raising my pillow' as I was pushing, and my unequalled doula- Ursula Sabia Sukinik, who, despite being utterly booked, was willing to come to assist me.
A lot of things were different this time around, but it couldn't have happened without Ursula, who was there, hands-on, and in charge, from the onset of active labor. Her guidance, professionalism, her unsurpassed knowledge, her assertiveness, and her suggestions were what made the difference between what would have been, I am certain, yet another c-section.
She was also a liaison between the hospital staff and us, whom everyone respected.
Thank you, Ursula for giving me the opportunity to have this special, magical birth.
one that ended up with tears of joy and a feeling of achievement of something great.
You made the difference between this exceptional experience and another heartbreak.
Thank you for being by my side, despite of how crazy your schedule was, thank you for guiding me, steering our boat, thank you for yelling at me to listen, thank you for this memory of birthing Anwen, that I will have with me forever.

Natalia Strukova

12/21/2015

It is so hard to put into words the thanks I want to give to Lynn. We were so incredibly blessed to have her as our doula. Lynn has very nice personality, great sense of humor and super calming voice which I would listen for hours! She is very knowledgeable, positive and generous with her time.

Lynn came highly recommended by our birth classes teacher and happened to be available around our due date. After meeting with her once, I knew she would be the perfect personality for our birthing experience. During labor she was calming to me and my husband. My husband was sort of lost without her guidance and he found her extremely helpful. She was able to help me to go through the pain during contractions and was absolutely amazing during the pushing part so I can honestly say that I don't think I would have made it without her. I ended up getting an epidural at 10 Cm due to exhaustion and pain and I like the fact that Lynn never made me feel guilty for choosing this path on my journey. Lynn is non-judgmental in any choices you want to make. She wants the birth to be what you want it to be.  She stayed with us for quite a while helping all along the way as needed. She made me feel comfort in having someone there after the birth that I could ask questions to.

Lynn was definitely a major part in our happy labor and was there to witness bringing our son into this world. For that, I will always be grateful to her! Thank you so much, Lynn!

Rebecca Richardson

12/1/2015

Ursula was fantastic.  We took her childbirth education classes, which were incredibly informative.  Not only did they teach us about what to expect during labor, and various ways to deal with pain and complications, but she also introduced us to many professionals that were available to help us after birth.  As a result of Ursula's class, we felt very prepared for child birth, and were able to call a lactation consultant immediately when we had trouble breastfeeding, which made a world of difference. 

 

Ursula also acted as our doula, and her assistance was invaluable.  Ursula stayed in touch throughout labor and was able to help me cope with the pain of contractions.  She coached me during pushing in a way that I feel dramatically cut down on the amount of time that I had to push.  It was clear that she was well known and well liked among the hopsital staff and was able to work very effectively with them. 

 

Overall, I highly recommend Ursula's childbirth classes and doula services.  I could not be happier with the education and assistance we received leading up to the birth of our baby girl.  

Steve Devereaux

11/23/2015

Partner’s Perspective: Ursula's birthing classes were very helpful in giving us techniques on pain management, our birthing options, the overall stages of childbirth, and tips on how to have the best birthing experience. Her friendly and straight-forward approach clearly outlined main considerations which helped me feel more comfortable with the experience. On the night before the delivery, we were unsure if the contractions were real or Braxton Hicks contractions. Throughout the night and following morning, Ursula was available and calmly outlined the steps we should take. After multiple discussions, we went to the hospital the next morning at the perfect time as my wife was 5 cm dilated and Ursula met us there.

Throughout the birthing process, Ursula was very supportive and helpful. My wife, Jakki, had some nausea for which Ursula quickly suggested that the nurses give her treatment for. Ursula worked well with the other nurses and our midwife, creating a perfect team to ensure that everyone was on the same page. Being up all night with contractions was tough on Jakki so Ursula trained her to sleep between contractions and introduced some essential oils to help her relax. Ursula was great in establishing sleep shifts between her and myself so that someone was available to comfort Jakki. She went out of her way to bring in juice, sandwiches, and coffee to make sure that we were well nourished for the journey ahead. Ursula even had the presence of mind in the moment to force me to look as our son's head was crowning (I was a bit squeamish and looked away at first!).

Ursula's assistance made the birth of our son as stress-free as possible. Our child birth was medically uncomplicated but Ursula's help took away a lot of confusion and fear that comes with a new, major event in our lives. I'm thankful for all that Ursula did to help with the birth of our son and would definitely recommend her for anyone interested in doula services.

Matt Gimovsky

11/8/2015

If Ursula is available, end your doula search.  Although you won't know for sure at the beginning, hiring Ursula to be your doula will be one of the best decisions of your pregnant life.

Navigating a pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum period, especially when its your first, is hard; unknowns follow worries, which are topped off by insecurity.  That's where my wife and I found Ursula to be indispensable and we are so glad that she will always be a unique part of our family.

What makes Urusula so good is that her advice is measured.  When you need her to reassure you or hand hold, she does.  When you need someone to refocus you and reel you in, she does that too.  

With her, you will get noting less than a subject matter expert who will do everything in her power to ensure the birth process is as safe and straightforward as possible.  While no one can guarantee any particular outcome, Ursula's techinical skill and prescient advice are a sure thing.

Erica Heinsman

11/4/2015

Ursula is an incredible birth team member. As my doula she discussed my prior birth with me, my wishes for the upcoming birth and things I could do to take charge in making my wishes a reality. She had wonderful recommendations, as well as anecdotes that helped give me perspective on how birth varies for every individual woman. 

As my due date grew closer, she met with my husband and I to discuss in greater detail our expectations of our birth and her role as our doula. She doesn't come in and tell you what she does or will do, she asks what you need from her. 

Leading up to being in active labor I had days of contractions that weren't quite regular, but they were quite painful. She came to my house and gave me some tools to manage the pain, as well as get my mental state in a positive place again. 

Once I was in active labor she was everything my husband and I had asked her to be. She let us be a team, while giving us tools to help keep things progressing. It was 41 hours of labor, and she was there for all of it, continuing to give me the mental support when I needed it and the physical support when I needed it. 

As a planned homebirth, she worked wonderfully with my midwife. When I made the decision to transfer to the hospital, I was confident she would help communicate my birth requests to my new team.

Overall, Ursula is knowledgable, skilled, and wonderful support for labor and birth. With so many variables at play in every birth, she is adaptable, composed and respectful of your wishes and needs. If I were to have another baby I would most definitely hire her again. 

Lisa Gans

11/2/2015

Ursula is amazing.  I wanted someone with lots of experience who would be a true advocate for me, without any personal agenda, and I hit the jackpot. I suffer from PTSD and was afraid that the pain of childbirth would trigger an episode, so I wanted someone who would help me think through my options for pain management and strategies for remaining calm.  Ursular was incredibly supportive and gave me lots fo useful information to help me make decisions.  

Ultimately, I concluded that an elective C-section was the right choice for me, and Urslua was an incredible support.  She helped me feel comfortable with my choice, prepared me for what would happen and then sprung into action on the day of the delivery, talking with each of the doctors and nurses to help them understand my situation and fears.  She knew the hospital well and how to be effective in the environment - the doctors allowed her into the OR to be with me while I was getting my epidural (and one of the doctors later asked for her contact info to pass along to someone in training to be a doula) and then for the birth. When I did panic on the table, Ursular was there, helping to calm me and keep me focused on the birth of my son.  At one point, she led everyone in the OR (including the doctors) in a chorus of "On Top of Spagetti" to keep me smiling and calm.  I was definitely a tough case, but she was supportive the entire time, and the birth ended up being an incredibly positive experience - something I hadn't thought was possible.   My husband also loved working with Ursula - she was a partner to him in the OR, working with him and keeping her eye on everything that was going on so that he could focus on me.  He found her knowledge about the whole process and her familiarity with the hospital extremely helpful and reassuring. We can't recommend her strongly enough!

 

Kurtis Adams

10/16/2015

I can't say enough positive things about Ursula! She was our doula for the births of both our daughter and son. In both births, she was exactly what my wife and I needed to have the type of birth we wanted. That speaks volumes to both the time she takes getting to know a couple and her ability to read a situation and provide the right support at the right level. She gave my wife a lot of encouragement and was immensely helpful motivating her to try different positions. As my wife's birth partner, Ursula helped me to stay focused on my wife by acting as an intermediary with the hospital staff. She also took care to be sure I was staying calm so that I could be present for my wife. We had a couple of relatively quick births too and I must say....Ursula got us to the hospital in time! 

Ursula has been so important in these births that she is somewhat legendary in our family. Our children will certainly know about her as the grow up and are told their birth stories. If we were ever to have a third child (...which we're not!), we would certainly have Ursula as our doula again!!

Daniele Lorio

9/12/2015

I am writing to sing the praises of my wonderful doula, Ursula Sukinik. We welcomed our beautiful baby boy of 8 pounds and 8 ounces on July 29th. I couldn’t have imagined a more wonderful birthing experience. Our birth was a VBAC and I was strep B positive. I am also not 25. I am in good shape and very healthy, but was considered an “older mom”. I came to realize that I was going into this pregnancy with baggage from my first birth. My three year old is perfect and healthy, but my first birth wasn’t what I pictured. I had some guilt about the birth of my first baby (who got stuck and ended up being a cesarian), which was unfounded. Ursula helped me to shed that unnecessary fear and darkness by talking to me about the facts of that birth and allowing me to see that what happened needed to happen and it was ok. I could move on.

She also encouraged me to go to a chiropractor in order to ensure good alignment. I dutifully worked out and got weekly adjustments. I went to term and there was no labor. After talking with my midwives, we decided to take castor oil to encourage labor. I was 3 cm dilated and swigged it. The next day, after a second try, my contractions came on strong and regularly. After 5 hours of laboring, I had my beautiful boy in my arms.

Ursula was such an amazing part of my birth because she was the perfect guide as I labored. She gave me instructions that were like breadcrumbs I was able to follow to my destination. I felt empowered because with her subtle suggestions and steady, consistent direction, I was able to have my baby. With her help, I DID IT. JOYFULLY!

Olivia Ellis

8/3/2015

This was our second birth with Ursula- she, again, could not have been more essential before, during, and after. Our first child was ten days late. Ursula helped me lay out a plan to facilitate going into labor naturally and timely. I went into labor naturally on my due date. 

I gave birth with the midwives at GW. Ursula was there with us minutes after we arrived even in rush hour traffic. She had a number of ideas on how to work together, alone, or with my husband to precipitate labor if I wanted or slow things down to take a break to gather energy. 

The midwife was not present in the room for most of labor, so Ursula clearly communicated with her where she knew me to me progression-wise and offered suggestions to the midwife on what should be done, as the baby was ready to come yet the midwife wanted to slow things down. 

Ursula's attention to me, my personality, my needs and my capabilities allowed her to suggest appropriate techniques to the midwife to help me during the final stage. 

She is remarkable talented, intuitive, and caring. I felt safe taking her advice on labor positions, but also felt safe listening to my body and doing what I felt the baby needed to descend- all under her careful watch.

We, again, are grateful and indebted to Ursula for guiding us through a six-hour labor which could have been longer and more complicated without her total focus. We consider her part of our family.

Jill Shelly Sage

7/18/2015

We worked with Ursula as our doula and also took her comprehensive childbirth class. Ursula is an exceptionally gifted doula as well as a great educator and resource. My husband and I feel so fortunate that we had the opportunity to work with her. Ursula helped us turn our labor and delivery into a safe, secure, and ultimately optimal experience.

I was able to have a natural childbirth, which I am not sure if I would have been able to do it without Ursula. She coached me through my contractions, helped me change positions to move the baby, did some bodywork on me to help the baby move, and—perhaps in my mind the most helpful for pain relief was the acupressure during contractions. She also relieved a huge amount of stress for my husband because she was clearly in charge. He felt at ease with her there because of her level of comfort, knowledge, experience, and general trust in looking out for our/our baby’s best interest, including avoiding unwanted medical interventions.

Ursula also worked very well with the hospital staff and my OBGYN. The labor and delivery nurse assigned to me was very inexperienced. Ursula was a lifesaver and was able to step in and take over many of the nurse’s responsibilities, which worked out really well since Ursula already knew our preferences, such as freedom of movement. Ursula did more to safely bring our baby into the world than anyone at the hospital.

Ursula’s comprehensive childbirth course also was great because we were empowered by the information provided during the course, able to learn from her throughout our pregnancy (exercise, nutrition, etc.), and build a level of trust with her. I highly recommend her class, especially if you plan to work with her as your doula. Lastly, Ursula has a large network of excellent resources—we have accessed several professionals and have had great experiences with all of them.

Diana Marrero

7/15/2015

Ursula is a wonderful, caring, straight-talking and knowledgeable doula. She has a wealth of experience to draw from and a matter about her that quickly fosters trust and puts everyone around her at ease. I had a successful VBAC just a couple months ago with my second child and she deserves much of the credit for that. Not only did she help prepare me mentally and physically for natural chldbirth - and a VBAC - before my labor began, but she also reminded me throughout the process to stay open minded and flexible enough to change course if and when necessary. I truly believe that this flexibility and the knowledge she draws from to coach her clients through medical decisions made it possible for me to have a vaginal birth, which was my ultimate goal. She was also a wonderful labor coach who was able to expertly guide my husband as he acted as my primary hands-on coach through labor - contributing to an intimate and wonderful experience for our family. We were grateful to have Ursula with us for the birth of our daughter. You won't be disappointed should you be so lucky as to work with her during your labor.

Steven Valm

7/7/2015

Urslua was amazing.  This was the first pregnancy for me and my wife, and we took classes and read books, but the confidence and experience that Ursula provided during labor and delivery was simply priceless.  I, of course, don't like seeing my wife in pain and discomfort, so during labor the last thing I wanted to do was tell her to "relax".  I don't have the experience or authority and I didn't want my wife thinking I wasn't taking her discomfort seriously.  Having Ursula there to coach my wife on her breathing and giving her tips to relieve tension allowed me to attend to my wife's needs without running the risk of over-doing the tough-love thing.  My wife was much more willing to listen to a seasoned professional about what she should be doing than me, the one person in the room with less experience than herself.  And Ursula did this all with great confidence, empathy, and tranquility.

Ann Kvasnicka

6/22/2015

I don't imagine many women describe childbirth as pleasant but having Lynn at the birth of my son made the experience just that.  Lynn made me feel confident that I could indeed handle childbirth and she helped me navigate the dizzying medical jargon.  Lynn had the perfect amount of interaction with myself, my husband and the medical staff and her soothing demeanor took away the fear that I had previously associated with childbirth. I would absoutely call on Lynn for the birth of my next child and would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a doula.

Jenny Nuber

6/18/2015

I can't say enough good things about Ursula, or recommend her services more highly. She helped bring our daughter into the world this past May, and we told her after the birth that she was like our own little flashlight. As first time parents, the whole process is like jumping into a big black hole: you have no idea what to expect, how you will respond or where you will come out of the experience. Ursula was our source of light and guidance, from the birthing classes, through labor and delivery and into our postpartum experience. 

The most important thing that I can say about Ursula, is that she does whatever she can to ensure that you really do have the birth experience you want. We wanted a vaginal, drug free birth and Ursula, along with our midwife team at GW, did everything possible to ensure we got it, despite a couple of small hiccups that could easily have led us down a different path had we not had such a great, dedicated team.

Ursula is warm, supportive and incredibly knowledgeable. She is always available and ready to offer you advice, feedback and access to her many resources. She customizes her services to the unique personalties and needs of each couple she works with. She is highly experienced and is well known, and respected, by the DC birthing community. Each and every time anyone--from midwife to nursing staff to pediatricians-- heard that we were working with Urusula, they all said they same thing: "she is awesome and you couldn't be in better hands." 

So we'll add our voices to that refrain. If you want a knowledgable, highly experienced, supportive, warm and generally kick-ass doula that will do everything in her power to help you have the birth experience you want, call Ursula. She is awesome and you couldn't be in better hands.

Jenny, Ivan and Stella

Rebecca Stewart

6/6/2015

Lynn was fantastic and I wholeheartedly recommend her for any expecting mother. Lynn is very knowledgeable, and has a wonderfully radiant and positive presence that was helpful before, during, and after birth. She gave great guidance during my final weeks of pregnancy that helped prepare my body to be in optimal shape heading into labor. During labor she was full of helpful techniques, postures, and tools to manage the pain of childbirth. At the hospital Lynn was an outstanding advocate for me, and her solid rapport with the nurses and doctors was vital in getting me what I needed to have the best birth possible for me. I had a great experience with Lynn and am so happy that I was lucky enough to have her as my doula. Again, I recommend Lynn for anyone looking a calming, positive, helpful, knowledgeable, and effective doula.

Tsveta Polhemus

6/2/2015

Ursula was incredible and we are so happy and grateful that we hired her to be our Douala for the birth of our second child. My first birth was natural and my husband and I were very determined to have another natural birth. Because we had done it once already, we initially felt that we would not need a Douala. Thankfully we changed our minds very early on and contacted Ursula who was recommended to us by our first Douala (she no longer practices).

From the very first time I spoke with Ursula, I knew we were in the best hands. She is extremely knowledgeable about everything having to do with pregnancy and birthing. During my entire pregnancy she answered every single e-mail in a very speedy manner either with the answer or to let me know that she will respond later on as she is on her way to attend to another birth.

The birth of our son went smoothly. I had 2 nights of false labor and Ursula couched us through it so we didn't have to go to the hospital and worry about our 2.5 year old daughter. On the third night, she ensured that this was IT and we all headed to the hospital. I was hoping that the labor pain would be less severe the second time around. Well, it wasn't and we are so grateful that we had Ursula with us. She guided my husband and I throughout the entire time and showed me moves that helped ease the pain. She worked extremely well with the nurses and my doctor. They were a fantastic team and I felt safe and in great hands the entire time. Ursula ensured that all of my birth preferences (aka birth plan) were followed. She communicate my fears to the doctor: mainly my fear of tearing and my doctor and Ursula couched me very effectively during the pushing phase. I did not have a single stitch.

Ursula stayed with us to ensure that our son had a proper latch. She also examined my placenta. Ursula checked on us the following day and then came over for a post-partum visit.

Urusla is simply the best!

Julie L

6/2/2015

Posting on behalf of my husband, who wanted to post a testimonial from the birth partner perspective: 

This is a testimonial for you birth partners. TLDR; Book Ursula now. Stop reading and contact her. But for the women who are reading this to get more information to convince your hesitant birth partners on why to hire a doula (specifically, you should hire Ursula), here you go: the birth experience is like no other experience you could ever have and is often unpredictable. Why try to navigate it without an expert by your side? You could fumble through this on your own, but why? I can promise you that you, your wife/partner, and your baby will all benefit from having Ursula in your lives. Nothing was more comforting than having Ursula on call to remind us that through her hundreds of births (almost a thousand), she’s seen this (whatever “this” is in the moment) before. You develop a relationship with Ursula of trust, honesty, vulnerability, and humor. Ursula allowed me to outsource all the stress and get reassurance (and a reminder) of how to best support my wife. Throughout the chaos of our birth experience, Ursula was like our north star – our calming force who kept us on course. When contractions got too intense for my wife (while laboring at home), just hearing Ursula’s voice via phone got her back in the moment with renewed strength and enthusiasm. Ursula helped us navigate everything from hospital admission logistics to my wife’s postpartum needs. Ursula’s joy, confidence, and positive influence are contagious. Our birth experience was such an empowering and positive experience; we credit Ursula for that. I highly recommend that you take Ursula’s childbirth class and hire her as your doula. Thanks, Ursula.

Ceyda Azakli Maisami

5/15/2015

Ursula was great all throughout pregnancy and labor. She was always available for questions and provided tremendous amount of support in every step of the way. She has experience in every possible obstacle that may come up during labor - and she knew what to do exactly to handle the situation (type of moves that would help, etc.). She had a great relationship with the hospital crew including OBs, which helped us be more comfortable during our time at the Labor room (for over 15 hours). We had the vaginal birth we wanted and were very happy how everything went (even though nothing - and I mean nothing - really went the way we expected). Overall, thanks to Ursula, we have a great memory of the birth of our baby. 

Rachel Timmons

3/29/2015

When I found myself pregnant with our second child in July 2014 I knew I wanted to have a better birth experience than what I had with my son (a long unproductive labor ending in a C-Section due to "failure to progress"—no one's idea of an awesome birth).

Thanks in great part to Ursula's guidance during my second pregnancy and her presence in the delivery room two weeks ago today, the experience I had during the birth of our daughter was was above and beyond ANYTHING I could have hoped for.

As a VBAC hopeful and the mother of a busy almost 4-year old all I had really wanted this time around was to avoid another C-Section. The best case scenario for our daughter's birth, I thought, was that I'd get to the hospital in a productive stage of labor, get an epidural, and push the baby out at some point. Thanks to Ursula's recommendations for exercise, nutrition, and chiropractic care, to say nothing of her direct, supportive guidance in labor, I was able to have a completely natural (and rather amazingly fast) delivery, an experience I will never, ever forget. I think Ursula saw in me a potential to have a birth I'd not have dared ask for, and helped me find a power in my own body I had no idea was there. 

She worked AMAZINGLY well with my obstetrician and the nurses in the delivery room—my doctor couldn't speak highly enough of her! She also kept me and my husband in the loop on those often disconcerting/confusing medical details you tend to hear about yourself in these situations so I could focus on laboring (and my husband on helping me). 

I could go on and on, but suffice to say: I truly believe there is no better birth guide in this area than Ursula Sukinik, and please trust me when I say that I am a pretty damn critical sort of a person. You are in the best possible hands with her. 

 

Alissa Lewandowski Gallagher

3/28/2015

We hired Ursula to be our doula and welcome our first child into the world because we wanted an unmedicated vaginal birth, and we are so glad that we did! We were fortunate to have had just that and it was one of the most empowering experiences I have ever (or will ever) have. Ursula is incredibly knowledgeable and has a ton of experience, so we knew we were in excellent hands from day one. We also took Ursula’s birthing classes - Birth You Desire - that helped us get to know her philosophy and style even more before the big day. I would characterize Ursula’s style as no nonsense, but very loving and supportive at the same time. She doesn’t sugar coat things. She is completely open and honest and will give it to you straight, which I found really helpful in the delivery room. At one point I told her that I just needed a break to which she responded “you’ll have a break when you meet your baby” - this motivated me to get deeper in that squat to get the baby in proper position! The other quality I really loved about Ursula is her sense of humor. I felt like I could completely be myself (and she definitely saw that worst of me!) throughout the process without hiding any of the ugly bits. Ursula also worked closely with my husband, “coaching” him on what might help me at any given moment, which I found incredibly helpful…and I know he did, too. I would not hesitate to recommend Ursula to any expectant mommies. We had a wonderful birthing experience due in large part to her reassurances, guidance, and comfort measures she used during labor. Should we decide to have #2 you can bet that she’ll be in the delivery room again with us yelling at me to squat deeper and push harder!

Trish Twiford MAc., LAc.

3/25/2015

If you're looking for a knowledgeable, caring, compassionate, and committed doula, look no further. Ursula is a special woman, and her committment to supporting you in everything you want out of your birth experience is inspiring.  I had a particularly long and difficult labor, but she was there through the whole thing, holding everyone together as we worked toward getting our baby boy out safely. She is also been very supportive during the postpartum recovery and is always available for any questions you might have. I can honestly say my husband and I could not have done it without her. Thank you, Ursula!!

Mira Schainker

3/2/2015

Ursula was our doula in January 2015 for the birth of our son. She was an amazing co-pilot and predicted challenges during the labor, both emotionally and physically. Last February we lost our daughter who was a late term stillborn at 39 weeks.  Ursula was referred to us because she had experience with families facing pregnancy loss. Ursula far exceeded our expectations from the initial prenatal visit where she asked us reflective questions about how we imagined the labor and our fears and concerns about delivering a healthy baby. Since we had our loss so recently and she had worked with other "Rainbow" parents, she was supportive to our emotional needs.

During the labor at GWU, Ursula knew the nurses and doctors on duty.  She anticipated our questions and discussed options and alternatives when there were decision points. She helped me focus on delivering a healthy baby and overcoming a lot of fears about the delivery.

After delivery, Ursula stayed with me for a few hours to ensure that I recovered well. She checked in frequently during the first day and each day afterwards to make sure that the baby and I were resting and answered any questions that came up. She visited us at our home and offered helpful suggestions about baby napping, feeding and general well being. She continues to stay in touch and answer questions or provide additional resources.  Ursula has been an incredible source of support and was truly a rockstar in our labor and delivery experience.

Kali Simone Holder

2/19/2015

Ursula was absolutely fabulous. This was our second time enjoying her as our doula and we couldn't have been more grateful. I really don't understand why anyone wouldn't have a doula by their side ! Pre-labor, during labor,postpartum, whenever we had a question  Ursula was there within minutes to answer, help, and offer advice and comfort. I chose Ursula because I knew from taking her childbirth class that she was a no nonsense kind of woman and she would help me through natural childbirth and push me, like a tough (but loving) personal trainer. I knew she would not let me give up, be scared, worried or tire...and she didn't! Instead she empowered me and gave me the confidence I needed to bring my babies into the world the way I wanted to- honoring my birth plan- and she did so with excellence, expertise and compassion. I'll say it again, I dont know why anyone wouldn't have a doula by their side. Ursula is fantastic!

Amit Natanzon

2/10/2015

MY wife and I just had Ursula at the birth of our second child (Ursula was also there for #1). Ursula is incredibly skilled and adjusted to our personality and termpermant flawlessly. The experience was made much easier with her presense, and she was our advocate, knowledge source and personal coach along every step of the way. Having someone there dedicated to you 100% of the time who has literally seen it all is invaluable, and we could not imagine going through a birth without her.

Michelle Loutoo Wilson

2/4/2015

Ursula was our doula for the natural/intervention free vaginal birth of our second child in October 2014. My husband and I had attended her child birth classes prior to the birth of our first son & refresher course prior to the birth of our second (which were fantastic). She was amazing - as she had noted in the refresher course labor was faster this time. We had planned to have her meet us at our house, but things moved very quickly and she noted over the phone that we should go straight to the hospital and she would meet us there. She helped us move through registration at the hospital very quickly and get settled in our room. From that point she offered really helpful suggestions for positions to try laboring in that I would never have thought of. It was really helpful for keeping things moving. She also was quick to tell the nursing and midwife staff about our priorities and the position I was hoping to push in (that I wasn't allowed to in my prior birth). Ursula helped my husband be much more involved this time in both the laboring and the deliver (he caught the baby!). Throughout the whole experience with Ursula we felt deeply cared for and secure that she was helping us make this the best experience it could be. We really couldn't have asked for more and between the child birth classes and the doula experience it was the best money we spent!

Cameron Rupprecht

12/17/2014

Ursula is the woman you want with you during pregnancy and labor. I could not imagine the process without her spirit and her guidance. Ursula strives to make the experience the best for you -- and that will be different for every woman. She has an uncanny ability to connect with you (as well as your doctor or midwife) through all the ups and downs. Ursula's depth of knowledge is impressive. In fact, I would not hesitate to have her birth my next baby herself if that is what it came down to! She has been with us now through two labors and I hope to have her by my side for baby #3 when the time comes. Thank you Ursula for making these journeys even more incredible.

Andrew Kane

12/11/2014

When my wife and I found out that we were expecting our first child, we determined that she wanted to attempt a birth with as few interventions as possible. Both a friend and our midwife referred us to Ursula, and there are not enough good things that I can say about her. I cannot imagine going through a birth experience without her, and I don’t think we would have had the birth we did without both her support and expertise.

Throughout the entire process, Ursula was just amazing. She was a calming presence throughout the entire experience, and her warmth and positive attitude helped to keep everyone focused and upbeat. She even picked us up and drove us to the hospital! She is clearly well respected and trusted by the hospital staff, and she knows how to interact with the nurses, midwives, and doctors. As a result, we had a well-oiled birthing team that worked beautifully in tandem. Ursula’s presence allowed me to focus exclusively on my wife because I knew that we were in her capable hands. At one point, she encouraged me to step out of the building in order to get some real food, rather than the power bars I had been eating. I felt completely comfortable leaving for that short time because of Ursula. Ultimately, helped our son get into position, and supported my wife throuhg a significant amount of pushing. Ursula’s guidance and support, combined with the faith our midwife and nurse had in Ursula’s abilities, allowed us to have the birth experience we were hoping for. Her energy, positivity, and focus helped us all to keep our eye on the prize, even when things got difficult.

The support Ursula provided prior to the birth, throughout labor and delivery, and since the day our son was born has been nothing short of amazing. Ursula is fantastic to work with and she was an essential part of our birth experience. We can’t imagine going through it in the future without her. Simply put, she is the best.

Ellen Huang

12/1/2014

Our experience with Ursula was fantastic, and I highly recommend her. I wanted to try to have a natural birth, or at least a birth with as little intervention as possible. I also knew that I would be delivering at a military hospital (Walter Reed). I wasn’t sure how supportive the staff there would be of a natural birth, so my husband and I decided we wanted to hire a doula.

Ursula was amazing during our labor and delivery process. Because we live close to her, when I went into labor, she first came to our house, assessed the situation and provided guidance (including suggesting when was a good time to go to the hospital). When we got to the hospital, Ursula was very respectful of the staff and was able to develop a good relationship with them. She also knew my medical history and was able to provide it to the staff when asked. Later when I talked with my OB, my doctor said she thought Ursula was great and that it wasn’t any weird tension (as she had experienced with other doulas).

Ursula suggested different positions during my labor and gave me the confidence that I could handle the delivery. And she coached me throughout the entire delivery process. She was also able to provide support to my husband, which kept him calm and confident as well. I

n the end, I was able to have the natural delivery I wanted and it was such an incredible experience. Before I gave birth, I wasn’t sure if I could do it because I thought I didn’t have a high pain tolerance. But I did it! I believe the exercises and visits to the chiropractor that Ursula recommended before delivery helped make sure the baby was in the correct position. And having Ursula as our coach and encourager throughout the labor and delivery process was invaluable. The experience of a natural childbirth was very empowering, and I truly couldn’t have done it without Ursula. My husband and I recommend her wholeheartedly and without reservation!

Natalie Bend

10/21/2014

I searched for weeks to find the right doula for my first child's birth. After interviewing three doulas, I chose to work with Ursula. Ursula and I had a very good connection from the start. I liked her energy, warmth and calm demeanor. As an adult living with anxiety, I had to secure a solid support system for my pregnancy and childbirth. Ursula gave us this support and more.  My labor was long, complicated and progressed unexpectedly. I experienced extreme nausea, likely from my anxiety, which required constant IV fluids and anti-nausea medication, to no effect. Eventually Pitocin and an epidural needed to be administered. While none of this was part of my birth plan, Ursula was there to help explain options and support us as we navigated these choices.  In the end, after laboring at home for a day and then at the hospital for more than 24+ hours, I decided I was ready to have a C-Section. As my birth plan informed my hospital care staff that I wanted a vaginal birth, and the fact that our baby was healthy all the way through the laboring process, my hospital care team tried very hard to talk me out of the C-Section. Ursula gave us the support, information and confidence to listen to my inner-voice and stand-up for myself in demanding the care I knew I needed. After refusing six different doctors against a fourth round of Pitocin and the potential for an addition six to twelve hours of labor, I was scheduled for a C-Section.  I recovered well and have not regretted my decision once. This is the whole point of having a Doula; unexpected things are going to happen during labor, and you need someone to support you in making your own health decisions during one of the most important moments in your life. With Ursula’s help,  we were informed, supported and well cared-for. Despite the hardship we experienced, Ursula’s support was instrumental in making our labor a joyous, cherished experience and memory.

 

Marcelo Ramagem

9/20/2014

My wife and I hired Ursula as our Doula to help us out with our very first child... and as a husband (and now proud father) I cannot think of going through the process without her again!

Ursula acted as a coach and friend every step of the way. She gave us the guidance, support, and the confidence we needed to make important decisions about our birth plan. Her experience exceeds 800+ births over the last 14 years and she is genuinely passionate about her profession. She has a no-nonsense approach to explaining the ins-and-out of birthing, but also expresses great empathy and compassion for your questions, concerns, and personal preferences.

As a father, I cannot imagine what the actual day of delivery would have been like without having her in the hospital room by my wife's side! Ursula played a pivotal role in keeping my wife calm and focused during her many hours of laboring. Although I had been practicing & learning new tricks and techniques to support my wife during the birhting process, I can honestly say that, eventhough I was well prepared at the time, I simply could not match Ursula's sheer knowledge and experience.

Ursula was an absolute natural in the laboring room and know how to interact with all the nurses, doctors, and midwives. And most importanly how to interact with my wife according to our own personal style. She was the person who kept all parties in-sync with one another and this alleviated a lot of potential stress for us (me especially).

I highly recommend Ursula to anyone who is thinking about hiring a Doula. And I especially encourage all fathers-to-be to seriously consider bringing an expert Doula such as her for the birthing ride: It will make your job as partner so much easier and your wife will be less anxious. Ursula was and will continue to be worth her weight in gold for me (before, during, and after the birth of our child). 

Jessica Drum

9/19/2014

I cannot recommend Ursula as a doula highly enough. We chose her for the birth of our rainbow baby and she was not only knowledgeable, caring and supportive she was an incredible advocate. Our birth plans changed to a cesarean a few weeks before delivery and Ursula couldn't have been more supportive. On the day of our son's birth she was not allowed in the operating room but still communicated in such a professional and effective manner with the hospital staff that we never felt anything but incredible supported and that our concerns were heard and addressed. She is an excellent choice when considering using a doula. 

Jessica Ramagem

9/18/2014

I will start by saying that words cannot fully describe how thankful I am to have had Ursula as my doula. As a first time mother I was totally clueless about what to expect during the birthing process. Ursula was there every step of the way to help educate, guide and support my husband and me. She helped prepare us ahead of time and gave us the wisdom to be able to advocate for ourselves and establish our birthing plan.

Ursula was then there for us when things did not go according to plan and we went into the hospital a month early due to complications. She supported me and made sure that I was comfortable with every decision that was being made during a time of high anxiety. She made sure that my voice was heard when I did not have the strength and confidence to advocate for myself.

When I went into labor, Ursula dropped everything and came to be by my side right away. She was my rock, security blanket, friend, and coach during my 19 hour laboring process. There is NO WAY I could have made it through the birth without her!!! She provided me with comfort, knowledge and strength during the entire experience. I will never have a child without her by my side!

Ursula continued to support us after the birth of our amazing son. She checked in with us during our son’s stay at the NICU and also when we brought him home. Ursula is not only a skilled and highly qualified doula; she is also an amazing and kind person! I truly feel so grateful to have had her as my doula and she is now an amazing friend of mine!

Jessica 

Tara Clifton

9/16/2014

Ursula is amazing! You want her as your doula!

She was our childbirth educator. She was unavailable to be our doula for the birth of our first child We used a different doula for our 1st who was very good, but after having Ursula for the birth of our 2nd child, Ursula really is the best. She listens during your first visit with her and then she knows what you need. During labor, she kept going to her 'bag of tricks' to fix all my problems.

I like to be in control & take care of all the details. Having her support before, during & after labor allowed me to relax & focus. I knew that she would help us through whatever happened. The support she gave to my husband made him a better help to me & helped alleviate his concerns as well. She took care of him too.

Not only does Ursula provide amazing support herself, but she also has an exceptional network of references for after birth to take care of baby. She is known & respected.

She is a true professional who obviously loves what she does. She changed my perspectives on childbirth & motherhood and I am a better person for knowing her.

Dan Ryder

9/11/2014

Ursula was the perfect doula for us.  She provided physical, psychological and emotional relief from long before the baby was born until well after.  She let us focus on having the baby and eased many of the accompanying worries by helping us prepare and by letting us lean on her considerable experience and poise when needed.  She knew how to support us and our wishes for a natural, vaginal childbirth.

For various risk factor reasons we chose to have our baby in a hospital, and Ursula was very supportive of our needs and desires while also helping the hospital staff.  I am certain they were glad for her presence.  She helped them several times and never appeared to get in their way.

During the birth she had a veritable arsenal of tricks and suggestions to maximize comfort for the mother.  She shared these techniques with the father so that he could play an active role, which was greatly appreciated.

After the birth she was sensitive to our breastfeeding difficulties and never overbearing.  She was highly available before and after the birth for consultation.  She maintains a vast array of recommended resources and contacts.  We have found them excellent from lactation consultants to chiropractors - and we are skeptics on chiropractors!

We had previously taken Bradley method birth classes from her, so we already knew that her knowledge and experience were second to none, and that she well understood all of our birth goals (as well as the ins and outs of hospital procedures and practices, which are not always completely aligned).
 
We could not have asked for a better doula experience.
 

Julie Bond

8/26/2014

Expecting twins and wanting a natural childbirth, it was critical that I had the right doula on my team.  Ursula could not have been more of a perfect choice.  In our consultations leading up to my due date, Ursula gave me advice that I believe resulted in the shift of Baby A from breech to vertex at week 36.  Urusla also sends her moms helpful articles and other support tips over email regularly to help thorughout pregnancy and maintain strong lines of communciation leading up to labor and delivery.  I was induced at 39 weeks and 4 days and was apprehensive about what the introduction of Pitocin would mean for my desire of an unmedicated childbirth.  Ursula turned that desire into a reality, using a variety of techniques to help me effectively manage the increasing intensity of contractions.  Even though the hospital where I delivered is not well known for welcoming doulas, each nurse assigned to us was won over by Ursula's positive energy.  More importantly, I felt supported and empowered.  I am a person who likes (needs?) to be in control.  While I knew I couldn't control much of labor and delivery, I was reassured that I had someone on my team who could help drive the process in a way that I had envisioned and would support me to the fullest extent of her ability.  Ursula's outstanding support also extended past my delivery date.  Even though she had three back-to-back births, Urusla was at our home offering her guidance and encouragement just a few days after we brought home our beautiful twins.  Ursula genuinely cares so much about her moms and babies; she was a godsend and I can't recommend her enthusiastically enough!

Kim DaCosta-Azar

8/11/2014

Ursula is the ideal Doula. She is the perfect combination of common sense, confidence and compassion. Urusla's knowledge and education combined with her uncanny abillity to navigate unforseen difficult personalities during the birthing process sets her apart from most Doulas. Not to mention you know you picked the right Doula when every baby class I attended people were jealous I had managed to get on Ursula Sukinik's schedule.

I started my adventure with Ursula a year ago when we had a miscarriage. Confused with no support where we were residing at the time she offered to talk to me and helped me through a really hard time. So when we were blessed with another child having Ursula as our Doula was a no brainer. Her unlimited support via phone and email during the first two trimesters when I was constantly worried about everything was priceless. Additionally, she knew when to be candid and force me to keep things in perspective. 

Unfortunately at 36 weeks I was informed the baby was breeched. Ursula worked with me during this time both physically and emotionally. I ended up having a C-section, but Ursula's roll was just as significant. She helped me be at peace with the c-section. She provided guidance on the process and options that were available to me. She went to the hospital with us that morning, was with us until I rolled into surgery and was one of the first faces I saw when I came out of surgery. She helped with the first latch and spent time with us after. She was there for me not just as a Doula, but treated me like one would treat and protect their daughter. These little things never went unoticed and really made me appreciate her more. Not to mention the peace of mind it brought my husband. Finally the postpartum support she provides also makes her pivotal no matter how you bring your baby into this world. Ursula supported all of our decisions and was the perfect compliment to my strong personality.

Rachel Werner

7/14/2014

I had a planned c-section, and a traumatic induction/c-section prior to this birth. I had limited maternal support, so having that additional help before and after the surgery was important. Ursula went above and beyond, and her knowledge, support and experience made the whole day run smoothly. I got to breastfeed my daughter right after the surgery, and she provided me with useful tips and advice post-partum. I would highly recommend Ursula to anyone (whether it be a natural or surgical birth)!

Rachel

Stewart Pelto

6/4/2014

In a world where birthing babies has turned to science, Ursula Sabia Sukinik is made of magic.

We chose Ursula as our doula because she gave off an aura of calm knowledge that made us feel less scared about giving birth. We took her Bradley class, which was a big help (I recommend taking her class and getting her as your doula), so by the time our son was ready to be born, we felt prepared.

Ursula was important on our delivery day because she took care of my wife (midwives take care of the baby, but not necessarily the mother). She came in during a roller coaster birth that was happening so quickly we couldn't get off the ride. The affirmations and mantras I had been using on my wife up to that time revealed themselves as the illusions of a magician. Then Ursula strode in, and real magic came with her.

She comforted my wife, gave her flower oils to smell and greased her bottom with the slick juice of an old tree somewhere deep in an ancient forest that she probably had to cast spells and transform into a panther just to be able to get. My wife and I calmed down immediately -- Ursula literally transformed the energy in the room. I was looking for a wand until I realized the magic came from inside Ursula.

My wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy and did it easier because of Ursula. She even came by our house a week or two after to talk to us about how to take care of our boy, how to pack a diaper bag with enough snacks for you in it and all kinds of things you don't know you need to know until Ursula puts the magic on you. (She even connected us with new parents in the area so we could form playgroups.)

I am 100 percent satisfied with Ursula and 100 percent in awe of her magic. Since the day of my son's birth -- the day I saw real magic -- I have dedicated my life to the pursuit of it. I can honestly say that everything about our birth and our son and our family is better because Ursula was in it.

You go, Ursula!

Michael Snyder

5/2/2014

Ursula was fantastic.  From the first session we met with her I felt completely comfortable and more importantly, my wife felt completely comfortable with her.  She helped us set up a general process to keep to for when my wife goes into labor which made the process much smoother.  

When my wife went into labor Ursula was incredible.  While my wife was still in First Phase and Ursula was with us in the hospital the two of them sent me away to my graduate school class and assured me that all would be fine.  My wife was in great hands and I felt good knowing that.  

Ursula was with my wife throughout everything from the initial epidural, adjusting the epidural and lull before the transition before I got back from class.  She had a great rapport with the nurses at the hospital and that came in very handy when I got back form class.  

My wife's labor moved very quickly, so quickly that the backup doctor who was on call nearly missed the delivery.  When it seemed that the doctor might not be there because of the speed at which the labor was moving Ursula did not flinch.  When my wife needed some stricted guidance she was there.  When I needed a little bit of direction she was there.  When the baby was about to arrive and it was just Ursula and the nurses she was ready if needed. She was critical to our smooth delivery and such an amazing shoulder to lean on during the entire process.  

After the birth Ursula continued to be a great help to us to help us in the first few days of parenthood.  She was really a joy to work with and a great team mate throughout the entire process.   Thanks Ursula.  

Caitlin LaRocco

4/30/2014

We couldn't be happier with our birth experince thanks to Ursula.  She remains to be a great part of our entire birth story. We took her natural birth preparation class as well as had her by our sides during the labor and birth of our daughter. Ursula was there to help us navigate every inch of our hospital birth and truly help me feel better about decisions we had to make at the time. She helped us to prepare prior to the birth with our first meeting with her as well as played the role as a liaison for my husband and I at the hospital.  She will truly be your expert advocate.    Having not been through this before, she prepared us for everything and was by our sides with support through our entire labor & delivery including the first latch just 20 minutes after birth.  The woman doesn't miss anything and provides real life experience that is appreciated by everyone in your delivery room. 

Ursula's childbrith classes are NOT to be missed either! Her candor, wit, insight and knowledge make you feel like you're geting insider information, not to mention the team of experts that are in her circles and eager to help. 

Ursula remains to be one of my best resources even though we've now got a one month old.  She's got a great answer to every question and always has a way for you think think about your question or issue that you hadn't thought of before. 

Our experience with Ursula was wonderful, you'll want her involved in your story too! 

Genevieve Thomas

4/28/2014

Ursula is absolutely amazing at what she does. Everyone told us we would "just know" when we met the right person. We interviewed several doulas who seemed competent and very nice; however, when my husband and I met Ursula we "just knew" right away. We felt such a connection with her from that first encounter. She is extremely knowledgeable and very up to date on current studies/articles/recommendations. She had a way of making me feel calm and safe. Ursula is the kind of person who can be both loving and firm at the same time which is a great asset during childbirth. I cannot imagine having anyone else there to support me throughout pregnancy and through the post partum period. Unfortunately I moved away from Ursula's area of practice and so did not use her as our doula during my second pregnancy. Despite this, I called her for advice when I was almost 2 weeks late and nearing an induction I wanted to avoid. She immediately responded to me and was more than happy to take time out of her day to help me. I swear it was her words of wisdom and reassurance that put me into labor that very night. I would highly recommend Ursula to anyone looking for a doula.

Nicole Jennings

4/24/2014

Where do I begin?  From the minute we walked into Ursula's house to interview her I knew she would be with us through our pregnancy and birth of our first child.  Her energy is unbelievably amazing and supportive and calming.  Her brain teems with knowledge for any question or possible scenario that comes your way and allows her to guide you with confidence and grace.  We had a few things come up during our otherwise easy pregnancy that when we needed advice, Ursula was immediately available and helped us wade through the information to keep us from getting stressed and to be able to embrace it all with a calmness and ease.  She checks in with you if she hasn't heard from you in awhile and just is that mama bear you need when being pregnant or giving birth.  Our initial goal of a natural birth was changed 2 weeks before our son was to arrive because the baby was stuck in breech.  Not only was Ursula there through several weeks of trying to turn the baby (unsuccessfully) but she was invaluable when we had to come to terms that we would be needing a cesarean birth.  As well as being with us waiting to go into the OR, standing by and then staying with us to ensure we were all ok and the baby was latching on well before she left us at the hospital to rest (a long 13 hour day for her).  She talks you through everything so that you can be peaceful in the process and is just a total gem.  We suffer from a world of information overload and in an area where we have access to so much, Ursula is all you need to guide you through your pregnancy.  We cannot even begin to thank her enough for all she has done.  She is just incredible!  Nicole Jennings & Jeff Faile

Eileen Batterberry

4/24/2014

My husband and I had an incredible experience with Ursula, and we highly recommend her services. I've already told many pregnant friends about her birth class and her doula work. I recently gave birth to twin boys, and having Ursula support us at our birth (and before and after), made a world of difference. We took her birth class as well, which was so helpful for us and was a good bonding experience for my husband and me. He learned a lot about pregnancy and the birth process, and it helped him be more a involved partner.

I had a long labor that ended up not going as planned, but having Ursula with us made the whole change of events less scary and much more positive. When it was all said and done, I had two healthy, thriving baby boys, and when I reflect back on my experience, I have positive feelings about my birth even though it was different than I had intended. 

Ursula is very knowledgeable about pregnancy, birth, and babies, and she is always willing to offer advice when asked. I appreciate her candor and her extemely generous spirit. My advice: get Ursula if you can! 

Antara Basu-Zych

4/7/2014

We were interested in a doula for our second birth as we ended up unsatisfied with our first birth experience. It was important to us to have a positive birth experience this time and we decided that a doula could help. Ursula was perfect! Even though it took me awhile to embrace the fact that I needed to relinquish control, I could rest easy in the fact that I was in good hands and I think that knowledge and trust made all the difference. I could trust Ursula completely -- she instinctively knew when I needed cold compresses, juice, essential oils, to change a pose. Her actual knowledge of the birth process was invaluable in suggesting poses and offering massage and other techniques to ease the labor pains. The whole time that I was laboring I felt fully supported and, unlike the previous birth, I felt that labor was progressing usefully. Ursula clearly knows a lot and she doesn't sugar-coat her words and I knew that I could trust her to give me the best advice. Between the days leading up to the birth all the way to the post-partum visit, Ursula was my source of information, strength, support, and at times, a shoulder to cry on. It is a fine balancing act that makes a good doula -- remaining distant enough to avoid intruding on the husband-wife team and being available and ready to offer support. Ursula managed this magically -- my husband and I felt well-united the whole time, but having Ursula there meant that he could focus on my needs, while she handled the nursing staff, the monitors, logistics... and when he needed a break or we both needed a change (whether we realized it or not), Ursula stepped in to offer her help. It also helped that she had an amazing rapport with the hospital staff -- I felt that that their respect of her translated to an especially good treatment of us!

Amanda Riddle

3/20/2014

Ursula is amazing! Ursula was there to support during our planned c-section of our double footling breech baby. We found out late in the pregnancy that he was breech and had to end up changing plans from a natural home birth to a hospital birth. We had taken Ursula's child birth education class (also highly recommended). We leaned on her for support and she was great. At first we didn't think that we would need a doula for the planned section but we were so wrong! She was there to help keep us calm and even help manage visitors a bit. She is really in tune to what is needed. She couldn't be with us in the OR but walked us through it several times . She even was able to let our anxious parents know that he was born just because of the lag time after the surgery they appreciated that. Then after she helped with the initial latch, came back later to help again with a problem, and even saw her the next day to see how we were doing. I know the reason my son and I are nursing so well is because of Ursula. This is something I was scared wouldn't be an option because I'd heard it is often harder for c-section patients but be cause of Ursula this wasn't the case. Highly recommended! 

Fanny Gomez

3/7/2014

Working with Ursula was great. She is extremely professional and knowledgeable, loves what she does, and does incredible work with expecting parents. Her support before, during and after our birth have been exceptional. I had a VBAC, natural birth with her at GW Hospital, with the midwives, and it was the most rewarding and empowering experience I've ever had. Ursula was very supportive, as she believed in my ability to do a VBAC, and that gave me strenght and self-confidence. The day of the birth, she met us as soon as she could as she had another birth, but got there just in time to guide us through the hardest times... her positive remarks, kind words for me and my husband helped us get throught it. After our little one came, she stayed with us for a little while and was very loving. She is very reliable, always there when you need her (texts and calls right back when you reach out to her), and very dependable. She is a happy person... she trusts the process, and will guide you every step. We loved working with her... she is all a doula is supposed to be!

Monica Pinzon

2/20/2014

We were thrilled with Ursula's support all across the board, from her deep knowledge of her craft, to her accessiblity and ease of communication, to her infectious confidence that we really could get through this challenging time.

Ursula was a tenacious advocate of our best interests (starting with her birthing classes, which we also took) through our labor and delivery, and into post-partum recovery and celebration of our new baby. We had a fairly long labor -- 53 hours! -- and she was with us the whole way. As our (also excellent) teams of nurses and midwives came and went as they completed their long shifts, Ursula stuck by our side and outlasted them all. It was our hope to have as natural a birth as possible, and also to avoid a C-Section unless it proved to be absoultely necessary. It turned out that our baby was facing up toward my bellybutton and also had a cord wrapped around her shoulder -- two facts that in most hospitals would have meant we were headed for the operating room. But with the support of such great midwives working together with our doula and our own resolve to push through, we were able to have a vaginal birth in the end to our great joy. I did end up, after 36 hours of labor, having a mild epidural and some pitocen. This was not our first choice in our birthplan, but we appreciate that Ursula and the rest of the team, while advocating as natural a birth as possible, were willing to suggest these tools when they indeed turned out to be necessary. Ursula's knowledge of our particular hospital also came in handy as she had a personal relationship with the rest of the birth team. Style-wise, Ursula has a touch of the tough-love directness of a coach pushing you to a shared goal, and can at times be blunt, but also the warm motherly love that helped us through an emotional journey.

We really truly believe we would not have had the outcome we did without Ursula and we are forever grateful.

Anna Stumpf

1/23/2014

If you want to seriously increase your chances of having a successful VBAC, hire Ursula-she made my VBAC happen. She was amazing. The knowledge and experience she brings and consistent presence leading up to the birth and throughout labor and delivery is like having a combination of not only the best doula but also the best midwife plus a specialist in natural healing techniques plus both academic and intuitive expert in anatomy and optimal mother and fetal body positioning plus excellent psychotherapist plus labor & delivery nurse plus on site chiropractor (she literally adjusted my sacrum during labor). She was able to basically fill every role at once and added a level of time and patience and care that most people never get even from a great doctor-I feel like the fact that anyone else was there was just a technicality, Ursula pretty much delivered our baby start to finish herself. My first birth was extremely difficult-a 44 hour labor, I was trying for a natural birth and was working with midwives, my baby ended up in a transverse arrest and it ended in an emergency c section becuase even though we got to the point of full dilation and pushing, and a quarter sized amount of the baby's hair was visible, she never descended any lower. I was surprised by how little my midwives knew about the position of my baby before the birth, and how they only checked after the birth, and only when I asked, to find out that I had a slightly flat pelvis. I also was disappointed in how little they did during labor to coach me-I had hoped they would have ideas on different positions to try to make things progress better etc. This time I decided to look for a doula that would work with me to try to get the baby into the right position. Ursula was everything I hoped she'd be and more-my baby was transverse again and she had great techniques during labor to make things progress and get the baby out of the transverse position and past my flat pelvis. Ursula is wonderful!

Julia Kernochan Tama

1/23/2014

We had a fantastic birth experience with Ursula. This was my second natural birth and second time working with a doula. Ursula came highly recommended by friends after our previous doula moved away. Ursula is extremely knowledgeable and has a wide toolkit for both preparing for and experiencing labor. She was great about offering positions, aromatherapy, and other techniques during the labor and helped to talk us through a very intense and quick labor.  I am certain that her positions and other advice helped my labor go much more quickly than we anticipated.  It was so quick that Ursula almost had to catch the baby, but I was able to remain calm because I knew she had the skills to handle it.  She was also excellent in dealing with the hospital staff in an effective but positive way. In fact, the doctor asked for Ursula's card after the birth! We always felt fully confident and secure with her support. Ursula has a pretty intense and energetic style, which was a good match for us because we were looking for an assertive ally in a traditional hospital setting. For expert and tireless support with your birth experience, we highly recommend talking with Ursula.

Lilah Pomerance

1/22/2014

Ursula was wonderful. She was essential to our bbirth going well, in fact pretty much as we had hoped. She was supportive, relaxed, knew what to do. We would highly reccomend her to anyone. 

 

 

Mike Graglia

1/20/2014

If I was making the perfect doula, I'd build Ursula.  She gets it at every level.  Pre-birth she tells you what you need to know.  During labor she's your advocate and there every step of the way.  Afterwards she has a heart of gold.  She knows her stuff and all the hospital professionals we dealt with who knew her, immediately respected and collaborated with her.  She will be our doula the next time around, no question.

Ambor Primm

1/18/2014

We were lucky to be able to have Ursula attend our second child's birth! In truth no words could say how grateful we were to have her with us. Ursula takes the time to understand exactly what your family needs are. My husband wanted more direction to help me during labor and she was wonderful at giving that direction for him. Our labor was extremely fast but Ursula was very knowledgeable at what positions would help me and help get the baby moving. It was extremely helpful to have her on call before labor and after. She followed up with us to make sure we were doing well after the baby as well. She will be our first call when we get pregnant again to make sure that we get on her calendar! She truly helped us have the birth we wanted to have.

Kimberly Becker Koch

12/31/2013

We hired Ursula for our first childs birth and it was a wonderful experience. Infact, my sister in laws have also hired Ursula for their births. We quickly hired Ursula when we were pregnant again with our second. Our second birth turned out to be a very different birth than the first birth. With our second birth we went into labor early and needed to be at the hospital longer so this time our drive to the hospital was more leisurely. My husband and I started discussing what we thought Ursulas role would be because 'we had done this before'. NEWS FLASH: every birth is different. Obviously we were aware of that idea but really hadnt thought about it. Ursulas role with #2 was just as important as her role in the first. I consider myself to be a pretty aware person, prepared, and informed, but I know my second birth could have been a lot harder if she had not been there. The only thing familiar about this birth was that feeling towards the end where you wonder how much longer you have to endure labor. Ursula was there every step of the way, providing support (physically and mentally), different laboring positions, information, guidance, and sometimes some humor. She is also very friendly with the hospital staff which certainly is a positive. Ursual is tough and straightforward and she is also very warm and passionate. She has a way of molding to situations, she is there when you need her, and backs off when needed. Ursula is a very hard working woman and I wonder how she funcations with a crazy work schedule, being on call 24/7, and the sacrafices she makes with her family to be there for moms to be. Consider yourself lucky to have Ursula be by your side when in labor. I have a handful of friends who have tried to have a natural birth, unsuccessfully, and i truly believe their experiences would have been so much different with the assitance of a doula.

Shannon Forchheimer

12/10/2013

Ursula was my doula for the birth of my third child, and she exceeded all of my expectations.  She was hugely supportive before the birth, giving me advice and encouragement when my baby was (temporarily) breech.  As my due date approached, she was constantly in touch with me, and when labor finally arrived, she was at my house coaching me through until we left for the hospital.  My labor ended up going a bit longer than we anticipated, but Ursula was with us every step of the way.  Ultimately, I achieved a natural birth, and I can honestly say that it would not have been possible without Ursula.  She has since been a huge support post partum.  

I recommend Ursula without hesitation - I don't think you could find a better doula in the area.  

Rachel Rosenberg Goldstein

11/26/2013

I can't say enough good things about Ursula. I truly believe I had the positive birth experience I did because of her. She was calm and supportive when I needed that and she pushed me hard when I was losing steam, energy, and motivation. She was the perfect balance of being totally involved and giving my husband and I enough space that we really felt like it was our moment. I had heard before that the mood of the delivery room changes when Ursula walks in and that was completely true for us. Ursula brought calm and peace into a room that had been crowded with doctors and machines. She quietly but firmly let the hospital staff know my wishes for as few interventions as possible. When the baby was taking a long time to drop Ursula sprung into action with the nurse to move me into a position that got the baby moving. When I had been pushing for hours and thought I couldn't go on Ursula told me "you are stronger than this" and I believed her and I was. We trusted Ursula's opinion and intuition and it took much of the stress and unease away from our expereince. Ursula was my rock. I would hire Ursula again in a heartbeat.

Nathan Maisttison

11/20/2013

I just wanted to take a moment to post a testimonial to Ursula based on my experience from the husband's standpoint. My wife was required to have a doula by the midwife program at GW because she was a VBAC. I did not like the idea at first because I felt like somebody else was going to share my role and responsibilities during child birth. It turns out that Ursula amplified my role and gave me an extra boost of confidence which made the experience unbelievable. Just her presence made me feel much more comfortable and gave me a sense of wellbeing simply because she knew what was happening. This sense of wellbeing helped me focus on my wife during contractions. During delivery, Ursula was able to give my wife the mental strength needed for a natural delivery while I focused on posture and support. During the entire process Ursula was able to give instructions and explain what was happening. She was also the extra hand I needed during a very stressful and emotional time. I just wish I was a little more open minded about having a doula for our first child because Ursula made my second experience of child birth even better.

Suzanne Thorpe

10/14/2013

Ursula was present for the birth of both of our sons - first in 2011 and again in 2013. She is truly a wonderful doula and birth coach. She is such a positive energy to have and focus on during labor and delivery - I honestly don't think I could have done two natural, unmediated childbirths without her! 

Ursula is a wealth of knowledge on coping techniques, pain management (both physical and homeopathic) and knows just when to introduce them to a laboring mom based on her body language. She was able to explain to me through both births what was going on with my body and make me confident that things were progressing normally.

Ursula came to our house at 36 weeks to prepare with us for labor, discuss our birth plan and goals. I felt ready and relaxed when my water broke at 38.5 weeks with no contractions. I called Ursula and she talked to me every hour until she felt I was starting to labor. She came to our house where she coached me through several hours of contractions and offered pain management through massage and essential oils. We went to the hospital at 7cm! at the hospital she continued to assist the midwife with different positions to advance the baby lower and through the birth canal. When the time came to push she was a positive and forceful voice to focus on. She reminded me over and over that I could do it! Her encouragement and energy were amazing! 

Ursula's love and passion for her work are so obvious! She is a true inspiration and a wonderful friend.

Andrea Richardson

10/3/2013

There are not enough words to express just how wonderful Ursula was during our pregnancy. The reassurance and information she provided us with was phenomenal. She was always available as a resource to help us make decisions. During labor, Ursula provided my partner and I both with an immense amount of support and guidance. While I had to give birth in a hospital due to being high risk, Ursula succeeded in making our room a protected and comfortable environment. She had a phenomenal rapport with hospital staff and knew many of the nurses at Shady Grove (where we delivered). As a result, they fully viewed her as part of my labor team and allowed her to assist me as desired. Ursula's presence not only helped me manage the pain of labor, but also helped me understand how the various interventions could help or hinder my desire to have a vaginal birth. I have no doubt that the support Ursula provided during and in the weeks prior to labor was the primary reason I avoided a c-section. By having a successful vaginal birth, my recovery has been minimal and I have been able to enjoy these first weeks home with our daughter without recovery from major surgery.  The post-partum services Ursula provided were also incredibly helpful. Helping us secure a lactation consultant and even just checking up on us in the days following delivery were more important than I anticipated. 

 

The gifts Ursula gave us during this journey - encouragement, information, guidance, support, and ultimately the ability to have a successful vaginal delivery - are priceless. I would not even consider giving birth again without Ursula, because her presence was not only encouraging, but maximized my own health, my ability to have a healthy baby, and the chances of a successful delivery. I have already referred her to several friends and would not hesitate recommending her to anyone who is pregnant or considering pregnancy.

Ailea Sneller

9/29/2013

Ursula is an excellent doula! Our first childbirth experience was a long and complicated labor that ended in a C-section. We wanted to try for a VBAC, so hired Ursula after taking her childbirth class and being impressed with her knowledge and experience. She was absolutely everything we needed her to be and more - a source of knowledge, comfort, recommendations and support (physical, mental, and emotional) throughout the pregnancy and birth process. We experienced a vastly shorter labor and a successful VBAC, largely due to Ursula's expertise and support. Specifically, she has extensive medical knowledge and was able to explain and help us contextualize information we got from care providers; she had an excellent working relationship with our midwife and labor & delivery nurses in the hospital that made for a very smooth and collaborative experience; she has years of experience and a broad base of knowldge to draw from to offer insights and suggestions; and she was with us throughout the entire experience - from when we first got the news that we were pregnant through breastfeeding and caring for our newborn. Now I can't imagine going through a birth experience without her, and I can't recommend her highly enough, especially for anyone who may have concerns or complications around labor and delivery. You want Ursula on your team!

Adriana Hochberg

9/25/2013

I highly recommend Ursula as a doula. Ursula's emotional support and close collaboration with the midwife and hospital staff was instrumental in helping me to achieve a VBAC. Having assisted in over 600 births, Ursula is a walking encyclopedia of labor positions and ways to cope with the pain. During the intense moments of labor and delivery she helped me to keep my focus on my breathing, and kept reminding me that the pain served a purpose. Ursula was invaluable in all aspects of the birth experience, from giving me drinks to help keep me hydrated, to offering a helpful list of the must items to take to the hospital, to providing detailed postpartum advice. 

Heather Wood

9/19/2013

Ursula is wonderful! We hired her for our third birth, a high risk pregnancy following a horrific birth experience with our second child. Ursula was there for us every step of the way.

To start she is punctual, great about scheduling, and older siblings love her! She is honest, gentle, and has a good sense of humor. My husband and I could tell as soon as we met her that she was both knowledgeable and reliable.

Ursula knows about all of the area hospitals and doctors and this knowledge is invaluable. She helped me through interviewing many doctors and midwives.

Her advice and directions for caring for yourself before, during, and after labor are clear and wonderful. I love the handouts she gave me and I think that she has the best packing list that I've ever seen. Not to mention all of her great herbal and aroma knowledge.

I had several weeks of prodromal labor and she was not only supportive but very discerning as to what was going on. There were no false hospital trips which was very important for me emotionally. She gave me great advice on how to get labor going when it was clear that I was ready and it worked!

My birth was fast and if I hadn't listened to Ursula about when to go to the hospital, I would have had my baby on the beltway! When we arrived at the hospital she had everyone ready and waiting at the door. She kept me calm during the birth, no easy task because of my fears from the last birth. She was the perfect balance of strong and loving during the birth. She was so in tune with what was going on that she was the first person to touch my baby's head as she was being born.

Two days later when my baby had tongue tie and we were suffering, she came over, recommended and ENT for us and we had the problem fixed right away. Once again, her knowledge saved the day.

It was a pleasure to work with Ursula. I absolutely recommend her and I wish that I had more room to sing her praises!

Jessica Diaz McKechnie

8/28/2013

I went into labor unexpectedly. I was only 32 weeks but started to have chills, joint pain, cramps, and a high fever. I was encouraged to call my mid wife. She advised me to come into the labor and delivery department for a quickl check on the baby. When I arrived to the hospital I was told that I was contracting every three to four minutes. I was in labor! 

Ursula was our doula and we tried reaching her but she happened to be out of town on vacation. It only took her a few hours for her to reach us and let us know that she would be sending her stand in doula Patricia. Things got very scary very fast when they told us they suspected I might have a rare bacterial infection that might effect the baby. Patricia came in and was amazing. She was in direct communication with Ursula who was on her way home. Urusla arrived at the hospital and we couldn't have needed her more. Patricia was amazing and Urusla provided us with the support and confident direction we needed to get us through this very stressful situation. She talked us through every doctor's recommendation and with her and Patricia's help, I had a beautiful labor and delivery. We couldn't have experienced a low stress delivery without her support. My husband and I agreed that having a doula, specifically Urusla was the best decision we every made. Thankfully our baby was born healthy and infection free. Urusla checked in on us frequently immideiately following the birth. Our baby will be in the NICU for a few weeks but once she gets home we know Ursula will be there for a visit to make sure we are off to a get start at home. We will definitely use her again if we are so blessed. Thanks Ursula.   

Olivia Ellis

8/28/2013

My son's birth - as well as my pregnancy - was what I dreamed of, and Ursula ESSENTIAL in realizing that dream. The moment I met her at our interview, it was like meeting my guardian angel. Because this was my first pregnancy, and because I desired a drug-free delivery at GW with the Wisdom Midwifery program, I sought a doula who was direct, knowledgeable, hands-on, who would want to get to know me and my husband and guide us through from A to Z. We were also lucky enough to sign up for her Birth You Desire class- we all got to know each other and we were able to learn how to prepare for a non-intervention birth and for life afterward.

Both my husband and I put our total trust into Ursula's hands and she gave back in spades. She was absolutely present, checking in often during the final month and during the ten days overdue. The night I went into labor, Ursula was at our home helping me through contractions and helping to position the baby since he was posterior. She helped us stay calm and even let my husband get some rest while she took over. Having her by our side as we got to the hospital was extraordinary as she took charge and allowed us to focus on contractions.  

Without going into details of the actual labor and birth, I will stress that Ursula's role allowed me to have a safe, healthy, glorious, not-too-long delivery- I will actually say it was a fun experience with her. 

From our interview to her class, to her pre-natal home visit, to our birth, to postpartum visit and check-ins, Ursula was the consummate professional while remaining a trusted friend. 

I would not even want to imagine my our life without her. 

Melissa McClean

8/27/2013

This was our "healing birth," and it would have not been possible without Ursula. My first pregnancy, labor and delivery left much to be desired. So when we learned we were having another child, my husband and I immediately contacted Ursula who was the instructor of our childbirth preparation class during my first pregnancy. We told Ursula our goal was for a natural VBAC delivery and she supported that goal every step of the way by offering suggestions during pregnancy, guidance during early labor and hands-on assistance during delivery. It was the experience I had always wanted! We appreciated her honesty and direct approach, but fell in love with her nurturing spirit and knowledge of natural alternatives. If it is at all possible, we will not have another child without her!

Mary Burner

7/12/2013

My husband and I cannot recommend Ursula highly enough. She was both our doula and our childbirth class instructor. I had a successful VBAC with the GW Midwives in January 2013, and Ursula was so incredily supportive throughout my whole pregnancy and birth. She is very experienced with VBACs in particular, and she knew how to address both the physical issues (position changes during labor, specific exercises all throughout pregnancy to help with proper positioning of the baby) as well as the psychological issues that many VBAC moms face (self doubt and getting hung up on what "went wrong" the last time!) She really helped me through all of this and helped me to be as calm and confident as possible. She was such an asset during a long labor and employed a variety of techniques (massage, aromatherapy) to keep me as comfortable as possible. She also made sure my husband was taking little breaks, eating, and drinking during labor and she offered him a lot of encouragement as to how to best support me (without ever trying to take his place as my labor partner.) As a class instructor, we were so impressed with Ursula's extensive knowledge about practically everything you could want to know, and her real world stories from births she had attended. Even though I already had a toddler, I still learned some new tips about infant care from Ursula that I used in caring for my 2nd child.

All around, she is just a wonderful and caring doula and person. If there is ever a baby #3 for us, I would call Ursula as soon as I found out I was pregnant to make sure she could attend the birth!

Kendall Burman

7/8/2013

My husband and I had a wonderful experience working with Urusula.  After having a c-section with my first, I really wanted to work with someone who could help me prepare for and support me through a VBAC- Ursula was a perfect fit for us. Through our initial prenatal appointment she gave me the extra boost of confidence I needed in the last trimester and her plan of action during the last weeks was really reassuring.  During the delivery she was the extra support that we really needed without interference. She was able to spot issues early on and made suggestions to my doctor and nurses that made a substantial contribution to me being able to have a successful VBAC.  I highly recommend. 

Eric Benjamin

6/27/2013

Ursula was referred to us by a good friend.  My wife and I are first time parents and didn't know what to expect from a birth.  We enrolled in Ursula's birth class and decided to use her as our Doula. I learned during Ursula's class that the birth process can take many different turns with many different outcomes depending on what decisions you make along the way.  Ursula's knowledge, experience and confidence put us at ease. We were sure that no matter what came up during the birth process we would be fine with her help.  Two weeks ago we had an unmedicated natural delivery that lasted only eight hours.  I would definately recommend Ursula to anyone having a baby. She definatley went above and beyond the call of duty for us.  If we have another child we plan on using Ursula as our Doula again.

CH

5/29/2013

Ursula was my doula for both of my pregnancies and births. Yes, I know she is technically a “birth doula,” but the support that she provided me during each of my 18 months of pregnancy was critically helpful to my positive outcomes. Both of my pregnancies were very hard, and to say that I was a high-needs pregnant lady is a huge understatement. Ursula was remarkably easy to reach and always available. One of the reasons I hired her is because she struck me as someone who didn’t have her own agenda. She is very experienced with all kinds of moms – she has even attended far more births than most midwives in the area. She also has a ton of info on just about every pregnancy complication under the sun!

Christine Chen

5/16/2013

Ursula came highly recommended to us by a few members of my mom's group who had researched the topic of VBACs and were looking for a good experience of their own.  We didn't even do another doula search - after hearing about her two or three times, I automatically called, bonded and decided that we had to have her if at all possible!  Not only does she have a deep experience of the birthing process and high risk pregnancies, she has this intuition about what you need as a mom and she knows your limits too.  I thought this was incredibly helpful throughout my pregnancy, and I knew she was going to do her darndest to make sure my birth went the way I wanted (an unmedicated VBAC).  She also had great relationships with my midwifery practice (former WISDOM) and it helped tremendously that already knew her.  When the time came, my birth was smooth and quick and no introductions were needed.  Perhaps my Bradley teacher said it best, "Oh, you have Ursula as your doula?  You'll have nothing to worry about then...your in great hands."

Michelle Liu

5/16/2013

Ursula was a fantastic doula and the worth every penny. Being my first pregnancy, at first I was skeptical of a need for a doula. After all, I read they provide support, physically and emotionally to the laboring mother, but who couldn't do this? Having been through an excellent labor experience I can attest that the process is more emotionally laden and complex than I had anticipated and I do not think I could have gotten the experience I wanted without Ursula. My husband was exhausted, my midwife was tending to another laboring mother at the same time, and the hospital nurses probably wouldnt have been as attuned to my birth plan and needs if Ursula had not been there to support me and make sure my wishes were met when possible. She is experienced, understanding, and will work in your best interests to get you YOUR best birth experience possible. She also guided us through the labor hospital process, which would have been overwhelming in the moment had it been just me and my husband. I highly recommend Ursula and would use her again if I have another child.

Jason Engel

2/23/2013

I highly recommend using Ursula as a doula. Simply put, Ursula made it possible for my wife to have a natural child birth without interventions through her support and knowledge.

Prior to my wife’s delivery date, Ursula was very helpful with giving advice as we prepared for the big day. She quickly responded whenever we had any questions regarding the birthing process (including helping us understand the significance of the information conveyed to us by our midwife during prenatal appointments).

On the day of delivery, she met us at our house at 1 a.m. and stayed with us there for over four hours. She let us know how long we should wait before we call the midwife/go to the hospital. Based on her advice, we stayed home for much longer than we would have had she not been there. This enabled my wife to perform labor exercises in the comfort of our own home. During this time (and throughout the remainder of my wife’s labor), Ursula gave my wife excellent advice about what exercises to do to ensure that the labor kept progressing.

Once we arrived at the hospital, Ursula continued to be a great help. Ursula was effective at keeping me involved in the labor and delivery process. I assisted my wife throughout the process and I never felt like a third wheel.

Ursula also forged a good working relationship with our OB nurses and midwife. She served as an extra set of hands for the nurses and midwife. Ursula also explained to us what was going on from a medical perspective during the labor and delivery process.

Post-partum, Ursula continued to be a valuable asset. She met with us to review our birth and gave us advice regarding post-partum recovery. She continued to be very responsive whenever we had questions regarding my wife’s recovery.

Needless to say, if we have another child we will certainly use Ursula again.
 

Shana

2/20/2013

I echo all the glowing reviews of Ursula's services. We took both Ursula's class and also used her as a doula. I can't recommend her services enough. At first, we were concerned that the class was too much of a time investment, but it's clear to us now that Ursula's instruction week after week laid the foundation for our going into labor feeling strong, empowered, and well-educated about the benefits of natural childbirth, and my capacity to do it. If I thought Ursula was fantastic as an educator, I was blown away by the care she offered as a doula. She did an amazing job of listening to me and my husband, and providing exactly the type of support that we asked for. She is caring, funny, knowledgeable and terribly passionate about her work. It's clear that Ursula loves what she does and excels at it. She is very giving of her time before, during and after labor, and I will definitely ask her to work as our doula again in future pregnancies.

Kathleen B

1/7/2013

 As a first time  parent, I spent a lot of time & energy researching childbirth   .  I formulated strong feelings on how I hoped my first birthing experience would be. I wanted to birth in a hospital , but wanted a completely natural birth within that setting. With Ursula's help, I was able to achieve my goals. I felt empowered by Ursula's presence & encouragement.     I found great value in both Ursula's childbirth class & her support as doula. 

Joy Hawk

9/24/2012

My first two births I was with an OB and had a c/s. My third time, I wanted a completely different experience. I used Ursula as my doula as I was going for a VBA2C and was 40 when I delivered (so considered pretty high risk for a VBAC). She was able to help me decipher what was safe and realistic for me. I had a complicated labor (only 1cm after more than 24 hours of labor) and I can honestly tell you that had it not been for Ursula (and the relationship she had with my midwife) that I would have absolutely ended up with another c/s. She is direct and loving all at the same time. She is knowledgeable. She goes above and beyond for her clients. Even my husband, who is super money conscious and wasn't sure a doula was necessary, raved about Ursula at the end of our 36 hour labor....he knew that HE needed her there. That says A LOT! Even if you don’t use a doula, TAKE HER CLASS. You’d think I’d know a lot by the time my 3rd pregnancy rolled around, but I learned a ton. Plus, I’m getting together with the other Moms now that we’ve had our babies, so that is an added bonus.

Cameron Rupprecht

9/11/2012

Ursula's enthusiasm is contagius. From the moment I met her, I knew I wanted her by my side in that delivery room. She never skipped a beat in the process. She was always thingking ahead of the game and she made the experience a truly memorable event. With Ursula on our team, we were able to focus on what really mattered that day -- the birth of our first baby and the amazing strength and beauty of the human body. I will be calling her again to support the delivery of my second baby.

Elana Mendelson

9/5/2012

Ursula is AMAZING!  She taught us a private birth class 5 years ago before our first child was born, but she was unable to be our doula due to an injury.  Three years later we remembered how awesome she was and hired her to be our doula for #3.  She answered ALL of my questions no matter how dumb or repetetive they were and she's a wealth of knowledge.  I just loved being in touch with her often about everything.  For the weeks leading up to the birth, I spoke to her almost daily about different areas of concern, question, uncomfortability, etc. and she was always willing to take my calls, emails and texts.  The day of the birth she was incredible!  She was so strong - both physically and mentally - and coached me through a quick, but painful labor.  She was my cheerleader and I definitely couldn't have done it without her.  You will not go wrong with Ursula! 

Tricia Friedman

9/4/2012

Ursula was a reference from my sister in law, who was her doula for her June 2010 natural birth.  I emailed Ursula just in time as I was one of her last spots left for a February 2012 delivery.  At 37 weeks Ursula met me and my husband and we went over everything.  I felt really relieved after our meeting and was excited to give birth.  We met just in time because I went into labor the next week!  It was my first pregnancy, so I was not sure if I was in labor, but I was in constant contact with Ursula via email/text/phone.  Within 7 hours and at 5 cm, Ursula was at my apartment, ready to work her doula magic to ease the throbbing pain in my sacrum.  She was quickly able to ease my pain and the contractions became much less painful.  Urusula was also in touch with my midwife the entire time on my behalf (phew!).  When we all arrived at the hospital at around 7 cm, I felt very confident in her to help me both emotionally and physically.  (My husband also had a 24 hour bug and was vomiting starting at the same time that my contractions intensified, so I was really stressed.) I was open to her homepathy like lavender oil in the birthing tub, rescue remedy in my water, jojoba oil as lubrication while pushing, etc.  After a few short hours at the hospital of goddess pose, chanting om, and trying to relax in the birthing tub, my baby popped out - only 17 minutes of pushing!   I truly mean it when I say I could not have had a natural delivery without Ursula.  It was truly empowering and amazing!  She pushed me to my limits but I could not have been happier.  I also want to add that her postpartum help was extremely valuable.  I really did not know what to do with a newborn and she was contstantly checking in on me and offering advice.  I have only great things to say - I am already looking forward to my second baby and having Ursula be my doula once again! 

Julie Binderman Belgard

9/4/2012

I reached out to Ursula to help my husband and I prepare for the birth of our second living child. Ours was a unique situation (as all births of course are) where I had experienced 3 losses prior to this birth. I was not coming to a childbirth class with the air of innocence and relaxation that I had with the birth of my first living child. She was wonderful and tailored our private classes to meet our individual needs. She gave us concrete comfort measures, practical suggestions, and when I learned that I was going to be induced, she provided excellent phone coaching prior to. Her breadth of information is incredible--she seemed to have an answer for any question I could come up with.

Melissa Farley

8/31/2012

 Ursula is an AMAZING doula, and I would have her there for my next baby!!  I had a 30hr labor without drugs and Ursula was there throughout it all!  She gave me and more importantly my husband and parents the confidence that everything was normal and progressing well.  She helped keep me calm, give me strength and guidance, and keep my family informed and at ease.  Not only was she a HUGE supporter during the birth but also before and after.  She met with my husband and I before our delivery to go over the beginning signs and signals for labor so that we felt prepared with what to accept.  And after the delivery, Ursula met with me to go over breastfeeding, and how to adjust to being a new mommy!  She also made herself available the first month for questions and concerns, which was wonderful! I had every question from mastitis, gassy baby, hiccups, sleep schedule,to breastfeeding problems.  Ursula is passionate, caring, knowledgable, and makes you feel completely comfortable in your most vulnerable state. She is an absolute gem!! love her! 

Ashley U

8/31/2012

Ursula was amazing throughout my entire pregnancy and delivery. She's always available - by text, phone, or email. When I went into labor, she was at our house quickly, and calmed me down as I was quite nervous. At the hospital, she never left my side. She brought water and juice, suggested different positions, etc. She also took pictures occasionally throughout the process, which were great to see after our daughter was born. Ursula listens to your concerns, addresses them, gives you your options in a cool, and level-headed manner. I would recommend her (and have) to anyone who's having a baby.

She also came over to meet with us a few days after we got home from the hospital, which was particularly helpful for us as first-time parents. She showed us how to get her safely into the sling, gave us some general tips and advice, and reassured me that it was okay for her to get a little bit of formula since she had jaundice. (I am personally pro-breastfeeding, so was worried that she wouldn't want breastmilk after getting formula)

All in all, Ursula is fantastic, and whenever we have our next baby, we'll be hiring her again.

 

Helen Briggs

8/31/2012

Ursula is an absolutely amazing birth assistant.  During my 34 hour labor, she worked tirelessly to make sure I was comfortable and that I had the best delivery possible. When my labor was regressing, my midwife suggested I go to the hospital.  Ursula quickly suggested we go to a nearby where she had connections.  When we got to the hospital, we did not have to wait at all. Ursula did all the prep work. My husband and I did not have to worry about the hospital procedures and could focus on the labor.  She made sure I was comfortable and that everything went smoothly. She stayed with me until after I had the baby and after she knew I was doing well before she left.  She is that ideal combination of knowledgeable, caring and passionate about her craft.  I give her my highest recommendation as a birth assistant or doula.

Mark A.

9/16/2011

We received great guidance over the phone on possible options of labor and what we were looking for in terms of signs. Ursula gave us the option to call her as many times in the night as we needed. Ursula checked in with us all day to see how things were progressing all while updating our midwives. Just as Ursula said, the contractions came around 4ish and started to come more frequently around 6. When we asked her to come over, she arrived within 25 min (MD to DC midtown) and immediately calmed my wife down as I got ready to go. We immediately got in the car and made it over to GW with Ursula following and she updated the midwives on the way. We had to park a couple blocks away and Ursula helped us navigate the busy streets and get to the hospital all while my wife had 5 contractions. In the hospital, Ursula got us into the delivery room. I wanted to take an active part in the birth and Ursula was there to help me with techniques to help my wife through this difficult time. She was very respectful of when to chime in and when to let me and my wife surrender to the experience. She was incredibly helpful in the delivery process and had a great working relationship with the entire birthing team. Once the baby was born Ursula was great in helping my wife overcome her shell shock and immediately helped my daughter to latch onto my wife’s breast while the midwives were finishing up. Ursula was one of the last people to leave our sides as the birth came to an end. The follow up consultation was great, Ursula came to our house a couple of days after we got home from the hospital and was very helpful answering all of our lingering questions that we didn’t know to ask while still at the hospital. I would give Ursula’s service an A++ rating and would definitely recommend her to anyone.

Pleasance Lowengard

8/31/2011

Working with Ursula was amazing. She is VERY knowledgeable, personable and awesome as a birth assistant. She assisted me in my 2nd birth and really supported and guided me through natural childbirth. ( with a somewhat challenging presentation of my son) She is FABULOUS and anyone would be lucky to work with her.

Kim K.

8/29/2011

This was my first child, and i was very surprised by the lack of information provided to me through my obgyn's office. i've talked to a lot of friends and they have felt the same. I think you really need to supplement and do your own research so that you know your options.

We got to know Ursula well through taking her birthing class (which I also highly suggest taking). Ursula is very approachable and super easy to talk to, and she always took my questions seriously regardless of the topic. I also took great comfort in knowing that she was always available to talk. Ursula is an amazing person who is extremely passionate about child birth. She is experienced and as a result is a wealth of information. 

Ursula was a huge part of my labor and delivery and I honestly do not think I could have done a natural birth without her there for me that day and leading up to it as well. She also encouraged chiropractic care throughout my entire pregnancy, which i also encourage. While i was in labor Ursula was able to offer wonderful advice and guidance. She was also able to offer encouragement and support. It's very easy to get lost in the process and she kept us on track. There are so many things that Ursula said that made so much sense and made everything seem calmer. She was also an asset at the hospital because she was able to help us better understand our options.

I have so many positive things to say about her. I feel lucky that she was there with us. I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a doula. 

Amit

8/29/2011

From one husband to another, I would highly recommend both taking her class (for new parents) and hiring her as a doula for the birth. For me, I could not imagine going through this amazing process without knowing what to expect and her class did just that in a relaxed and open atmosphere. As for the big event, she was unbelievable - hands on, knowledgeable, confident, experienced - making the event a lot more personal, relaxed, enjoyable and meaningful. In hindsight, my wife and I would not have done it any other way. In fact, next time my wife and I plan on trying for another munchkin, I am checking Ursula's availabilities 9 months out first :)

Regan

8/29/2011

 Ursula is fantastic! We couldn't have asked for a better birth experience and it is in large part due to the great preparation and support we had with Ursula. From making sure I was physically prepared (including: stopping by my house to try a variety of ways to turn my baby when he was in an uncomfortable position, referring me to her vast network of related providers, making sure I was eating the right things in the right amounts, etc.) to mentally prepared (including an in depth pre-natal couples interview, phone check ins, counseling on birth plan and post-natal plan, and frequent post-natal check ins), she did it all. She was available at the drop of a hat for my labor which proceeded very quickly (and on Mother's Day no less!), and she was welcome support during my laboring at home and my rush into the hospital and through delivery. Her knowledge not just of labor and delivery (and every possible permutation) but of our hospital and providers proved invaluable and were critical in our having a safe delivery (that didn't end up with an 8 lb baby on the side of the road - which nearly happened!). She has an amazing ability as well to "translate" what is happening to the laboring mother throughout the process. And her intuitive sense of how people take in and respond to information makes her delivery of the content as well as format/tone comprehensible. We are so glad we had her as part of the most important day of our lives!

Vynessa Pantano

12/14/2010

Ursula is an amazing, competent, experienced, strong, sensitive, intuitive supporter for all women who want a satisfying, empowering, and personalized birth experience. She was referred to my husband and I by two friends who had made use of her Doula services during hospital births.  As we decided to have a natural child birth at home with midwives, I knew Bradley classes were the way to go so we chose to attend classes with Ursula.   After each Bradley class both my husband and I would feel validated for our choice, supported, and enthusiastic about what we were going to experience with the birth of our child thanks to Ursula.  In addition to how informative she was, Ursula also displayed a sensitivity and understanding about how experiences in a woman's life might affect labor and was prepared to work with whatever might have come up as a result.   Ursula was the first to arrive at the house after I had labored with my husband for ten hours  overnight. Her energy was perfect and I knew I could now just let go and let the process unfold. While everyone who was there was wonderful, it is Ursula's strength and clarity that I drew upon at some of the toughest times.  She knew when I needed an explanation of what was happening to help me get through it.  It is her strong presence that was so constant throughout the many hours of a very difficult labor. From making sure I had the bowl when I was about to get sick to trying to feed me quinoa and honey after many hours of taking in nothing but a few sips of water to holding my legs as I pushed for over an hour Ursula was there. When it was time to push after so 28 hours of labor, it is Ursula's strength that I remember the most which helped me get through the next 1.5 hrs. I feel blessed to have had her with me for one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and my husband feels the same. We highly recommend her!  

Anya Naschak

11/15/2010

We knew we wanted a doula from the beginning, as we had no family in the area and were truly solo during the pregnancy and birth process. I loved her no-nonsense approach and frank answers to all my questions and knew right away she was the right doula for us. My preference was always for a natural childbirth, and knew that I could not do it without help or instruction in the process, so arranged to take private Bradley classes from Ursula as well. Her realistic approach and extensive knowledge of the practices of both my OB practice and the hospital I was delivering in, gave us confidence and assurance that we could have the birth we wanted. From the very beginning of labor she was there by phone, and as soon as active labor started she came to our house and provided emotional and physical support in the process. Based on the time she took with us before the birth, she knew what to say and when to say it, and was an infinite help in allowing us to stay home for as long as possible, then providing the same knowledgeable support once we arrived at the hospital. Though my labor was short, it was intense, and know that Ursula’s support made the experience possible.

Amy Wilson

11/1/2010

After a 32 hour labor, I gave birth to a 10lb, 10oz baby boy without the use of pain medications. If it weren’t for Ursula, I am sure my experience of birth would have been quite different.

Ursula first influenced us through her Bradley classes, where she impressed me with her breadth of knowledge and experience.  I also liked her assertive yet conscientious personality.  Because of her classes, my husband and I ended up switching from an OB/GYN practice to a midwife practice, and we chose to have Ursula attend our birth as our doula.  I knew when I would be in labor, my ability to make decisions for myself would be compromised, and so I wanted to put in place people I trusted to help make decisions for me, because my goal above all was to avoid a C-section.

That being said, if it weren't for Ursula' s influence, I am fairly certain I would have ended up with a C-section, given the size of my baby, my slow progression, and the fact that my water broke first and I passed the 24 hour window (to name a few, of many, risk factors). When I was only 3.5 cm dilated after 24 hours of labor, I didn’t think I could do it any more and asked for the epidural. Ursula gently suggested that we try the jacuzzi first, which I agreed to. She then helped me through the next most difficult 7 hours of my life as I progressed to fully dilated and was ready to push. She coached me through the pushing stage, teaching me verbally how to push effectively. This is where I became certain that if I had the epidural and couldn’t feel what I was doing, I may not have been able to push out my 10lb, 10oz baby boy!

If my husband and I are blessed enough to have another child, we will definitely ask Ursula to attend our birth again. Her support was indispensable!

Andrea Shore

9/26/2010

Our experience with Ursula was amazing!! She was extremely helpful and truly a partner for both me and my husband. For me, she was a huge support while I initially labored at home. I called her many times and she explained everything, so that I could know exactly what was going on and what to expect next. When she came to our house to assist me before going to the hospital, she calmed both me and my husband. Moreover, she gave me strategies to lessen the discomfort of each contraction. At the hospital she was an emotional and physical support to me. She coached my husband on how to assist me. Everything she explained was knowledgable and reassuring. She explained our options with each decision. With the hospital staff, Urusla was very deliberate in assisting and explaining to them where I was, served as my advocate, while at the same time, she did not step on staffs' toes. We truly felt that Ursula was caring and a part of our family during the entire process. She is extremely genuine, caring and knowledgable. We would recommend her in a heartbeat!

Kara Veigas

9/25/2010

I tell everyone thinking of a childbirth class about Ursula. She was our instructor for our first Bradley baby, and invited us back at no charge for refreshers before our second Bradley baby. We did not choose to use a doula for either birth. However, I regret not enlisting her for support for our second. Our first was a dream...9 lbs 14 oz after 2 1/2 hours pushing (hard work but manageable pain) and a total of 3 1/2 hours of labor. Our midwife was the best in town so we got lucky that time. Our second baby we had less knowledge about and she was less experienced. While the labor was again 3 1/2 hours, and just 12 minutes of pushing, I would consider it a far more difficult childbirth. I WISH I had Ursula there. I am quite sure it would have been a very different, more manageable and comfortable experience. My husband did his best but was a bit freaked out and didn't know how to advocate for me the way I am sure Ursula would have. The hot tub was lukewarm, I felt unsure about the best pushing position, and we arrived before the midwife due to a communication breakdown. I think most, if not all of this would have been avoided had we been better linked with Ursula. She is SO knowledgable, not to mention incredibly committed.

Though I've told her in person, I hope she reads this to know how indebted we are to her for the phenomenal education she provided us. We credit her with providing the key to us having natural childbirth both times, with two beautiful daughters. If I may add, Ursula's education on breastfeeding contributed to us maximizing this with our daughters. Our first grew quickly but our second was 24 lbs 5 oz at six months...completely on breast milk...and such a happy baby. The bond that started immdiately after her birth was supported by her being born naturally...something I couldn't have done without the knowledge I gained from Ursula.

Thank you for your dediation, Ursula.

Jake

9/25/2010

We took Ursula's Bradley class and she was our doula for our first child - a natural childbirth in a hospital after 49 hours of labor.  Ursula does not push you to have a baby "her way", she enables and empowers you to have your baby your way.

In the months before the birth, she met with us to discuss what we wanted from the process and what role we wanted her to play.  She asked lots of good questions to learn more about how us as we prepared to go through the process together.

My wife had contractions for days before she went into active labor and Ursula was available via phone and text message at all hours.  When active labor began she came to our house.  12 hours later we left for the hospital and 12 hours after that we had our baby.  At times there were minor complications, but we were able to face them - confident in our preparation and supported by our doula.

Through all of this Ursula was a coach, confidant, guru, photographer, cheerleader, friend and consumate professional.  She enabled me to be a coach for my wife and a full participant in the birth of our son.  I highly recommend her to anyone who is having a baby.

John Grimes

9/21/2010

Ursula was our Bradley instructor for our first child.  At first, we were a little uncertain about using a doula.  Eventually, though, we began to realize how helpful a more experienced person helping us would be.   We decided on Ursula because we already knew her and figured it would be the easiest transition.  We now realize it would have been a great fit even if we hadn't already known her.

She was, quite simply, phenomenal.  She was extremely easy to work with, deeply knowledgable and very skilled at her trade.  We had worried that having a doula would just be another person to get in the way, but Ursula ended up being the one making sure everyone was where they were supposed to be.  She seemed to have an instinct for when to transition from assistant to director as needed and never made either of us feel uncomfortable (or superfluous).  Even after 40 hours of work, she was still going strong and stayed with us through to the end.

We can honestly say that without Ursula, the birth of our first child might have been a considerably uglier and more painful affair.  We would completely recommend her to anyone and we intend to use her for our next birth.

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