Empowering Birth Services
Phone: (608) 220-8836
Birth Fee: $850
Fee Details: My fee is payable in installments and I do offer a sliding scale for low income families. I also offer guided relaxation as well as Hypnosis sessions for regulating the body/ blood pressure, breech turn script and fear release. These sessions are $65.00 (non-client) $50.00 (current client)
Birth Doula Experience: 8 years and 136 births attendedType of Practice: Solo practice
Clients per Month: 2 to 3Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Member of Doulas of South Central Wisconsin and Small Miracles Volunteer program
Service Area MapArea of practice: Madison, WI
I was initially pretty skeptical of doulas as a concept. When I got pregnant with our son, my mother offered to hire a doula for us because we were so far away from family, and while I accepted her offer, I was a little unsure as to how valuable a doula would actually be. While I wanted to try and avoid unnecessary intervention, I also wasn't opposed to an epidural, I wanted a hospital birth, and I was pretty eye-roll-ish about the whole Ina-May-Rikki-Lake-natural-birth-goddess thing. I just wanted to have my baby however it happened, and I didn't know that a doula would help.
Well, Tammy turned out to be a LIFESAVER. I had a very hard birth experience (40 hours of labor, 4 hours of pushing, failed forceps and vacuum, and finally an episiotomy) and without Tammy I don't think my husband and I could have made it. We were clueless and terrified, but Tammy was there to help, with her calm, gentle voice, giving advice when I needed it, constantly encouraging and affirming us both. She knew exactly when to speak up and when to pull back; she was full of expert advice about what she'd seen previously in each possible scenario; and she dealt with my tearful whining and my husband's frustration with grace and respect.
While I ended up needing some interventions at my birth, I still feel as though I had the best birth experience possible for me, and I don't think that would have happened without Tammy. She helped give me the courage I needed to speak up, ask questions, and understand what was happening at every step. She's a big part of why I still feel satisfied with my birth experience, even though it was so difficult. I am so thankful for her presence and I recommend her wholeheartedly. If we have a second child, we'll definitely be hiring her again!
Honestly, we hadn't been planning on having a doula, but found out about Tammy through a friend when I was about 7mos pregnant with our first child and ended up meeting her, liking her a lot, and hiring her. Little did I know that was the start of what will undoubtedly be a lifelong mission of "doulavangelism" for me. Tammy was SUCH an integral member of our birth team. Our antepartum meetings were fun, informative and very useful -- the last meeting before our daughter arrived, Tammy went through, in great detail, what we could expect from labor and delivery, and really took care of most of the questions I had. In our birthing room at the hospital, Tammy was there every minute, keeping me as comfortable as possible with position changes and counterpressure, providing support, information and encouragement as I worked through contractions, and respectfully and unobtrusively advocating for me with the medical staff. She also was an invaluable source of information and support for my husband, and helped him feel empowered and useful. I had pretty much EXACTLY the birth I wanted, and I know Tammy's involvement was a key part of that. I have recommended her to several friends, and she'll absolutely be my doula again if/when we have another child!
I was a first-time mom who read all the books and did all the research about giving birth, but still wanted someone I knew to just be there the whole time with me in case something happened. My husband was very supportive, but said he couldn't stand to see me in pain and might have to leave the room. I wanted someone to be my advocate with the doctors/nurses so that I could concentrate on other things. Tammy was awesome! She answered all my questions. She took all the pictures. She had a great rapport with the doctor, so much so that the doctor let her (with my permission) actually deliver my son. We were both thrilled! Everything went according to plan (normal, vaginal birth). My husband even stayed and cut the cord! I had a great experience with Tammy. She is worth EVERY PENNY! Seriously, doulas are awesome. Tammy is one of the best. Even if you have had children before without using a doula, you should consider this option.
= Available. Calendar last updated: Updated 11/9/2012