Shalene Massie Photo

Shalene Massie

Rhythm of Birth

Website: http://www.rhythmofbirth.com

Phone: (540) 759-4056

Birth Fee: $800 to $900

Fee Details: Payment plans are available.

Birth Doula Experience: 7 years and 177 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • Birthing From Within - Certified Doula

Doula Training

  • Birthing From Within, February 2013
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 2 to 4

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

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Birthing From Within

Other Relevant Certifications

  • Certified Birthing From Within Mentor
  • Nurturing the Mother Prenatal and Postpartum Massage Certification

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Domestic Violence
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • Multiples
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • Aromatherapy
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Belly casting
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Elimination communication education
  • Henna belly designs
  • Infant massage education
  • Military famiies
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Mother blessing celebrations
  • Parenting consulting
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Prenatal or postnatal massage
  • Reduced rates for women considering adoption
  • Reflexology
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Therapist or counselor

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Director/ Coordinator, NRV Birth Collective Operation Special Delivery Volunteer

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Blacksburg, VA
Travel Range: 75 Miles

Certifications for Shalene Massie

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Shalene Massie

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Stephanie Finch

I look back on the birth of my daughter as such a positive and empowering experience, and much of that was due to Shalene’s support. She provided physical comfort for my intense back labor pain with various counterpressure and massage techniques, and she helped me breathe through my contractions. She guided me through various positions that helped shift my baby down into the right position and helped my body progress past 7cm, where I had stalled for several hours. Some of these positions were uncomfortable, but she stayed positive and reassured me in order to help me through it. She was also a strong advocate for me and my baby with the nurses and doctors. Aside from her support during the birth, Shalene was also friendly, warm, professional, and knowledgeable during the several meetings we had before and after the birth. I could not have asked for a better doula!

Posted 11/11/2018

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Meghan Nash

Shalene’s support during the recent birth of our son was invaluable!! She helped us to remain calm when I was heading into panic over the intensity of labor. She was always sensitive to my needs and knew I needed a change of position/technique/etc before I even knew myself! She always had an idea of what to try next. Especially memorable was her eye contact and Rebozo cloth during pushing - she remained present and committed throughout my entire labor. What I also loved was her camaraderie with the hospital staff. She formed such a partnership with my midwife and nurses that made me feel supported by a whole team. I can’t say enough positive things about our experience with Shalene!!

Posted 9/5/2018

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Jess L. Dahlgren

Our delivery did not go as "planned" - late, induction, c-section; we were so glad to have the support Shalene provided. A doula offers so much that the hospital staff just can't wether you have an uncomplicated unmedicated birth or require intervention, she is totally worth the investment and a great member of your birth team.  

As we were an hour away, she stayed in touch via phone until we needed her to be in the hospital with us.  Shalene brought her tools and energy.  From the basic task of sitting with me so my husband felt comfortable taking a nap to working at the foot of the bed with the doctor, she was in it with us.

I appreciate Shalene's ability to blend her style of doula care with "hospital" care. She is open and not pushy or intimidating - worked well with the hospital staff that didn't have much experience with doulas.

In addition to providing support during my labor, Shalene was there before and after the birth of our son to answer our questions and lend an ear via phone and text. The body work included in our package was WONDERFUL!  I would reach out to her again if we have another child.

Posted 8/16/2018

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Samantha Miller

As a first time mom, I was very nervous about giving birth. I knew early in my pregnancy that I would want a doula to help support me. After meeting Shalene, I knew that she would be the perfect person. I instantly felt comfortable with her. During my pregnancy she was always receptive to emails, calls, and texts. Her online education was very helpful in helping me prepare for birth. During my labor, Shalene was able to help keep me calm and focused. I had planned on a natural, undmedicated birth, but that did not happen. After several hours of labor, I found myself exhausted and in serious pain. I received fentanyl at this point. In the following hours, my cervix wasn't wanting to dilate past 5cm and I kept having the urge to bear down and push. Shalene was instrumental in helping cope with the severe discomfort this brought. I did ultimately receive an epidural after pitocin had to be started. Shalene was very supportive of me and agreed that it was time for compassionate intervention. She will not treat you poorly for wanting or needing an intervention! This meant a lot to me, as I was already struggling with losing the natural birth I wanted. Shalene's support did help me labor naturally as long as I did and I am not sure I would have made it that long without her. I highly recommend her! 

Posted 7/10/2018

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Samantha Miller

As a first time mom, I was very nervous about giving birth. I knew early in my pregnancy that I would want a doula to help support me. After meeting Shalene, I knew that she would be the perfect person. I instantly felt comfortable with her. During my pregnancy she was always receptive to emails, calls, and texts. Her online education was very helpful in helping me prepare for birth. During my labor, Shalene was able to help keep me calm and focused. I had planned on a natural, undmedicated birth, but that did not happen. After several hours of labor, I found myself exhausted and in serious pain. I received fentanyl at this point. In the following hours, my cervix wasn't wanting to dilate past 5cm and I kept having the urge to bear down and push. Shalene was instrumental in helping cope with the severe discomfort this brought. I did ultimately receive an epidural after pitocin had to be started. Shalene was very supportive of me and agreed that it was time for compassionate intervention. She will not treat you poorly for wanting or needing an intervention! This meant a lot to me, as I was already struggling with losing the natural birth I wanted. Shalene's support did help me labor naturally as long as I did and I am not sure I would have made it that long without her. I highly recommend her! 

Posted 7/10/2018

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Megan “meganinthebox” Turner

Shalene Massie is an incredible help and support regardless of what kind of birth you are hoping for! I am not a strong or athletic woman in any way and while I hoped for an unmedicated birth, I was a little skeptical that it would be possible. After watching Shalene's video courses and practicing the pain coping techniques she teaches, I was able to manage contractions enough to even go to work the day my baby was born! She helped me shift my perspective of labor from something that would happen *to* me, to see it as a hard work that I would do for my baby. Even in the midst of debilitating contractions, I felt empowered and supported. In the end, I was able to deliver my baby vaginally with not so much as a tylenol. I have to say, I could not have made it and certainly not made it with confidence, without Shalene's encouragement, coaching and support!

Posted 6/4/2018

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Kimberlee Kinney

I highly recommend Shalene! She is wonderful and extremely easy to work with, flexible, supportive, calm-natured, makes you feel very comfortable, etc...everything you'd want from a doula. I initially wanted to give birth naturally (but had to have a c-section because of our twins positioning). She was very supportive and realistic during the entire process, she educated us as best as possible so we were prepared for both birth scenarios. She is truly an advocate for the mother before, during and after birth, which was so valuable for us as first time parents (and parents of twins twins)! We took her pre-natal classes, which were helpful. I think in general, she made a great effort to educate us on a variety of useful topics (clinical, physical, behavioral/emotional, etc) and changes that can happen during/after pregnancy which are really important, but might not be talked about that in much (e.g., diastasis, expectations of partners/family after birth, pooping during childbirth - yep, i said it! ...etc.). I thought overall her classes were very informative and pain-coping techniques were quite useful. I also had the pre/postnatal bodywork sessions which was amazing and so relaxing! Shalene is just an all around great person and now friend of ours, you won't be disappointed!

Posted 3/11/2018

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Marina Foltz

Shalene was amazing every step of the way. My husband and I found her late in pregnancy, but she quickly set a meeting and got us started with online classes. Our baby ended up arriving early, and with advice, and support from Shalene we felt much more comfortanle with the doctors and hospital. She encouraged me, and suggested methods for pain relief often, which took huge pressure off my husband. She instinctively knew what to do, and when. She helped us make informed decisions when the time came for interventions. After our babies birth, she came and gave me a massage.and post partum  advice which was much needed. I woild suggest Shalene to everyone. Thank you!!

Posted 2/16/2018

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Chelsea Anderson

Shalene was incredible every step of the way. From the very first phone call consultation, she had me in tears. Shalene was the doula for the birth of my second son, after a somewhat traumatic first birth experience. She spoke very calmly and evenly to me throughout the whole process. She emotionally supported me anytime I was anxious or worried, speaking truth and love. The bodywork included in her package was an added bonus of relaxation and appreciation of what my body was doing as it was making a human being. On the day of the birth she was incredible, walking a mile with me in the hospital, encouraging me as I was making decisions, listening to my words and helping me communicate them to my care providers. She worked amazingly well with my care providers and used an incredible amount of strength to reduce any back labor that I had. I would hire her again and would highly recommend her to any mama looking for an incredible support system for her birth.

Posted 2/15/2018

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Rebeka Tomoda

Not only does she come with extensive formal training and tremendous experience... She comes with her whole heart. When I first met her I was impressed by her confidence and professionalism. I also appreciated her organization and communication skills. Now, I am even more grateful for the way she has honored and affirmed me as a new mama while preparing me for the labor and delivery process, in the hospital as I gave birth to my sweet baby girl, and later as I began my "postpartum journey." I have grown to love and appreciate her kind, caring heart and her ever gracious, never judgemental, manner.  Even the (many) staff at my local hospital who have worked with her absolultely love her.  Highly, highly, highly recommend!!

Posted 10/28/2017

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Elyshia Thomasson

Before I was pregnant with my first child, I knew I wanted to have a doula to assist with my birth. I loved the idea of having a third party present in order to help myself and my husband stay grounded during an overly emotional and important time. I also knew we wouldn't be in the right state of mind to fully understand medical issues that could arise during delivery and I knew I wanted a natural childbirth. Shalene met with my husband and I to explain her role more in depth and once we hired her, she met with us again in our home to discuss my pregnancy, what we anticipated, and provided a prenatal massage. We also attended her birthing class where we learned different pain coping skills and breathing exercises to assist during labor. When I went into labor, I wasn't aware that's what it was. I spoke with Shalene who was comforting and was available via phone during the middle of the night as my contractions became more intense and closer together. Shalene provided interventions that I could do at home and came to meet us at our home early in the morning and followed us to the hospital. Shalene was amazing during my delivery and used multiple pain management skills to assist with the pain I was experiencing. Shalene was very encouraging, stayed calm, and assisted my husband in helping me manage the pain. I was at the hospital for less than 5 hours before my son was born, completely natural. I'm so thankful for Shalene! I truly beleive without her guidance and assistance, I would not have had the birth I had dreamed of having. Shalene has continued to check in with me since my son's birth and has done a massage on me. Thank you, Shalene for being there for our growing family!

Posted 7/31/2017

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Emily Myers

Shalene was the perfect support person to have the type of birth we wanted to have. Having Shalene present at our birth and as a resource before and after pregnancy was extremely valuable and I would definitely recommend her services! She was very knowledgeable about the hospital procedures and was able to help us understand what to expect from the healthcare team and the options we had. She was also crucial in guiding me through different positions and movements to help labor progress. Shalene used massage and counter pressure to help me better cope with contractions. Her personality is so calm and compassionate… it was exactly the type of person we needed in the room with us during labor. We kept saying throughout the labor process, “How do people do this without you?” We’re so grateful for her support and highly recommend her!

Posted 7/7/2017

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Jill Shatzer

Shalene first met with us about three months before our due date. My husband and I had not been able to attend classes together so we discussed other options we had as far as support for our first experience having a child. We were referred to Shalene through a primary care physician we had just met. Shalene came to our house for the initial interview, and shortly after we started our conversation, we knew we liked her. She shared her amazing story of why she became a doula, and we spent a very relaxed time getting to know each other as she learned about our expectations, desires and thoughts about our upcoming adventure. We are so thankful we hired her. The pre-and post-partum massages were wonderful!! Her presence, guidance and experience were just what we needed when our little one decided to show up a couple of weeks early. My husband appreciated her advice, which was always patient, unobtrusive, thoughtful, insightful and never overpowering. She helped hold the space and jumped in without hesitation when things got messy (in my case: vomitting... lots of vomitting :( ). She offers so many services designed to prepare you for the "Labor Land" experience and the unknowable changes that come--physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, afterwards. Shalene is a gifted, passionate and experienced doula my husband and I both highly recommend. 

Posted 6/8/2017

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Crystal Hazzard

After deciding that we wanted to try for an unmedicated birth for our first child, my husband and I knew we needed a doula to help us prepare for and support us during our labor. We met with a few doulas, and chose Shalene because she was so easy to talk to and from the moment of meeting her, we both felt very comfortable with her. Throughout my pregnancy Shalene helped us prepare for the labor with her classes (which help you mentally prepare for and cope with pain) and even had books for us to borrow if we wanted. During the labor, Shalene was absolutely invaluable! She helped us with our decision of when to go to the hospital and provided the perfect counter pressure and support (quite literally at some points) that I needed to be able to have an unmedicated birth. There were some complications with baby after he was born, and Shalene stayed with my husband and I until we knew what was happening and we were ready for her to leave. The prenatal and postpartum massages were so relaxing and just what I needed at those times. We also enjoyed that Shalene was able to put us in contact with a wonderful birth photographer. I know that if/when we get pregnant with our second child, Shalene will be one of the first calls I make because I couldn't imagine giving birth without her support.

Posted 1/18/2017

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Robyn Berg

Shalene gave me two FABulous massages--during and after pregnancy.  I love that that was a part of the doula package.  During labor and delivery, she was amazing!  She had some "physical tricks" up her sleeve that honestly helped me get through every single contraction---and without any drugs at all.  She was very supportive of my desire to have an unmedicated, vaginal birth and I'm not sure I could have accomplished that goal without her.  I am so grateful for her participation in my second birth.  My son is now two weeks old and out little family of four is complete!  

Posted 12/13/2016

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John Ohanian

I am so thankful for Shalene's calm and tireless support of me throughout a slow to progress labor which after 2 days intensified at midnight and continued throughout the night, culminating with the birth of our 6th child near 5am. She brought a variety of things to help with labor including a scarf that she used to gently rock my tummy during contractions which helped relieve/ distract me from the pain. Shalene's prenatal body work/massage felt wonderful... she normally avoids pressure points that bring on labor but in my situation of needing labor to progress, she knowlegabley explained and stimulated various points that could help my labor to progress. I had a home birth and she worked well with my midwife, Sherrie Doss, and helped orchestrate my support team which included my mom, husband and 12 year old daughter. Everyone felt a part of this special time. She is a strong communicator and I always knew what to expect and knew that she cared about my birth experience. I also appreciate her willingness to connect with me on a spiritual level as a Christian. I think her knowledge and boldness would be an excellent asset in the hospital setting, giving the laboring woman a voice. She is in tune with the mom's needs and would be a consistent, reliable support in the ever fluxing hospital setting. 

Posted 11/27/2016

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Kate Gardner

I hired Shalene after deciding on an unmedicated birth and learning about how invaluable doulas are. It was so important for me to get that empowing, spiritual experience that comes with having a natural birth and I always assumed that when a doula would be with me, she would always advocate for the most "natural" birth and avoid all interventions at any cost, but I'm happy to say this wasn't the case for Shalene.

I was a week and a half late when I went in for my induction. Shalene was with me when they started the horomones - she did everything I had read about that doulas do, gave me moral support, answered my questions, put me in good positions, talked me through the contractions, massaged my lower back, etc. Where Shalene exceeded my expectations, was when the induction failed. I wasn't dialating because the baby wouldn't drop, I had been awake almost 30 hours, and told I had to restart the induction. After a painful cervical check, I was emotionally beat and seriously doubting if I had the fortitude to continue, but I held it all inside determined to have the "perfect natural birth" that I had been dilgiently preparing for even though I was scared, anxious, and knew that that was a rough road ahead.

Shalene is an intuitive person. She sat both my husband and I down and said "I think it's time we start discussing compassionate interventions." In that moment I felt a freeing wave of relief. Hearing her validate what was going on in my mind made all the difference, and it allowed me to make the decision for a ceaseran without guilt. She assesed the situation, and knew what the best course of action for MY birth was. My cesearan birth was beautiful, and my 10 pound baby was perfect. Afterwards Shalene explained that what she wants for her clients is to support them in their best birth scenario - whatever method that means. She was my saving grace and I'll always be grateful to her wise guidance. Worth her weight in gold! 

Posted 8/3/2016

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Lt. Dan

We had a wonderful experience with Shalene as our doula.  She was considerate and caring about our hopes and wishes for our birth before, during, and after my labor and birth.  Shalene was organized and prompt with appointments.  Shalene was very informative as well as a calm presence the day I went into labor.  She came right away when we needed her.  Shalene has many items to make labor easier and many "tricks" up her sleeve to help with a variety of situations that may arise.  Labor is unpredictable and Shalene has many ideas to help in many different situations.  She was very observant to how I was feeling and what I may need at various stages of labor.  Shalene gave us great ideas for positions and ways to make labor more comfortable.  If something didn't work, we would try something new.  I had a couple moments of worry during my labor and Shalene was there to help discuss options and discuss what would be the best action to take.  She was honest, open, and was a tremendous advocate for me during my labor.  She helped me gain strength and stay in control, especially as labor progressed and became more challenging.  Shalene helped guide me through my hard contractions and pushing.  I felt incredibly comfortable and secure having Shalene by my side throughout my birth experience.  Both my husband and I feel so grateful that we had Shalene there with us.  My labor would not have gone as smoothly without her.  She was the most valuable resource we could have had.  She is calm, peaceful, informative, creative, and supportive.  She was with us until the very end and stayed until we were comfortable with our baby in our arms.  Her massages are priceless and her physical, emotional, and mental support is something that I didn't realize would be as helpful as it was.  She is a genuine person and anyone would be fortunate to have Shalene at their birth.

Posted 3/22/2016

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Holly Grant

When I asked about a doula, my doctor spoke very highly of and confidently recommended Shalene. I certainly see why! Shalene supported every aspect of my pregnancy. Initially, she respectfully facilitated an intimate conversation about my desires for birth, suggested numerous ways to prepare, and included excellent books to read. I could rely on her to promptly answer emails, phone calls, or text messages, especially when I went past my due date. In the delivery room, she interacted professionally with my doctor and nurses while staying sensitive to my needs.

Shalene’s experience and intuition are invaluable. She realized the needs of this mama throughout pregnancy and birth. She carefully guided my husband and I through the compassionate use of interventions during labor when necessary. We will have to fly her across the country when we have our next baby!

Posted 3/22/2016

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Xiaoyan Ma

Our family appreciated Shalene's doula services. We believe she is a responsible and professional doula that helps whenever needed during the labor process. She stayed with us for almost four days in the hospital and tired her best to get me whatever I need. I apprecaited her effort to use all types of techniques to relase my pain, make me breathe with rhythm, move the position of the baby, etc. Also, she has her way to communicate with the OB and the nurses and that really makes my labor easier. Plus, she provided two body works before and after labor, which really helped me a lot to relax, prepare for the labor, and recover from the labor. I would definitely recommend her if you ever need a doula. We had a good time with her and we believe you will if you decide to choose her. 

Posted 2/22/2016

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Jennifer Golas

Shalene is the epitome of empathy, class, and support. I had a very unfavorable birth experience and she was there to help me through it all. I especially appreciate the fact that she is still here to help me even after the birth. I truly feel I can call on her whenever I need her.

Posted 9/1/2015

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Anna Huber

I had first heard about doula services from my brother, and aftera discussion with my husband and meeting with Shalene, we decided this would be a good service to employ for the birth of our baby.  As a first time mom I was nervous about labor and delivery but was sure that I wanted to do everything possible in order to have a natural and positive birthing experience.  The birthing class with Shalene was a great way for us to prepare for this and her flexibility in class schedule was great for us.  She showed patience and understanding and really took the time to listen to our concerns.  Throughout the enitre pregnancy she was there to talk, listen, and give helpful advice and support.  Even during an extensive false labor session, she helped us through the mental and physical hurdles.  I am most appreciative of her assistance during labor.  She was right there, hands on, the entire time and somehow even managed to take some wonderful and candid photographs as my baby came into this world.  She worked well with the nurse and midwife and really made a difference for my comfort, as well as helped to guide my husband during it all.  She labored with us and celebrated with us.  She even returned to check up on little baby Marian after we came home from the hospital.  Ask my husband a year ago if he thought a doula service was a necessity for birthing and he would have shruged it off.  Ask him now and he would convince anyone who was pregnant to employ the services of Shalene.  He was truly made a believer and we will both continue to applaude Shalene and all she does.  I would recommend her doula and birthing class services to anyone who is looking for support during their pregnancy, delivery and post partum experiences.  Natural childbirth made easy!  Thanks Shalene!!!

Anna, Robert and Marian

Posted 8/31/2015

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Aislynn Locklear

Shalene was my doula for our third birth - with our older two I did not have professional labor support, but when I contacted Shalene we were looking at possible complications involving early induction and a highly medicalized birth so I thought extra support would help to neutralize the birth environment. Thankfully, by the time we met with Shalene the complications were ruled out and I had totally changed gears toward a home birth! I struggled with whether we still needed a doula, since the factors had changed, but I'm so glad we developed a relationship with Shalene. My husband wasn't totally comfortable with any of it - the home setting, extra people present, coming up with money for a service he didn't think was totally necessary - but he knew how important it was to me to have this (probably last for us) birth receive all our effort and attention. I went 11 days past my due date! Shalene checked on my mental, emotional, and physical status regularly and even communicated with my midwife - they made a great team. Despite several "false alarms," the night my labor actually started, Shalene was ready and arrived at our house quickly once I gave the green light. She worked tirelessly despite the night shift hours to help me cope with back labor I didn't anticipate, showing my husband ways to be hands on in his support, and responding to my cues sometimes without my knowing I'd given them. She was terrific at suggesting position changes and patiently and calmly dealt with my constant complaining about my back. I doubt I would have stayed nearly hydrated, energized, or motivated enough during those early morning hours were it not for her encouragement. My skeptical husband was so empowered by the experience of supporting my labor with Shalene's guidance that he has turned into quite the home birth advocate. His mother, who was here for the birth, told me she had never seen him as excited as he was after our son was born. Doulas do indispensable work!

Posted 8/30/2015

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Andrea Flynn

I used Shalene as my doula with my 2nd baby.  The birth was a planned VBAC.  I wanted a natural birth & really wanted a doula that was confident & had alot of ideas to help me through labor.  Shalene fit my needs perfectly.  She has birthed naturally herself & was very confident in my ability to have the birth I wanted.  She was very professional & thorough in the interview & guided our time well.  She really knew her role as a doula before & during my labor & never overstepped.  She worked wonderfully with my husband, support friend (who is a labor & delivery nurse) & midwife.  It was a team approach of labor support that was exactly what I needed.  Shalenes massage skills were priceless!  I can still remember how good it felt as she rubbed my feet during contractions.  It helped me to focus on my feet instead of my belly.  I had taken the prenatal class with her which taught pain coping techniques.  It was hard to imagine them helping but they really did.  She reminded me of them & I used "the edges" & "seeing, hearing, feeling" to help me focus elsewhere.  One thing I found comforting was her voice...I had several prenatal massages with her during my pregnancy & became familiar with her voice & the relaxing things she would say during the massage.  Hearing her say the same things in labor brought me back to that state of relaxation.  I felt completely safe & supported during my labor experience & had a successful VBAC! I would definately recommend Shalen to any mother seeking out doula support!

Posted 6/29/2015

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Vanessa Moses

My birth plan involved giving birth in a hospital while attempting to have as non-medicated of a birth as possible. My labor was very long (24hr+), my cervix not progressing past 8cm, and I ended up with a C-section.

That being said, the support that Shalene offered was AMAZING. Both she and my husband helped get me through my labor with a variety of techniques from breathing, use of vocalizations, positioning, birthing ball/stool, and pressure points/massage,to warm showers for relaxation, prayer, and visualizations. She also coached and supported my husband in his role throughout the process.

Shalene guided me every step of the way. More than once I asked for 'Help' or felt that I 'couldn't go on', but she never doubted my physical and emotional capabilities. She kept gently encouraging me on, through one more contraction to try to labor naturally as long as possible. If it had only been my husband there I am not sure he could have handled watching me suffer for so long! 

I am certain that a medical intervention may have occurred earlier and/or that I would have given up sooner without her!

I must also attest to her professionalism with the hospital staff. She politely offered suggestions/addressed concerns before the next 'intervention' was attempted. This included the use of an epidural to see if I could relax past 8cm and dilate to 10. Having both my husband and her in the OR was wonderful and really helped me to feel better during the surgery. She also took some amazing pictures of my little one right after he came out that otherwise would not have been captured!

Shalene stayed with me in the operation room and the recovery room, and she continued to check on me in the following days/weeks as I processed my birth.

In short, her services and support were invaluable during the very dramatic yet beautiful birth of our child.

I would highly recommend her to anyone who needs Doula services!

Posted 6/5/2015

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Anita Bennett Easterling

My first experience with a doula was absolutely wonderful thanks to Shalene!  For my second pregnancy I wanted to attempt a natural labor in my home with midwives and with a doula.  I transported to the hospital with my first son after several days of early labor, barely any progress, and no rest.  My concerns for my second time around were having another extremely long labor, posterior fetal positioning, and pain management without medical intervention.  Shalene expertly addressed my concerns, needs, and was always reassuring and very supportive.  With the extra attention and care I was able to labor in the intimacy and comfort of my own home, receive advice and useful techniques to try when labor seemed to stall, and receive continual support to help cope with the pain and discomforts during labor.  It was such a blessing to my husband and I and we were beyond thankful to have Shalene as our doula and a major part of our birth team.   

I would recommend Shalene Massie of Rhythm of Birth to doula for any mother desiring additional support for her labor, delivery, and birth experience. 

Anita Easterling

Blue Ridge, VA

Posted 4/13/2015

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Victoria Wheaton

I cannot even express how grateful my husband and I were to have Shalene attend the birth of our daughter. It was our first child, so we were very unsure of what to expect. My water broke before I went into labor, and she was able to help my body stimulate labor using massage techniques and suggestions for positions/walking/etc. We weren't faced with having to try to augment labor with interventions, which was a huge relief for us. During labor, she was great at guiding my husband and mother (both of whom attended the birth) when needed to ensure I was adequately supported, particularly when I no longer knew what I needed myself.

I'm pretty sure I used just about all of the equipment/tools she brought (birthing stool, birthing ball, peanut ball, etc.) at some point during my labor. Having so many options to vary positions and pain management, coupled with her experience in guiding me to try different things was absolutely essential to the positive birth experience we had. In the end we were able to have a natural birth, as we had hoped for, and overall, I couldn't be more pleased with the experience and outcome. She also came over for post-partum body work, which was heavenly and really helped my body relax after the stress of labor and the first few days back home. I will be recommending Shalene to anyone looking for a doula, and even those who may have not considered hiring a doula. 

Posted 3/27/2015

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Christine Gregory

Shalene was amazing at our birth.  We had originally planned a homebirth, but I got sick at 38 weeks and needed to be in the hospital and Shalene was in communication with us the whole time and came out to us in the middle of the night for a very hard, fast, and unexpected labor.  I was exhausted from the start and Shalene was a calming influence and great with changing positions and pain coping strategies for me and my partner to try because I was too tired to think straight.  Shalene helped us focus and talked us through the decisions we were making (originally I had wanted to do a drug free birth, but in the situation the choice for an epidural was made). Shalene kept in contact with us after the birth, frequently checking in to see how we were doing.

We took Shalene's refresher birth class (this was our second baby) and through that Shalene really helped me deal with some of the baggage I have from my first birth and look forward to this birth with less apprehension and more open to changes in my birth plan.

Posted 3/21/2015

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Jenni Heartway

We were very fortunate to have Shalene as our doula for the birth of our twins. She listened and encouraged us to articulate the type of birth we wanted during our first meetings. She reminded us of the importance of being flexible and embracing the process of birth as it unfolds. She also provided excellent prenatal body work.
Shalene was prompt and responsive in all communication, and frequently initiated "check-ins" to make sure we were doing well.
During the births, Shalene had a never ending bag of tricks for my every need. She could visually assess where I was holding tension and gave gentle reminders to let the tension fade. She assisted my partner in providing comfort and support. We were very grateful to have her as a doula and witness to the births. We highly recommend her services.

Posted 11/22/2014

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Katie Haines

Shalene's support was invaluable!

My husband and I were unsure about hiring a doula because we thought an additional person might intrude on this special time. However, I am certain that my son's birth would have been a very different experience if not for Shalene. 

I had my heart set on a non-medicated birth and was truly surprised, and scared, to find myself undergoing an induction. Shalene helped me get to a place of comfort and acceptance with the process. She was there throughout the induction and gently and calmly guided me through contractions. I'm so happy I was able to forgo an epidural due in large part to her reassuring words, suggestions of different positions, massage and other techniques. 

The awesome thing about working with Shalene is that her support goes beyond birthing day. The pre and post-partum massages helped me relax and tune into my body. The planning meetings before birth were super helpful as well. 

Something that stands out in working with Shalene is how evident it is that she loves and enjoys her work. She seems to be truly living out her calling and inspired by the birthing process. She is absolutely the one you want in your corner on birthing day!

Posted 10/26/2014

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Miranda Altice

The support Shalene provided for my husband and I during our second birth is beyond what we had imagined it would be. My husband comments often on how awesome she was, and how nice it had been to have someone so knowledgable and supportive, and that, 'has your back' during short moments of essential rest. We had experienced a difficult birth with our first daughter, and I strongly feel that if it weren't for Shalene's emotionally strong presence at our second birth we would not have had the outcome we desired. THANK YOU for everything!

Posted 4/5/2014

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Kathe K. Barlow

Shalene was a blessing to us as we were preparing for the birth of our first child! We were unsure at first about even having a doula. Would we rather have the privacy and time as just the two of us? Would it be nerve-racking having another person in the room? Since it was our first rodeo, I decided it was best to have the extra, knowledgeable support. We had no idea what it would truly entail and how we would respond during the pain. Once we bit the bullet, we decided to take her birth class so that we could have some continuity between all of us about pain-coping techniques and preparation. When my water broke, we had a ways before labor really started but I had to be in the hospital because of GBS. We also had two false starts and labor stretched to 34 hours. As soon as Shalene arrived on the scene she was a calming presence. She suggested positions, when we couldn't think about anything but the next contraction. She rubbed my back, feet, & hands when my husband's hands were too tired. She stayed up with me through contractions that were five or ten minutes apart all night long, keeping me from getting any rest. My husband managed to take a much-needed nap, while Shalene stayed up and warmed compresses and prayed to herself by my side. I was so grateful to have her through that difficult night. Though I wanted a completely natural birth, the circumstances did not allow it and I needed pitocin and citotech. Shalene left the decision to us and gently asked questions and supported us. Shalene took the initiative and photographed us during the final pushes of labor and first moments of his life outside the womb. These are pictures I will cherish forever. Every time I've seen Shalene after the birth, she has made me feel empowered. She speaks so positively and genuinly about our birth experience, making me feel proud and strong. I am grateful she was present for our birth. And I am grateful that we have now gained a good friend. Thank you, Shalene!

Posted 1/3/2014

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Sarah Pupillo

In the beginning of my pregnancy, my husband and I were on the fence about having a doula. I knew my husband wanted to be my main support person when I was in labor, and I wanted him to be as well, but I thought that a doula would try to take over his role. The first time we met with Shalene, one of the things she told us was that her goal was to incorporate Steve (my husband) and help him, help me the best way he could. And that's exactly what she did! From the meetings before our birth to the actual labor and delivery, Shalene was so supportive and encouraging. I really wanted to have a natural delivery, but had some anxiety about whether or not that would happen. She helped me go into my birth with the confidence that even if things went differently than I hoped, I could still be at peace. During my labor, I remember at one point saying, "I don't think I can do this anymore", to which Shalene replied, "You ARE doing it!" I know my husband felt supported too. After the birth he made several comments about how he wouldn't have always known what to do or how to do things if it hadn't been for Shalene. My mom said to me afterwards that it seemed like the three of us (Shalene, my husband and I) just worked so well together. Looking back on the whole experience, Steve and I often say to each other that we don't know how couples do this without a doula! Shalene was such a blessing to me and I would definitely recommend her to anyone about to enter into this journey!

Posted 11/30/2013

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Ashley Stover

Shalene was a great addition to me and my husbands birthing experience! Shalene was very helpful and respectful of my needs during an intense and emotional time, I would reccomend her to anyone. When my husband and I decide to have another child we will be calling Shalene for our support! 

Posted 11/15/2013

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Justine Danielle Kugel

My experience with Shalene Massie was one of the best choices that my husband and I made in regards to this birthing process. Being this was our first child, we had a lot of questions and Shalene was helpful to answer those questions. She really prepared our hearts and minds for this birthing process. I ended up being in labor for 25 hours. I could of not done it without my husband and Shalene. Shalene was very patience and gave lots of guidance to what our next move should be. Since it was a longer process, it was refreshing having someone there that knows a lot about birth and is a mom herself. Going through the stages of having my first child, I am a firm believer now that a lot of what you going through is the battle of the mind. There's a bigger battle that goes on with your mind and how you will respond to the pain. Shalene’s classes were very helpful and prepare you to be confident and she gives you different techniques to deal with pain. She was never pushy and allowed for my husband and I to make decision together. She helped empower my husband to be a wonderful support system. The fear of the unknown can really make things difficult and Shalene really goes over all the "what ifs" and does a great job at communicating with you about your questions and concerns.

Posted 11/7/2013

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Shuwen Duan

It was definitely a great experience having someone who is calm and experienced in the moment of chaos. My husband and mom were there, but it was still very helpful to have Shalene around.

I would love to have maybe one more session afterwards with her, just because she might help me with picking up some memories that were lost for the whole story.

Posted 11/5/2013

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Trisha Minick

One of the best decisions my husband and I made was to choose Shalene as our doula. Her contribution to our daughter's birth and the birth experience for me and my husband was invaluable. People asked me, "Well what does your doula do?" My response was always, "She will be our constant; She will be there before, during, and after the birth." Shalene was our mentor, emotional support, and friend. Her Birthing from Within teaching provided a unique preparation for our daughter's birth. Shalene taught me to look within, to trust myself, and to listen to my inner wisdom. This was such valuable teaching that I applied in ways that surprised me during the birth. I was so greatful to have her there, to be not only a support for me, but for my husband as well. Our lives will be forever blessed by her presence though this birth. 

Posted 10/18/2013

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Christi Waddell

Shalene's calm, patient demeanor, plus her knowledge of the process, was a perfect fit into our birth experience- not only for me, but for my husband and my mom as well. She did a great job anticipating my needs and working with my medical team to ensure I got the experience I wanted.

Posted 7/11/2013

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Jessica StClair

Shalene was great! Her presence during our labor and birth was calming and comforting. I cannot imagine doing it without her help. After the birth she took care of getting our placenta ready to be encapsulated, when both my husband and I were preoccupied with our baby. I highly, highly recommend her and we will use her again if we decide to have another!! 

Posted 3/12/2013

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Margaret Sherwood

So blessed by Shalene during our labor and delivery. She is gifted, compassionate, and respectful. She made suggestions to the OB/GYN after he asked for her opinion...he followed her advice on a small matter. She's well versed in knowing how to effectively communicate with medical staff to help the mother/family through the whole laboring process. She is a Christian and she encouraged me spiritually. Thankful to have had her as our doula. She will be called upon for our next pregnancy.

Posted 3/12/2013

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Vanessa Boa-Amponsem

My husband and I used Shalene as our doula for the birth of our first child. I really wanted to have a natural birth experience and decided to take her birth classes to learn more. The 12 week class was very informative. Much of it was new information to my husband and I. Her class was well worth the time and money and I really used the pain coping techniques. She also gave me valuable information to empower myself in a hospital setting, allowing me to ask for exactly what I wanted and how I would be able to do so. At my birth, she coached me through breathing, and visual exercises to maintain my focus. Through seven hours at the hospital with her, and three hours of intense pushing she encouraged me and challenged me to the end. I successfully gave birth to my daughter without any interventions and had the most amazing experience of my life. I could not have done it without her support. I tell everyone, she is worth her weight in gold!

 

Posted 1/23/2013

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Holly Williams

Shalene was amazing! I ended up having the baby on my own basically because it happened so quickly. Shalene got there in time to help coach me through pushing the rest of my daughter out! She was very encouraging and tentative to my needs. She was very supportive and gave very good advice before,during, and after the birth. When I do get pregnant again I plan on using her as my doula and hope to have her during my labor next time:-) Shalene is so friendly and personable and she made me feel so comfortable.

Posted 1/5/2013

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Lindsay Rich

 Shalene attended my birth with our daughter Susanna Faith on Nov 7, 2012. She did an excellent job as a supporter, friend and birth mentor.  Her peaceful presence and friendship was a great asset to us throughout my pregnancy, labor and post-partum experience. She rejoiced with us and helped ease the shock when our baby turned out to be a girl instead of the boy we thought we were having. Shalene is very educated about birth and is an excellent resource about any questions you may have. She was very steady and peaceful throughout my labor even though my doctor did not arrive in time for the delivery. She honored our wishes and we were thrilled  that she got to be part of Susanna Faith's birth story! If you are looking to hire an awesome doula, you will not be disappointed. Shalene is the best! 

Posted 12/4/2012

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Whitney Bortz

??From the beginning of our relationship, Shalene was warm, patient and determined to help us feel both comfortable with her support and also empowered to bring our own individual preferences into the birth preparation. Although we began working with her very late in my pregnancy, our two prenatal consultations were rich in theoretical information and practical activities.?? ??When we finally decided that it was time to go to the hospital, Shalene arrived promptly with a variety of helpful props for labor. However, she allowed me to completely guide the process depending on what position or type of support would help me through contractions most.??During labor, Shalene assumed a 'behind-the-scenes' role, primarily focusing on helping me to discover how I could labor most comfortably and helping my husband support me. She also worked as a team with the hospital staff, willing to yield to their expertise where appropriate. Shalene was able to be flexible in her roles; she used touch, breath, talk and positioning throughout the labor and while Brennon (my husband) helped me in the pushing stage, she assumed the role of photographer.??Our perfect baby girl was born with no complications only 4 hours after arriving at the hospital, and I truly believe that Shalene's ability to keep me calm and focused throughout a difficult process is one of the main reasons for this. The next day, the nurse said my birth was the best natural birth she had seen in her years working as a nurse. Shalene's approach was different, the nurse explained, as she recognized that Shalene was a team player and never attempted to undermine the expertise of nurses or doctors. Instead, she made the labor experience more calm and personal for the mother and the birth partner.??Following the birth, Shalene visited me in the hospital and then at home a week later, and she was willing to answer any questions that we had.
 

Posted 10/27/2012

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Emily Kaylor

 Shalene is an amazing individual, teacher, and doula. I had planned a natural at home birth, but ended up delivering in a hospital with medical assistance and still managed to feel empowered and supported throughout my birth experience. While we never got our followup meeting under our belts prior to the induction of labor, I was more than impressed with Shalene's attentiveness and caring involvement. I enjoyed having someone there to support me and who, even being fairly unfamiliar with me as compared to a typical friend orfamily member, more than able to intuitively respond to my varied needs. Often times people can be too present when helping others, when we really need a quiet, yet strong foundation of comfort waiting in the wings. Shalene was perfect for the level of quiet, calm and attentive persona I needed, and I wont hesitate to use her services again. 


Posted 10/24/2012

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Joey Kaylor

Shalene goes outside of the typical approach to birth, ones that are not "in the movies" so to speak.  From assisting with birth plans, informing of the various options for birth and pain management, assisting with home preparation, to being there for physical, mental, and emotional support for both partners in the birth, having a doula made us both feel more comfortable than going it alone.

 

She was always available for questions or planning needs, and when the time came, she was there to support and help in any way we needed her.  As a first time father, I can say with certainty I would have had a meltdown if we did not have the support available she gave.  

 

I strongly suggest anyone looking for birth support or education seriously consider using her services, both for doula support and child birth education. 

Posted 10/18/2012

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