Amara Minnis Photo

Amara Minnis

Amara's Childbirth Education and Doula Services

Website: http://www.amaradoula.com

Phone: (757) 375-0939

Birth Fee: $1050

Postpartum Rate: $25

Fee Details: There is a payment plan involved, with a signed agreement and deposit required upon hire. But I am always willing to work out a payment plan that works best for my clients if the one I have outlined is not ideal. So please do not let finances determine whether or not you can have the support of a doula at your birth.

Birth Doula Experience: 15 years and 500 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 11 years and 25 families served

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

Not Specified

Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 4 to 6 births and to 2 postpartum families

Postpartum limits/restrictions: My availability is wide open, although I can only provide 1-2 overnights a week since I am also on call for birth clients.
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I attend births at hospitals in the Hampton Roads Area of Virginia including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton and Newport News.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Some Home Births
I attend home births, depending on the practice and as long as a certified professional midwife (CPM) is present.

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • BirthWorks

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • I have done additional study as part of my postpartum certification, attended several breastfeeding conferences, and have breastfed my four children for a year or more.

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Special needs babies
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Aromatherapy
  • Babywearing education
  • Cloth diapering education

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

I am an active member of Birth Matters Virginia's Tidewater Chapter, a statewide organization whose mission is to improve the culture of birth in Virginia by promoting an evidence-based model of maternity care and supporting care providers who practice mother friendly care. I am also a board member of our local doula group, providing support, leadership, and encouragement to other doulas both professionally and personally.

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Virginia Beach, VA
Travel Range: 20 Miles
Travel comments/restrictions: I am willing to travel beyond my range, however there will be a $100 travel fee added.

Certifications for Amara Minnis

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Amara Minnis

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R Boys

We were expecting our 4th in 3 years after one Singleton via vaginal birth and a set of Twins via C-section. Our goal was for a VBAC. We didn't find much support from my docs at first so going to Amara's refresher child birth class was refreshing and encouraging. Her presentation was thoughtful, professional, educational, and insightful. Every pregnancy is different and every mom is entitled to experience delivery in a safe and personalized way.

Posted 6/8/2018

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Allie Ives

I highly recommend Amara's Refresher Course for second (or third or fourth of fifth!) time parents. My husband and I took a childbirth class before the birth of our first child, but six years later we were feeling a little bit "rusty" on our skills and information. Amara's Refresher Course was incredibly helpful for us as soon-to-be third time parents! She reviewed stages of labor (which I had kind of forgotten) and comfort measures as well as emotions surrounding your birth experience. My husband and I appreciated having dedicated time to discuss our birthing expectations and having a chance to connect over our baby's birth. Life with young children doesn't much allow for these types of conversations so it was invaluable as experienced parents to have this time to ourselves with Amara.

Posted 6/7/2018

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Kimberly Anne Stelter

Amara did a great job with the childbirth education course for second (or more!) time parents. I came away from her course feeling like I could be so much more confident in giving birth the second time around and I believe it was part of what made my second birth so much smoother than my first. 

Posted 6/6/2018

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JUSTINE HERNANDEZ

Working with Amara was wonderful.

I was really nervous about shopping for a Doula, I wanted someone personable, fun and supportive and I hit the jackpot. Amara was all of that and so much more. I was truly bless to have a great doula that listen to my concerns and wishes, she truly holds space while going through labor. She kept me peace and calm during labor, even when things were not going as plan. She supported my husband as well and coach him on ways to help/support me..

I would recommend Amara in a heart beat...

My favorite part is she kept track of my labor processes and milestones, and presented me typed out my beautiful birthy story and photos.  

Posted 4/3/2018

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Tara Thompson

Amara became like family to us during the preparation of our first natural birth. I could not imagine having a better experience. Her presence in the delivery room was calm, supportive, encouraging and she knew exactly what I needed without me even saying a word. She empowered me to do the unthinkable and she helped me trust my body to do what it was meant to do. My husband and I are forever grateful for her guidance and support as we welcomed our second son. Her experience and knowledge shows. I am so glad we chose her as our doula. My midwife had told me that I would rarely meet a doula that I didn't like, but to interview a few, and she assured me that one would just "click". Amara was that for us. After sitting in on our first class with her, my husband and I both knew that she was the one. Thank you, Amara!

Posted 8/3/2016

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Jennifer Moore

Amara is the person you want beside you when you are delivering your baby. Her calm, gentle demeanor is exactly the presence you need during the most intense experience of your life. We met with several local doulas and none of them felt like a good fit. However, when we met Amara, we knew immediately that she was the doula for us. Her experience is unmatched and her ability to empower you as a new mother is a rare trait. She was willing to do whatever it took to keep me comfortable during my labor and suggested many great approaches that the traditional doctor many not have used. She also worked amazingly with the hospital staff at Sentara Leigh, a hospital where she does not normally deliver at. In fact, the midwife and nurse knew of Amara without ever meeting her before (good words travel fast, I suppose). I can honestly say that I had an absolutely amazing birthing experience due to Amara. I would highly recommend her to those in search of a doula. I look forward to having our next child and having Amara there by our side.

Posted 5/13/2016

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Eileen Nelson

I cannot say enough about how instrumental Amara was in our son's natural birth. We took her birthing class, which was amazing, and we were fortunate enough to secure our son's birth date with her also. Amara met us at the hospital of our choosing and stayed in constant contact with us up until we needed her to get there. She never let us feel alone for a moment, and she arrived just in time for the "games to begin"! She was so prepapred with oils, birthing equipment, and just general knowledge for when me and my husband needed a second, unbiased ear/opinion to help us tranlate nurse/doctor talk. Amara never overstepped her boundaries in terms of letting my husband do his job, or the nurses do theirs. In fact, Amara knew most of the nurses at the hospital and they all loved her! She knew how to ask for things for me without alienating anyone. She was a source of empowerment, comfort, inspiration, and motivation at every turn. Though she trained me and my husband what we could expect and what we should do during our birthing class, it was imperative that i had her there because we threw everything out the window! She was able to keep me and Dad focused on what was happening in the moment, as well as what possibly to expect. She took pictures every step of the way, which would later prove invaluable.

Bottom line: my son was 10 lbs; and while i was detemined to have him naturally and vaginally, I'm not sure i could have had the willpower to do so without Amara there. Most hospital rooms are a lonely place, especially if it's busy and if you don't have a doula. Amara made me feel like I could achieve my goal of natual childbirth while not forcing it on me if I wanted to change my mind. She was calm, nurturing, like the best friend you've had helping you through one of the hardest times of your life. I am so grateful I had Amara with us during our son's birth. It was more enriched by it and she is definitely a major part that I include in my birth story.

Posted 3/26/2016

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Blake Williams

Amara is an incredible doula. She is patient, gentle, and understanding, while still being such a strong advocate and supporter for whatever type of birth you want. I had prepared for a natural birth, but ended up needing Pitocin, which I had me begging for an epidural and in tears early into my labor. As my husband describes it, Amara came in and took calm control of the room, helping me find my center and reminding me of all the positions I learned in her BirthWorks class. I have always had a hard time using my voice when it comes to speaking to doctors and nurses, and Amara helped me break that barrier to get what I needed in labor. She comforted me when I was in pain and kept me company when I was struggling to be patient with the slow progress. Her class helped me learn the language of birth and labor, giving me the tools I needed to make informed decisions about how I wanted to give birth to my daughter. I cannot speak highly enough of Amara and would recommend her to anyone. There is no one else I'd rather have for any future births.

Posted 3/25/2016

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Rebecca Payne

Amara was exactly what I needed for the birth of my second child. Her presence is calm, confident, peaceful and caring; she just seemed to know exactly what I needed and when. Knowing that it was likely that my husband would miss the birth, I was completely reassured knowing that Amara would be with me. As luck would have it, my husband was not in town when I went into labor. Amara came to my house, guided me through early labor and drove me to the hospital. At the hospital it was wonderful having her as a coach through the labor and to navigate all the other stuff at the hospital--the whole experience was seamless. If I have another child, I would hire Amara again and highly recommend her. 

 

Posted 3/25/2016

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Ashley Doscher

Amara was such a gentle, peaceful partner in a fast, intense birth. She seemed to know just what to say to help me find strength when I was ready to give up. She encouraged me every step of the way, and helped me trust my plan in birth and listen to my body. I can't say enough amazing things about her.

Posted 3/24/2016

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Meghan Collazo

Amara has such a peaceful and calming personality and the second my husband and I met her we knew she was the perfect addition to our birth team. She is such an incredible, experienced, and knowledgable doula! She came highly rated from numerous people and I know exactly why. Her aura in the room is enough to make any situation a million times better especially a birth. She kept me as comfortable as possible and encouraged me of the strength I had when I soon began questioning my body with the intense labor pains. Any support we needed from a doula, Amara was able to provide with above and beyond capabilities!

Posted 3/24/2016

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Meghan Collazo

Amara has such a peaceful and calming personality and the second my husband and I met her we knew she was the perfect addition to our birth team. She is such an incredible, experienced, and knowledgable doula! She came highly rated from numerous people and I know exactly why. Her aura in the room is enough to make any situation a million times better especially a birth. She kept me as comfortable as possible and encouraged me of the strength I had when I soon began questioning my body with the intense labor pains. Any support we needed from a doula, Amara was able to provide with above and beyond capabilities!

Posted 3/24/2016

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Natalia Torres

Amara was the perfect doula for us! Our first interview and we knew right away. Still we went to the process of doing interviews. But we follow our hearts and chose Amara. When you had gone thru bad experiences during birth you want the best support and experienced doula. I had two previous c-sections. I knew if I was going to achieve my vba2c (vaginal birth after 2 c-sections) I needed someone that will believe in my hability to birth. And Amara was that person that kept me focus and knowing my options. it was a healing experience! I don't have enough words to say how wonderful Amara is. Professional, experienced, loving, funny and kind. The best doula you can wish to have. My husband and I forever will treasure having her services. Thank you Amara!!! Keep changing the world, one birth at a time. 

 

Posted 3/24/2016

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Kate L.

Amara was fantastic. She gave me a sense of confidence about the whole experience and was crucial in making sure we had the birth experience we wanted. I highly recommend her!

 

 

Posted 3/11/2016

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Ashley Beckwith

We had Amara as our Birthwirks instructor. We loved her! The class was really helpful and Amara made it a really fun, enjoyable, and informative experience!

Posted 9/16/2015

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Althea Mease

Simply the best! I can't imagine the birth of my first child without her and she'll be the first person I call when I get a positive test the second time around. My husband agrees, she was worth her weight in gold. 

Posted 9/2/2015

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Kristen Summers Hatfield

Amara is amazing! It's like you've known her your entire life! She is the PERFECT birth assistant- and wraps herself around you AND your partner! When I was in labor with my 3rd baby, she suggested getting into the shower to help relax some- and I went from 4cm to 7cm in 20 minutes! If it wasn't for her suggestion, I wouldn't have thought about getting in the shower! (as simple as it is!) When you are in the throes of labor, you NEED someone to be objective and help give you ideas. She is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn't recommend anyone else but her!!!!

Posted 2/23/2015

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Robyn Showanes

Amara is a superb Doula!  She made my entire pregnancy and labor so much better.  She supported both my husband and myself.  She is extremely helpful and her techniques during labor really helped me prorgress and stay calm.  I also love that she write birth stories.  It is something I will cherish forever.  I would highly recommend her! 

Posted 2/16/2015

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Ashley Laws

I was involved in Amara's Birthworks class and she was an amazing teacher. She made learning about birth fun and I felt very prepared going into labor and so did my husband. I felt like we learned everything we needed to achieve our birth plan an make educated decisions. Amara was an awesome teacher, I am so glad we took her class!

Posted 2/16/2015

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rebekah almond

Our experience with Amara was excellent. Her expertise and support during labor is worth every penny. Her presence was a highlight of the birth; she was my rock. I would not have wanted to do it without her!

Posted 2/14/2015

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Ashley Hegarty

In my first "birth journey" I made a 180 degree turn in what I thought I wanted. I went from "drug me up buttercup" to challenging myself to trust my body and what it could accomplish on its own. Amara was a vital asset in that decision. She came alongside my husband and I with a sense of peace and reassurance and equipped us with her knowledge. My goal for my sons birth was to possibly deliver without any medication as successful, long term breast feeding and his general alertness was important to me. When contractions came, Amara was there and with her, any thoughts of medication faded away. It honestly wasn't until after my son was breastfeeding that I realized I hadn't thought of the possibility of receiving an epidural throughout my labor. That should speak volumes since I had a longer transition than most!

Another thing that was so awesome was the birth story Amara typed up for us. The events definitely go a little hazy with all of the sleepless nights and for us to have the best story we could ever read recounted for us is priceless and something we will cherish.

I honestly can't say enough good things about Amara and if you are pregnant, considering delivering naturally, and live in the Hampton Roads area do yourself a favor and book her for your due date asap, you won't regret it.

Posted 2/14/2015

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Rachel Boyce Raper

The moment I met Amara I knew I wanted her as my doula.


The day before my birthing day, I was met with a gush of amniotic fluid that didn’t bring on steady, active labor. I was checked into l&d and put on a Pitocin drip. As waves of contractions really started hitting me, it became clear that Amara was needed for her support.

Amara walked into my hospital room with a birthing ball, a tray full of drinks, and a plan. Her position recommendations and gentle reminders about the amazingness of my body are all it took for me to wholeheartedly believe that I COULD and WOULD have the labor I wanted. My husband and I were able to focus on each other and getting through one contraction at a time with her coaching. I credit her suggestion of side lunges with getting me quickly through transition. While I hung onto my husband, heart to heart, Amara moved furniture around me so that I was able to put all my effort into lunging. Those lunges were soon met with an extreme urge to push, and sure enough, my nurse confirmed it was time to push.

Amara was so important during my baby girl’s birth; we had her cut the cord. Before she left she took a picture of our new family. I am simply beaming with pride in that picture. Not only was I proud to have a new, perfect baby, but I was also proud of the fact that I was able to have a medication-free birth, even with Pitocin.

A few weeks after I gave birth, Amara stopped by for our postnatal visit. She ooed and ahhed over my baby, answered some questions I had, and presented us with our birth story. The birth story covered every aspect of our birthing day, complete with all the little details we had already forgotten. I can’t wait for the day that my child will be able to read the story of how she was brought into this world. Thank you Amara.

Posted 8/29/2014

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Kat Hall

I came around to hiring a doula for my first pregnancy after witnessing Amara serve as a doula for friends of mine.  Amara its just that kind of person that when you meet her you instantly connect. She is very soothing, calm, endearing and maternal.  She is a wealth of knowledge and enhances the whole birth experience. She does not take the place of a spouse or family member but rather supports your birth plan, whatever that may be.  my husband was deployed during my birth so tomorrow I was much more hands-on and came to my house before taking me to the hospital.  I was able to have a successful natural birth thanks to Amara's support and I would highly recommend her as a doula!  I would also say that attending a birthing class is especially important as well. She teaches a BirthWorks class that was very helpful. Thank you, Amara! 

Posted 3/28/2014

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Marie Rouleau

Amara is a blessing.

She has been present for both of your childrens arrivals.  The first was via c-section and the second a very long VBAC.

On both occasions she offered guidance, support, and a very calm demeanor.  My husband is in the medical feild and is acutely aware of everything that can go wrong during a labor/delivery so he was a nervous wreck both times - Amara was the calming influence that we needed.

She is sensitive to any privacy or personal issues and accepting of any birth plan options we opted to strive for.   She danced and sang along to all our musical choices during pushing and stayed by side when the labor was done and my husband ran to get me food right away (aprox 40 hours after my previous meal).     She stays with you until you feel secure and that is invaluable when you are at your the most vulnerable/strongest moment of your life!

Thank you Amara for your presence during our adventures into parenthood!

 

Posted 3/28/2014

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Jessica Lynn Copeland

I haven't had Amara as a doula but as an L&D nurse who frequently works with her I can absolutely attest that she is the best of all the doulas I've worked with. She is so calm and patient and is by her clients' side supporting and coaching them the entire time. Because of my job I've seen many doulas in action and there is a direct connection with how well my patients cope with their labor and how their doulas take care of them. Women that have doulas like Amara most often times cope with their labor better and are more likely to have an unmedicated birth (if that's what they choose) because Amara is so calm and supportive through it all. Some women end up getting an epidural due to pitocin or other factors because birth plans almost never go exactly as planned and I've seen some doulas make their clients feel bad for asking for the epidural. There is no shame in it. You know what your body can handle and Amara is right their to support you with whatever decision you make. She supports her clients 110% in having an unmedicated birth with position changes, birthing balls, cold cloths, breathing, etc but if at some point they decide on an epidural she never makes them feel bad about it. She goes above and beyond for all her clients and you get a lovely birth story from her afterwards. To anyone looking for a doula, I can't recommend Amara enough!! She is absolutely wonderful!!

Posted 3/6/2014

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Jennifer Lehman

Honestly it’s taken me a year and a half to even write a testimonial for Amara because finding the words to describe how amazing she is seemed like an impossible feat. From the moment my husband and I met her we just knew that she was the perfect doula for us. She was a kindred spirit. My first birth was the exact opposite of what I had envisioned (pitocin, interventions, laboring flat on my back, etc.). I longed for a quiet and loving un-medicated birth for my second child. My husband, who felt helpless during our first birth, felt helpful and confident because of Amara’s support and knowledge. She has a quiet strength that makes you feel calm and confident in yourself. Because of her I believed in myself and in my body’s ability to give birth the way that I had always dreamed of. She was there every step of the way. When there was a moment where I had to be stitched up and my husband and best friend swirled around the new baby . . . Amara was right there by my side holding my hand so that I was not alone (She also sang with me . . . because she’s awesome!). I could not have done it without her. Amara is kind, loving, strong, supportive, funny, insightful, encouraging, and just plain amazing. You could not have a better person in your corner. She was without a doubt the best birthing decision we ever made. :)

Posted 3/5/2014

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Tianna Yentzer

Amara is an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING doula. My husband and I attended her birthworks classes and she was incredibly informative. We felt so comfortable and unafraid which was important as we are first time brand new parents. I really don't think we could've gotten through our birth without her! She supported us in all our decisions and with her incredible support our experience bringing our beautiful baby girl into the world was crazy but so fulfilling.

Posted 3/2/2014

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Dominique Meserole

Amara is amazing. My husband and I are both so grateful that we found her to assist us through my twin pregnancy and birth. She was always available and prompt when we had questions during the pregnancy. And the birth of our baby boys would not have been the same without her soothing, calming presence. Amara is extremely knowledgeable in the ways of childbirth and pain management. But more importantly, there is something about it her, something gentle and positive and extremely reassuring that makes you, as a woman and a husband, feel like you can do this. She was made for this job, and we love her!

Posted 2/10/2014

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Kathleen Rucka

When we think of Amara, the first words that come to mind are empathetic and empowering. We met with Amara when we were only 6 weeks pregnant with our first child and we knew immediately that she was the woman for us! She is such a calm, cool, and collected individual with a wonderfully soothing voice (very important for labor!). We not only chose her as our doula but we also took her childbirth education class, Birthworks, where we learned so much about ourselves, each other, and our upcoming birth. We knew by getting to know her over those 8 weeks that she would be perfect for us in labor and we were looking forward to the moment when we would be able to call her and activate her services! She was so patient with me in the weeks leading up to our daughter's birth, as she patiently answered every question, concern, and excited text regarding another bout of Braxton Hicks contractions, or some other event that was exciting to a couple of eager first-time moms :). As fate would have it, Amara was serving another client when I ended up being induced (due to going postdates at 41 & 5), so she was unable to join us in the beginning of our labor. She was already prepared for this possibility and had been updating her back-up doula on our progress. Her back-up served us wonderfully in her stead, and then, as if in a movie, Amara was able to attend our birth in very last hour of labor and was there at the perfect time to welcome our little girl into the world with us. Thank you Amara for all that you taught us, for becoming a part of our family, and for being such a wonderful friend.

 

Kathleen, Jessica, and Harleigh Rucka

Posted 2/5/2014

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Erin Erwin

Amara is my birth angel. From the moment I contacted her about being my doula, she took me under her wing and guided me through our amazing birth story. Not only did she provide an excellent Birth Works class, she guided me to the birth center where I brought my son into the world. She gave me incredible compassion, support and love during labor. I can't imagine my pregnancy, birth and life without Amara. She is a true blessing to anyone she meets.

Posted 2/5/2014

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Juliana Mills

I can't recommend Amara enough. She has a beautiful soul and loves what she does. This shines through in every moment you are with her. We took her Birthworks class and she was our doula. Having a large gap between my last child and her newest one, we greatly felt we needed a refresher course. We drove an hour to the class and it was well worth every minute. Amara provided a wealth of information and was a great support for us each week. As our due date approached, we met with Amara for our prenatal meeting and it was a reassuring and inspiring meeting. She also met with me for a few hours when I was feeling anxious about things and attended a check up appointment as well. She welcomed every phone call/text/meeting with open arms and as if we were her only clients. She was such a calming and supportive presence. She also made the effort to come to my Blessingway-taking time away from her family to be witness to something very special. It meant so much to have her there. When our baby was on her way, Amara was so amazing. We had a two day labor and she was patient, supportive, distracting, informative and completely present for us. She navigated supporting us, being supportive to our family members, being our cheerleader and advocate and welcomed our little girl with such love and enthusiasm as if it was the first birth she attended. She is so professional and very good at what she does. When she came to our post natal visit it was so special to place our daughter in the arms of the woman who was so integral in bringing her into the world. If ALL that wasn't so special, perhaps most of all, Amara writes the most amazing birth stories. I've read it at least 10 times and choke up every time. She memorialized each and every detail for my daughter and I can't thank her enough for that very special gift. Amara is amazing and I recommend her highly.

Posted 2/5/2014

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Anna Guthmann

Amara is amazing!! We prepared and studied and took all the classes hoping for a natural delivery. However, when our little man decided to be two weeks late, I had to be induced. I could have never done this without Amara. She was so encouraging as I faced the induction and was an irreplaceable part of my team as we went through 20 hours of natural labor followed by a c-section. Our birth was so much different than we expected but she was there supporting, explaining, and encouraging every step of the way. She is incredible no matter what kind of birth you are planning. I also felt that her birth works class prepared me so well for our son's birth. Even though I was disappointed to end up with a c section, I felt prepared and informed to face this change of plans. She is also amazing about checking up on you and answering any questions postpartum as well!

Posted 2/4/2014

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Courtney MacEslin

We heard about Amara through a friend that knew I was considering using a birth doula to help us through our first pregnancy. From the start Amara gave us excellent advice to ensure that we would have the birth experience we imagined. She encouraged us to take a birth class and to consider using a midwife because we were planning for a natural birth.

Amara is an amazing doula; she's kind, patient, professional, and brings an extensive knowledge of labor and delivery. My husband and I were very happy with the decision we made to have Amara by our side during the birth of our first baby. She was someone we could depend on to answer any questions or concerns while laboring at home and at the birth place.

She helped take photos in the delivery room and even posted a birth announcement that friends and family could read while we were still in the hospital.

We had a wonderful experience and would love to have Amara on our birth team again!

Posted 2/3/2014

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Katie Keenehan

Amara's class was recommended to me by quite a few people. My husband and I are so happy we invested in this class. It taught us so much we did not know about child birth in general. We learned everything we needed to know to be confident during pregnancy, labor and birth, so that we could accomplish all without fear. Most important for our own birthing experience, we learned how and when to advocate for ourselves. Amara is a wonderful teacher and classes were never boring. We even met some new friends. All in all a fantastic class and well worth it.

Posted 2/2/2014

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Jihan Davis Minson

From the moment my husband & I met Amara, we unanimously agreed that we wanted her to be the doula for the birth of our son. Her calmness impressed us immediately we always felt at ease when we met with her leading up to our high risk birth. Amara was always very much in-tuned to what would be best to make me comfortable. We talked after every doctors appointment, ultrasound and test and I always felt like I was her only client because of the support she gave us.
I went through weeks of pre-labor and everyday Amara reminded me to get rest, stay hydrated and helped me stay positive about the whole experience. When we went past our due date (our 1st was a month early so we never thought late was even a possibility) Amara helped us weigh our options and come to peace with being induced. Labor was a very difficult experience. I reacted too well to the induction medication and had very strong contractions. Amara was with my husband and I every step of the way through the nausea, the epidural not working, and my major fibromyalgia flares. After dilating to 9 centimeters and then losing dilation on top of having a fever a c-section was becoming more and more of a reality. Amara helped us deal with the reality and stayed with us until we were wheeled into the operating room. She whispered positive affirmations and reminded us of the end goal,
A happy healthy baby. After surgery Amara was waiting for us in recovery.
My son spent a week in the NICU and Amara checked on us regularly. I am 10 weeks postpartum and she still asks how I feel after my c section.
I am extremely grateful for Amara's care of us during the birth of our son. I think without her encouragement & support, our birth would have been a very different experience. Amara was an invaluable part of our pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience.

Posted 2/2/2014

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Gina Haschke Dowd

Having Amara as our doula was one of the best decisions my husband and I made for the birth of our first child. She is one of those people with the social grace to relate to anyone and everyone, and she is absolutely MADE to be a doula, to provide the emotional support and deep expertise during a time when it is so needed. She was by my side through 10 hours of labor until I was fully dilated and pushing, with my daughter almost being born vaginally before I was rushed off for an emergency C-section that saved our daughter's life. Amara then sat with me while I waited so impatiently for four hours after surgery before meeting my daughter. I came out of the whole experience feeling happy about how everything went (except having to wait to meet my precious girl!) and I can't imagine having gone through it all without her. I highly recommend Amara's services. This isn't an area where you want to skimp!

Posted 2/2/2014

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Jacqueline Van Auken Coulborn

Amara recently joined us, for the second time, when I gave birth to our son, Anthony.  I was passed my due date and anxiously awaiting labor.  My husband and I were so excited to confirm that it was time!  I called Amara right away.  I think my exact words were, "I'm 7cm!  Hurry up friend!"  She giggled in excitmet and exclaimed she was on her way!  She was there in what felt like minutes!  I was so happy to see her smiling sweet face as she joyfully entered our room.  It was like greeting an old friend!  She has such a wonderful way of quietly entering your sacred space and carrying an energy of calm encouragement.  She has a true love for what she does.  With both of my births I think the three of us (Amara, my husband and Me) giggled all the way until I was ready to push.  I so appreciate her ability to sense and adjust her mood based on my needs.  When I was light and giggly, she would chime right in, but when I was quiet and intense, she was intuitivly available.  Amara is a warm and loving woman who was blessed with the gift to support women through labor.  I would recommend her to anyone and not hesitate to use her again if we decide to have more children. 

Posted 1/29/2014

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Bekah Magness Kelly

I highly recommend Amara and her birthworks class. Before I was pregnant with my second child, I knew I wanted to have a different birth then I had with my first (I had pitocin and an epidural) It was not bad or wrong, I just desired different….and I knew there were ways to achieve the difference. Having Amara as a doula and attending her Birthworks class were two of the key ingredients for achieving the birth I desired.

Amara, is incredible professional and she was very thorough through my entire birth process. For our birth classes she gives such helpful and useful information to not only prepare you for the birth, the actual birth but after the birth. The connection that is gained while attending birth classes is wonderful, being able to commiserate with other people striving for the same as you makes a big difference.

For the birth, Amara truly does mean she is on-call and ready at all hours. Like most babies, my sweet son didn’t choose a respectable hour of the day. Amara was ready (and excited) to be there by our side at 1 am. Amara’s presence at the birth was just right. She was able to help delegate ‘job’s’ for the anxious husband in tow (sit on the birth ball, play music, etc). We had asked if she would take pictures and she was happy to. Her calming, reassuring and encouraging presence throughout the entire process was amazing. I look back at my birth with my son with such fond memories and Amara is a big part of the ingredients that left me feeling so satisfied. The joy continues when I have the chance to re-read the amazing birth story that this wonderfully talented women has written as such an accurate and wonderful account of my sons amazing entrance into this world.

I highly recommend Amara.

Posted 1/29/2014

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themorales6 .

I offer a slightly different perspective from most of the other testmonials here. Amara and I met about a decade ago, when she attended a meeting I was hosting for area doulas. There were very few Hampton Roads doulas then, and I thought we should be networking and sharing ideas and experiences. At that time, I had already been practicing for a bit, so I sort of mentored Amara in some aspects of her doula business. We even briefly worked together to serve clients, as a way of learning from each other. Since then, she has developed into the premier, most-sought-after doula and childbirth educator (BirthWorks) in the region---known and loved by not only her clients, but also her fellow doulas, childbirth educators, nurses, midwives, and doctors. She has been instrumental in helping to create and maintain a positive reputation for doulas in the hospitals and in the community, by serving her clients in a way that simultaneously supports their needs and wishes AND respects the priorities and responsibilities of the caregivers. It's a difficult balancing act that she makes look easy. And it ultimately benefits not just the client she is with but all future patients those caregivers encounter. I am proud to have served as her doula for the birth of her 4th child. I am proud to see the fruits of her labor with pregnant mamas. I'm proud to serve as her primary backup doula, when needed. Most of all, I am proud to call her my friend. I guarantee you will not be disappointed if you choose Amara as your doula.

Posted 1/29/2014

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Jamie Halfacre May

Oh my gosh! I can't say enough wonderful things about Amara! She was highly recommended by a friend who had used her services a year before. Ironically I had just met Amara through my job. It was like the stars lined up and encouraged me to take this path. From the first interview I felt very much at ease with her. I knew right away I wanted her as my doula no matter what path we chose to give birth. This was the first child for my husband and I and both of our families are out of state so we thought it was important to have some labor support. We also enrolled in her Birthworks classes and we learned so much.
In fact, working with Amara gave us lots of knowledge and empowered us to choose a home birth at 28 weeks into our pregnancy. She was always available (day and night) to answer any and all questions I had.
And when the big day came her support, encouragement, calm demeanor, and counter pressure with my husband and midwives helped me through even the most intense contractions and back labor. Due to a prolonged labor after my membranes broke and my daughter being in a psoterior postition, we decided to transfer to the hospital. Amara was there for me as I made that decision and she was so kind and supportive. Not onl did Amara empower me but she empowered my husband to be the most amazing labor support. They were both exactly what I needed.
Amara is very knowledgeable, kind, and extremely dependable. She sees pregnancy and birth as the true journey it can be and I am thankful I chose her to be on mine with me.
I not only recommend her but I will most definitely be using her services again when we have more children.

Posted 11/23/2013

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Dana K

My husband & I decided to have Amara as our doula after having a wonderful experience with her at our first son's brith. Additionally, we chose to take the Birthworks class she offers. It was a wonderful decision and we are so glad that Amara was able to share her time & wisdom with the birth of both of our sons. Her demeanor and presence is a great match for the birth room. Afterwards, several of the labor & delivery nurses made a point to ask me about her because she was "the best doula" they've worked with. I highly highly highly recommend her.

Posted 10/1/2013

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Sandra Burdick

A stranger?!When I learned that I had to have a doula with me to birth was overwhelmed!How was I supposed to pick from a random list online?I couldn't imagine having a stranger during such an intimate experience.Then I found amazing testimonials for Amara.I lost track of time reading the stories-how calm she was,friendly,how at ease Amara had made ALLof these other women feel.I was still nervous,but I took a chance~we met her for tea and hit it off.

My husband&I were at home when the contractions began&he knew just what to do.At first,it was great to have it be just us.But as the contractions got more intense we asked Amara to come over.She arrived within 25 minutes at midnight.Amara came into our bedroom and sat on the floor with us.My husband&I were in a rhythm with the contractions.He was using counter-pressure,reminding me to breathe,wiping my neck with a cold cloth-we were fine.She didn't try to interrupt our ritual.She simply observed and tracked the contractions.There was a calmness that came over me AND my husband when she arrived because she just brings calm to those around her.We knew she would do as much or as little as we needed her to do.And that she did.For the 3 hours before we left for the hospital she was everything we needed.She made suggestions,held my hand,encouraged me, joked with me.She was a true compliment to the labor process.At the hospital Amara was the one who coached me through the contractions,reminding me that each one brought my daughter closer to me.With my husband on one side,my forehead pressed against Amara's I gave birth with NO drugs&NO stitches to my 9 lb1oz. baby girl.It was an amazing experience!I was so proud to have had a natural birth and so much of my confidence&strength came through the support of my husband and Amara.She was truly meant to do this.She is amazing at supporting women in their birth experiences.

 

Posted 7/27/2013

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Tarah Jones

As I reflect on the birth of our second child, I am so happy that Amara will forever be a part of our daughter's birth story. Amara's calm, gracious and thoughtful attitude helped me during the hardest part of my labor, pushing. She knew just what to say and when to say it and never for once doubted my ability and strength (though at times I was struggling and unsure of what i had gotten myself into). Hiring her was one of the best decisions my husband and I have ever made.  Amara was born to be a doula and her desire to serve women during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond is unparalleled. You will not regret hiring her to serve your family during one of the most exciting and rewarding times of your life.

Posted 6/26/2013

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Kylie EK Robbins

There are no words to describe how awesome Amara is or express my gratitude towards her.

Very supportive, knowledgeable and puts you at ease especially during pivotal points of labor. My husband says if he could afford it, he’d gladly pay double as she is worth every penny - she was not only a tremendous support for me, but also helped reassure him.

After birth, Amara spoke with the nursing staff and made sure I had various items to aid in my recovery that I didn’t know to ask for. The birth stories Amara writes are amazing and she even took some pictures right as my son was put on me, which would never had been captured otherwise.

I could go on forever about how integral Amara was in helping me achieve the unmediated VBAC I so desperately needed.

An incredible doula and birth educator, she would be my doula again!

Posted 6/8/2013

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Lauren Taylor

Amara was a blessing. There is so much more I could say, but the most important thing is that she was truly a blessing. She was with us for 16 hours, and she didn’t get to eat until 12 hours into the day. When we met her she asked us what was felt was the most important thing she could do for us during labor. My husband responded, “help me help my wife.” She did just that. She guided my husband and my sister to support me through hours of Pitocin induced labor. I knew I would get along with pretty much anyone, but it was important that my husband trust her and respond to her. He felt comfortable with her immediately.  It was through her gentle encouragement and steadfast belief in what the female body can do that we were able to progress my labor along. My husband still sings her praises to any father-to-be.

Posted 6/7/2013

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Kristin Trammell

Amara was a wonderful doula for my husband and me.  My birth did not go as planned because I ended up having pre-eclampsia at 38 weeks and had to be induced.  I did not have the pleasure of taking her birth class but she did have a great recommendation for another birth class I could take during a time my husband and I could be present, since he was on deployment during her class. 

After getting the pitocin, my labor was really quick. By the time we called Amara to come to the hospital, I was about ready to push.  She kept my husband and I very calm.  The nurses and midwives at Depaul know her very well and they all worked so well together.  The worst part for me was after having my daughter I had some complications and she stayed so that my husband could stay with the baby like I asked.  She did more than we could ever ask.  Not only during labor was she helpful, but we asked lots of questions being first time parents that she was able to answer or guide us in the right direction to find people or books that could answer them the best. 

Amara is one of a kind.  Even though we had an awesome nurse and midwife, having someone that could stay with us and an extra person to document our incredible experience, was absolutely priceless.   

Posted 6/3/2013

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Tasha Stevens

I highly recommend Amara! She was my doula for my third child (my first drug-free birth!). The first time I met her, I felt at ease in her presence and knew she was just what I was looking for. She helped me prepare for a natural birth from the beginning by recommending books and dvd's for me to watch. When it came time for my daughters birth, her calming presence made all the difference. She was able to direct me and my husband as needed, giving me the confidence in myself that I needed! Thank you for all you did Amara!

Posted 6/3/2013

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Carly Bosco

I cannot say enough good things about Amara! I met Amara very early in my pregnancy when I decided to go with midwifery care for my first child. I got her name from a friend, along with 2 other doulas. After meeting with all 3, I felt most comfortable with Amara and also felt that she had the personality that could be both gentle and stern (I envisioned potentially needing a proverbial slap upside the head to focus during labor - and with 4 kiddos of her own I knew I'd totally listen to her if we got to that point!) I also felt it was somewhat fated given my due date was her birthday :) I could not have made a better decision. Amara supportedd my entire pregnancy, not just my labor. From the time I chose her and signed our contract we were in regular email contact. It was great to have her as another resource to ask 'Is this normal?'. She has a wonderful lending library and gave me some great suggestions of resources to read to help prepare for birth. When my husband finally met her he instantly liked her as well and we all had a great rapport. My due date finally came and went Amara was empathetic and offered lots of suppport and suggestions to try to bring on labor. We ended up with an induction and, due to an early c-section scare, Amara ended up being at the hospital with us for almost 24 hours. She was amazing at every stage for both me and my husband - from just being there and talkingin the early stages to constantly hooking and unhooking me from the monitors and finally holding my leg during pushing. Without her support, I know I would not have left the hospital with such a positive view of how our birth went. It was disappointing that things didn't go the way I envisioned, but with Amara's gentle help (I didn't need that slap upside the head!) we made the best of it. When we're ready for baby #2, Amara will probably get a call before our parents to ensure she can support us again. I highly, HIGHLY recommend her!

Posted 6/3/2013

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Marcus Wood

This account is from Paula (Marcus' wife):

I originally heard about Amara in our Moms of Preschoolers group. It was practically monthly I would look over and see her empty chair along with another member's absence. And sure enough the birth would be announced at the next meeting. Upon our first encounter, I knew my husband and I aligned with her way of birthing babies the natural way. I even told my him that I would like to use Amara's services for our next baby. I had two previous unmedicated births overseas, and even though we were in the US, I hoped for no less the third go around. Nine months after that conversation and a couple meetings later, we found ourselves together in a birthing room at Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center. She walk many laps through the hospital by my side, rubbed my feet, told stories, encouraged my husband and I when things seemed to slow down. Further, she helped us weigh options of breaking my water versus leaving it intact. Then after the midwife did just that and things started to pick up, she remained a constant support for my husband and me. Finally, twelve hours or so hours after arriving at the hospital, she stood with us as we ushered our third daughter into the world. And if all that wasn't enough, she brought me dinner at 11pm. Amara truly lived up to her title in serving us: doula=slave! Thanks so much for giving your all to us on May 24, 2013. We have a beautiful bundle of joy to show for it:).

Posted 6/3/2013

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Carly Bosco

I cannot say enough good things about Amara! I met Amara very early in my pregnancy when I decided to go with midwifery care for my first child. I got her name from a friend, along with 2 other doulas. After meeting with all 3, I felt most comfortable with Amara and also felt that she had the personality that could be both gentle and stern (I envisioned potentially needing a proverbial slap upside the head to focus during labor - and with 4 kiddos of her own I knew I'd totally listen to her if we got to that point!) I also felt it was somewhat fated given my due date was her birthday :) I could not have made a better decision. Amara supportedd my entire pregnancy, not just my labor. From the time I chose her and signed our contract we were in regular email contact. It was great to have her as another resource to ask 'Is this normal?'. She has a wonderful lending library and gave me some great suggestions of resources to read to help prepare for birth. When my husband finally met her he instantly liked her as well and we all had a great rapport. My due date finally came and went Amara was empathetic and offered lots of suppport and suggestions to try to bring on labor. We ended up with an induction and, due to an early c-section scare, Amara ended up being at the hospital with us for almost 24 hours. She was amazing at every stage for both me and my husband - from just being there and talkingin the early stages to constantly hooking and unhooking me from the monitors and finally holding my leg during pushing. Without her support, I know I would not have left the hospital with such a positive view of how our birth went. It was disappointing that things didn't go the way I envisioned, but with Amara's gentle help (I didn't need that slap upside the head!) we made the best of it. When we're ready for baby #2, Amara will probably get a call before our parents to ensure she can support us again. I highly, HIGHLY recommend her!

Posted 6/1/2013

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Jamie Darrick Lemaster

Amara should be the next Ina May Gaskins....she is truly the best at what she does.  After 3 medicated births, we educated ourselves and knew that when we conceived again we needed to take birthing classes and hire a Doula.  Without her on our team I don't know how this last birth would've turned out,  well probably the same as the others.  My husband is now an advocate for natural birthing, taking BirthWorks classes and hiring a doula.  He raves over Amara & says she's the celebrity of Hampton Roads.  We can't express enough how greatful we are for her love, encouragement & compassion.   <3

Posted 6/1/2013

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Ashley Whitlinger

I highly recommend both the BirthWorks course and Amara as an instructor! My husband and I chose BirthWorks after much research and a desire to take a course that focused on natural birth as well as an involved and informed approach to birth. For some, the 8 weeks of classes may seem a bit excessive but it was perfect for us. Each class was highly informative and the format allowed us to truly comprehend the material as well as take our time, discuss what we learned, and ask any questions we may have had. Amara was an invaluable instructor: experienced, effective, and compassionate. I immediately felt at ease with her and trusted her advice. While my birth experience was far from what I had imagined it would be, I would have felt utterly unprepared and frightened if it weren't for Amara (even without her presence at the birth!) and what she taught us. Because of her and this course, my husband and I were able to approach the necessary medical interventions with full knowledge, not only of what each intervention entailed, but also of the possible repercussions and complications. My surprising birth could have very well been something of a traumatic experience if not for the preparation and knowledge that Amara imparted to us. Even postpartum, I hold her in mind as a constant companion and asset to me in my journey as a new mother, knowing at any moment Amara is available for questions, answers, advice, and compassion. Though I did not have a doula at my first birth, my husband and I have already decided we're reserving her services for the next, however many years away it will be! My personal journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and new motherhood has been forever and positively affected by Amara and the BirthWorks course and I will be forever grateful for this!

Posted 1/11/2013

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Jacqueline Coulborn

I met Amara in my third trimester of pregnancy.  My only regret is that I didn't meet her sooner!  She was the first doula I had met who made me feel at ease about my birth.  She has such a warm and genuine spirit about her. She was willing to listen to all of my concerns and questions about birth.  Amara was absolutely instrumental to my delivery.  My husband and I felt so comfortable when she arrived at the hospital.  She came with her little "bag of goodies" and calm positive spirit.  My husband said she made him feel so confident by giving him some suggestions and tools to help me through the contractions.  It's the little things in labor that can mean so much, a cool wash cloth, a lolly pop, two tennis balls in a sock, LOL :)  Each of these things came from her special bag and were so helpful to me. 

I would absolutely recommend Amara as a birth doula.  We will definitely use her for our future births. 

Posted 1/8/2013

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Kelly Travis

I cannot even begin to express how much I value having had Amara to walk through my pregnancy and birth experience with me. We first met just into my second trimester, as I was beginning to be concerned about the lack of knowledge I had ab
out birth, and the fact that my husband who had left already when we met, would be deployed through the whole experience. I did know I wanted to do it "right" for myself and my daughter. Amara has a presence that is incredibly calming, and when she speaks you find a trust in her words and a confidence in yourself. She is a wealth of knowledge and experience in birth. I also found it immensely helpful to take advantage of her library of resources such as books and DVDs. I would also highly recommend taking her BirthWorks class, as I learned even more through the discussion and lessons shared there. Our birth experience ended up being very much different than we had expected. I delivered in my 38th week, I had an emergency c-section, and sadly our daughter passed away after only 7 short hours in this world. I can truly say that having Amara as a support person through this trying time has helped me to find a peace about my birth experience. It was unexpected. Nothing like the experiences I had thought of and drawn in class, but Amara helped me to realize it can still be a precious thing in a very, very different way. Lastly, the birth stories. If you are visiting the Facebook page to read this, I would highly recommend reading a birth story or two. Just that piece of work alone is worth more than money can buy you in your birth experience. Our birth story is our documented snapshot of our daughter's short life. I hope no one has to go through the experience that my family endured and is enduring, but I can tell you no matter how your birth story turns out, you will be so grateful God has put Amara there to walk through it with you. I know we are.

Posted 12/16/2012

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Stacy Meyers

 Amara and I met well before I became pregnant with my second child through my work as a Lactation Consultant. This gave me the opportunity to really get to know her as a person, mother, woman, and friend. Amara has a very calming presence and a joyful passion for her “job” in helping other mothers out during a most vulnerable, yet empowering time. I really connected with her peaceful spirit and gentle nature; she was EXACTLY who I wanted at my side as we brought our baby into the world.  We met and talked about everything throughout the pregnancy, and she gave me plenty of resources to help me with birth. We had planned a home water birth, and I was preparing using the Hypnobabies program she lent me. I was able to stay so relaxed. I labored on the ball, in my recliner, and in the bathtub all while chatting away and laughing with her. Eric was able to get some rest and coordinate care for my daughter while Amara was at my side. Quiet and unobtrusive when necessary, she moved and did what I needed her to do. Other times she offered soft, encouraging words, or we had a lively conversation. She seemed to intuit what I would require, and adapted accordingly. Amara was not only supportive of me, but of my husband as well - something we BOTH appreciate!  The peace of mind I had knowing how well I was taken care of was worth its weight in gold! I was comfortable, safe, secure, supported, encouraged, and loved - all of which allowed me to have the birth of which I dreamed. Amara has an amazing ability to blend into the background, yet be front-and-center right on cue. She adapts her care to all situations as needed without wavering her calm demeanor and gentle spirit. Words cannot adequately express our gratitude to Amara for sharing such a momentous occasion with us! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts! My birth team totally ROCKED!

Posted 11/7/2012

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Erin Pease

 Amara has helped our family twice now for our second and third daughters, and we consider her an non-negotiable part of birthing team. From the first time I heard her voice on the phone, I knew she was the doula for me because of the immediate calming effect. Meeting with her prenatally gave me a sense of calm and helped me to be ready for the natural childbirth we had planned. When I had questions about tests or how I was feeling, she was always ready with information to ease my mind. During labor, having her on the phone and with us at home gave my husband and I the confidence to stay home until it was time to leave for the birthing center. When I was scared or unsure, her smiling face and words told me I was strong enough to birth my baby. My husband is a die hard doula fan because Amara made him feel like he could do what came naturally to him without worrying about letting me down some how. Being able to call Amara to ask a question and rely on her expertise gave him such comfort and relieved a lot of his stress that he had to know what to do. I can whole-heartedly recommend Amara's services, and I encourage any woman to set up an interview with her if she is searching for a doula.

Posted 11/5/2012

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Justine Robinson

 My husband and I met with Amara because we knew he would be deployed on our baby's birthday, and I wanted to try a new approach to birthing our second child. I knew as soon as we met with her that she would be a perfect doula for me. Amara has such a calm and relaxing demeanor, which is great for me because I can be a little high strung at times. 

She kept in contact with me throughout my pregnancy, and I even took one of her BirthWorks classes. Amara has great correspondence and would get back to me right away when I had a question, which was very reassuring!

While I was in labor, she sat by my side and talked with me while timing my contractions. It was like I had invited a close friend or family member over to catch up, but the mood was serene and quiet in order for me to focus. Once I called my care provider to see if I could come to the hospital, my contractions were pretty intense. Even when the provider told me to stay at home for a little while longer, Amara reassured me we could go anytime I felt was necessary, and suggested I change position to regain focus and control. 

Only moments later my water broke and the baby was crowning as I sat in my living room! The situation could have been a lot more stressful had Amara not been there. She was so very strong and calm as she called 911 and delivered my baby in a matter of minutes. Everything happened so fast and Amara was completely in control and was my advocate even on the phone with 911. She arranged childcare for my two year old, followed me to the hospital, and was by my side before I could even start checking in. Amara stayed by my side until I could be with my baby girl, which would have been a lot more lonely otherwise. 

I cannot begin to describe how valuable Amara has been to my pregnancy and birth experience. I would recommend her to friends, family, or anyone looking for a doula or birth support of any kind. 

 

Posted 11/5/2012

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Jennifer Lovitt

 Amara is not just knowledgeable and supportive (although she surpasses many in both of those things). She is calming and intuitive. There were times in my labor when I forgot she was there, but still felt the essence of her presence.  She embodied the atmosphere I needed without ever having to ask me to define my needs. She supported my desire to have a natural birth with my second child, and assisted in making that birth a healing experience. But she is more than someone to put pressure in the right place, or tell you how amazing you are, assuring you that you can do the things your body was designed to do. Without coddling, she empowers. Her strength is invaluable.

Women have historically bonded together in childbirth, supporting each other and offering guidance and insight. Today, we can no longer depend on that from our friends and family, especially if we are interested in unmedicated birth, as it is no longer the norm. I have no sisters, but having Amara with me at my birth felt like having a sister beside me who had been there, who understood where I was and how important my journey would be. She has told me that we did not need her, and that my husband and I brought our daughter into the world together and could have done it without her there just as well. But I don’t believe that. While Amara has a bag of tools, and knows every trick and labor position there is, she fills a void that can’t be filled with a heat pack or dim lighting. She offers something a husband cannot. From the first time I met her, she never felt like a stranger I had hired to help me through labor, which was my biggest fear in hiring a doula. At the moment my daughter entered the world, I truly felt as though I were surrounded by a sisterhood of women. Amara is that sisterhood. She was born to doula.

Posted 11/1/2012

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Meghan Chugg

I can only scratch the surface when it comes to how we feel about Amara and the incredible service she provided me and my husband during our journey into parenthood. I use the term "service" in its most literal way: she served us with knowledge, friendship, kindness, compassion, patience, trust and confidence. She is a "Doula" in her very soul and I think, even if she hadn't found this profession, she would be helping people in some incredible way or another. She immediately sets you at ease with her grace, humility, gentle voice and hands and one of the kindest pair of eyes I've ever had the fortune of meeting :) Half-way through our first meeting, my husband and I wanted her to be our Doula. By the end of our first meeting I wanted so much to be her friend . . . By the end of our pregnancy, labor and birth experience, she was our family! I can't recommend Amara highly enough - you will only benefit from opening your life to her presence and guidance. We are forever grateful to her for being part of that amazing experience and for being part of our lives!

Posted 10/7/2012

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Jacqueline Coulborn

My mother passed away two weeks after I found out that I was pregnant.  I knew that I needed the support of a woman who had been through natural childbirth.  I am so grateful that Amara was recommended to me!  She was there for me from the moment we decided to work together.  From her lending library to her just being there by phone, e-mail, or text, I instantly had an experienced resource and friend.  My husband and I were so happy to have Amara's support.  She was so helpful during my labor reminding me to just get to the peak of the contraction and it will pass.  She was so wonderful reminding me that my body knew exactly what it was doing and the purpose of the contractions was to help my daughter come into this world.  Giving birth is such a special experience and I will be forever bonded with Amara having shared it with her.

I would definitely recommend using Amara as your Doula...she is fabulous!!

Posted 2/7/2012

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Asha Dore Baisden

Amara was our doula for the birth of both of our daughters. In 2009, I contacted her because I was transferring my care at around 30 weeks from a free-standing birth center in San Diego to the Midwifery Center at Depaul in Va Beach. In the short time we had to get to know each other, Amara answered all of our questions and truly helped us become more prepared for our first birth. While I felt very much ready for my first delivery, Amara really guided us through the difficult parts of that labor. Both my husband and I felt afterward that she really made our first daughter’s birth possible - that without her it would have been a completely different, and much less lovely, experience.

The first person I contacted when we found out we were pregnant with our second daughter was Amara. My husband had to be deployed for seven months of my pregnancy, and in many ways, Amara sort of stood in for him by supporting me completely throughout the pregnancy. I contacted her more times than I can count, and she was always receptive and encouraging. I also took her Birthworks class during that pregnancy, and in comparison to the class I had taken during my first pregnancy from a doula at the free-standing birth center in San Diego, Amara’s class was more thorough and seemed to approach birth and the female body in a more organic way than most birth classes. Plus, Amara makes it fun :)

I could write paragraph after paragraph about Amara - about how she helped me deal with my insecurities with both of my births, about how without her knowledge combined with her presence there, I would probably still be questioning myself. Amara has more empathy and respect for emotions than anyone I have ever met, and I feel so lucky that her amazing presence has been an integral part of my childbearing - and delivering -experiences. 

Posted 1/30/2012

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Marie

Amara was originally recommended to me through a friend as I am realitively new to the area...   Much to my delight she proved to be a vaulable assest throughout my (first) pregnancy.   Her knowledge, calm nature, and genuine caring all contribute to a sense of confidence in yourself and your body.  I have no reservations in saying that I would recommend her to my closest friends as a reliable resource and friend during such an intimate and somewhat intimidating time in your life!   

Thank you Amara!  Marie, Tim, and baby Hudson

Posted 1/30/2012

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Sarah Cordial

My experience in her class was a great one. She was very informative and made me feel ready for the whole experience. What I found most helpful from the class were the birth videos that she showed at the end of each class, the extensive discussion of labor(we had one specific class dedicated to labor and delivery, but we also talked about it during almost every class), the empowering quotes that she wrote on the board before every class, discussion of comfort measures and tools for labor(such as the rice sock and birth ball which were used consistently during my labor), and lastly the people in the class. I met several great couples and have been able to keep in touch with them throughout the first few weeks of my baby's life. It has been very helpful to have other new mothers to talk to. The class was such a great experience for my husband and I, and I couldn't have felt more prepared for my labor. As I mentioned before, we also asked Amara to be our doula. She was incredibly helpful and I'm so glad that we asked her to join us. I had back labor and she helped relieve some of the pain by providing counter pressure. She stayed with me the whole time. We went walking together and she even allowed my husband to rest some while she stayed with me. During the pushing stage of my labor I was especially grateful to have Amara there because she kept encouraging me by reminding me that the pain was temporary and it was all for my little girl. She has a very soothing voice and is a very patient person. Those are two things that I needed throughout my whole labor and delivery. The very last thing that she does for her clients is write a birth story. My birth story was so beautifully written and very detailed. I sent it out to my family and everyone loved it.

Posted 1/29/2012

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Trisha Sheehan

I met Amara through a mutual photographer friend halfway into my pregnancy. I was not getting the care that I wanted and I felt something was missing from my pregnancy at that time. I decided to change my plans and have a natural water birth for my 4th baby. That is the time when I contacted Amara for her services. My husband was deployed and  I had no real support at home because of this. Amara was always a phone call away & even stopped by the house a couple of times to talk about our plan for the big day. She also supplied me with tons of information to educate me on my goal of a natural birth.


When the big day arrived, she was there for me giving me the support and encouragement that I needed. Amara has such a kind and gentle voice that is soothing to hear. Paired with her wisdom and passion for birth, Amara is truly a blessing to the Doula community. I would have her by my side again if we are blessed with another baby.

Posted 1/13/2012

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Jennifer Lovitt

When I first met Amara, her presence was so calming and maternal that I knew she was the perfect match for us. She is so knowledgeable and trusting in the birth process. By the time we were in labor, it felt so natural to have her there - like having an older sister beside me. My natural birth was so fulfilling and I feel strongly that Amara's support was priceless.

Posted 1/8/2012

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Katy Lorince

My experience in the Birthworks Class far exceeded my expectations. As a first time pregnant Mommy I did not know what to expect walking into the class. Of course, I had been reading the normal first time pregnancy books, What to Expect When your Expecting, Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy, and more. The books provided me with a good foundation, but were lacking in a ton of areas. Amara and Birthworks built my confidence and made me realize having a baby was a natural thing and not something to fear. I now feel empowered and informed on the birthing process. I am looking forward to January 15th or somewhere near that date to meet our Baby Girl, Madelyn Rose.


More about the Class...
Amara is a passionate teacher and a Doula. She brought with her real life stories and supplemental information to each class. If we asked a question she did not know the answer to she found out and provided resources. It was a safe place for us to discuss what we were feeling and share our beliefs about bringing a baby into the world. Some of the areas we focused on were feelings, making healthy choices, choosing the right caregiver for you and your family, stages of labor, comfortable positions during all labor phases, breastfeeding, and much more. Husbands were encouraged to participate in the class and in the end I know Roger enjoyed his time there. It gave us a time to be together and opened the door up to more discussions about what we wanted for our birth experience and parenting. I highly recommend Amara's Birthworks Class to all pregnant woman out there. We could not be happier with our decision to take the class and can't wait for our big day.
Katy Lorince
 

Posted 1/4/2012

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Jennifer Wert

  Professional, Compassionate, Understanding, Knowledgeable, Flexible, and Reliable is what comes to mind when describing Amara. My husband and I have been lucky enough to have Amara work with us through not only one, but two pregnancies/births. After having her with us through the first there was no way in the world I was going to go through labor again without her.  The experience working with Amara and having her by your side every step of the way is  truly unexplainable. She brought a sense of protection, calm and organization to what would have been a scary and crazy time in our lives. She was there every step of the way (34 hours the first time and 18 hours the second) with what seemed to be everything we (my husband included) needed. Amara arrived to both labors within what seemed like minutes of our call and stayed until she knew we were comfortable with our new baby and all was well. During labor she provided me with basically everything I needed and my husband with comforting suggestions and break times....... I think he looked to her as much as I did during the labor and it was amazing how she provided us with exactly what we needed at the very moment we needed it.

If you are looking for a doula who will be with you and your family every step of the way with compassion and professionalism then do not look any further. I am currently pregnant with child number three and heart broken that Amara will not be able to be with us (we have since moved 3000 miles away). However, I do know that she is only a phone call away if we need her. 

(Trevor, September 2008) (Parker, May 2010)

Posted 1/3/2012

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yvonne tollefson

My review of Amara comes not as a client, but as a nurse. I have been a Labor & Delivery nurse for 19 years. In my past I have known doulas who were pushy, overbearing and demanding/insisting-- This made my job as a nurse harder and made it more difficult to provide care for the mom in labor. I met Amara about 2 years ago and my opinion of doulas changed completely. She has the ability to support the laboring woman and family while working WITH the providers. Her calm presence, pleasant attitude and effective communication makes her a perfect bridge between birth family and birth provider. It has been my pleasure to work with Amara many times and witness her skills first hand. Words that come to mind-- Amazing. Dedicated. She supports with touch, with word and sometimes simply with her presence. She has helped families realize their birth hopes. She understands that sometimes plans change- She is not judgemental. She is an advocate who has knowledge and passion. Her abilities and gifts are priceless! Any family who invites Amara to share in their birth will come away with a more positive experience-  Thank you for letting me share just a little about what a wonderful doula Amara is.

Posted 10/21/2011

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Sara Chiaverotti

 From the moment my husband and I met Amara we knew she was a compassionate, honest, and loving person who loves her job. I went through my pregnancy with very little apprehension about natural labor because she provided me with the knowledge to be prepared for our child's birth. She shared her own personal knowledge and shared her endless library of books and dvd's that helped to support me and my husband.
When I went into labor I remember Amara walking in my front door and feeling complete happiness because I knew that we were in good hands. Amara gracefully coached my husband and I through each contraction. She reassured us each step of the way even during the most painful times that everything would be all right. Once Amara helped to bring our dear son into the world she helped me to begin nursing him. She was so calm and helpful. Amara also wrote the BEST birth story to our son that we absolutely cherish. She didn't miss a beat of the entire process from start to finish. Amara is simply an amazing person and an amazing and knowledgeable doula. This was our first birth, and we would do it all over again because we know we would have her by our sides. We love you Amara, and we feel blessed to have you in our lives. Thank you!

Posted 10/21/2011

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Andrea Castle

If you hire Amara, it will be the best thing you ever do for the birth of your child. Hands down she is the best in the area, and I plan on having her at every one of my children's births! It would never be the same without her.

Posted 5/15/2011

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Cindy O'Connor

 Amara was so compassionate and appropriate during my labor and birth. It was such an amazing and healing experience. We will hire Amara again to be our Doula for our next child if we're in the area! Amara provided excellent support and communication for weeks before I went into labor. She helped me progress labor through positioning techniques, and helped relax and calm me during active labor and transition. She didn't overstay her welcome after our bundle of joy arrived. My husband felt included and supported by Amara. Everything was perfect and I can't wait to do it all again! :)

Posted 5/10/2011

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Jennifer Repko-Nowlin

 I kept thinking that I NEEDED doula support if my second child was going to be born without drugs, intervention or complete fear. I felt I should at least call around... I wanted this natural birth so badly. Little did I know, that once I spoke with Amara on the phone, this would be our first contact into a relationship that would last a lifetime and a birth that was more amazing than I could have ever imagined!


On a Saturday, I took a walk to calm down, meditate and pray. That morning I had a peace beyond understanding. I walked home sensing that this would be the day. It was the night! We arrived at the birthing center and did not realize that I was already 10 centimeters! I was ready to push! Amara got there about half way through as the hardest moments for me began. So, in reality she wasnot with us so long for the birth, but OH how we needed her. She was quiet, calm and very assertive to my needs. She would tell me how to focus and to remember this, that and the other things we spoke about in the past few weeks. She was there mostly AFTER the birth, and again, this was a huge help. We were so THRILLED to have had such a quick and problem-free birth that we forgot the pictures... Amara didn ot forget! She took pictures for us, calmed me in the after pains and witnessed are new family of four! She stayed for about an hour after teh birth, and for this we are grateful.
After the birth, Amara was attentive to write a beautiful birth story. It was creative, well though out and very consistent with the time line of the birth. She visited us and shared in the memories. It is like she is my sister! 

Finally, I wish to point out that Amara has an extensive library.The videos and books changed my thinking on natural childbirth and how I truly wanted this birth to be blessed. The fact that I could borrow these materials and not have to buy them was very helpful in our time of tight budgeting.
 

Posted 3/1/2011

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Laura Stacey

I could not have asked for a more knowledgeable, experienced, or reliable doula. I knew from doing research that having a doula as part of your support system was the best way to go and my husband and I are so grateful that we chose Amara. We met her when I was only 13 weeks pregnant but she immediately put us at ease and impressed us with her calming nature. She had the perfect mixture of professionalism and warmth and was a great resource to have during pregnancy, labor, and after the birth of our child as well. Amara is well-read, experienced, and open-minded. She does not push her views onto the couple but instead presents options and information and follows her clients' lead. She did a great job of providing my husband with ways to encourage me during delivery and share in the experience without making him feel like she was "taking over." Amara has a strong relationships with the midwives at De Paul allowing her to be an effective advocate for the couple, and to act as a go-between. Amara truly goes above and beyond the call of duty and we will definitely ask her to join us the next time we are pregnant! If you are thinking about getting a doula, choose Amara. We couldn't have done it without her and now we have a beautiful boy and a great birth story.

Posted 2/9/2011

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Marcie Davis

When the anesthesiologist came into the room, Amara suggested that my nurse check me one last time to see if there was improvement within the last 15 minutes and the nurse refused because I was checked not long ago.but once again, Amara had the right words and was able to have the doctor check me. With this, I was saved because I was at 10 cm and ready to welcome my baby girl. If she would not have asked, I would have failed with my original birth plan, and for that I am so thankful. She assisted me in breastfeeding right after the birth and stayed around a little bit until me, my husband and our baby girl were settled.

She was very encouraging and stayed positive to get me through all the pain. My husband was very impressed and said she was so helpful in showing him ways to help make me feel comfortable. We have good memories from this experience and can one day share it with our daughter in details as Amara wrote our birthing story to reflect what occurred that day. I am so blessed to have met Amara and was in the best care with her and my husband at my side. We will definitely have her as our doula again. I believe that all pregnant women should have a doula, but especially Amara because she is so positive, comforting and wants to help you stick with your birth plan in the best ways possible. I highly recommend Amara as your doula as you will be in the best of care!
 

Posted 2/1/2011

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amy hyatt eubank

I chose Amara as my doula for many reasons. She had attended close to 100 births w/ 4 children of her own! I knew she was experienced. In talking w/ her over the phone & in person, she was kind &caring.Thankfully, my pregnancy was easy. I felt confident in my ability to give birth without the help of medication. I have low blood pressure & an irregular heart beat (at times)& I knew that the less medication in my system, the better . Up until the week before I was due, I was confident that I read the right books, took a birthing class, was giving birth at a birthing center.However, the week before I went into labor I started to get scared! I thought, there’s no way I’m going to be able to do this, I can see why people choose medication. I knew that me asking for medication, even though it wasn’t part of my birth plan, might be a reality.  I had intellectualized the birthing process & I was afraid of the potential pain. I called Amara, crying. She was very calm &reassuring.

I went into labor on a Sat. night. Amara was my Sherpa mountain guide, my big sister & Earth angel. Through her guidance,I never once considered deviating from my birth plan, although she would have supported any choice I made. The thought of medication never even came into my mind because I was so in the moment.
I was on my knees &rested my head and arms in her lap during contractions. Is labor a picnic? No. Was it manageable? Yes. And Amara helped to give my husband & I comfort and security. I was in the moment &the breaks between the contractions provided relief.  Amara helped me to have the birth experience that I wanted. I would recommend that every woman in labor have a doula &I would certainly recommend Amara! If we have another baby down the road, we will call on Amara again to be our mountain guide!
 

Posted 1/27/2011

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Heather

I had had a previous birth experience that was very traumatic both physically and emotionally. I had also lost two other babies in between my son and this newest pregnancy, leaving me with a large amount of anxiety. I knew I needed to have someone in the hospital with me who would be there for me through the entire ordeal. It turned out that at 9 months pregnant my doctors decided it was medically necessary to have a cesarean especially with my birth history. Although I would not have a traditional vaginal delivery Amara was still able to offer me support over the phone and in person helping quell my fears about the surgery and how my 4 year old might deal with everything. Come the pre-op for the surgery she was there by my side talking to me, distracting me and helping me keep calm. Unfortunately during the surgery she was not allowed into the operating room, which was very difficult. But as soon as I was in recovery she was there in the recovery room, holding my hand, wiping any tears away, and acting as an advocate to the nurses for me as I was suffering from severe itching from the morphine. I had set up a series of people to help me through the nights for the first few months after the surgery, Amara being one of them. She was the one “on duty” the first night home from the hospital for which I was very grateful. She stopped by the store on her way over bringing sandwich makings and set to making sure I was properly fed and hydrated within the first half hour of being there. I trusted her with my newborn implicitly. I highly recommend Amara as a doula, be it for traditional or surgical deliveries and as a post-partum doula “site for sore eyes” once you are home, tired, achy, and needing a friend. I could not have done it without her.

Posted 1/20/2011

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Margot Powell

I don’t know what we would have done without Amara. She was an integral part of my birthing experience from pregnancy to post partum she was a constant figure.  She was always there via phone, text, or e-mail to answer any of my many questions and was certainly there at 4 am when my water broke unexpectedly at the 35 weeks.

Because my water broke early, I was unable to birth at the midwifery center, which was my original birth plan. I was devastated by the news but Amara assured me that all would be fine in labor and delivery. She met my husband and I at the hospital just in time as I had to be induced and the contractions were coming on fast and hard. When Amara arrived, she brought a wave of calmness to the room and gave me the confidence I needed to know everything was going to be all right.

Even though my husband and I were not able to complete our birthing class due to our unexpected early arrival, Amara was there by our side talking us through the necessary steps of the birthing process. Having a preemie for your first birthing experience can be quite nerve racking and Amara stood right by our sides as the nurses whisked our child away and placed her in an incubator hooked to IVs, a heart monitor, and oxygen. Amara was our rock during this stressful time and I can’t thank her enough for helping us “keep it together.”

After the delivery, Amara called to check on us the following day and followed up with a phone call the day my child was discharged home. A week later she came to the home with the well-anticipated birth story. This alone is worth her services. I’m so glad we have that day for those precious hours documented forever. I loved my birth story and I can’t believe how much time and detail she puts into it. Amara truly makes the birthing experience special and I look forward to her services in the future, when that time comes;)
 

Posted 8/30/2010

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Katherine Kelly

Amara was a wonderful doula, and I’m really not sure I could have done it without her! She came to our home when I was in early labor to give me tips on positions to use, how my husband could help me, and ways to try to speed up the labor. She allowed my husband to get some needed rest while I labored, and was available by phone or e-mail when we needed her (but wasn’t in the way either, going back home when my labor stalled out for over 12 hours). We met her at the hospital and she coached me when I was pushing. I really needed it, as I was in “the zone” and didn’t hear a word the midwife or nurse said. Amara was a calm, steady presence, and was very knowledgable and helpful to me and my husband. I’d definitely use her services again for another baby!

From my husband (who is much more eloquent than I am!): Amara Minnis is one of the most caring, compassionate individuals you could ever hope to have while journeying through this process. She is kind, soft-spoken, and extremely attentive to the mother and significant other as the pregnancy progresses to the labor and birthing process. Her assertiveness combined with her own experience as a mother position her as an ideal guide during the critical stages of labor and delivery. Amara is a conscientious listener, one who will remain carefully sensitive to the wishes of the birthing team. Of equal importance, she genuinely cares about the special role a doula plays and sincerely believes in the positive impacts on the partners and the baby. Her passion reflects in everything she does. For anyone seriously considering the prospect of a birthing doula to assist in this wonderful experience, I would provide my highest recommendation for her as she will provide you with an unparalleled, quality experience.

Posted 8/27/2010

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Genie Powell

I chose Amara as my doula because she made me feel calm when I was around her (she still does, almost a year later!). I knew she would have the experience of what I was capable and would help me make informed decisions throughout the labor.

When I realized I was a "high risk" pregnancy (type 1 diabetes) but wanted an intervention-free labor, I knew I would need a doula to help me. My husband is very nervous about my safety and our baby's so I knew he would be susceptible to hospital staff. And since I hate hospitals, I wanted someone there to help us stay in control and mellow.

My labor was 49 hours and Amara was a champ! She texted back and forth with me in the early hours while I was still roaming around doing errands. She came to the house when things picked up speed and she soldiered through the 26 hours we spent at the hospital before my beautiful son was born. I got the vaginal delivery I wanted, I knew what was going on the entire time and was in control and I felt safe always. I am convinced I would have had a c-section were it not for Amara!

I also appreciated that Amara took copious notes during the entire labor process. She also does a birth story afterward and it was one of the reasons I chose her! I'm a writer and it's priceless for me to have accounts of everything going on. It's something I hope my son will also appreciate one day.

I pushed for three hours before delivering and Amara was right there holding one leg (with my husband holding the other). At one point I wheezed out that I was running out of steam and Amara told me very firmly that I could do this and I was going to push this baby out because I was strong. It was EXACTLY what I needed when I was ready to give up and not long after my 8 lb 12oz boy entered the world!

Posted 8/24/2010

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Christiana Wiliams

Amara is calm, supportive, reliable, knowledgeable, and great!   You cannot go wrong with getting support and labor services from Amara.   She met with us at least twice to answer questions, lend materials, and go over our forms and questions.  She is excellent support and stayed with us through labor and delivery, and worked seamlessly with our midwives.  She encourages husband participation, and serves in whatever capacity with which you feel comfortable.  She has a soothing, calming influence in a very stressful and uncertain time.  She followed up with us a couple times, and is always there for on-going information and access to mothers' support groups etc.  John Paul is now 10 months, and we were so glad she's the one who helped welcome him! 

Posted 8/13/2010

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Jenna Stevens

Amara was a fantastic support not only during my labor with my 10 pound baby girl, but before and after her delivery.  All of her experience shines through when she's in action.  I was particularly impressed with the fact that during my cesarean section she waited for THREE HOURS to see me.  I had no idea she had waited as I assumed my birth team would have gone home with the decision of surgery made.  She continues to be a supportive friend and I am really thankful I went with my gut and hired her.  Every woman needs a doula during labor, in my opinion. 

Posted 7/28/2010

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Jessica Osgood

Amara was a true blessing to have as our doula! She stayed in contstant communication with us before the birth and was always avaliable thruogh phone or email to answer any concerns or questions we had before our baby arrived. She gave us very good insight and tips throughout the early labor process at home. Once we arrived at the hospital she joined us and stayed up all night and all day (about 20 hours!) to provide me with support and encouragement as I progressed through active labor and delivery. She helped me to stay focused and relaxed, as well as encourage me when I got frustrated or discouraged. She also did little tasks to make the experience easier for me like getting me water, ice, popcycles, and cool washclothes, etc. After our baby was born, she stayed a while to help make sure our baby was breast feeding. Amara was always very positive, encouraging, and supoprtive of our choices. I could not have made it through my first labor and delivery without her support and encouragement! She also provided a lovely typed birth story that we will have to cherish for years to come. I would highly reccommend her to anyone in the Hampton Roads area who is looking for a doula! 

Posted 7/26/2010

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Paula and David Caggiano

This is our second time using Amara as our doula. We loved working with her for the birth of our second child so much, we knew that we wanted her to be our doula for the birth of our third child. From the time we told her we were expecting right up until the birth, Amara was always very accessible and willing to answer any questions or concerns we had. Our baby was 10 days past due and through it all Amara was in contact with us, keeping updated on any progress we were making. She was such a great encouragement not only to me as the mom but to my husband as well. My hubby likes to refer to Amara as "his doula". Throughout our labour and delivery Amara was an invaluable part of our birth team. We couldn't have done it without her. We would highly recommend Amara to anyone seeking to have a doula at their next birth.

Posted 7/25/2010

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Dana K-Bryan

I am a Navy wife and when my husband & I found out I was pregnant we knew that there was a better than average chance he would not be home for the birth of our first child.  A friend & fellow Navy wife told me about "her" doula, Amara, and I decided to look into doula services as I did not want to birth my child alone.  My husband & I met with Amara and were both immediately comfortable with her.  Throughout my pregnancy, she was available by phone or email for my questions and always made a point to get back to me as quickly as possible.  Her easygoing personality and wealth of knowledge helped to make my husband & I comfortable throughout the process.  As it turned out, my husband was present for the birth.  Amara turned out to be an even bigger bonus for him during the prolonged labor.  She encouraged my husband to take breaks for himself, which was good for both of us.  Our confidence & trust in Amara really helped us through the whole experience and I can't imagine not having her there.

Posted 5/7/2010

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Jennifer Denham

Amara proved a valuable asset even before we officially hired her. A tour of our planned hospital around 29 weeks, had my husband and I frantically looking at our options. Even though we hadn't yet hired her, Amara came to our rescue by providing us valuable information including direct contact with a couple of her previous clients who went through the same situation. By the end of the week, we had switched from Tricare Prime to Standard (yes, its totally an option and costs VERY little!), changed hospitals, and best of all, hired Amara as our Doula. Amara continued to prove a great asset as she used her experience to walk us through concerns and encouraged us to learn all we could by lending us books, DVD's and even a birthing ball. When the time finally came and my water broke, she kept in close contact until she was needed and then stayed with us until a couple hours after delivery. It sounds funny, but my husband even got a chance to take a much needed cat nap during early labor because he knew Amara was there for me. And that nap was the breath of fresh air he needed to be fully alert for me for the remainder of labor and the birth of our first baby. Throughout the night, Amara's constant support and ideas, were instrumental in our maintaining a natural birth, as we had hoped. We would absolutely recommend her to anyone wanting a great birth experience. 

Posted 3/19/2010

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Carrie

With so many decisions to make as we prepared for the birth of our first child the best choice we made by far was to have Amara as our doula. We moved to Norfolk when I was 28 weeks pregnant and decided that we would like to have a drug-free birth experience for our baby at the Midwifery Center at DePaul. We were new to the world of midwives, doulas, and natural delivery and as we worked to better educate ourselves we were so glad to find Amara as a wonderful partner in the education process. My husband and I can not say enough about how well prepared, educated, intuitive, thoughtful, and kind Amara is. She is one of those rare individuals who has truly found her calling in her life work. Being a doula suits her so well and those who have her as their doula really benefit from that. With Amara's calm and reassuring guidance my husband and I were able to have the drug-free experience we desired and we welcomed our daughter into this world in a peaceful, loving environment. My husband and Amara were the perfect birth team for me- my husband was my rock to keep me calm and strong and Amara was the gentle wave- calmly pushing me on and guiding the way.

Posted 1/29/2010

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asha baisden

During my pregnancy, Amara was always available to answer questions and to reassure me if I ever doubted myself or my pregnancy's progress. She is extremely knowledgeable, and she was always very helpful.

My daughter's birth happened right after [and in the same birthing center] as another birth which Amara attended, yet she was still super energetic and amazing for the birth of my daughter. Both my fiance and myself feel like Amara not only attended my birth but she really made the birth possible in that, without her, I know in my heart it would have been a much more difficult and longer experience.  From the minute she arrived in the birthing room, I felt sort of renewed and ready for the rest of our daughter's birth. The ideas that she offered during the birthing experience were always helpful,  she is a very open listener, and she is a very comfortable person to be around, which is what makes her a wonderful doula. Even after the birth, Amara was available to answer some of my questions and to reassure me about the wellbeing of my baby and my abilities as a mother.

I couldn't have asked for a better doula: Amara is amazing, and I really feel that I cannot say enough good things about her. She is a fantastic individual and she is really very good at her job. I would recommend that anyone, whatever your situation or experience, meet with her and consider hiring her for your birth experience. I know that she really facilitated the entrance of our daughter into the world in a way that cannot be replaced.

Posted 12/8/2009

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Holly Callan

Amara was a great support to me and my husband during the birth of our first child. She came to our home in the middle of the night when my labor started, provided emotional support to me and my husband during labor, and was a calming physical presence to us both. I did wind-up needing a c-section, and Amara was very supportive and stayed until I was through recovery and back in my room. She was also available to me during my pregnancy and after the birth for any questions I had. I highly recommend her!

Posted 7/9/2009

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Jennifer W

If you have been searching for a doula to work with your search is over. I honestly do not feel I can put into words how wonderful it was working with Amara!!
This was our first child so of course my husband and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into ~ so we felt working with a doula would be best. After searching and interviewing and searching again we found Amara. Upon meeting her we knew she was going to be the perfect fit for us. She immediately made us feel calm and safe, almost as if we had known her for years. This is exactly what we looked so hard for. She was willing to work with us, she respected the goals we had for our delivery, and she supported us every step of the way. She was only ever a phone call or email away and when my husband called her to come to the hospital she was there immediately!
After a complicated pregnancy, a need for an early induction, and a 34 hour labor (which did not go even close to what we hoped for) Amara was still there!! She kept my husband and myself grounded and focused on our main goal and was a fabulous patient advocate!
We now have a healthy baby boy and a new dear friend! (Trevor, born September 2008).

 

Posted 7/8/2009

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Danielle King

When I discovered I was pregnant in September 2008, I knew immediately that I wanted to have a doula during my labor and delivery. So, I began the search for my to-be labor coach and I ran across Amara’s website. I stopped searching for a doula, because once I met her in person, I knew she was “the one.” My significant other traveled during the majority of my pregnancy, and it was “iffy” if he would even be able to attend the birth of our child. So as the d-day drew closer, I was in constant contact with Amara and she was always quick to respond back to me, no matter how silly my questions were. She is always so reassuring and encouraging. She helped me build my confidence up with labor and breastfeeding, two of my huge concerns. One of my favorite things that she does as part of her services is the birth story she wrote up, and I still get tears in my eyes whenever I read it. Amara is truly a gifted doula, and I am so thankful to have her part of my pregnancy.

Posted 7/7/2009

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Emily Patrick-O'Mara

Amara is the #1 best decision I made for my birth. She was always just a call or email away whenever I had any concerns or questions throughout my pregnancy. And when I called her at 4AM in labor, she was ready to be by my side at a moments notice. I credit her for giving me the strength to stick with my plan of an unmedicated birth. Her calm nature during the labor helped me focus and get through it drug free!

Posted 7/7/2009

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Amanda McGhee

When making decisions about how our second child would be born, my husband and I decided that we would like to try to have a natural childbirth. One of the most important decisions we made was asking Amara to serve as our doula. I found her using the DONA website and immediately after reading her website and receiving her response e-mail, I knew she was right for us. After our first telephone conversation lasted over a half an hour, I was convinced! Amara lent me books to read in preparation, was always there with advice, and overall was a knowledgeable resource and calming influence. When I went past my due date, Amara was positive and hopeful. I ended up with a completely unmedicated birth at 40 weeks and 3 days! She definitely made my experience easier and helped to make both my husband and I comfortable. My son's birth was exactly as I had hoped - and Amara's support was unmatched before and during the birth. I would recommend Amara's doula services 100%!

Posted 7/6/2009

Birth Availability for Amara Minnis

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Postpartum Availability for Amara Minnis

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