Cat  Ennis Sears Photo

Cat Ennis Sears

Adira Birth Services, LLC

Website: http://www.bfwrva.com

Phone: 8043991135

Birth Fee: $700

Postpartum Rate: $25

Fee Details: Being present and walking with families for any part of the childbearing year is an honor. I would love to help you learn your own strength and be there to hold space as your family grows, in heart and in love! Two prenatal visits, labor support at home and hospital, photography, acupressure and at least one postpartum visit are included. I am a certified birth and certified postpartum doula and the mother of 2 boys. I was a high school English teacher before taking some time off to work part time and stay home with my boys! I also offer Birthing From Within Childbirth education. "Every act of birth requires the courage to let go of something, to let go of the womb, to let go of the breast, to let go of the lap, to let go of the hand, to let go eventually of all certainties, and to rely on one thing: one’s own power to be aware and to respond." -Erich Fromm

Birth Doula Experience: 4 years and 36 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 2 years and 14 families served

Postpartum Doula Certifications

  • Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) - Certified Postpartum Doula

Doula Training

  • The Organization of Labor Assistants for Birth Options & Resources (toLabor), January 2014
  • Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), April 2016
Type of Practice: Partnership with 1 other doula

Clients per Month: 0 to 3 births and 0 to 3 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I have experience at all area hospitals, Embrace Birth Center and home births with a CNM.
Attends birth center births? Some Birth Centers
Attends home births? Some Home Births
I will attend a home birth with a qualified midwife present.

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Birthing From Within
  • I am a Birthing from Within mentor, which is a holistic approach with an emphasis on mindfulness based pain coping methods and multi sensory processes to prepare for childbirth and postpartum.

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • I have 5 years of personal breastfeeding experience as well as postpartum doula training in normal breastfeeding. I have experience with bad latch, mastitis, cracked nipples, jaundice, thrush, blocked ducts and pumping while working full-time. I am also familiar with unfriendly hospital procedures such as separation, offering sugar water, and lack of lactation support. I have also attended professional development with Dr. Jack Newman.

Other Relevant Certifications

  • CPR Certified - Red Cross
  • Trained in acupressure for labor with Keith Bell, who is a Licensed Acupuncturist and an internationally recognized expert in holistic health. I hold a Master's in Teaching (VCU 2012) and Master's of Fine Arts (Emerson College, 2010).

College Education

  • MA/MS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Expected stillbirth
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Single parents
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • VBAC
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR
  • Antepartum doula
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Birthing From Within Birth Art Services
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Military famiies
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Mother blessing celebrations
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Reduced rates for women considering adoption
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Surrogates and intended parents

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

treasurer of Richmond Doulas. I have completed training in childbirth trauma, Spinning Babies, acupressure, and ToLabor perinatal loss training with Karla Helbert, LPC

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Richmond, VA
Travel Range: 30 Miles

Certifications for Cat Ennis Sears

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Client Testimonials for Cat Ennis Sears

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Emily Owens Altman

We had *such* a great experience with Cat as our doula! She was easy to talk to, extremely responsive, and gave us some great things to think about as we prepared for labor.

My labor started pretty quickly, and I am so thankful that Cat came to house while I was laboring. My husband thought I had more time to labor at home (we didn't want to be those first-timers who showed up too early!) but I was unsure. Cat encouraged me to trust my instincts which ended up getting us to the hospital at just the right time (honestly, I know you can't plan these things, but the timing felt perfect). Our labor was short, but it was great having her there. My husband was more relaxed and present for me and our birth since he didn't need to worry about running around for water, cold washcloths, etc. Cat also took some really beautiful photos of the birth and our son's first moments. My husband and I had not even noticed her camera, and we are so glad to have the pictures now!

We also Cat's childbirth preparation class (Birthing From Within) and would recommend that as well. She covered a lot of the stuff you need to know about labor, but even more than that, I think the class got us into a good headspace for labor and early parenting.

Posted 9/7/2018

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Rochelle Mills

Cat was our doula for the birth of our baby girl, Miya. It was my first delivery, and I'm so glad I had Cat there to guide me through this new experience. Cat and I had 3 prenatal visits, 2 for general L&D education, accupressure, and to answer our questions, and 1 when I was 1.5 weeks overdue to perform accupressure and practice positioning exercises. Cat is passionate about childbirth and very well educated in evidence-based practices. When I was overdue she sent me evidence-based articles on membrane stripping and castor oil to ensure I was well-informed of their side effects and efficacy. She was able to recommend the top Richmond prenatal chiropracters to aid in positioning when I was overdue. She checked on my physical and emotional health on a regular basis leading up to my labor.

My water ended up breaking on its own and Cat joined us at home about an hour before we decided to go to the hospital. She helped with positions and pain management techniques and worked with the midwives as I labored. She brought Christmas lights for low lighting in the room, along with aromatherapy. She and my husband worked as a team to ensure I was well hydrated, to support me with soothing touches during contractions, and to hold my legs when I pushed. She was constantly supportive during an all-nighter at the hospital and 7 hours of pushing! Cat is mild-mannered but was a strong advocate for our birth plan, especially in ensuring we were well-informed to make our own choices.

Cat visited us in the hospital before we were discharged and gave sound advice for breastfeeding, then visited us 2 weeks post-partum at home. She took amazing photographs that captured the intensity of L&D, the personality of our new daughter, and our happiness as a family. I highly recommend Cat as an experienced, professional, and personable doula!

Posted 8/1/2018

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John Bull

My wife and I engaged Cat's doula services for the recent birth of our first child and could not have been more pleased with the results.  Cat was a consistent source of support and guidance, and she went above and beyond to make sure we were prepared, well-informed, and comfortable with the birth plan we developed during the pregnancy.

Cat was an excellent listener and coach during planning.  As first time parents, my wife and I didn't really know where to start with setting expectations, developing a birth plan, and determining what variables we needed to consider during pregnancy.  Cat did an excellent job of bringing ideas and considerations to our attention, and listening thoughtfully to our feedback/direction for the birth.  She helped clarify options, frame pros/cons, and provided direction while respecting all of our personal preferences and wishes.  Cat was also very flexible and supportive as plans and expectations changed leading up to birth.

During the birth Cat maintained a perfect balance of support and facilitation without drawing attention away from the birthing process.  She proactively provided things we didn't know we needed when we needed them, and always kept the focus on myself, my wife and child.  She exceeded expectations by taking/sharing photographs during the process, and paying attention to small details like remembering to bring a lavendar fragrance my wife wanted to have present during the birth.  She also offered post partum visits to make sure we comprehensively covered any lingering questions.

I highly recommend Cat's serivces and am confident she will be a valuable resource for future clients!

Posted 7/30/2018

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Joshua Harris

My wife and I were so impressed with Cat as our doula for our first birth that we knew we wanted her to be our doula for our second birth.

Cat prepared us well for labor and what to expect before we stepped into the delivery room.  We took her 'Birthing from Within' class to learn pain coping strategies, laboring positions, the basics of labor, role playing, and discuss our expectations.  In addition to the class, Cat met with us a couple of times before we went into labor to answer questions and facilitate conversations to get my wife and I thinking about various scenarios so that we could make confident decisions in the heat of labor.  Cat was great about answering our questions via text, email and phone leading up to going into labor.  

Cat was phenomenal in the delivery room because she was able to propose different laboring positions and pain coping strategies as the labor progressed.  She was also an advocate for my wife and I by asking the hospital staff questions for us when we were overwhelmed or getting supplies to make the experience more comfortable for my wife, i.e. essential oils, cold rags, water and snacks.  There were many questions that came up in the delivery room where my wife and I looked to Cat for advice, and she was able to guide us.

After the delivery, Cat came to visit us in the hospital before discharge and at our house after discharge.  She answered all the questions new parents like us would have and was very encouraging.

Cat's experience and guidance before/during/after birth confirmed that we made the right choice in her as our doula. 

Posted 6/4/2018

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Tammie Valverde

We absolutely loved working with Cat! We interviewed a few different doulas but Cat was the best fit for us not only because of her experience and resourcefulness but because she made me feel like I was talking with a close trusted friend. She was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful in assisting us prepare for the labor and birth process as well as breastfeeding support. The advice she provided was always researched based and practical. Cat always made me feel at ease and confident in the decisions we made for our labor, birth, and newborn.  We highly recommend her services!

Posted 4/18/2017

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Kelly Knuuti

I used Cat for my Doula with my first baby born Dec '16. She was a wonderful doula, friend, instructor for birthing class and I would highly recommend her! We had 2 prenatal appointments with her which were very helpful and helped us feel more prepared for labor. She very responsive and reached out often to see how I was doing both physically & mentally. When my water broke and we contacted her she was ready to go. I preferred to labor at home with just my husband for several hours but as soon as we wanted her to come over she did. I had a gruelly 25.5 hr labor and she was amazing throughout the whole process. She never even seemed tried. Very upbeat and helpful. She helped me through powerful contractions as well as coaching us or offering advice based on what our midwife or nurse would say. She took wonderful birth notes which are nice to have to reflect on the experience. She was also prepared with applesauce packets. My birth did not go as expected (do they ever?!) and after 17 hrs I never progressed past 4cm so I got pitocin and an epidural. Even though I didn't have the nautral birth I wanted I had a wonderful birth and Cat was a big part of it. She is modest with her "amateur" photography and truly takes beautiful photos!! She took amazing photos during our birth that I'll cherish forever and even more beautiful photos when she came back to the hopsital (after a 25.5hr birth!) that I just love so much. She even brought us coffee cake and mother's milk tea when she came back to the hospital to check on us and take more photos. 

We also took her "birthing from within" 6 wk class which we thoroughly enjoyed. We liked the interactive, hands-on structure of the class and it used both right & left brain thinking. My husband and I both felt we learned a great deal from the class. 

Cat was a fanstastic doula and is such a sweet person and I can't recommend her enough. We loved her!

Posted 1/2/2017

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Gloria Miles

This was my 3rd baby and first hiring a postpartum doula. We purchased a 20 hour package and decided to start when my partner went back to work to help ease the transition. She is such a sweet and lovely person to have around. She helped with my older kids and did light chores around the house. She even wore my baby for periods of time so I could take a long hot shower (probably my favorite part!). I think one awesome benefit was being able to lie back and nurse my baby while not worrying about laundry for that day. And I liked having some time alone with my boys to tuck them into bed on nights that my partner was at work. Bedtime was a little harried with 3 kids!! I would highly recommend her to anyone. 

Posted 11/12/2016

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Jess Harris

We had a wonderful experience with Cat. I was a little nervous about hiring a Doula when we first started looking into a more natural birth with a midwife, but I am so glad we did. My husband and I were both very comfortable talking to Cat about any issues that came up, and she always gave us evidence based information and guidance. She was available via email, text, and phone before the birth. As my due date got closer she kept the line of communication open so we could discuss issues/questions that came up after visits with the midwife and any concerns I had about labor. When my water broke, I was reached out to Cat in the middle of the night and after suggesting I try to rest more, she followed up an hour later and we agreed that I was in real labor and she should come to my home. Cat was very calm and reasuring throughout the whole process and would quickly jump in if my husband had to step away and a contraction started. She quietly let us labor at home, but kept track of timing contractions and monitoring how things were progressing. When it came time to call the hospital she was able to tell me the length of contractions and time in between, because I was not able to keep track any more. Once we got to the hospital she helped to set the mood in the delivery room and stayed by my side throughout the process. She was a constant reminder to breath, relax my face/shoulders, and to take sips of water whenever an opportunity was available. Whenever I got too focused on the intensity of the contractions or pushing, she would give words of encouragment that would refocus me to continue through the journey and to meet my baby. When looking back on the labor, my husband and I continue to think of how much help Cat was throughout the delivery. She knew what our vision was for our birth and advocated for us throughout the process. We would definitely suggest Cat as a doula to anyone and consider her for future births.

Posted 6/23/2016

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Leah McCormick

Cat was essential to my pregnancy and birth process. She made herself available and accessible any time I needed her. We participated in the birthing class as well and it was so comforting even to just talk to other pregnant women and those that have conquered natural birth! When I approached full term, I was surrounded by people that discouraged me from my unmedicated goal, but Cat always filled me with courage. I would say that my "birth word" through the whole experience was "safe." The moment we made it to the hospital room, she made the atmosphere visually and emotional comforting and safe. Cat has an incredible gift of making you feel calm even when you have a storm going on inside. My husband originally didn't understand why anyone would need a doula and after our experience, he said her help was irreplaceable. I had a very unique labor, but once my water broke, it was like diving over a cliff and everything happened very quickly. Both she and my husband constantly reminded me that I was not only strong enough, but I was doing what I needed to do. In the end, I was able to reach my goal and delivered a gorgeous baby boy! Even postpartum, I felt like I could run to her if I was overwhelmed. She really advocated for me and I felt that I had the best team I could ask for. 

Posted 5/9/2016

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Liz Goncy

Cat was easy-going and supportive of the decisions we made as a family that were best for us in our situation. Our goal was to birth our son as a VBAC, but push back from our conservative doctor, as well as potentially high-risk situations (i.e., large for gestational age), made that decision difficult. Cat was wonderful in listenting to our concerns and providing evidence-based information useful to make an informed decision. Ultimately, my water broke prior to a planned C-birth date, allowing us to have a TOLAC that resulted in a VBAC. Cat's support and suggestions during labor and delivery were key, including suggestions to open my pelvis (peanut pillow), re-start a delayed labor using nipple stimulation rather than pitocin, and the use of effective strategies for pushing. These were integral in a successful VBAC with less medical intervention. Her kind and encouraging words were thoughtful and helpful. She brough a warmth to the room through her conversation during labor, as well as environmental changes to make the room more inviting (i.e., tea lights, Christmas lights, natural sunlight). In the end, Cat was very helpful in allowing us the power to choose our own L&D path, while providing non-judgemental support. We would highly recommend Cat to other families considering a VBAC or for any other birthing situations. Cat also linked us to several resources in the area both prenatally and postpartum. Her services also included two prenatal visits to discuss our birthing plan, provide evidenced based information, review of previous birth, and to discuss concerns. She also provided us text and email support, continuous support during L&D, birth, and immediately postpartum, and one postnatal visit. She took great birth notes and lovely L&D and newborn photographs that we will cherish. Her experiences as a veteran mom of two also was helpful in assuring us that we could also manage a second child! 

Posted 3/28/2016

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Lizzy DiRisio

When I first met Cat, I was amazed by just how gentle, sweet and very understanding she was. She was a superb listener making me feel at ease with my many feelings and emotions of having a natural birth of which I was very afraid of. She was extremely knowledgeable in the field and a wonderful source of information. At our meetings she would answer all the questions I had and later that day I would receive an email summarizing what we went over with very interesting related articles attached. She has a true passion for the beauty of pregnancy and labor that shows in her enthusiasm to help in every way she can.

When I reached 38 weeks in my pregnancy, Cat was on call for me. She never missed a beat at getting back to me asap via text, phone call, or email. I knew I could rely on her always being there. When I went into labor, I let Cat know right away. She reminded me many times that she was ready to come over whenever I needed her. 11 hours later, when my contractions were more intense, I was hesitant to ask her to come over and help me because it was 3 in the morning and I was embarrassed about the time. I thought I could ride it out on my own till a more decent hour. However, she made that decision of having her come over easy for me by telling me that she was packed and ready to head out the door and be on her way. I was relieved that she was more than willing and ready to be there at the drop of a hat.

Boy was I lucky that I decided she did come over and help me labor at home even if I had ways to go before heading to the hospital. She brought an energy of peace and calm into my home and gave me just the comfort and companionship I needed. At the hospital was no different. She was an angel at my side. She was a friend, a coach, a guidance, and a believer in me. I couldn't have endured the 27 hours of labor and the extreme intensity of it all without Cat. I very highly recommend her as a doula!! :)

Posted 3/7/2016

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Christine Melnyczenko Westrich

I am so thankful that my husband and I found Cat and that we chose her to be our doula.  Our first communication was less than a month before our baby was born.  From the beginning, Cat was calm, genuine, asked great questions and offered relevant information.  After our initial meetings, we had two more appointments scheduled in order to prepare for the birth.  We were able to keep our first appointment with her; but our baby was born three weeks early causing us to miss out on the second appointment.

My labor and delivery progressed and happened quickly - more quickly than I had anticipated or prepared for.  Cat wasn't with me in person for most of my labor (only because we didn't really realize how fast the labor was progressing, and we told her to hold off), but she was readily accessible by phone and willing to come as soon as we asked.  Once we decided to go to the hospital, she came to our house immediately and followed us to the hospital.  

I was only at the hospital for 20 minutes before the baby was born.  During that time, Cat worked to keep me calm and coach my husband on how to do the same.  She held one hand while my husband held the other, and they worked together to talk me through the contractions and the pushing stage.  

However, the thing I am most impressed with is the amount of "follow-up" that Cat has done.  She visited us in the hospital and then again at home.  She let me talk and tell my story.  She has continued to share information and invite me to relevant events.

It is obvious that Cat cares very much for this field.  We had a great experience!

Posted 11/18/2015

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Jackie Brown

Cat is an amazing doula. She was a tremendous source of information and support during my pregnancy and birth. She selflessly volunteered her time to do everything she could to support my birth. she was fully engaged, always listened, she was very encouraging, always ready with gentle suggestions and accurate information. She was never pushy and always supported my decisions. Cat is so passionate about birth and supporting the mother that it created a relationship of total comfort and trust with ease. She really goes above and beyond. I would be honored to have her as my doula again. 

Posted 10/10/2015

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Audra Boone

I would highly recommend Cat - she is a knowledgable and caring doula!  Regrettably, both Cat and my midwife missed the birth of my third child due to a very precipitous labor and birth!  Cat still came to the hospital and assisted in the first hour or so after birth and took some beautiful pictures for us.  True to her contract, she came to our home in the few weeks following our child's birth and fulfilled some hours as a postpartum doula.  We met three times prior to my due date to discuss the birth plan and she came equipped with knowledge from her own experiences but also helpful articles and insight.  My two and five year old daughters also enjoyed the time she spent in our home.  She  was reliable and a pleasure to work with - I would work with her again if this was not my last pregnancy!

Posted 6/29/2015

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Jessica Gentry

Cat was amazing! She did a wonderful job supporting me and my husband through the process. My husband liked her once he understood her role and all. It sounds awful, but my husband isn't a people person, so if she won him over, she is a keeper. She was always researching and providing me with articles and tidbits of information so I could make the choice that was right for me. It wasn't about what she wanted or what she would do, it was about her helping me navigate my choices and having me pick where I was most comfortable. At our first meeting, I explained that I had some pretty terrible hip pain and within a few hours after leaving I had resources sent to my email about hip pain during pregnancy! She has a calming personality as well. Even when I was in the middle of labor and decided singing Adele and Taylor Swift with my sister was what I wanted to do, she just went with it. Most of my issues were problems with hospital logistics, not life threatening issues. She did a great job keeping me grounded and when I did ask for the epidural, she did exactly what I asked she do. She asked for the code word, and probed a little to find out why I was asking for it at that point, because I wasn't in transition. She supported my decisions. She also was very helpful by giving me healthy snacks. I vividly remember eating bits of a chocolate Cliff bar she had given me while I was in early labor. My water broke at 6:51am and Jace wasn't born until 1:49am the following day. She came to the hospital when I asked her and she stuck with it until he made his grand entrance. She even came to visit with her son while I was still in the hospital... that time she brought banana bread (see snacks!). Post labor she listened to me rant about what took place and was very empathetic. She had a pretty intense labor so if anyone understands what it feels like when things go unexpectedly, she is the one. I'd highly recommend her.

Posted 8/21/2014

Birth Availability for Cat Ennis Sears

= Available. Calendar last updated: 6/27/2018 7:46:33 PM

Postpartum Availability for Cat Ennis Sears

= Available. Calendar last updated: 6/27/2018 7:46:33 PM