Birth Fee: Not specified
Fee Details: Please reach out directly so that you can see the services and fees we offer directly. Each of our doulas has a different experience level and charges a matching fee. We can help you find the right doula for you!
Birth Doula Experience: 18 years and 1100 births attended
Clients per Month: 4 to 6Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
We have a large team of doulas who will work with you indivualy in order to make your birth the most healthy, safe and empowering birth experience possible. "If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it." ~ Dr. John H. Kennell
Languages spoken: english
Service Area MapArea of practice: Rockville, MD
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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)!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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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