I would highly recommend Laurie to any family looking for a doula. She is incredibly warm while also providing a professional, fact based perspective, which was very important to us. Laurie also served as an incredibly calming influence during labor and provided a balanced and easy to understand perspective throughout all our interactions from helping me craft my birth plan to making decisions in the hospital about medications to providing advice on breastfeeding. Her ability to partner with the Labor & Delivery nurse and create a cohesive support team was truly incredible and her presence and support was a critical component in helping make my son’s birth experience a very beautiful and positive one. And as other reviewers have mentioned, the postpartum visit and massage went a long way in helping me feel like myself again!
Having Laurie on our birth team was invaluable. After a long road to having our first child (a stillbirth at 20 weeks due to a rare chromasomal abnormality and a miscarriage at 12 weeks) my husband and I were very nervous going into this pregnancy. We were also nervous about delivering in a hospital, but knew we wanted to go this route, based on our history. Laurie helped eased our worries the moment we met her. Her kind, caring, knowledgable, thoughtful, funny and loving personality is exactly who we wanted with us in the delivery room. She is personable and takes time to really learn about you, your preferences and history. She was very familiar with Swedish First Hill where we delivered, which helped take the pressure off of us when we arrived in the middle of the night. Even though we had done a hospital tour, it felt so much easier having Laurie with us, talking us through things every step of the way. Once we were admitted, we relied heavily on her for everything from helping with the tub, position changes, heating up my heating packs (so many times) to emotional support and a few laughs to. We had to make some tough decisions after about 20 hours of labor and Laurie helped us discuss the pros and cons, and gave us time and space to make our own decision. Laurie was a champ for all 30 hours of our labor - never missing a beat. I know our birth experience was greatly enhanced by having Laurie by our side. She allowed my husband to be able to just focus on me, and Laurie worried about other things, which was amazing. She supported him just as much as me. Laurie's before and after delivery visits were amazing as well - especially the massage and placenta encapsulation, which we greatly appreciated. We would absolutely reccommend Laurie and will be making sure she is in the delivery room with us for any future children.
Laurie was an exceptional addition to our team. I had been nervous about labor, and laurie helped reassure and prepare me and my partner. When the time came to give birth I was confident that Laurie would be able to help guide me. In the end I had a great, positive delivery experience, and a beautiful baby.
I spent the last few months of my pregnancy on bed rest, and Laurie was especially supportive and helpful in answering questions, referring us to additional resources, and just being a friend to talk to.
I love her sensitivity and ability to adapt her support based on my needs and personality. I also love that Laurie brings her sense of humor and laughter to everything she does. As a bonus, she gives a fantastic massage! I was so happy to have Laurie as a doula and I highly recommend her!
The moment my husband and I met Laurie, we knew we found our doula. She was confident, funny, personable and knowledeable - a great combination for my information seeking, excited but anxious, new mommy-to-be personality. She helped us define our birth plan, get to the root of why I wanted an unmedicated birth, and develop potential coping mechanisms for alternate scenarios.
When we finally went into labor, all those great plans went out the window. :) My baby's delivery was anything but typical - and definitely not what I envisioned. I started having labor contractions on Saturday and didn't deliver until an unplanned cesarean on Tuesday afternoon. I was in unmedicated early and active labor for about 60 hours before an epidural, pitocin, water breaking, a c-section, medicinal allergic reaction, NICU visits, and infection. Throughout the entire experience, Laurie was my sounding board, partner and advocate. Her awareness, conversation, and support enabled my husband and me to try different laboring techniques as well as think and feel through each difficult decision as it arose (when it's pretty much impossible to do either coherently). 72 hours of labor later, we welcomed a healthy baby boy. Thanks to Laurie, I came out of the adventure feeling good about the decisions I'd made, regardless of how much they deviated from my plan. Post-delivery, Laurie has been a wonderful resource and friend as we've transitioned to parenthood.
Having Laurie by my side was a godsend, and I plan to work with her for baby number 2 (whenever that happens)! :)
We were lucky to have two wonderful birth experiences with Laurie as our doula! She is down-to-earth, a wealth of knowledge, funny, thoughtful, and able to communicate beautifully with nurses, doctors, and clients alike. Laurie was originally recommended to us by friends and we interviewed her along with two other doulas. When we met Laurie, we knew we had found our doula - she balances being wonderfully kind and caring with great professionalism. We felt heard: this was so important! She met with us and helped us discover what was most important to us about our birth experience. Then, she echoed back to us what she had heard at different times in the process. She did not have her own agenda or make us feel pressured to do things a particular way. For our first birth, what was most important to me was that I feel I could make each decision in a calm way. Laurie supported that 100%. Our first birth experience included a long pre-labor, long labor, pushing, and then an urgent c-section. Throughout every step, I felt I made each decision with clear thinking and support. We were hoping for a VBAC for our second. We had learned so much from her the first time, we initially felt we did not need a doula. Then, we decided, near the end of pregnancy, to contact Laurie again: she was amazing. Met with us and got up to speed with what we wanted and needed from her. Then, at the last minute, we had a planned C-Section. Laurie came and supported us throughout the procedure, which was SUCH a positive experience. Laurie kept me informed of what was going on throughout and helped make sure my baby was on my chest as soon as possible after delivery (within 4 minutes). Both of our birth experiences were special in their own way and having Laurie there with us was priceless.
I didn’t start out my pregnancy thinking I wanted a doula, but hiring Laurie, through Swedish, was the best decision of my pregnancy. I have a physical disability, and Laurie was the only Swediish doula who had relevant experience. My husband and I liked her immediately—she was relatable, easy to talk to, and inspired trust. When my doctor sprang the word induction, Laurie was a wealth of information. She took time to get to know us and because of her I walked into induction nervous but confident that I understood what could happen. I agreed to many things I hoped to avoid: Pitocin, narcotics, and an epidural. My induction could have been a lot harder, but my disability profoundly affected labor. But even before sh*t hit the fan, Laurie knew how to keep me comfortable. In what otherwise would have felt like a situation spiraling out of control, Laurie was a constant support. My daughter had some complications and Laurie told me what was happening while my husband stayed with our baby. She helped me breastfeed right away. I was happy to see her again and reintroduce her to our baby when she came to our house for my (lovely) massage. From beginning to end I could not have been happier to have Laurie in my corner.
On February 8, 2017, at 12:46 p.m., Madeline made her arrival. We ar overjoyed to welcome her home!
We found Laurie after a relatively long search for the right doula - and boy, are we glad we did. I had high aspirations for a delivery with minimal intervention, but knowing how much would be out of my control it was paramount to me to work with a doula who was educated and principled in their approach yet flexible, compassionate and empathetic. I also wanted to work with someone who was smart and funny (humor is hard to find in a delivery room). Laurie was all of those things, and more. She went the extra mile to be sure my experience was personal, interjecting her educated opinion where I asked for it or where she saw that I didn't have all of the information. In addition to classes we took from the hospital, we got a lot of value out of our home visits with Laurie, where we discussed plan B, C and even D. This was incredibly comforting to me, because I knew that no matter what happened during my labor, she thoroughly knew and supported my intentions.
Perhaps the most helpful way that Laurie participated in our birth was simply her calming presence over the course of my three day delivery. She selflessly slept on the floor of my room, checking in on me (my mind, my heart, my stamina and general disposition) and my husband as well. She knew just how to respond, whether it was with counsel, a joke or a gentle touch. I'm not sure how she does it, but I'm confident my birth story would have been very different without her in it. She most certainly has a gift. Five stars!
We loved Laurie's humor and calm, experienced vibe from the very beginning, and felt strongly that she would be a really positive presence during our labor and delivery at Swedish Ballard. (Note: We did not realize she was part of their program when we contacted or hired her.) I wasn't opposed to delivering in the hospital, but really wanted to aim for a low-intervention experience. HAH! We plan, and the Universe laughs at us, right? After seven pretty easy, uneventful months of pregnancy, we suddenly ended up with preeclampsia and an unplanned induction three full weeks early. Laurie was a big factor in allowing me to feel like I could still handle it -- despite the fact that when I was admitted to the hospital, we hadn't yet confirmed or written up a birth plan, hadn't packed a "go bag," and didn't even have a dog sitter lined up! During the nearly four days of labor and delivery (because inducing at 37 weeks is a sloooow process) she was our touchstone, normalizing the craziness of the experience and helping us avoid all sense of negative judgment when we made choices and agreed to things that were wholly different from what we initially thought we wanted or needed. With the exception of my waters breaking spontaneously and having a successful vaginal delivery, I ended up with literally Every. Single. Thing. that I'd initially said I wanted to avoid, and I still came out of the experience feeling entirely fine with that. I won't say that we wouldn't have gotten through our birth experience with Laurie's help, because we received excellent care at Swedish, but I truly don't think that I would have come out of it feeling so at peace with all of the decisions we made.
I'd highly recommend Laurie to anyone looking for an amazing doula. Laurie was incredibly supportive and inspired my husband to take the primary support role (which was what he wanted to do). Having both my husband and Laurie present was essential for me in the first 24 hours of unmedicated labor and Laurie had some great ideas that really helped with pain management. When I decided to get an epidural after 24 hours, Laurie was supportive. And when I got an emergency c-section 12 hours after that, she was supportive again.
I originally thought having a doula in a c-section situation would be useless. Why would you need an extra person for a c-section? However, Laurie was critical in the OR when things went sideways and my daughter was not breathing. It's so scary being on a table when no one will tell you what is going on. My husband was with our baby and Laurie was right by my side keeping me as calm as possible.
Laurie was there by our side through 36 hours of labor and delivery, and when our daughter was admitted to the NICU 34 hours after birth (on a Saturday night) Laurie came back and brought us a care package.
I cannot say enough good things about Laurie! She is supportive and dedicated to making sure you get what you want. I'm going to need a c-section the next time around and will absolutely have her join us again <3
When I went into labor, it was a toss up on who was more relieved to see Laurie, me or my husband. Being in labor for 55 hours and taking 4 separate trips to the hospital was stressful to say the least - having Laurie's guidance and soothing presence kept our panic level to a minimum! Her presence and expertise soothed not only my fear and pain but my husband's and mother's as well. I remember waking up in the hospital in the middle of the night and seeing my husband sleeping on the cot and Laurie sleeping in the chair. My husband told me later that she was the one that attended me overnight, so he could get some much needed sleep. She had even hung a string of Christmas lights to keep the bright overhead lights off. Combine that level of care with her knowledge and experience (that we took full advantage of!) and she is definitely the person I want by my side should we decide to do this again!!
Our family had a wonderful experience with Laurie, and we're so happy we chose her as our doula. The prenatal meetings were really helpful for us thinking through different birth scenarios. Laurie was very supportive of all birth preferences including my desire for an epidural. When I went into labor, I progressed very quickly, and Laurie got to Swedish Ballard fast (and this at the absurd hour of 4am). When I went into active labor, we were so glad to have guidence, cheerleading, and support. For example, she identified that labor would slow down once I got my epidural and made sure my husband and Mom, who were there to support me as well, ate something so that they had the calories they needed to keep supporting me as labor progressed. This may sound obvious, but I don't think either would have thought to eat something nor to have known when was a good time to do so without Laurie's guidance.
It was also a major relief just to know that she would be there even before labor started - there was just something very comforting about having someoone there, to advocate for your interest, who took the time to get to know your needs ahead of time and who has been to this insane rodeo many many times in the past.
After our son was born, Laurie followed up with us via email, text, and in-person and did so consistently until we got our sea legs under us, so to speak. This was invaluable as the first few days, while wonderful, were also rough with my milk coming in late and the standard but always challenging experience of exhaustion. And really, that post-natal massage is just what every postpartum mother needs - it really helped me relax and settle back into my body after the experience of birth.
Laurie was a godsend! I ended up having an unplanned c-section, but even though I did not labor, we are so glad we had Laurie as a resource and support. She visited us in the hospital and I enjoyed several postpartum massages - amazing! As my husband said, we always felt better after seeing Laurie. We'd highly recommend her to any couple looking for personalized support and help discerning the type of birth you want and planning for all contingencies.
Laurie was wonderful from the pre-birth meetings to the post-partum massage! She is extremely personable and her wealth of experience shines through. Knowing she was available as a resource was very comforting before the actual birth, and then during the birthing process she was very helpful--from offering counterpressure during contractions, to drawing a bath, to answering questions and acting as an advocate. I have no hesitation in recommending Laurie if you are considering a doula.
Laurie was a kind, helpful and calming presence at my labor. She had an informed voice that supported me to make the right decisions for myself and my baby. If I needed something Laurie would spring into action, often having something I didn't know I needed right in her Mary Poppins bag of tricks.
Laurie will be forthright with you, engage well with hospital staff and take care of your partner when they need a break too (keeping my husband fresh and focused during my labor was worth the service alone).
Post-partum Laurie was kind and helpful, giving me a lovely massage and a break from the 24/7 of new motherhood.
She is a gem of a person and I consider myself very lucky to have had her at my son's birth.
We are so glad that we had Laurie as our doula! This was my first pregnancy and nto having any family locally, we knew we wanted extra support, especially with my husband having some health issues (and being unsure as a first time dad). Laurie spent a ton of time with us getting to know us and our situation, and I really felt like she helped us prepare and identify the things that were important to us. The day of, she a huge help - from big things like explaining what happened when our baby's heart deceled, to little things like getting cold cloths/juice to make me more comfortable. She made my husband feel super involved and useful too (when I think he felt like a fish out of water), which was awesome. Lastly, she was kind, engaged, nonjudgemental, supportive...and pretty darn funny too...every step of the way. We totally recommend her and hope to have her at any future births!
PS, she also gives a killer post-natal massage!
Laurie is amazing! i can't thank her enough for what she have done for us! i decided to have a natural birth and was very scared about it. i didn't do a course about it and only read a few books on the subject. Her preparation meetings were extremely helpful and we learned a lot about our options and came very prepared to the birth. my birth progressed very fast for a first birth! and had the baby in 2.5 hours from the moment we got to the hospital. Laurie was on top of everything from the second we got there. I felt she knew what i needed without saying a word. she also helped my husband understand what he can do to help me. i couldn't have the birth naturally without her. she was my rock!! i can't thank her enough!! she also saw i was about to get pitocin altough i told the nurse i didn't want it for my placenta. she went to the nurse and reminded her i said no. i'm so happy she caught her on time cause i wouldn't have noticed. in addition, i did 5 prenatal massages while being pregnant but i think Laurie's massage was so much better!! i highly recommand her! every baby i have from now on will be with her!!
Laurie is the only reason I was able to have a natural birth. Her prep sessions were amazing but no one could have prepared me for a prodromal labor. I labored for 4 days at home. When I finally got to the hospital, exhausted, Laurie's support kept me focused and determined. After 12 hours of active labor and 1 hour of pushing, my first was born. I can't express the important role she played in easing our minds through the last months, and last days of the pregnancy. I highly recommend her services!
I am so glad we had Laurie's help during the birth of my second son. My first experience was a bit traumatic so I knew I wanted to hire a doula for my next pregnancy - and I am so glad we did! I wanted to hire her based on her website alone - postpartum massage, sign me up! She was a fantastic addition to Team Audrey, and her professionalism, knowledge and quirkiness was a breath of fresh air. She was very responsive when I would send her texts or emails, she offered resources on topics I was concerned about and even asked questions that I didn’t think of (nor did my OB/GYN). Having her presence at the hospital alone caused a dramatic shift in attitude from the staff and I highly recommend her. Thanks Laurie!
Laurie was an invaluable part of my pregnancy and hospital birth experience, not to mention a rock of good cheer and excellent advice after we brought our daughter home. The birth was long and hard and involved a few curve balls, and there's nobody I would rather have had helping us through it all than Laurie. Thanks Laurie!
Laurie was the perfect match for our family and we knew it right away. She brings a high level of professionalism, knowledge, and experience combined with a fun, warm, and genuine personality. I'd recommend Laurie to parents that are looking for a doula that takes the time to get to know you and your birth plan/aspirations, but also helps you prepare for Plans B or C. She was patient and open during a week or so of false labor contractions and even a midnight phone call to check in. During labor, she was present and focused even after coming from another 24-hour labor right before. After an ideal natural birth experience, Laurie arranged for an in-home postpardum massage where she held my newborn and made my body feel mine again! From the very beginning, Laurie has been a supportive doula and I'd highly recommend her!
I don't even know where to start! Laurie was/is a godsend. I found Laurie on this site looking for a good doula. I had interviewed a few doulas and was feeling like I'd never find "The One" then I met withLaurie. She was so nice, easy to talk to, funny, professional and experienced. I knew we had finally found our doula! She was such a great support for us before, during and after our sons birth. When we met with her during pregnancy, she really helped us think about our hopes for labor and birth and having a plan if x,y and z happened. During the last few weeks of pregnancy we made an unexpected change in our provider. This was such a scary and stressful time for me. Laurie was a HUGE support and spent endless hours talking me through what was going on. She was so incredibly good to us. When I went into labor, it was just my husband and I for a number of hours. He was so great but when Laurie came over I instantly felt more at ease and safe. I had a very long labor that went well into the next morning and she was there by my side the whole time. We had some unexpected unfortunate situations come up during labor and she really helped us in making decisions and knowing our options. I can't imagine what it would've been like without her. We are forever grateful! AND let's not forget the amazing postpartum massage. Best ever. I really could go on and on about how great this woman is and would recommend her to anyone!
Laurie was amazing. As a first time mom with a skeptical group of friends and family, I knew I was already on shaky ground choosing to give birth at a birth center. Even with the support of my midwives, I know something would have been missing in a big way without Laurie's support. She was great with pre-birth questions and support, and her questionnaire really helped me figure out what I actually wanted from the birth and from her as my doula, even though I only found her a few days before I went into labor. During labor she never left my side, and intuitively knew what I wanted and needed the whole time. Whenever I felt tired, frustrated, or discouraged, she had the right words and touch to get me refocused and excited again. She also answered my partner's questions in a quiet and reassuring way. When our little guy needed a little help in the first few minutes, she talked us through what the midwives were doing so they could focus on him. She stayed until we were all doing very well, and even snapped some sweet pictures on her phone. Lastly, the postpartum massage was AWESOME. It was just what I needed! And my LO slept peacefully in a wrap on Laurie the whole time. I was lucky enough to get a couple more massages before we moved, and they were probably the best thing I did for my body during my whole pregnancy and postpartum period! I could not recommend Laurie highly enough, and will definitely use her again if I can!
I count myself very fortunate to have had Laurie as my doula. This was my 4th pregnancy and my second time as a gestational surrogate. Laurie did a wonderful job of getting to know me and our unique situation. On the big day she was wonderful, not only helping me with some late in the game curveballs (rushed to the OR for a c-section after it was discoverd that the baby had turned breech only to have her come so quickly that I delivered non-medicated footling breech in the OR just moments later), but she was also a huge help to the baby's parents. She was "my" doula, but she looked out for them as well and they were grateful. I highly recommend her!
I knew that I needed a doula. I was pregnant and wanted to have a natural birth but I didn't know anyone in this area that knew a doula. I searched the internet and made some phone calls but didn't feel comfortable with the super spiritual voices of the few women I spoke with. Then I stumbled upon doulamatch.com and was able to read some testimonials. Laurie sounded like a match to me, some mentioned she was down to earth and funny. I booked a massage to secretly interview her and see if I felt comfortable. After our first meeting I knew she was right for me. Laurie has a wealth of information and we hit it off. I felt like we were old friends and laughter came easy. When she met with me and my husband she answered all our questions and brought up a lot things we were not aware of. She made herself very available and i knew I could ask/talk to her about anything and everything. On the day of my labor and delivery she was amazing. We could not imagine that day without her. I loved her presence, she made me feel supported and comfortable on a day when really nothing is very comfortable. I had an incredible unmedicated birth experience, thank you so much Laurie! I highly recommend Laurie Levy as a doula and massage therapist. She does not charge enough money for services she provides. I am so grateful to have met her.
Working with Laurie for the birth of our first baby was instrumental in having the delivery experience we were hoping for. Meeting with Laurie ahead of the birth to discuss what we hoped for, what was important to us, and how we communicated helped my husband and I deepen our connection and readiness for having a child. I don't think I would have had as successful of an unmedicated birth experience if is wasn't for Lauire's steadfast support and guidance throughout delivery. She is warm and friendly, funny, and down-to-earth and helped both myself and my husband stay present and in the moment. I highly recommend Laurie to anyone looking for a doula!
Right off the bat we recognized how qualified Laurie was with years of training and experience. Laurie is a fantastic, caring doula and all about helping women through the scary process before, during and after labor and delivery. Being a doula is not a hobby for Laurie, it is her passion and she does it with such love and care.
During our first meeting with Laurie, she wanted to find out more about us to help make my birth experience the best possible. We never had our second meeting because... surprise! I had to be induced and our baby girl came 2.5 weeks early! I was in such shock when I found out I had to be induced. I was in tears and I called Laurie right away. She met me at the hospital even though I wasn't even in labor yet. She helped assess the situation, calmed my fears, and reassured me that everything was going to be ok. Laurie stayed with me through my early labor pains and provided wonderful relief through various tools. My labor and delivery was quick after they broke my water, and it was a scary, and traumatic experience for me. But Laurie was by my side the whole time, and I remember Laurie's voice, reassuring and calm, encouraging me, guiding me on what to do, how to breathe, etc.
After I gave birth, Laurie continued to check up on us. She came and met us at our house about 5 days after we got out the hospital. Laurie identifed that our baby girl looked a little jaundice, so we went to see the pediatrician that afternoon. Sure enough, our baby girl was severly dehydrated and jaundiced and had to be admitted to the NICU for 4 days. When asked by the hospital staff how we knew to bring our baby girl in, we told them our doula, Laurie, had gently pushed us to come in. I believe that had we waited another day, our baby girl would have been in a much worse situation. We are so thankful for Laurie's keen eye and care for our baby daughter! She is truly an awesome doula!
We couldn't have been happier about the decision to hire Laurie as our doula. Meeting with her several times pre-labor was very helpful in preparing for the birth of our daughter. My husband was the other support person at the hospital and we absolutely couldn't have done it the way we wanted to without Laurie. She was there every step of the way: calm, knowledgeable, reassuring and comforting. Her easy going personality and great sense of humor was a perfect match for us. We will most likely hire her again in the future.
I just gave birth to my 2nd son a few weeks ago and can't recommend Laurie enough. We didn't hire a doula with our first son and my birth experience could have gone much better. Knowing this was our last child, we wanted a different experience and we are so grateful we found Laurie through the Petaluma Mother's Club online forum. Laurie is extremely professional and knowledgeable and always puts you at ease. You can tell she has a passion for what she does and loves her job. I couldnt have given birth naturally without any pain meds without her experience, perseverance, support, enthusiasm, etc. every step of the way. What's even more amazing is that she left her family vacation early to be with us, now that's dedication! She meets with you 2 times prior to the birth and really takes he time to listen to your needs, wishes, plans etc. to ensure she is fully prepared. She asks you lots of great questions that you probably haven't thought of or discussed. She also meets with you 2 times after the birth including giving you an unbelievable post delivery massage too. We can't recommend her enough, we didn't know exactly what to expect going into this but after experiencing the most amazing birth ever she far surpassed any of our expectations. It was worth every penny, everyone should hire a doula. Thank you Laurie!
We met with Laurie and knew immediately that she was the right doula for us; no need to look any further even though we had other doulas we intended to interview. She made it clear that she would support my husband and I in any capacity that we wanted during the birth of our son and made us both very comfortable. We really liked how passionate and knowlegeable she was while being laid back and easy going at the same time. She came to our home twice before the birth to get to know us better and learn exactly what we were looking for in our birth experience. She gave us lots of time to ask questions and as someone who tends to be very reserved, I found myself instantly comfortable opening up to her. The morning I went into labor, Laurie met us at our house and my husband and I both felt much more at-ease just with her presence. She then followed us to the birth center and served as support for my husband and support for me when he needed a break. She always seemed to know just what I needed, whether it be encouraging words or just a hand to hold. To top it off, she will come to your house and give you a massage a few days after you give birth...amazing! I would highly recommend Laurie to anyone looking for a doula, you really can't go wrong.
My husband and I found Laurie on Doulamatch and feel so lucky that we did! We both felt a connection with Laurie right away and were very impressed by her confidence, knowledge and experience; at the same time we felt completely at ease with Laurie, felt that we could easily laugh with her - very important! - and felt we would never be judged or pressured on any decision we might make. With Laurie’s help, my husband and I were able to have a wonderful, natural birth experience, which was incredibly important to me. Throughout my labor and delivery Laurie was fully present and supportive, and she was able to guide me with tips and suggestions, drawing from her broad experience. At a few points throughout my labor I needed help to keep things progressing, and Laurie’s ideas were invaluable. I would not hesitate to recommend Laurie to friends and family who are expecting and if my husband and I decide to have another baby in a few years, we will definitely be calling Laurie.
Having Laurie Levy as our Doula was one of the best decisions we made. Throughout my pregnancy I had envisioned the "perfect birth" and we naïvely thought we were hiring Laurie just to make sure things went right. Unfortunately things did not go as planned. We were given 2 hours notice that I had to be educed at 37 weeks. Laurie was there by our side right when we found out. The induction took a while and after 35 hours of a very tough labor we ended up having to have an emergency C-section. After going through this ordeal I know we could not have done it with out Laurie.
What I appreciated about Laurie was that she took a lot of time to get to know us before our labor and delivery. She knew what our hopes and expectations were of our labor experience yet coached us through the importance of having a back up plan (which we ended up needing). Laurie respected our desires and did not push a personal agenda of how she thought our labor should go.
Our labor was very long and at times extremely tough. During the tough times Laurie had so many tips and solutions for our needs. She was encouraging yet realistic and guided us through the "doctor talk" that was going on in the background. Her extensive experience was very apparent as we progressed through the labor experience. When news came that we had to have an emergency C-section, Laurie switched modes and became the most incredible support person. I was devastated, as I had always wanted a natural delivery but Laurie's support and guidance made us all more comfortable throughout the process.
Not only was Laurie a great support during our labor and delivery, she has been an amazing support through our postpartum journey as well. We are so glad that we selected Laurie as our Doula. She is a fun positive person who we enjoyed getting to know. She has a great personality and was incredibly easy to have around and as a member of our birth team. We could not have done it with out her!!!
My husband & I both agree that hiring Laurie was the best thing we did to help make our birth experience what we wanted it to be. We took 2 childbirth classes, read many books, & chose our midwife carefully, but having Laurie on our team was far & above the key to feeling prepared, confident and in control of the birth.
Laurie's really the full package: her presence puts you at ease, she's very smart & experienced, and she's got great people skills. The biggest reason we hired Laurie is that I immediately felt like I could be myself around her, which is vital in the birthing process. She's easygoing, calm and delightful to be around. From our first meeting, to the messiness that is childbirth, to the post-partum visits, Laurie was someone who I always looked forward to seeing and felt like she was really on my side and truly wanted what was best for me, my husband and our baby.
We also loved that Laurie comes with so much experience. In particular her combination of experience as a doula and childbirth educator make her someone who has both theoretical as well as hands-on knowledge of the birth process. Additionally, she's really up-to-date on all things birth-related as she is someone who "reads a lot", as she says. I can't emphasize how important this became during the labor & birth. As things developed throughout my labor, it was so reassuring to have someone who was so knowledgeable to ask questions about what was happening and what our medical team was recommending.
Laurie's people skills in the hospital were amazing. Your doula really is reflection of you in the eyes of your medical team and Laurie has a great rapport with the medical staff. She has a way of helping out and offering suggestions that left everyone (us & the hospital staff) feel like she was really making things go more smoothly for everyone.
Bottom line- you'll love Laurie for all the amazing qualities she has.
I am so grateful to have had Laurie Levy as my doula during the recent birth of my first child. I wasn't initially sure about hiring a doula at all, my partner and I were taking a pretty extensive childbirth class and I had very supportive midwives, so it seemed that we were prepared, but we had heard such good things from others about having a doula during labor that we went for it anyway. Laurie is really easy to be around and has a great sense of humor so after an initial interview, she became the obvious choice. When I went into labor I stayed at home with just my partner for a while, when things started to pick up we called Laurie and she came over and immediately seemed to know exactly what to do to help me manage my contractions. It was such a relief to have her there and I think really helpful for my partner too to get her direction on helping me manage the pain. I ended up having a very long labor and don't know how my partner and I would have managed without Laurie. I had planned an out of hospital birth but ended up deciding to transfer to the hospital when my labor wasn't progressing and having someone there who I trusted and who was experienced with labor and birth really helped me to feel empowered in an environment that otherwise would have been very difficult. It made a world of difference to my childbirth experience to have a supportive and knowledgable person on my side the entire time, especially when things didn't go according to plan. I would highly recommend Laurie to any expectant parents.
We had a wonderful experience working with Laurie. She is down-to-earth, thoughtful, funny, and knows oh-so-much about the childbirthing process. We decided on hiring a doula because my husband does not deal well with bodily fluids, we wanted to feel good about our decisions during childbirth, and we wanted someone neutral (i.e., not family) who had lots of experience of childbirth to help coach us through. We felt at ease with Laurie right away. She provided great information, asked us good questions that really got us talking as a couple, and helped us talk through our hopes and fears around childbirth. The pre-birth meetings were very helpful for us to get to know each other. She eased us through conversations about the process that were enlightening and very helpful when it came time for our big event. During our childbirth, she was so very helpful, present, calm, and kept her sense of humor - which we really enjoyed. I highly recommend working with Laurie!
We are very pleased to be a reference for Laurie and highly recommend her. Our birth experience with Laurie was excellent. We would use a doula, and Laurie specifically, again without question. We had wanted to hire a doula to have another advocate on our side/looking out for us during the birth so we could make it the experience we wanted it to be, rather than something that just happened to us. Laurie's wealth of experience attending births really benefited us both in preparing for, and during, the birth. Also, it is very apparent that she really loves what she does, which makes all the difference! Laurie's prep with us before the birth was very thorough. She met with us two times (aside from the initial interview) for several hours at a time. She got us to think about things to prepare/consider for the birth we wouldn't have, had she not brought them up. We liked the card exercise she went through with us, where you eliminate cards to identify the most important things you would like to have happen/not happen at the birth. She was very supportive of me during the birth, and was a major reason it was such a great experience. For example, I had wanted to do it without pain meds, and during a particularly difficult part of the birth she kept me grounded/reminded me of why I wanted to do it without medication, which really helped enable me to so do. I felt very cared for during the birth with Laurie and my husband by my side. It was nice to have her there by my side when my husband needed to take a break, eat, go for a water, etc. during the birth. From my husband's perspective, she was very inclusive of him throughout the process, which he really appreciated. She was very supportive to my husband, too, who had come down with a bad cold the day before our child was born. Laurie was very aware of what was going on for each of us throughout the birthing process.
Laurie has been a life saver in my preganancy. We had no prior experience in hiring a doula and always thought it was an unnecessary waste of money to get help for few hours. But late in my pregnancy, we realized that we needed someone who can give us undivided attention throughout the labor. My husband and I started the search, interviewed quite a few doulas but Laurie stood out. She has a perfect balance - very engergetic, very bubbly, very hands on. picks up cues easily, responds to calls and emails almost immediately. I didn't have a good nurse when i walked in Evergreen during labor. If it was not for Laurie, I would have passed out by the initial treatment. She handled everything quite nicely. My water broke, she cleaned me up. I puked, she cleaned me up. And all this was in the hospital where the nurse in charge was supposed to do ! I had a very long labor around 36 hours and she made sure that I was in a state as calm and positive as i could be. I ended up having a vaginal birth at the end, recovered very quickly after delivery and all this was because of her and of course my husband. She stepped in where ever and when ever necessary. She massaged even without me asking for it, brought ice chips to keep my throat from drying, cleaned me when there was no one to assit. The list goes on! I absolutely loved her service and would recommend to anyone who is considering a doula. Have a happy pregnancy!
Laurie was wonderful to work with. She was very easy to talk to and very open to learning about who we were and what we wanted our birth to be like. I felt super confident that Laurie would be an excellent support for me as well as for my husband and mother. In the end, we had to have a scheduled c-section due to complications with the pregnancy. Laurie was with us every step of the way. She helped us with the surgery prep and really calmed my fears. She was with us in the operating room supporting my husband and telling me what was going on as it was happening. She gave us the best hour of breast feeding in our 3 day hospital stay in the hour after our little one was born. And she's been super flexible in providing postpartum support since she didn't spend hours and hours in labor with us. We can't recommend her highly enough!
My fiance and I had initially contacted another doula but decided against her in the end because she was taking so long to get back with us and to meet with us. After my fiance and I met with Laurie in our first interview with her, we both knew she was the right one for us. Laurie spent more than an hour with us answering all of our questions- about her, the birth process, her doula experience and all of our roles. We were impressed by her knowledge and breadth of experience, both professionally and personally. At our first prenatal visit, Laurie really tried to get to know us as people and what our likes and dislikes were and I felt she was very attentive to our needs. Much to my surprise, my water broke the night after our first prenatal visit and I went into labor the next morning. Laurie was there to answer my call at 3AM and met us at the hospital later that morning. Her TENS unit was invaluable during early labor and she was on hand to give different coping suggestions, like walking or going in the tub. Her coaching during active labor was invaluable and I don't think my fiance and I could have done it without her (well we would have but it wouldn't have been pretty ;))! The fact that she is a licensed massage therapist was a bonus (and God-send) and the postpartum massage I got a week after the birth was amazing! She even brought her massage table to my house so I didn't have to leave the house! Laurie has been on hand to answer my calls and was there to check on me several times after the birth and even came over to see me (along with her adorable little boy) when I was having a breast feeding emergency. I highly recommend Laurie as a birth doula- I love her energy and spirit and sense of humor!
We loved working with Laurie and were so happy to have found her! Originally, we were not going to have a doula, but decided to consider it on the advice of some friends who had recently had a baby. We looked at a few websites to get a feel for various personalities, services, etc... and felt that Laurie really stood out as a match for us. At our first informational meeting, it was clear that she was the right one for us.
We met several times before the birth so that she could get familiar with our birth plans and priorities. This also helped us clarify what we wanted from the birth experience and consider how we might make difficult choices if the circumstances warranted. When it came time for the birth, Laurie's constant smiling presence made us more comfortable with all the changes happening. We did have some tough choices to make, and it was easy to lean on her experiences for perspective.
Also, we are from the East coast and do not have any family in the area to help out. Having Laurie with us to support both mom & dad through the birth made everything so much easier! We would highly recommend interviewing with her to see if she is a good fit for your family.
My husband, Dave, and I had an amazing experience with Laurie Levy. She was an integral part of the birth of our daughter and I can't picture having the birth that we had without her support (beautiful, post-dates water birth at home).
My daughter was two and a half weeks late and Laurie went well above and beyond the call of duty during that time, fielding phone calls about the ever changing “plan” of the moment, and checking in with the same questions “Do you feel supported?,” “Do you need anything?”.
During the birth, she was our rock. Taking care of both of us and helping with position changes, encouragement, humor, and insight.
As a doula myself I can say that Laurie is very talented at what she does and the minute you meet with her you sense her passion for her work. She's straightforward, professional, and just a lovely person to get to know. We would hugely recommend her!
Laurie Levy was a *fantastic* doula and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to anyone! In fact, I hope she'll be able to assist me with any future children I may have :-)
Before my daughter was born, Laurie really helped both my husband and I get a clear picture on what we wanted from our birth experience and what we wanted if things didn't go as planned (which they didn't). She also addressed my biggest concerns about birth #1 (feeling as though I wasn't be heard) and gave both my husband and I pointers to ensure that didn't happen again (and it didn't :-)).
The day before I went into active labor, I started having regular contractions -- I didn't think I was in active labor, but I called her to give her a heads up. We discussed it and she came to my house to hang out in case it was early labor. After a handful of hours, the contractions stopped and she went home. At no point did she make me feel guilty for having her over when not in "real" labor and was incredibly supportive through the whole thing.
During my actual labor, she met us at the hospital (I didn't labor at home for long enough for her to get here) and was a huge help. My husband was a little bit shell shocked and she was really proactive in helping me be comfortable. She helped us know when to speak up to the nurses & doctors about various options. I always planned to get an epidural, so I hadn't spent much time practicing pain management techniques. She was great in providing immediate assistance whenever I mentioned anything bothering me. Her pro-active aid helped me to get through labor and feel satisfied and happy about my experience.
A few days after my daughter was born, she came to my house and gave me a post-partum massage. Laurie also happens to be a licensed massage therapist, which was a great added perk!
Our experience with Laurie was truly a life-giving experience for our first child, for whom we had waited many years through various circumstances. My engineer husband, 40, and I a pharmacist, 35, are eager to hire her for our next baby.
Knowledgeable, experienced, well-educated, & professional: Laurie teaches courses & keeps skills & knowledge fresh & current. Her vast knowledge-base & professional demeanor attest to her commitment. She struck a perfect balance between friendly camaraderie & professional manner, even during labor. She helped me get into labor positions to successfully turn my posterior-positioned baby. She gave solid answers to post partum & newborn care questions & advised me when appropriate to call my clinic. She had great suggestions for new parents; e.g., a comfortable way to first bathe our tiny baby!
Accommodating, thorough & perceptive: Sensitive to individual needs & desires, Laurie solicited our needs & preferences during prenatal visits & adeptly used all bits of information to keep me comfortable during my 21-hour labor. What surprised me most was: although Laurie is a very energetic extrovert, she adapted to my introverted tendency, speaking calmly & quietly, perceiving just when I needed quiet vs when I needed to hear from her during painful labor.
Energetic, determined & tireless: Laurie drove 4 eager grandparents 30 mi to delivery hosp during 2012 snow, despite a tire chain that broke. She never gave up, appeared frustrated or took her focus away from my husband & me in 21 hours. Once I was pushing & didn't need her minute-by-minute guidance she took 100+ fabulous photos & detailed notes of labor & delivery; so I have the entire birth story.
Laurie was recommended to us by a friend & we were very happy that she was a part of our birth experience. I had a long & difficult labor... I don't know how we would've gotten through it without Laurie's help & support. She was involved the perfect amount & helped things go as smoothly as possible. Her kind spirit & loving heart make her a wonderful doula... and the photos she was able to take during the birth process are priceless (especially since most of it was a blur for me). I would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for a support person to guide them through this magical process.
Laurie was our doula for a homebirth that turned into a hospital birth unexpectedly. We interviewed about 6 doulas and I'm so glad we chose Laurie. She had the perfect mix of perceptiveness, support and stamina. I loved the pre-birth meetings we had and the mental preparation she had us go through. She really cared about getting to know our particular view on birth and was incredibly supportive of my husband's hands-on participation. A golden memory for me is when midway through birth Laurie intuitively knew what I needed to help my natural labor go more smoothly: "It seems like you've lost touch with your husband, let's take a minute to re-connect". It was one of many smart and perceptive actions she took during our unexpected birth story. Thank you Laurie!
Laurie provided tireless support during the very long (26-hour) and exhausting birth of my daughter. She was focused and kind throughout, provided excellent guidance for coping with the challenges, and made every effort to keep me and my husband focused and on track. She had great rapport with the midwives and the rest of the team at Group Health, and has clearly earned their respect as an experienced team member over her years of working successfully with them.
We absolutely loved Laurie, she was a fantastic doula. We learned more during our prenatal meetings with Laurie than we did in our birth classes. Not only did she help us focus our birth plan and figure out what really mattered to us, she encouraged us to push for those things when necessary.
When we learned that our baby was breech, Laurie guided us through our options and met us with us to help us work through our emotions about this big change to our "plan." She came with us to an External Cephalic Version and really helped me to stay relaxed and focused throughout the procedure. She made sure we knew about all the options out there for flipping a breech baby and her positive attitude and thoughtfulness really helped us.
It soon became apparent that our daughter wasn't going to turn and we'd have to go through with the cesarean. I was very concerned about surgery and the possible challenges in recovery and Laurie responded by giving us lots of information, ideas and support. On the day of the surgery Laurie met us at the hospital to help us prepare and relax.
Since she wasn't able to help us through a labor, Laurie decided to give us an amazing gift. On our first night home from the hospital she came over and took the baby for two 3-4 hour stretches only bringing her in the room to breastfeed (which Laurie helped me with). While she had the baby she did laundry, dishes, and straightened up the house. But for two parents who maybe got two hours of sleep during 48 hours at the hospital, the eight hours we got that night were amazing! We woke up feeling like real people again.
If that weren't enough, Laurie came by for two postpartum visits and one of them was a massage for me.
She's informed, intelligent, thoughtful, positive, and easy to talk to, supportive and has a great sense of humor. Oh and for dog lovers out there, she was fantastic with our dog (aka our first baby) and he adored her.
We had a wonderful VBAC with Laurie in May 2011. She was amazingly helpful, knowledgable, not to mention personable to work with. She helped us to think through some things regarding our desires for this birth that ended up being crucial to a satisfying birth experience later on. She stayed up until the final hour through our birth even through her (pre-planned) vacation was about to start and she had to catch a flight within the next hour! I can't express enough what positive encouraging energy Laurie brought to our birth even though baby was late and things didn't look like they were going to happen the way we wanted. In the end, it all worked out, but Laurie would have helped us to have a great experience no matter what the outcome.
Laurie was our childbirth educator at Great Starts. Although we do not have experience with her as a doula (we did not have a doula at all), our labor experience was excellent in part because of everything she taught us. I was literally quoting her throughout: "Laurie said to make low sounds, etc. Laurie said that the most important thing is that you feel good about the choices you make"...My husband's confidence in his ability to coach was also increased by attending Laurie's classes. Even the midwife complimented my husband on being an awesome coach-she said we were a great team! We are so grateful to Laurie, Great Starts, and UW for giving us the tools to have an awesome labor and birth!
My doctor, husband, and I were extremely impressed with both times we used Laurie as our Doula. Her experience and knowledge of the birthing process and in the medical field are impressive. She did a great job implementing our birth plan and maintained a calm and motivating atmosphere during labor, delivery, and post partum. She kept me focused during labor and explained particular procedures when there were complications afterwards. I highly recommend Laurie for anyone preparing for the birthing experience.
I cannot say enough about our extremely positive and outstanding experience with Laurie Levy. She was a key component to making our birth experience such a magical one and we are incredibly grateful for meeting her and having her at our birth. Prior to the birth, Laurie was gifted in her ability to help us trust her, as well as identify our needs, fears and desires for the birth of our baby girl. She approached our relationship with careful thought, a sense of humor and a strong ability to support us in the variety of ways we needed, such as helping us to understand the birth process better, as well as reflect on our own fears about the process. She shared with us her extensive knowledge and experience with the labor and delivery process and helped us think of questions and circumstances that we had not considered. In general, she allowed us to feel prepared for what was to come. During the start of laboring process, we were able to call Laurie and troubleshoot with her a bit and as soon as we wanted her at the hospital, she came. I cannot explain more extensively what an asset she was in this process- helping us to ask the questions we needed to feel comfortable, developing relationships with the key support staff in the room, including nurses and midwives, and helping my partner labor in a variety of ways to best support her at any given time. As the partner, she was able to easily teach me how to best support my wife, which was tremendously empowering for me. She encouraged us to eat, take breaks and also, when we could, truly enjoy the process. We were hesitant at first to have a doula at the birth, feeling odd that we would have a "stranger" present at such a pivitol part of our lives together but we are ever so grateful for changing our minds and meeting Laurie Levy. You would be most lucky to have Laurie at the birth of your child!
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