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20 years and 210 births attended
Type of practice: Group practice with shared call schedule
Clients per month: to 5
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
Founder and Board Member, BIrthKuwait BirthKuwait is a non-profit organization committed to supporting moms, training birth professionals, and advocating for better maternity services in Kuwait.
I work with three other experienced doulas, Elizabeth Shrader, Mary Wheatley and Amy Ard in a group doulas practice called DC Birth Doulas. (DCbirthdoulas.com) We also teach a 1-day childbirth class (8hrs) the last Saturday of every month. When you sign a contract with DC Birth Doulas, you hire four experienced doulas as a team. You have an opportunity to get to know all of the doulas through the monthly Meet the Doulas event, Create Your Birth Plan Workshop, emails and phone calls. One of the three doulas will meet you in your home for a prenatal visit. Depending on the on-call schedule, this same doula or a different doula will provide you with full labor support and immediate postpartum assistance with breastfeeding in the hospital. You will also receive a postpartum visit at your home by the doula that attended your birth. Please visit our website to learn more! www.dcbirthdoulas.com
Washington, DC Service range 40 miles
Sarah was an amazing, compassionate, and integral member of our birth team. I absolutely would not have been able to handle 23 hours of back labor without her! Her knowledge and encouragement enabled us to labor at home, and she was incredibly supportive as we navigated difficult decisions once we were at the hospital. In addition to supporting my husband and me during labor, she provided immense support during the last weeks of my pregnancy as we (successfully!) managed to avoid induction. I highly, highly recommend her services to anyone seeking to have an empowered birth experience, with or without medical interventions.
I don't know how I would have had my son without Sarah's help. Really. The first thing I say when someone is pregnant now is, "Have you thought about a doula?" And if they are local, I try to push them Sarah's way.
Sarah is one of those people who are just easy to be around. She is a great listener with a gentle soul. She's competent and thoughful in how she teaches. Sarah educates without judgement - even if you go in knowing you want a more medical birth she will accept and support you 100%. My husband and I both say working with Sarah was the best decision we made in the pregnancy... I fully recommend working with her and taking her class series!
That's really the meat of my endorsement of Sarah as a teacher and doula but here are a few more details... My husband and I attended Sarah's childbirth class and used her as our doula with prenatal and postnatal visits. The classes were so much better than those offered through our local hospital system (INOVA) - they are hands on, fun, and very informative. The prenatal sessions gave us more practice with positions and strategies, as well as a chance to get to know her even better. At the actual birth, Sarah worked with our midwife (we were in the hospital) and was knowledgeable about positions to help get the baby to turn. More important really she kept me calm and walking around and breathing. Her movement suggestions, massaging and just her calm presence made me relax into labor like I never would have been able to do alone.
If we go on this crazy ride again one day, I'll do my best to find her again!
Our family could not have been more thankful for the experience and wisdom Sarah offered throughout the pregnancy, labor, and delivery of our first child. Sarah came to our home for a private visit and prepared both myself and my partner for what to expect during the birth process based on our questions and concerns. She simulated alternative pain management techniques and offered solutions and herbal remedies for some of the challenges I was experiencing. Sarah continuously checked in and offered her support throughout the pregnancy via text. During the labor process, Sarah came over around midnight once my water broke and stayed with us throughout the 36+ hours that I was in labor both at home and at the hospital. It is very clear that Sarah supports all types of births, both natural and medicinal. When I switched from a natural to medicated birth once arriving at the hospital (Pitocin and an Epidural), Sarah continued to support 100% and worked with both my partner, myself, and the midwives. She is kind, supportive, and very dedicated to supporting her moms. As a first time mom, I couldn't be more thankful for Sarah. What a blessing!!!
Hiring Sarah was one of the best decisions I made about my pregnancy. While I knew I wanted an epidural, I wanted someone who could provide info., support, advocacy, and to help ward off unnecessary interventions. I learned that Sarah had experience with all kinds of child births and that her goal would be me having the ideal birth from my perspective. I spoke with 6 of her previous clients, both in the U.S. and abroad, who were thrilled with their experiences. Sarah turned out to be exactly what I wanted and needed. She talked me through signs of early labor via phone and text message. She gave me great ideas on things to buy and do to prepare, which I were very useful. When I was in labor she was at my home as soon as I needed her, and helped me do early labor for hours before going to the hospital. At the hospital, Sarah coached me through what to do to get through contractions, what monitors were doing, what examination results meant, what options I had, what to expect, how long things would take, etc. I felt completely empowered and confident, and pretty much stress-free during what I thought would be an insanely stressful time, because Sarah was there. My husband, who was supportive but skeptical, was utterly converted. Sarah was critical in helping me get far enough along to do an epidural without my having to fear slowing down labor and risking a C-section - I could not have done it without her, and I think it would have been beyond stressful for me and my husband to cope with the pain without her. After the epidural, she was critical in letting me know what was happening, what my options were, what to expect, etc. And she even stayed to help me establish breastfeeding - which was key as I didn't yet have access to a lactation consultant at Sibley Hospital during the golden hour after delivery. Sarah's follow up visit to my home helped smooth breastfeeding even more. Overall, A+, I'd recommend her to any friend as the greatest use of money imaginable!
Sarah was wonderful support during my pregnancy and in preparing me for the birth of my daughter. Although she wasn't available during my birth as she was out of the country....she helped me prepapre in advance, also helped my mom who was with me during the birth. Also Sarah was available to me by phone which was very comforting.
Sarah is very knowledgable, experienced and warm! She's an asset to anyone looking for a doula :)
B4 giving birth I was always under the impression that labour was full of unbearable pain and suffering. This was my 1st pregnancy, and in the past I've never heard of the existence of doulas, since they were non-existent in my country until Sarah Paksima came. Thankfully I got pregnant 2 years after she came and founded the organization BirthKuwait. When I read about doulas, I immediately searched and found the BirthKuwait website which included a list of the doulas in Kuwait. That's when Sarah replied to my email saying that she has 12 years of experience and is also training other doulas-to-be in Kuwait. She explained all the benefits of having a doula and I finally decided to go ahead and try it. At the time she was training a doula-to-be so she asked my permission if she could also attend my birth (but I didn't pay her since she's a trainee) and I agreed. The 3 of us met as soon as I agreed to her services and discussed my birth plan. Throughout the remainder of my pregnancy she and her trainee periodically asked how I was doing
When my water broke Sarah and her trainee came as soon as possible to the hospital. I was only 1.5 cm dilated; nevertheless, she gave me an exercise ball to sit on while doing hip rotations, and we chatted for several hours until my contractions started getting intense. She taught me how to breathe correctly which helped TREMENDOUSLY, and also tried several pain-soothing techniches, including a shower and a foot massage! She didn't make any decisions for me but helped me with the pros and cons. My labor was 30 hours long and she was there almost the entire time (except to go check up on her kids when I was still 3 cm dilated), although she was in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy! She made time fly and made the experience very memorable. My labor was without pain meds and it couldn't've been better. Now instead of fearing labor, I look forward to it. After birth she also helped a lot with breastfeeding. Thank you!!
Having Sarah as my Doula was one of the best decisions in making my natural birth a reality. I was in labor for over 24 hours and spent nearly the entire time at home. I cannot express how essential it was to have Sarah by my side during this time. She kept me grounded and focused during every contraction, reminding me that with each contraction, my baby was moving lower and preparing to make his entrance into this world.
Sarah’s knowledge about different positions and the birthing process kept me reassured, confident, and hopeful that I could continue on with a natural delivery. ( Deeper into the labor, the thought of an epidural crossed my mind on several occasions, but having Sarah by my side swiftly pushed those thoughts away) She provided words of encouragement, kept me hydrated (avoiding an IV at the hospital), and kept me breathing which provided crucial oxygen to my baby, all the while Sarah remained calm and collective. It was also great having her present because she was able to direct my husband so he could be involved with the labor. My husband really had no idea what to do during these moments, however Sarah simply indicated tasks for him like rubbing my back while I was in the bathtub. This was a wonderful way for him to be a part of the experience and feel of use.
Considering the length of time of my labor, I really don’t think I could have successfully performed an all-natural birth without the support, guidance, and compassion of Sarah.
She helped make my birthing experience the most positive and memorable experience of my life!
I feel so lucky to have Sarah as my childbirth educator and doula. She is an open, engaging and supportive person who has made such a positive contribution to my pregnancy. I came across Sarah's website through a Lamaze search, and promptly signed up for her childbirth and yoga classes. The childbirth class consisted of 5 sessions, walking you through the process of birth from early labor to postpartum care. Classes had a hands-on approach and the atmosphere was very laid back. I feel much more confident in my knowledge of the birthing process having taken this class. Sarah's yoga classes have been a great addition to our childbirth course. It's been an awesome way to get a challenging workout that's molded around pregnancy and labor. Since I've had such a positive experience with both childbirth and yoga classes, I asked Sarah to attend my labor as my doula. I feel she will be able to give me the support and encouragement that every woman deserves during labor. If you're looking for an open-minded person to add to your support team, I highly recommend Sarah!
= Available. Calendar last updated: 01-22-2020