$25 to $40
8 years and 38 births attended
1 years and 3 families served
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 2 births and 1 postpartum families
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I have attended births with both midwives and OBGYNs at various hospitals.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
I have attended births at a few birthing centers.
Attends home births? Some Home Births
I have personal and professional experience with homebirth. I will not attend a planned unassisted homebirth. I will attend a homebirth where there is a midwife present.
I run a quarterly birth and postpartum support group for my clients and for other expecting families in the Greenville area. facebook.com/scbirthcircle
Offering support in Greenville, SC and the Upstate ** My goal is to offer calm, compassionate support for your birth. As a doula, it is an honor to help you give birth in way where you feel safe, loved, and strong. Prenatally I focus on education, helping you get the information you need to ask questions and make informed decisions. I meet with you and your husband in person for a total of 4 hours, and I am readily available to you by phone or email. Once you are in labor I work with your husband to support you emotionally and physically - creating a safe space where you can labor and birth in as healthy a way as possible. I also provide acupressure for you prenatally and during labor.** **As a postpartum doula, I offer breastfeeding and pumping support, meal prep and cooking, light housework, baby and child care so parents can sleep, running errands, companionship, overnight care, and help troubleshooting the issues that may arise in the first weeks after birth.**
Greenville, SC Service range 30 miles I serve Greenville, Spartanburg, Asheville and the surrounding areas. Contact me if you're not sure if you're in range.
Ilaria is a wonderful doula and I’m so thankful I had her by my side for the birth of my daughter. This was my first pregnancy, and while I was sure I wanted to deliver in a hospital setting, I was also determined to have a natural birth. I don't think I could have done this without Ilaria’s support. She is impressively knowledgeable, a testament to her years of experience and genuine interest in her work. She was always ready with informed, evidence-based answers to my many questions which she welcomed even outside of our prenatal visits. She helped us shape our birth plan, asking the right questions to guide us in key decisions we hadn't known to consider before. She generously shared reading lists and materials as a supplement to my own, and I found these resources invaluable in helping me navigate through the overwhelming volume of information out there. Ultimately, Ilaria's calming, reassuring presence, her steadfast support and depth of knowledge gave me the strength and confidence to follow through with my birth plan and the natural birth that I wanted. She stayed by my side from the early stages of labor at home through delivery at the hospital; when my labor slowed, she expertly helped move things along at critical points; she advocated for me with hospital staff, and didn't leave my side until after my first successful breastfeeding attempt--I honestly don't know what we’d have done without her. There is a strength to Ilaria that's infectious and that helped me through the most difficult moments of my labor when I almost lost my resolve. I trusted her intrinsically from our first meeting and I'm so glad that I did and that she was the doula at my side through this most important moment of my life. We are forever grateful to her, and if I were to do it all over again, I’d only hope to have Ilaria there. I cannot recommend her enough, if you are looking for a warm, smart, caring and experienced doula, you have found her!
We met with Ilaria a couple months before I was due and right away we knew she was the doula that we were looking for. She has years of experience in multiple states and has been at plenty of births which made me confident that she would be a good choice. Furthermore, our doula being Christian was very important to us As this is one of the most private and life changing moments of your life.
There were multiple questions that would arrise during pregnancy and she would always answer these questions in a very timely manner and with evidence based research attached. It was such a huge benefit! The two meetings she has with you before labor were great to further aid in preparation. An example of her help during the labor was, when the Midwife said how swollen my cervix had become Ilaria found the arnica homeopathic and knew to use it. Her action resulted in the swelling going completely away in a matter of minutes. It was a true gift!! We have loved getting to know her and if you are looking for an excellent doula who cares so much about her clients, look no further! Lastly, she even does two postpartum visits and it was so nice to process through the birth with her along with talk through any concerns. This was perfect since you don't get your postpartum visit until 6 weeks after the birth! All in all we were quite pleased with the choice and believe her help, along with my husbands, and our Faith is what allowed me to complete my goal of a natural childbirth!!! Even though the labor was 55 hours long, back labor the whole time, and had to also be started on Pitocin! I don't look back on the labor as a trauma, I see it as a beautiful experience that allowed me to start motherhood off empowered that I can do this hard work of being a parent. Thank you Ilaria!! Paul and I are so grateful for your integral help in bringing Anna in to the world.
This was our 4th homebirth but first with a doula and I would recommend Ilaria's services to anyone who is considering pregnancy, no matter if it is your first or a subsequent pregnancy. She was friendly and easy to chat with from our first meeting, her personality is laid back and observant but she has lots knowledge to share as you show a need. She checked in regularly in the early months of my pregnancy and was quick to respond to any questions or concerns I voiced. She brings a wealth of knowledge to pregnancy and labor- recommended books, herbal teas, birthing options for consideration. She was very respectful of this labor being in our hands; she was there to assist and help us achieve what we hoped for. We had a question sheet to fill out about desires for labor and postpartum. Ilaria went over the question sheets with us- exploring our hopes and desires to make sure she understood what we were looking for and her ability to be helpful during the labor. She offers accupuressure once you've cleared 37 weeks! She gave practical, realistic suggestions for handling the early hours of labor and helped me to work through some hang ups from past labors. Our active labor went pretty quickly and we didn't call her in time before J arrived. However, she was there just after baby's grand entrance and was able to provide comfort and direction to myself and my husband until our midwife arrived. She was able to clearly and competently communicate with our midwife via phone until the midwife's arrival. In the immediate PP she was incredibly helpful and offered support in caring, calm ways. She took pictures on our camera, was encouraging to our older kids, and helpful around the house. She came by to visit about 48 hours PP and just allowed me to debrief about the labor. She pointed out the fears we overcame, the answered prayers from our question sheet and it was a good experience to process some the labor. She did a second PP visit 3-4wks, it was a good check in.
I highly recommend Ilaria and her doula services. She is knowledgeable, dependable, compassionate, funny and kind. I can’t imagine not having her support throughout my pregnancy and the birth of our son. In particular, there were multiple moments in labor where she made suggestions of comfort measures that really improved how I felt and how my labor progressed, and she provided much-needed reassurance to my husband during my labor. She also provided great insight and support specific to my challenges and needs in both the prenatal and postpartum periods. I’m so grateful to have had her by my side, and I can’t recommend her highly enough.
Ilaria made the preparation, labor, delivery and birth of our son a blessed, wonderful experience! She went above and beyond to support both of us - my wife with a variety of resources (too many to remember - fragrant oils, teas etc.) and excercises. She met with us many times before the delivery date, using a compassionate and interested stance to learn everything about us. She was a very claming presence in a hospital known for imposing unnecessary treatments during delivery. She advocated for us so that we could focus on the actual labor, rather than debating with the medical team. We recommend her 150%, 7 stars out of 5 :-)
My birth would not have been the same without Ilaria's steady, calming presence. I ended up with an induction (not a part of my birth plan) that took 36 hours, including 5 hours of pushing. Ilaria and my husband took turns being with me during that time, while the other tried to rest. If I hadn't had two people, I would have been alone during large parts of my labor. Ilaria was able to help me make a slew of decisions about my birth that were not in my original plan, and she did so in a helpful, nonjudgemental way. She had a warm, caring, quiet presence during the birth. Both before, during, and after labor she was a big part of my support system and I felt that she truly cared about me and my daughter. I could not recommend her highly enough.
Ilaria was my birth doula for the home birth of my second daughter in January 2017. When I think of Ilaria, I think of her calming presence, constant attentiveness, and her helpfulness in moving my labor along and making me comfortable. My birth story would have been entirely different if it weren't for Ilaria doing accupressure (it worked SO well) to get my labor going and stronger. She also listens so well. If I said I wanted to try something different, she was right there making it happen. Without me having to say anything she could intuit my need for comforting words and of course hip squeezes. My labor was fast and furious once my water broke and I looked to Ilaria for my inner calm. When it came time to push (which lasted all of three minutes), I looked for Ilaria's hand. I can't recommend her enough to pregnant mamas and their spouses/families. Good luck and congratulations to anyone reading this testimonial!
Ilaria was one of the major factors in making my son's entrance into the world an amazing experience both for him, me, and my husband. She met me at my apartment early in the morning, despite my water having broken shortly before this. My contractions increased in frequency and intensity quite quickly, and she had the forethought to hand my husband a pile of blankets and sheets in case I had to delivery in the van. Thank goodness I didn't need to do that. She stayed by my side for my 6 hour labor, and met my needs as they came up. She made helpful suggestions such as getting up and walking, massaged me between contractions, helped me to stay calm when the contractions became more and more intense, and worked seemlessly with the midwives to bring my boy into the world. Afterward, she offered me some healthy, high carb snacks to help me regain my energy. She also offered to take pictures for us afterward, lifting that burden from my husband. It was such a blessing to have her at my birth to support me and my family. I will never forget it, and I highly recommend her.
After having a doula at my first child's birth, my husband and I knew we wanted a doula for our daughter's birth, also. After finding Ilaria and the great experience we had with her at the birth and the weeks leading up to it, we wish we'd known her when we had our first child!
The accupressure and herbal teas that Ilaria provided me with were SUPER helpful, and were a big part of my being able to have the natural, drug free birth experience I desired. During the most difficult part of my labor, Ilaria was essential in helping me stay focused on breathing and staying calm.
It felt like Ilaria was not just a part of my birth team but a part of the family and has become someone I continue to reach out to as a resource and for support since my daughter was born.
With 5 days overdue (first baby), a 3.5-day labor and giving birth in one of the typical New York hospitals with the random doctor on duty, I am absolutely confident that the reason we had such a pleasant birth experience was only due to Ilaria’s work. While we had to change the initial plan and take epidural in the last hours of the labor, we did not have other interventions and otherwise the birth was natural. I remember in flashes how all of the time I was giving birth Ilaria was there for me:on the phone, at home, holding me on reception, during contractions, at doctors checkups, holding me all of my 4-hour pushing. The nurses kept changing, but Ilaria was there always helping me think, push, breathe. She was the one who persuaded me to not increase the epidural to feel my baby descend and ultimately prevented much tearing. Ilaria is a well of information. I thought I read a lot of books and online information on pregnancy and childbirth (at least every time I spoke to doctor/nurse/friend, I didn't hear anything new). On the contrary, any question to Ilaria she would provide me with so much information that I've never seen before! For example, the breastfeeding information Ilaria gave me matched my intuition and without this support I would probably succumb to something I was otherwise uncomfortable doing. And I know I did the right thing in the end, because our pediatrician was very impressed with my baby’s weight gain! It is impossible to list every little positive thing about the experience of having Ilaria as a doula. I feel it is also important to mention that I was in general very inattentive about the time, non-responsive to calls and voicemails (which I do not advise anyone to be), but Ilaria kept remembering, reminding, and following up, which we appreciated tremendously. She was always calm, pleasant, attentive, and she is very strong and intelligent, too. I think we were very lucky to be one of her first clients in New York.
Ilaria was a perfect Doula match for the birth of our first son. I believe she is greatly responsible for me having a successful natural birth that has continued to empower me since. We decided to ask Ilaria to be our doula at the very last minute, a couple weeks before the due date. At our initial meeting before labor I was trully impressed by the breadth and depth of her knoweledge and her ability to somehow perfectly direct the wealth of her knowledge and personal experience to our specific questions and worries. She listened with care, addressed all our questions and provided us with wonderful resources that we never could have found on our own. My labor did not begin for many hours after my water broke. Then again, Ilaria was available on the phone all day beginning at 2am, supporting us and giving wonderful suggestions. We tried many things and it worked! I remember spotting Ilaria quietly coming in the birth room with her large suitcase that she queitly placed against the wall. I had just started having strong contractions and I was working through them with my husband. She did not disturb our privacy but then as my initial energy and enthusiasm started fading and I began to get tired and the contractions grew stronger Ilaria was there! She breathed through each contraction with me and I followed her lead, she held me, massaged me, kept providing water and strips of honey to keep up my energy throughout the night. She played a key role during the critical moments by helping to position the baby correctly. Every time things felt too difficult I would look in her face and I could hold onto her strong, encouraging smile that gave me power and I kept going. Needless to say she was extremely helpful and supportive to my husband. Ilaria visited us after birth and surprised us again with her professionalism. She gave wonderful advice about post partum care and recovery. She also carefully recorded the progression of my entire labor! Thank you!
I would highly recommend having a doula at every birth. If hospitals and midwives were wise, doulas would be required at every birth. I cannot recommend Ilaria O'Keefe highly enough as a doula, and we hope to hire her at our subsequent births as well. Her professionalism, calm demeanor, peaceful presence and endurance were exceptional at the birth of our first child. Labor was long and difficult and resulted in a change of plans that we had not expected. Ilaria remained calm and encouraging throughout the entire process, advocating on behalf of us to medical staff, helping to ensure our wishes were met, to the extent possible. She encouraged my wife during all stages of labor, which was very long and tiresome, offering numerous ideas of how to help labor progress and ensure a healthy delivery. Ilaria knew just what to do at each step of the process, was never in the way, knew when to offer words of encouragement and when to remain quiet. My wife says that one of the key things she remembers during labor was "focusing on Ilaria's sweet and peaceful face, helping me breathe through contractions and endure the pain, knowing what was to come was my baby." We had a very joyous and wonderful birthing experience, and know that Ilaria played a significant role in making that happen. We cannot thank her enough and would highly recommend her for those considering having a doula at their birth. She is simply the best.
My second birth experience was considerably different than my first: it was the first time I had a full-term baby! It was nerve-wracking (and exciting) and I'm glad that I had Ilaria to help guide me not only through the process of labor, but through my pregnancy and post-partum period too.
I'm on the shyer side, but I found Ilaria very easy to talk to. She made me feel at ease sharing personal information, and I felt like my appointments with her were always thorough and thought-provoking. When I was in labor, Ilaria advocated for me to stick with my original birth plan. Some doctors have the tendency to push aside patient requests when they are unfamiliar or unaccustomed to them, but she helped me be a better advocate for myself. I felt like I was making the decisions--like I was truly in charge. When it became apparent that my birth plan wasn't working, Ilaria supported me in my transition to have an epidural. Even though I wanted to have a medication-free birth, I never felt like she judged my change of plan. I felt like she was really there for me, as opposed to trying to ensure a certain process.
Ilaria had an intuitive sense of when to switch coping mechanisms during my labor too. I would get tired and scared, but she always gave a suggestion at the right time that helped me re-center myself. She also provided me with reading material that I wouldn't have found in your typical birthing books (for example, one book had a chapter that focused solely on the husband's role in the birthing process, which my husband and I found very helpful on our big day).
Ilaria is very dependable; she called me regularly during my pregnancy to talk me through different questions I had about nursing, pregnancy, and post-partum care. My husband and feel like we had a very special relationship with her. Just the other day, we were looking at our daughter's pictures from birth, which she took. She helped our birth experience be our own.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 08-07-2021
= Available. Calendar last updated: 08-07-2021