Elaine Arnold LM (Licensed Midwife) CPM, CD(PALS, DONA)
AVIV Birth Doula Services
Phone: (425) 344-7703
Birth Fee: $1200 to $1400
Fee Details: I gratefully give a $300 fee reduction to military families. I can also provide monitrice care beyond doula services. (See comments below under "hospital births.")
Birth Doula Experience: 19 years and 250 births attended
Clients per Month: 1 to 5Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Languages spoken: Finnish, English
Service Area MapArea of practice: Renton, WA
Elaine was an absolutely wondeful doula at both of my children's births! I couldn't have gotten through them without her! She was very imformative leading up to the birth and helped answer a lot of questions I had about what the birth would be like or what to expect. And then during the actual births, she knew exactly how to calm me and support me. I honestly don't know if I could have endured both of my natural home births without her coaching me in pain management tenchinques and emotionally supporting me the way she did! I would absolutely recommend her as a doula!!
After having my first child, I can confidently say that there are so many things you can not control about how a birth goes....one of the few things you can control is who you recruit to your care team to help you on your journey. Choosing Elaine Arnold as our doula was one of our best decisions when it came to our birth plan. Elaine's extraoridinary care with us began during our first trimester and continued even after we were home with our child. A first pregnancy, birth, and being a first time parent is overwhelming to say the least. Elaine was available at every step to answer the questions we had and to even answer questions we didn't know to ask. When I reflect on my birth experience, there are so many moments that stand out to me where Elaine's kindness and competence made difficult times and decisions easier. For over a day, she was by my side for every contraction, talking me through it and providing relief with ideas for positioning and essential oils to help soothe my nerves and nausea. During a series of events that lead to an unplanned c-section, having Elaine take care of us, allowed us to stay calm enough to think through what decision was best for us and our baby. I unexpectedly required general anesthisia during the c-section, meaning that I was not awake during the birth or for the hour following. My husband never expected to spend that first hour with our baby without me, let alone worrying about the surgery. We were so lucky to have Elaine there to be with him to provide a level of emotional support that we didn't expect that we needed. Elaine was a fabulous doula, not just for me, but also for my husband. After the birth, Elaine checked in with us several times, and when she discovered that our baby was struggling to feed, she came over to our house to help troubleshoot nursing a child with tongue tie. We're so thankful that Elaine was recommended to us and we highly recommend her to anyone considering a doula as part of their birth.
Elaine is an incredible doula. She prepared my husband and I so thoughtfully and thoroughly for birthing. Throughout my pregnancy, Elaine was available for all of my questions, had tons of recommendations of conventional and alternative remedies for pregnancy symptoms. Her cheerleading, reassurance and compassion throughout made being a first time mom that much more exciting.
When it was time to go into labor Elaine was right there. She spent over a day with us. She was a real live Mary Poppins with a bag of tricks for any circumstance that we encountered. When my labor slowed she pulled out massage and essential oils, when we weren't sure what to do she had infinite suggestions for positions and ways to continue laboring. By the time we got to the hospital, we had established such a strong bond that it really felt like we were being cared for by an angel. In the weeks after birth Elaine followed up with us to see how we were doing and sat with me to talk about life as a mom while we processed our experience together.
It is hard to imagine what labor would have looked like without Elaine there and when it was all said and done we agreed that this was the best money we had ever spent on anything. Even my husband who hadn't heard of a doula before I suggested interviewing one raves about Elaine and the experience that we had with her.
I cannot recommend working with Elaine highly enough and know that we'll have a special bond with her forever as our first baby's fairy-god doula.
I located Elaine through a coworker who had her baby four years ago. That is how much of an impression Elaine makes with her clients. Instant, tangible, and long lived connection. I had two prenatal visits with Elaine. She answered all of my questions, provided me with many tools to help prepare myself for both birth and postpartum.
On the day my water broke, she came over as soon as I felt I needed her there. She then spent the next two and a half days with me as I tried my best to have a natural, and drug free birthing. At every point when I had a decision to make she helped me and my husband think through all of the options available and talk through the various outcomes. My husband and I could not have made it through the process without her. She knew exactly what to do and when I needed to change positions, walk, relax. Helped my husband get sleep, and stay calm about how long everything was taking. She was tireless, compassionate, knowledgeable, peaceful, encouraging, positive, and established great rapport with the nurses and midwives who were taking care of me.
While my birth was long, and absolutely didn't go according to how I planned it, I feel like I had complete control over all the decisions that had to be made and Elaine helped me feel empowered to make the right ones as needed. She accompanied me into the c section. Prayed with my husband and I as the team resuscitated my baby boy. Stayed with me until I had the news my baby would be OK and I was on the path to recovery.
At her postpartum visit, she took extra time to help me and my husband process what had happened. She helped me both grieve over what didn't go according to plan and to feel really good about how I handled every piece of it. I am on my way to peace, because Elaine was my Doula. I highly recommend Elaine!
Elaine is the best! She was such a comfort to me from the first time I talked to her on the phone through birth and postpartum! She has such an innate compassion and understanding of how to make everything better without me saying a word! I started out really unsure about attempting my VBAC, but knowing that I would have Elaine by my side gave me to confidence I needed to do it. She genuinely cares about your birth and gets excited about making it the experience you hope for. She is incredibly knowledgable and comes with an arsenal of tools I knew nothing about. I had never used essential oils or considered using a TENS unit before. Elaine had both which were incredibly helpful during my birth. My husband had his reservations about hiring a doula at first because of the cost and he didn't know where he would fit in. Now he talks about how much of a blessing it was to have her there. My mother has said multiple times that she wishes she could've had Elaine at her births she was so impressed. All the midwives and doctors at Swedish Issaquah know her and verified her excellent reputation!
Elaine is a truly gifted and caring person and anyone would be incredibly lucky to have her!
My wife was in labor for 60 hours. Elaine was with us from start of labor until our son was born. My wife was diagonised with thrombocytopenia and could not get epidural. Elaine supported us emotionally and gave my wife the courage she needed to go through the excruciating pain. Elaine guided us through different labor positions and was very positive throught out the long labor process. I would recommed Elaine to anyone who is thinking of recruiting help of a birth doula. She is very personable and we will definitely work with Elaine if we have another child.
Elaine is an ANGEL!! without her I was definitely headed towards a c-section. I was in labor for 3 days and my husband was running out of hope and energy, he couldnot see me suffer any longer after 2 days in labor and was thinking about surgery. I ,was determined to avoid c-section as we didnot have any extra help to care for the baby, if I was incapacitated due to surgery I was not sure that my dear husband could handle taking care of me and a newborn. Elaine game me the courage I needed and was by my side without sleep for days. I was finally able to deliver my son without surgery and pain medications. I can't imagine going through labor and delivery without Elaine.
When my husband and I first met with Elaine we both knew immediately that we wanted her to be our doula! Elaine truly radiates love, excitement, knowledge, experience, and calm. I remember particularly strongly something she told me during that first meeting. After patiently listening to my husband and I talk, Elaine looked me in the eye and told me, "You are doing a wonderful job growing this baby!" I don't know how she knew, but I needed to hear those words so desperately! It was as if she saw right into my heart and knew exactly how to support me.
After that first "interview", we met twice more before the baby arrived. At each meeting Elaine coached and prepared us, gave us ample time to ask questions, shared her vast knowledge and experience, and always made us laugh! She shared her experiences both as a mother and doula, and made us feel safe and ready. In addition to our pre-birth meetings, Elaine was always available by cell or text. She is incredibly generous with her time and heart, and never once failed to calm and reassure me.
Elaine was available throughout my labor, and came to the hospital as soon as we asked. As my labor progressed, she knew exactly what my husband and I needed. Her simple, clear direction made me feel as though I knew exactly what to do. She also helped my husband be able to best support me and empowered him to be an active, confident participant in the entire process.
During our pre-birth discussions, I had confessed to Elaine how scared I was of breastfeeding, but that I was determined to do it. When our little boy arrived, Elaine made sure that he latched right away and helped me with positioning. We've been happily nursing ever since (20 months and counting!).
No matter how much time has passed, Elaine is always available to give guidance and support. She has also helped me through two miscarriages.
Elaine is forever a part of our family. Any family would be lucky to work with her!
Elaine does not charge enough. My wife and I have been recommending her to everyone. You can tell that she loves what she does and she'll make you feel like you are her only client. She was with us every step of the way made multiple visits to us into the hospital. And she made incredible suggestions that resulted in a beautiful birth. We feel extremely lucky to have connected with Elaine and wish everyone could have someone so wonderful in their lives. It's amazing to meet someone that you can hire that cares so much. We truly love her and plan to be in touch for many years.
We interviewed several doulas (all referrals from friends), but ultimately selected Elaine because she not only was very experienced (hundreds of births), but immediately felt like part of our family and someone that both my husband and i would want during a very intimate and challenging time to be on our support team.
Specifically, we appreciated the following:
--For context, we wanted to have a natural labor, but ultimately ended up with a c-section because our baby was super breeched. Elaine was awesome in prepping for the natural labor and then ultimately helping me transition to the realities of a c-section.
--Elaine was a great blend of information/data and a caring heart.
--Elaine was proactive about offering many alternative methods for preparing for birth (e.g. accupuncture to help turn our breech baby; probiotics for GBS testing; stiz bath herbal formula; coconut water to increase fluid to increase my amniotic fluid numbers, etc...)
--Elaine was helpful in creating our birth plan.
--Elaine was very important in helping my husband be very present throughout labor and the birth because she was able to support and direct his efforts to help him support me. In other words, while we prepped and practiced, my husband didn't have to be so focused on remembering what he was supposed to do, but could just do it with Elaine's direction in the moment.
--Elaine was always VERY responsive by email, phone or text.
We would highly recommend her and would love to work with her again.
I am so glad that Elaine was my doula for my son's birth. This is my second child and we had a different doula with my first who has since moved out of town. We weren't sure if we really needed a doula since this was our second, but we are so glad that we did...and specificially so glad that we had Elaine.
Elaine is incredibly skilled. (I liked my first doula, but she didn't even begin to compare to Elaine's skill.) I had an epidural with my first child, and was pretty sure I'd need one with my second. My husband likes to joke that Elaine is as effective as drugs, and it's so true. My first birth was crazy and scary, although nothing really medically went wrong. My second birth had some scary complications, but in spite of that it was a calm, peaceful, beautiful experience. I never would have thought I could have used those words to describe a birth, but it really was. I give so much of the credit to Elaine for helping to make it the beautiful experience I'd hoped for.
During labor, her voice somehow was the only thing that could make it through my fog and really make sense to me. When I'm in pain, I have a hard time following even simple directions. Elaine was able to suggest small changes that made a huge difference in my pain management and my effectiveness in pushing, and her soothing voice was really the only thing I was able to follow duirng labor.
At the prenatal visits, Elaine had tons of helpful advice for managing some complicaitons that had come up with my pregnancy. And at the visit after birth, she was very patient in helping me understand some of the details of my son's birth that had gone over my head in the moment.
I feel like I can't do justice to explaining what an amazing doula Elaine is. I'll just say again, I am so glad that Elaine was part of my birth experience.
Elaine Arnold is one of the best decisions our family made when planning the births of our daughters. Not only was she a loving and nurturing presence that helped give me strength through each birth, she was great support to my husband by helping him know how he could best participate in the process. Not only was she mindful of my needs, but she was very mindful of his as well.
We had a tragedy with our first daughter and lost her 3 days before her due date. Not only did Elaine help us through the difficult task of giving birth to her, she remained a source of love and encouragement post delivery. It was a joy to deliver our second daughter with her the way we had hoped; without any issues or medical interventions.
Elaine offers many years of experience attending the births of others along with her own. She provides excellent knowledge and preparation before the birth along with much needed support post delivery. She brings with her several effective remedies to aid the birth process such as essential oils, breathing techniques and materials that help support various laboring positions. She very much loves her work and it shows in all that she does for her clients.
My husband and I cannot recommend Elaine enough as a doula to others who are planning a birth.
Intuitively, I knew Elaine would be my doula the moment I met her, her smile and peaceful demeanor put me at ease. There were two things I was looking for in a doula: one who was older than me (I was 39 at the time) who I could view as an experienced maternal figure, caring and encouraging, since I knew I needed this. Secondly, someone with the skill of listening, since small talk is a lot of work for me personally (especially under the stress of pain).
Elaine was a blessing to me, and turned out to be an incredible mother figure during my birth experience, as well as a great listener. I especially felt her hugs were healing, and though I hardly wanted to be touched during my labor pain, I found her hugs were therapeutic, like a mother's hugs should be. She was such a great listener, I ended up telling her things I don't think I've ever told anyone.
As a healer myself, I am used to being the brave face, and comforting others, and it was such a healing experience to have Elaine on the giving end, and me on the receiving end. With her, I felt I could be vulnerable and she completely earned my trust. Without reservation, I recommend her highly, as she was excellent.
Elaine was my coach and support for the delivery of both of my kiddos. I knew I wanted to try for a natural birth with both and equally knew that I could NOT do it alone. Indeed she kept me going when I would have wanted to just give up. She's an excellent coach - gently encouraging and cheering without feeling overbearing. She is a wealth of knowledge and has so many techniques that make laboring more manageable - from breathing to positions to manage pain. Both of my labors were fast and were challenging in different ways and she helped me navigate both with great peace and even joy. I actually loved my first labor experience so much that I was EXCITED to do it a second time. That was all courtesy of Elaine :). I HIGHLY recommend her, especially if you are hoping for a natural delivery.
Where to begin! First off, I only interviewed one doula...Elaine. I immediately knew that I wanted her as my doula for my VBAC attempt. I didn't have one for the birth of my son and I knew that having a doula would be critical to my success this time around. She is such a warm, lovely person; sort of like a nurturing mother and a fun girlfriend all wrapped up into one person. I was instantly comfortable around her because she is so easy to talk to, not to mention extremely knowledgeable about birth and babies.
I found her early on in my pregnancy and she was very supportive throughout whenever I felt self doubt creeping in and always responsive and easy to get a hold of. Having had a c section previously, I kind of had misgivings that my body could actually birth normally but she made me feel like I could 100% do it and that I would be successful. She was incredible throughout the delivery and I felt very encouraged having her there next to me. Not to mention she was in there in the thick of things helping me position for pushing and cheer leading when things got really tough and it looked like a c section might happen.
Elaine was an absolutely critical component in my successful VBAC and I do not believe I would've been able to do it without her calm and caring guidance throughout my pregnancy and labor. Also, it was very apparent that she had a great rapport with the hospital staff, who all seemed to know and love her. I highly recommend Elaine's services and would use her again in a heartbeat.
We have been blessed to have Elaine as a birth doula for both of our boys. Last year, I had a 3 day labor with my second son and Elaine was there the whole time. She actually took me to the hospital when it was time so that my husband could stay home with our older son.
Elaine was very supported and worked to help me have a natural birth. She was amazing, staying positive and inspirational. I highly recommend her as a birth doula.
We used Elaine for the birth of our second child, and she was fantastic! This labor was very fast (5 hours from when my water broke to when our baby was born vs. almost 23 hours), which made it that much more intense compared to my first labor. By the time we arrived at the hospital (Swedish First Hill), which was after just 3-4 hours of labor, I was already asking for "help" (aka pain relief) and was feeling consumed and overwhelmed by the contractions compared to what I had experienced during the birth of our first child. As soon as Elaine arrived, she got right in my face and helped me ride out the contractions instead of succumb to them. I couldn't have gone unmedicated without her help getting me to focus and regain control of my breath during contractions. Her wealth of experience as a doula, and her knowledge as a midwife-in-training were invaluable!
After a traumatic experience with the birth of our first child, all I wanted was a positive experience for the second birth and I wanted to do everything I could to make that happen; including hirig a doula. I got Elaine's information from a friend and even though I and my husband were relucant in hiring a doula I called anyways. As soon as I hung up the phone with her I knew she was a perfect match. She instantly understood my fears and frusturations and started to help me process them so I wouldn't have them lingering around as I tried for a VBAC. She was also the only one that was able to give me some answers about what had happened with my first labor and delivery. Moving forward, she was VERY helpful when I started having contractions and calming them down around the 36 week mark. SI was always able to reach her by text and she always was resourceful in answering my many questions. She was full of information AND understanding leading up to the labor, during and postpartum. I will use her again in a heart beat And did I say, I ended up having a successful VBAC on my due date! Night and day different experience than my first and she was very instrumental in the experince. Thank you Elaine!
Elaine is an angel! My husband and I absolutely adore her. I really can't say enough good things about this amazing woman! The moment we met Elaine, her calm and nurturing disposition immediately put us at ease and just we knew that she was the woman we wanted by our side to help delivery our twin baby girls. We actually met Elaine through another doula that we were interviewing as her assistant, but we just immediately connected with Elaine and wound up selecting her as our primary doula. Elaine just knows babies! She is very in tune and is somewhat of a baby "whisperer". She seems to understand what the babies are thinking and doing even inside the womb, and really encouraged us to listen to our intuition and trust ourselves throughout the pregnancy and the birthing process. She always had some great insight as to how to relieve a certain pregnancy condition, like tense back muscles or restless nights. During my actual labor, we wound up in quite a predicament as we were considered "High Risk", but Elaine came to the rescue and really helped guide me into a place of strength and resolution. I was able to handle my labor with ease with Elaine by my side - who continued to remind me to breathe and relaxe and allow. We now have two beautiful baby girls and I am so grateful for her support and encouragement. I feel that Elaine is a part of our family now and I almost want to go back to being pregnant again, just so that I have an excuse to call her at midnight to ask for advice. :) You truly cannot find a better, more experienced and supportive doula to help bring your babies into this world. We love you Elaine!!
We are so grateful for Elaine's great help and her presence during the birth of our daughter! It was an immense blessing to have her there. We highly recommend her as a doula.
As first time parents, we didn't know exactly what to expect; yet, when we met with Elaine before the birth about questions that we had, we felt reassured by the experience that she has in having attended many births. After these sessions, I felt more confident that my body would know what to do during the birth process. In addition, we felt encouraged by the natural methods that Elaine suggested to help avoid a labor induction and to help the baby get into a more ideal position for the birth. She also offered many valuable tips about what we should bring to the hospital and about ways to make our baby feel more at home as she entered the world. After we met with her, we were always reminded about just how amazing the birth process is.
During the labor process, I felt immensely comforted by the practical advice that she gave about positioning and about ways to relieve pain. Because of her suggestions, I felt more able to deal with each contraction individually rather than focusing on the how many centimeters of dilation had occurred. I also felt uplifted by her encouraging words about what was going well in the labor process; this encouragement helped me push more effectively in labor.
Overall, Elaine's joyful spirit and incredible competency at the birth helped make our experience a very, very good one. We are so thankful for her great compassion, kindness, and aptitude as a doula!
Fabulous!! From Kimberly and Bryan
We gave birth to our first child with Kimberly's mom, sister, and aunt with us. This was a wonderful experience AND, with our second child we really wanted to try working with a doula or midwife. A friend of ours loved her experience with Elaine and so we connected with her.
She is so kind, gentle, and knowledgeable. She took the ropes when needed and helped guide us in our own decision making at the same time. We never felt any pressure. She utilized all of our time very well by keeping on track and at the same time was personable and easy to connect with.
Elaine and Candace, who work together, were both present for our birth which turned out to be AMAZING and very much needed blessing. We gave birth to Luke about 40 minutes after getting into our room and we attribute this to the amazing support from both Candace and Elaine. They provided the perfect balance of physical and emotional support. They were extremely encouraging to both of us and they never stepped in over Bryan but rather led him and assisted him in being as much a part of the process as he desired.
We would highly recommend connecting with Elaine even for an informational interview. We think her confidence and grace will win you over immediately. She brought a presence to our experience that we are eager to have again in the future.
Thank you Elaine! Please contact us anytime if you have questions regarding utilizing Elaine and her services.
Blessings, Bryan and Kimberly
My experience with Elaine was amazing. She is one of the most sincere and loving people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Her presence during my pregnancy and birth was the key to our successful natural birthing experience. I am so thankful for strength at my most vulnerable moments. This was my first child and I can't imagine it being any more beautiful than it was. I can't stress enough how essential a strong support system is during labor and I will choose Elaine for all my future pregnancies.
Thank you again for EVERYTHING you have done for us. I can't repay you for helping bring in the love of my life,
Heather, Tony and baby Roman
Me being a guy was like, why do we need a doula? Why spend the money on a doula that we can put towards something else.
Well let me tell you.
Elaine was AMAZING! The effort she put forth was unbelievable, I mean, my wife had a 31 hour labor and Elaine stood by her side the whole time, coaching her through breathing techniques and different positions. I was the clueless husband on the couch waiting for intructions. I am so thankful for our doula and I wouldn't hesitate recommending her to anyone that has a bun in the oven.
We could't have done it without her!
Thank you Elaine for helping bring our little girl into the world and for all your hard work and I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Loyal Client Alex Bondarchuk
Having Elaine there for us for the birth of our first born was most appreciated and needed. I knew I wanted a doula just wasnt sure if it was necessary. I got in contact with Elaine days before my due date to meet and go over things for my birth. She was very prompt and full of information that I needed to know for during labor and postpartum. I dont know what I'd do if Elaine wasnt there. As soon as my water broke Elaine was quickly on her way to meet me at the hospital. She was essential to me during the whole labor from positioning to coaching me on breathing which I didnt think would make a difference but boy it sure did. I felt like I was prepared for my natural labor but when the contractions started it was hard to remember everything and was so good to have Elaine guide me and take such good care of me through the whole labor process. In addition she came the next day to check on us and make sure we were doing well and then stopped by a few days after to check in on my son and I. Elaine is amazing!!!! She will do everything she can to meet your needs and to advocate for you to make sure your birth plan goes the way you wanted it to be. She will never leave your side which is comforting to know that someone who know what to do is always there for you. You wont regret hiring Elaine, she is amazing at what she does!!!
Elaine was the keystone of the experience. At 34 weeks, i decided that I wanted to attempt a homebirth. When we made the switch our midwife recommended having a doula since this was our firstborn. I was only vaguely aware of what a doula does and was not anticipating the cost. **Hiring Elaine was the best decision we could have made!! Because my labor was so slow and long, it is pretty clear that I would not have made it to the finish line naturally had it not been for all of her advice along the way. Stage 1 labor for 3 nights and 2 days was not something I'd ever want to manage alone. It made all the difference in the world to be able to call a doula, share the stage, and then confidently follow the advice. And later on of course, she was alongside us in person well before the midwife needed to come.
A doula, in my case Elaine, helps other people attending you in the birth. My husband and mother never had to stress out. She showed them how to help me, which took the pressure off - it's not like they had done this before.
Elaine's generous pre-birth sessions allowed us to get to know her, attain some general confidence, and learn a lot.
Elaine's warm support though the birth gave me so much confidence. Because I trusted her so much, I never felt fear - at one point I felt doubt, but never fear.
Elaine is cool! You'll feel she is a longtime friend in no time!
We feel so lucky that the birth of our first child went so beautifully. Even it it hadn't, if we had needed to go the the hospital in some dramatic scenario, I am very sure that I would have benefited from Elaine's presence and been grateful for it. If we have other children, I hope that she will not be too booked to attend!
Elaine was a godsend for my husband and I. We live in Sitka, Alaska and were pregnant with twin girls. Unfortunately due to the size of the town and the limited medical access I was not allowed to deliver my girls in Sitka becuase of the increase in potential complications. It was very important for me to have a strong birthing team because I wanted to deliver my girls as naturally as I could and I knew Swedish Hospital had a high intervention rate. I found Elaine on this site and she was the only doula I contacted. From reading her testimonials and her profile I had a feeling it would be a good fit. I flew to Seattle when I was 32 weeks pregnant. I met Elaine a couple days later and knew right away I wanted her to be my doula. She was full of life and positive energy and I could tell she knew what she was doing. She was very professional and sincere. 2 weeks later I went into labor. The first time my husband met Elaine was in the hopsital room. The labor was long but because of Elaine's knowledge and guidance the time was full of humor and jokes and deep deep breaths! I hadn't gotten any sleep the night before so my energy level was almost non existant. When it was medicaly necessary for me to get an epidural and be put on pitocin, Elaine helped me feel good about the decision. She helped calm my fears and nerves and focus on birthing my daughters. She also had amazing tricks up her sleeve! Essential oils, accupressure,massage, necklaces, strong yet soft hands, a nurturing presence! Because my husband works 12 hr shifts, 7 days a week he was unable to attend birthing classes and had never seen or read about the birthing process. Elaine was able to coach him and guide him and the two of them together were an incredible team. I left labor being even more in love with my husband, and Elaine too! :) Hiring Elaine was possibly the best decision I've ever made. Thanks to Elaine I was able to achieve my dream of birthing my twin girls vaginally!
As I write this review, I find myself unable to really put into words the wonderful work that Elaine did with us. Our first child was born via c-section so in terms of natural birth, this really was our first time. Still, when my wife suggested a doula, I wasn't even sure we even needed or wanted one. However, from the moment we met Elaine, I knew she was the right fit for us. In our first meeting, we talked about our goals and feelings about this pregnancy and we shared some of our misgivings about our current healthcare provider. Elaine inspired us to have our birth elsewhere, which was something I had never previously considered because we were so far along. It ended up being one of the many right choices that Elaine suggested.
In the end, Elaine gave us the confidence to stick with our birth plan no matter how dicey things got (and yes, they got a little dicey!). Yes, we had doctors, nurses, and family, but it was Elaine's unlimited patience and infinite womanly-wisdom (a five-time mother, a grandmother, a breast cancer survivor) that assured me that no matter what happened, things were going to be ok -- and things weren't just ok, they were perfect.
I don't know, maybe there are doulas as good as Elaine out there, but I'm positive that there aren't better ones.
I CANNOT say enough good things about Elaine. I was about 32 weeks pregnant when I went looking for a doula. I never thought I'd need a doula because I believed the hospital would have everything, but I'm so glad I found Elaine. I was 32 weeks pregnant with my second child and feeling very apprehensive about my birth because I really wanted to have a natural birth seeing as how my first child was born via C-section because she was breech. I was going to Swedish and felt odd that they gave me no information how to tour the hospital even though I was soon due. So I reached out to several doulas and Elaine was the most empowering. I never thought to change providers so late into my pregnancy, but she gave me some referrals and the empowerment to find a more comfortable situation. I went with Dr. Merrill in Enumclaw (about an hour from work and 40 minutes from home) because she spoke so highly of him. She was absolutely correct, he comforted all of my fears and took great prenatal care of me. Elaine was also indespensible during my birth. She came to the hospital the same time we arrived and coached me through my entire labor. When the contractions were getting a bit too much for me and I was debating about medication she came up with new ways to help me cope, and I really believe it is because of her that I got to have the birth that I always dreamed about. She was so respectful to my husband and myself and warm, and patient. She's also great with communication. She answers emails within a couple of hours and always picks up my phone calls. She never made me feel unwanted or in the way. It's odd to say because we just met Elaine, but she was such a LARGE part of such a HUGE event in our lives that she feels not like a doula, but like family. She'll always be a part of our family now even though we've only known her for such a short time.
There are no words to adequately describe my gratitude for Elaine's support throughout my entire pregnancry and delivery. She entered the process during my second trimester and met me and my husband twice in our home to get to know us so that we'd be comfortable during labor. In the last month of my pregnancy I was in "false labor" and it was Elaine that checked in on me every few days to see how I was feeling/progressing and to encourage me through the frustrating process. She gave me faith that even though the baby wasn't coming yet, I was getting "good work done" with all of the early contractions.
When the day arrived I felt CERTAIN that I wouldn't make it through labor without medication, though I had originally wanted to. My husband called Elaine and the moment she got to our house and started coaching me, I knew I could do it. From the hours at home to the hours at the hospital, Elaine gently, genuinely and sweetly helped me through each contraction without letting my mind jump ahead to the contractions yet to come. I was so relaxed that after most contractions I actually fell asleep! She gave me the confidence and courage to move through labor according to my body's schedule- and it turns out that was only 3 hours! I attribute that to her! She kept me and my husband calm, focused and filled with joy. I actually considered the whole experience fun, despite the intensity and pain.
Many days I cannot get through a headache without medication, but because of Elaine's help, I was able to deliver precious Levi without any! I KNOW that I could never have had that experience without her. I an so grateful that she was there as we welcomed the sweetest little member of our family. I cannot recommend her enough!!
Elaine was terrific to work with; she met with my husband and I several times to answer questions and alleviate any worries and concerns we had prior to delivery. She was always available by phone and email to answer questions and was always welcoming with her correspondences. Her passion was evident when we first met her and she cannot hide that this is her true calling in life.
I couldn’t have asked more from her as my doula. When it came to the actual delivery she really delivered. Regardless of how much you prepare for birth, you can never truly prepare your mind for what childbirth will bring until you’re in the situation. Elaine was able to know what I needed before I even knew I needed it. Labor is all encompassing and having someone like Elaine in my corner coaching me through every contraction was what I needed to complete the marathon of childbirth. While every person in the delivery room assisted in my successful med free (and IV free) delivery, it was her confidence in me from the beginning that made me believe it was possible and that I could do it! I couldn’t imagine having another child without her there!
Elaine was our doula for the birth of our daughter a few weeks ago and I can't express how thankful we are to have had her help and experience.
Our birth quickly changed into the opposite of our plan: hospital, pitocin, epidural, and finally c-section (happily with a healthy baby and mom). Elaine was there, supporting and encouraging us, for about 24 hours of my wife's 36 hour labor - a commitment of time and energy I never would have expected necessary let alone possible, but she accomplished it with poise and serenity. Despite taking several birthing classes and reading multiple books in preparation, I was really a useless man during the unexpected and painful process, and I don't know what either one of us would have done without the rock-steady comfort and support that Elaine so readily provided. All my plans and expectations went out the window and if not for Elaine, my wife might only have had the comfort of the (fortunately great) nurses that came and went around us as I was at a loss for what to do.
It seems like ages ago we first met Elaine when my wife was in her first or second trimester, and we hadn't seen her in a few weeks by the time birth happened, and yet, through experiencing birth side-by-side with Elaine, I think of her with great fondness, as a very special person who was an integral part of the amazing event of our daughter's birth - and I look forward to one day being able to (re-)introduce our daughter to Elaine when she’s a little older and able to remember!
In short, I highly recommend Elaine as a doula and as a wonderful person!
My husband and I both are EXTREMELY thankful to have worked with Elaine Arnold. I loved having her there because I had done all of my prenatal classes with her so instead of having a stranger (I love nurses, but don't know many of them) coaching me through the process, I had a friend doing it. My husband loved it because Elaine was able to gently coach him through what he could do to help me. Elaine is one of those people that you instantly fall in love with. She is very knowledgeable and constant working to learn more. She is a ton of fun to be around and when the going gets tough (i.e. transition time!), she is one of the most soothing, comforting people that I know. Elaine has been with us for the birth of both of our children, and will definitely be there for any others that we have. She has always been available to answer any questions that we have had before or after birth. We LOVE Elaine!
I had a fantastic birth experience with Elaine! My labor nurse and my doctor both said she was the best doula they had seen, and although this was my first birth, I can't imagine a better doula experience.
Elaine was covering for a doula I had hired because my doula was at another birth, so I didn't actually meet Elaine until I was in active labor. She came in to the hospital room and I immediately knew that it was a good thing that she was there. Even though we never had a chance to discuss my needs/desires/fears ahead of time, she did exactly what I needed throughout the labor to keep me focused and get me through a pitocin-induced labor without drugs. She was encouraging and supportive, she had great methods to focus me through contractions, she distracted me well the 2 times I almost went for the epidural, and she also was very knowledgeable and useful in identifying issues that could have slowed down my labor.
Overall, I was very impressed with Elaine. Up until the day of labor I wasn't sure if I wanted a doula at my birth and boy, am I glad I had Elaine there!
Elaine was an excellent advocate and support person to have during our special delivery. Throughout the process of preparing for the birth, labor and post-partum, Elaine was accessible, accountable and always had our family’s best interests as her priority. Furthermore, her positive attitude, loving approach and extensive knowledge was extremely helpful when we needed to make decisions and required further support during medical complications. Although the birth plan did not go as expected (whose does??) we have a healthy, happy little boy and we are so glad that we had Elaine on our team to assist in the delivery of such a miracle for us! I highly recommend Elaine’s Doula services to any mother preparing for childbirth.
My husband and I worked with Elaine last year for the birth of our first child and it was a fantastic birth experience! From the weeks leading up to our son's birth, to the birth itself, and followup, we all felt extremely supported by Elaine. Elaine is a very easy person to get along with. From the first time I met her, I felt as though I'd known her forever. She has a natural "mom" vibe to her and is a great calming force.
We met with Elaine several times before the birth to go over expectations. Everything from going over our birth plan to answering questions of what to expect at each phase of the birth journey. We had taken a course in Hypnobirthing, so wanted to use that as our birth technique. Elaine has experience in Hynobirthing.
As is common with first births, mine went past the due date. Elaine called each day and would even call before going out on a run to make sure I wasn't in labor at that time. :) She talked me through my Braxton Hicks that seemed to mimic real contractions on a nightly basis. When labor really started, she met us at our house before we went to the hospital. Labor was relatively quick (5 hours from admission to birth), but my pushes were not too productive at first. Elaine suggested many different positions (on the toilet was comfortable) and I ended up giving birth on my side. During contractions, she was a great cheerleader and supportive when I was correctly pushing. Between contractions, Elaine was there to offer a cold rag, coconut water, encouraging me to relax, and also helping instruct my husband on what to do.
After our son was born, Elaine stayed with us for an hour. After the journey we went through together, my husband and I were sad to see her go.
She visited us about a week after our son's birth to see how everything from nursing to my general wellbeing was.
I'm hoping to have another child and I already know I want Elaine in the room with me.
To start off, it is very rare in life that you meet someone who is doing exactly what they are meant to be doing! Elaine has the experience, the knowledge and the training to help get you through the pregnancy and delivery, but she also has something more innate. She has an inner calm and patience that she was able to pass on to me during my 34 hours of labor.
We found Elaine off of this website with a bit of a "Hail Mary" last minute effort. My husband and I hadn't taken any classes, but were determined to have a natural birth at Swedish. Our doctor sort of laughed at us and said it would be a good idea to get a doula! We contacted Elaine with less than three weeks to go.
She came to our house, got us up to speed and helped us practice some relaxation techniques.
During labor Elaine was indispensable. She never got tired of fining new ways to help me deal with the pain and stay relaxed. My husband and I were exhausted and I know Elaine's support was able to give my husband some much-needed rest.
She also checked in after the birth to make sure everything was going well once we got back home! She really is a prenatal class, a birthing coach and a post partum/nursing coach all wrapped into one! And she is always excited to hear from you... Even when it is three in the morning and you are telling her your water just broke.
The birth of my first son ended up having a C-section. It was the most terrible experience and left me feeling angry and dissapointed because I was robbed of the joy of the natural birth experience. So when I was pregnant with my second son I was dertemined not to have anther C-section and it was in the seventh hour of labor that I then realized that I needed help breathing and staying focued on the primary goal, to give birth naturally. Elaine helped me stay foucused and breathe and when I had terrible back pain, she helped relieve the pain by applying presure and that at least decreased the pain by sixty percent. Also, when I was stuck at being dialated 8 cenimeters for three hours and felt hopeless, Elaine gave me hope and comfort because she has this way of soothing me and keeping my calm. Simply put, she was very nurturing, motherly and had this pleasantness about her. Because of having Elaine at the second birth, it hard to believe that I didn't want to have a natural birth the first time, it gave me hope knowing that I could have more safe and natural deliverlies without all of the drugs. I felt so proud of myself for accomplishing this amazing birth and it made me feel like I could do anything! Furthermore, I fell like I wouldn't have been able to have such a successful birth without Elaine at my side because she was such blessing. Without a doubt I would most definitly recommend this amazing doula to all of my friends and family because she also does have a medical backround and I even had my nurse tell me that Elaine was doing a better job then she. Even because the roles were competeling different, Elaine found it easy to work and deal with the medical staff because she understands what is going on. She was very proffesional, pleasant and caring. Once again, without a doubt I would recomend her to anyone.
Elaine came into my life exactly when I needed her. I didn't have the support from my child's father as I had hoped and even though I had support from friends and family, Elaine provided something they couldn't. It was very easy to relax and be open with Elaine. She is the epitome of the definition of a doula. She supported me physically and emotionally. She gave me the strength to plan my labor for what I needed and not worry about everyone else.
When I went into labor everything was quick. My contractions went from 2-4 minutes to 60 seconds apart in 2hrs. Elaine had to coach me over the phone. Just hearing her voice and knowing she was there helped me relax.
My daughter was born safely and healthy because of the wise choice to have a doula. Doctors can be too focused on the medicine and not the patient. Doulas like Elaine are your advocate and are solely focused on your well being and positive labor experience.
To put it simply, Elaine is amazing and wonderful, and everything I could ask for as a doula. I started my search for a doula a little late in the game, but I was lucky to have met Elaine. I liked her instantly. She was genuine and warm, friendly and cheerful, caring and sweet - all the things you would want for the person supporting you in your journey of giving birth. She was also informative, organized, professional, and resourceful. Before our initial meeting was over, I was sure I wanted her as my doula. Though we didn't have much physical time together before I gave birth, she was still very present - always checking in with me either by phone, text, or email. During our prenatal visits, she did everything in her power to make sure I was well informed and comfortable with everything going on and with everything I was feeling. Less than a month after I hired her, my beautiful baby boy was born by natural VBAC (vaginal delivery after c-section) with no problems at all thanks to her guidance and calming presence.
Through it all, Elaine was a constant support and provided so much comfort. She answered any questions I had, provided information beyond what I thought I needed, and if ever she wasn't sure about something, she found the answer! On top of all this, I got the added bonus of having my placenta encapsulated (at no extra charge)! Elaine happened to get certified shortly after we met. My husband and I were so grateful for everything she did for us that we paid her more than what we originally agreed to. You really can't put a price on what she does, and I can’t say enough about how great she is. I whole-heartedly recommend her to anyone searching for a doula.
During the third trimester my husband and I decided that instead of delivering at the hospital, we wanted a midwife to deliver our baby at a birth center. Since this was my first pregnancy, I did not know what to expect and really wanted a doula that could support my husband and I. We received a handful of doula referrals but decided to go with Elaine. Choosing Elaine was the best decision we made in regards to our birth plan!
The first time we met Elaine, my husband and I were impressed. She was very organized, prepared, and brought up things we would have never considered. For example, she asked me to take a tour of the birth center and also visited our home so that she would know how to get there quickly when I started labor. More importantly, we felt her genuine, thoughtful, and caring spirit.
Elaine is very intuitive and provided continuous physical, emotional, and spiritual support before, during, and after labor. While I was experiencing intense contractions, Elaine rubbed my back and coached me to breathe calmly. The pain level dropped immensely! She asked questions to make sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed. Elaine was so in tune to me that even with very subtle signs, she knew when I was in transition (I didn't even know). My labor was very fast that I ended up giving birth at home instead of the birth center. Thank God for Elaine! She knew I was progressing a lot faster than it appeared and was able to communicate this to the midwife.
Elaine exceeded our expectations! My husband and I ended up paying her more than what we agreed to in the beginning because we were beyond satisfied! Elaine is an amazing woman. We felt her love, warmth, and kindness instantly. She is so thoughtful and provided us a very memorable birth experience. Words cannot express how much of a blessing she was to our family.
I learned of Elaine through a friend who told me that when she was in labor, Elaine's use of massage and pressure decreased her pain to a manageable level. She complemented the role of my friends husband; she in no way tried to "replace" the special role her husband had at the birth of their daughter, she respected and honored what he brought to the birth.
Elaine is indeed a strong woman; emotionally, physically and spiritually. She has a strength of character that I believe is a fruit of being a mother of five, battling cancer and supporting so many mothers during labor and delivery. It is this strength of character that was a great comfort to my husband and I while I labored at home, in the Swedish Hospital rotunda in the middle of the night, in triage, and finally in the delivery room.
Throughout my labor, having both Elaine and my husband as my support team proved invaluable. She supported my husband as much as she supported me and helped my husband & I to build memories we can look back on with fondness in the years to come.
Once we went to the hospital, Elaine walked with me for hours in the middle of the night, massaging my back and helping me to breath through each contraction, while my husband got some much needed rest. When the hospital sent me home because I wasn't progressing, Elaine came with us, spending the night in our guestroom and supporting us through the next day when my baby was in a painful position.
If you choose Elaine as your birth doula, you will be giving yourself the gift from the time you decide to work with her during your pregnancy until you are home with your dear little baby. When you need her, she will be there, supporting you and helping you build wonderful memories to share with your baby from pregnancy to delivery.
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