Tara  Lussier, CD (toLabor), RYT, CHHC Photo

Tara Lussier, CD (toLabor), RYT, CHHC

Begin Within Birth

Website: http://www.beginwithinbirth.com

Phone: (703) 472-4704

Birth Fee: Not specified

Birth Doula Experience: 11 years and 254 births attended

Doula Training

  • The Organization of Labor Assistants for Birth Options & Resources (toLabor), May 2007
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 1 to 3

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

Other Relevant Certifications

  • HBC - Home Birth Consultant
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Certified (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) HHC (Holistic Nutritionist)

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Addiction Recovery
  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Domestic Violence
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Special needs babies
  • Surrogacy
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Antepartum doula
  • Aromatherapy
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Birth Pool rental
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Elimination communication education
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Mother blessing celebrations
  • Parenting consulting
  • Placenta encapsulation
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Stillbirthday Bereavement Doula
  • TENS units rental
  • Therapist or counselor

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Co-Founder of Loudoun Birth Circle 2015 Co-Founder of JustBirth Virginia 2013 Former Co-Director of Birth Matters VA, NOVA Chapter Co-Founder of Holistic Moms Network, Loudoun Chapter

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Herndon, VA
Travel Range: 50 Miles

Client Testimonials for Tara Lussier, CD (toLabor), RYT, CHHC

get a Gravatar

Susie Battle

Tara makes labor better. She’s skilled with hands-on techniques that make contractions a fraction as painful. And she is delightful, engaging, and easy to talk with, which makes the time in between contractions enjoyable. Tara is gifted with people - her input and timing and wording always seems right. She is also knowledgable and connected. We had three very different birth experiences, and in each situation, she gave us productive and timely counsel and wisdom to navigate our situations, and invaluably, she is friends with people who could help us in each situation. She is also willing to help in every way - including in unusual circumstances caring for our children until longer term help could arrive. We have been so grateful every time we’ve worked with her.

Posted 4/10/2018

get a Gravatar

Cindy Small

Tara is an amazing Doula, friend, advice giver and women! She indeed is a Gift from God! The women knows what she's doing. I found her through a Energy Healer, which I forsure knew she would be the one since she is very holistic. When I first met her it was love at first sight. She's a beautiful kind soul. She was there for me from the beginning of my birth until hours after. I had the best birthing experience ever! And I was terrified because my first child was in the nicu for 7 days. I'm so glad I found her! 

During labor she would do things to me that would make my contractions go away. I had no idea I was intense labor. We got to the hospital and I was already 5cm. She put me in possitions that made that baby come out like that! Our son was born 45 mins from us coming to the hospital with no drugs just pure love and Tara's amazing help!! My husband and I loved her so much that we hire her a second time for my step daughters birthing! And I'm totally using her for my 3rd baby! 

If you're looking for a beautiful, loving, kind, gentle, holistic, organic and all around knows what she's doing Doula Tara is for you!!!! 

 

Cindy Small 

LavishHippie.com

Posted 8/4/2016

get a Gravatar

Aliya Small

I am writing this review 8 months too late!! Tara is an AMAZING doula. I met her through my stepmom who also used Tara as her doula, who also said she was AMAZING.

Tara is very easy to talk to and creates an aura of comfortability from the start. I was absolutely terrified to give birth, let a lone naturally, but it was something I was set on and I did it! Being a first time mom/having an unplanned pregnancy, having her be part of my support system was a huge part of my birth being SO beautiful and perfect!!! She informed me about my options and helped me be confident in my deicisons before having my daughter. 

She was an immense help during my labor/birth. She has amazing techniques (lights, exercise ball, shower head on your back etc). The majority of my labor was in the tub/shower. Seriously amazing...

 

I could go on and on....all in all...I had a beautiful birth that I love to brag about !! And I will refer her to everyone and anyone I know having a baby. And will 100% use her again for myself. 

 

 

Posted 7/26/2016

get a Gravatar

Laura Edwards

Finding Tara was truly a godsend - I was so grateful for her guidance throughout my first pregnancy, and especially through labor and delivery of my sweet baby boy! I found Tara by first contacting her associate, who was unavailable around the time of my expected due date, and referred me to Tara. When Tara and I first spoke, we immediately clicked, and chatted on the phone for almost 45 minutes. She took her time getting to know me and what I was looking for in a doula, and I knew right away that it was meant to be. My husband was initially a bit skeptical, but supported my decision to hire a doula anyway. We all met for our first prenatal visit, and then had one more virtual "visit" via FaceTime, where Tara answered some questions and we went over my birth wishlist. When the time came for our baby to make his grand entrance, Tara was so incredibly helpful. We stayed in contact while I labored at home that day (which was my choice) and then met us at the hospital. The room stayed dim, but she brought a strand of white Christmas lights, which was such a beautiful touch (and looked so awesome in our birth photos!). No matter what happened (and despite how long I labored), she seemed to know exactly what to do and how to comfort me. My husband was a wonderful birth companion too, but even he agreed that Tara was absolutely amazing - I'm not sure that we could have acheived the type of birth that we wanted without her knowledge and guidance. When it was all said and done, I wouldn't go back and change a thing! Tara also came to visit us at home a day or two after we were discharged from the hospital, and has been in touch a few times since my son's birth. I would recommend Tara to any mama looking for a doula, and hope to have her present for my next birth (although I'm in no rush for that to happen!). I just can't say enough good things about her!

Posted 6/1/2016

get a Gravatar

Kristin Gladd

Tara was fantastic. She provided great support during my pregnancy, which helped us to feel really confident coming into the birth. During labor and delivery, Tara was a super asset to our birth team. She understood and supported our dynamic, listened to what we needed, and provided extra help, encouragement, and comfort. She also worked extremely well with the GW medical staff throughout, which made for a great, cohesive birth team. In addition to being extremely knowledgable, professional, and good at what she does, Tara was a delight to work with. She is warm, very personable, and embraced the spiritual aspect of birth, which was really important to us. We had a wonderful experience with Tara and would highly recommend her.

 

Posted 4/28/2016

get a Gravatar

Elsa Padilla

We could not recommend Tara more and will definitely use her for the birth of our next baby!

We knew very well what type of birth we wanted to have and were aware of how important it was to have a great birth team to achieve it. We interviewed many doulas and although many seemed very qualified we decided that chemistry was a huge factor.

We talked with Tara on skype and then met in person and we thought that she was one of those genuinely nice and sweet people that one rarely comes accross with. We immediately knew she was the right person for the birth of our son as we really liked her positive energy.

Tara was very supportive throughout my pregnancy and shared valuable research with us while always being respectful of our choices. She understood that there is a very emotional component to pregnancy and made us feel like she was there for us all along. I was very calm when the day of the birth finally came.

When I was in labor Tara was frequently checking on us to see how things were progressing and when she needed to step in. We met Tara at the hospital and having her there was very calming for both my husband and I. During my labor she was incredibly supportive and very prepared which really helped me stay calm and focused and get through the rough parts.

We really appreciated that she knew when to support and encourage us but also when to allow us to have some private intimate family time.When our baby was born Tara gave us some time to enjoy that amazing moment of welcoming our baby to our family while discreetly taking a video which we really treasure today.

Tara really contributed to making our son's birth experience very special. Although she had assisted many births before, she really shared in our joy. Tara goes far and beyond for her clients. You will not regret choosing her as your doula!

Posted 4/17/2016

get a Gravatar

Mel Duchateau

Tara was AH-MAZING!  I highly recommend her services to anyone considering hiring a doula.  As a first time mom, I felt very unprepared and, most importantly, uneducated regarding my own birth.  I knew I wanted to avoid a c-section, and that was about it.  I had two pre-birth visits.  She asked me a lot of questions about how I wanted the birth to go, most of which I did not know the answers to because I was uneducated!  She then provided me with LOTS of great resources (and her own knowledge from experience) and I was able to "study up" before my second appointment with her.  I felt much more prepared at this point, knowing what I wanted out of the birth experience and how I wanted to deliver my baby girl.  I decided I would ATTEMPT to go natural and unmedicated.  Once I went into labor, we kept in close contact (phone/text) and she came to my house at an appropriatte point during labor.  She helped me breathe through the contrax, provided hip squeezes, and other great support throughout.  Upon arriving at the hosiptal, I was fully dilated and baby was +2 station...I was ready to push and couldn't have been happier, as this is exactly what I wanted.  During delivery, she provided lots of support, reminding me to relax between pushes (how easy it is to forget!), warm compresses, cool towels for my head, and words of encouragement.  She kept my mom and husband involved the ENTIRE experience and I truly felt like we were a team.  She also got along GREAT with the hospital staff (this is very important)!  My husband was very pensive about hiring a doula from the beginning and afterwards he was SO THANKFUL that she was there.  She was able to take the pressure off of him and let him enjoy seeing his baby born and support me.  She supports YOUR birth plan and I would absolutely hire her again, no question!

Posted 4/15/2016

get a Gravatar

Elizabeth AE

Tara was my doula for my 1st pregnancy & I highly recommend her. Being a first time mom I wanted the perfect birth & not having any experience I seeked help from a professional. Tara was highly recommended through the birth center where I planned to have my son. She even gave me a discount since I was birthing there. I felt an instant connection with her from our first phone call.  I truly wanted this magical experience & I was going to do anything possible to achieve it & Tara was right there to support my dream. We stayed in touch through out my pregnancy, making sure I was feeling well & she answered any of my questions. She was not only there as a professional but supported me emotionally when I had doubts. My son was getting close to being 2 weeks late & there was a good chance I was going to lose my dream birth I desired so much bc the birth center would transfer births to a hospital after 2 weeks late for safety reasons. Tara stood by my side & encouraged me to have faith in me & my body that my son would come & there still are options. 2 days before the 2 week cutoff I started to have contractions after having false labor 3 times. I still wasn't sure if this was the real deal. I kept contact with Tara & she assured me this was it.  I had labored entirely at home thinking I was still having false labor. If it weren't for Tara I might have started the birth unassisted at home. She made the quick decision to go straight to the birth center right away. There, she helped me with my contractions, reminding me to breath. She made me as comfortable as I could be, constantly giving me water & cold towels & lots of encouragement. She took pictures & recorded the actual birth.  She made me feel confident & helped me have the dream birth I always wanted.  I'm so lucky and happy I had her by my side, it would not have been the same with out her. Thank you so much Tara.

Posted 4/11/2016

get a Gravatar

patricia frechin


Tara is an exceptional doula. She demonstrated the utmost professionalism, competency, and compassion from the first encounter.
Because of this I easily felt the confidence to trust her to be my doula. She gave me so much needed support and strength, which was so essential as I was very afraid of the day of delivery.
The day at the hospital was incredible. Her presence was so grounding for me, she knew exactly what I needed for the entire 16 hours of labor and delivery. From giving me water, to massaging my head because I had bad headache, to giving me her hand and touch every step of the way. I felt completely connected and supported. She has the gift for this work. You can tell she is passionate and cares so deeply.

I would recommend her in a heartbeat. Certainly if I have another baby she will be the person I call!

Posted 4/11/2016

get a Gravatar

Rufi Thorpe

Tara was my doula for my second baby, who was a VBAC, and she attended me at George Washington Hospital with the WISDOM midwives. It was a tremendously special and wonderful experience and Tara was essential to the way everything went down. She gave me so much confidence in myself heading into the birth and was so friendly and easy to relate to. I think you really have to choose a doula you feel 100% comfortable with, and for me that person was Tara. I could let it all hang out with her from the very first. It was also clear that she knew her stuff and was dedicated to helping me acheive the birth I wanted. She had me fill out a detailed questionaire to make sure we were on the same page and we wrote up a birth plan together. She was there for me every step of the way, and she was particularly helpful when I actually went into labor in terms of giving feedback about when to go to the hospital, when to call my midwives, etc. It just helps to have a second brain in a situation like that, even if it is to repeat back to you what you already know. During labor, Tara knew just when to suggest something new and when to back off and let me and my husband feel alone. She was funny and real and spiritually present. She was the BEST PERSON to have around during labor. I don't know-- it was a magic night. It really was. And she thought of everything, including bringing christmas lights for the main room AND the bathroom, so I wouldn't have to look at bright lights when I needed to pee! She also worked seamlessly with the midwives, applying warm compresses when I was pushing. I got the sense they all liked and respected her and were happy to have her as part of the team. She also took photos of the birth and they were excellent. I never would have imagined how grateful I would be to have them. I cannot recommend Tara highly enough, as a doula, as an expert on birth, but also as a human.

Posted 4/11/2016

get a Gravatar

Jess Earle

Tara Lussier was AMAZING! We highly recommend her as a doula and hope to work with her ourselves in any future pregnancies/deliveries we may be blessed with. Her calming presence and "bag of tricks" will meet your every need...whether you are the laboring momma or support partner. My husband could not say enough about how happy he was with her...and our midwives said the same. All in all, you will not go wrong with Tara as your birth doula.

Posted 4/9/2016

get a Gravatar

Minna Mallos

Tara was our doula for the birth of our first baby in June of 2015, and my husband and I both recommend her without hesitation to anyone considering a doula. Hiring Tara was the single best investment we made in our planning and preparation for child birth.

After a brief phone call with Tara, we knew immediately that she was the right person to be our doula. She was warm, creative, insightful, experienced, and it was clear that she knew her stuff! She was instrumental in helping us think through our priorities for the birth of our son, and was incredibly respectful and supportive about each decision along the way.

Tara's guidance during labor and delivery is one of the main reasons I was able to have a natural birth in the hospital. When my water broke at 38 weeks, she helped me understand my options to maximize my chances of a natural birth. Her gentle manner, sound guidance, and incredibly effective coaching and support during labor and delivery made my delivery much faster than it otherwise would have been. She was also instrumental in my immediate recovery. I had a very high blood pressure spike immediately after delivery, and Tara remained calm and helped me with strategies (and essential oils) to relax and bring my bloodpressure down without medication. In addition, the nurse for my delivery had very different ideas for my baby than I did (e.g., using the warmer instead of skin to skin). Tara was so wonderful at working with my husband to respectfully advocate for me and our son.

Perhaps the highest praise that I can share about Tara came from my OB. When I went to my 6 week follow-up appointment, he told me that he enjoyed working with her and asked for a stack of her cards so he could recommend her to his patients who are seeking a doula. When we first talked about working with a doula, my husband was concerned about having someone who would work well with our medical team, and Tara was incredible in this regard. 

Posted 4/8/2016

get a Gravatar

Emily Lawless

Tara is the reason that I had a perfect birth experience.  I contacted her late in my pregnancy as I decided late that I wanted the support of a doula and she agreed to support my birth despite the fact that she herself was out on maternity leave.  What a selfless gesture!  She helped prepare me prior to my labor with thoughtful questions that helped me define my birth plan, and I felt 100% of the time that she was on my team.  She came to my house at 3 in the morning while I was in labor and supported me for many hours at home before helping me decide that it was time to go to the hospital.  While at the hospital she was innovative, helpful and reassuring.  She was the supportive voice I needed, and consistently helped me stay strong in my personal goal of having a natural childbirth.  With her help, I did have a natural childbirth and was able to successfully begin breastfeeding after my daughter was born.  If I am able to have a second baby, I will hire her in a heartbeat.  I can't say enough good things.  Just hire Tara.  You won't regret it.

Posted 12/31/2015

get a Gravatar

Kaitlin Gruley

Having Tara as our doula was the best decision we've ever made. I suffered from anxiety and depression while pregnant and Tara made sure I had resources in place so I was supported. She made sure we have plenty of literature to make informed decisions not only on birthing practices but postpartum decisions as well. Tara honored and supported us through all of our decisions related to our birth journey. Tara helped me fulfill my wish of laboring as long as possible at home and made sure I was as comfortable as possible. I arrived to the hospital at 8 cm and cried tears of joy. However, the hardest part was yet to come for me as I was experiencing severe back pain due to my son being OP. I was dehydrated and stuck at 9 cm for hours. I wanted to give up. Had it not been for Tara I would have given in to an epidural (something I personally was strongly opposed to). She kept not only me but my husband calm and got us both through each contraction. She kept my husband informed and very involved (even though I wanted nothing to do with him hehe) and he never once felt uneasy. Tara's gentle interventions and overall genius got me through to 10 cm and I was able to easily push my big, beautiful boy out into the world without medication just as I had desired. Tara is worth every single penny and more. She truly is one of the best investments you will ever make. After we had our boy safely in arms my husband looked at me and said, "I'd buy Tara a car if I had the money!" Thank you, Tara, for your unwavering support, reassurance, compassion, knowledge, love & light. We are forever grateful to you. 

Posted 9/29/2015

get a Gravatar

Rachael Foster

Hiring Tara to be our doula was one of the best decisions we made. She was absolutely incredibly in every way, and you would be lucky to work with her.

For starters she was so much more professional than any of the other 20+ doulas I contacted. Many of them never got back to me or took days to reply. They cancelled meetings or dropped off of emails. Tara was always prompt and professional.

At the same time, Tara was also warm and welcoming. From the moment I heard her voice on the phone, I knew we would get along, and that's the most important thing when you are bringing someone in on something as personal as birth.

As a first time Mom, I wasn't completely sure if I would need a doula since my husband and I had taken a birthing class together and we were hoping to have my Mother there to help as well. In the end, we had my Mom and my husband and Tara there, and I felt she was absolutely necessary. She did a fantastic job giving my mom and husband the right amount of direction so everyone could be most effective in helping me.

We never felt like Tara was too pushy or too inactive--she always had just the right amount of involvement to assist me while respecting my relationships with my husband and mother. She really is great at reading the room and knowing when to give you space and when to take charge.

Tara is also a very calming and encouraging presence during your birth. She always had the right tone of voice and energy level to help me relax and rest after a contaction.

I also believe Tara considerably shortened my labor by knowing which positions would make my contractions more productive. After she had me do several new positions, my labor progressed much more rapidly. I had a fairly large baby with a big head, and I could have had a first labor like my mom (48 hours!). Instead, I had my baby in less than a day. 

Needless to say, I hope to hire Tara for all my future births!

 

Posted 7/16/2015

get a Gravatar

nicole sanglier

Tara is simply amazing. Before I had my first child, I didn't even know what a doula was but now I can't imagine having gone through the human birth experience without one. Tara was an integral part in helping my husband and I define and navigate our journey through pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood. She helped me unearth inner resources I didn't know I had and deepen my understanding of birth as a profound rite of passage. She was also an emotional support for both my husband and I during labor and delivery, as well as a mentor post-partum, especially with regards to breastfeeding.

Tars also helped me normalize a scary birth experience (emergency c-section at 32 weeks) with my second child and embrace some of the breastfeeding challenges I faced with a premie.

Finally, if it weren't for Tara, I might not have had the confidence to push for a VBAC with my third child.

Looking back, I am very happy about all my birth experiences and am so thankful to Tara for being a part of it.

Nicole & Fabien
Parents of Ethan, Nolan and Chloe

Posted 7/15/2015

get a Gravatar

Michele Payor

If it wasn't for Tara, I would not have gotten so educated about childbirth. I hired a doula originally because I didn't have any family in Virginia coming from California and wanted someone that I could trust that would be there for me at the hospital along with my husbnad. Tara encouraged us to take Bradley classes which we did and helped us understand my rights and choices. I was induced at Virginia Hospital Center and she was my eyes, ears and voice through my journey. She was my advocate and ensured that I had the birth that I wanted with no drugs or intervention. What I loved about Tara the most was that she would "breathe" with me and not just say "breathe" (easier said than done!). It helped me tremendously through the difficult contractions as I was given pitocin. Tara was impressed that I was given pitocin and was strong enough not to accept any relief, i.e., the epidural. I was successful in giving birth to a healthy baby boy (4 years ago now) without any drugs. I couldn't have done it without her. Tara stayed with me for a total of 12 hours and assisted me in breastfeeding after Drew was born. She came to my house 3 days later as I cried to her about not making enough milk for my son. Tara gave me tips and made me realize that I was giving him enough. She helped me trust my body. Because of Tara, I hired a doula for my second birth and decided on a homebirth after moving to California. I only wish I could have flown Tara out for that! Thank you for touching my heart Tara.  

Posted 6/14/2015

get a Gravatar

Mari Smith

Tara was my doula twice and such an amazing asset to my experiences!  As a doula myself, I whole heartedly understand what it takes to be present and vaulable at a birth.  This time I got to sit back an enjoy the support from a dear friend and skilled doula.  She was truly the doula's doula!! I won't hire anyone else (shall there be any more littles in my life) and if you choose Tara as your doula, you will receive only the best. <3

Posted 6/5/2015

get a Gravatar

Lauren Elliott

I hired Tara as my doula for my second baby and she was absolutely amazing. I can truly say that I had the exact birth that I planned for and Tara was the one who helped me achieve a natural, non-medicated hospital birth. And as an added bonus, she has since become a dear friend and mentor. Tara is incredibly knowledgable, as she has attended a vast amount and variety of births in different settings including hospitals, birthing inns, birth centers, and home births. But it is her kindness, love, and compassion that makes her wonderful and amazing. She is a true, shining light to be around and an asset to any birthing mama, no matter what birth setting you are in. Tara will be there for you as an educator and will hold your hand through the entire process. She is true gold in the doula business!

Posted 5/30/2015

get a Gravatar

Lara Greden

Tara was instrumental in helping us not only have a full term TWIN pregnancy, but also have a completely natural birth in a hospital with a back-up physician.  I can assure you that was no small feat, but we had the most amazing natural birth for our twin daughters.

If you do one thing for yourself in this life, I humbly suggest hiring Tara Lussier to be your doula.  This is your time to be empowered, and her knowledge, experience, and joyful personality combine to make her an extremely talented member of your care team.

Posted 5/28/2015

get a Gravatar

Tara Cordyack

We came to Tara after a 14 year break between babies and knew we needed some support! I wanted a different experience from my birth in 1998 and since we were with midwives this time around, I knew having a doula would be the perfect icing on the cake.

Tara was not only incredibly educated, she provided the right level of comfort and calm with direct intervention for my husband when needed! And she brought honey sticks which I relished!

I ended up having a somewhat adventurous birth with my daugher which required an epidural-I was disappointed but Tara assured us it was the right call and reminded me that it was still "my birth". The end result being a very healthy baby girl. 

I struggled with breast feeding confidence the week or so after birth and Tara's home visit was invaluable. She again reassured me that we'd get it, the baby wasn't starving and to just let it be- relax. I did and ended up breastfeeding for 14 months and loving it. To me, the after care was almost as important as her being there for the birth.

I highly recommend Tara-she made our experience fun and memorable. We'd us her again in a New York minute!

Posted 5/27/2015

get a Gravatar

Erica Lucas

Tara is amazing! She coached me through the doula process, and clearly set the expectations. At the time, she had been a doula for 75+ births, and that was late 2013 so her count will surely be higher by now. She is so kind and considerate, and conducted the interview professionally. She always had ideas to help during pregnancy, and knew alternate positions during labor to help us. I was in labor for 18 hours, and she was in touch with us the entire time. One of the most helpful parts of having her on my team was at the hospital. She worked with the nurses to ensure they understood my birth plan. Having a drug-free natural labor was extremely important to me, including not having an IV. She stood up for me and made sure my preferences were voiced. She had honey sticks ready right after birth as my energy plummeted so that I could really focus and enjoy the first few moments with my son. Her participation, time, and knowledge were worth every - single - dollar. 

Posted 5/20/2015

get a Gravatar

Alex Dodds

In preparing for the birth of my first child, I wanted someone who would keep both me and my husband calm and focused in the midst of chaos. Tara did all that and more. She was an amazing, strong, clear-headed and positive coach in the lead up to and during my labor. As we tornadoed into the hospital in active labor she helped us manage logistics and communicated with the staff on call. She helped me understand what was happening around me, coached me as my labor progressed, and helped my husband be an involved participant in the process (which is what we wanted). Her help combined with some hard work and a lot of good luck meant me and my new babe made it through delivery with flying colors.

All that said, Tara was maybe even more helpful to me in the weeks postpartum. Her positive strength helped me through the incredibly deep, challenging transition of new motherhood and I'll be grateful to her for that forever. If you are on the fence about hiring a doula, this is the reason why I would encourage you to hire one. Tara was an amazing support network for me and I can't recommend her highly enough.

Posted 5/19/2015

get a Gravatar

F Khan

I am lucky to have had Tara as my doula. I had a c- section with my 1st and was hoping for a VBAC with my 2nd which is why I went with a doula. I interviewed a few other doulas and chose Tara for many different reasons. We clicked right away- she is so loving, caring and made me a priority.

She is very knowledgeable about the procedures at the local hospitals which is a huge bonus because Tara will tell you about labor/delivery options that hospitals won't.Tara spent a lot of time with me during our initial visit. We went through my desired birth plan and talked about a lot of my fears and how we could work through/around them. As soon as I started labor, Tara came right away and stayed until the end and then some. She spent nearly a day and a half with me! It was just so nice to have someone with me that understood what I wanted and what I was going through. She was my voice not only with the doctors and nurses but also with my family. I would tell Tara what I was feeling and she would relay the messages in a nice way. It was nice that I didn't have to deal with any of them myself. I ended up with another c-section and Tara was right there waiting for me after my delivery and lifted my spirits. She helped me think positively and is the one that got me to accept the c-section. After my delivery, I couldn't wait to see her and hear her calming voice and reassurance. She encouraged me in everything I was doing and again spent time with me. Even weeks after our postpartum visit, Tara was available to answer any questions I had. Initially my husband didn't think I needed a doula, but after seeing all that Tara had done for me and what a positive influence it had on me and my birth he totally changed his mind. It's been almost 3 years since Tara was my doula and we still remain in regular touch. I view her as my friend now and am planning to use her for my #3.

Posted 5/18/2015

get a Gravatar

Nicole D Hall

I did not have Tara for my first birth and it was somewhat tramatic for me and ended in an epidural. I walked away feeling depressed about my experience. I felt something was off. After educating myself, I knew my second birth was to be med-free with little to no intervention and due to the memories of my first birth, I knew I needed a doula to help me overcome the fear of delivery. I interviewed several doulas and Tara and I clicked right away. Throughout my pregnancy she was my rock. I ended up delivering 10 days late but throughout those 10 days Tara was supportive and comforting. On the birth day she was INCREDIBLE. My labor came hard and fast and as I found out later, my son's hand was by his face, causing back labor. Tara had this move that relieved all of the pain. I remember a period of time getting ready to go to the hospital where I was outside hunched over the yoga ball with Tara relieving my back labor and it was the most peaceful time of my labor. Turns out I was in transition because I delivered only 30 minutes later. I realized afterward that had it not been for Tara, I would have had a completely different experience. The birth was everything I had wanted and more and I have Tara to thank. The high I felt in the weeks after delivering-and even still three years later-was something I never thought possible. Tara was incredible!

Posted 5/18/2015

get a Gravatar

Renee Novello

The intention for my second birth was to have a natural experience in a hospital setting with doula support. I knew the very first conversation I had with Tara that she was going to be a perfect match for my birth vision. She is warm, loving and super knowledgable. Her suppport was a huge part of  what was a beautiful birth experience that exceeded my hopes.  I could'nt imagine giving birth again without her calming presence.

Renee Novello

 

Posted 5/18/2015

get a Gravatar

Meghan Hallaj

Tara was amazing and essential for my first birthing experience in 2011.  While I had an uncomplicated pregnancy until preeclampsia in the third trimester, it was during delivery that things began to unravel.  Fortunately, my husband and I were scheduled to deliver at The Birthing Inn in Leesburg, VA, so we were in good hands. However, after an emergency C-Section was required, having Tara there to support us became crucial.  It allowed my husband to follow my son to another level for emergency care, knowing that I would not be left alone in recovery.  She calmed my nerves and reassured me.  Fortunately my husband had our camera on him, so he documented the first few hours after surgery and I was able to see the journey our little guy had taken.  Now, almost four years later, we understand that our son was born with a rare genetic disorder, causing major issues beginning at birth.  We were very blessed to have Tara as part of our birthing story and on our team that night!

Posted 5/18/2015

get a Gravatar

Lindsay Simmons

Tara is the best doula I could hope for. I cannot recommend her highly enough — there is absolutely no question in my mind that she enabled me to have a natural birth. I couldn’t have done it without her. She was exactly what I needed at every moment, from before birth, to those first contractions, through the tough contractions, getting us to the hospital at the right time, and then intervening in just the right way at the right times with the doctor and hospital staff, through birth, and helping the baby latch and breastfeed afterward. Her skill and demeanor are outstanding.

Moreover, my husband, who was not at first a fan of having a doula, raves about Tara. He is so glad she was with us: she provided him guidance to know how to give me the support I needed from him. He also likes her as a person, and therefore felt very good about her being part of our birth experience.

When it comes to being part of a birth, skill and experience are key, but a person's spirit is equally as important. Tara has a special gift for being a doula, and I knew from our first meeting that she would be a wonderful presence at the birth of our baby.

Posted 5/17/2015

get a Gravatar

Lauren Marchetti

This review is long overdue!  Tara was my doula for the birth of my first child in 2012 and I would recommend her in a heart beat.

 

I decided to hire a doula very late in my pregnancy and was a little concerned that I would be able to find the right person.  Tara far exceeded my expectations!  She is not only knowledgeable & experienced, she instantly felt like a friend.

 

Moreover, Tara exudes a calmness that completely put both my husband and me at ease. Her reassurance and accessibility during my labor gave us the piece of mind to labor entirely at home and then have our ideal natural birth in a hospital.

 

*I'd also like to note that Tara has a great little library of childbirth books that she loans to clients. This was just one of the MANY little details that really helped me mentally prepare for the big day.  

Posted 5/15/2015

get a Gravatar

Carolyn Blasinsky

Tara is amazing! It's hard to put it into words but, simply put, she is the best. I look back on the birth of my daughter fondly and, although it was very hardwork, Tara helped to make it an amazing experience. There was nothing more comforting than seeing her walk through that door when I was in labor. Tara supported me throughout my entire pregnancy and was always there when I needed her. She has a wonderful, calming presence and is reassuring, knowledgeable, sweet and calm under pressure. Having a doula is so important and Tara is as good as it gets - I highly recommend her!

Posted 5/14/2015

get a Gravatar

Victoria H.

I worked with Tara as my doula throughout my pregnancy and during my child's birth. I had a very positive experience and plan to work with her again my second time around. I interviewed a number of doulas and immediately clicked with Tara. She was warm, friendly, and very knowledgeable about comfort measures during birth. We agreed to work together right away. Tara came to our house and facilitated a great conversation where we spoke a lot about what we were hoping for in the birth experience. I struggled a lot with my body image throughout the pregnancy and Tara was right there to assist. When I went into labor Tara was communicative and left for my place when I went into active labor. I live far away so it did take a little while for her to arrive (which I knew going into it). Tara had some great home remedies for the nausea I was experiencing and helped normalize the unexpected things happening with my body. My partner also expresses how much Tara was able to help keep him calm (and fed) and so he could best support me. She helped decide when to leave for the hospital and got us there with almost three hours before baby appeared (which was perfect). She was a very good advocate for me at the hospital and gently negotiated with the staff around a few things I didn't want. She helped create a beautiful ambiance even in a hospital room and took great photos of the moment of birth at our request. I really appreciated her assistance in helping me have the natural birth that we wanted.

Posted 5/14/2015

get a Gravatar

Tara Stone Medina

I would recommend Tara wholeheartedly and without reservation. From day 1, Tara helped us identify the questions we needed to consider in developing our birth plan, she helped navigate roadblocks along the way, introduced me to other members of the birth community who also turned out to be instrumental to our experience (e.g. a chiropractor specializing in prenatal adjustments to put the baby in just the right position for a quick delivery). I soon realized that Tara was to be trusted, not only due to her inherent trustworthiness (I just really *liked* her from the beginning), but also due to her knowledge and vast experience.

My drs were wonderful, but not convinced I would be able to achieve a VBAC (they see few). Tara made it clear that, no matter what I chose, nor what the road ahead would bring, that she was there to support me. Never any pressure from her. This is a big deal when I felt like I was experiencing conflicting pressure from everywhere else (doctors and husband recommending repeat C-section, while I was committed to an unmedicated VBAC, but terrified about the "what ifs").

In the end, I was up against a ticking clock because my doctors wouldn't let me go beyond 41 weeks (due to having a previous C). Tara taught me tricks to speed things up, and I did indeed go into labor a couple of days before the scheduled C. Tara was the first person I called, as I felt so comfortable being coached by her. When she arrived at the hospital, she knew *just* the right things to do. My husband, bless him, tried, but even I didn't know what I needed until Tara arrived and calmly made sure the lights were perfect and that I always had a fresh cold towel on my forehead (hello, Heaven!), and most importantly, that she and the dr./nurses were all part of the same team. I really felt like she, the outsider, was the uniting force and I heavily relied on her to help me through the most rewarding experience of my life!

THANK YOU, TARA!!

Posted 5/13/2015

get a Gravatar

Sarah Starr

My husband and I asked ourselves after our birth with Tara, 'if we were to have another baby, would we hire Tara as our doula again (given that we have now been through the birth process and have a bit of experience with it all, and that having a doula can be a considerable expense)?' And the answer was a resounding 'yes.' We're now expecting our second and already planning to have Tara as our doula once again.

Tara is one of the most genuine, non-judgmental people I've ever met - perfect qualities for this job. From the consultations we had with her before the birth, through our entire birth journey, to her follow-up visit a week after our son was born, she was incredible, and I often called her our birth angel. She was available to speak about thoughts, fears, questions, etc at all times, and I took advantage of that! I shared with her feedback after my midwife visits, griped about a bad experience I had with the glucose test, called her with questions about breastfeeding, and reviewed my birth plan with her more than once.

Most importantly was how she was from the moment my labor began through the hour after our son was born. She was our rock (both mine and my husband's). She was at the hospital waiting right when we pulled up, and she sat with me the entire time during my labor - including the hours I sat in the shower, offering me items from her bag of magic tricks to help me be more comfortable. She provided me and my husband constant encouragement and support, even during my toughest hours when things took a turn and I felt like I couldn't go on. She worked flawlessly with my hospital birth team, and they all loved her by the end of my 18 hour labor.

Having a doula with you during this most important moment of your life is such a personal decision, you and your partner have to feel like you have a real connection with whoever you choose. Tara was that for us, and I couldn't imagine going through that miracle without her.

Posted 5/13/2015

get a Gravatar

Mitra Westover

I have had the privilege of having Tara as my doula for the birth of my second and third sons. I feel blessed to have found her. She was vital to the success of both my unmedicated VBACS. Tara was incredibly attentive, helpful and knowledgable throughout both of my pregnancies, throughout labor, birth, and during the postpartum period. She helped motivate me during my pregnancies and made me feel strong and very capable of having an unmedicated birth. During labor, she implemented some great techniques and massages to help ease the discomfort I was feeling. She was incredibly proactive and supportive of my husband as well! We love Tara and are so grateful for her support!

Posted 5/13/2015

get a Gravatar

Ayesha Athar

Our relationship with Tara began in the summer of 2013 when we were expecting our first child. We interviewed five other doulas in the NoVa area, but they were too judgmental, aggressive, or inexperienced. Tara was respectful, educated, and invested in the outcome of our birth.

As first time parents, we had no idea what to expect during labor. We explained to Tara that we aspired to have an unmedicated, vaginal delivery but we were comfortable with an epidural or even caesarean. Because of her personal experience with miscarriage, c-section and unmedicated, vaginal delivery (and now home birth!), Tara respected our plan and helped us achieve it.

In the final month of pregnancy, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and Tara (she's also a nutritionist!) helped me control my glucose levels through diet so I could avoid taking insulin. Prior to the delivery, she helped us formulate our birth plan (which she encouraged us to share with our OB) and taught us pain relief techniques/exercises for sciatica.

I went into labor nearly two weeks early (during her twins' birthday party)! She joined us at the hospital and encouraged me to walk through contractions with my husband. After 15 minutes of walking, I went from 4 to 10 cm. Once we got into the pushing phase, Tara got me into different positions to get our baby out (his head was slightly stuck). Within 7 hours of walking into the hospital, our OB caught our son. Tara stayed on board until we latched and left only once we were comfortable.

Tara's care didn't end after labor, she visited us after delivery too. Four months later, when I developed shingles on my breast (while exclusively breastfeeding) she put me in touch with an experienced lactation consultant after physicians couldn't help. Our son is almost 2 and she's given us advice on weaning.

Tara is a gem - even our OB loved her and started recommending her to other patients! We highly recommend her! 

Posted 5/13/2015

get a Gravatar

Natacha Paquette

The first time I spoke to Tara on the phone I knew I had found my doula. Not only is she very knowledgable about pregnancy and different types of birth, but she is also very down to earth, kind, compassionate, and caring. 

I was attempting to VBAC and she was very helpful in navigating that path. She wasn't just on stand by for the big day. She was there for support from day one.

I believe her guidance during labor is a big part of why my VBAC was successful. My labor was hard and extremely painful, but she helped get me through. We had a plan going in and she never waivered. She also advocated for me  during labor and after delivery - times when I was incapable of doing so myself. She stayed by my side, holding my hand, while I was being repaired in the OR. Having Tara as my Doula felt like I had a dear friend in my corner helping/guiding me, not a random stranger I hired to guide me. 

Post-partum she continued to support me and provide resources when I needed them. My son is 15 months old, and I know if I needed her, she would be there to support me. 

I honestly cannot say enough good things about her! She's amazing!

Posted 5/13/2015

get a Gravatar

Anna Catherine English

Towards the end of my second pregnancy, I grew very interested in having an unmedicated natural birth and began watching documentaries, reading books, and reading positive birth stories. I knew if I was serious about attempting an unmedicated delivery I would have to have a doula by my side. I was a little overwhelmed with how many options of doulas were in my area. I spoke with many on the phone, but my search immediately ended once I talked with Tara Lussier. I immediately felt at ease and supported while talking to her. She was so encouraging and uplifting and she validated my every desire. I hung up and immediately called my husband telling him that I found our doula.

Tara was really great in helping us prepare for natual childbirth and helped me to gain confidence in my body's ability to give birth. I ended up going 9 days past my due date, and Tara made me feel so at ease about that while everyone around me thought I was crazy for not getting induced. When the day came that labor actually began, Tara met us at George Washington University Hospital. As soon as she walked in my hospital room, I knew I could do it. She totally took charge -- but in such a gentle, loving way. She was my guide who seemed to always be one step ahead knowing what I would need next, both emotionally and physically. Her suggestions, encouragement and support were like gold to me.

My son's birth was SUCH an amazing experience! I gained a great appreciation for the magnificent capabilities the human body possesses. I loved playing such an active role in his birth, but I could not have gotten through it without 2 people: my husband who was my rock and strength and Tara who was my coach and encourager. She made such an impression on me, in fact, that I have now become a doula myself. I believe childbirth is transformative and I am forever grateful to Tara.

If you are looking for a doula, I highly recommend Tara Lussier!

Posted 5/13/2015

get a Gravatar

Lisa Lermitte

I met Tara after I had my 3rd baby.  It had been a difficult birth for me to accept afterwards and just in talking to Tara, she provided a sense of validation and comfort.  The sadness I experienced around the birth was because I felt that my voice was not heard and me, as the birthing mom was not supported.  I had a beautiful healthy baby and was physically recovering fine, but emotionally, something was wrong.  Birth isn't just a physical experience, it is very much an emotional one too.  When I let Tara, I finally felt like I could talk about that sadness and in my heart, I knew if I had another baby, I wanted her to be my doula.  She instantly brings a presence of peace, comfort and joy when she walks in a room.  She truly cares too. When I found out I was pregnant with my 4th, she was the one person besides my husband that I knew I wanted in the room.  I choose to have a home birth and it was the most beautiful experience i could have imagined.  Though the labor was short and uncomplicated, it was intense and Tara helped me move through it. She just knew what to do at the perfect time in a gentle and encouraging way.  She supported not just me, but my husband too.  I didn't realize til afterwards how much that meant to us and am so grateful for having her at my birth.  She is the best doula I have ever met and truly cares about not just the mom, baby, and dad, but the whole process too.   

Posted 5/13/2015

get a Gravatar

Ian Halpern

As someone who was initially skeptical about the value and role of a doula in a hospital/birthing center scenario, the birth of my second daughter proved to me without a shadow of a doubt how important, a doula can be. After interviewing several great doula's we chose to work with Tara. From first consult to last goodbye Tara was simply amazing - present without being intrusive, calming, supportive an knowledgeable at every moment. She is both hands on (literally) and figuratively - skilled at managing the process of birthing to drive the best possible outcomes by working in concert with nurses/docs/l&d processes.

She is truly star. We had a complicated 36 hour labor and she was simply amazing - by phone, text, in-person. Tara was with us every step and I'm so thankful. Today, I would urge everyone to consider doula services and would recommend Tara Lussier to my closest family and friends.

 

[Corrected from earlier submission - spell checked - please use this version - Ian]

Posted 6/19/2013

get a Gravatar

Ian Halpern

As someone who was initially skeptical about the value and role of a doula in a hospital/birthing center scenario, the birth of my second daughter proved to me without a shabow of a doubt how important, a doula can be. After interviewing several great doula's we chose to work with Tara. From first consult to last goodbye Tara was simply amazing - present without being intrusive, calming, supportive an knowledable at every moment. Tara  is both hands on (litersally)  and figuratively - skilled at managing the process of birthing to drive the best possible outcomes.  She is truly star. We had a complicated 36 hour labor and she was simply amazing - by phone, text, in-person. Tara was with us every step and I'm so thankful.  Today, I would urge everyone to consider doula services and would recommend Tara Lussier to my closest family and friends.

Posted 6/19/2013

Birth Availability for Tara Lussier, CD (toLabor), RYT, CHHC

= Available. Calendar last updated: 4/6/2018 5:38:13 PM