Phone: (804) 368-5488
Birth Fee: $900 to $1100
Fee Details: I am a ToLabor certified birth doula, practicing since January, 2007. I draw on my knowledge & experience to provide physical, emotional, & informational support to birthing people & partners. I have completed trainings & workshops for acupressure in pregnancy & childbirth, breastfeeding education, & Spinning Babies Techniques. My personal experience includes my planned homebirth turned cesarean in 2008, my hospital VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) in 2013, and my volunteer work as Chapter Leader for ICAN of Richmond. I believe that birth is most often a natural, safe process & that everyone deserves the opportunity to birth in a peaceful & supportive environment. My goal as a doula is to educate & encourage birthing people & families so that they can make childbirth decisions that are right for them. My number one goal is your confidence in all decisions regarding your health and wellbeing during pregnancy and birth. I provide bereavement and pregnancy loss support for no charge.
Birth Doula Experience: 13 years and 201 births attended
Clients per Month: 1 to 4Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
MyBirth LLC - co-owner, birth doula, educator MyBirth Cesarean and VBAC Support Group - Facilitator, Founder, 2017-Present ICAN Chapter Leader, Richmond, VA - February, 2015 - February 2017 Richmond Doulas - Executive Committee Member- Social Media Director - January, 2012 to December, 2014 VCU Health Systems - Volunteer Doula - 2007 to 2012 VCU Health Systems - Volunteer Doula Program Coordinator - 2010 through 2012
First of all, I’d be lying if i said Emily hasn’t been doula-ing me for the past four years. I met her when my midwife recommended I start attending ICAN meetings. Attending these were absolutely instrumental in healing from a traumatic homebirth cesarean. She always knows just what to say to make you realize that it’s ok to feel how you feel.
Fast forward to my fourth pregnancy and I was just dying for her to be at my son’s birth. She was out of town the week before my due date and I was thrilled that it ended up working out that she’d be there. I definitely needed her encouragement. Emily kept me calm during an intense transition and what felt like an even more intense pushing phase. I don’t know how id have made it through it all without her.
I’m so thankful that she was there- to walk with me in early labor, to be an extra person so my husband could rest for a while, to distract my mom so I could progress into more active labor, to provide hip squeezes and counter pressure as things progressed, to hold my hand while I labored in the tub, to remind me to focus on my breath during transition and most of all- to crack jokes about Game of Thrones and keep it a fun and happy environment.
I don’t know if I’ll have another baby, but I can tell you for sure I won’t unless she’s there. I’m so thankful to know her.
Hiring Emily was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself as a mother. She is capable, confident, caring, and above all, the most compassionate person. Working with her feels so much more like having hired a BFF who just happens to know a lot about birth, breastfeeding, and well, everything. The support I received from her (and Ashley Johnson, also of MyBirth) was worth every penny & then some. I couldn’t possibly be more grateful. I may not have gotten the birth that I wanted, but I damn sure got everything that I needed. She helped make that a reality for us. 10/10 will hire her again!
Emily is amazing! When I had my first child a few months ago I knew I wanted a low-intervention birth, and a good friend suggested I hire a doula. My husband and I were skeptical about whether a doula was worth it and whether we even wanted someone else to be with us when I gave birth, but all the studies show that doulas help enable better outcomes for moms so we went for it. We clicked with Emily instantly--she's a say-it-like-it-is type of person which we loved. We are New Yorkers and we don't like sugar coating or BS. Birth is beautiful but also wild and weird and we appreciated her direct and honest approach and, most of all, her sense of humor. Come time to deliver, Emily was INVALUABLE. She made my husband and I feel safe and supported during the crazy/difficult birth process and I got exactly the birth I wanted, which was in part due to good fortune and in part due to Emily and her encouragement. My husband has mentioned a few times since our baby has been born that he misses her! If you are lucky enough to be able to hire Emily, go for it! No matter how your birth goes, you won't regret it.
First things first, if you are on the fence about getting a Doula, don’t be, go get one! I gave birth in a foreign country, with cesarean and Maternal death rates much higher than in my home country. I didn’t know if I would receive the same levels of midwife care or if I would be heard at the hospital while giving birth. Hiring a doula was my way to ensure this for me. It turned out my worries were, in my case unnecessarily but having had Emily by my side gave me the calm to Labour at home as long as possible and then have a smooth transition to the hospital. She was a great support for my husband as well, who, god bless him would have been a bit clueless without her guidance.
Emily was available for my questions and needs even after the Postparum visit and helped me stay on course when my breastfeeding journey was off to a rocky start. Overall I had a very calm and relaxed birthing experience and I believe that having familiar faces around that are there to support you without an agenda helped to keep that tone throughout the whole birthing experience. I would definitely hire her again if I were to gave another one.
We had an amazing experience with Emily. She is extremely qualified, knowledgable, and at the same time is very loving and lighthearted. She is not just doing her job, it is clearly evident that she truly cares for her clients and their wellbeing. My family and I felt 100% supported by her every step of the way. I had a few challenges in my labor process and I felt so relaxed knowing that Emily knew exactly how to handle the situation. She is not pushy and will support you in making your own educated decisions. She also knew all the tricks for making me as comfortable as possible. She is a genuine and authentic being who is passionate about what she does. If we decide to have another baby we will definitely want Emily Bruno as our doula!!!
Emily is the best! From her voice, to her sense of humor and obviously her experience . My husband and I were very pleased with choosing her to be our doula.
Her voice feels very soothing to me and it was great to have her by my side encouraging me and reminding me to focus on my breath. She's funny when appropriate and and is very knowledgeable, so having her gave us both piece of mind!
Can't recommend her enough!!
We cannot recommend Emily highly enough. She was a rockstar.
As first time parents, my husband and I were anxious about the whole thing - preparing for our daughter's arrival, the labor, nursing, etc. And Emily was a great resource as we prepared. But she was absolutely fantastic during my labor. I particularly appreciated her adaptability as my labor progressed. For example, while I had started with the goal of a natural delivery, I decided to have an epidural about 26 hours in. She gave me great perspective throughout, saying things like "the midwife is going to ask you ....and here are some of the possible response options you have." She was in contact with me and my husband for over 36 hours straight as my labor progressed, always positive and calming. I was also grateful for her help once my daughter arrived. She made sure we got in the swing of the whole nursing thing, which wasn't easy for us.
If we find ourselves expecting another child, I am so hopeful that I'll be able to have her help again.
My husband and I are deeply grateful to have had Emily by our side as we welcomed our daughter into the world. As first time parents, we knew we wanted to work with a doula who could guide us through labor and help us have an unmedicated birth. Working with Emily, we found that guidance and so much more. When we met Emily, we felt an immediate connection with her. She is wonderfully positive, friendly, and calm, and she has an extensive knowledge of pregnancy, birth, and babies. We also really appreciated her strength and good humor, both of which were key in helping my husband feel less anxiety about the birth and gain confidence in his supportive role as a partner. During my pregnancy, Emily was always available to answer questions and recommended great resources, all of which helped us feel so much more prepared going into the birth.
When contractions started, we stayed in constant contact with Emily, who gave us suggestions on comfort measures to try and helped us figure out when to head to the hospital. With labor progressing quickly, I was feeling overwhelmed, but as soon as Emily arrived in the labor and delivery room, the fear got more manageable for both me and my husband. She helped us focus on our breath through difficult contractions and gently suggested changes in positions to help things move along. Her strength, encouragement, and calming touch made all the difference for us. We honestly cannot imagine what we would have done without here there with us.
When our little one arrived, Emily helped me to get her nursing on both sides and guided us through our early moments as new parents. During her postpartum visits, we so appreciated her reassurance as well as her great advice on things to try to make life a bit easier for us and our baby. We are so glad we got to work with Emily, and are so thankful to have had her amazing support throughout our journey to parenthood!
We met Emily a couple of years ago and I knew when I got pregnant a second time I wanted her to be my doula. I was so impressed by her extensive knowledge on all things birth. Then I conceived twins and I re-thought having a doula. What if I had to have a cesarean or an epidural? Would I still benefit from a doula? I went ahead and booked Emily and my husband and I are so happy we did! Throughout the pregnancy, we were comforted knowing that Emily would be present when we attempted vaginal delivery of the girls. And it took a lot of stress off my husband too -knowing he wasn’t my only support partner.
When my water broke unexpectedly, Emily was calm and cool! She arrived at the hospital when requested and was ready to go. She helped me think of things I was forgetting during labor and reminded me that I could advocate for the birth I wanted. I didn’t need pitocin right away- we needed to get out of bed and MOVE! It was so helpful having her walk the halls (and climb stairs) with us at St. Mary’s Hospital. I decided to get an epidural after a while and was able to get a lose dose of medicine. I still felt every contraction and was very uncomfortable. Emily was able to help me feel MUCH more comfortable with her massage, heating pad, and knowledge of positioning. I was so much more relaxed with her efforts. When it came time to push she was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She also didn’t mind grabbing the camera to snap birth photos of our successful vaginal twin delivery.
If I ever were to have more children, I would absolutely hire Emily again. She has a great personality and my husband and I genuinely enjoyed the day spent laboring with her. She is one of the major reasons I had such a good birth experience!
I would without hesitation, recommend that you have Emily Bruno as your doula! My husband and I were fortunate enough to have Emily as our teacher for our birthing class through MyBirth with our first child. When we found out we were pregnant with our second, we knew we wanted to have a natural childbirth again with the Midwives at MCV. Without question, I knew Emily should be our doula. She has a dynamic personality- knowledgeable, experienced, approachable, genuine, and direct. During the pregnancy, she was in contact checking in with how I was feeling both physically and emotionally, how appointments went, and always had knowledgeable advice to share. She spent this time listening me, my desires for birth, my fears, my hopes, and my past birth experience. When I thought about how this birth would go, I knew I could count on Emily to care for me when I needed it, use all of her strategies to help me through labor in her bag of tricks, but most of all I knew she would tell it like it is and help me and my husband make sound decisions for a successful birth.
Our labor and birth was a whirlwind 9 hours where Emily was in constant contact via text and phone until she arrived at our house that evening. After helping us through challenging contractions, we decided it was time to go to the hospital. Things progressed incredibly quickly and by 11:16 that evening we were holding our little girl. I can without a doubt say that if it weren't for Emily's quick decision making and strong guidance in the moment, the birth of our daughter would have gone a lot differently. Her calm and clearly demeanor was exactly what we needed. The strength she posseses inspires strength. Choosing Emily as your doula will be the best decision you've made!
Emily was our doula for the second time and one of the main reasons I felt I was successful for my second VBAC. She offered unlimited support before, during and after my labor. Emily took the time to understand my desires for my birth experience and did everything she could to support and advocate for me. Even when I checked into L&D she was able to anticipate my needs and have me moved to a more accessible labor room! My husband is a huge advocate for doulas after working with Emily once and was relieved when we were able to work with her a second time, as was I. My husband and I would highly recommend working with Emily and MyBirth as they are exactly what you need for your entire birth experience!
Emily was so wonderful and a perfect pick for my husband and me. It was our first, we found out SUPER early ( couldn't have been more than 2 weeks along) and we contacted the MyBirth group right away and felt an instant connection with Emily.
Couldn't speak more highly of how fun, friendly and professional she was the whole time. We had NO idea what we were doing, and I had a bit of a rough pregnancy and she was super calm and knowledgable through all of my ups and downs. Anything I had a question about she was right there with an answer or insight. I respond very well to facts and science and she was so great at having statistics for any scenario.
I labored at home then went to the hospital and did end up needing a c-section, all of which I never would have remained as calm as I was without Emily's affirmations and just over all support. To this day, my husband agrees that he would never have known what to do or say and is so thankful that she was there.
Also, a great sense of humor which is very important to my husband and me. Even through our labor and delivery, we try to stay lighthearted, which made our experience with Emily even more enjoyable.
LOVED HER. Will ty to snag her again if / when number 2 comes along.
Best-Ever, Top-Notch Doula!
I'm a RN and worked in L&D at VCU for 2 years. I know and trust natural birth. When I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd baby I texted Emily immediately. If I was going to have a doula it would have to be her because I had already met and worked with many of the doulas in town and knew her to be the best. I wasn't sure I needed a doula (bc I was thinking it was my 2nd baby and I would have RNs & midwives) but really, I just wanted her there!! I had seen the meaningful way she had stood beside all her mommas, rubbing their backs, using gentle words of encouragement to give them strength, and I just wanted her there for me! Sooooo glad I did. I got amazing care at VCU but the nurses and midwives can get really busy and can't always give you the one-on-one support that a naturally laboring woman needs. She was my husband and I's rock! I had the most supported, trusting birth I ever could have asked for.
If you want to have a natural birth in a busy hospital, you NEED a doula! And Emily is the best! She is pure labor zen. She is super experienced and knows so much. She will bring all her herbs and massage oils and will know just when you need the super hard hip squeezes! She can help guide you into different positions to help progress your labor faster. She can take beautiful photos of you moaning your heart out to your partner or catch that exhaultant face you make when you finally expel your child and hold him in your arms. She will even hang around after the birth to get you cleaned up and fed and will stop by to visit you once you are home and trying to get settled. Emily is incredible and I'm so grateful to have had her there. I will be calling her for my 3rd baby and I recommend her to anyone looking for a natural birth.
*I also can't say enough amazing things about everyone at mybirth -doulas, excercise classes, birth workshops, teas, etc,. Truly a gem in RVA that every pregnant mommy needs!
I had an amazing birth experience with Emily. I had a C-section with my first baby and wanted to have an all natural VBAC with my second. I truly believe I was able to accomplish this because of her. Emily stayed in contact with me while I labored for roughly 50 hours. 24 of those hours she was at the hospital with me and stayed 2 or 3 hours after my baby was delivered. She knew when to leave me alone because I was handling the contractions well on my own and when to step in because I needed the support. Emily was knowledgeable, supportive, and empathetic. Most importantly, I felt very comfortable with her. She helped me feel like a powerful, strong woman. I now recommend a doula to all the pregnant people I meet. This experience has changed my perspective. If money is tight, you don't need all the fancy baby gadgets that the baby outgrows before you know it. Invest in a doula, invest in a beautiful experience.
I chose Emily Bruno to be my doula in 2017 because I sensed that she had the appropriate approach, experience, and demeanor to help me birth my baby with the Hypnobirthing method. I was looking for a doula with a direct, can-do, assertive approach—less preschool-teacher, more drill-sergeant.
Emily helped me achieve my goal of birthing using the Hypnobirthing method. She was familiar with the approach and vocabulary and had worked with other “Hypno-Mamas” before. She read and practiced the meditation exercises so she could help me during labor, and she performed all the other wonderful doula-techniques throughout the medicine-free delivery (acupressure, massage, cool and hot compresses, counterpressure, etc.). Because Emily has been working in Richmond forever, she knew my midwife; the two had worked together before, which made me feel more at ease in the delivery room.
Emily’s services after the birth were also excellent. She helped me established good breastfeed habits early on (including giving some stellar book recommendations) and helped me process the cognitive experience of Hypnobirthing a few days after delivery. She remained a resource through my postpartum period.
If you are looking for a birth doula with tons of experience and a more assertive personality, I wholehearted recommend Emily. I will absolutely have her be my doula again.
Emily exceeded all of our expectations throughout pregnancy and birth. When we found out we were expecting twins, as first time parents we knew that we wanted as much support as possible and hired Emily early on. Throughout pregnancy Emily provided evidence based articles, directed us to resources, and was extremely knowledgeable when we had questions. I appreciated how she always took the time to thoroughly answer our questions and was always quick to respond via phone or text. When it came time to meet our babies, she helped prepare us for what we might expect for our induction. We spent a few days in the hospital before the babies ultimately were born via C Section. I cannot express how valuable Emily was as an emotional support during the times that I felt defeated with our slow progress in labor. Not only was she an advocate for me and our babies, she also empowered me to be an advocate for myself and participate in my care options. We had great care at the hospital and a knowledgeable team of medical staff, but having Emily available to help us navigate and fully understand our options was so valuable. We can’t imagine doing it without her! No matter your birth plan or outcome, I highly recommend Emily and her calm, knowledgeable, and supportive presence for your journey to baby/babies.
Emily was fantastic. My wife and I were very happy with her both in the heat of the moment of labor and as support throughout the pregnancy and afterwards. We were both comfortable talking to her and asking her advice on many topics I would never have imagined. I cannot imagine having done it without her.
I cannot recommend Emily enough. As a first time mom planning for a higher risk delivery, I knew that I would need support to achieve my goals. As soon as I hired Emily, I felt more at ease and confident in my decision to attempt a vaginal delivery. She is incredibly knowledgeable and very up-to-date on all the recent research findings and best practices. She always provided scientific evidence to back her recommendations.
When it came time for labor, Emily worked tirelessly to help us stay on track. She stayed with us for more than 24 hours in the hospital and had so many tricks up her sleeve, I can't even list or remember them all. She helped cool me down when I developed a fever, recommended position changes to help keep baby safe and labor progressing, and prepared warm compresses for the pushing stage. She was a constant sounding board for every new development and decision we had to make. Long story short, I am so thankful that Emily was my doula and know you will be too!
I waited until late in my third trimester to finally take the leap and hire a Doula. I wish I had done it sooner because the wealth of knowledge that was passed into me would have saved my stress level immensely. Better late than never. Emily's personality, demeanor, experience and wealth of knowledge was a perfect match for my needs. I felt so comfortable with putting my upcoming birth in her hands and I was right to do so. She was there throughout the last few weeks of my pregnancy educating and supporting me every step of the way. When I needed more information about inductions or options for anything she had evidence based research at the ready to share to help me make informed decisions that aligned with my birth preferences.
When we finally made it to the big event Emily was right there to give Annie and I the support we needed to help us through labor. Her presence was mild yet her voice was strong and reassuring for Annie and I while we labored together with her guidance and experience. She consistently helped us feel like we could make it through the next contraction with gentle reminders of our options to change positions or to remember our breathing. I really believe we could not have had such an incredible experience without the trust and faith that Emily was there to support and guide us.
These past two weeks since giving birth to one incredible little soul has been a wave of emotions and ups and downs while we adjust to the life of being parents. Again Emily has been there to give us support and guidance through one of the most challenging experiences of our lives. Her reassurance and support has been invaluable to us through this process. Thank you Emily for being a part of our birth. We owe you so much and to anyone thinking they would like any amount of support during their journey please consider hiring a MyBirth Doula and I promise you will forever be glad you did.
Our experience with Emily was nothing short of amazing. She provided valuable information throughout my pregnancy on everything from pregnancy nutrition to labor and postpartum care and everything in between! She was extremely helpful throughout my 45 hour labor and helped me achieve my goal of no intervention. She eased my mind the whole time and provided reassurance that I could do it! Without Emily's expert guidance I can confidently say the outcome would have been much different. Emily made the whole process less scary and more of an amazing experience. I would highly recommend Emily!
I cannot recommend Emily Bruno highly enough. Although I gave birth to twins in 2007, I entered my 2nd pregnancy (10 years later!) very uneducated about labor and delivery. I had been on hospital bedrest with my twins, missed out on birth classes, and had a very controlled induction. I got an epidural before they broke my water, so never even really felt a contraction! Although I am extremely grateful that my twins were born safely and I survived a scary post-partum hemorrhage, their birth still left me with some upset feelings and chronic back pain that I feel was due to complications with the epidural insertion. With my 2nd pregnancy, I hoped to avoid getting an epidural to ensure no further damage to my back, but I was definitely scared to birth without pain medication since I really didn't have a clue what to expect! I learned a lot through the Low Intervention Birth class that Emily led, and then hired her as my birth doula. Although I was hoping for an unmedicated birth, I knew that Emily would fully support me through any possible birth outcome...including if I decided to get another epidural after all! While I was pregnant, she checked in with me often, supplied pertinent reading materials to inform and prepare me for birth, and was always available to answer questions. The day of my induction, she calmly and expertly guided me through the progression of my labor, and provided exactly what I needed every step of the way. Her calm direction took all of the uncertainty out of the labor process and helped me to birth without fear because I felt fully supported by someone experienced and knowlegable. With her guidance and support, I experienced the unmedicated birth I had hoped for, a smooth transition into the world for my son, and an easy recovery. Every laboring woman should have a birth doula like Emily Bruno!
Emily is a rockstar in the Richmond birthing community... and I'm not just saying that because of the sweet tattoos. ;-D She came highly recommended to me early in my pregnancy and I jumped on the opportunity to meet (and subsequently hire) her around the beginning of my second trimester. This was my second pregnancy and I knew that I needed a strong support system in place to get the birth experience that I wanted. My first birth was the stereotypical cascade of interventions and an ultimately failed attempt at a natural birth. I knew I could do it and I just needed someone by my side who knew it too.
Emily was invaluable during my pregnancy- always ready to offer advice and assistance when I needed it, and periodically sent us helpful articles and stories to read. She helped teach the MyBirth Low Intervention Prep class at HDH which I found super helpful and I highly recommend, especially for first time moms. And when it came to my daughters Birth Day, my only regret is that I didn't call her sooner! I ended up with an extremely fast labor and barely made it to the hospital on time- but was SO happy that she caught us on the way up to L&D. Her strong, calming presence helped me hold onto what shred of control I had left. She was a familiar face, and quite literally a hand to hold (aka crush) during my last few pushes.
Her postpartum care and attentiveness was a blessing, especially during those sleep-deprived, baby-brain fuzzy first days. She made sure I was taking care of ME, so that I could best take care of baby. I recommend her very highly and if the universe sends a 3rd little one our way, she will surely be one of the first people I call.
When we found out we were finally pregnant I knew we needed to find a doula to support not only myself but my husband on our pregnancy journey. We found Emily based on a friends recommendation and the day we sat down to interview Emily, we knew the fit was perfect. My husband and I are both in the health care field and knew that evidence based practice iwas very important to us. Emily and the entire My Birth community is driven by the best evidence and are constantly sharing the new knowledge in their practice and with all of the My Birth clients. The support we had on our pregnancy journey will be a great memory and I know is the key to our success as new parents. Not only does Emily support her client before and during birth, but long after the baby arrives. To this day, now ten weeks postpartum, I know Emily is still in my postpartum success toolbox as our pregnancy journey is now transition into our journey as parents!
Emily supported us in my labor and birth of our daughter in May of 2016. Not only was she there for us through the labor and birth, she was also available for answering any questions that she could (we had tons!) before the birth and after. She was so knowledgeable, comforting, and offered us endless guidance. She still does.
We chose to work with Emily after meeting her and a couple of the other doulas with My Birth. It was a VERY tough decision, as they all seemed awesome. Emily seemed like the kind of woman that would be soothing and comforting but would also light a fire under my ass if needed....which at several points, I did in fact need. She provided me and my husband with comfort measures, and also helped us make decisions by providing us with information needed to make a decision. She was the brains, strength, guts, and compassion we needed to help guide our baby safely into the world.
MyBirth was recommended to me early in my doula search. I spent hours browsing their website and doulamatch.net to learn about each of the doulas and met with 3 of the doulas one evening early in my pregnancy. I am a terrible decision maker.....I go back and forth, delay decisions, and then obsess about whether or not I made the right decision. I've made very few decisions in my life where I felt immediately and completely confident in my decision - marrying my husband and becoming a nurse are two of the few, and choosing Emily as my doula makes the list. I remember the visceral connection to Emily's calm, confident, strong, knowledgeable demeanor and knew, without a doubt, that she was the doula I needed. After several months of a thankfully uneventful pregnancy, the big day finally came. After a few hours of laboring at home, things were moving quickly and I kmew I would not be able to labor at home for much longer. Emily met us in the parking garage at the hospital and probably immediately sensed my fear of the impending unknown. She calmly guided me through contractions in the hallway, on the escalator, on the elevator, through the hallway bathroom door, from outside the shower, next to me on the birth stool, in the bed, and on the floor. She never once wavered in her confidence in me. If I close my eyes, I still see the Christmas lights she hung behind my bed and smell the clove oil wipes she made and hear her strongly, yet gently, encouraging me to find my breath. I am honored to have had her at the birth of my son and couldn't begin to find the words to thank her for part in my greatest work yet.
Emily is amazing. Seriously. She has such a steady, strong, compassionate presence. I'm sure there are other great doulas, but Emily is top-tier doula. Jedi doula. Doula-because-she's-called-to-be-a-doula doula. She can be hilarious and playful, vulnerable and open, and yet extremely focused, strong, confident. Of course I don't know what our son's birth story would have been like without Emily. But with her--throughout the pregnancy, labor, and postpartum check-ups--my husband and I felt like we could be fully present to the experience, to the miracle of our child coming into this world. And that's what I wanted--to really experience the incredible (and yes, painful and sometimes challenging) time. I didn't want to look back on his birth and second-guess things, wondering "what if..." With Emily's amazing guidance and wealth of knowledge, we devised a birth plan that was intentional and personal. Most importantly, her presence and encouragement during labor was paramount. If we're blessed to have more children in the future, I want her by my side.
Emily Bruno is amazing! My husband and I choose her to be my doula because of all the great things we heard about her. I found out about her through friends and when I heard she was also a VBAC doula I knew she was the person I wanted as my Doula. Emily was awesome she went above and beyond what she said she would do for me as my doula and I am still greatful for everything she did for me till this day. When I choose her she reassured me with every worry and every anxiety I had about being a VBAC that I would do great and that I was stronger then I realized. Further on in my pregnancy I found out I had mild cholestasis I was so nervous about my chances of getting a VBAC because I was going to have to be induced earlier then the baby choose to come she met me a extra time to help calm me down. Being a VBAC mom, with cholestasis, and getting SPD the last month of my pregnancy she was a amazing doula through it all. She answerd every phone, email and text message I sent her, calmed every fear and worry I had and most importantly reminded me I was strong through it all and that my body could do it! She was exceptional during my birth of my son she brought a bunch of things to help during and after the birth that helped me greatly. She knew what positions I needed to do And when to change to another. Getting her as my doula was the greatest thing I did for my pregnancy and birth. Because of Emily I was able to conquer my dream of having a VBAC birth with no pain assistance even with having to go on pictocin (which is not easy). I could keeping going on forever about her she made me feel like a strong warrior woman in my birth and I will forever be greatful for her. I can not say enough she is exceptional, well informed with tons of experience if your looking for a Doula that as people said before born to be one Emily is the one for you!
Emily Bruno was an incredible and integral part of our birth experience. During our pregnancy, Emily helped structure our flexible birth plan to suit our wants and needs, based on both evidence based medicine and her extensive experience. During labor, she worked hand-in-hand with our nursing and physician staff to guide us through the experience, at all crossroads leaving the power in our court to make decisions. After delivery, she continued (and continues) to play an active role in helping us with newborn care, which, for first time parents, is worth more than gold. Emily will forever be a part of our family, and she will be the first person we call if we are lucky enough to get pregnant again.
Well, we love Emily. She is amazing. I do think picking her was about one of the best things we could have done for our family. Honeslty I first picked her for having some sweet tattoos - and I knew of her already some from the RVA area and her husband of course. So I had a good feeling from the start, and it just got better.
My wife came from having a cesarian section, and we were going for a VBAC. My wife did wonderful with a successful VBAC. She not only had a wonderful birth - but brought my son up herself into our arms. Emily was there to not only help, provide comfort and support for my wife -- but me as well. There was a lot of little things that she did that we would have never thought of. IT was also great to have her looking at me the dad, and giving me the thumbs up - everything is going well. Kidna puts the dad at ease, and lets him not feel alone in all this. Plus having someone with the experience of having done this before - really helps. From a fathers perspective you gotta just do yourself a favor and get Emily or someone like her. It makes your life easier, helps you stay calm and feeling involved - a part of it all. So yeah, we are big fans! Highly recommended!!
Emily was such an amazing addition to our birth experience! My midwife recommended Emily when I was 28 weeks pregnant with our second child and expressed anxiety about having a successful vbac. For many reasons our second baby felt like having a first child all over again. Emily helped alleivate my worries and re-focussed us on our goals for this birth. I was fortunate to have wonderful medical providers and a very suppotive husband. Despite being surrounded by a great team, Emily was an invaluable addition. I am sure everyone would agree having Emily there was such a blessing! She is patient and tireless with her support and optimism. She has a wealth of knowledge and is not afraid to speak up. We are very grateful to Emily for the suport she provided before, during, and after the birth of our daughter.
It was very important to me to find a doula who was both evidence based and able to provide unbiased information during my pregnancy. Emily was recommended to me by a friend who had also hired her, and who assured me that she would be a perfect match. I was so happy with the support that Emily provided. She always answered my questions with sound rationale and also had a positive attitude that helped me to feel prepared for whatever happened with my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. She really helped me to identify my priorities and I was able to have the birth and breastfeeding expereinces that I wanted with her assistance. My husband was also really glad that we brought her on board, we would both hire her again in a heartbeat.
Talk about someone who is doing exactly what she was born to do! Emily is an incredibly gifted doula, and I cannot recommend her services highly enough. Emily is everything a doula should be: highly knowledgable, professional, supportive, intuitive, accessible, and passionate about her work. She was an invaluable resource to me during my pregnancy, as well as a calm and reassuring presence (both to me and my husband) as I was giving birth. I am also grateful to her for being such a wonderful source of encouragement and support in the days following my daughter's birth. What a gift to have had Emily by my side through it all!
I can't imagine finding a more skilled or well matched doula than Emily. She was recommended by my midwife as an individual who could help me work through a prior negative birthing experience. Her birth class was very informative, her ongoing communication was outstanding and she said exactly what I needed to hear during labor and delivery.
There really aren’t any words to describe how amazing Emily is, both as a person and a doula. I went to ‘Meet the Doula night’ and interviewed several wonderful ladies, none of them were Emily. I was having a hard time deciding who I wanted to hire (I had narrowed it down to 4), so I asked my midwife. She said that all of the women that I was considering were wonderful, capable doulas, but she thought that Emily would be a good match for me. BOY WAS SHE RIGHT! I called Emily up, we sat and talked and it didn’t take me long to agree that Emily was the best fit for us. As I discussed our decision with my friends, they ALL told me "YES! She IS the BEST doula in Richmond! If she is available on your due date, HIRE HER! NO ONE will argue with you" (Right again!) At one point in my pregnancy, the thought of having a homebirth with a different midwife came to mind and Emily was so helpful in helping me come to the decision to go for it. As my due date approached, Emily and I were in constant contact (without being overbearing, of course) and she was so loving and reassuring to us that everything would happen when it was time. Birthing time came and she came to our home quickly and she was just amazing. She and our midwife made our experience so magical. She made sure that I stayed nourished and hydrated, helped keep compresses on me, helped our midwife with anything that she needed, supported my husband, and she took some pretty cool pictures (my favorite is a selfie that we took with our "rock star birth team" at 1am). Emily is loving, compassionate, and all of the things that doulas are supposed to be, but she is tremendously gifted in the art and has a touch that sets her apart from the rest. This isn’t just her job. This is her calling and her gift. When/if we have another baby, we will be sure to call on Emily again to help us welcome him/her into this world. I hope you will too.
We relocated to the Richmond area shortly before becoming pregnant with our second child. We were exploring trying for a VBAC and had heard that Emily was a wonderful doula who was knowledgeable about the VBAC process and local resources. Our first meeting with Emily was great and she provided us with a lot of information. Throughout the pregnancy, Emily was available by phone and e-mail to talk about our goals and fears and to help us process all the information. She was a wonderful support and never had judgement about our decision. She always stressed that we needed to be comfortable and that she would support us with a trial of labor or a planned repeat cesarean. The two prenatal meetings were more informative than the childbirth class we had taken for our first child and helped both my husband and I prepare. Emily was a wonderful support during the labor and delivery. She has such a calming presence and was so encouraging throughout. We know she was a big reason we were able to have a successful VBAC. The two postpartum visits were also a huge help and support. We would recommend Emily to anyone and we are so glad she was a part of our VBAC journey and that she helped us welcome our daughter.
As a first-time mom, my apprehension about labor and delivery lead me to hire a doula. I was referred to Emily by a friend with whom she had worked, and my husband and I could not have been happier with the decision to work with her ourselves. She is incredibly knowledgeable, passionate about her work, and cares about her clients. The education and support she provided us before and during the birth of our daughter greatly diminished my fear surrounding delivery. Emily worked to ensure that I felt empowered and respected throughout my pregnancy. Her postpartum care was also invaluable. She was always available to answer my many questions, and even provided advice and resources months later when I returned to work and was having difficulty maintaining my milk supply. My husband also felt he was able to stay much more at ease during labor and delivery knowing that Emily was covering so many of the small details that kept things moving smoothly. Being a first-time father himself, he felt that Emily's presence was strong enough to keep him confident and focused while not so strong as to feel intrusive or distracting - the perfect combination. She was able to help guide us through this experience in a way that we would not have been able to otherwise, and we cannot recommend her more highly.
Quite simply, Emily gave me and my husband the second-greatest gift (after our daughter) of my entire pregnancy - an informed, peaceful, well-planned, empowered and seamless delivery.
At every stage of our relationship - from our first phone call and continuing through our meetings, my labor and delivery and postpartum, Emily patiently guided me through my options and what to expect and how to prepare for labor and delivery. Over the course of our work together, she helped me develop a birth plan and approach to labor and delivery that were tailored to my specific wishes, and in the hospital she advocated for those wishes and for us at every step. It's rare that ANY day goes exactly how you hope it will - much less one as momentous as the day your first child is born - but thanks to Emily, I'm pleased to say that I wouldn't change a thing about the birth of my daughter.
I can't recommend Emily as a doula (or person!) any more highly - she was an integral, wonderful part of my pregfnancy and our daughter's birth, and we're grateful to have her as a part of our lives.
So my story with Emily began all by chance. I had never met Emily before I was in labor. My origional doula, Jenny Fisher who is amazing as well, was sick and Emily was her back up. I was so lucky to have met Emily and have her as my doula for life. She was there every step of the way and even stayed after delivery to make sure my baby, husband, and I were okay. She listened when medical staff came in and I loved having her as a second set of ears. My husband and I were so absorbed in this new and overwhelming experience so it was amazing that she was able to peice together the whole experience. She always made my husband and I feel calm. She helped make the hospital room into a nice, calm, and as relaxing exvironment as it could be. You will not regret making Emily a part of your birth, labor, and postpartum experience. Emily really is your doula for life. We still keep in touch and I am almost 6 months post partum and I know we will continue to keep in touch.
We hired Emily for the birth of our second child. By all accounts, I had a normal pregnancy and typical labor and delivery. However, I am positive we could not have succeeded in our wish for a natural birth if it were not for the knowledge and support we received from Emily. She has such a calming presence. She empowered us to work through the labor process and knew just what to say to get me through the tough spots. After meeting with Emily we knew she was the one! In just a short meeting we could tell Emily was extremely knowledgable and passionate about her work. Despite this being our second child, we learned so much during our prenatal visits with Emily. Our full-term baby did have to go to the NICU for extra monitoring and Emily stayed at my side while my husband stayed with our son. She ensured I was fed and helped me get settled before going home to her own family for the night. The next day she was back (she came to the NICU) to assist with breastfeeding, as this was essential for our son to be able to move out of the NICU. She was patient and again calming during a stressful time. For those not familiar with services doulas provide, their fee may seem pricey. But the tools, education and birth/memories we received from Emily are priceless. Our only regret is that we did not have Emily at the birth of our first child.
From our experience and everything we've heard, Emily is clearly one of the best doulas in Richmond. She is worth her weight in gold. I had a long, difficult labor, during which both my spouse and I were acutely ill. Emily moved mountains to provide consistent support to maintain a calm atmosphere and to help us address each turn in the labor. She knew the hospital well, from the staff and procedures to little things such as how to operate the bed and find water and snacks. Hiring Emily and choosing midwives were the two most important decisions I made regarding my pregnancy, and each helped prevent what surely would have been a C section in most other situations. Postpartum presented new challenges, but Emily's visits provided a wealth of resources as well as significant moral support. I would highly recommend her to anyone.
My family moved to the Richmond area when I was 19 weeks pregnant with our third child. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to have a doula, so we spoke with local mothers as well as medical professionals. Emily's name kept coming up as "the best."
From the beginning, Emily was readily available to answer questions and offer a compassionate ear when the anxieties of pregnancy seemed unbearable. My two previous pregancies were very stressful, and this last pregnancy was headed down that same path. Thankfully, this was diverted by Emily's incredible support. It was obvious that she knew what she was talking about and had the experiences to prove it.
During the visits before the birth of our daughter, my husband and I had a few issues that we did not agree on. Emily guided us through these with unbiased, fact-based information as well as personal stories to give us different perspectives. Her calm and even demeanor is priceless, as is her extensive knowledge base. Due to this, we were able to agree on decisions that would work for our family with informed, judgement-free, evidence based information.
When labor started, Emily was ready and available. Throughout the day, she frequently checked in and offered support as things progressed. My advice to anyone working with Emily- listen to her and soak in everything she says in your pre-birth appointments. Had it not been for her advice, the birth of our daughter would have looked very different. During active labor at the hospital, I lost confidence and doubted that I could get my daugther out on my own. Having Emily there with her soft yet confident words got me through the moment of panic and allowed me to focus on bringing my daugther into the World.
She has our highest recommendations. We wish she was with us for the births of our other two children, yet feel infinitely fortunate that she was with us for the birth of our third. Emily truly is the best.
Wow! How do I even put into words how simply AMAZING Emily is? I met Emily early on in my pregnancy once my husband and I decided to pursue a low-no intervention birth with a midwife and doula. From the time I met Emily, I knew we had made the best decision. She was constantly available to answer any questions, reassure me that what I was experiencing was normal pregnancy "stuff" and explain pregnancy things in terms we could understand. We had a birth plan that included laboring at home as long as possible, but when my bag of waters began leaking over the course of 24 hours, we had to go to the hospital sooner than anticipated. Emily was the picture of calmness and assured me that just because we couldn't labor at home didn't mean our birth plan had to change. Once my husband called Emily to let her know we needed her, she was at the hospital within 15 minutes and never left our side until hours after our baby had arrived. Throughout my labor, Emily provided words of reassurance for me and my husband, had cold rags that had been soaking in essential oils ready to drape on my neck, and was quick to try new techniques and comfort measures when needed. Not only was Emily attentive to my needs, but to my husband's as well. Emily would show him something to try and coach him through comfort measures so that he was completely involved the whole time. I truly can not say enough about how wonderful Emily was from start to finish. As my husband has said so many times since - - "Emily could have written her own check and it still wouldn't have been enough". Once the baby was born, Emily went and got food for us and made sure we ate before visitors came in. Not only did Emily visit after our daughter's birth, but she continues to be available as we settle into our new parent routine. We truly feel like Emily is part of our family and will definitely be having her with us for future births.
Short story: Emily is an amazing doula: comforting, compassionate and knowledgable, and I would recommend her to anyone needing a doula by their side!
Long story: We met Emily when I was 38 weeks pregnant taking A Brighter Birth's one day childbirth education class. We had hired Melanie Headley as our doula and due to some scheduling conflicts there was a chance that Emily would help during our birth. The class was amazing! We learned so much more in those 5 hours than we did while reading books for the previous 8 months. Best of all, we walked away from the class with an instant connection and reassurance that if Emily was the doula that helped us when the baby came we would be in great hands. Fast forward two weeks and four days and Emily did indeed help out for a few hours. The hours that Emily helped were so critical. She was caring, comforting and informative...helping us through some of the toughest contractions and helping guide us in some big decisions that in the end prevented medical interventions and helped us have the delivery we wanted.
Emily Bruno is a fantastic doula that my husband and I would highly recommend. She is compassionate and enthusiastic- she loves what she does and it shows. The resources and knowledge she has to share with expecting mothers and couples are invaluable, from coping methods to breastfeeding to parenting styles… she covers it all. Emily is easy to reach any time of the day or night and is happy to answer any questions that come up. If you are looking for someone to support your family through pregnancy, labor, and beyond - Emily is the doula for you!
Emily was our doula for the birth of our first baby and we wouldn’t have been able to have our amazing birth story without her. We moved to the Richmond area 3 months before our son was born, and Emily was a fantastic resource. She visited our home during the last trimester and discussed comfort measures, the stages of labor, what to bring to the hospital, etc. Emily provided her knowledge/suggestions but also respectfully allowed us to make our own choices along our journey, which we greatly appreciated.
Our labor was fast, so Emily met us at the hospital and provided Mom with massages, sips of water, and words of support/encouragement. Emily did “hip squeezes” to relieve the pressure of baby coming down. She helped Dad figure out how he could help with different positions and techniques. When she wasn’t helping “hands-on”, Emily was taking pictures to capture the beautiful memories of our son’s birth so Dad could stay focused and not worry about the camera.
After our son was born, Emily visited our home once again. She cooked up an herbal sitz bath to help with healing. She discussed helping baby latch properly, establishing a good milk supply, support groups and resources.
Our son is 3 months old and we still contact Emily if we have questions/concerns, or just to brag about how great our son is doing :)
There is just something so nurturing about Emily that makes her a natural doula. Not only is she the loving presence I wanted around me during my journey, she is very educated about pregnancy and birth. After meeting Emily, I knew that she was the perfect person to add to our birth team as we prepared for the birth of our second child. We are so happy we did. (Make sure she brings the peppermint oil to your birth... it was just what I needed in the moment!)
When I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to have a natural birth and wanted the support of a doula in that process. The classes my husband and I took were informative regarding the process of childbirth, but the information Emily provided was more detailed and helped fill in any holes as well answer any questions we had. I felt we were as prepared as we could be as first time parents.
When my daughter was born on the morning of March 2, 2013 my husband and I were very glad we had Emily on our team. My labor came on strong and progressed quickly and if it was not for Emily our baby girl might have been born at home or in the car. I remember feeling very anxious and scared when talking to Emily on the phone after my contractions started and I remember her saying the important thing was that our daughter had picked her own birthday. This helped me to focus and realize the natural birth I wanted as happening and there was no turning back. Emily's experience was invaluable and she could tell just from my voice how fast my labor was progressing. She encouraged me to call our midwife back and arrived at the hospital before we did. Our little one was born forty five minutes after we arrived at the hospital. Emily's support during her birth and immediately after helped to make my birthing experience a positive one and I highly recommend her as a doula. She took some beautiful photos just minutes after our daughter was born that we will always cherish.
We are very thankful to have had Emily's support during my pregancy, during the birth process and during the first few days after our daughter was born.
Emily was absolutely amazing! As soon as we left our initial interview with her, my husband and I knew she was the one we wanted with us on this journey. Emily was always available to help discuss things with me. I had gestational diabetes and hypertension, ending up with a high risk OB. I talked with her frequently and always felt better afterwards. She brings such a calm and peace with her even over the phone. Despite 2 weeks of prodromal labor and an eventual induction due to the hypertension we still achieved an unmedicated birth. She stayed with my husband & baby for 3 hours after the birth when I needed to go to the OR. Despite it not being the "ideal" birth we had imagined it was still an empowering experience and I honestly believe it would not have been achieved without Emily. Her knowledge and resources are unparalleled. And the way she worked WITH my husband. They were such an awesome team! I honestly look forward to being pregnant again so we can work with her!
The best decision you can make when pregnant is to hire a doula. The second best decision you can make is to hire Emily Bruno as your doula. Emily is supportive, loving, dependable, calm, and confident - all things you'd like at your birth. All the questions or concerns you have are answered with patience and kindness. She is always there when you need her with a call, text, or more importantly strong arms to hold you during an intense contraction. Even with this dependability, she never takes the place of your partner and instead enhances the moments for both of you by bringing her experience and support. It took our family some time to find the right doula for us and as soon as we met Emily, we knew that she was "the one." We often thought that we had won the doula lottery finding Emily. We would encourage you to see if Emily could be your winning doula too!
Decidimg to work with Emily started us down a path of many decisions and choices ultimately leading to a wonderful birth experience and healthy birth of our baby boy. At first, we thought that Emily would meet wtih us to learn our prefernces for birth and just help during the actual delivery. On the contrary, Emily not only taught us so much about the labor and delivery, but also about how I could improve the health of my pregnancy thereby improving the health of my baby and a healthier delivery. But Emily did much more than just teach, she showed so much compassion and caring for not only me, but for my husband and baby as well. We felt that we were much more than just 'clients' and it was very obvious from the start that Emily does this work because she loves it, and not for the financial reasons. (Indeed, my husband and I both felt that she needed to charge far more for all that she did for us!) Emily became especially important to us as we neared and passed our baby's due date. She talked with me constantly and helped alleviate my growing anxiety as the days passed. I don't know what we would have done without her! When it came to actual labor and delivery, again I don't know what we would have done if not for Emily. I do know that we would have ended up in a C-section, which we were thankfully able to avoid after a long long labor. Emily kept us calm, informed and at ease during the many hours that we labored. I feel more than blessed that Emily was by our side during this journey. She gave us something that is so special, the opportunity for a healthy birth and beginning of a healthy life for our son. As before the birth, Emily visited with us a few times after he was born to ensure we were off to a good start wtih him and to help in any way she could. I cannot recommend her enough. Thank you Emily!
I can say with absolute certainty that our daughter’s birth story would have been written completely differently without Emily in our lives. My husband and I came to the realization very late in my pregnancy (34 weeks) that my ob/gyn and the hospital we were supposed to deliver at were not as supportive of natural childbirth as we wanted. As we went searching for answers and a new birthing environment, I met Emily through a mutual friend and I knew right away that she was supposed to be our doula. I felt so guilty about making the switch so late in my pregnancy, but Emily guided and supported me through the entire process and she couldn’t have been more right. In the end, I delivered our beautiful daughter with the midwives at VCU and it was perfect. Emily provided us with all of the pre-natal guidance we needed to go into the delivery feeling calm and prepared. When my labor stalled in the middle of the night, Emily helped us make the important decision of whether or not to use Pitocin, and as much as we trusted the midwives’ counsel, it was so reassuring to be able to lean on Emily as well. She respected all of my wishes and needs as they changed throughout the delivery, and her massages were wonderful! She was also an invaluable support for my husband throughout the delivery – he said he felt so much calmer knowing she was there when we needed her. She also provided wonderful reassurance and post-partum guidance for us first time parents. We can’t wait to have her at the next birth!
Emily served as our doula for our 2nd son's birth. After a traumatic birth and no doula with our first, I was very afraid of having a repeat and I was determined to do everything I could to make this birth different. Emily was reassuring from the start, providing us with resources to help us re-think what birth could be like, and soothing my anxiety with conversation as well as affirmations, each time I needed it. When my water broke at 1:10 a.m., she came to the hospital and walked and talked with me for four hours while my husband (who'd worked a 20-hour day) got a few hours' sleep. As my labor progressed, she helped me find comfortable positions, guided my husband in massaging me, supporting me upright, and pressing on my hips, and generally kept me focused with words and images that helped my labor progress. She assisted my nurses in re-positioning me to naturally stretch out the cervical lip, and when I couldn't talk any longer she helped my husband communicate my wishes to the staff. After it became clear that my son was positioned posterior, Emily and my doctor together helped me get into "polar bear" stance, she and my husband held my hands, and she coached me through the push that turned him around. I credit Emily's calm assurance and supportive flexibility with making my second birth one of the most positive experiences of my life. I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking assistance during birth--you will come away feeling stronger and more positive about yourself than you ever thought possible.
Choosing Emily was the best thing we did in preparing for birth. I wasn't sure that my husband or I would be able to get through a drug-free birth. In our prenatal mtgs, Emily was thorough in finding out what we wanted in L&D, and what we wanted her role to be. She explained terminology that we would hear and choices we would have that we never thought of. Emily kept in contact with me but wasn't overbearing. She was very supportive & reassuring when I was overdue & fearful of induction When I called her after my 41 wk appt (5cm 100%), she calmed me while I drove to the hospital and encouraged me to eat and drink for energy, which I didnt think of, but was so important. Emily was patient in letting us labor until we were ready for her to come. Once she came, she knew the right words and touch to use. She used imagery to help me through the contractions, helped me into positions when I couldn't move, kept cool washcloths on my neck, and gave me sips to stay hydrated. She got in the shower with us and helped me through the worst of my labor, when I was beginning to doubt myself. Emily made sure the pot of compresses were ready prior to pushing and I believe that prevented me from tearing. She remembered all the things I wanted but would've forgotten in the moment. She was a huge support to my husband, and helped him support me. She was able to support both of us without making him feel left out or that she was getting between us. She never got in the way of the doctors and nurses, but worked with them. She took beautiful pictures for us and took notes for me while I nursed the baby. She visited us the next day and called to check postpartum, giving great breadstfeeding support She made our birth experience perfect. We both definitely want Emily to be there for future babies and would recommend her to anyone!!
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