Phone: (757) 912-0344
Birth Fee: $650 to $700
Fee Details: Payment plans available; 10% Military, homebirth, and clergy discounts available. If you can't afford my fee, I am willing to discuss options. Please don't let the cost discourage you from having a doula.
Birth Doula Experience: 12 years and 191 births attended
Clients per Month: 1 to 3Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Teen or single moms facing unplanned pregnancy; Military Doula Special Ops provider; Member of Birth Matters, VA (http://birthmattersva.org)
Languages spoken: English, Spanish
Service Area MapArea of practice: Newport News, VA
I chose Amelia to be my doula because of her calm, sweet, and quiet demeanor. If you are looking for calm, quiet encouragement during your birthing experience, then Amelia is an excellent choice! Initially I was only hiring a doula because the birthing center I was delivering at required first time moms to do so. Although my husband did a fantastic job while I was in labor, I ended up being so glad to have another woman there who really knew what I was going through. She should know. She has 8 kids of her own! I plan to have more children and I plan to hire Amelia again. She was great during labor but I have to say that my best experience with Amelia was during my first couple of post partum weeks. I had a natural childbirth like I planned but because of some negative comments made by one my healthcare providers during labor, I walked away from my birthing experience still feeling upset and like I had still failed somehow. My husband was supportive but didn't really understand why I was feeling the way I was. Amelia really took the time during our two postpartum visits to help me talk through my birth experience and see it in a different, much more positive, way. She really helped me feel a lot better during one of the most emotional and stressful times I have ever experienced. She was also a wonderful resource and encouragement when I was struggling with breastfeeding those first few weeks. I cannot say enough good things about her. I highly recommend her as a doula and I will be hiring her again.
After a traumatic cesarean with my first birth, and dealing with a family that did not understand why it was so upsetting to me, I wanted better the second time around. I have a rare neurological disease nearly died early during my second pregnancy, and ended up having a surgery during my first trimester, and although I wanted a VBAC, I knew that there was a good chance it would not be possible for me. I interviewed a couple of doulas after my surgery, hoping to have at least a better birth experience this time than last time. I liked Amelia immediately when I met her. She is very laid back and has a calming presence. She also has eight children of her own, whom she breastfed, so she definitely has experience with birth :)
When the time came for my second birth, Amelia was there, and she was very supportive. I was in an extraordinary amount of pain and was probably not the easiest client, but she kept her cool and was the support I needed. I did end up having another cesarean, and although it was not the VBAC I wanted, she was the support I needed to get through. She was also able to explain to my family why I was upset in a way that they could understand, which I had not been able to adequately do. She stayed with me for nearly a full day, and kept in touch afterwards to see how I was doing physically and emotionally, as well as to see how my baby was. I could truly see her being a lifelong friend. Her family is lucky to have her as a mom/wife/grandma/etc., and I highly recommend her as a doula. I would choose her again in a heartbeat.
We are here far away from home and family and knew a little about what to do and what to expect time to time during the pregnancy and birth. Amelia came and rescue us like an angel when we were in a dire need of some motherly figure.It would be less no matter what adjectives I use to describe her service . She is very knowledgable, compassionate, loving,caring, super positive and overall a very calming presence. She was there with us at every crucial moments and relieved our tension and headache before and after birth . Our baby is now 6 weeks old but she is still in touch with us and helping continiously with our little trouble of breastfeeding the baby. I strongly recommend her to all pregnants ,specially to them who will be delivering without the presence of their family.
Amelia was a fantastic doula My husband and I are so glad that we asked her to be our doula because she helped us with countless questions and was there to support us not just in the labor but before and afterwards by prayer (which I asked for), by listening and answering questions to the best of her ability, by referral to other resources and people, and simply by her gentle, constant presence. I feel so blessed by her attentiveness and friendship. I would recommend her to anyone.
I feel so thankful that I found such a great doula in Amelia. She was so response throughout my entire pregnancy, answering any of my questions and being supportive. My first daughter was a c-section due to breech presentation, and for my second pregnancy I knew I wanted a VBAC. Having Amelia at the birth was so beneficial. She was such a calming influence on the entire experience. She applied counter pressure techniques that made my contractions manageable (this required hours of constantly applying pressure on my back/hips...she is STRONG and never once stopped to take a break even though I am sure she was tired). When I switched my plan from wanting to go 100% natural to getting an epidural at 7cm, she was more than supportive of my choice. She then helped me while I was laying in the bed, and I truly feel that I owe my VBAC experience to her. My husband is also very thankful we had her there, I can't recommend her enough!
I'm so thankful I had Amelia at my birth. It was a relief having that support during one of the most amazing moments of my life. She was a great support before and after birth as well. She prepared me by answering all of my many questions, working on breathing positions/exercises and tons of other things. She stayed with my husband and I during my long exhausting 19 hour birth. She was a great support and was like a mother figure. Her daughter was there and took birth pictures for us, we're so grateful. After birth I was having trouble with my milk and breastfeeding and I completely feel that Amelia helped me become successful at breastfeeding. She helped so much and answered all of my questions. My birth was not easy, but I'm so thankful for the support and compassion Amelia showed during this time. I also love the birth story she wrote from her point of view during my labor. It's something I will always cherish and will be able to show my son when he's older. I highly recommend Amelia as a doula!
Amelia is a knowledgable and compassionate doula. She was always available for questions and visits. When I went into labor I progressed quickly and she arrived at the hospital not too long after us. I had back labor and she had my husband and my mother help me through the contractions. When my son's heartbeat started slowing down and I wasn't making any progress in pushing she was a calming presence and a great help in accepting that I had to have a c-section. She checked in on us after the birth and helped me through the first days of breastfeeding. Overall we had a wonderful experience with her and I would highly recommend her.
Amelia is so patient, loving, kind, and such a calming presence. I don't know how I could have gotten through the experience of birth as a first time mother without her gentle support. I was able to have a natural vaginal delivery with no epidural, just what I was praying for, with her guidance. I feel like Amelia is apart of our little one and our family through that experience and look forward to having her at our future little ones births. I'm a nursing student and read up quite a bit before first consulting her at 6 months pregnant, and the wealth of knowledge Amelia has from her experience and wisdom was invaluable. I gained so much more insight into the birthing experience and she helped me to learn that birth is nothing to be afraid of. Through her I've explored even more about midwifery and natural birth. My husband and I opted for a hospital birth for this first child, just having some uneasiness of not knowing what might happen, but after this experience I will definitely be choosing a midwife and homebirth. I don't think I would have faired half as well as I did without Amelia at my side in the hospital (especially having a horrible OBGYN who doesn't believe in natural birth). She gave me the support I needed to be strong and follow my birth plan, I coulnd't be in more debt to her after that experience. She introduced me to Ina May Gaskin as well as other teachers, methods, and books. I just don't have enough room to type here how much my family has benefited from Mrs. Avila. I trust her instintively and look forward to her support in my next birth =)
Amelia took me on as a VBAC client early in my pregnancy. My pregnancy was relatively easy, and I had a lot of support for my planned hospital VBAC. We met periodically and talked a lot about my first daughter's birth, and went over my hospital records and surgical report from 2009. I found Amelia to be empathetic, understanding, and knowledgable...her willingness to listen to every minute detail of my daughter's birth reassured me that she was concerned not only with my birth outcome, but also with my emotional wellbeing during the pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Throughout my pregnancy, Amelia was available and responsive. She was a constant source of reassurance as my due date came and went, and helped me immensely in staying confident in my body and letting my baby choose her birthday. Amelia met my husband and me at the hospital sometime around midnight, and didn't rest for the next 24+ hours. While my husband is a great support, it was a huge relief to have someone else available to take the pressure off of him. Amelia helped in so many ways, it is hard to list them....the magic she worked on my lower back was priceless. She also did a great job of involving my husband; she really was there to support the whole family.
Although my VBAC attempt ended in a CBAC, I wouldn't change a thing about my birth team, my labor, or any of my choices. Amelia was incredibly supportive of me (and my husband) throughout the entire labor and birth, and if I were to have a third child I would definitely want her by my side. My husband, who was initially unsure of why we needed a doula, later said that having Amelia there was "like having another husband there...one that knows exactly what to say and do." And he was right.
I used Amelia during the birth of my third child. My first birth was a natural birth, and my second was an emergency c section under general anesthesia. My apprehension was high going into my third pregnancy because I was committed to a VBAC. Amelia was such a calming force in my pregnancy. I did not know what practioner would be attending my delivery, but I had the assurance that Amelia and my husband would be there to support me.
Amelia was so responsive when I called or emailed her late in the pregnancy. She arrived promptly at the hospital and immediately offered comfort since I was 7 cm upon arrival. (This labor was quick). My daughter was facing up (not preferred), so Amelia was critical in helping me find comfort measures that worked through my natural labor. I was able to avoid a second c section despite the unfavorable positioning of my daughter.
I will never forget being able to face and hold my husband across the birthing ball while Amelia applied pressure to my back. Amelia is a quiet, strong person. I would love to have her in my labor room again if their is a fourth baby in our family.
Amelia was wonderful throughout the pregnancy and labor. I had an unusual circumstance- I was dilated to eight centimeters for over three weeks before I gave birth! While nearly everyone else worried, Amelia saw this as my husband and I did- as a gift! I suspected I would have a short labor because of this, and Amelia was on call and FAST to respond the three times we went to the hospital. She was very helpful and reassuring during the labor, and I can't imagine it without her being there. Even though it WAS short, it made all the difference to have her there. She stuck around afterwards to help me with breastfeeding, too, and texted regularly in the few weeks after the birth to check up on us. She is soft spoken and carries with her an air of peacefulness, which is exactly what I wanted. I highly recommend her.
Amelia was an amazing birth doula. My husband was deployed for the last half of my pregnancy and for the birth, and Amelia was there every step of the way. With my husband gone, I was staying with my in laws and she was very patient in scheduling and coming to different places. She provided some excellent resources for me, including books, websites and articles that really helped to put my mind at ease.
When the time came, she was there in the delivery room with me for almost 24 hours, and even slept on the pull out couch that night. When the contractions hit hard, she was there doing everything that I had previously asked of her, reminding me of what this work would result in (a baby!!) and held my hand through the epidural. The next morning, when the doctor said I would need a c-section because the baby's head was too big to fit through my tiny, narrow pelvis, she held my hand through that as well. Once my son was born, she took several pictures and emailed them to my husband on the ship. If she hadn't been there, he wouldn't have known his son had been born and was healthy, and he wouldn't have been able to see the pictures.
I'm so glad that I found Amelia and thankful that she was there. She was an amazing birth doula and I would recommend her to anyone in a heartbeat.
Amelia was amazing. I was having my third child but this time my husband could not be there due to him being in the military. I was very nervous about giving birth alone. She was there with a helping hand if I needed it or just stayed back if I didn't. She knew exactly what to do when I got the epidural shakes (something I did not have with the other two and very scary to me.) She was wonderful and I would recommend her to anyone even if you have had children before it was great to have the support and comfort that she provided.
Amelia Avila is confident, calm, and positive. Months before I delivered, we discussed the birth experience I wanted. I chose to have a natural birth so she suggested I create a code word in case I chose to have an epidural during labor and then worked with me on strategies she could use to encourage me before I used the code word. She helped me write my birth plan and suggested a great birthing class. When the day came for my son to be born I was confident because I knew my doula was prepared. Amelia immediately came to my house prepared with her "doula bag" . I didn't have to ask her to step in because quickly had hot pads ready to relieve the contraction pains. She helped my back labor by applying pressure where needed. She kept communication open to be sure she was helping. As my labor became more intense Amelia remained calm. It was an incredible help to have her calm because it helped my mom remain calm (my mom and Amelia made up my birthing team). Amelia always said positive/encouraging words and stuck to the plan we discussed. Her intuition was amazing because she could tell by the tone of my voice how far I had progressed, which encouraged me when I felt like giving up. Amelia was also great in not making decisions for me. For example, the nurse insisted I have an internal fetal monitor. I turned to Amelia for help and she explained why the nurse wanted to do so but she never told me what decision to make. It was empowering to know I still had control of the situation. Amelia also helped my mom get involved. When Amelia noticed I felt like giving up, she whispered to my mom her observation and gave her suggestions of how to help. My mom felt involved and worked well with Amelia. My son was rushed to the NICU, but Amelia never left my side. Once my son was able to come home, Amelia extended her help to me with breastfeeding and using a sling. This was my first child and I truly can't imagine having done this naturally without Amelia.
My name is Heidi Strauss, RN, BSN and I have known Amelia Avila for almost 13 years. Even before she was a doula, and was impressed with her caring compassionate manner and knowledge and experience with the birth process. She respects medicine, yet allows room for our creator God to intervene where technology falls short. I have been with her for one birth and observed her practice in action. With the one birth I observed, she assisted the mom in the shower at the hospital and worked with her during the difficult transitional phase of her labor. She is physically strong as well and tried a manuever...I'm sure it probably has a name, to help the baby move into the birth canal. She is an excellant doula and I would recommend her to any family or woman who interested in her services.
I am Kim Harris' husband and I would like to add to Kim's testimonial below. I was initially skeptical about hiring a Doula. However, on our first meeting with Amelia, any skepticism I may have had simply disappeared. She made Kim feel confident and at ease throughout the pregnancy and she showed us techniques to manage pain and discomfort during this period. We could phone her at any time, no matter what happened. At the hospital, she really helped me: Kim had to have pitocin and she was in bouts of very strong pain. Occasionally she felt sick, or had to go to the ladies room. I had no idea how much of this was normal or not. Having Amelia there to reassure me, and to look after Kim when she needed help really made me feel comfortable. Kim wanted to see if she could deliver without anaesthesia, but was worried that she wouldn't be able to handle the pain, so she and Amelia agreed on a 'code word' to indicate when Kim really needed an epidural. Amelia supported Kim throughout her attempt, but also when she said the code word, she supported that decision too. After the delivery she was really helpful, especially when we had initial problems with breastfeeding. She came to support us right away. Later after the birth, she came by to check on our progress and even made us a little book of photographs from the birth. However, for me the biggest help was just knowing that someone 'had our backs' and we could concentrate on Kim's delivery without fear. I really agree with our friends when they said that hiring a Doula is the best investment we could make. I would recommend Amelia to anyone.
When my husband and I found out that we were expecting, we had all sorts of emotions as you can imagine. We are both very far from our families and friends of ours who had recently had a baby recommended we look into hiring a doula. In fact, the husband, was very adamant about it and told us that it was the best money he had spent. I was very worried about my husband being very anxious during the delivery and I wasn't sure how I would handle the pain and the emotions that occur during that time. I also wanted someone that would be objective throughout and help support my husband as well as me. I found Amelia's name on Doulamatch and after reading her bio and testimonials, I called her. We met with her and after some discussion we hired her. My friend was right. I have never regretted that decision and Amelia was great at all of our prenatal visits and absolutely amazing during the delivery She answered all of my questions during our meetings before the birth. She gave me tips and advice about how to handle some of the more uncomfortable moments of pregnancy. I felt very comfortable calling her to ask her questions. When my water broke, she met us at the hospital right after we got there. I had to be helped along with pitocin and during those long hours she stayed by my side. She seemed to know exactly what was needed. She even came after the delivery, when I was having trouble breastfeeding. She happened to call and my husband told her what was going on. She dropped everything and came to us. I am very thankful and grateful that I had the chance to get to know Amelia and that she was there to help us and share in this joyful event. If we decide to have another child, I will not hesitate to call Amelia.
I was blessed to have Amelia ther for the birth of my first child. During our sessions prior to the delivery, she was very informative and so easy to talk to about what I will experience. She was always to positive ands supportive in what I felt comfortable with when going through the different postions I could use during the birthing process.
My water broke a week early and my labor was only 5 hours long, but for a first-time experience Amelia was amazing in ever way possible. She was at the hospitaI as soon as I arrived. Amelia was voice was just a comfort when the contractions would come. I never felt forced to feel uncomfortable just to continue with a natural delivery. Though her encouragement kept me going through it all.
I ended up wait for an hour for the doctor to get there and with her help and comforting voice Amelia helped my keep calm through an unrelaxing time. My birthing process could be no other way then explained as, beautiful. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. To see the happiness of Amelia for my son and me was just a gift. What a blessing Amelia is to us!!! I believe its through her own wonderful experiences of birthing she is able to provide the best experience for others.
Amelia was my doula for the birth of my second child. From our first meeting, I felt so comfortable with Amelia. She was a great source of support and a good reference as my pregnancy progressed. I especially needed some advice as I was approaching 42 weeks and the baby still wasn't in the proper position - and it worked!
I had used a doula for my first child (born in Northern VA) and knew how important a doula can be in the birthing experience. Once in the delivery room, we felt so relieved when Amelia arrived. Some think a doula is just for the woman, but my husband appreciated her just as much. She has a calming presence and I knew I was in good hands. It was a high energy situation as my baby came very quickly, but Amelia re-focused us and kept it all together.
After the birth, Amelia was there to help with breastfeeding. Amelia stayed with me when my husband went with the baby and helped get me comfortable. She was also our photographer and we have images that would have never been captured without her. I cherish the birth story and the photos she documented for us.
Amelia is a wonderful doula and person, and we are thankful she could be with us for our son's birth.
I have been blessed to share two birth experiences with Amelia Avila. Amelia attended as my doula at the waterbirth of my third child and also as my doula and my friend during the trying 36 hours of labor at my homebirth with my fourth child.
At my daughters' birth [the waterbirth] Amelia impressed me with her tenacious attention to details post partum. She ran my bath for me after the birth. Amelia prepared soup and brought it upstairs to me. She encouraged me with breastfeeding and mothering my newborn.
At my son's birth [the 36 hour marathon], Amelia acted as both my friend and my doula. It was a difficult labor, and Amelia's presence was such a blessing. She stood right beside me during the painful contractions. She encouraged me during my frustration with the long labor. Amelia prayed with us and held my hand, telling me over and over what a great job I was doing. She stayed late during the post partum period with this birth as well. Once again, my sweet doula ran me a bath and brought me soup. She admired my newborn and continued affirming in me what a great job I had done in birthing this baby.
I highly recommend Amelia to friends and family as a doula. She is blessed with the ability to come into a birth situation, see what is needed, and do what it takes to meet those needs. If you are looking for a peaceful presence during the intensity of birth, Amelia Avila is the right doula for YOU. Blessings and happy birthing!
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