Cat  Ennis Sears Photo

Cat Ennis Sears

Adira Birth Services, LLC

Website: http://www.bfwrva.com

Phone: 8043991135

Birth Fee: $900

Postpartum Rate: $25

Fee Details: *certified for both birth and postpartum, trained in loss and childbirth education because I believe in holistic support: bereavement, prenatal, labor, & postpartum* You have already come to love your baby; you already feel the constant presence of your child inside your body. Soon, your arms will be full. Your child will arrive, though you know she or he has been there all along. 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 have training in childbirth trauma and a Master's in teaching. 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: 3 years and 31 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 1 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 4 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
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Certified (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • 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
  • Surrogates and intended parents

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

chair 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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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: 11/16/2017 2:00:03 PM

Postpartum Availability for Cat Ennis Sears

= Available. Calendar last updated: 11/16/2017 2:00:03 PM