Birth Fee: Not specified
Fee Details: My fee includes: 1 consultation 1 prenatal visit Attendance at your birth 1-2 postpartum visits 24/7 on-call support from 38 weeks until your baby's birth date. I do offer flexible payment plans and am happy to work with families to find the perfect match for us!
Birth Doula Experience: 1 years and 15 births attended
Clients per Month: 1 to 4Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Languages spoken: English
Service Area MapArea of practice: Arlington, VA
Part 3 of 3
Much of the support Gabriella provided were things I didn’t even know we needed but made the whole experience so much more human. For example, the birth preferences exercise - rather than this being fear-based and seemingly insurmountable, it turned out to be such an education and showed me what was possible rather than what to be afraid of. Due to this education, I learned that I could be the one to bathe my baby first rather than the hospital staff, this was a huge bonding experience for me with my child. Also, I learned about the “Magic Hour” that happens immediately after birth in regard to breastfeeding, to which I attribute the success we’ve had so far (zero jaundice, gained one pound within first two weeks from birth weight, and pediatrician even waived the second followup weight visit due to the above!). Also, the support leading up to birth was surprising, I was used to getting medical support from my OB but with Gabriella on board, I also had moral support and personal encouragement from someone who knew how to navigate the birth process. Her help in the first few hours postpartum was huge too. At 2am when all the medical processes were completed and the hospital staff cleared out of our room she stuck around to debrief with me, encourage me, and make sure we ATE a good meal!!! I felt like a human, like a mom, a wife this time rather than a patient or just a spectator to the birthing and medical process. The birth happened at a hospital but the hospital was not the main event, our family and this huge life event were center stage!
Even with only one month of prenatal support and a 3.5 hour labor I found the value of a doula’s support irreplaceable! It’s amazing how much the simple addition of making Gab part of our team changed the whole game for us. I’m so pleased we chose to hire the help of a doula, Gabriella’s support is just what we needed!
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Just to have one person in the room who knew the birthing process and who was dedicated to me and my husband, made everything so much more peaceful and steady. She anticipated my needs beyond what the limited nursing staff could do - she held my hair back when I needed to throw up, rubbed my back when I needed consolation, and stepped back when I needed space! She was excellent at anticipating our needs! My husband was much more involved in this labor and delivery which I attribute in large part to Gabriella being there as our dedicated team member. Rather than it being me and my husband with our family needs vs the medical professionals and their medical expertise (as with the delivery of our first child), this time it was the three of us on a team with Gab as translator/reassurer helping us navigate the medical processes that needed to continue while supporting and empowering us to do our family thing!
Notably, this time my husband was not pushed into the back corner of the room during the pushing phase but was up by my head with Gabriella, supporting and encouraging me. He also took the leap and choose to cut the umbilical cord this time! I was taken aback by his level of comfortability with this labor despite it being so much faster and completely unmedicated. My last labor we did an epidural because we felt lost and didn’t know how to get through transition - not the case this time! Gabriella’s presence made the whole thing much more approachable and really empowered us to feel in control, with the medical process continuing in the background rather than it being the main event (ie the IV, monitoring, vaginal checks, having to get back on the bed to push, having to wait while they helped the baby breathe in the first few minutes after delivery, etc.)
Part 1 of 3
I didn’t decide to hire a doula until I was almost 4 weeks out from my due date, but when we met Gabriella we knew she was our match! Young, ambitious, relatable and idealistic - after meeting her for the first time my husband even said, “I feel like she is someone we’d hang out with outside of the doula world.” At first, the motivation for finding her was to have someone who could help me get through transition without an epidural but her support proved to be so much more!
Gabriella was very responsive and available to me the weeks leading up to the birth. She gave support and encouragement in those last days that felt like they would never end! She encouraged me to rest, hydrate (!!!) and set aside family time to enjoy life with my daughter and husband before the new little one arrived. Because of this advice, I have some very sweet memories with my young toddler exploring some new parks and a relaxing date night with my husband before the birth. I found her encouragement to be very sympathetic, comforting and helpful!
Once I notified her that I had gone into labor, Gabriella was immediately in go-mode! She encouraged us to call our doctor and get settled in at the hospital then call for her once my contractions became regular. An hour and a half later, I knew it was time for her to come and she got there at just the right time! I had a very quick labor (3.5 hours from water breaking at home to our little one’s arrival into the world) but her presence was so helpful I can’t even begin to convey.
Gaby was amazing throughout, from the third trimester to delivery to postpartum. She was available for my questions/concerns after our face-to-face meeting at 6 weeks before the due date. She was very reassuring and provided useful information for the last trimester and my questions as a first-time mom. When I went into the hospital for a spontaneous induction, and she gave us useful tips throughout the day-long progression. We called her in when I started the second drug because I knew I would soon go into active labor.
From the moment she arrived, Gaby took charge of pain management. My husband and mother had been helping with the increasingly painful contractions, but hand-holding was becoming less comforting. Gaby jumped into action with hip squeezes to help the contractions and lavender-soaked washclothes to help soothe me. She was there for the entire 5-6 hour active labor and delivery, providing reassuring words as well as physical comfort. Gaby also took photos of us as I was delivering (from a discreet angle), so we have photos of us "in the moment" with our new little one. Her postpartum care was also excellent. She gave me tips and reassurance for some of my common complaints and checked in on us for a few weeks afterwards.
I delivered a healthy baby without any pain medication, and I don't think I (or my family) could have done it without her support. I highly recommend her doula services.
Gabriella was my birth doula for my second birth. This was the first time I had used a doula. I'm so glad I found Gabriella. From our first meeting, I could tell that she was a very friendly, amiable person who was determined to be a source of comfort and knowledge for the mother. She was very communicative up through my delivery. At the end of my pregnancy, I had a couple of health issues and Gabriella researched the issues and gave me a thoroughly researched email, which both informed me and assured me at the same time.
In the delivery room, she was a great presence. Her voice was soothing, firm and focused. She used a cool, wet washcloth on my neck, which I found to be very comforting during contractions. I felt more confident going into labor this time with Gabriella by my side. I had no doubt she would be a competent voice for me in the delivery room. My husband also benefitted from using a doula. He said that having Gabriella take care of me immediately after delivery allowed him to focus on our newborn son, knowing that Gabriella was talking to the doctors for me.
While I was recovering, Gabriella asked my husband if I had any chapstick in my purse. She brought it to me. I really appreciated how proactive she was without my having to ask for it. In a doula, it is important to anticipate needs ahead of time and to be observant enough to know what the mother needs.
Having a doula benefits not only the mother, but the partner too. It takes the pressure off the partner, and instills confidence in both people during an unpredictable time. I consider Gabriella a wonderful and capable doula, as well as a friend. Highly recommend!
= Available. Calendar last updated: 5/6/2018 12:43:20 PM