Phone: (919) 622-1668
Birth Fee: $1200
Fee Details: Every woman has unique needs for mental and physical support during labor. Some like to be coached like an athlete, others prefer a tender, nurturing touch. You may not even know what you prefer or need until the time comes! My style of support is often described as flexible: compassionate and empowering—I rise to whatever occasion presents itself to provide tailored support for you and your partner. If you are looking for a calm, supportive and empowered birthing experience, consider adding me to your birth team. I am also a licensed trainer with the American Red Cross®. Learn more about my Infant CPR class and register at www.infantcprclass.net
Birth Doula Experience: 12 years and 155 births attended
Clients per Month: 1 to 2Attends hospital births? Some Hospitals
Languages spoken: English
Service Area MapArea of practice: Raleigh, NC
My wife and I first met Susan 2.5 years ago as we were taking her Bradley Class to prepare for our first child. When we left the first or second class and had learned of her doula services, we weren't two feet out of the door and my wife told me that she wanted to hire her as our doula. I was skeptical but K was adament and knew that it was what would be best and help ensure that she had the birth she wanted. So we wired her. As our doula, Susan was very engaged with us: checking in on how we were both doing throughout the pregnancy, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
When labor started she was our first phone call. While my wife labored at home, Susan was readily available via phone and text. Susan's clear communication and support helped us to navigate two very different labors and supported me in supporting my wife. Upon arrival at the hospital, Susan had a bag with many different aids that I never would have thought of bringing: peppermint oil, coconut water, extra hair ties, etc. She was instrumental in making sure my wife was comfortable throughout her labor and delivery and was an additional advocate for my wife to the medical team. Candidly, Susan did a much better job at coaching my wife than I was; she innately knew when K needed tough love and when she needed a softer demeanor. Susan's presence and skills allowed me to be a little less stressed and get to be fully present for the birth of both our children.
Nearly 4 months after the birth of our second child (who Susan was also our doula for), Susan is still a part of our lives. 2.5 years after meeting Susan I have gone from a doula-skeptic to an avid-supporter. Because of Susan's Bradley Class and her Doula services, my wife was able to have the natural, unmedicated births that she wanted and we are so grateful.
Having had Susan by my side and by my husband's during both of our births was one of the best decisions we have ever made. We initially met Susan 2.5 years ago as our Bradley instructor and then doula. Between pregnancies we casually kept in touch and Susan was my first call when I found out about my second pregnancy. Knowing she is the best at what she does, I wanted to ensure she would be alongside us.
Susan was a rock for me and my husband through both pregnancies and very different births. She has a soft, gentle touch and empathetoc demenor, but she gets down in the trenches with you and guides you through the hardest parts of the amazing work of labor. I cannot sing Susan's praises enough as she encouraged us, educated us, and ensured that we had the tools to be educated consumers of medical services and that we knew just what my mind and body were capable of. When labor got tough and I needed the extra loving but firm "you've got this, just focus," Susan was right there with me.
Susan supported my.husband and I through two pregnancies and two unmedicated natural births. I cannot fathom going on this journey without her. With Susan as your doula, both you and your signifosign other will be supported, loved, educated, and will have attached the deck a little more in your favor for reaching your goal of an unmedicated natural birth.
Susan has been our doula for the birth of our daughter and son as well as our Bradley birth instructor. We can't say enough positive things about Susan both as an instructor and as a doula. Both of our births were complicated and came with lots of curve balls and Susan was our rock through both experiences. She was a calming presence when we needed it, a cheerleader, the voice of reason and a soothing and steady touch. My husband and I both agree that having Susan as our doula truly made a difference in the outcomes of our births and we couldn't have done it without her. She is a committed partner and both times went well above and beyond to check in on me before and after the birth. She gave me the confidence i needed to do the hard work of giving birth, particularly when faced with birth complications and really helped me advocate both for myself and my baby. Susan is nothing short of an amazing doula as well as a gem of a person. She will forever be an important part of the birth story of both our children!
My wife and I met Susan ~3yrs ago when we participated in her Bradley class at the CH Birth Center. Candidly, the class was quite long. However, I learned a tremendous amount of material that I would have never been exposed to via any other class, course, or program. The class was well worth my time and money.
Fast forward ~6 months from our meeting Susan to when my wife and I had our first child. Because of our prior experience with Susan we decided to use her doula services. Full disclosure on my background: I am a former Army Special Forces operator who currently works on Wall Street. It would be fair to say that going into this entire process of child birth I was more than skeptical of the "touchy feely" nature of the Bradley Method and the "left of Lenin" culture surrounding the non university hospital birth experience. Through exposure, time, and education, I quickly learned that my initial fears were unfounded and overblown. Susan acted as a friend, guide, rock, and mentor, through what many would consider an EXTREMELY challenging birth. She was engaged during the entire 2 weeks we were in the hospital and the ~12hrs of labor at the end. I am confident in saying that my wife would not have had the same outcome if it were not for Susan, her knowledge, love, professionalism and tenderness. Ultimatley, no one benefited more from Susan's services than my daughter.
Fast foward to ~3weeks ago when our second child was born and we were once again teamed up with Susan. We had another challenging labor and delivery and needed all the support we could afford. After ~36hrs and a few major "speed bumps", our son was born healthy and not so happy! It is safe to say that Susan's continued participation in our journey was key to a good outcome. I understand that doula services are not cheap and it is a leap of faith to go with someone that is not family. That being said, she is worth every pennie and I highly recommend her services!
We first signed up for Susan Bradley class before our first was born. We loved Susan's approach, demeanor, passion. We became so comfortable with her that we asked her to be our doula for our first born. Due to unforseen circumstnces she was unable to attend the birth but sent her back up to the hospital. Susan came to the hospital the next day to meet our little girl. Afterwards we stayed in touch with her and she was always available. I would contact her with questions she never hesitated to provide references to look into or professionals to reach out to. When we got pregnant with 2nd child we knew we wanted to have Susan as our Doula. She was the compassionate rock I wanted to have standing next to me as I labored to bring another beautiful life into this world. She was in constatn contact with me during the 24 hours of early labor before heading to the hospital. Once at the hospital she supported me as I threw up in the triage room, got me out of the bed into a more comfortable position and physically supported me as I tried to walk from triage to L&D. She was the gentle whisper in my ear between pushes and gave me the extra power I needed to bring our son into this world. Both of my deliveries were the way we wanted them, all natural, un-medicated, and unassisted by any devices - becasue of her. Her class taught us benefits of Bradley method, complications that could arise from introducing interventions into our plan, what was happening to my body through pregnancy and how it would prepare for delivery and labor - as well as the resources and knowledge to be infomred to make every decision we needed. she was my rock during delivery, the person I knew I could trust to put my baby's and my best interest first...not bound by a schedule or hidden agendas. She was there for me and my baby and our well-being, tha'ts it. Her presence gave me peace of mind and her words gave me strength. Susan is a pre and postnatal godsend. We will always sing her praises.
We took Susan's Bradley class, but weren't intending on hiring a doula. Throughout her class, we learned all about the process of labor, delivery, and postpartum care. Not only did I better understand what would happen to my body and my baby's, but maybe even more importantly, my husband had a plan to support me. However, we realized through the class the value of having someone with experience and expertise there to support me and us in labor, and we weren't wrong. Everything we did to prepare for labor was important, but most important of all was making sure we surrounded ourselves with supportive, nurturing people. Susan checked in on us before and after delivery, made us meals to help alleviate our new parent stress, and even encapsulated my placenta. She is so giving with all her knowledge and warmth. We can't recommend Susan enough!
I was weary about needing a doula when Ashley first mentioned it to me but after learning more about the entire birth process in Susan’s Bradley classes I was convinced there was a need. Any help I could get to help me in the moment and keep Ashley in a positive thought process progressing in a manner that would help achieve our goal with zero interventions and a natural and health birth for our soon to be child.
Susan was a key component in helping me time when to arrive at the birth center which made sure we were not turned away with the hour drive we had.
During the birth Susan helped with so many things that I would have forgot in the moment from water, food (going and getting a shake to keep Ashley fed!), keeping Ashley and I relaxed, moving to new positions, breathing, and so much more. During the 20 hours of labor there were so many moving parts to make sure we achieved the end result we wanted it was extremely helpful having a person there to advocate for us even amongst the midwives.
Even after the birth and once we made it home Susan continued to help with food, to jam, to even the continued encouragement was priceless.
Thank you Susan for everything and helping welcome our 10 pound 4 oz Addison K to the world.
My husband and I first met Susan as our Bradley Method instructor. She was beyond amazing at educating us about birth and helping us to prepare for the healthiest outcome.
We already knew Susan and trusted that she would go to bat for us as our doula. The moment we hired Susan, she started to go to work to help us have the birth experience possible. She even made us dinner since she the sweetest and could discern our needs leading up to labor. She's wonderful, truly.
I had a few high blood pressure readings that concerned me so I reached out to my doctor and to Susan. As I was waiting for the doctor to call back, Susan prepared me for what she thought the doctor might say, what some concerns could be in my case, and she was spot on.
I felt like she was able to help prepare me for MY specific situation, which put me at ease. I had a lot of fear leading up to labor and birth, so being able to know what was ahead really helped.
Fast forward, I ended up being induced. The induction process caused terrible contractions a minute long and a minute apart (with no break) for hours on end. I was exhausted and I knew that I wouldn't be able to push this baby out without some rest. I opted for an epidural to get some relief before the pushing stage.
At no point did I ever feel like a failure or like I had disappointed my amazing Bradley instructor. She always advocates for 1. healthy mom and baby, 2. baby to come out vaginally, 3. as few interventions as possible (and unmedicated) -- ***in that order***
I was able to listen to what my body needed and she advocated for me.
I pushed for 5 hours (my baby had a compound hand). I was extremely fatigued and thought multiple times that I couldn't do it. Susan must have given me a dozen pep talks to get me through it all. I truly believe that I wouldn't have made it without her. I'd hire her again and again. Thank you, Susan!
When my husband and I found out that we were pregnant, we knew immediately that we wanted to have a doula alongside us. Working in maternal and child health, I knew the evidence base supported having a doula to achieve the outcomes we hoped for (e.g., little to no interventions, vaginal delivery, alert baby ready to breastfeed). My husband, eager to be a dad and involved partner in childbirth, was completely on board with this assistance during labor. In our research for childbirth classes in downtown Raleigh, we came across Susan’s comprehensive birth services. We interviewed other doula candidates after registering for Susan’s Bradley Method course but in the end, we couldn’t pass up working with her as a doula too and we’re so glad we did!
With our Bradley preparation, the unparalleled clinical skill of the birth center staff, and Susan’s tireless physical and emotional support, we labored at home (texting with Susan throughout), arrived at the birth center 9 cm dilated, and muscled through six hours of pushing. In my husband’s own words, “I really appreciated helping with labor, although I knew I was the least experienced in the room. Susan did a great job of supporting me to use the techniques from her class and she stepped in with more advanced assistance as the pushing stage went on for hours.”
That intense pushing time included a seamless transfer to UNC where Susan’s experience was particularly evident. She made sure nothing was left behind at the birth center, that the hospital room was cozy, and that my husband and I were taken care of while we all got some rest. And we will never forget Susan’s whispers of encouragement when things were roughest, her wealth of maneuvers for relieving our anxiety and pain, and the chocolate protein shake she snuck me slurps of when I needed it the most. We’re so grateful to you, Susan, and would recommend you in a heartbeat!
Susan was an invaluable part of our birth experiance. There is NO way I could have had to the birth that I dreamed about without her. To get the full picture I have to start from the beginning. My husband and I took her birth class and her calm demeanor, and knowledge of everything birth puts your mind at ease and makes you feel empowered. She taught my husband how to be my coach, my supporter, my comforter not only in the labor and delivery, but throughout the whole pregnancy. She was there for us no matter what we needed, day or night. When labor hit, she met us at the hospital and she jumped right I to action. If anything was going wrong (it didn’t) I wouldn’t have known About it. She took care of everything, and just wanted me to focus on me, my body, and the beautiful process of welcoming our baby boy into the world. Afterwards, she did not leave until she knew that both my husband and I were ok, fed, and encouraged and helped with breastfeeding. She went above and beyond for us. I STILL talk about what an amazing experience we had and how we owe it all to Susan.I recommend her to everyone I know who wants an unmedicated, natural birth, and we will definetly be hiring her baby #2 when the time comes.
My wife and I are SO glad and grateful we chose Susan to help guide us through our baby Huck's birth. Having her "on the team" made me much more confident in my ability to focus on and support my wife during the chaotic experience that is child birth. Having never gone through this before, and admittedly having little knowledge of this miraculous process, I didn't know what to expect but it was clear every step of the way that Susan did. It may sound hard to believe, but I can't remember a single moment when I felt uncertain or worried and I have to belive that having Susan backing me up had a lot to do with that. My wife and I also greatly appreciated Susan's guidance navigating some of the critical decisions early on in the process. For you soon to be fathers out there, I urge you to listen to your wife's request to a) invest in a doula and b) have it be Susan Rotman!
By far one of the best decisions we made in our pregnancy and birth journey was to take Susan’s birth class and hire her as our doula. She prepared us so, so well for what turned out to be a difficult and complicated delivery; we firmly believe that thanks to her diligent and passionate coaching, knowledge, and empathy we were able to take the birth in stride and succeed. In the weeks leading up to the birth we communicated regularly, and her texts of advice and encouragement helped us stay calm as we waited for labor. It was amazing to have someone who was there for us, to answer any question we had. Once labor began Susan was a rock: she knew exactly when to advise we leave for the birth center, and had a million tricks to help ease discomfort and help me progress in my pushing. She knew exactly when to urge me to keep going and when to gently tell me I was doing amazing. Susan helped us have confidence in our choices about birth and my ability to have our baby, and when things didn’t go to plan she was the best reassuring cheerleader we could ask for.
Susan is amazing. She was our Bradley teacher and doula for our first kiddo 3 years ago - and was the first person we emailed once we knew #2 was on the way. We wanted her in our corner again!
From pre-labor scares & late-night/early-morning texts, she was always there for us. The second birth was half the time as the first (4.5 hrs instead of 9) - but we're SO happy she was there. She always knew what to say, what to offer (position change, something to eat/drink, massage), and helped us have the unmedicated birth we wanted.
Anyone that's expecting should meet Susan. If the timing is lucky enough, you'll get to call her your doula and be part of her Tribe. :)
Susan was an invaluable source of support for both our first and second births. She and my husband were an incredible team, giving me the encouragement I needed. During labor with our second child, Susan spent well over an hour leaning over the tub showering me with warm water, which was exactly what I needed to help me relax through intense contractions. My husband and Susan advocated for me time and time again when hosptial staff wanted to do things their way with monitors that continued to fall off. We never got a 'right sized' birthing ball for my petite stature, but that didn't stop Susan from figuring out a way for me to labor comfortably with the birthing ball we had. We moved half way across the country shortly after the birth of our second child and I pray that we will be able to find a doula like Susan - who is passionate, determined, resourceful and incredibly supportive - if we should have a third child...or maybe we'll have to see how far Susan is willing to travel!
We would absolutely recommend Susan Rotman as a doula to anyone who wants a natural childbirth experience.
Our 2nd child was birthed naturally, without any medication. Susan was just as supportive and resourceful during our first birth as well. About 18-20 hours into labor with our first, our Dr. began talking about the possibility of needing a c-section, as my cervix was enflamed and I had gone from 8.5cm dilated to 8cm. After talking through our options, my husband and I decided that I should get an epidural and from there labor progressed well. It wasn't the exact birth experience we had hoped for, and yet I was fully supported and empowered to make the best choices for our baby, and myself. And for that I am beyond thankful.
Susan Rotman is the best! Hands down Susan is the best in the birthing business.
The Bradley Method class was very informative and we felt truly prepared for what to expect in the birthing experience. You'll learn the ins and outs of birth, meet other couples who are expecting, get to hear from great lactation specialists, learn first aid and CPR for infants, eat healthy snacks, and Susan even sends you helpful links from topics covered after each class.
We opted to have Susan become a part of our birthing team as our doula and she such an awesome addition. I speak for both of us when I say we couldn't imagine birthing without her. Encouragement and moral support for both my husband and I, her double hip squeeze was such a huge help during contractions, great communication with midwives and nurses, photos and video of our baby's first moments, frozen homemade meals, placenta capsules within the first 24 hours after birth, I could go on and on. If you're looking for a calm birthing experience I urge you to add Susan to your team. Birth is such an amazing experience and you want to be present for it, birthing with Susan as our doula gave us that experience.
The placenta capsules were a lifesaver, your adjusting to your new role as mom to this new little life, probably getting very little sleep at first, and on top of that hormone levels have to readjust after giving birth. I had no postpartum depression and the capsules helped me regain some energy. All mammals eat their placenta after giving birth, humans are now realizing the benefits of placenta and when you have your placenta encapsulated it's almost like taking a vitamin!
All of that being said, I recommend all services Susan offers: the Bradley method class, the doula services, and the placenta encapsulation. Do it all, you won't regret it! Susan is such a pro, I'm so thankful we found her. Do yourself a favor and add her to your birthing team, there's nobody better.
Like many first time parents, my wife and I spent the early portion of our pregnancy feeling anxious and uneasy about the many decisions that we would have to make over the coming months. This anxiety only grew as we came closer to our due date and health factors altered our plan from a natural birth at a birth center, to an induced labor (three weeks early) in the hospital setting we had been trying to avoid. When things where at there most difficult, Susan provided unwaivering support and was able to draw on her years of experience to walk us through every decision with confidence. We were never pushed to make a decision we werent prepared to make and having Susan at the labor allowed us to slow things down and proceed when we were comfortable and informed. In the end, our induced labor went so much better than any of us could have expected and our first child came into this world happy and healthy, and without needing an epidural. In the end, it wasn't the support she provided in the delivery room (although that alone would have been enough) but the support she provided along the way that was crucial for us. From the late night texting sessions discussing labor questions to the home cooked meals for after delivery, we were a team and she was an integral part. We cant thank her enough for the positive influence she had throughout our experience.
When we found out we were pregnant with baby number 2, my husband and I said we want to have Susan at our birth again! Her role in our first birth was vital and we both knew we wanted the support a second time. Susan's support began before my labor even kicked in. She met with us a few weeks before my due date to ensure my head was in a good place and I was not just physically prepared, but mentally. When my long pre-labor kicked in, Susan was in constant communication and provided tips and encouragement as I labored at home with my husband. When it was time to go to the birth center, Susan met us there and her calming presence, reassuring words, and strong arms to lean into were exactly what I needed to get through the rest of my labor.
We didn't have a photographer at the birth and Susan asked us if she could take some photos, of course we said yes.. After the delivery, she sent us some wonderful pictures of the birth that we will cherish forever. She also did the placenta encapsulation and delivered it to our home the next day. Susan does everything with excellence and really cares about her clients, always going above and beyond! We can't imagine having a birth experience that doesn't involve her support. She's the real deal and just one of my favorite people ever!
To start, I am a NICU nurse so birth and the inner workings of the hospital are things I know well, but I still wanted the incredible support offered by a doula during my labor and delivery. My husband and I worked with and got to know Susan Rotman well throughout my pregnancy (she was our Bradley instructor for 12 weeks), and I can't imagine what my labor and delivery would have been like without her. I desperately wanted a natural, birth center birth, but was unable to have one due to preeclampsia. Our birth plan had to be changed and Susan was easily available to discuss everything via phone and text with my husband and I (not to mention she was incredibly supportive and non-judgmental) during induction and latent labor. Susan came to the hospital when I was in active labor, and immediately went to work making both of us and our room much more comfortable. I was in labor for about 22 hours and needed numerous procedures (catheter, amnioinfusion, epidural, the works), and Susan was by my side talking me through everything that was happening and helping me to stay comfortable and maintain my sanity when everything seemed to be going the exact opposite of how I wanted/envisioned it. My baby kept dropping his heart rate during pushing and assisted birth and surgery were being discussed as options, but Susan helped me find the strength within myself to push him out quickly and safely. I wasn't able to have the exact labor and delivery that I envisioned, but Susan taught me to be flexible and helped me to meet my ultimate goal: a vaginal delivery of a healthy baby.
Susan took the time to get to know my husband and I, and constantly adjusted her techniques to suit my needs and comfort level. We will be forever grateful to Susan for her support and incredible skill while participating in the most important moment our family has experienced, and would not hesitate to hire her again. I wouldn't even want to try to deliver a baby without her.
I always like a challenge. My mom birthed naturally and I really wanted to do the same. Everyone I spoke with told me to get the epidural or have a planned cesarean. However, I knew that wasn't for me or our daughter. We decided the Bradley method was for us. That is where we met Susan Rotman, she was our Bradley Method instructor. Throughout the classes we made friends and realized that there are other people who are like-minded many of which were in the healthcare industry. We asked Susan to be our doula and are so grateful we did!
It was a Sunday morning, of course I had plans that I didn't want to change... My darling daughter had another agenda. I timed the contractions until they were 10 minutes apart and then woke my husband. We alerted Susan, our doula. Susan was so supportive and empowering, she listened to my husband and encouraged me to listen to my body. She supported our laboring at home as long as possible, in a familiar relaxed environment. Susan kept me comfortable and was a sounding board for my husband. Susan met us at the hospital and when my husband pulled up - I felt my body relax when I saw Susan standing there. She whispered in my ear, "We're having a baby today.", that was all I needed to have a renewed surge of energy. Susan wanted me to follow my body and go with what felt natural. Everything in the hospital happened so fast. We had our placenta encapsulated and it has been an amazing aid to my recovery. I recommend everyone having an advocate that only has your best interest in mind - Susan was that for us. Our little girl was born on Susan's birthday! We can't thank her enough for helping us bring our miracle home.
Susan is a phenominal doula and Bradley instructor and both you and your partner will be mentally and emotionally ready to take on the twists and turns that L&D brings with Susan's instruction and doula support.
My husband and I enrolled in Susan's Bradley course and hadn't thought about hiring a doula. We fell in love immediately and I told my husband, "I want her to be my doula." We were fortuante that she was able to take us on at a busy time of year.
Susan was there for us throughout the entire process. A week before our daughter was born I had to have a cervical check and found out that I was 5cm and 80% effaced, making my non-existant anxiety skyrocket. She was supportive and there for us 24/7. She relieved my stress and anxiety and got my head back in the game. A week later I went into labor and was in the right place to bring our baby into the world.
My husband and Susan were in constant communication as I was laboring at home in bed. Though I wasn't displaying the emotional sign-posts that are characteristic of different stages of labor (we were well versed in these and knew what to look for from class), she and my husband discussed where we were and we headed to WakeMed North. She was there not long after we got into our labor room and was my cornerstone through labor. She brought the most delicious coconut water, peppermint oil to help with the nausea, and kept me in positions that helped me get through labor. Her soft affirmations were exactly what I needed to hear as I focused inwards on bringing my baby into the world. Our baby ended up being posterior and I can say with confidence that I would not have been able to deliver her unmedicated and without a c-section without Susan by my side.
With Susan as your doula and Bradley instructor, you're stacking the cards in your favor to have the birth you want and will get the best support around.
Susan was extremely helpful as our Doula and Bradley teacher. My wife had a lengthy 45 hour labor and having Susan at our side was invaluable! We were determined to have a natural child birth and I doubt that would have happened without Susan's support. After 24 hours of labor Susan kept my wife Kate focused, strong, and fully supported both mentally and physically...and myself for that matter :) She was quick to answer a call or text and was at our side when we needed her most. I remember weighing whether we needed a Doula and could afford her services, that seems downright laughable in hindsight. She was the most valuable player on our team! Her calm presence helped bring our baby boy into this world and we are forever grateful. Thanks Susan!
My husband Alex and I had the joy of having Susan as both our Bradley instructor and our doula for the arrival of our first child (a boy!) in September 2016. We found her class to be full of practical knowledge and so empowering as a couple with the goal of an unmedicated birth.
When our labor started on a Friday evening, Susan was with us every step of the way. We felt comforted knowing that she would answer any question we had and guide us when we had a decision to make. As the laboring mom, I was truly able to focus on what I had to do, my breathing and having a good mindset as I knew Alex was in contact with Susan constantly. The arrival of our little one was a little longer than normal-45 hours!-and Susan met us at the birth center multiple times. When it was finally "go" time, she was the perfect liason between the staff and us. It allowed Alex to support me full-time. Susan was an incredible support, providing helpful massages, essential oils and many other things before we even had to ask. Her experience was invaluable and having her as part of our team allowed us to welcome our little one into the world in the best way possible.
Alex and I originally went back and forth on whether to opt for a doula. We are SO glad that we did as it was the best investment we could have made in the beginning of our son's life. Susan is compassionate and knowledgeable and I cannot recommend her services enough.
Susan Rotman played a very important role in our preparation and delivery of our baby girl. She helped prepare us physically and emotionally for the process of labor and delivery. She was able to answer a lot of different questions from her extensive experience to help us feel more prepared for the unknown of birth. She was a strong and positive encouragement throughout the birth, allowing both my husband and I to feel confident and ready. I would recommend Susan as a Doula to anyone giving birth with a first, second or tenth child. She offers so much support and guidance through the process, we wouldn't want to do it without her. She not only offers comfort and relaxation to the laboring woman but also to her husband. We would give Susan a solid 10 out of 10 for preparation, support, encouragement and experience! We can't thank her enough for what she offered us during a very special time. We would also recommend her Bradley Birth Class and Placenta Encapsulation!
Because of Susan, I had the confidence to have the beautiful, unmedicated, vaginal childbirth experience that I wanted. She exudes passion for helping couples welcome their babies naturally into this world, and she is a treasure trove of knowledge. Attending her classes, hiring her to be our doula, and having her encapsulate my placenta were some of the most important investments and decisions my husband and I could ever make! I learned so much through her Bradley method classes, and I also loved being able to share that experience each week with my husband. As a bonus, it was great to meet other couples experiencing the same life changes, and to learn alongside one another in such a supportive, inviting setting. It was such a comfort to know we could talk to Susan whenever we had questions or just needed reassurance before our son was born. I strongly believe that my post-natal recovery went so well (I had zero tearing!) because of what Susan taught us about perineal massage so that we could perform this nightly the few weeks leading up to birth. Also, I think that my placenta pills that Susan encapsulated were the main reasons I had no post-partum depreesion (even though I have a history of anxiety, depression and PTSD). I can't imagine how my birth experience would have been without Susan — nor do I want to — and I want every expectant mom to have her as birth support. She is just wonderful!
My wife and I signed up for Susan’s Bradley Method classes because we wanted to prepare for an un-medicated, natural birth in an Army hospital. After the first class, we knew we wanted to have Susan on our birth team as a doula. After making a trip down to Fort Bragg to get her visitor pass and learn her way around the base, we were ready for the delivery day to come.
Labor was not what we expected - my wife began early labor in the evening, and had back labor and cramping all night. Susan kept in close contact via text, and made her way to Fayetteville once my wife started active labor. After 24 hours of labor, and contractions that were actually growing further apart, we did not know if the baby was coming that night. Susan recommended we head to the hospital to check on the baby. We’re glad we went! My wife was fully dilated and Susan was coaching us through pushing as soon as we arrived.
At the hospital, Susan was great with the military and civilian staff. We were so preoccupied with the excitement of labor – it was indispensable to have Susan with us in the delivery room. She considerately asked if we could limit the number of staff present during the delivery, making the experience more intimate. She worked with the nurses to set up the squat bar my wife wanted to use for pushing. Meanwhile, I was able to stand beside my wife and not leave her side while we witnessed our son make his way into the world.
Susan helped us have the EXACT birth experience we had imagined! Cannot recommend her enough—having her as a doula was a wonderful way to bring our son into the world.
- Malcolm Ohl, Captain, US Army
Asking Susan to join us for our son’s birth was one of the best decisions my husband and I ever made. We never imagined having a doula. But after taking Susan’s course, we fell in love with her personality and energy.
Once Susan agreed to join our team, we felt SUCH relief. We had prepared the best we could but there were always lingering concerns—What if labor was more difficult than imagined? What if the hospital environment felt sterile and unwelcoming? Once we knew Susan would be with us that day, we were reassured that we could roll with anything unexpected.
We’re certainly glad of that, because labor was entirely different than we expected! Rather than experiencing typical contractions, I had back labor and cramping that lasted more than 24 hours and was much more intense that I could have expected. Still, throughout the day I felt extremely calm. I just listened to my husband and Susan and they helped me surrender to each contraction. Without Susan’s presence, I know I wouldn’t have been this pleasant…She got me to drink the smoothie my husband made me, do lunges, and more. My poor husband would have tried to coach me to do each of these, but I know I would have been a twerp without Susan there giving me discipline and reminding me that this was all crucial to sustain my energy. The two worked together beautifully to keep me calm and help me progress just like I needed to.
We finally headed to the hospital and achieved what my husband and I had wanted—showing up so far along that interventions wouldn’t be possible! We were only in the hospital for about 1.5 hrs before we met our son. I must have said “I’m so proud!” twenty times the first day we were with him. I felt so empowered being so fully present when I met my son. Susan’s calm, firm, and supportive presence made the whole birth experience possible.
- Dorothy Ohl
My wife and I have worked closely and intimately now with Susan during the lead-up to and the full birth of both of our children. We met Susan when we took a Bradley course with her and then signed on for her to be our birth doula. Four years later we instinctively reached back out to her to help us with round two (we stayed connected to her for quite some time after the birth of our first child, inviting her to our son's bris ceremony, asking her for insight into newborn issues, etc.). Susan is a deep, passionate, and wise soul. She has the abilitiy to be completely selfless in the moment, pick up intuitively on what people need, and act with strength, confidence, and grace. Susan has put both my wife and me at ease on multiple occasions and always is there for us with regard to anything. She really is doing good work that she loves to do. It is certainly her path in life. We enthusiastically recommend Susan and grateful for her!
After the successful natural birth of our son, it was an easy decision to hire Susan again for the birth of our baby girl. We wanted to achieve the same type of natural birth experience and knew we wouldn't be able to do that without Susan's support. My labor started with a long 2-day early labor. Throuought this time Susan was in contact with us, offering advice. Once contracts amped up, it was with Susan's help that we decided to head onto the hospital. We arrived at just the right time, I was 6 cm dialated and Susan was on her way to UNC. She arrived just as contractions were getting more difficult to manage. She set the mood by turning off all the bright lights and using dim lighting. Her confidence in how things would progress was what my husband and I needed to keep our own confidence high. My contractions hurt my back and it was through constant massage in just the right places that kept them managable. This second birth was fast! I was lucky to have short contractions but they were coming on fast. I progressed from 6cm to 10 in about 3 hours. While it was nice to have things progressing quickly, it was also a bit scarry because it's all happening so fast. It would easily have been overwhelming if my husband and I were going through this on our own. We needed Susan there to keep our calm. Keep calm and contract on! It was no time before I was needing to push. I couldn't handle the standing position I was in and Susan got me up on the bed and pulled off my tennis shoes before I knew what was happening. I pushed for a few contractions, I'm not sure how many, maybe 10 and then the baby was here! Pushing is very intense for me and with both my son and new baby girl, after the fact I start to freak out a little. I start hyperventilating and the homomes make my whole body shake. Susan was there to calm me down and help me re-gain control of myself. Susan's professionalism, generous warmth and confidence in the natural process are what make her invaluable.
Don’t think twice! Do it!! Attend Susan’s Bradley birthing class & hire her as your doula! That is exactly what I want to shout from my soul on the rooftop to all expectant parents in the research triangle and beyond! You will have no regrets! I feel this way because I want all moms & dads to experience the same overflowing joy & empowerment I have that comes along with knowing you gave your child the best start possible with a low-intervention birth. To attempt to put into words the invaluable support, compassion, dedication, & immeasurable passion to help others that we experienced from Susan Rotman seems like an impossible feat! There are countless unknown factors of labor that you will always face, no matter how you prepare - having Susan present at the birth of both of my children was the only thing that was 100% predictable and the only thing I knew I could count on to pull through and have the low intervention births my husband and I coveted for our precious babies. With the birth of my kids, I knew I wanted to do everything I could to help stack the cards favorably to have low intervention births. This meant hiring Susan to be our doula and attending her Bradley Method birthing class. Susan came highly recommended to me from a friend, so when I found out I was pregnant for the first time I began doing my own research on birthing classes and doulas in the area. Susan’s birthing class is hands down the most important thing we did to prepare and ensure low-intervention births. Having taken the class, I cannot fathom how anyone can go into labor without the knowledge you gain from her class. I am eternally indebted to Susan for all she did for me before, during & after the birth of my children. Susan shows unlimited compassion towards you while you are in labor, it is really unreal to experience. I feel honored to have had her present and felt her support during the birth of my kids.
We were lucky enough to have Susan as our doula for both of our son's births. As "seasoned veterans" of her Bradley class, we knew the deal the second time around: We labored at home for as long as possible, through the night, and when morning hit things really sped up. Susan beat us to the birth center (during morning rush hour) and was smiling at my car door when we arrived. Seeing her face was just like being wrapped up in a warm blanket. She has such a calm and comforting presence. And she didn't panic when we discovered that we had all beat the midwife there. Susan is cool as a cucumber!
Even though we were only there for about 25 minutes before our baby was born, I remember all of her encouraging and supportive words that filled that space. Our baby arrived without a hitch, what a smooth ride!...Until the midwife and nurse started to notice some extra bleeding. I ended up having a pretty serious postpartum hemorrhage and at the same time our baby's temp started to drop. Luckily, Susan has the benefit of years of birth experiences in her toolbox. She knew exactly what questions to ask and when. She asked all of the questions I was thinking, but was too distracted or afraid to ask. And she supplemented their answers with calm reassurance. She took what could have been a very scary situation and injected her trademarked Susan coolness. Once we were stabilized, Susan was able to secure an awesome meal for us and hand-fed me while I held and nursed our new little boy. I can't imagine what our experience would have been like without her there! Even if you consider yourself an experienced childbirth pro, anything can happen and it was so comforting to know we had Susan to support us through the experience!
After getting to know superpowered Susan as our Bradley Method teacher, we had to have her as our doula. Susan was at the birth center when we arrived after a night of laboring at home. She jumped in immediately, scenting the room and using massage and breathing techniques. Everything she did was exactly what I needed. We were not thrilled to learn that I was only 3-4 centimeters dialated but since my contractions were so intense, we decided to stay. Susan helped us work through different positions, helping Tyler to support me and reminding us that everything was normal. She made sure that I was eating and drinking - this became essential with the long labor ahead. I did not dialate much over several hours and my labor began to slow. We made the difficult decision to return home. Susan was in contact with my husband all night. He would put her on speaker phone when I needed one of her famous pep talks - they are magical! We wound up laboring at home until the last minute. When we returned, Susan met us again. My husband said he was so relieved to have her there, he nearly cried. She and my midwife worked seemlessly together, coaching me through the most intense contractions of the 45 hour labor. Within 20 minutes of arriving, our precious boy was born. Susan capturned some great pictures for us, went out and got us dinner and then took my placenta to encapsulate. She delivered it the next day along with some delicious stew - this is becoming a signature service of hers! When my husband and I talk about our birth, Susan is among the top factors that enabled us to have the natural birth that we desired despite an incredibly tough, long labor. She is endlessly supportive and tough in all the right ways. I knew that I didn't want someone coddling me or talking to me about interventions during my labor. I wanted someone who believed that I could AND WOULD do birth the natural way. Susan was that person and she was essential to our birth process.
You won't find a more nurturing and knowledgable Doula anywhere. With Susan's guidance i became a confident birth consumer who had an amazing natural birth. With Susans coaching and support i went into labor with confidence that i could do it - And I did! Susan was a critical part of our birth team and should i find myself expecting again I would be honored to have her on my team once again!
Expecting our first child and hoping for a low-intervention birth, Susan's Bradley Method class came highly recommended by a friend. The class was extremely informative for us as inexperienced parents-to-be. After a few classes we felt very comfortable with Susan and requested her doula services for the birth of our son. We are so glad we did!
In the weeks and days leading up to the birth, Susan made herself available to us to address any questions or concerns we had about doctor visits, aches and pains, food and supplement best practices and offered many other helpful tips to keep us on track. It was very reassuring to have her knowledge and experience on our side.
When the big day came, Susan gave us (perhaps me as much as my wife!) the courage and direction to stick to our birth plan and deliver our happy and healthy son without intervention. We're very happy and thankful for Susan's guidance and support through the process -- the successful outcome of which we both agree would have been much, much less likely without her. We recommend Susan without hesitation!
We took Susan’s class on recommendation from the Women’s Birth and Wellness Center. Take her class! She got us pumped about choosing a low intervention birth. We never planned on having a Doula, but halfway through about the classes, Matt and I knew we NEEDED Susan! She has a wonderful positive energy but also exudes calm and control when necessary. She is whatever you need at every moment—she can be the coach that tells you to get it together or the friend who wipes the sweat from your brow.
Now that we’ve delivered, we know we couldn’t have had the experience we wanted without her. Even though we swore we would not be the couple that shows up too early to the place of birth, we did. It was a tough ~30 hours of early labor that certainly felt painful enough to be the real deal, and contractions appeared to be hitting the 3-2-1 mark. But when we arrived I was only 3cm, 90% effaced. I was heartbroken. The midwife offered morphine to let me rest, which was so tempting, but I still had enough of my brain function left to ask Susan to talk me out of it. She did and we went home for another 6 hours. That is why you need a Doula. Yes, I had my partner who was trained to help me relax through contractions and advocate for our birth plan. Yes, a Doula helps you with natural pain management and can be a huge support to your partner. But more than that, a Doula helps you have the kind of birth you wanted before the pain and fatigue had a chance to cloud your judgment. Labor can be quick, but labor can also be long and exhausting. If it’s the latter, you need that extra support.
We can't stop talking about what a great birth experience we had. We have such an alert, happy and strong baby and I know that is in large part due to our commitment to have a low intervention birth. Susan is the piece of the puzzle we needed to feel confident enough to accept the challenge.
Susan was invaluable during my wife's 46-hour labor. Do your family right and hire her (and take her birth class!). She is compassionate, positive, strong, honest, and direct. She is fiercely loyal to her clients and optimizing their birthing outcomes. She responded to calls/texts with lightning speed at all times of the day and night during labor. She also helped us make the right (and difficult) choices when things got tough, which I would not have been able to make without her. Within the first 10 minutes of being at the birth center, she asked me what my wife liked/disliked (for comfort/pain/focus) and did a fantastic job of considering and re-assessing these preferences throughout labor. A few hours later, she helped my wife's water break naturally which really boosted our morale and helped labor progress. She constantly helped my wife focus on natural breathing, staying positive, using warm/cool cloths, and overall was excellent at reading my wife’s body language and responding appropriately. For clients of Women's Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, you'll have the extra benefit of Susan's familiarity with the facility and strong rapport with the staff. I’m sure this is also true in the local hospitals as well, to varying degrees.
When preparing for something as unpredictable and challenging as childbirth, it’s best to do everything you can to increase your likelihood of success because you won’t know what factors are most important when the time comes. Aside from being an educated consumer of birth services and being fully committed to natural childbirth, hiring Susan is (in my opinion) the best way to ensure an optimal birth!
We love Susan so, so much! She taught us the Bradley Method of childbirth and we found it so incredibly helpful!!
While we would recommend Bradley to any couple anywhere, but we are certain that Susan is the best teacher in the Triangle area. We attended most of the classes at her home, and also made the trek to Chapel Hill for a few classes at the Women's Birth and Wellness Center. Absolutely, 100% worth the time and effort to make it to every class, get to know her, and meet other couples and growing families.
In the beginning, we weren't sure about natural childbirth. It was something that resonated with me, since I like to avoid unneccessary interventions in general, but I had no idea about the variety of things birthing in a hospital sets forth and what my options were. Susan gave us everthing we needed to feel comfortable and confident enough that we went for a natural birth! We wrote our birth plan requesting no interventions and presented it to our doctors.
By the time we were done with the class, we felt like birth geniuses. We successfully gave bith (with no interventions!) to a healthy baby boy, who is now thriving at 4 months old. Susan has continued to be such a knowledgeable resource to us with the entire process: birth, baby, and new family questions. I look forward to reaching out to her because I know I'll be welcomed with love, acceptance, and I trust that she's giving me information backed by science and a fabulous mother of 2 of her own kids.
Susan's class included hands-on instruction of infant CPR, some helpful infant care tips, and a meeting with a fabulous lactation consultant to ease any concerns about breastfeeding.
We are very frugal people, but her class was well worth the money and more! We'd recommend her to anybody!!
Laurel: When a friend first posed the idea of having a doula it sounded a bit wierd to me. The idea of inviting a stranger into such an intimate setting sounded awkward, however now that I experienced birth with Susan at my side I understand her importance. Susan's Bradley class prepared us for the birth experience, giving us the tools we needed to succeed. As a doula she furthered that. She thought of minor things that made all the difference. She knew what I needed even when I didn't, whether that was encouragement tough love, or suggestions about positions and laboring. She read the cues I was giving as I labored and responded perfectly. My absolute favorite thing Susan did was ensure that my husband was rested and had the energy to power through the whole night to be prepared for the birth of our beautiful son. I highly recommend Susan for any birth scenario and am grateful for the assistance, skill, and knowledge she gave us.
Carlin:Although our child was coming one way or another my wife kindly tells me that she couldn't have done it without me. I feel the same about having Susan as a doula. Of course we would have somehow returned home with a child if we didn't hire her, it does feel like her help was invaluable. As first time parents there is a lot to digest in the process of having a child. Susan was very helpful answering our questions and helping comfort my wife through out the process. She helped us relax and feel comfortable when appropriate, and had us walking around and moving at other times to help the labor progress. Importantly for me, she recognized times when she could stay with my wife while I would try to get some rest and take a nap. It was incredible having someone around during our entire active labor who was focused on advocating for both of us. For us she was the right mix of grounded practical knowledge and emotional comfort and council. Next time I see her she deserves a huge hug of gratitude for the service she provided.
Our birth experience with Susan was amazing and we cannot recommend her services enough. We took the Bradley Method classes with Susan and felt very confident in our knowledge about natural child birth. After a few weeks, we felt so comfortable with Susan and wanted her cheerful, positive, energetic support to be a part of our birth. We were 100% committed to having a natural birth and we felt like we had a better chance of achieving that with Susan's help, especially if we needed to transfer to the hospital from the birth center for any reason. From the time Susan committed to be our doula we had non-stop support from her... Which we ended up REALLY needing with a week of prodromal labor. Susan was always on call responding to our texts and questions (even at 3 AM) and giving us support, love and encouragement. She arrived at the birth center at lightening fast speed when it was "go time," and I'll never forget her support during birth. From helping me out of the car to holding my hand and talking me through transition, I don't know if we would have achieved the natural birth we wanted without Susan on our team. It was Susan's advice and help with breathing during pushing that helped me the very most during the second stage. I'll always be grateful for her and will be calling her for baby #2!
I couldn't be happier with the work Susan did as our doula. We had a long week of false labors, and she proved to be an incredible resource to help calm Casey and me during those frustrating and exhausting days. Having Susan as both our Bradley instructor and as our doula was like having a teacher sit with you and tell you the answers during an exam! She had us completely prepared and if we were ever unsure or anxious she was available to call or text at all times. I think she might be able to teleport to the Birth Center she got there so fast when it was go time! I wholeheartedly recommend her.
During my first birth experience, things didn't go as planned - our daughter was breech and required a c-section delivery. At the start of my second pregnancy, I set to researching everything I could about VBACs and the factors that increase success. A repeated suggestion? Hire a doula! My mind immediately jumped to Susan, who had masterfully led our Bradley class. Both my husband and I not only liked her immensely, we trusted her implicitly. As a bonus, we knew she had experience with other VBAC deliveries and was also a regular presence on the UNC L&D floor.
When the day finally came, Susan far exceeded our already extremely high expectations. What I appreciated most about her was the perfect balance she maintained of being both a comforter and a taskmaster. Toward the end, Susan had to repeat the same reminders at every contraction - quite literally! Yet all the while, her own tone was so gentle and full of compassion, even as she too was fighting exhaustion after a long night of active labor support. Her words and actions were so tender, like my own mother, and when I couldn't submerge my belly in the tub because lying on my side was unbearable, she scooped warm water into a cup and poured it over my tummy again and again. I felt incredibly loved and supported!
After two grueling hours of pushing, I had the joy of watching my husband (!) catch our son and lay him on my belly. Not only was Susan the one who suggested we consider a "daddy catch," she captured all of it on camera for us to marvel at later - truly, a moment neither of us will ever forget! Our little fella is nearly two months old now, but we cannot stop raving about our birth experience to family and friends - or even strangers! Susan played an irreplaceable role in our son's safe arrival, helping us achieve an unmedicated, vaginal birth after a cesarean. So whether you are counting down to your 1st birth or your 5th, do yourself a favor: include Susan on your birth team!
My husband and I took Susan’s Bradley classes which helped to prepare us for our goals of a safe, no intervention birth. We connected with Susan on a personal level and asked her to be our doula at birth. We had hoped like many parents that our daughter would arrive in typical Hollywood fashion – I go into labor at home, my water breaks, we do a mad rush to the hospital and deliver our girl. At 41 weeks, she was yet to arrive; induction was becoming more of a reality. I was concerned about meeting our birth goals with induction as I knew it could be more challenging. Susan gave me the pep talk I needed and believed in me. Also, I connected with a former student of her class that had gone through an induction and still met her natural birth goals – she was so encouraging and really made a difference in my mindset going into birth. During labor Susan was incredible. She seemed to know exactly what I needed and never left my side. Susan’s expertise and the network of supportive parents that we connected with really made a difference to provide my husband and I an experience that has forever changed us. Thank you Susan for everything!
Note from Charlie, Beth’s husband: I wanted to support Beth in whatever her needs were to feel comfortable for birth; however, at first, I wasn’t sure about the idea of hiring a doula. Some of the questions I had were: (i) is it really necessary since we’ve taken the birthing classes? (ii) Would there be less connection to Beth during the process with someone else there? On the day of our daughter’s arrival, especially considering the unforeseen circumstances with the induction, Beth and I were so happy we had hired Susan. She supported both of us in the process. Susan made sure to bring me in and considered my needs as well to be a supportive father during labor and birth. I highly recommend Susan to couples considering natural childbirth.
Susan played a crucial role in the birth of our son Isaac. He caught us off guard coming four weeks early! To make things more difficult, I was out of town when my wife’s water broke. It was 5:30AM when I received a text with the good, yet nerve-wracking news. I had a two hour drive home but Susan was in constant contact with Lisa and I to keep both of us confident and calm. When I arrived at our house Lisa was sitting in the shower and powering through the contractions following all of Susan’s directions. We labored at home until we couldn’t take it anymore. When we arrived at the hospital Susan was in the drive-through waiting for us to escort Lisa through check-in. As we moved through active labor, she knew exactly what Lisa needed and when she needed it. It removed the stress for me and allowed me to enjoy the experience rather than dread it. Our son was born after five hours of labor at the hospital without any interventions. As a result, Lisa’s recovery has been quick and our son is getting his life off to a great start, even though he was considered pre-term.
When my water broke at 5:30am, 4 weeks before my "due date", and while my husband was out of town, I could have panicked and thrown our birth plan out the window....but thankfully, we had Susan. Communicating with her during those wee hours of the morning kept me calm until my husband could get home 2 hours later. Her guidance prevented us from going to the hospital too soon. After hours of laboring at home, Susan met us at the hospital and immediately began comforting and reassuring me while my husband parked the car. In the labor/delivery room, she created a tranquil environment and advocated on my behalf with the hospital staff since I could barely speak through powerful contractions. She had a very diplomatic way of asking for things and making our wishes known without offending people. By the end of it, her & our delivery nurse had become friends! The most shocking part of labor to me was when I involuntarily began to bear down during intense contractions before I was fully dialated. This was very concerning because if my cervix swelled, the whole thing could have derailed right there at the end, after all that work. Susan coached me through all kinds of breathing and visualization techniques which helped me to deeply focus and keep it under control until I reached 10cm & was able to push my baby out in 45 minutes! We ended up having the low-intervention birth we wanted, despite the unexpected circumstances. This experience has been so empowering and the proud way my husband looks at me feels amazing. I can say without a doubt, that things would not have turned out this way for us if we had not hired Susan Rotman as our Doula.
My husband and I took Susan's Bradley Method class before the birth of our son. The Bradley Method fit our hopes for a low intervention, natural birth. Throughout the twelve week course, Susan explained the birth process and helped us understand what we could do to work with my body during labor. During several classes we had the opportunity to role play labor situations and learn hands-on techniques such as massage and various labor positions.
Susan provided videos, books, online links, CDs, and other materials provided to everyone in the class to support and enhance our learning. My husband and I reread one the provided books, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, several times as we found it so helpful. We were sad to give up our bag of materials at the end of the twelve weeks! My husband said several times that just understanding the birth process was the most important piece as it helped us to understand what was happening and not be worried about what was normal and what was not. It was also wonderful to take the class with six other couples who were expecting around the same time we were, and to share what was happening to us all each week. In addition to the Bradley content, the breastfeeding, CPR, and infant care class helped me to feel prepared for my son after he was born.
For our son's birth I ended up being induced at 41+ weeks due to very low amniotic fluid. Although I was scared about being induced, we were able to use what Susan taught us to avoid all other medicine and drugs. I believe that the information she provided help us to remain calm during the process and to understand how to advocate for myself and our baby. For any parent-to-be I believe it is important to choose a supportive prenatal provider, but equally importantly, to take a childbirth class and find an instructor whose beliefs align with your wishes for your child's birth.
My son was born 3 years ago, almost to the day!I have been meaning to write a rave review, well, since my son was born.Time flies!I will start by saying that taking Susan's 12 week Bradley class was one of the best decisions we made before the birth of our son. We have an older daughter, I did not prepare for her birth and I thought I did! I read a few books and online articles,I gathered information on my own, but it wasn't enough! Durning my daughters birth and after,I was lost,utterly lost.In the weeks and months after her birth,I couldn't help but think I could have,and should have,known more.That if I had been more aware of what was going on with my body,especially after the birth,I would have felt more in control,more empowered,and felt more fulfilled afterwards.That feeling of empowerment is exactly what Susan's class gives to expecting parents. While pregnant,everything comes at you so fast, the information and resources you learn from the class gives you the certainty that you did everything possible to prepare for the big day.Susan's class covers everything from nutrition, readying the mind through relaxation, biological changes,the powers of a great birth coach,lactation consultation, hospital-birth center information, and postpartum care.Really,the list goes on and on.Susan is super informative and supportive.She was the support we needed that we did not receive from the doctors or midwives. We looked forward to the class every week.It was an opportunity to share time asking questions and learning all about our baby and my body.I always sing the praises of this birth class.A 2 day birth class just does NOT cover it all.I have recommended this class to two of my pregnant friends and both couples loved it and had the birth they wanted. If you and your partner want to empower your selves,have a wonderful teacher during the journey,and know your birth,pre and post baby,this is definitely a class you need to take.xoxox Laura and Josh Munilla
Why you need birth education AND a doula. Labor is hard. That’s why you’re thinking of hiring a doula. Along with your partner, your doula is your coach and advocate during this challenging time. She helps you stick to your birth plan & navigate unexpected surprises that throw your plan to the wind. But how do you know what support you will need or want? How do you know what your plan should be? That is where your birth education comes into play. I can't stress enough the importance of having both a birth education class to prepare you for the big day along with a doula to help get you through that day. Your BIRTHday is NOT the time to think. I remember thinking when pregnant if something came up I would have time to discuss it with my midwife, husband & doula. I envisioned rational, calm conversations where we weighed our options. And then labor hit. It hit hard. My contractions were back to back and on top of each other. It was no time to think. I could barely get a sentence out before the next contraction took my breath away. During & after labor I thought how glad I was that I'd done my homework ahead of time, that we'd covered the big questions, made contingency plans, explored options, and that I knew what was coming. If I had to think about anything of substance during labor, to concentrate on someone telling me vital information about what to expect, to answer questions about my needs, wants or interests, I wouldn't have known what to think. But having a solid education to prepare me to navigate the surprises my labor threw at me without trying to process new information was essential to the success of my birth. If there's ever a time you are weighing whether to go whole hog (doula AND birth class) or skimp and do the bare minimum, trust me, you want to go all in. There are likely countless items on your baby registry that you don’t actually need, but education on how to get your baby into this world is worth every penny!
Our first birth was a c-section. When we decided to attempt a VBAC the second time around, we knew we wanted all the support we could get. Having formed a relationship with Susan through her birth class, we knew she was the doula for us. And while my wife is adamant that I was her first line of support and no doula could replace me, she would also tell you that we could not have succeeded without Susan. As a woman, Susan supported her in ways I could not, because not only has she been a part of numerous labors and births, but she is a mother of two herself. She has walked through two natural labors of her own, and the empathy she possesses as a result is invaluable. During the worst contractions, my wife would cry, "Oh Susan, it just hurts so much ... I just can't do another one!" and Susan would lovingly reply, "Oh, honey, I know ... let's remember the plan. Inhale slowly through your nose ..." walking her through the rest of it with both kindness and strength. My wife could accept her words because she knew that Susan DID know - that Susan understood her pain because she had been in this place too - and that helped her make it through the roughest hours.
Although Susan will tell you she doesn't have a crystal ball and that every birth experience is different, her accumulated knowledge gained through her own birth experiences, through being a doula for others' experiences, and through her extensive research into all things birth gives her an uncanny ability to help you set appropriate expectations and anticipate what steps your care provider will recommend based upon the specific circumstances of your birth. She exudes calmness, confidence, and an empathy that I, as a man, couldn't possibly provide for my wife in the same way that Susan did. Finally, you can trust her, implicitly, and in those most difficult moments where it feels like your wife is in crisis and your baby's arrival is imminent, trust in your support team is priceless!
I am Tatiana's mother - the grandmother - sharing my daughter's birth experience. I took the Bradley classes given by Susan along with Tatiana and her husband, Joe. Those were excellent preparation. We then engaged Susan as our doula and what a fantastic doula she is! Tatiana's labor was 30 hours long, mostly at home (due to baby's positioning). Once we decided to travel the birth center (in the middle of the night we called Susan). She arrived shortly after we did, assessed the situation, and immediately began giving excellent support and advice. Joe and I had been awake for days at that point, and she gave us the break we each needed. Susan is highly intuitive and capable, and was able to support a very difficult labor and keep my daughter on track, who was flowing with the immediate experience and doing the work she needed to do.
What I loved about Susan was not only her depth of experience, but her reverence for the birth process and the way she honored the family dynamics and emotional needs of all concerned. I can't recommend her highly enough. We would definitely call on her again in the future. She is truly a divinely inspired doula!
To those considering Doula Services,
Attending the bradley method class, my husband and I felt confident going into the birth process that we were prepared to have a low intevention birth. We felt that we did pretty much everything necessary to be prepared for the best birth experience possible. After choosing to switch healthcare providers and go with a birthing center, we decided that the help of Susan Rotman (Doula services) would help us in the process. As life happens, our birth story ended up being much different than we had ever prepared in our hearts. With the help of Susan, my husband had the ability to be really focused on me during the laboring process. As the bradley method teaches- husband coached birth, this was a huge blessing as this was our first birth experience. With the knowledge and extra set of hands (Susan), it was a huge blessing. I would strongly recommend Susan Rotman for Doula services for not only first time mom's but also for those who need the extra support. Whether, you are choosing a birth center or a hospital birth, I would reccommend having the additional support! We cannot thank Susan enough for everything that she did to help us get prepared and walk through our first birthing experience.
Susan was the absolute perfect doula for us - we highly recommend her to anyone who wants a knowledgeable, comforting, and calming presence on their birth team.
My labor lasted 30 hours because baby wasn'to positioned correctly in my pelvis. Through the 22 hours I labored at home with my mother and husband as my coaches, Susan was in constant contact with us via phone and text. When I felt scared, like I couldn't to it anymore, she coached them to say and do the right things to bring me back. When we all got tired (physically and emotionally), she helped us develop a game plan to make sure we could all get the rest we needed and reminded me to conserve my energy, that birth is a marathon and not a sprint. It was especially helpful when she gave us plans to pass the time. For example, when I felt exhausted after the first 12 hours and just wanted to go to the birth center, Susan suggested that my coaches take me for a walk in the yard and then draw me a bath. It helped me relax and it also made me feel like I was "doing something," not just sitting around in pain with no end in sight.
Susan joined us at the birth center shortly after we arrived. As soon as she arrived, she gave my mom and husband the breaks they so badly needed, and she was my constant support through the challenging hours ahead. She held my hand, hugged me, told me I was okay, and kept giving me encouragement. She gave me the nudges I needed to comply with the nurses' requests. She gave my mom and husband guidance on how best to coach me. She made suggestions like laboring on the toilet (never say never!) and reminding me to breathe. When it was finally time to push my baby out, she breathed with me through the pushes. After our beautiful son Boone was born, she told me that I was a warrior and bought us all breakfast!
Words can't express the gratitude we have for Susan - our birth experience wouldn't have been as rewarding without her on the team! We love you, Susan!!
Susan was exactly what we needed when we needed it. Having her as our Doula enabled my wife and I to have the natural child birth we wanted.
She was there for us when we had questions throughout the pregnancy and we had a nice, warm connection with her that was strengthened when we met for a meal toward the end of the pregnancy. She arrived when labor began in earnest and kept us going through the birth. Susan helped my wife relax and labor successfully with techniques and essential oils that made all the difference. She unlocked my wife’s incredible strength and enabled her to realize the immense power she had inside.
There is no question that having Susan as our Doula made the entire birth what we hoped and helped us bring our beautiful child into the world.
Susan is awesome.
We met Susan during her Bradley birth classes and immediately connected with her. After debating if we wanted to have a doula present at our birth (and weighing the option of it being just my husband and mother there), we decided that we needed someone with her strength and knowledge to be our rock for when things got really hard.
We are SO very happy that Susan was our doula! From checking in before the birth, questions and reassurance during early labor, and her help through labor - we wouldn’t have had the natural birth experience we wanted without her.
She has a bag of tricks ready for whatever situation you may find yourself in (peppermint oil for when your nauseous, lavender for the room to make it nice and calming, a strong arm for when you need help laboring, and the perfect words of encouragement for when you need help to keep going).
I highly recommend Susan and look forward to laboring with her again if/when we’re ready for a round 2.
I came from a family where the father of the baby shows up to the birth when the mother is already pushing and he tries not to pass out from the experience. With that as my background my wife and I attended Susan's Bradley class and she had my attention from day one. Susan spoke with such authority and passion. She was dead serious and disciplined about making sure her class was prepared for the road ahead but not without enough humor and personality to keep you engaged and having fun. After a couple of classes we knew we wanted to hire Susan to be our Doula. It was one of the best decisions we made. I could go on and on about how amazing Susan is and all that she did for us, but it would take pages. Susan was invaluable, not only my wife, but to me as the husband. She provided critical insights and support for my wife throughout the labor but also made sure I took care of myself and got some rest. Watching and supporting my wife as she gave birth to our daughter was by far the best experience of my life. Having Susan there as wise counsel, advocate, and encourager took away so much of the stress and brought a sense of peace to an otherwise extremely difficult time. If you are considering hiring a Doula, I could not recommend Susan enough.
We had just moved from Maryland to Raleigh and I began, what seemed to me, an overwhelming search for birth classes and maybe even a doula. When I found Susans website I was impressed by the professional quality of her site and blown away by all the fabulous tesimonials of her past clients. When we spoke on the phone, I knew we had to take her classes and I was even more interested in her doula services. 2 weeks into her Bradley class, my husband wrote a note to me during class and said, "we need to hire a doula." Susan became an intricate part of our birth team at that point and her support throughout my pregnany, but especially through my 60hr labor, was absolutely amazing. Susan has a wonderful balance of nurturing and tenderness, but also resolve and no nonsense. She sees the strength you think you lack and makes sure it's leveraged to its full capacity. My husband and I both say we don't know how we would have made it through labor without her. Do yourself, your baby, and your birth experience a favor and hire Susan. :)
We are so lucky to have found Susan and that she agreed to be our doula. Not only is Susan fun to be around, but she is a skilled and knowledgeable teacher. She was very patient with all of our questions and concerns and provided us with great resources so that we could research our options and make the best decisions for ourselves. She is caring, generous, and has figured out the perfect balance between respecting the medical professionals in the room and being an effective advocate for her clients. We are very greatful that she was able to attend our daughter's birth and I know that my husband and I were far better prepared for the birth because of her.
We are so pleased and honored to have had Susan Rotman as our doula. Her compassion, insight and experience proved invaluable to us, both in the weeks leading up to the birth of our boy and the hours afterwards.
We met Susan through the excellent Bradley Method course she gives, and we were taken by her dedication to ensuring emotional and physical health for both newborns and parents. Once we brought Susan on as a doula, she was instrumental in helping us craft a birth plan. She was always available and supportive in addressing our questions and concerns. Later, when we discovered our baby was in a breech position, Susan was a tremendous resource in both suggesting techniques for turning the baby and in connecting us to other resources (such as a chiropractor).
Susan proved most valuable and supportive once we learned that our baby would not turn and we had to schedule a c-section. Given her belief in the benefits and practice of low-intervention births, we were concerned that Susan may not have been willing to be a doula for my wife's surgery; we were so happy to have been mistaken. Susan's emotional support, wisdom, and attention helped turn what could have been a traumatic experience into a truly joyous day. She was invaluable throughout this process: from helping us craft a c-section birth plan that ensured maximum emotional and physical health for mom and baby, to coming to the hospital with us in the hours before the surgery and helping us prepare, mentally and emotionally, to staying with us in the hours afterwards, easing us into the recovery with her sage advice, careful and respectful interactions with hospital staff, and encouragement of my wife.
Susan ensured that the birth of our first child was the joyous experience we were hoping it would be, despite the adversity we faced. We are forever grateful for her warm, informed care.
Susan came highly recommended by friends, and I hired her as my birth doula because I wanted to have a natural childbirth. The labor and delivery process went extremely smoothly, and I believe that is thanks to Susan's inimitable expertise and comforting nature. My husband I both learned more from her class than we did from our reading, and we felt 100% prepared for childbirth because of it. Without Susan's guidance and support I don't know if I would've had the courage and strength to go through with an unmedicated childbirth--whenever I began to doubt myself during labor, she provided the consistent encouragement and positive reinforcement I needed.
My wife and I both cannot thank or possibly speak any higher of our experiences being in one of Susan's Bradley classes and while she was by our side as our Doula.I am a convert to Bradley and alternative birthing methods,My wife is the one who got me into even believing in anything child-birth wise other than the drug and hospital norm. After watching 'the business of being born" I came around.While at the birth center we heard Susan's name mentioned for birth classes. It just happened to be the same class my wife had found at home.So we signed up for a Sunday class held at Susan's home.We both loved Susan from the start. It was also great to meet a bunch of other couples that were also experiencing life on a common front.Susans's class covered everything from health during the pregnancy to relaxation techniques for the day of birth. Susan's class even covered info for after-birth like breastfeeding,diapering and infant cpr.During one of our Sunday classes Susan mentioned her doula services. I had always been a solid "NO" when it came to doulas. Surprisingly I was totally comfortable and ok with Susan being there on our day of birth. She made both of us feel comfortable just being around her. Being a first time father it also brought a feeling of relief knowing someone would be there for us.On our day of birth Susan met up with us at the birth center and i felt and instant weight lifted from my shoulders. She always knew what to do or how to move. She brought comfort and control without making I the father feel pushed away. It was all that we ever wanted. Our son came in to this world naturally at 2:23am with Susan there by our side sharing it all with us.From the class giving us the power of knowledge to Susan being there as our Doula it's been amazing. For all those expecting that are within our presence and for all those who read this, we cant recommend Susan's Bradley classes or Doula services enough.
When I first got pregnant I started looking into my options about the type of birth experience I felt comfortable with. I decided an unmedicated and uncomplicated childbirth was defintiely for me and the Bradely method seemed perfect. I found Susan and soon after our first class my husband and I decided we defintely wanted Susan to become part of our birth team. She made us feel very comfortable and seemed so knowledgable and caring.
We were beyond thrilled with our decision to hire Susan as our doula. Susan went above and beyond what I would expect a doula would normally do. She was there with us through out the entire experience from class to birth and beyond.
While our birth experience was not what we hoped it would be due to circumstances beyond our control, as well as the hospital we chose, Susan was there unfailingly. She made my husband and I so comfortable and gave us so much support when we needed it the most. She was able to be our voice when we just didn't have any more fight left in us.
In the end we were blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby girl. To say we were happy with our experience with Susan would be an understatement. Susan prepared us with her class, supported us through our birth and has become a lifelong friend who holds a special place in our heart. I truly hope to have her support us through our next birth as well.
From Sam's parents: We knew that we wanted a natural childbirth, but we weren’t sure how to best prepare. Our midwives highly recommended Susan’s class, and we are so glad that they did. Taking the class was the most helpful thing we did to prepare –far more useful than the many books we attempted to read. We felt Susan prepared us for practically every scenario. We really felt that nothing could happen during the birth that Susan hadn’t discussed in some manner. (Mom’s note: During the birth I can remember thinking “Susan said this would happen/I would think/feel this…”) About halfway through the course we decided to hire Susan as our doula. We wanted to have a back-up person there to help remind us of all we had learned. Perhaps one of the most important things we learned from Susan is that birth is unpredictable. (Sure, everyone knows this, but Susan made that point sink in.) And, sure enough, our birth did not proceed according to our plan. Our baby came two-weeks early and very quickly. Though we had planned on having Sam at a birth center, we ended up at the hospital at 3 in the morning with a rapidly progressing birth. Susan was at the hospital immediately after we called her, despite having no prior warning. Having her with us was incredibly comforting. This hospital and the staff were completely unfamiliar, and Susan was the one person who knew us and knew our birth plan. She was able to communicate our plan to the OB on call, and calmly coached us through the birth. When we hired Susan, we thought it was so we would have the extra support through a long and difficult labor. Ultimately, having her there during the quick birth in the unfamiliar setting was probably more valuable. She is clearly an expert in what she does, and she communicates that expertise in a kind, nonjudgmental manner. Susan simply feels “safe,” and that’s exactly what you want to feel when having a baby.
Susan Rotman was the key to our natural child birth. The knowledge she would be available to help us took a lot of pressure off us leading up to the birth, and she was incredibly helpful from her first moment arriving at the hospital.
I was able to take a breather while she took over and took stock of what was going on. She was able to stay by our side during the time that we decided to use Pitocin. She allowed us to make that choice and then, in a small miracle, helped us unmake it. As my wife progressed steadily through labor Susan kept reminding us of our goals and our plan and she helped us make a choice rooted in logic rather than in fear. “If mom is ok and baby is ok…"
As things started to progress Susan starting pulling from her magical bag of birth stuff. She had this one massage thing that helped my wife through 2 hours of tough contractions un-medicated. I am certain without that massage thing we would have taken the Epidural. My wife was cracking jokes, totally unmedicated, as the child was crowning.
I’m an aggressively cheap individual who simply hates to pay for things he can do himself. But this was some of the best money I ever spent. I cannot imagine facing the awe inspiring power of modern medicine without her by our side.
It’s like my wife and I are in a very special very select club that we can’t talk about – the club of people who had successful natural child births. You can’t talk about it, for fear of offending the dozens of people who love you and support you and told you it could not be done. But darn, it feels good. And I cannot imagine it would have happened without Susan’s help.
We were going to be first-time parents and and we had started looking for someone who offered the Bradley course plus the doula service. That’s how we came across Susan Rotman.
The first thing that impressed us about Susan was that she was very prompt in replying to our questions via email/phone. We met her for the first time in the Bradley class. We liked her personality, her confidence in the Bradley method and her passion in her teachings. She made us feel confident and secure about choosing her to be our doula.
Through the pregnancy, we had many questions and we approached her with those questions, by phone/email and we got satisfactory answers to those right away. The tips and recommendations from her helped my wife stay in low-risk pregnancy throughout.
And then came the day when we had to leave for the hospital. As my wife labored through the night, Susan was also up through the night, constantly keeping in touch with us via phone calls and text messages. When the time was right, we left for the hospital and Susan met us at the hospital. Unfortunately we had to return home as the dilation was not enough.
The next night also, my wife labored through the early stage of labor. Susan continued with her constant support through the night. The same day we had to leave for the hospital early in the morning at 6. This time, we got admitted and Susan met us once again at the hospital.
Susan and I made a great team in helping my wife labor through the early stage of labor, giving her massages, comforting her by vocal coaching and tools (inside joke: the squeaky) for back massage. We couldn’t have gone through that labor without her.
Her experience showed in the fluidity with which she dealt with the hospital staff. We totally give her all the credit for our amazing birthing experience. We would highly recommend anyone to have Susan as their doula; you couldn’t go wrong with that decision.
We were looking for a doula that had experience with natural childbirth (specifically the Bradley Method) when we chose Susan. When we first met with her, she was extremely professional, organized, and very easy to talk to. You can tell that she is passionate about what she does and it was even more evident during the labor and delivery. She made herself available from the minute we hired her on and was a great resource for when I had questions. Once I started seeing the first signs of labor (which lasted over a few days), I called her and she guided me through the next steps including providing support at all hours of the night. When we arrived to the hospital, she was ready and waiting for us. She immediately stepped up and helped me work through the contractions as we made our way back. I felt very comforted by her. As the labor and delivery progressed, Susan's confidence in advocating for our birth plan was really appreciated by my husband and I. She was a strong advocate on behalf of what we wanted for a natural labor and delivery. She not only delivered on her promises but far exceeded every single one of our expectations. I would not hesitate with choosing her as a doula for my future children.
I wanted a natural childbirth, but as a first time mom I didn't know what to expect and was terrified of the pain. My water broke before contractions started and as the hours ticked by I was pressured to induce labor. I dreaded pitocin and knew it would most likely lead to an epidural. Susan gave me the courage to resist the pressure the hospital was putting on me to induce in very diplomatic ways. In addition to emotional support, the physical support she offered was tremendous. When contractions became productive they created pain in my lower back. Susan brought helpful tools that I never would have thought to bring. You just don't know what you will need, but Susan had a stockpile of pain-saving tricks. One was a massage tool that she and my husband used on my lower back for hours. I'm certain that without this simple tool I wouldn't have survived the contractions. During the pushing phase I was burning hot, Susan kept iced water washcloths on my face. These sorts of simple comforts made a huge difference in my birth experience. I can't imagine having to handle labor without her comforting support. She was there to calm me down when I began to panic. Everyone deserves a doula and Susan was the perfect person to keep my emotional and mental strength up and her hands-on approach made the pain of childbirth very manageable. I wish I had not feared labor as much as I did in the months leading up to it. Next time I'll know to look forward to it. Susan also did lots of extra things like taking pictures and packing up our stuff to move to the recovery room. She does it all, including spending time talking with you weeks before you even go into labor to make sure you are prepared for the exciting journey ahead. I know that sounds cliche, but thanks to Susan and my husband, my natural labor really was an incredible experience and I look forward to the next one. Thanks Susan for helping us bring baby Wells into the world-we will be forever grateful.
Coming into my second birth and desiring something different, we knew the skill of a Bradley-trained doula would be important to us. We could not have more pleased when we met and got to know Susan! Her strong personality allows her to be a fabulous coach through the tough times of labor but we were equally as impressed with how well she stepped back and empowered my husband and I to do this on our own. She was the perfect mix for the two of us and we had a fabulous birth, in part, because of her great help. Susan is strong and intelligent, respectiful and incredibly warm towards her clients; we felt like old friends by the end of our time together. In short, we would highly recommend Susan Rotman, she could not have been a better fit for us as a couple.
We were impressed with Susan right from our initial interview with her. Her knowledge of and experience with natural birth was immediately evident. As a champion of natural birth, she made us feel comfortable with the process and what my wife and I could each expect. Susan is also a certified Bradley instructor and her class was indispensable in educating me on my role as husband during natural child birth.
When my wife went into labor, Susan was available as promised. As the contractions became more intense, I would inform Susan on the progress and she directed me on different positions and massages to help alleviate my wife’s labor pain. If I could not reach her immediately, she responded promptly within 5 minutes.
At the hospital, Susan was spectacular. Right from our arrival she made sure the hospital staff did not deviate from our birth plan. During all stages of labor she knew exactly what to do to help with my wife’s labor pains and get the baby to drop on its own. She had great chemistry, not only with myself but also with the nurses. And at the crucial moment in the labor her expertise was on fully display when we had to deviate from our birth plan for a natural birth. After 20 hours in the hospital, our daughter was born healthy and without complication.
Susan’s commitment to my wife and I during the birth of our daughter was unconditional and total. What impressed me the most was her seemingly endless store of physical and mental energy. When my energy was spent, Susan continued without faltering. I would recommend Susan to any couple looking for a knowledgeable, professional and experienced doula to assist them on their birth journey.
Susan was an essential part of our birth experience. I had a 1.5 week post-due pregnancy and a very slow early labor (over 50 hours). Her advice and reassurance was extremely helpful, even before the hands-on work at the birth center. Susan arrived in good spirits at 4am and provided the right mix of gentle care and drill instructor motivation to keep my labor on track and productive during the long, final day. I was able to avoid a hospital transfer and deliver without pain medications, my healing has been ahead of schedule, and my baby is healthy. All that, and she's even bringing us a casserole! What more could you ask for? She knows how to be what you need, when you need it.
Susan is also a certified Bradley Method instructor and Red Cross certified instructor for infant CPR. We attended both courses before hiring her as a doula. My husband and I both felt very well-prepared for the birth and the first few days of newborn care thanks to her instruction. She has an easy manner with nervous parents-to-be and a great sense of humor that keeps the serious learning from being overwhelming, as well as a great personal archive of both research-based information and traditional womens' care lore.
My husband and I both highly recommend Susan!
Susan is a great person to have in your corner during the labor process. She is extremely experienced and her knowledge and "bag of tricks" is extensive. Most impressive though, is her ability to move from back and forth from an assertive leader to a quiet support role, depending on the needs of the mother. She was great at reading my wife, and really tailored her approach to my wife's changing physical and emotional needs. I highly recommend her.
We took Susan's Bradley class and she was also our doula. She was an integral part of our pregnancy, labor, and delivery. We took her class a little early (in our 2nd trimester instead of 3rd). Our 3rd tri was a little hairy and we had a lot of things to deal with and had to prepare ourselves for an external version, possible c-section, and then possible induction with an overdue baby. I was a wreck through a lot of it, and Susan was always there. Whether I needed her in person, on the phone, or on email, she was so responsive. I never felt like she was just someone I was paying to deliver a service. She TRULY cares about her clients, and I never felt anything but genuine love, compassion and concern from her. The information we learned from her really shaped our entire pregnancy and birth experience and made it something that I will always remember with fondness. I don't know if I would've had the same positive outcomes without her. And just a bonus, my husband LOVED her! I had lots of other ladies who I could turn to for support, but it was nice for my husband to be able to lean on her and get feedback and support as well. I think it helped him to have a much more meaningful experience than he otherwise would've imagined. We'll always be grateful that she entered our lives!
We met Susan through her Bradley Methods birthing class. I knew early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to hire a doula. It just made sence to my husband and myself to hire Susan. I am very outspoken & have no problem standing up for myself in day to day life. My hubband on the other hand is very quiet. I was unsure how the pain of childbirth would effect my ability to advocate for myself or how seeing me in pain would hender my husband from being my advocate.
Susan shoots straight. I knew I needed to labor at home as long as possible. My water broke around noon on a Sunday afternoon. My husband called Susan and she talked him through how to help me & when to call back. When we arrived at the hospital (Rex) Susan met us at the door. I was in pain but her presence brought comfort to that moment. My labor progressed quickly and Susan was there every step of the way. After I began pushing, I looked at Susan and said "I can't do this, I'm going to pass out." she encouraged me & reminded me how close I was to meeting my baby.
My son was 4 weeks early so was considered a late-term premie. He was born perfectly healthy but we did stay in the hospital a few extra days. Susan kept in touch the whole time & even after we got home. All of our family is far away so it was nice to have Susan there as extra support. Susan goes above & beyond. I can't wait to hire her for baby #2!!
I had planned on having my placenta encapsulated but hadn't finalized the plans when I went into labor. Susan put a call in for me & made sure my Dr knew I wanted to keep my placenta. In the midst of all the craziness of labor it would have been easy to forget if Susan hadn't been there. I am so very thankful Susan was part of welcoming my sweet boy into this world. She will always hold a special place in my heart & in our family.
My husband and I chose Susan's Bradley class based on the convenience of the schedule, and we knew that had been serendipitous when we sat down in her lovely home for the first class. We connected personally and philosophically with her, and knew she would equip us with the skills and expert support we needed to have a wonderful birth. We knew we would probably hire a doula, too, and it didn't take us long to decide that Susan was the woman for the job. Susan communicated regularly with us in the emotional ten weeks from when our class ended to when we gave birth, reassuring me, reminding me of everything I'd learned, revisiting our birth plan with us, and discussing the full spectrum of situations we might face. I am so glad Susan made us aware of the blind spots all first time parents have going into labor. Even though we were planning a natural out-of-hospital birth center delivery, she candidly discussed the interventions that might be needed. As a doula and mother of two herself, Susan has experienced the full spectrum of birth situations, and coached us on everything we might face. Susan was upbeat, affirmative, and proactive during our labor, helping us stay focused when things turned out to be much more difficult than we expected. We labored 36 hours at the birthing center before we ended up needing augmentation and a hospital transfer to deliver our baby. When this decision was made by our midwives, Susan was there to help us process, ask all the right questions, and continue to support us unconditionally. Susan has no ego about birth, and is completely focused on doing everything she can to ensure a safe outcome for mom and baby and no trace of "birth guilt." Perhaps even more than I valued her support during labor, I am grateful to Susan for helping us prepare mentally for birth and stay afloat when things changed significantly from our plans. Susan will always be our doula, a mentor for me as a mother, and a true friend to our little family.
We first met Susan when we attended her Bradley Method birthing class. We had received such strong recommendations for her class from close friends that our expectations were fairly high, but I can say with absolute assurance that Susan met every one. We liked her so much that after only a few sessions we decided to hire her as our doula to support us through our birth experience.
Susan has many tremendous gifts for supporting couples in natural childbirth, but I think above all else she is someone we could completely trust to help us make the right decisions for our birthing goals during labor. We initially wanted an intervention-free birth, but during the transition to the pushing stage of labor some complications arose and medical intervention was deemed necessary to keep both mom and baby safe. This was a very difficult decision to make, and as my wife could not focus on anything else but the contractions at this time, I needed someone else in the room who I could turn to and affirm that we were making the right decision for mom and baby. Susan was that person and helped us to make the right decision while keeping the birth as intervention-free as possible.
We really cannot recommend Susan high enough as a doula. She has an incredible passion for supporting couples in their natural childbirth goals and her expertise during labor is a huge asset to have at your side. The birth of our daughter was a life-changing experience that my wife and I will never forget and Susan was an integral part in making it happen.
I wanted a doula to act as a moderator between myself and any health professionals that may have gotten a little over-eager with interventions. I also wanted a doula to support my husband in his support of me. It turns out I didn't need much protection from questionable interventions, but Susan was valuable throughout my labor and delivery. Susan clearly has experience, knowledge, and the kind of attitude that helped her do many things that supported a good birth experience for me. Just a few things I remember: She unobtrusively massaged and verbaly supported me throughout labor, backing off at the moments when I needed not to be touched or didn't want to talk. I found out later that she comforted my husband when things got a little scary and he needed reassurance. She verbally reassured me about what was going on when medical professionals and I made decisions about the course of action. In one instance I wanted to stick to my birth plan on a certain issue and she gently suggested to me that I break away from my plan and explained how it would be more comfortable and safer for me because of circumstance that I was in at the moment, and gave me a chance to make the decision for myself. I took her advice on this and was glad she had the foresite to suggest this minor change in birth plan that made a difference in my comfort. Overall, giving birth is a blur and sometimes you aren't even aware of who is in the room, but I'm sure that having Susan there made a positive difference.
My wife and I were fortunate enough to have Susan support us throughout my wifes natural child birth. She was such a calming influence, and her experience was invaluable throughout the entire birth, over 20 hours. Susan was not only there to support my wife, but provide me support, and the ability to rest so we could both be at our best throughout. She was such an integral member of the team, and we could not have had the same outcome, a healthy baby, without her support.
My husband and I were fortunate enough to take Susan Rotman's Bradley class. Soon after getting to know her, we hired her to be our doula. We gained so much from her class, not only valuable information on natural birth processes, the class became a support group and we look forward to staying in touch with our classmates.
Even though Susan's class was wonderful preparation for the hard work of labor and birth, nothing could have replaced her constant strength and support throughout the actual birth process. She was a support to myself and my husband, and I can say for certain, that I would not have been able to endure over 20 hours of labor with no pain medicince without her support. In truth, nothing could bave prepared me for my labor, and having Susan there to turn too when I was in pain or in doubt, helped me endure. It is obvious to me, that for Susan, her work as a doula is a labour of love. She invests her whole self in supporting her clients. My family and I feel privaleged to have had her support on the most important day our lives thus far.
Susan was both our Bradley(R) instructor and our doula, and we could not have been more prepared and more supported in our birth experience.
I wanted to have an unmedicated, uncomplicated birth, but that was just not in the cards. My water broke long before I went into labor, and I was required to make many decisions both easy and difficult during the course of my labor. My husband was amazing throughout the process with both physical and emotional support because he felt so comfortable and prepared from our class. Having Susan there to do everything including walking laps around the birthing center, rub my back, grab a smoothie or snack, and to talk things through and give advice really made the whole process easier. She and our midwives and nurses got along well and showed a strong mutual respect, and we felt we had a fantastic team of people looking out for me and our baby.
In the end, our baby girl was healthy and the birth was quite successful. Although knowing now what worked best and how it all turned out, I would consider making some different decisions if my next labor is similar, I can guarantee that Susan will be there to make me drink water so I dont get tired or dehydrated, to hold my hand when it hurts, and to laugh at how this baby will surely give me trouble :)
Susan was a wonderful teacher and a supportive and knowledgable doula when we needed her, but she has also become a friend. We are so glad to have found her, and look forward to many memories (and maybe a few more births) together in the years to come.
We loved working with Susan! While it is a natural process to be pregnant and it is natural process to give birth, I am pretty sure nothing would have felt quite natural for my husband and if we did not have Susan by our side. We met Susan through our Bradley class, which I highly recommend taking her class! It is so important to be educated so you can be empowered through your birth journey!
While I was blessed with an uneventful labor and birth, it was still a surrel and overwhelming experience. Having Susan by our side brought my husband and I so much confidence and strength to press on and keep going through my labor. Susan met me exactly where I was. She watched for what I needed during my labor and provided that, usually without me having to even speak...those things were rubbing my feet after being on them for hours and hours, filling up my water cup, encouraging my husband to rest so he could be attentive when I really needed him when it came time to push, engaging with the medical staff to ensure I was taken care of, and most of all, encouraging and empowering me to keep going so I could have the birth I dreamed of. We are so thankful that she walked beside us as we welcomed our daughter into the world. It is so important to have someone you trust during your labor and birth journey. Susan has a real gift of loving her clients and makes the committment to walk with them through the thick and the thin. Having Susan as your doula provides incredible support for both the woman giving birth and her partner. I highly reccomond having Susan as your Doula!
When I signed my husband and I up for Susan's Bradley class, my husband had no idea what it was all about. Before it started he told me he thought he'd prefer to stay up by my head during our delivery. Flash forward nine months and he had morphed into a whole new man. He was educated, in control and right there in the front row seat taking in the whole experience.
And though we thought we were completely prepared, being a first-time parent you just don't know how to handle all of variables that are involved in the birth process. And running on two days of no sleep makes it even more challenging. Having Susan as our doula truly transformed our entire experience into a positive and empowering one. She always knew what to say and how to say it. Her reassurance and positive attitude kept me going through 25 hours of labor, whether it was suggesting a new position to labor in, when to walk the hallways, when to get in the tub. My husband will be eternally grateful for Susan's back up. Neither of us can fathom what it would have been like without her there.
There were times when I didn't think I could continue and I know if Susan wasn't there, things could have easily derailed. We can't thank her enough for being our source of strength and wisdom when we needed it most. She has a talent and nurturing spirit that defies description and she is doing exactly what she was put on this planet to do! We feel so lucky to have found her and shared this amazing journey with her.
When Kelly first became pregnant, we had no idea we would be hiring a doula. I wasn’t even sure what a doula was? Kelly always knew she wanted an intervention-free, natural delivery. We started taking Susan’s class and as we learned more and more, we knew that a doula would be right for us. We knew that Susan was the one we wanted. Luckily, we were able to deliver at the WBWC. With the right location and the right doula, we knew going in we had all the tools necessary for the delivery we had hoped for!
Kelly’s labor came on fast as we arrived at the WBWC. When Susan arrived, Kelly was already fully dilated. We thought it would be a quick delivery. This was not to be however. Our son was determined not to come out! Susan was there to give me a break when I needed one and to pamper Kelly by holding a cool washcloth on her head, massaging her and quietly comforting her the whole time as she pushed 4 and a half hours.
Once our son was finally here, Susan used our camera and took lots of great pictures. After things settled down a bit she even went out and got us some breakfast! Having Susan there was one of the best decisions we made in our birth plan. If ever we find ourselves pregnant again, Susan will be there as well!
I'll start by saying that I could affirm Susan Rotman for pages and pages! But space is limited, so I'll hit the highlights.
From the moment my husband and I found out we were pregnant, we knew there would be tons of decisions to be made in the next 40-41 weeks. I wanted a natural childbirth with as little medical intervention as possible and I grew concerned because my OB was affiliated with a hospital that had an alarmingly high c-section rate. My husband and I had talked about hiring a doula and when we met Susan through her Bradley Method birth class we knew we had met the one. I was immediately comfortable with her and I'm so glad she was available.
My third trimester brought gestational diabetes, Group B strep, and the baby had an irregular heartbeat (PAC). None of these one things were of great concern, but piled on top of each other, I began to panic a bit. They each meant a higher risk of medical intervention. Not only as our birth class instructor, but as our doula, Susan was a WONDERFUL resource and champion for us. She was full of information and helpful tips. I was especially glad we had chosen her as our doula during this time.
My water broke at 2:30 am (with no contractions) and at about 11pm that night, the contractions came on strong and fast. By 2:30 am, I was ready to push. I pushed for 4 1/2 hours. Susan was so helpful - not just to me, but to my husband. She offered encouragement to me and breaks for my husband. When Kevin would get tired, she would take over.
I can honestly say that without her, I would have given up at some point during the pushing. She was integral in keeping me and Kevin focused. She even took pictures for us. I'm sure she did a number of other things as well that I don't even know about.
Susan is AMAZING.
My husband and I first met Susan when we attended her Bradley Method birthing course in preparation for our first child. After meeting Susan and seeing her passion for parents, babies and natural birthing, my husband and I decided we wanted her to be a part of our birthing experience as our doula. We were so thankful for Susan's doula support during the birth of our first child, we asked her to be our doula for the recent birth of our second child. Her passion for natural child birthing and care of both mother and baby is amazing. She was not only present for the actual labor and delivery but took countless amounts of time with us prior to the birth through emails and meetings to address any questions or concerns we had and just to touch base during the pregnancy. Susan not only served as my support as the mother but also played a vital role in supporting my husband as he coached me through labor. I can't imagine not having Susan as a part of our birthing experience. She has such a gift for supporting couples in their goals of child birth.
Susan is absolutely INCREDiBLE!! From the moment my husband and I met Susan we loved her. She is funny, compassionate, easy to connect with, and professional. She oozes love for people and especialy babies, and because of that, being a doula only seems natural for her.
Her presence at our birth was so quality. It gave my husband the freedom to focus on me and be an amazing supporter. He didn't have to go back and forth between me and the family waiting just outside the room. Susan was the middle man, the crowd control, security, the cheerleader, the back massager, the peace maker, she did it all and with such grace! And when I'd get a little nervous or unsure, Susan was righ there to help me center my attention and tell me just what i needed to do. She was so calming and comforting. It was like we had known her our entire life, like she was family. It was so wonderful to have her present with us to welcome our little girl into the world! I would HIGHLY recommend Susan for all your Doula needs! :) We know for a fact who we will be calling when the next kiddo comes around. We love you Susan!! xo
During my seventh month I started thinking about labor. I wanted a natural birth, and I was a bit worried that at a hospital I would be pushed into things I didn't want. I really wanted to avoid a C-section, so I asked some people and they told me to look into childbirth classes. I started looking at the hospital childbirth classes but they were full. I searched online and found Bradley classes and that's how I came across Susan. Her class was full too, but she made an extra effort to add my husband and me to her class. We started going to her classes and I really liked them as they were very informative and helped us prepare for the birth. Susan provided information from nutrition to exercise to how to handle the birth itself. As I got to know her, I felt comfortable with the idea of having her as my doula. Having her as my doula made me feel very confident and eliminated all the fear I had before joining her classes. My labor was really long, 39 hours total. My contractions were not very strong in the beginning, but I had to be at the hospital because I was group B strep positive. I was getting antibiotics every four hours. But in between Susan helped me do a lot of walking in the hallway and stairs to get my contractions going. I also had a four hour pushing stage, and Susan was a great help there too. Not only that, she helped my husband by giving him breaks so he could go eat. In the end I don't think we could have done without Susan. She was a great source of support and provided us help at every step.
My wife Aditi and I took Susan Rotman's Bradley class and liked it so much we hired her as our doula. We were strongly committed to having a natural birth with minimal medical intervention, and with Susan's help we accomplished that goal. However, we faced a number of challenges along the way. We had originally planned to do much of our laboring at home, but Aditi's water broke on a Monday morning before labor began, and she had to go into the hospital immediately to receive antibiotics for group B strep. Labor didn't really get underway until Tuesday morning, and the doctor tried to pressure us into using drugs to speed things up. Susan had prepared us to resist the pressure, though, and as our doula she was invaluable in advocating for our wishes. In addition, the labor was long and difficult, and it took Susan and me working as a team to help Aditi progress naturally and cope with her pain. Susan stayed with us throughout the day and night on Tuesday, and she was there when our beautiful baby daughter Priya was born early Wednesday morning. By the end it was obvious that we could not have had the birth we wanted without Susan by our side. I am grateful to her for her commitment, compassion, and guidance, and I strongly recommend her to anyone seeking a doula.
Susan was our doula and our Bradley method teacher. She was a phenomenal source of guidance throughout the pregnancy and particularly during labor. We truly could not have achieved the birth experience we wanted without her being there. We faced some difficult medical decisions right before labor due to an ultrasound performed because I was in my 42nd week of pregnancy. Susan offered her advice and guidance and then, once we made our decision - even if not all the decisions we made were what she might have decided herself - she supported us 100% as we progressed through the next steps of labor. While I did end up getting induced, our success in having a good, healthy vaginal delivery without epidural is owed in large part to Susan's presence and guidance during the labor. We could not have done it without her! I should also mention that in my husband's and my distraction as the pushing stage/delivery became imminent, we had not thought to get out the camera. Susan was ready with her camera and a few days after the birth, we received in the mail the most amazing CD of incredible pictures of us and our daughter in the moments immediately after delivery. I had not expected this (or even thought about it ahead of time!) but I am so incredibly glad to have these photos now.
At the time, my wife and I were a few months pregnant and thinking very seriously about how we wanted to prepare for this incredible occasion of childbirth.
I truly feel that due to the way Susan set up these classes, we became closer to these other couples. Sure, we all came from different backgrounds, had different ideas about life, what mattered most to all of us and what we could all agree upon was simply that we wanted to give our babies the best chance to start their young lives. Susan taught us to reach out to one another, to engage in conversation. The goal of these classes was to bring the two people involved in this process together, to become a unit, to be able to walk into this unfamiliar situation not as just one, rather, as a force much greater than one.
I came into Susan's training as a husband that was convinced he would not be able to cut the baby's cord, who was convinced that he would not be able to watch the baby come out, because...oh, well..I was nervous about the blood etc... I left Susan's training more than willing, in fact, looking forward to cutting Leo's cord, I ended up holding a flash light, just feet away from Leo's head while he was crowning. I never thought I could do that, or thought that I would do such a thing. It was amazing though!! I get choked up just thinking about it. It was exhausting but....dear god, amazing! My wife was heroic and considerably due to our training with Susan! Susan got us ready for what ever might occur during the birth. I can't even imagine how differently our birth would have been had we not taken Susan's classes. We had the knowledge and courage to stand up to anyone that thought otherwise of our birth plan. We had the courage and education to take control of our birth and ultimately, our baby, Leo.
In order to ensure that I would have a better, more fulfilling birth experience, I decided to use a dolua and Susan was the perfect fit! She has the ability to coach and inform husbands, negotiate well with hospital staff, all the while providing comfort to birthing mothers. As a first time mother, I was unsure of how I would react to the pain and stresses of labor. Having Susan with me every step of the way eased my fears and helped me to birth the way I wanted to.
Before my son’s birth, I felt that Susan was a little extra insurance to increase my chances of having a safe, natural birth. After my son’s birth, I realize she was so much more than that! She was the driving force and wisdom at my side. She pushed me when I thought I couldn’t go any further. She helped me to labor in more optimal positions, deal with pain through massage and positive reinforcement (rather than using medications that could harm me or my son), and stay strong in the face of an almost twenty-four hour labor. Also, by coaching my husband, she was able to help us avoid medical interventions suggested by hospital staff.
I feel that Susan is a doula not solely to make money, but because it is a true calling. She cares for her couples, she devotes herself to them fully during labor, and she does what ever it takes to make a birth as successful as possible. She is a vital resource for those that truly want to birth naturally. I am so glad that she was with me when I birthed my son. It made all the difference to have her support! While I faced many difficulties during my labor, I was able to avoid the use of pain medications, pitocin, and a c-section. My son came out so healthy and breastfed immediately. This was the ultimate reward, a healthy baby!
My husband and I would highly recommend Susan Rotman as a doula. She was our birth class instructor, so we had established a relationship with her before she attended our birth. She prepared us well for a natural delivery and was waiting for us at the birth center when we arrived. I was in transition when I arrived at the birth center and Susan stayed with us for over 6 hours and helped me through the most painful part of labor. She was constantly massaging my back and helping my husband and sister support me. I had been afraid that a doula would make my husband feel useless during labor and birth, but this certainly was not the case. Susan provided physical and emotional support to us both. She told me that I was strong and that I could do this. With her help, I was able to have a 100% natural birth with my daughter.
My husband and I met Susan as she was our Bradley Method Instructor. As the class progressed, we realized what an amazing resource Susan was. Not only was she incredibly well-informed but more importantly she has the ability to make you believe in both yourself and your body. As our doula, Susan was an essential component of our birth experience. She was there to guide us through the process and remind us of the things that were so important to us. When I encountered complications in my delivery Susan provided the emotional support and strength for both my husband and myself. I can't imagine what we would have done without her. I plan on using Susan again for our next child and I couldn't recommend her more highly.
Quite simply Susan is fantastic. She dispels any doubts you may have about whether you can achieve an unmedicated birth, and instills a confidence in you that “you can do this!” As our doula, Susan answered our phone calls in the middle of the night and was at the hospital at a moment’s notice. Although her Bradley class alone prepared us exceptionally well for birthing, having her there when my wife was laboring was great. Susan helped us navigate through some challenging experiences at the hospital, and was very comforting and encouraging to both my wife and myself. We can’t recommend her highly enough as a doula. She was exceptional.
A positive force of nature. My wife and I constantly referred to Susan with this moniker as it seemed most accurately to describe her affect. Compassionate, nurturing, and supportive, Susan always made us feel more at ease and more confident about the birthing experience. As I reflect on my son’s birth day, I can not imagine going through that experience without Susan as our doula. Striking a balance between letting me be the leader as husband-coach and keeping everything on track from behind-the-scenes, Susan is so uniquely fitted for this meaningful support role. Always ready with a bottle of water, another massage gizmo, or just loving words, she became the natural balm my wife and I needed to see through to our goals. Instinctively, Susan knew just when to get out of the way and when to help lead the way. Throughout the wild journey, I was so re-assured every time I looked to Susan, knowing my wife was in good hands. She was our rock. I feel forever indebted to Susan for helping me in supporting my wife through the most powerful moment of our lives. Thank you, Susan.
My husband and I first met Susan at our Bradley Birthing Course where she was our instructor. From the beginning of our pregnancy, we knew we wanted to have an unmedicated birth but desired to do so in a hospital setting. I also felt strongly that my husband and I would be the only people in the delivery room during our birth. After much consideration, my husband and I decided that it would be helpful to have Susan serve as a Doula during our birth to provide extra support. I can honestly say that it was the best decision we made! Susan met with us prior to our birth to talk through our wants/needs and what her role would be during labor. She was extremely open to being as involved as we wanted but was also willing to stand back and only assist when needed. During my labor at home, we contacted Susan multiple times for advice and guidance. She then met us at the hospital when we arrived and never left my side. Susan was so helpful in suggesting positions and movements to help with pain management. She not only provided support to me but also encouraged and reassured my husband. In addition, she was key in helping to manage hospital staff. Susan was vital to our success in accomplishing our goal of an unmedicated birth. Her knowledge, emotional and physical support were crucial for both my husband and I. To anyone considering a Doula for their delivery I would highly recommend Susan Rotman.
Susan was a great resource for my family throughout my wife's pregnancy, but most importantly on the day our daughter was born. She was there to provide moral and emotional support for our daughters birth and was such a positive and calming influence on myself and my wife that I cant imagine our birth experience without her. When we have another child Susan will be invited and we will do child birth classes with her again. I now count Susan as a friend and, really a family member because she was part of the most amazing day of my life, my daughters birthday. She is amazing and someone I would recommend with no hesitation to my friends and family! You can't go wrong with Susan!
We’re so fortunate to have found Susan Rotman! Her Bradley Method class provided the tools for a successful, un-medicated birth and Susan’s services as our doula gave us the best opportunity to make the best decisions for ourselves and our baby. Her confidence and enthusiasm are infectious and positive thinking is SO important to labor and birth!
Susan is the best. At the time we met Susan my husband and I were already experienced parents with two kids at home. But after thirteen years between my middle and this pregnancy a lot had changed in child birth theory and public view. Susan was invaluable to us. She is knowledgeable, supportive, and positive teacher /doula. Knowing we had her in our corner gave us peace and comfort. I whole heartedly recommend Susan to new and experienced parents.
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