Birth Fee: $950 to $2200
Postpartum Rate: $35 to $45
Birth Doula Experience: 9 years and 195 births attended
Postpartum Doula Experience: 6 years and 60 families served
Clients per Month: 1 to 3Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Volunteer with SMILE Program of Montgomery County, MD
Languages spoken: English, Spanish, ASL
My partner and I were preparing for our first child and didn’t know what to expect. Everyone has another anecdote or conflicting advice and we were overwhelmed. We reached out to Rachel at Family Ways and immediately knew that having her support would make us feel better about our decision to have a Hypnobabies birth with an epidural. We were able to consult with her via text, email, phone call, and in person throughout my pregnancy starting from the moment we hired Family Ways (at 5 months pregnant) and even until after our son was born (Rachel made a home visit and it was such a relief to have her support in that first week of parenting). We asked about everything from how to get better sleep when I was experiencing back pain to making our birth plan to practical advice about nursing a newborn. Once the time came to have our baby, she helped keep us calm and firm with our birth plan. She was on-call in the middle of the night throughout the labor, arrived at the hospital really quickly, provided useful feedback to the medical staff after consulting with us, and helped my partner and I both de-stress as much as possible during labor. We would highly recommend hiring Rachel at Family Ways if you are looking for a reliable, knowledgeable, and supportive guide for first-time parents.
I feel so lucky to have Rachel serve as a birth doula! She guided us through a labor and delivery process that my husband and I look back on with fondness. Rachel guided us in important decisions, including when to go to the hospital and whether to get an epidural. After birth, she provided comfort when I experienced lactation issues that prevented me from breastfeeding exclusively. I feel such love for our new baby and thank Rachel for guiding us in that journey!
Rachel was the best decision I could made! She is an amazing person and an absolute professional. She supported me not only on the “day D” but before and after birth as well (from recommending me a great chiropractor for my serious backpain to help me with a good lactation). Thanks to her I didn’t take any medications althought my whole childbirth was really long (3 days of contractions) and quite difficult in the end (thanks to some little unexpected issues at the hospital). She transmitted calmness and energy to me all the time and I felt absolutely safe with her. She has a lot if personal experience and she was great with my husband too. I recommend her on 100%!!!
The BEST decision I made during my pregnancy was hiring Rachel as my doula. She is amazing, I had an extremely positive 3rd trimester and birth and I owe it all to her! She is kind, compassionate, full of information and on hand when you need her.
My OB provided me a list of doulas after we discussed that I may be alone while giving birth. I didn't even know what a doula was. I instantly liked Rachel, who took her time answering my many questions, provided information for things I hadn't thought of and seemed down to earth. I was about 30 weeks pregnant at the time and was not happy with my current OB practice which I mentioned to her during our initial conversation. After our phone call I received an e-mail from Rachel with information about the doula process and some local OB practices with midwifes (something I mentioned that I wanted). This piece of information was gold to me. I changed practices at 32 weeks and I am so happy that I did. The care they provided, paired with the direct support from Rachel made for a wonderful birth.
The plan was to birth at home for as long as possible but that didn't happen for me. I started having some contractions and texted with Rachel, I got uncomfortable quickly and after a short phone call she said we should get to the hospital ASAP. She was correct as I arrived at 10 cm, I can't even imagine when I would have decided to go if I hadn't talked to her. During the birth she knew what I needed when I didn't, provided emotional support and was the person I could rely on in the delivery room.
We met with Rachel post birth and she eased so many of our little worries, are doing this right? And as she said "you don't need my validation" but in reality, two sleep deprived parents really wanted validation that another parent and someone familiar with new babies could tell us we were headed in the right direction.
I would hire her again in a heart beat.
The day that I delivered our baby boy Andrew was one of the best days of my life. A bit of background - Once my husband and I found out we were pregnant I instantly started searching for various birthing classes that would help us prepare for the birth of our first child. My goal was to deliver our baby without using medication/epidural in the process. Not to mention we wanted to soak up as much information as possible to help us through this amazing journey that we were embarking upon. I stumbled across information about the Bradley Method classes on a FB comment reply. It was through the Bradley Method class that we met Rachel. She was our instructor throughout the 12-week series of classes. We learned so much while in the class and also realized that we would also benefit from having a doula. We felt that we had established a rapport with Rachel and she was obviously very knowledgeable with ample experience helping women through medication-free deliveries. It's because of Rachel that we were able to have the birth experience that we wanted. It was such an incredible experience thanks to her coaching us through the process. She knew what to do and when to help delivery along and there wasn't a moment that I didn't feel fully supported and secure. She didn't let me give up and I felt empowered to be able to birth our child naturally. We are so grateful to her for our the incredible experience that we had and would encourage anyone seeking to have a natural childbirth to reach out to her for her support as a doula. We are so glad that we did!!!
My husband and I took the Bradley Birth Class with Rachel. I can say so many things about how this class helped us prepare for the birth of our child, but the most important thing that we gained was the support of knowledgeable birth educator and doula. She helped to make my husband feel comfortable and be supportive and helpful on the big day. She answered every question imaginable: everything we wanted to know and everything we didn't know we wanted to know about pregnancy and labor preparation.
Most importantly, Rachel helped us through the unexpected challenges of pregnancy. At 36 weeks, it became clear that our baby was not planning to flip from her breech position, which was highly distressing as the birth center midwives immediately referred us to their partner hospital to schedule a trial version and C section. Versions are not known for their high success rate. I was terrified. I did not want a C section. Rachel offered support and advice on versions, the best chiropractors in the area to administer the Webster Technique to get the baby to turn without a version, and if all else failed the best midwives and drs for a breech birth. She was extremely supportive of our choices and decisions and made us feel empowered to make the right choice for our situation. And this is what we needed most. With this support, we were able to find a good doctor to perform the version, which because of the amazing chiropractic care was an immediate success. Rachel's support during this whole process was invaluable.
Rachel is well connected in the community, so she knows many doctors and chiropractors in the area and she can direct you to the best fit for your situation and personality. She goes so far above and beyond being just a birth class instructor. You know she has your back every step of the way. We are so grateful and we highly recommend her both as a birth class instructor and a doula.
Hiring Rachel was the best decision I made with regard to my birth plans. She's very confident, knowledgeable, open, and supportive, and she put me at ease in the sessions we held leading up to my labor. I depended on her to guide me through a reasonable birth plan and make recommendations on my prenatal care. I switched OBGYN practices late in my pregnancy, and when I told the doctor who my doula was, he enthusiastically endorsed her. She had great relationships with the staff at GWU.
Rachel has extensive resources available to her clients in preparation for labor. She makes her self available to answer questions, provide direction, and tell you it's going to be OK! When I actually was in labor, there were some moments when I felt myself panic. Rachel was the only person in the room who could refocus me and keep me on track. I'm so thankful to her.
During our postpartum visit, she even gave me really useful tips for nursing. I'm very lucky to have found her.
Choosing Rachel to be our Doula was the single best decision my husband and I made in preparation for the birth of our first child.
Rachel was great during the early visit we had and provided a lot of great information and guidance during our 36 week visit on laboring at home, things to think about in preparation for delivering in the hospital and the first few days/weeks at home.
We ended up having a very long labor and delivery and Rachel was there to support us every step of the way. She was readily available on the phone during the early stages of the labor to help support us and as soon as we requested, she met us at the hospital. Rachel was not only a great emotional support, but had wonderful advice for things I wouldn’t have otherwise known to ask for – for example: positions to try when laboring and pushing, questions to ask providers when they suggested induction medications and potential alternatives to try. Rachel’s support was also incredibly helpful when my husband needed to get some sleep or get food so he could sustain his support for me, but not feel like he was leaving me alone. Note from husband—I felt like I could really get some much-needed carefree sleep with Rachel looking out for my wife.
Rachel was a wonderful emotional and intellectual presence; she brought so much knowledge, support, and, above all, positivity. She helped us navigate some tough decisions during our birth. We cannot imagine how the birth would have gone without her and are so grateful we did not have to find out. We have also already personally recommended her to friends of ours who are expecting.
Rachel was such a vital part of our birth team. From the first meeting with her, my husband and I felt a strong connection with her. She made herself available for random updates and questions between visits. At the 36-week visit, Rachel took the time to show us all the places and ways we could labor at home. Rachel was very helpful in understanding how we'd move forward, which was great for me and my husband as this was our first child. Rachel helped us figure out which birthing method would work best for us as I only knew that I wanted a natural birth but not what the different methods were. She even helped get us set up with a class with her colleague Emilie, who was also our backup doula.
When labor day actually arrived, Rachel's experience, calm, and flexibility were indispensable. I was immediately admitted to the hospital after an unfavorable test while visiting the midwife. Rachel graciously went to our house to get our go bags. Upon arriving at the hospital, Rachel helped us navigate the medical advice and tough decisions we had to make.
While I eventually underwent a caesarean birth, Rachel's support was even more important in this situation. We spent the entire pregnancy preparing for a natural, unmedicated birth and such a deviation from our planned birth needed someone with the experience and compassion of Rachel. We were able to bounce our issues and questions off of her and knew that a caesarean birth was the best and safest choice for our baby.
Rachel was amazing after the birth as well. She was there in my labor room waiting for us when we returned from the OR. She helped me breastfeed my baby and provided emotional support after such a dramatic turn of events. Our postpartum visit was great as well, and she was able to help confirm my instincts about how my baby was doing. Should I have another child, I would definitely enlist Rachel to be our doula again.
Rachel is an excellent doula and I am thrilled that we found her to assist with our birth. From the very first meeting she was professional and had a friendly, caring and down-to-earth demeanor. This was my second birth but my first was less than ideal and ended in a C-section. I was determined to make this second birth a better experience but I needed a lot of guidance as to how. Rachel was well trained in the Bradley Method, but was knowledgeable in many other philosophies of childbirth allowing her to help me find what I was looking for. Based on my goals and my personality, she was able to suggest some reading and techniques that ultimately helped prepare me for a successful big day. I especially liked that she offered two sessions before the birth (in addition to the initial meeting) which helped me get to know her better and feel more comfortable with her. On the day of my birth, she came to the hospital when it seemed right (although she offered to come earlier to my house) and she provided everything from water, back rubs, words of encouragement and timely humor. She helped my husband with his role and was able to give him breaks so I always felt like someone was there supporting me. In the end, I had a successful, drug-free VBAC, a beautiful baby boy and a birth experience that I can look back on with joy. She followed up a week later where we discussed and laughed about the birth and she offered some great post-partum and baby advice. As a capable doula and a mother of four, she brings much experience and passion to her work. I highly recommend Rachel to anyone looking for a doula in the Rockville area!
Overall I had a very good experience with Rachel as a doula and I would definitely recommend her!
The main reason why I chose Rachel as my doula is that she is very down to earth and I felt very comfortable with her.
This was my first pregnancy, so I had a lot of questions about pregnancy, as well as questions about where to deliver. Rachel was always responsive, thorough, and reassuring, and also offered natural solutions before medicated solutions which I really appreciated.
My labor came on very fast so Rachel only made it to the hospital once we were ready to start the pushing stage, and at this point my partner was very engaged with coaching and comforting me, but Rachel quietly eased herself in. Rachel helped coach my breathing through the pushing, and helped make suggestions for various positions. As we were having problems delivering, the mid-wife made some recommendations for pain relief and induction late in labor. Rachel helped us understand the situation and managed the hospital staff while we decided. Rachel also developed a good relationship with our mid-wife throughout the labor which given my mid-wifes strong personality was a challenge. Rachel was committed to our birth despite having her own newborn at home, and helped in any way she could including running down to move our car which we had left at the front door in urgency, and picked up the camera and captured some beautiful pictures for us when our son was born.
I think what I found most helpful with Rachel was the post natal care. I had many questions about breastfeeding, cosleeping, baby gas, etc. which Rachel again fielded for me in good time. During our postnatal visit she helped us give our baby his first bath which we didn't feel comfortable doing ourselves. She also sent us a little outdoor sleeper in the mail since she noticed we were lacking one while she was over.
Overall, we were very happy and would recommend her!
There aren't enough words to describe the unforgettable FANTASTIC experience that I had with Rachel!! I met Rachel late in my 2nd trimester as she was referred to me by an associate of mine. This having been my 3rd pregnancy in three years (first two resulted in miscarriages) and suffering from a blood clotting disorder, I decided to opt for a natural delivery to avoid the risks associated with getting an epidural. I also wanted to be in a position where I control the delivery and learn to be in tune with my body during the birth. To put it simply, there was NEVER a time where Rachel was not available to me! Between my constant, worrisome phone calls at all times of the day/night, she never complained and was always prepared to answer questions or put me at ease with her soothing tone and genuine care. She asissted me in drafting up a birthing plan to pass along to my doctors and hospital nurses to reinforce my wishes for my labor. The birth of my daughter was perfect! Although time didnt allow us to practice different birthing techniques, when we got to the labor room, it all came so naturally. Every call and scream from the intensity of labor was met by Rachel rubbing my head to help me refocus, massaging my back to soothe the pressure and of course pushing on my glutes as a natural pain reliever. To prove how awesome Rachel is, she even climbed on the bed to push on my glutes...all while being 7 MONTHS PREGNANT! Of course I didnt find out until the day I went into labor but it goes to show just how committed she is to YOU! She was great with involving my fiance and was not overwhelming with her presence; she leaves rooms for your partner and family to enjoy the experience as well. After my daughter was born, Rachel stayed to ensure I was ok and praised me for the fine job I did despite my fears! She made me feel like I was super mom!! I would recommend her to everyone and I am so blessed to have had shared such a happy time in my life with her!!
Working with Rachel as a sister doula has been a wonderful. She is very knowledgable and highly educated on childbirth, and she uses her own experience as a mother and trained doula to assist families in having a healthy, positive labor and delivery. I recommend her services without hesitation. She's guaranteed to be compassionate, informed and helpful.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 12/6/2019 7:41:41 PM
= Available. Calendar last updated: 12/6/2019 7:41:41 PM