$1200 to $1600
$35 to $40
9 years and 155 births attended
2 years and 16 families served
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 3 births and 1 to 2 postpartum families
Postpartum limits/restrictions: I am not able to work in homes where there is smoking.
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I offer nurturing, skilled support to help you achieve your desired birth in the hospital of your choice. The hospitals within my service area include: Swedish Issaquah, Swedish First Hill, Swedish Ballard, Northwest, Valley, Overlake, and Evergreen. I remain with you for about 2 hours postpartum to promote a positive start with breastfeeding and to ensure you and your partner's needs are met.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
I offer nurturing, skilled support to help you achieve your desired birth in the birth center of your choice. I stay with you an additional 2 to 3+ hours to make sure you have all the help you might need.
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
I happily attend home births that are assisted by a midwife. I offer nurturing, skilled support to help you achieve your desired birth in the comfort of your home. In addition to labor support, I am happy to provide additional help with set up before and clean up after your birth. I will remain for 2 to 3+ hours to ensure you have all the help you need.
I offer a complimentary meet and greet visit for birth and postpartum clients to discuss my services and determine whether I am the right fit for you. My birth doula services include the following: One to two prenatal meetings to discuss your birth preferences; Continuous presence during your labor and birth plus 1-3 hours postpartum; One to two postpartum visits with breastfeeding support; 24 hour support by phone and email from the time you hire me; A birth story written for you based on my notes from your birth; Availability of a back up doula; Photos of your birth, if desired; TENS unit and birth ball upon request; and, Compassionate, nurturing, attentive support for the laboring person and partner. Please contact me for a quote for your specific due date and situation. My postpartum doula services are $30/hour for daytime care and $35/hour for overnight care (offered on case by case basis given availability). Please see my website for more details.
Redmond, WA Service range 20 miles Serving Eastside and Greater Seattle area; no ferries
I wish I could find all the words to describe what an amazing, rewarding and unforgettable experience I had with Shelia. Shelia is just simply a unicorn - wonderful, magical and the light that guided me throughout this journey. I could write an essay about about how she will forever hold a place in my heart for being there on the most beautiful day of my life :) From the moment we met Shelia, she was an advocate through and through. She provided a constant flow of knowledge to me to enable my understanding and comfort of my upcoming birthing experience. I knew that I had always wanted to try for an unmedicated birth and was looking for the right doula who could help me achieve my goal. Shelia was so grounded and supported me from the first day we met all the way to the day that I gave birth. When I went into labor, Shelia arrived at our home late in the evening and stayed with me through all my early contractions until the early AM. My goal was to get to the birth center/hospital as far dilated as I possibly could - and Shelia helped guide me the entire time. She was there for every breath I took and recommended certain positions that supported and progressed me through labor. If it wasn't for Sheila's guiding light, I don't think that I could have acheived my desire of an unmedicated birth (after 35 hours of labor). Sheila's wisdom and nurturing ability to provide support in one of the most empowering chapters of my life is something that my husband and I will always be grateful for. Sheila goes above and beyond and captured a birth story and timeline that I look back on every once in while with a smile on my face. She captured all the details that I'll have the opportunity to remember forever and will one day share with my daugther. If you're looking for a doula who will advocate for you, be there on your big day and be a guilding light- Shelia is the one. I hope I am lucky enough again to have her as our doula for our second child :)
I cannot say enough positive and wonderful things about Shelia's skill as a Doula. Shelia is such a warm and comforting person who confidently helped my husband and I through the childbirth process. She was there every step of the way-- from the first trimester to the moment our daughter joined us. We literally could not have done it without her! I was terrified of childbirth -- the pain, the process, everything. I told Shelia about my fears early on and she provided me the support but also the confidence I needed to endure my 29 hr labor. She was the right mix of loving support and a little tough push when I needed it. She said all the right things, supported my husband when he needed it, helped with hands-on support through the toughest parts of labor, was my advocate through and through, and took the most beautiful photos of the birth (photos I didn't even know I wanted until after I had them!) She immediately helped with breastfeeding and got me a meal so I could rest and recoup. She also was there for 2 post-partum visits in those early days/weeks.
I would highly recommend Shelia. She is skilled, knowledgable, and provides such a warm and confident presense during such a challenging time. We love her!
I had Shelia's support as my doula during both of my births. She was an outstanding support and resource for my husband and I. We had a wonderful birth experience with each child and I was able to have natural births with Shelia's support throughout the labor and delivery. I highly recommend Shelia!!
Shelia is simply the best. I could not have asked for a better individual to have on our team for the birth of our son. Shelia was with us every step of the way. What stands out most is how her presence and support helped us to feel safe. Her steadfast support of our desires and hopes brought peace and confidence in this experience continues to be unwavering, weeks after our son's birt. Her spirit is gentle and kind, and our transition to life as a family of three has been as smooth and sweet as it is because of Shelia's guidance and support. We hope to have her part of our future births. Her desire and value for our story as a couple and family of three shines in how she cares, loves and supports. We can't thank her enough!
After my first child was born via c-section, I began a journey to ensure future children would be vaginally, despite being told this made me high risk, I knew my body was capable of giving birth with the right support team in place. One of the largest parts of ensuring a successful VBAC and positive birth experience was hiring a doula. I met Shelia and instantly knew I wanted her by my side during one of the most intense and empowering life experiences a woman can go through. She respected my candor about my birth expectations, and I felt confident in her calming demeanor, vast birth experience and warm personality. Sure enough she was by my side from start to finish when my labor started spontaneously. She labored with me at home, helping me feel safe and cope through unmedicated labor. She followed me to the hospital and continued to provide incredible support as I labored there as well. She helped ground me when things got intense, helped me advocate when I had questions about my care, and was there to discuss my choices when my original birth plan had to change due to unforseen circumstances. At one point she was literally spoon feeding me yogurt, I couldn't have asked for a more attentive, caring human to make my birth amazing. She also gave my husband the freedom to experience the birth without feeling like he was overwhelmed. This made the entire room feel calmer, more secure and in control. My son was born at 2:07am, and she was attentive and by my side for over 20 hours without hesitation. My successful VBAC experience was largely due to her support, I couldn't recommend her more highly as a doula.
Shelia was an incredible doula and both my husband and I are so grateful we found her! We had 2 visits with her prior to our son’s birth and she was both extremely knowledgeable and really helped put our mind at ease about a lot of things. But most importantly she really listened to our preferences and we both felt fully supported and prepared going into this experience. On the day of, Shelia was amazing. Even the nurses commented how great she was! She was so encouraging and always made sure we had what we didn’t even realize we needed (water, snacks, breathing and pain assistance!). Shelia was so great we ended up hiring her to do some post partum work for us. She really connected with our son and having those hours where I could nap/shower and know my son was being well taken care of was invaluable! I can’t recommend Shelia enough, I can’t imagine going through this wild experience with anyone else!
I absolutely loved my birth experience and it’s in large part because we hired Shelia as our doula. Here are some reasons we would absolutely hire her again and recommend her to anyone:
Compassionate support: her calm, supportive presence was just what I needed to work through my intense contractions. She helped me focus, stay grounded, try different positions, and applied the right pressure/physical touch so my husband could provide emotional support. Her support allowed my husband and I to stay connected throughout the birth. It was beautiful. I have no idea how women give birth without a Doula, especially with one as amazing as Shelia.
She empowered us and helped us understand what we wanted: Instead of telling us what she thought we should do, she armed us with the information we needed to make informed decisions & have the kind of birth that we wanted.
Continued advocacy: She helped us make sense of the things that we didn’t know any better about given it was our first labor. She helped me understand that my epidural was too strong and so we were able to lessen it, which allowed me to have more effective pushing & feel my daughter come out, all without pain. When we were all trying to sleep after I got my epidural, whenever a nurse or doctor entered the room, she was up and at attention, ready to translate the medical talk into language I could understand. She also helped me understand that I could ask for an anesthesiologist not a resident to place the epidural, and that I could request fewer people in the room while I pushed— both of which made my experience much more comfortable.
Incredible photos: The photos she took during the birth bring tears to my eyes every time I see them. It’s like we had a professional photo shoot.
Post birth support: we appreciated that Shelia came to our house post birth and was available for phone calls too.
We absolutely loved working with Shelia. When choosing a doula, we were looking for someone who was not only experienced and friendly, but also interpersonally skilled and sensitive enough to support us through an emotionally complex labor and birth of our second child after the recent passing of our toddler son.
She was very open and committed to helping us realize our birth plan, while also helping us to adapt to things that did not go as planned. When my epidural malfunctioned and did not provide pain relief for almost two hours after placement of the catheter, Shelia kept me grounded and helped me cope through very intense contractions. At one point, her voice and her touch were the only things I could tolerate; she was the perfect combination of gentle, calm, steady, and encouraging. When I felt weak and out of control, she helped me find my center and emerge feeling strong and empowered. Shelia often intuitively knew what I needed and also left plenty of room for me to assert my preferences and requests.
Soon after the birth, Shelia sent us the most incredible, professional-looking photos of the labor and delivery, in addition to writing up the loveliest birth story. We are so immensely grateful to her for a most perfect labor and birth experience!
We're first time parents who live far from our families. Since it was important for us to feel well supported throughout my pregnancy and the birth process, we decided to hire a doula. It was the best decision we made, and we couldn't have found a better addition to our team than Shelia. She offers her clients an incredible balance of warmth, calm, knowledge and humor. We had lists of questions, each of which she answered in great detail and by offering additional information and resources. She asked helpful questions that guided us further in our decision making, always with a focus on ensuring that we, as a team, were on the same page about our preferences for the birth. She worked with us to learn what our priorities were and to help us identify the coping and comfort mechanisms that would bring me the most relief. When I said I wanted to be as mobile and do as much dancing as possible, she was game to talk about our playlists. She even danced with us during labor!
Shelia was a steady, reassuring presence who expertly guided me into different positions and through coping techniques as my needs changed in labor. I felt truly cared for and valued. I also appreciated the care she took of my husband during my labor, ensuring that he eat and take occasional breaks so that he could remain present and supportive of me when I needed it most. She helped us be better advocates for ourselves when we reached key decision points during labor. And the gorgeous photos she took and birth story she wrote for our son are things we'll always treasure.
After our son was born, Shelia also provided invaluable support to our family, helping us navigate early challenges with breastfeeding and sleep. It's an understatement to say that I can't imagine how different our birth experience would have been without Shelia. If we have a second child, we will hope to have Shelia on our team again!
Shelia was absolutely integral to the successful birth of our baby girl. We quite literally could not have done it without her.
Having recently moved to Seattle from the east coast, we wanted a familiar face in the delivery room, knowing family from home might not make it in time. Shelia provided that constant for us and so much more.
After being admitted to the hospital 2 weeks early and having to be induced, Shelia arrived to support me and my husband through the night. She helped to execute on our birth plan and, as labor progressed, provided the calm support we discussed in our earlier meetings. She also worked incredibly well with our doctor and the nurses on staff, with all parties agreeing that we had the most awesome doula!
In addition to providing unparalleled labor support, Shelia managed to take amazing photos that we will treasure forever, and write a beautiful birth story that we can’t wait to share with our daughter one day.
We feel very fortunate to have found Shelia and can’t imagine our story without her.
The birth of our first child went exceedingly well and I would credit that 90% to Shelia. She was knowledgable and confident from the first meeting. Every question about labor and birth, she could walk us through or direct us to sources who could. Our interview and 2 pre-birth meetings probably did the most to reassure me that the birth would go well, even if not exactly as planned.
Shelia was at our house within an hour of a phone call when I realized I was in labor. She gently offered coping strategies and positions. She was respectful of me saying, "No, this isn't working" and immediately had another idea to try when I was open to it. During much of the active labor, Shelia was the face and voice I fixated on. My husband said later it was a relief to have her there when he reached the end of his knowledge and didn't know how to support me through the pushing.
When things got a bit hairy and the ob recommended a vacuum, I felt like I had messed up somehow. But again Shelia was there, walking us through it, giving us confidence in our decision to go with it. The vacuum helped move my son down the canal and I ended up finishing with a natural birth and a beautiful healthy son.
She has visited us since the birth to be there as we processed the labor and birth events. It was neat to have her perspective as well.
I don't what we would have done without Shelia. If we decide to have a second child, she will be my first call.
To be honest, after Shelia accompanied us through the birth of our first baby, we can't even imagine having another child without Shelia as our doula. Her birthing knowledge and know how was exactly what you would expect from someone who has participated in over a hundred births. Her knowledge is matched by her clear communication and willingness to support both my partner and I in making our labor experience as safe and satisfying as possible.
She met us at our home and labored with us throughout the day and then continued to guide and support us at the hospital, serving as a crucial support and advocate through the final stage of our journey. She also left us with a handful of precious pictures we hold dear and we didn't even notice that she had paused from supporting us to take the photos! We could not have asked for a better doula and would highly recommend her to anyone who endeavors to improve the labor and birth experience for baby, mother, and partners/spouses alike.
Choosing Shelia to be our doula was the best decision we made for our baby’s birth. Thinking back to that time almost a year ago, I don’t remember many specifics of the laboring, but Shelia’s calming and empowering presence alongside my partner, and, of course, the pure joy of meeting our son are still my most vivid memories.
I’m an introvert and a planner, and didn’t know what to expect when beginning our doula search. Would having someone else there feel intrusive? Would the support feel “woo”? Shelia was the first person we met of three promising candidates from doulamatch, and we clicked immediately. Her attentiveness, warmth, emotional intelligence, open-mindedness, and depth of expertise and experience shone through from the start. We didn’t need to meet anyone else before making our decision.
And as our doula? I was going to be a first time mom without the in-person support of family, and her support gave me the peace of mind to enjoy the pregnancy. At the hospital birth, which unsurprisingly didn’t go as expected—starting with my water breaking 2.5wks early—Shelia had an almost uncanny sense of knowing exactly what was needed, when it was needed. From helping me make sense of my options at each juncture and knowing just the amount of nurturing and space I needed, to the attention to detail like setting up candles for the tub to avoid using the harsh fluorescent lights or knowing where to get food after hours, she made me feel safe and cared for. My partner reported feeling more relaxed and present too. And I truly believe that it’s to her credit that I didn’t have to have an emergency C-section. On top of all this, she captured profound moments on camera and wrote our birth story.
Shelia is wonderful, and our hearts swell with love and gratitude for her time with us. We can’t imagine our journey without her.
When we found out we were pregnant with our first child and living in Seattle- 3000 miles away from our family in Florida, my husband and I knew we needed a doula to support us throughout our journey. we interviewed several doulas through Swedish, but Shelia felt like the best fit. She was supportive of my choice for an unmedicated birth- but during labor when it became too much for me and I got an epidural, she was supportive of my use of medication. She also took beautiful photos of the day and documented the whole process so we could share with our little girl in the future! Her visits postpartum helped us feel secure and were full of good tips and insight. I would recommend a doula to every mom- family in town or not, but more specifically I would recommend Shelia! we couldn’t have imagined our birth without her!
Shelia was such an amazing and important part of our childbirth journey, from the prebirth visits all the way to the postpartum visits. During the first meeting with her, my husband and I liked her energy, approach, and communication style. She's warm, calming, and open-minded. She was very supportive of our hopes for our birth journey. Before our birth, she answered questions, made recommendations, and helped create strategies/techniques for pain management since we wanted an unmedicated birth. She was very parter-friendly and made my husband feel involved throughout the whole process.
She was by her phone and ready to help us stay calm at 3am when my water broke 2.5 weeks early. She was willing to be with us either by phone or in person, based on our comfort level. She was truly an advocate and a resource for us and what we wanted. Because of her, my husband and I felt better informed of our options and more empowered to make decisions and have the birth that we wanted, including laboring at home most of the day. During the labor process, she suggested several positions, helped my husband support me and feel involved, and coached me through my pain management strategies. She did a million little amazing things to help us, like recommending we order food from the hospital ahead of time so that I could eat in the middle of the night (my post-birth mac-and-cheese was delicious). She stayed with us for a few hours after the birth to make sure we were settled in and felt supported.
The photographs and birth story that she gave us are amazing and profoundly meaningful. She captured moments that make me cry everytime I look at them. We can't imagine what this journey would have been like without her! We will definitely work with Shelia again for our next pregnancy.
Shelia has exceeded our expectations by far and we are very grateful!!! The whole birth wouldn't have been the same without her in the room. She helped me out during contractions and made them more tolerable, she snapped some very nice pictures (with not too much of exposure and just the right amount of emotion) and also gave us a timeline of birth as well as a birth story addresed to the baby. These are such great keepsakes! She was also very supportive before and after labor. She provided great resources and referrals for all things baby.
We are extremely happy that we hired Shelia for our birth. Highly recommend.
There aren’t enough amazing ways to describe Shelia but we’ll try. We immediately clicked with Shelia during our first meeting. We knew we had to have her as our doula if schedules would allow. Shelia is a total expert, professional, experienced, knowledgeable, caring, very present and aware, sensitive, and on top of it all, has an incredible sense of humor. She was accessible throughout my pregnancy to answer any questions I had, and truly made me feel cared for. Shelia felt like a member of our family. When it came to our labor, we had unexpected events in our birth plan (shocker!). Shelia made us feel informed, prepared, and made us feel comfortable with all the decisions that came up during labor. She was a constant in the chaos and made everything feel less scary, less anxious, and less overwhelming. As our first birth, she filled in where my husband would have been lost, encouraged him and kept both of us focused. On top of all of this, she wrote us a birth plan and took photos of the whole experience. All of it was too good to be true. We will absolutely be using Shelia for our future births. We simply adore her.
This testimonial is increadily overdue- partially because I don't know how to even begin putting my experience with Shelia into words. Like with most births, I'm sure, nothing went according to plan. My walking, tubbing, intervention free birth-plan with midwives very suddenly became an emergency induction with OB's. It was a long and scary process, and I hit many moments of weakness and fear, but Shelia supported me in a way that I can't really explain. I felt like she was laboring with me, and breathing through me. She was incredbily connected to the situation, very proactive in anticipating my needs, and encouraging when she could hear my fear. In the end, I fully attribute my epidural-free vaginal birth to her support.
My husband both agree that she was the single most important investment when it came to the birth of our son, and should we be fortunate enough to get pregnant again, she will be my first call.
We are so glad that we chose to have Shelia be part of our birth experience. She was there for us in the months leading up to the birth, for most of the (long) labor itself, and after the birth as well. Her advice and support have been absolutely invaluable. The photos she took during the birth, as well as the timeline and detailed birth story she prepared afterwards were so important to us in the weeks immediately following the birth - they have become treasured family momentos. We cannot recommend Shelia enough.
We found Shelia through Swedish’s website, and read through her testimonials and felt an immediate connection, which continued after we initially contacted her. She was very knowledgeable, and continued checking in with us throughout the pregnancy, with recommendations for further information. When I went into labor at 38 weeks, Shelia was such a calming presence. She arrived at my home, and helped me through a few very intense contractions before assessing the situation and getting us to the hospital. Once we were there, she continued helping us through the chaos that a fast labor can be, and recommended different ways to help keep me relaxed. She knew the exact spot to apply pressure to when I was having intense back pain based on how my baby was positioned. I intended on an unmedicated, intervention free birth, and while all signs pointed to that at the beginning, after a few hours of pushing with no baby, she helped the nurse come up with a variety of new positions to try, to help us attempt to preserve our original plan. When it was clear that the baby was not cooperating, she continued to encourage us to discuss our options, and gave us the space to do so in private, which we appreciated immensely. When we finally decided to go forward with a c-section, Shelia made sure she was in the room and advocated for me even when I was not able to do so for myself. Due to all the medications I was put on, I was unable to remember the majority of my daughter’s birth; Shelia took the most amazing pictures, and wrote up a beautiful birth story to help me fill in the blanks. She also met with us for a postpartum visit to help us figure out latching and to just check in with us and make sure we were adjusting, and made sure to check in with us each day as well.
We fully intend to hire Shelia for any additional births, and feel very fortunate to have had her present for the birth of our daughter.
We are so fortunate to have had Shelia as our doula. We met Shelia through our childbirth class; was obvious from the outset that she’s a genuinely wonderful human being — she’s so warm, supportive, and caring, and it’s really clear that loves what she does.
In the weeks leading up to my due date, Shelia made sure we had what we needed for any questions/issues we had along the way, and gave me resources to facilitate straightforward and productive conversations with my caregiver about how I’d ideally like the labor and birth to go. Advocating for yourself can be intimidating (even with the most understanding of caregivers), and having Shelia’s knowledge and experience to draw from gave me the confidence to do that effectively.
On the big day, Shelia was in contact and encouraging via text and phone starting in the wee hours of the morning until we were ready for in-person support. My labor moved very fast. Once Shelia arrived at our house, she was able to calmly assess a pretty intense situation, and helped me change my breathing and get into a headspace to hold on until we could get to the hospital. We were so, so happy to have her with us — Shelia’s support and reassurance for both of us was invaluable, before, during, and after delivery. We are both grateful to have had her present for such an intimate and incredible experience.
I would absolutely recommend Shelia to anyone looking for a doula. Shelia is amazing. Thank you Shelia!
Hiring a doula was a no brainer for my husband and I. We live 3000 miles away from all of our family and most of our friends, and with this being the birth of our first child, we were really looking for support and guidance through the birthing process. Shelia's profile was on our birthing center's site and after meeting her for the first time we had an immediate connection. Shelia is thoughtful, kind, and what I appreciated most is that she is open to all means of birthing a baby and can personally speak to both medicated and natural options. There was never a moment that I felt judged based on a decision I made and she never made me feel like any of my questions silly or uneducated.
I went into labor unexpectedly and four weeks prior to my due date. The energy was calm, collected, and when I was ready, Shelia was available. She immediately connected with my nurse who brought her up to speed medically, connected with my husband to see how she could best support him, and made sure that I was set up to have the most successful birth I could. As labor progressed she guided me through different methods like the ball, rocking chair and tub and ultimately, I birthed my beautiful daughter naturally. After we gave birth, Shelia photographed our first moments as a family (which was so uninvasive that I dont even remember it happening). About a week later, she gave us a letter (addressed to our daugher) which was our birth story. It was SO emotional reading it and reliving all of those special moments in bringing our girl into the world!
Our primary motivator for hiring a doula was to fill the void of support from family. Shelia has actually become a part of our family and will forever be a part of our daughters birth story, and we wouldn't have it any other way. We will most definitely be inviting Shelia to be a part of any additions we make to our family and would highly recommend her to anyone looking for that extra guidance and support.
I am so thankful that I found Shelia. Over the latter half of my pregnancy, I moved farther and farther away from my "ideal" birth (birth center and midwives turned into hospital and OB and early induction), but she was with me every step of the way and helped me deal with those changes and approach a different birth than what I had prepared for with knowlege and confidence. She was easy and quick to communicate with, and had a lot of great resources. She was so easy for both my husband and I to talk to and feel completely comfortable sharing such a vulnerable and personal moment of our lives with.
Shelia was a wonderful guide through my daughter's birth. She worked with my husband so that they could both help me together. She encouraged me to listen to my body, instead of waiting for the clock, when I was ready to push. She helped me find the position that would be best for me, even when the nurse would not. She stayed until we were very well settled after the birth, and even gave us wonderful photos of the birth and the moments after that we will treasure forever.
We are so lucky to have had Shelia with us during our daughter's birth!
Shelia was incredible to work with. She is extremely knowledgable about pregnancy, labor, breast feeding and infant care and is happy to provide additional resources and referrals when something is beyond her scope of practice. After our initial meeting, Shelia was in frequent contact with us just to check in and always encouraged us to get in touch if we had any questions or concerns throughout our pregnancy.
Shelia is extremely compassionate and we felt completely comfortable with her from the beginning. During labor she provided amazing support and kept me motivated and calm, which is exactly what I needed. She helped us to advocate for what we wanted during our labor and with her assistance we were able to make educated decisions that aligned with our birth plan as much as possible. Following the birth of our child, Shelia continued to check in with us and offered support and information as needed.
Throughout the entire experience Shelia was like a Mother, Friend, Coach, Teacher, and Advocate and we felt supported and cared for at all times. Additionally, she is part of the Swedish Doula Program and also took amazing pictures and a timeline of our birth story. Having Shelia's support and expertise throughout our pregnancy and birth was invaluable and gave us peace of mind, knowing we had amazing support and knowledge available at all times.
My husband and I worked with Shelia Kandeler in June 2016 for the birth of our first child. I can't recommend Shelia enough! She made the difference between a birth plan we'd likely be unable to follow on our own to the experience we hoped we'd have. Shelia contributed her vast experience and knowledge and made my husband and I feel more secure and confident during the labor and birthing process. Because of this, Shelia transformed a very unknown and anxious experience into an experience we viewed as positive and empowering. Shelia also contributed to us laboring for longer in the comfort of our own home versus at the hospital, and to an unmedicated birth which gave our son the best start in the first few moments of his life. When and if my husband and I are blessed enough to have a second child, I plan to hire Shelia!
We loved having Shelia as our doula. As first-time parents there were a lot of unknowns and information overload online. We went back and forth on whether to have a doula present; however, after meeting with Shelia we were confident we wanted her to be part of our birth experience. She met with us several times before the birth and we talked about what was currently going on, as well as what to expect as the due date got closer. She really got to know us and figured out the kind of support that would be the most effective.
When the big day happened she provided invaluable support. My husband really appreciated having someone experienced and knowledgeable on-hand before we headed to the birth center. Her presence led us both to be less stressed and not worry about what was happening next. She was able to read my body language and knew what I needed without me having to say much. Shelia ensured that I was relaxed and breathing through contractions and that I was fully supported through pushing. She had the keen ability to evaluate the situation and provide more or less support as needed. Somehow throughout it all she was able to take amazing birth photos that beautifully documented the whole experience. The photos with the birth story perfectly captured the event and we cannot wait to share them with our daughter.
Finally, her postpartum visits really helped us ease into life with a newborn. She had a great answer and resource for every question that came up.
We highly recommend Shelia for anyone considering a doula. Her experience, personality, and knowledge were a perfect fit for us. Throughout the entire pregnancy and through birth we felt fully supported and encouraged. Thank you, Shelia!
During my lightning-fast labor, my wife and I didn't have time to think. We were 2 weeks early and Shelia was my first call when my water broke! Shelia met us at the hospital and really smoothed the process along from the beginning. I had my eyes shut tight through the entire birth, but I could tell her if I was in pain and she would help resolve it. She had the magic touch to ease my back pain and was able to keep my wife calm, both of which allowed me to stay focused on the baby!
As an added bonus, she took amazing photos of the first moments of life with our daughter which are a stunning reminder of that first magic hour. She wrote a lovely birth story, pulling all of the little details together so we can share them with our baby when she grows up - she noted small details we didn't notice in the moment, for which we are so grateful. She was both a witness and an active partner in the labor and delivery. She helped the whole hospital-process feel like a personal journey and celebrated our child's birth with us in a way that was both familial and respectful.
Her wealth of knowledge is apparent and she has been very helpful with our questions about everything from nursing to helping our newborn with gas, to carseat questions, to providing reassurance and preventative tips when I got mastitis.
We are so lucky to have found Shelia! I'm not sure how we would have gotten through everything without her!
Shelia came highly recommended from a family member, and she was extraordinary. My pregnancy had a few hiccups, and Shelia was supportive throughout, always reaching out to see if I was okay, and to answer any questions I had. It was so nice to have someone invested in our pregnancy and to talk to when unexpected things happened in the 2nd and 3rd trimester.
This being our first child, we didn’t know what exactly to expect once we were at the hospital. We didn’t realize that we would spend a large portion of labor in the birthing suite without any hospital staff in the room. The nurses were only a button away, but as first time parents it would have been very stressful to go through labor essentially by ourselves. Shelia was with us the entire time. Her calming presence and wealth of knowledge made the entire experience much more manageable.
Having her with us throughout labor and delivery was wonderful. We are so thankful that she was there to help us navigate a very different than planned, yet still wonderful and positive birth experience. We look forward to having Shelia with us again when we have another child, she is a remarkable doula.
Shelia attended the birth of our first child, and also gave us postpartum support (two visits along with answering countless questions by email and text). We don't have any relatives in the area, and relied on her for both emotional support and knowledge. She has been invaluable in ensuring this huge moment in our lives has been as emotionally positive and stress-free as possible.
Shelia visited us twice before the birth and answered all our questions about pregnancy and labor. She is very easy to talk to as well as very knowledgeable and experienced. Labor caught us a little off-guard (water broke a few weeks early and labor needed to be induced); Shelia was very good at helping us get over our initial shell-shock and into a good frame of mind to tackle labor. She was instrumental in keeping my wife focused on her breathing and contractions - she was a rock for my wife and me, and just made us feel that everything was always under control. Labor and birth was such a postive experience for my wife and I, and I know it would have been much harder without Shelia. Finally, she has been so helpful to us postpartum, both in terms of knowledge, but also someone we could talk to to help reduce our anxiety and calm our fears.
What makes Shelia such a great doula is a combination of her warmth and her knowledge. She is extremely warm, friendly and emotionally available; you can tell that she truly cares about the families she works with and has their best interests at heart. Furthermore, she is very knowledgeable about pregnancy, labor and post-partum care - she answered countless questions and pointed us to valuable resouces. She's also very straighforward and precise in her answers; we felt like we were getting the right amount of information in a very clear way. Finally, she has a strong personality and is able to make suggestions and take charge during labor, but also is able to take a backseat when things are going well.
Shelia has been more than a blessing to our family. We just gave birth to our second son, via VBAC. When we found out we were pregnancy again, we knew right away that we hoped for her assistance, especially given my long labor tines. Our first birth had not gone as planned, but the one saving grace of our experience, which ended up as an emergency c-section, was Shelia. She was calm, graceful and a stern advocate to help us get the best birth experience we could out of an unfortunate experience.
We knew from the beginning that we wanted a VBAC. Shelia provided us with numerous contacts and ideas to help us prepare for another labor. She had names of alternative providers who were VBAC friendly, and acupunturists. We worked hard to prepare my body for an optimal birth. If she didn't have exprience with a practitioner we asked about, she would use her extensive network of doula friends to get answers for us.
We love that Shelia is always available for questions outside of our home visit sessions. She responded to our inquiries within a day or two. When in labor, she was able to get to us within an hour of our request for extra hands. She brought numerous props and ideas for helping baby position and labor to pickup. She is gentle with her suggestions, knowing my birth plan and allowed me to take charge when I felt the need. My husband appreciated having extra hands and assistance and respects Shelia's knowledge and caring touch as well. Additionally, the nurses at the hospital thanked Shelia for her time and care and help with the birthing process.
To top it off, Shelia has a plethora of knowledge about breastfeeding which was a must for both my children. She was able to both help hands on after birth and in the following days, as well as help me find resources for an IBCLC in my area since both of my boys were tongue tied.
We highly recommend Shelia and will certainly use her again if we get pregnant with a #3!
We were very fortunate to be referred to Shelia Kandeler by Penny Simkin, leader of our Childbirth Education class, and our experience working with Shelia proved to be a singularly positive force during the many phases of my wife's arduous and ultimately successful labor and delivery at Swedish Hospital.
To draw out the qualities, expertise, and actions of Shelia's that most impressed us is no simple task ... we feel so very fortunate that she possesses all of the skills one would want in a doula.
Shelia's excellent communication skills, her organizational capacity and professionalism, were evident from our first e-mail and voicemail exchanges, as well as our prenatal meeting (increasing our confidence and reducing our fears as first-time parents). She was a terrific collaborator throughout, including during postpartum and with regard to breastfeeding consultations.
Her knowledge and experience as a doula, her ability to offer practical advice and to share both medical research and received wisdom with us, in addition to the quality of her personal perspectives and guidance relevant to the many questions and decisions we faced, were all simply outstanding.
During the process of labor itself, Shelia's ability to offer advice and comfort measures, to be constantly present in both an emotional and physical capacity, and to help finesse some of our interactions with hospital staff added a dimension to our experience that we now know is critical ... Shelia's ability to 'mother' and nurture both of us, combined with her enthusiasm and sheer endurance, helped sustain us throughout.
Shelia's abundant caring for us and for our newborn, her instincts as a coach, her obvious love for her work, and, yes, the excellent 'birth story' she wrote and that we look forward to sharing with our kid one day, have all made an impression on us. We could not recommend her work as a doula more highly!
Shelia was amazing. She played a crucial roll in the healthy birth of our baby boy. She is extremely personable, we felt connected to her the moment we met her. She was very communicative and reponsive throughout my pregnancy. She answered all of our questions and provided resources that made us more comfortable with the birthing process. On the day of our birth, she responded to my husbands calls very early in the morning and arrived at our home to assist the moment we felt we needed her. She came prepared with labor positions and helped make the labor process as comfortable as possible for my husband and me. During the birth at the hospital she was there every step of the way, helping my husband and myself cope, massaged, took pictures, and was an advocate for me.
Shelia wrote up our birthstory as a letter to our son days after his birth. It was beautiful and something we'll treasure. She also shared her pictures with us, and came over for an after birth home visit. She has checked in my times and is truly interested in our well being and knowing how our son is doing.
All this to say, Shelia is caring, condifent, and very capable in what she does. We could not imagine our birth without her there. We would highly recommend her to our friends and look forward to working with her again with our future children.
My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Shelia when she was auditing our birthing class. We got to know her over the 8 week course and knew at the end that she would be a great match for us as our doula. Shelia is very calm, caring, well-spoken, and knowledgable. Her knowledge spans from conception, pregnancy, labor and birth, to breastfeeding and infant/childcare. These traits, among many other positive ones, translate so perfectly into her being an excellent doula and made her a valuable resource before and after birth. She helped us create a clear, concise birth plan that we ended up being able to follow very closely.
I developed preeclampsia in my 37th week and was induced. My induction was quite long and arduous, so it was so amazing having her there as support and comfort not only for me but my husband. After my epidural things got pretty foggy for me as I was finally able to rest for the first time in days; Shelia stayed by my side and advocated for me when I was either resting or too tired to do so myself. Our birth was a really wonderful, positive experience and Shelia had a lot to do with that. In addition to her role as a support person, she took some VERY beautiful candid photos of our family after our son was born. We treasure these images so much and will so forever. She also wrote a timeline and birth story that we love to read and reflect upon.
After my son was born we discovered pretty quickly that he was having difficulty latching, which could have led to some serious breast feeding difficulties. At our first home visit after his birth she helped put us in touch with an amazing lactation consultant that helped us right away. And Shelia has continued to be a valuable resource of knowledge ever since.
As we prepared for our first child, we were unsure whether we needed a doula, but as the time drew nearer, we decided we needed the help. We had the very good fortune to work with Shelia Kandeler.
Shelia met with us twice prior to the labor, and was kind and competent from the very beginning. But you never know how someone will react in a stressful situation until you find yourself in that situation. My wife's labor was difficult, long, and did not progress normally. Shelia was a rock for us throughout the entire experience. She provided emotional support, advice, and information. She also had a very good sense of when we needed help and when we needed space.
If we choose to have another child, we'll definitely ask Shelia to work with us again. With luck, your experience of labor and delivery will be smoother than ours. Even in a relatively easy labor, you'll be happy you hired Shelia. But should you find yourself having a labor experience that doesn't go as you hoped, you'll wonder how you ever could have done it without her. We highly recommend Shelia to anyone thinking about hiring a doula.
- Daniel and Nathalia
Shelia was the perfect doula for us! We knew after our first chat with her that she had the kind, nurturing spirit and experience that we were looking for. With her help, we were able to move labor along quickly at home and her support was unwavering when we arrived at the hospital. Shelia worked hard, guiding us through a difficult transition stage and always had a trick or technique to try to keep things moving. She was calming, patient, knowledgeable, and directing when necessary. Shelia’s postpartum support with breast feeding and general encouragement and kind words during the tough first few weeks at home has been extremely invaluable as well. We are grateful to have had her by our side and will be calling her again if our family continues to grow!
My husband and I went from being a bit skeptical about needing a doula to being huge doula advocates after our experience with Shelia! From our first meet and greet until our final visit several weeks after the birth of our daughter she was an incredible. During the prenatal period Shelia made sure she understood our wishes for the birth of our child so that she could best support what we wanted. With her constant physical and emotional support during my labor, I was able to have the pain medication-free birth experience I had wanted. Her calming reassurance and encouragement helped guide both my husband and I through the most incredible event of our lives. During the postnatal period she helped support breastfeeding and provided resources for the postnatal care and support that I needed. A huge bonus was the pictures she took of my husband and I bonding with our baby immediately after delivery and the birth story she wrote for us. When we decide we are ready for baby number two, Shelia will be one of our first phone calls!
I don't think I could have asked for a better (natural) labor/birthing experience, and that's largely due to Shelia's support throughout the entire process, prenatal to postpartum.
My husband and I had not even considered hiring a doula until just weeks before our baby was due. Honestly, it never dawned on me before then to ask the husband if he would be able to provide the support I needed in the delivery room, and whether or not he thought he needed support himself. When we both realized that we were unsure, particularly since we'd never been through the experience before, we started researching doulas.
My husband and I interviewed several doulas with a wide range of experience, and felt the most comfortable with Shelia - she was genuine, listened and prepared.... and the list goes on. Ultimately, she provided the physical, emotional and verbal support my husband and I both needed before, during and after labor.
In the end, my husband and I agree that, without question, we want Shelia with us when we have our next baby. I think that's the best thing I can say about what we think of this amazing doula!
Shelia proved to be invaluable to my husband and I. My husband said having someone there with a breadth of knowledge that he didn’t have made him feel more secure. She made me feel as though her support was unconditional. During her prenatal visits with me she took the time to get to know me and my preferences for a positive labor experience. She kept in touch and let me know she was always available to me if needed. Her knowledge and suggestions made me feel more confident and secure about my own hopes and desires for a natural labor and safe birth.
At the hospital, she became the much needed friendly intermediate between me and the nursing staff. At 8cms I was ready to rip someone’s head off if I couldn’t get into a hot shower immediately. I remember being asked to lie on my back in bed to keep the belly monitors in place and wait for the slowest nurse on the planet to get the heplock in. Shelia enhanced my communication with the staff, helped them understand that I needed comfort and got me into the shower right away. When my confidence waivered during the harder contractions she was right there to help me through it. She reminded me of my breathing techniques and gave me different tactics to use when mine no longer worked for me. I really loved how comfortable she made me feel around her and with the less than flattering process of labor.
After the birth of my son, Shelia stayed for as long as we needed. She took pictures of my family and helped ensure breastfeeding was off to a good start. Thanks to her I have an amazingly positive memory of my experience.
I feel so lucky that Shelia was able to attend the birth of my baby girl. Nothing went as I had planned/hoped for, and Shelia was right by my side acting as a great advocate, and helping my partner and I stay calm. She exudes an aura of peaceful kindness, and she was clearly cut out for this type of service! She has been an incredible, invaluable resource during my pregnancy, labor/delivery, and postpartum. Her knowledge of breastfeeding is extensive, and infinitely helpful. We are so thankful to have found Shelia, and I would highly recommend her as a doula.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 10-16-2020
= Available. Calendar last updated: 10-16-2020