Birth Fee: $575 to $925
Birth Doula Experience: 3 years and 30 births attended
Not SpecifiedType of Practice: Solo practice
Clients per Month: 1 to 5Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Service Area MapArea of practice: Dundalk, MD
I am so thankful to Michelle for helping me have a birth experience I can look back on and feel so good about - through all the pain and the good and bad, it feels good to look back on the day of your baby's birth as one of the best of your life. I had borrowed some books from Michelle beforehand, including "Hindenburg in the Hospital", and we agreed later on that it was truly a homebirth in the hospital combining the best of both medical and holistic practices in order to live out as much of my birth plan as possible. I didn't feel comfortable with a hospital birth but didn't have much choice because of my insurance, and knew that having a doula would help decrease some of the most negative aspects of a hospital birth. In the hospital, you have a revolving door of nurses and doctors, some with more positive energy than others. It helped to have someone there consistently throughout the day who knew what I needed and wasnt just focused on what the monitor said or my vitals. Whole I also had my husband and later mother, it EAS clear they weren't always sure what to do to help me, and in fact sometimes their attempts to help were annoying! Whether it was chatting about musicals between contractions or reminding me to breathe on the birthing ball, Michelle provided a calm and positive energy that helped me remain calm to the point that our doctor first walked in she said how shocked she was by how calm our room was, though I was already 5cm dilated in active labor. Michelle was there the entire 18 hr day until our baby was born, and only left when it was clear we were all okay and ready to transition to post-partum healing and bonding. Especially in those last moments, she always knew when to pitch in and when to give some space. I am so happy she was part of my experience and actively helped make that experience such a memorable one. Will be calling when it's time for the second one!
Michelle was very friendly and knowledgeabl. She responded to emails in a timely fashion. I liked how she wanted to meet before we started the process. She answered my questions thoroughly. When I went into labor and subsequently had a C-section, she stayed with me and my family the entire time. I really appreciated her knowledge on treat options (e.g Pitocin). She provided a lot of useful information that was needed in order for me to make informed decisions. Overall, Michelle was a pleasure to work with!
Really great birth experience! I decided to hire a doula so I would have an advocate during the birth and an experienced coach (as much as my husband planned to help, I knew he wouldn't be an expert in childbirth!) to help me make informed decisions going into and during labor. Michelle (and Bethany) helped me feel confident and comfortable throughout the challenging last few weeks of pregnancy, during labor/delivery and in the days after. My birth plan was pretty basic but I was surprised by how easily it could go off track. The doulas helped me with techniques and tips that led to a great birth, and I was able to avoid some of the interventions that I really didn't want. Michelle has a really great bedside manor which was exactly what I needed during my painful back labor! After hours of helping me through labor and coaching me during pushing, Michelle was even able to take pictures of my husband and I receiving the baby for the first time. Priceless! Having her by my side throughout the entire hospital labor/delivery was one of the best decisions I made. I have great memories of the birth, and both baby and I were happy and healthy afterwards. I will definitely be hiring Michelle/Bethany for the next baby!
Michelle was amazing! Definitely will hire again in the future if we have another little one. Couldn't imagine my VBAC going as well as it did without her. My biggest fear in hiring a doula was feeling judged should I choose to accept pain management or pitocin, and my worries were completely laid to rest. Ended up with both, as well as an AMAZING VBAC experience and the biggest birth high. I kept saying for days after that I couldn't believe it actually happened for me. The odds were against me, and I truly believe that having an excellent support team is what made my dreams come true, Michelle was a huge part of that. My 9lb9oz daughter is proof!! Thank you so much Michelle!
We are very glad we went with Michelle as our doula for our first birth. Although my labor and delivery didn't go anything according to plan (induced over the course of 3 days, barely dialated to 5cm, eventually chose a C-section), Michelle was still very helpful, and even managed to come stay with us at the hospital through a snowstorm. Although it certainly wasn't textbook, she was able to help my husband learn some techiniques to help with my back labor, as well as help in my decision making throughout my entire process. It was nice also to have her some see me post-op while my husband was with our new child in the nursery. Overall, we are very glad we made the decision to hire Michelle as our doula, and would recommend her to anyone considering one.
When I found out I was pregnant I immediately knew that I wanted a natural birth. To me, hiring a doula was essential to meeting that goal. When I met Michelle I that she was the one. She exuded confidence and we "clicked." I loved that she had experience being a doula at a wide variety of births and was very open to different birth methods should things not go as planned.
The night of labor we were unsure if this was "the real thing" since I had prodromal labor for two weeks, but my husband kept Michelle informed, and she was ready to come to us at 2am if needed. As it was, the midwife have me some medication and I was able to sleep until 9 the next morning. Michelle joined us then and was a rock for me (and my very nervous and traumatized husband) through active labor, pushing, and delivery. Then, even though it was Valentine's day and she had plans that evening, she stayed with us after the delivery while I was stitched up and then helped initiate breastfeeding.
I couldn't have been happier with the care and support Michelle provided me during the birth of my daughter.
After news of my first pregnancy I began to research both my family history of labor and delivery and the experiences other women have. I am the first of my close friends and immediate family to have a baby and really wanted an extra support for myself and my husband in the labor process. Michelle was a great resource prior to birth and continues to be a good resource now. She was extremely supportive of my labor request and needs.
Having Michelle at the delivery was very beneficial. The birth of my daughter was very traumatic and nothing went according to the birth plan but having Michelle there was very reassuring and she was able to answer a lot of questions along the way. I will be recommending Michelle to my friends and coworkers who may become pregnant and are interested in doula services.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew that I wanted a natural childbirth and knew I'd need a lot of support in order to accomplish that goal! I hired Michelle to be our doula. Being new to the area, Michelle came with me to check out a birthing center and was very knowledgable about surrounding hospitals and how open each facility was to natural labor. The last few weeks of my pregnancy Michelle would text me to check in - which was unexpected but appreciated! As everyone says - pregnancy and labor does not always of as planned! The 39th week of my pregnancy I was risked out of the birthing center and sent to the hospital for an induction due to high blood pressure issues. I cried after leaving the appointment and called Michelle who offered to come to the hospital to be with me for emotional support. I opted to have her come the next day - but she stayed up and texted me throughout the night to make sure I was ok. The next day Michelle came up to the hospital and stayed with me ALL DAY (my body did not react to the induction meds) until the midwives decided to stop the induction process for the night. the next day she came back and supported me AND my husband. After not making any progress and having my water broken by the midwives - I decided to get an epidural. Michelle was there to support me and listen to my feelings about labor and provided emotional support and comfort beacuse nothing seemed to be going according to my birth plan!!
she was also a big support to my husband - who was very nervous about the sights and smells of labor :) She brought essential oils for him to smell when he felt like he may pass out. when it became time to push - Michelle and my husband held up my legs and encouraged me the entire time. After my baby girl arrived- Michelle stayed to make sure I was settled. It was a great experience - my husband and I were so grateful to have her for the birth of our first child!
My husband and I interviewed several doulas and chose Michelle because of her open personality and non-judgemental birthing philosophy. We were comfortable and at ease with her, which was important for us as she would be sharing a very personal moment with us as our doula.
Michelle brought a calm presence and clear knowledge to the process and my husband and I were confident in her ability to help guide us through the journey of birthing our first child. She shared from both personal and professional experience. Her process was clear and she was attentive in communication before, during and following the birth. She provided sound guidance as my induction stalled and helped me into different positions to motivate my cervix to continue to dialate in hopes to avoid a c-section. Having Michelle as our doula through this unexpected turn was really valuable to my husband and me.
While we ended up birthing by c-section, our experience with Michelle as our doula was positive and I would recommend first-time mothers invite Michelle (or another doula with whom you connect) into the birthing process. Thanks, Michelle!
We did not have a doula for our first daughter and wanted one when we found out we were expecting our second. I met Michelle and instantly felt comfortable with her. On the day of our daughter's birth, we called Michelle to tell her we were heading to the hospital. She got there as quickly as she could and did not leave my side the entire time. She helped me relax by massaging my back, and helped me stay focused during difficult contractions. Without her and my husband, I definitely would have broken down and wanted an epidural. She truly was beyond supportive, helping me have the perfect delivery. I recommend Michelle to anyone wanting to use a doula!
Michelle was a wonderful doula, and I would highly recommend her to anyone. She was responsive, even in the middle of the nightt. She was always willing to research and provide information for us in a flash. Michelle provided yoga ball when I was laboring at home and helped me feel comfortable. She was an excellent support for us and extremely valuable. At first, we did not consider a doula, but looking back, I am so glad that we decided that Michelle was part of our birth plan!
When my wife first asked me about getting a doula i will admit i was not very fond of the idea. Why would I want someone I barely know sharing one of the most special, intimate moments of my life? After all we did this once before without one and it worked out just fine. But, whatever makes my wife happy makes me happy (especially when she’s pregnant lol). But when my wife went into labor, I will admit, my opinion changed completely. Michelle was amazing. My wife is prone to anxiety and I usually do a pretty good job of keeping her calm... but labor is not a usual thing. Michelle helped my wife better than I ever could have in that situation. she explained things neither one of us fully understood, and when things didn’t go according to our Birthing plan she did a better job telling us about our options and helping us make informed decisions better than my wife's ob. I am so glad my wife wanted to do this as it allowed me to be more relaxed because I had someone who answered all of our questions without having to page the doctor back in the room and I was therefore more able to enjoy the birth of my second son. I will recommend her to every couple I know that is having children and I am so glad that my wife convinced me to have her there.
Michelle attended the vbac of my son in feb 2014. My labor was over 30 hours long and she was there for me during all of it. My son was "sunny side up" so I expierenced back labor, she gave suggestions for positions to help turn him and also used different techniques to help relieve the back labor. I wanted a natural birth but did get an epidural but thanks to Michelle I made it over 24 hours and to almost 10 cm before getting the epidural and I'm happy about that. She was very supportive and encouraging during my entire labor. I truely believe having her there helped me to have my successful vbac. In a few years, when we have baby #3 , I will hire he again!
2000 words for a testimonal is not nearly enough! My pregnancy was high risk, and I had history of preterm labor, so Michelle and I chatted almost every day, starting around 33 weeks. At 37 weeks, my water broke, and Michelle met me at the hosptial. I was so greatful she was there since my husband, Dan, was at work and had to go home to grab his over night bag, and had to drop our oldest's son's overnight bag to family. Michelle just remained calm, and just having her there gave me the courage to speak up about interventions that I was not comfortable with. Michelle walked the halls with Dan and I for over 8 hrs, she tracked the length of my contractions, and the time between them. When I started to tire, she suggested using the birthing ball, and when my back started to hurt she suggested using tennis balls to help relieve the pain. After 10 hrs of labor, my dr suggested breaking my water to see if that would speed things along since I was against piticon. After discussing this intervention with Dan and Michelle, we decided that breaking my water was the best way to avoid the need for pitocin. Through blinding pain, Michelle talked to me, calmely encouraging me to maintain eye contact, and to breath slowly. As I said I couldn't do it, couldn't handle the pain she was there reminding me that I could and that I was handling it. Eventually, I asked for an epidural, which Michelle assured me that it was ok, and that the epidural would probably help me relax enough to make progress. Im not sure I would have handled the pain as well as I did when my epidural didn't work because the pump in my room was broken, she was very reassuring that labor would soon be over and I would be holding my baby soon. Michelle was amazing after the delievery when I started to panic because our son's breathing was rapid and I was scared that he would go to the nicu. She followed up with us for several weeks afterwards too. It is obvious that Michelle was called to be a doula!
I couldn't of been more pleased with Michelle as my doula. I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes in my 3rd trimester, so I was scheduled for induction at 39 weeks. Michelle met me & my husband at the hospital and stayed with me through the labor. I had back pain & restless legs with my pregnancy which made laying in bed for hours on end painful and difficult, Michelle let me know my options/what things I could ask the nurses and things I could do to ease the labor pain as well as the back/restless leg. The birthing ball she had was a great help, and really eased my labor until my epidural. Michelle also gave my husband suggestions for things he could do to help me through my labor as well. Michelle stayed up to date with my nurses and OBGYN, asking questions on my behalf. Having her as a doula allowed me to have an extra partner in labor, my husband an extra partner in support, and an unbaised 2nd opinion for any questions and decisions along the way.
My experience with Michelle as my doula was nothing but positive! My induction was scheduled for 12:45am and was delayed due to too many women in active labor at the hospital, they did not have a bed for me. I was not taken in until 8:30pm that day. But Michelle kept tabs on me all day. She even recommended calling my doctor (which it was after hours at that point) but they said they would page him. I called the after hours number twice. Conveniently, before the doctor called back, I got the call to come in! Michelle arrived later that night after we were all set up to go. We chatted, laughed and then me, my husband, and Michelle went to sleep to prepare for the coming hours. In the morning they broke my water. I had asked Michelle to bring her birthing ball, which she did, but I never got around to it because the pain came in strong and fast! Michelle was there through it all taking notes and comforting me through each step. Her voice is one of the best parts! It's very soft and soothing which helped me keep going! She also stepped in to help hold up one of my legs when it came time to push and encouraged me during contractions. My baby boy arrived at 3:58pm Friday, October 4th, 2013. =) Michelle stayed until the very end when everything was cleaned up. She then left with the promise to keep in touch which she did for several days after checking on me and how breastfeeding was going. I am more than happy with my experience with Michelle as my doula.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 9/16/2016 6:22:00 AM