Virginia Rivenbark, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE, CLC Photo

Virginia Rivenbark, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE, CLC

Preparing for Birth and Beyond, LLC

Website: http://www.birthtobeyond.com

Phone: (570) 380-0150

Birth Fee: $750 to $925

Fee Details: Congratulations on your expected baby! This is such an exciting time for you, but can also be scary and overwhelming. Having support and education can make such a difference in your experience! I have been a doula since you 2001 and birth is still such a magical and amazing time. I am honored to hold space and provide support for you to birth however you desire or need, be it medicated, unmediated, vaginal, cesarean, hospital, home. Contact me to set up a free informational meeting and learn about my services. I take payments for as long as you need and barter. I also teach group and private Lamaze Childbirth Class and am a certified breastfeeding counselor.

Birth Doula Experience: 18 years and 320 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, May 2001
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 1 to 4

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Geisinger Danville, Bloomsburg, Wyoming Valley, Wayne Memorial, Williamsport, Evangelical, Moses Taylor, Wilkes Barre General, Geisinger Community Hospital
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
When a midwife is present

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Lamaze International

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Lactation Counselor (The Center for Breastfeeding)
  • Lactation Counselor Training (Healthy Children's Center for Breastfeeding)

Other Relevant Certifications

  • AdvCD(DONA) DONA International Advanced Birth Doula
  • American Heart Association BLS (Basic Life Support) Certification
  • LPN/LVN (Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse)
  • TENS use certificate, When Survivors Give Birth Educator

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Domestic Violence
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Previous birth trauma and/or birth injury
  • Relinquishing mothers
  • Remote and rural clients birthing away from home
  • Single parents
  • Special needs babies
  • Surrogacy
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Birth counseling for survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Military families
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Parenting consulting
  • Surrogates and intended parents
  • TENS units rental

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Volunteer to provide doula services to women who's partner is away for military service. Co leader Improving Birth: Central and Northeast PA Chapter Past President DONA International

Languages spoken: English

Certifications for Virginia Rivenbark, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE, CLC

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Virginia Rivenbark, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE, CLC

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Julia Holt

Virginia is like a walking encyclopedia for pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding, and taking care of a newborn. My husband and I felt completely supported and secure during the birth of our son. She advocated for us in the hospital setting when we were most vulnerable. We love Virginia and can’t thank her enough! 

Posted 5/14/2019

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Peggy Strunk

The birthing class was very helpful and Virginia was very knowledgeable. Virginia has a great reputation in the Montour and Columbia county area. Highly recommended and takes the time to answer your questions and concerns. This is my husband's and my first pregnancy and Virginia assisted us with providing visual aids and knowledge for throughout the pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding. She is also a doula and I've been told by others she is very good and would hire her again. Virginia recommended a Chiropractor in the Catawissa area, due to having hip issues. The Chiropractor, Stuart spoke highly of Virginia and recommended her as a doula. The Chiropractor also helped me with my problem and I will be returning again before the baby is born and after. Virginia recommended we meet with a lactation consultant, Jane at the Geisinger Bloomsburg, which helped provide us with a better understanding and knowledge of breastfeeding. The lactation consultant, Jane and the nurses at Geisinger Bloomsburg also spoke very highly of Virginia for her Birthing Classes and her work as a Doula. We loved her and would take her class again as a refresher if we get pregnant again. 

 

Posted 12/29/2018

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Sara Adams

From very early on in my second pregnancy I wanted to work with a doula. My goal was to have a vaginal birth, following a c-section for a breech position with my first. I was a good candidate for a VBAC, according to my doctors, but wanted the support of a professional to coach my husband and I through the pregnancy, birth and after (I struggled with BF following my first). I found Virginia through an online search, but also had a personal recommendation from an acquaintance, a first-time mom. From the start, I was comfortable with Virginia - she has an easiness about her, as well as a wealth of knowledge. I was scheduled to be induced on a Monday evening; she was there from the moment we checked in until the moment baby was born by cesarean on FRIDAY! Those intermittent days of laboring and interventions were difficult, exhausting, and frustrating. I feel so blessed that Virginia was there to guide, educate, advocate for, support, feed, and empower us! She helped us to make the best decision in moments that felt completely overwhelming. She continued to be a resource and checking in often for weeks following the birth. I’m deeply appreciative of her time and expertise and HIGHLY recommend her services.

Posted 10/23/2018

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Ronna Jaffin

My husband and I attended a Lamaze class with Virginia during the final weeks of my pregnancy. We are first time parents and had the goal of using as few interventions as possible. Virginia made us feel so comfortable during discussions and welcomed questions. She is very knowledgeable and communicated our options to us in a way we could easily understand. She did a wonderful job empowering us to make informed decisions. It is notable we never felt pressured as we weighed the pros and cons of our options. We were able to confidently develop a birth plan. Virginia fully prepared both of us for what to expect during labor and delivery. My husband was a huge support and that was a direct reflection of how well she prepared him for that role. I can confidently say that Virginia is the reason I was confident in my body and experienced the positive natural birth I was hoping for. I highly recommend anyone attend one of her Lamaze classes!

Posted 10/22/2018

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Timur Akhunov

We were recommended Viriginia by one of our wife's colleagues and soon found out that a neighbor was also a client and gave glowing praise. As a husband I would say that I cannot imagine going into labor and delivery without Virginia. She is someone I trust completely.

 

As for the logisitics - after initial meeting to confirm interest, we met twice before birth to discuss general expectations during birth and hands on exercises for the second meeting. Both meetings were helpful. After the birth she regularly followed up with us and came for a visit to make sure that both the baby and the mother were well (and even father if needed). Actual labor took 3.5 days, of which Viginia was with us for 2.5 and we were comfortable enough in the remaining time to give us and her a bit of a break. Her advice was spot on and economical. 

 

My strongest praise would be for her calm, confidence and empathy. All of those are battle tested - through personal experience, as a medical professional and as a doula. She commands respect both from emotional parents and from the medical staff, yet she is gentle and kind. The more we needed help, the more Virginia was there. She changed my life, the life of my wife and our daughter.

Posted 6/25/2018

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Colleen Bowman

Virginia was amazing, and my natural child birth experience would have been much too overwhelming for me without her.  I had two previously heavily medicated births and a good friend highly recommend natural child birth and Virginia.  Once I read up on it, I was very interested.  I was so happy with Virginia right away because she was flexible with our schedule, easy to get along with and so knowledgeable.  I was pretty sure I wanted to do a natural child birth, but I felt confident with Virginia that she was going to help me to make the best decisions for me, whether that be with medication or not.  When it came time for the birth, I was so glad she was there.  For most of the labor, it was just Virginia and my husband in the hospital room, and she was able to answer any questions I had, suggest different positions to try and let us know what to expect.  When I was pushing I got very overwhelmed and I was having a hard time following the midwife’s instructions.  Virginia put her face right in front of mine and got me through.  I will never forget that moment, and will be forever grateful to Virginia.  She stayed with us for a while to make sure we were settled.  She checked in on me after we got home as well.  I would HIGHLY recommend Virginia to any mom planning a natural childbirth, or even someone who is just curious about it.

Posted 2/15/2018

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Rachel Grimm

If you think you want a doula and live within Virginia's travel range, hire her! I had peace of mind from the time I hired her until weeks after my baby (my first) was born.  

I knew I wouldn't have to wonder, will I have a decent chance during labor at having my voice heard? Will I feel run over and then regret not speaking up? Will things go off the rails and I'll just feel like a victim? Nope nope and nope. I knew that having Virginia as a voice to remind me of my options and as a support would make me feel better about everything. And she made all the difference in the world!  From simply reminding me that I didn't have to wear the enormous, heavy and hot hospital gowns (I was hot enough already and wanted to labor in my own clothes) to tirelessly rubbing my back, giving counter pressure and telling me over and over to slow my breathing (very helpful and not at all annoying - I needed it!), she kept me calm, as comfortable as possible and helped me have confidence to labor how I wanted to.

I was also surprised by another good aspect: I was able to talk about my labor and delivery with Virginia a week after my son was born and she gave me her perspective on how things went, along with her timeline of events. It was unexpectedly helpful to have an outside perspective of how things went, tell me when things happened and her professional opinion on things. It helped me to know what a good experience I had, when otherwise I would question whether I should have done things differently. She reassured me that things went very well and even told me something I wish I would've asked for (the only thing I would've changed) would not have been possible. Now I'm very glad I didn't ask! She also gave me excellent breastfeeding ideas since my son had a shallow latch.

All in all, invaluable.  Not even joking, the first thing I will do if I'm ever pregnant again, God willing, is call Viriginia immediately and hire her.

Posted 9/4/2017

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Amy Rynhart

To be honest, my husband and I decided not to go with a doula at first... I had heavily considered it, but at 12 weeks pregnant, I convinced myself that we would be fine without one. I told myself that my own preparations and having my husband there with me would be all that I needed. I wanted a natural birth more than anything in the world, and I read several books and watched several videos that helped prepare my mind and body. Countless hours were spent preparing myself for a natural birth.

A very dear friend gave us a doula as a gift, and it was Virginia. Obviously I was overwhelmed with gratitude, but I still don't know if I truly saw the value... that is, until the contractions began.

I'm telling you right now, if it wasn't for Virginia, I would not have had my natural birth. Even with all my studying and preparation and practicing, I was not ready. How could one be ready for birth? Having never experienced it before? Having her there was exactly what I needed to get through. She was not only there for me, but she was there for my husband. She made sure he was eating and drinking, she suggested ways for him to help me, and she said and did all the right things for me to achieve my dream. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but also the most amazing thing I've ever done. I give her so much credit for the best day of my life. The amount of gratitude I feel towards her is immense, and I'll never be able to thank her enough.

Her services didn't end right when my daughter was born. She stuck around and made sure everything was okay, and she checked up with us days afterwards when we were back at home. This is embarrassing to admit, but during our first night home, I had a mental breakdown. I was afraid that I wasn't feeding my daughter and that she was starving, and she came over in the middle of the night to make sure we were okay. SShetruly cares and goes above and beyond the call of duty. I can't recommend her enough.

Posted 6/15/2017

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Miri Goodman

Virginia helped me realize that i really do have a say in how i want to be treated. And then even when she was not with me, i knew how to speak up. Virginia is very kind and patient, a great person to have at your side. She also helped me with breastfeeding. Hours after birth, when my baby would not nurse and i needed to get her to eat, i knew i could call Virginia although it was late at night, and she had already gone home, and that Virginia would come. I'm really glad i've had the great merit to have met Virginia.  

Posted 11/12/2016

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Elyse Gilbert

Here is a message that I wrote to a pregnant mom who asked me about my experience with a doula. I think it sums up my feelings about Virginia! She is wonderful and her services are priceless. 

"I was very nervous that I wouldn't feel supported and empowered throughout my pregnancy/labor, so I searched for a doula very early in my pregnancy. I was lucky to really click with the first doula I interviewed. She ended up being such a crucial part of my entire experience! Matt and I were talking earlier about how I wasn't sure what to write to you because I have a difficult time even expressing how amazing and important she is to me. He wanted me to mention to you how much our doula helped him as well. Doulas are definitely more than just a birth coach for the mom! He felt really supported by her as well. I decided that an unmedicated birth was the right choice for me and she did help me accomplish that goal. However, I know she would have been fully supportive either way. I think a good doula should be focused on helping you feel in control of your labor and birth experience, regardless of their personal labor preferences. Our doula really helped us prepare for Madelyn's birth, but was extremely helpful during the labor as well. Matt said that he loved having her their to reassure him if he got nervous. She also helped rub my back when his hands were tired. For me, I loved having a woman there to tell me she understood when I kept saying how hard it was. Our doula was with us at our house and stayed right by my side for the entire labor and recovery. She didn't even leave until after I had showered and settled in the bed to sleep. When our family was focused on snuggling Madelyn, she was helping me with my first trip to the bathroom. I never even thought about that and it's not very fun, so I was grateful for her! Basically, my labor experience was wonderful and life-changing thanks to our doula and Matt. I hope that helped in some way!"

Posted 9/19/2016

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Abrana Renn

Thank goodness for Virginia! With pregnancy and in my case, my first - there are so many questions and at times fear or worries. In addition to the birthing process, Virginia was available to talk each time I needed her experience and steadiness to calm me throughout preganancy and post partum. 

Posted 9/9/2016

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Ashley Hess

I decided early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to have a natural childbirth, and I felt one of the best ways to accomplish such a daunting task was to have the right support system. With that in mind, I decided to begin searching for a doula. I came across Virginia on the DONA registry and set up a meeting with her to discuss her services. My husband and I were immediately drawn to her kind, compassionate nature - we knew she would be easy to get along with.

Throughout the second half of my pregnancy, Virginia helped prepare me and my husband for childbirth. We attended her Lamaze classes and free childbirth education classes at Babies R Us. (That is one of the things I love most about Virginia - she is so knowledgeable and resourceful!) Toward the end of my pregnancy, Virginia met with me and my husband twice to help us develop our birth plan.

When I went into labor, Virginia came over as soon as we asked her to and stayed with me throughout my entire labor. She knew exactly what comfort measures I needed as I labored and was very respectful of the intimate times between me and my husband. Most importantly, Virginia helped me remember that it was my birth experience and that I had choices when the nurses made it seem like I didn't. She helped make sure that I had the birth that I wanted.

Now that my little one is here, Virginia still checks up on us and is always willing to answer my questions. There is no doubt in my mind that my husband and I made the right choice by hiring Virginia, and we will contact her again in the future if and when we have another baby! We love her!

Posted 9/7/2016

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Melissa Snyder

Virginia has been with us for the birth of both of our children. It was such a wise decision to hire her to be our doula. She is a wealth of information and she walked us through the entire process. Her presence gave me such confidence to seek the natural birth I hoped for. She taught us pain management techniques that were vital to my labors. She taught my husband how to help me and gave us just what was needed- support of our birth plan, encouragement when needed, reminders of my birth plan and so much more! She even drove through the snow to our home after our daughter was born to help me with breastfeeding. She gave me so much help and hope with her knowledge though the beginning struggle of nursing my daughter. Having a doula by your side as your advocate is my biggest advice to new moms (and any expectant mother!) - and Virginia is the best!!

Posted 9/6/2016

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Danielle Correll

After taking the Birth class with Virginia - not only was I very at ease going into labor because I understood what i was feeling and what was going on - I also made very educated decisions desling with the birthing process and Nursing. she explained everything thoroughly . Her calming presence and kind demeanor made her very approachable . Any time I askes her a question she had the answer - even if it wasn't during a class session. She truly cared about our experience and Wanted the best for us ! I was hesitant to take this course bc I didn't know if I needed it - as it turned out - I definitely nmessed to lead a Lot and did ! Nursing was so smooth bc of how informed I was . She taught my husband and I so much! I'd recommend a doula , specifically Virginia , to anyone ( especially first time parents ) 

Posted 8/31/2016

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Meghan Matthews-Adair

I had a very hard, traumatic labor with my first and my husband and I became pregnant with our second sooner than we wished. We had moved out of state, my husband began a stressful job, I had to quit my great job, and we had trouble adjusting to our new life. I say all this because Virginia put me at such ease that I cancelled all other plans to interview other doula's after our first meeting. Even though we went through an intense birthing class with our first, Virginia taught us even more techniques that I believe shortened my labor. She also reignited my confidence that I could do another med-free birth and have a successful, trama free delivery. She was right. She was a strong advocate in the hospital, gave me comfort, was the buffer between me and my husband during the difficult moments of labor when you hate your partner, and fought to give me a water labor before we were "supposed" to. After the birth I struggled to breasfeed successfully. My daughter was born on a friday and had to be kept an extra day due to low weight and so we had no lactation consultant at hand. She came at midnight and encouraged me while teaching me calmly what to do. She stood by my side while I had to pump because of pain and was my support when no one could at the hospital with me. If I were to have another birth in this state I would choose Virginia again in an instant. 

Posted 8/31/2016

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Alison Eroh

My birth experience was exactly what I had hoped it would be, and that would not have been possible without Virginia.

As you may know, childbirth is usually far from easy. But Virginia was knowledgeable of our birth plan and encouraged me when I needed help sticking to it. She gave advice when needed, and gave space when needed. 

Virgina helped with every aspect of labor and delivery, she was with us from beginning to end and even stayed late to make sure everything was ok. She then visited  after we brought our daughter home. Any questions we had before and after her birth, Virginia was right there to answer or find help for us.

Hiring a doula was the single best hong we did to ensure we had the birth experience we wanted, and Virginia far exceeded our expectations. 

Posted 8/31/2016

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Jessica Ohl

Virginia was there for me all the way.  I was in hospital for 2 days before my daughter was born and Virginia never left my side.  She supported me in my most difficult moments.  She stayed with my baby when I could not be there.  Her presence provided me with peace of mind that is beyond measure and I'm forever grateful.  Virginia is truly an angel, a rare gem in this world. She's got a lot of patience and love and when the going gets tough she will stand by you and give you love and strength.

Posted 8/31/2016

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Mackenzie Riaubia

Virginia will always be a special person in my life.  AFter the birth of my daughter which utlimately was a csection because she was breech.  I grieved my birth expereience but did not share my feelings because I felt silly.  Then we moved to nothern Pa and I knew I wanted a VBAC with my second child.  I did my research and realized that I needed a doula if I wanted a shot at a VBAC.  I heard about Virginia through a friend and met with her in the very beginning of my pregnancy.  She was so calming and made me feel like every question I asked was a valid one.  She was the first person to validate my grieving over my first birth and made me feel ok with my feelings. She was available at all times for questions or comfort.  She helped me ask the right questions, and validated my concerns or my decisions.  She gave me a back bone to stand up for the birth I wanted.  Even as doctors tried to get me to schedule a csection because I was past due.  Virginia help me navigate my interaction with the doctors.  She was there when I went into labor at midnight.  She was there at the hospital for a false alarm.  She was there through the painful contractions and the desparation.  She was a great support for my husband and had the abilty to show him what I needed with out over powering the situation.  In the end I had the birth I always wanted, and I truly believe Virginia was a key figure in that happening.  she was a huge support after the birth answering all my questions no matter the time.  She will remain a life long friend!!

Posted 6/1/2016

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Marnie Lynn Reidy

Virginia Rivenbark was my doula in January 2014. My husband had recently been transferred from Florida by his job, and as such, we had no close friends in our new town in central PA and few living relatives. As an only child with no knowledge of how to care for a baby, I was apprehensive about the everyday tasks of a new mother, such as feeding, bathing, diapering and putting a baby to bed, so I was originally only interested in a postpartum doula to observe and instruct me to ease my mind. However, after my husband and I sat with Virginia in our home at her first visit in late 2013, I immediately knew I also wanted her there for my baby's birth as well. She was calm and compassionate, never making me feel as if my questions were silly or unwarranted. She had a wealth of experience not only from being a doula for over a hundred births but also giving birth herself eight times. In addition to her caring attitude, she was also incredibly intelligent and well-researched. The role of doula is not one she took lightly and it was obvious from our first meeting.

I don't want to imagine my labor without Virginia. She was that wonderful. She made sure I labored in a carefree atmosphere and that all of my questions were answered. The doula does not take the husband's place but works with both of you to keep the mother comfortable and calm. She is your coach, your cheerleader, your library of information, your friend. She is everything and anything you want her to be for you on that special and difficult day.

After the birth, Virginia helped us as new parents, making visits, answering my questions, helping me figure out breastfeeding, and giving hugs to our new little boy, who adored her too! We still keep in touch with one another as friends, and I hope we will for a long time. If we were still living in PA today, I would be honored to have her as my doula again and again. She is, simply put, incredible.

Posted 6/24/2015

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Lennae Warren

Virginia was absolutely essential in the birth of our son.  Without her I am fully convinced we would have ended up with a C-Section.  Not only was she with me at the hospital for over 36 hours, she also came and visited me at home several times afterwards to help with breastfeeding and provide encouragement.  She became an absolute anchor for my husband and myself during our time at the hospital.  Virginia was excellent at communicating to us what the doctors and nurses were doing and what to expect.  She knew our wishes and birth plan and helped us communicate to the medical staff what we would like.  During labor, Virginia showed her extensive knowledge and helped me find various positions to relieve pain and get what rest I could.  She was constantly calm and encouraging and made our birth experience wonderful.  I cannot imagine going through labor without her. I highly recommend her services to anyone who is expecting. 

Posted 6/24/2015

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Melissa Cabe

Virginia was so helpful during my first pregnancy. I had no idea what to expect. She was able to provide me with toms on information. She also let me make the decisions that I felt were best for me and my baby. Having her by my side during labor made me feel much more prepared.

Posted 6/18/2015

Birth Availability for Virginia Rivenbark, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE, CLC

= Available. Calendar last updated: 12/5/2019 8:00:30 PM