Phone: (580) 618-2960
Birth Fee: $1100 to $1200
Birth Doula Experience: 6 years and 100 births attended
Not SpecifiedType of Practice: Solo practice
Clients per Month: 2 to 3Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Languages spoken: English
Service Area MapArea of practice: Fairfax, VA
WIth my first child, I had a traumatic experience during labor and delivery and I wanted a doula to help me achieve an unmedicated birth with my second child. I found Bridget on Doula Match and we first met via a Skype interview. I liked her right away and knew she would be awesome based on her experience as both a doula and a mother of four. I also was attracted to her calm demeanor. My husband and I were amazed by her knowledge and ability to smoothly help us with any decisions. She has a lot of techniques that we used during a 16 hour labor period to get us to a very successful and drug free birth. The way I felt after having my son without any interventions at a hospital was the best I have felt in my entire life. My husband and I attribute this to Bridget's ability to prepare us ahead of time and guide us through labor and delivery, as a team. If I ever have a third child, I would want Bridget to be there. I highly recommend her.
We cannot recommend Bridget enough. We first found her when we were looking into the Bradley Method classes. We were planning a natural birth at the NOVA Natural Birth Center, and heard wonderful things about the Bradley method. After we signed up and had attended a few classes and gotten further along on my pregnancy, we started discussing hiring a doula. The midwives highly suggested it, especially as first time parents. My husband was most concerned about being "upstaged." After all, we had gone through at lot to be well prepared for this! But after a lot of thinking, we decided to hire Bridget as our doula. Since we were taking our birth class with her as well, we would get ample time to get to know her (and her get to know us) before we let her in on such an intimate moment of our lives.
Thanks to Bridget, we could not have been more prepared (other than packing our birth bag earlier!) for our awesome labor and birth! She came to our house at 3:30 in the morning and was able to help me through some tough contractions while my husband helped get us ready to go and make sure our dogs were taken care of and then she followed us to the birth center. Bridget was incredible support for both me and my husband. She helped him support me and we had the most amazing birth experience! My husband raves about the awesome birth we had thanks to Bridget and the Birth Center. We can’t wait to hire her again for the next one!
We can't speak highly enough about Bridget and everything she did for us before, during and after our birth. As first time parents, her expertise and knowledge was irreplaceable and gave us the confidence to make it through pregnancy and birth, to make informed decisions throughout its entirety and to have the unmedicated birth that we had hoped for. During labor, Bridget was encouraging and her experience showed when I stalled at 9 cm for several hours. She suggested multiple position changes and helped us make wise decisions to help me progress. Not only was she a tremendous help for me, she was also an irreplaceable supporter and encourager for my husband as well. I couldn't have asked for a better labor team and highly recommend Bridget as a doula!
Bridget was our birth doula as well as our placenta encapulationist. I cannot speak more highly of her care and service; it is truly worth every penny to have an amazing pregnancy and birth companion like Bridget. She was available to us throughout my entire pregnancy to help answer questions, make decisions/do research, etc. and her support during labor and delivery gave my husband and me the confidence we needed to peacefully experience an all-natural, drug-free birth! At the hospital/Natural Birth Center where we delivered, the nurses later said, "where did you find that doula? She is one of the best ones we've ever seen!" Additionally, she brought our placenta pills over the day we were released from the hospital even though we were all asleep-- and then came the next day for a post-partum visit to check in on us.
Bridget was my birth doula, and her presence from that first meeting with her a few months before my due date was so amazing. I don't know how I would have gotten through all the stages of labor as I did without her. She helped rub my back, reminded me of positions to try to deal with the pain, and was just so verbally encouraging, saying things I needed to hear, even if I don’t now remember what they were - it's all kind of a blur. Just having her there, not only in the early stages when she would rub my back or my feet or just comfort and encourage me, and but also in the later stages too.
Just knowing someone as sweet, warm, and kind and with a lot of experience doing this work was here to help me go through this labor process was so great – and Bridget was so warm and caring, so mothering – it was exactly what I longed for and desired, deep deep down, from the very beginning, when I was envisioning my labor and birthing very early on.
I also greatly appreciated her checking in with me before labor started, as my due date had come and gone. Hearing her encouragement and her positivity made a world of difference for me throughout the whole process, and I cannot thank Bridget enough. And while I don't remember some of the details, and some of the pain - as she would tell me I would forget them - I will forever remember her presence and great difference it made. On the birthing day, and also her visits before and especially after, when her reassurance that I was going a good job at being a mom was so helpful.
In addition, Bridget was wonderful in the meetings before and after the actual birth date, as well. Always reassuring, calm, kind, taking time to explain important things, reminding me to relax and so forth. I can't recommend Bridget highly enough.
We found out we were having a baby and with no family in the area and no friends around who had navigated the natural birth scene, we sought out a doula. We interviewed Bridget because of her experience and because she is a Bradley instructor. We knew immediately that we wanted her to be our doula. She was exactly who we were looking for: someone to provide support and evidence-based information about the zillion birth decisions to be made, without pushing her own opinions on us. She is so sweet and respectful and you can tell she loves her job! We decided to take the Bradley class and hire her as our doula- we are both SO glad we did. My husband and I felt prepared from the class, and it was great to see Bridget every week leading up to the birth of our daughter. When the time came, Bridget was invaluable!! She guided us through the early stages of labor, and knew when it was time to come help us at home. When my labor wasn’t progressing, she worked with me through potential mental and physical obstacles. After a very supportive chat and a crazy yoga pose on the floor that only a doula could suggest(!), my water broke immediately and my baby was born less than 3 (intense) hours later. Every step of the way, Bridget was physically and emotionally with us as we welcomed our baby via unmedicated birth, as planned. I felt so comfortable and thankful to have her around, and I know my husband feels the same way. Postpartum, I was having some serious self-doubt about breastfeeding. Bridget is the only person whose words encouraged me to trust myself and trust my baby, and she gave us many other resources as well. I’m so thankful to her in many ways and we miss having her around regularly! We HIGHLY recommend Bridget to anyone. My best friend has already hired her and feels the same way we do ? Thank you so much, Bridget!!
When I was pregnant with our first child, my husband and I completed a Bradley class and had a successful unmedicated vaginal delivery, despite some difficulties with the hospital staff. I never considered retaining a doula; I didn’t see the need for the expense when I knew my ability to handle pain/discomfort and trusted my husband’s ability to advocate on our behalf. It just seemed like a waste.
Before the birth of our second child, I was open to having a birth doula support us primarily because we needed to accommodate our 2.5-year-old daughter through the spectrum of possible labor/delivery scenarios (day of the week, labor length, etc.). Having a doula would give us options and afford my husband flexibility regarding our daughter’s care. But I still didn’t really appreciate the value of an excellent doula.
Bridget Ballenger made me a believer in doula support. My husband and I both feel so fortunate that Bridget reached out to us (she responded to an inquiry that I had made via a local doula team). She supported us far beyond my expectations and enhanced our labor and delivery experience. I also firmly believe that her comportment at the hospital imparted greater legitimacy to us in our interactions with the hospital staff and ultimately improved the care we received. Overall, her balanced approach makes her exactly what you need her to be when you need it. She’s confident yet unassuming; assertive but not pushy. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table and presents issues in such a way that makes you feel empowered as the decision-maker and never judged for the decision you make.
I highly recommend Bridget as a birth doula and would gladly seek her support in the future. Please take the opportunity to look over her website and meet her for yourself. It’s time well spent. You’ll be duly satisfied with her guidance and support from prepregancy through postpartum.
My husband and I were planning a home birth with certified nurse midwives and decided in my 8th month of pregnancy that we wanted to hire a doula as well. Since this was our first child and we didn't know what to expect in the early stages of labor, we thought it would be most helpful to have a doula at the ready to step in prior to the midwives arrival and to support both myself and my husband. We interviewed many (15+) doulas in the DC area and selected Bridget because of her personal experience with home births, as well as her unique blend of energy/enthusiasm and calming demeanor. I can't imagine a better doula experience than what we had with Bridget. She is simply amazing!
It was clear from the start that she was flexible (a must when dealing with the unpredictable nature of bringing babies to the world!). Since I had less than 6 weeks until my due date when we hired Bridget, she adapted her pre-birth planning schedule to our needs and, when I went beyond my 40 weeks (well beyond in fact), she was super supportive and checked in with frequent calls, as well as a couple of motivational visits to go for walks and provide moral support during those last grueling days. Bridget was there for me during a session of false/prodomal labor and postponed leaving for a beach trip with her family. When she returned from her trip, she supported me through an epidural-free inducation at GW hospital that ended with the birth of our beautiful son via forceps delivery. My husband and I both agreed that neither of us could have made it through the end of my pregnancy, labor and delivery without Bridget's support. She was instrumental in providing me the strength and confidence I needed to stick to my plan of unmedicated birth despite having pitocin induction.
I am certain that Bridget will be by our side for the birth of our second child when the time comes. I highly recommend her services to anyone looking for a caring and knowledgeable doula!
When we first decided we wanted a doula, we searched doulamatch for a few days looking at doulas in our area but no one was really standing out. I extended my search for doulas a little further away and instantly liked Bridget when I saw her profile. We met with her a few days later and knew right then that she was the perfect match for us. She is very professional but also made me feel like she was a best friend I've known for years. Even though she lives 50 miles away from us, she didn't have a problem working with us. We met with Bridget several times with us going to her and her coming to us. She emphasized the importance of us taking her Bradley class so we could achieve a natural birth but since no one else was signed up for her class at the time, she customized lessons for just the two of us. She provided us with tons of information and was always available for a phone call, text, or email.
I ended up being induced and did not have the natural birth I had planned for but it didn't mean Bridget was there any less for me. I was still able to use many relaxation techniques and different positions she taught me. She supported me throughout my whole labor; massaging my back, my feet, cold compress, music, encouraging words, and just being someone to lean on during contractions. She has extremely positive energy and is very comforting. She even took care of my mom when she was stressed out and getting overwhelmed. It was so nice having someone so knowledgable to rely on when I needed help making tough decisions and most of all, someone to laugh and joke with when I just wanted to lighten the mood.
Bridget also encapsulated my placenta and came over two days after I gave birth to check on us. The warmth, comfort, and knowledge she provided to us was priceless and I could not imagine having anyone else by my side throughout labor. We will absolutely be contacting Bridget again for any future births!
We hired Bridget as our doula after our first meeting with her. We both really clicked with her and she was a perfect blend of knowledge and compassionate support. We had two more meetings with her before giving birth and she spent a lot of time with us answering our questions, discussing our ideal birth and developing our birth plan. We did relaxation and visualization exercises and she gave us suggestions to help us achieve the natural birth we wanted. She was also available by email and phone whenever we had other questions - and we had a lot! After I went well past my due date and was facing an induction, Bridget was very helpful at providing me with encouragement that my body would work for me and suggestions for things to try to get things started. When I finally went into labor on my own, Bridget came as soon as my husband called her since it appeared my labor was progressing rapidly. We were so grateful that we had Bridget's support and guidance to get us through as it turned into a long and hard labor with a few bumps along the way. She suggested different positions for me to try since I seemed to have forgotten everything I'd learned in class once I was in active labor. She applied pressure and massaged my lower back through most of my contractions to ease the pain, or allowed me to use her as a support to lean on and when I was squatting. Then when it came time to push, she helped support my head and shoulders as I was pushing through the contractions and used a cool washcloth on my forehead between them (who knew that would feel so good!) and was so encouraging. She also suggested I use a mirror to see my son's head while I was pushing, which I was reluctant to do, but it was an amazing sight and gave me more motivation to bring my son into the world. Bridget worked so hard for us throughout. I don't think I would have had as positive of an experience without her - we woud recommend her to anyone trying to achieve a natural birth!
We started interacting with Bridgette as our Bradley method teacher and then also had her as our doula for our son's birth . I have to say both experiences were nothing short of stellar .
As a doula :
a. Bridgette was just getting started again after taking a break and it always felt like we were the only clients she had - always available for a phone call , not just before the birth but even after - on several occasions
b. Goes out of her way to make time for you and make you feel comfortable for your delivery by telling you what to expect , reviewing your birth plan .
c. She gets to know your OB/GYN and will come for a visit with you so that everyone is familiar
with each other .
d. We had a hospital birth (Inova fairfax) and she was first thing in the morning (8am ) , went back since we were waiting for us to get a room , came back and then was there through the night . Our baby was born at 5:30am the next day . All this inspite of the fact that her child was sick that day .
e. She came prepared with things like speakers for music, birthing ball, massagers , honey sticks and whole bunch of other things which may seem insignificant if you already have them but invaluable if you forget to get them
f. We had practiced some relaxation techniques but during labour I was just not able to do the right things to help my wife . Bridgette helped her relax .She must have massaged her lower back for about 5-6 hrs (almost all through the night !)
g. She was there to help us whenever we had a choice to make - for e.g. was it a good time to break water ? or should we consider epidurals ? How long is too long before you exercise these choices ?
We were much more relaxed and confident in our choices as first time parents with someone experienced , calm and tireless as Bridgette. We feel very fortunate to have her as our doula and would recommend her to anyone considering natural childbirth.
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