Akemi Tsuru CD(DONA) Photo

Akemi Tsuru CD(DONA)

Vida Mia • Doula Services

Baltimore, MD Service range 12 miles

https://www.doulavidamia.com

Birth Fee

$1200

Birth Fee

$1200


Birth Doula Experience

5 years and 58 births attended


Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International-Approved Workshop, December 2018

Type of practice: Solo practice

Clients per month: 1 to 3

Attends hospital births? Some Hospitals
Hospitals in the Baltimore City Area (JHH, UMMC, GBMC, Mercy, Sinai)

Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers

Attends home births? Some Home Births
Only non-smoking homes. No unassisted births.


College Education

BA/BS


Special Services Offered

  • Abortion support
  • Acupressure
  • Aromatherapy
  • Babywearing education
  • Belly binding
  • Childbirth education services
  • Infant massage education
  • Lactation consultant/counselor services
  • LGBTQIA+ Support
  • Satellite doula (for remote and rural clients)
  • TENS units rental
  • Virtual and remote doula support

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Volunteer at Baltimore Doula Project since 2020. Always open to take Spanish speaking clients who want or need a Birth Doula or Childbirth Education Classes and can't fully pay for it. Si hablas español y necesitas una doula de parto y/o clases de preparación al parto pero no puedes pagar la tarifa completa, contáctame, yo te ayudo!

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

Fee Details

The birth fee includes 2 prenatal sessions (and open to a 3rd one if needed) TENS unit rental, support through labor and birth, one postpartum session and (if desired) a belly binding class. I offer payment plans if needed. Are you an immigrant? I can help you deal with the cultural differences with the Healthcare system you're dealing with, especially during pregnancy, birth and postpartum journeys full of information to digest and decisions to make. ¿Hablas español? Te puedo dar clases de preparación al parto, te acompaño a lo largo de tu embarazo, parto y postparto, EN TU IDIOMA. *Tarifa especial para la comunidad Latinx.

Service Area

Baltimore, MD Service range 12 miles

Certifications for Akemi Tsuru CD(DONA)

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Akemi Tsuru CD(DONA)

Post a testimonial for Akemi Tsuru CD(DONA)

Rose Hettleman

2/4/2024

We had the absolute pleasure of working with Akemi as our doula for the birth of our daughter. My husband and I were initially unsure about whether we wanted to work with a doula during our pregnancy, and after working with Akemi, we couldn't be happier that we did! From the start Akemi had a calm, supportive, and light hearted demeanor, and she provided us with so much knowledge and information during the sessions we did with her leading up to labor. She was also so intentional about engaging my husband in the sessions so he could have an active role in labor/birth and so he knew how to be the best advocate and support person possible. The week of my due date Akemi was checking in with me and offering suggestions and advice for how to try to encourage my labor to start spontaneously, and she was incredibly optimistic and supportive of me! When my water broke she met us at the hospital and stayed with us for hours and her presence and expertise was a big relief. She brought tea lights and essential oils that helped to create a calming space for us. She provided counter pressure during contractions and she suggested different positions for me to try to labor in. When my contractions were coming so close together so early after just a few hours she was the one to suggest an epidural for me which was such a relieving and empowering suggestion for me given that I went into labor hoping not to have an epidural. Akemi knew what my preferences were going in but was able to thoughtfully adapt with me in the moment based on the circumstances of my experience and our conversations in our pre-labor sessions. She did all of that in a really thoughtful and respectful way. She was there for the birth of our daughter, giving encouragement and support during the final stages of labor and birth, and she took such beautiful videos and photos for us that we will always cherish. I can't recommend working with Akemi enough - she has a wealth of knowledge and care to offer! 

Ana Cardenas

8/4/2023

Akemi was our doula during my second pregnancy. I didn’t have the best experience during my first pregnancy when it came to the labor and delivery of our son. They gave me pitocin and I was in bed the whole time and I gave birth in my back and it just wasn’t what I wanted/expected.


I knew I wanted a doula for my next pregnancy. We met Akemi and we instantly connected for different reasons. One of them is because we are from the same country and she knew my desires for my labor and delivery of our second son. Another reason is because she really wants to hear you and know your expectations.

I was already past my due date and akemi came to my place to help me do some exercises to engaged baby and for baby ti be well positioned. When I went into labor we texted Akemi and she gave us instructions on what to do. A few ours later we met her at the hospital. Akemi gave me the labor I always wanted to experience. Because of her everything went the way I wanted. She heard what I wanted/needed and she just did everything she could so my labor was less painful.


I’ll always be grateful to Akemi for being there for me and helping me to go through the labor and for coaching me to deliver my son.


If we decide to get pregnant again, I know I want Akemi to be there for me when is time to have my baby.

 

Akemi listens to what you have to say andvis very encouraging, kind a very supportive.

 

 

 

 

Ana Cardenas

8/3/2023

Akemi was our doula during my second pregnancy. I didn’t have the best experience during my first pregnancy when it came to the labor and delivery of our son. They gave me pitocin and I was in bed the whole time and I gave birth in my back and it just wasn’t what I wanted/expected.


I knew I wanted a doula for my next pregnancy. We met Akemi and we instantly connected for different reasons. One of them is because we are from the same country and she knew my desires for my labor and delivery of our second son. Another reason is because she really wants to hear you and know your expectations.

I was already past my due date and akemi came to my place to help me do some exercises to engaged baby and for baby ti be well positioned. When I went into labor we texted Akemi and she gave us instructions on what to do. A few ours later we met her at the hospital. Akemi gave me the labor I always wanted to experience. Because of her everything went the way I wanted. She heard what I wanted/needed and she just did everything she could so my labor was less painful.


I’ll always be grateful to Akemi for being there for me and helping me to go through the labor and for coaching me to deliver my son.


If we decide to get pregnant again, I know I want Akemi to be there for me when is time to have my baby.

 

Akemi listens to what you have to say andvis very encouraging, kind a very supportive.

 

 

 

 

Mica Fidler

8/2/2023

Akemi was a great help to me. She invested time in advance of our birth to get to know us and our intentions, and provided positivity as I waited until 41 weeks and eventually needed to be induced. She helped us weigh different induction methods the doctors suggested, and advocate for my needs in the hospital. Most importantly she provided crucial support with comfort measures, providing the Tens electrostimulation device that gave me so much relief during early labor and showing me creative postures in the highest point of active labor. She also used pressure points to give me relief during intense contractions while I got my epidural and waited over an hour for it to work. I’m so grateful for her calm demeanor, thoughtfulness, and years of diverse experience. 

Rebecca

7/31/2023

I was connected to Akemi through the Baltimore Doula Project and loved working with her! I was unable to have a doula for my first birth because of COVID restrictions and I hoped that having a doula for my second birth would increase my chances of having a VBAC and help me feel more empowered during the birth process than I did with my first labor, which ended in an emergency C-section. Although my second birth ultimately ended up as a repeat C- section at 41 weeks, Akemi was instrumental in helping me feel more positive about the entire experience and less stressed going into it. She also helped me process some of the negative emotions I had from my previous delivery. She came to my house multiple times in the weeks leading up to my due date and did various maneuvers to help better position the baby, gave advice on how to help jumpstart labor and helped me feel confident that I was working toward my goal of a VBAC even when my OB was less supportive. When it was eventually decided that a repeat C-section would be best, Akemi stayed in touch the entire day of the delivery and offered endless support and positivity via text to me and my husband. This was especially appreciated because the scheduled C-section kept getting bumped for emergency surgeries and was delayed by twelve very frustrating hours. Even though this birth did not go “as planned” with a traditional labor, I am still very grateful to have worked with her. I would wholeheartedly recommend Akemi to be your doula if you are looking for an experienced, calm, friendly, empathetic and reassuring partner in your care. 

Nicole

12/23/2022

Aside from meeting our baby girl, Akemi was the BEST part of our birth experience. She is so kind, warm, attentive, and intuitive. We had planned for a home birth with a midwife team, and Akemi was all in. She was there supporting me when the labor started and coached me through many different techniques to help the labor progress. Unfortunately my labor stalled after 48 hours and we ended up transferring to the hospital - Akemi helped us make this difficult decision and then accompanied us at the hospital, where we then had to make another difficult decision to have a c-section; her insight and experiece with both home and hospital births gave us the perspective we needed to make these emotionally-charged decisions. Akemi stayed with us all the way through the surgery and helped us in the recovery room with our daughter's initial latch. She came back to the hospital the next day to check on us and help us process the long, drawn-out labor experience. When we got home from the hospital, Akemi came again to support us with breastfeeding and continue processing. She stood by us through the joyful and challenging moments, always honoring our wishes and attending to our physical and emotional needs. We HIGHLY recommend her!

Julie Buisson

9/19/2022

Working with Akemi was the best decision my partner and I made to help create a positive labor and delivery experience. Akemi proved to be a crucial part of our journey through the last stages of pregnancy and throughout my labor. She helped us understand what to expect during our hospital visit and how the different stages of labor develop and answered questions we didn't even know we had. As the mother, I felt Akemi provided the warmth and positive energy I wanted with me in the delivery room. It is thanks to Akemi and the tools she equipped me with that I was able to give birth naturally despite being induced. As much as Akemi helped me she was also a crucial for my husband as she helped navigate and steer him to be the best support partner possible during the thick of it when it can be hard to remember what to do and when to do it. They worked together to control my TENS unit, massage me and provide words of comfort. I cannot recommend Akemi enough as a doula. I hold her near and dear to my heart and she will always be a part of my birth story ! 

Bethan McGarry

8/23/2022

Hiring Akemi was the single best choice we made in preparation for the birth of our second child this past May. Following a traumatic first birth experience, I knew it would be extra important to feel supported and confident going into my second. Akemi's kindness, availability, and calm competence helped me feel ready and even excited for my daughter's delivery as my due date approached (and sailed on past!). I credit Akemi with finally getting things moving with some positioning techniques she knew, which not only eased the discomfort of early labor that I'd been feeling for several weeks but seemed to start the show in earnest just a few hours later! Akemi was ready with many comfort and support measures and tools for labor, but we turned out not to need them - my daughter was born in the car en route to the hospital just two hours after I felt my first real contraction, and I will FOREVER be grateful that Akemi was right there beside me in the backseat to catch my healthy baby girl and plop her straight into my arms! She didn't sign up to literally deliver our child, but in that and other ways went far above and beyond to make what could have been a scary birth experience incredibly empowering, special, intimate, and healing. THANK YOU Akemi, we're so grateful you came into our little family's lives and know you'll help so many other birthing parents and their babies get off to a wonderful start!!!

Addie A.

8/9/2022

Akemi has a very calming presence while also being encouraging at the same time. I'm normally very anxious when it comes to anything medical related and I didn't want my birthing experience to feel like a procedure. I really wanted a natural birth with as little intervention as possible but because I had to give birth in a hospital I really wanted to make sure we had a doula that was both supportive and knowledgeable. Akemi was both of those and more which made me much more confident going into the experience. After some unexpected health complications I was upset that my doctors wouldn't allow me to have the all natural birth I had planned for but Akemi helped me stay positive and focus on the things I could control in order to have the most natural birth possible. She was the best support person my husband and I could've asked for. She was always there to answer any questions before the birth, during & after. Akemi also captured the best moments between photos of the first skin to skin with my son and polaroid pictures of my husband and I before going in and its something we'll cherish forever. I'm so happy to have found her as a doula and will definitely want her to be a part of my future birth experiences as well! 

Iesha B.

5/23/2022

Akemi was such a blessing during my pregnancy. She made sure she was there for me whenever I had any questions or concerns. She was always encouraging and supportive of my decisions and very honest. After I gave birth she was still checking up on me and my little bun in person. Overall I love Akemi for everything she gave me through all her knowledge and support, the way she was respectful and patient with me and my partner. Anyone who has Akemi as their doula will love her and   appreciate her. 

Amanda

10/10/2021

Akemi was an outstanding doula, and I can't recommend her more highly. I was matched with Akemi after learning my birth center suddenly closed at 32 weeks and I had to find a new provider and accept a hospital birth. All this was after moving across the country to an unfamiliar city. Akemi helped me navigate finding a new OB, identifying a hospital, and supporting me in thinking through how to make a hospital birth a positive experience. She did that and more. Leading up to my labor, she visited me multiple times, helped me practice positions to reduce pain in labor, and encouraged me to come up with a postpartum support plan. The day I gave birth, Akemi was by my side from 7 AM to 7 PM while I labored at home and then at the hospital. She was instrumental to me having the unmedicated, intervention-free birth I wanted. She is also funny, thoughtful, and extremely knowledgeable about pregnancy and childbirth. I cannot recommend her more highly!

Natalie Beglau-Pueyo

9/19/2021

Akemi is warm, responsive, knowledgeable and tuned in to my needs. Before the birth, she stragetized with my husband and me, and helped us finalize our birth plans and establish comfort measures. She was able to act as a liaison with the medical staff to make sure my birth plan was followed, so that I was able to relax into my unmediated labor and delivery process with confidence. Akemi thought of important details that I, even as a second time mom, did not think of, such as additional comfort measures. She even managed to take photos of the important moments for us, as my husband and I completely forgot to make sure we had cameras at the ready. If you are considering a Doula, Akemi is the complete package. She is fluent in English, Spanish, French, speaks some Japanese and most importantly, speaks the languages of the hospital and of motherhood. In fact, I plan to use Akemi for my next delivery May 2022. Happy birthing! 

Airenne

7/26/2021

I’m a first-time mom and during my pregnancy my husband is also not with me because he is in another country due to covid situation. I was actually in my last trimester when I decided to get a a doula.
When I was introduced to Akemi via zoom, I knew my decision was right. She has been supportive from the start. She assured me that even if I’m on the last trimester, it was never late to have a doula. She’s been very flexible on the schedule because I have been working and considering the schedule of my husband to be in zoom sessions with her. She gave me tips on how to deal with my contractions and even lent me her OB-tens unit which helped a lot!
During labor in the hospital, she’s like my voice because I can’t even answer simple questions of my doctors. She remembered what I want and helped me communicate it to the hospital staff. She explained things that she knows I’m not comfortable doing and helped me choose the best option even If I have to let go some of my birth plans.One of the sweetest things she did was having “kaya mo yan” in her face mask which means “you can do it” in our language! She even made sure to have my husband on the phone all the time.
After birth, she gave more tips and recommended resources (books, links) that she knows would be helpful to me as a first-time mom. She shared many mom insights based on her learnings and even personal experiences which helped me navigate and process what I’ve been going through. It felt more like sharing an experience with a sister. And my family appreciates her also i might add.

I highly recommend her as a doula! Working with her you will know that this is not only her profession but also her passion. Thank you very much Akemi for all your support! I cannot imagine doing it without your help. All moms should have an Akemi on their side specially the first-time moms.

Donna Allis

6/18/2019

testimonial 


Akemi was amazing ! This was my first birth center birth (I had my first child at a hospital and had a horrible experience) and i was really nervous about natural pain management techniques and thought i’d benefit from a doula since i don’t have much family in the area and my husband didn’t know how to help me during my first labor . Akemi came and met with me several times before i went into labor . Each time we met , she asked me questions about what i needed help with , what kind of birth i was hoping for and educated me on many things . She spoke with me about her personal and professional experiences with child birth . She spoke with me about pain relief and pushing techniques which is what i mainly was nervous about . She also took the time to show me and my husband some of these techniques. We stayed in touch during my pregnancy and she made sure she knew how i was doing frequently during the last month. On the day i went into labor she responded right away when i contacted her and gave me advice as needed . She promptly met me at the birthing center and jumped rt into helping me and my husband and guiding us . Just as promised she reminded me of techniques for pain relief, helped me with aromatherapy, calming music and kept track of how far along i was into my labor so i knew when to get into the pool which i really wanted . She offered so much hands on relief the entire time especially with counterpressure which is what helped me the most during my labor . When i felt i was getting close to pushing she made sure the midwife knew and helped calm me and even took pictures and video for me which i am so happy about to have forever . After my daughters birth she even held me hand and helped me get my baby latched on as i was being stitched up. She got me my nightgown when noone else thought to after as well . She was such a great help and comfort to me .

Birth Availability for Akemi Tsuru CD(DONA)

= Available. Calendar last updated: 06-18-2024