Birth Fee: $800
Birth Doula Experience: 14 years and 25 births attended
Not SpecifiedType of Practice: Solo practice
Clients per Month: 1 to 2Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Languages spoken: English, some Spanish
Service Area MapArea of practice: Stafford, VA
Allison was an amazing blessing during the pregnancy, labor, delivery, and even early weeks of our first child. She provided us with valuable resources, equipping us to pose well-informed questions to our medical provider and the hospital. Furthermore, she was an invaluable support during the hormonal, late months of pregnancy. For example, when my medical provider firmly asked that I schedule inducement (even though I had repeatedly told them I preferred to avoid it) she encouraged me to push back and remain confident in my decision, while continuing to speak respectfully and with understanding of the provider's perspective. I never felt that she had an agenda, yet she provided the critical firmness and encouragement that I needed. She even recognized that my faith was an important part of my experience, and encouraged me to turn to it in times of anxiety. I cannot express how meaningful that was to me in a time of such volatile emotions.
As a result of her commitment to us, we were able to successfully achieve our goal: an unmedicated birth (with the majority of labor at home). I can confidently say that we could not have met that goal without her coaching and my husband's support. One of many examples of her commitment is when my water broke in the hospital, the nurse was preoccupied, so Allison got on her hands and knees and cleaned up the floor to ensure my safety. We had a truly positive experience with her from beginning to end, and I would highly recommend Allison to anyone. I would even suggest that she is a necessity for your first delivery experience! Allison truly goes above and beyond.
Baby's Birthday: October 2014
Ever just know that you found "the one?" That was the feeling I had when I first met Allison. Then I had that feeling again during our birth experience. Then I had it again after we were back home and she came to visit me and my daughter. I felt like I had found a partner to my partner!
My husband was deployed for almost my entire pregnancy. He came home on R&R for her birth, then redeployed 13 days after our daughter was born. I had moved to the Monterey area when I was 6 months pregnant, so I knew I needed to find someone I could count on to be at my birth, in case the baby came before my husband could make it back. I was so relieved when I found Allison. Besides being super-knowledgeable and helpful about explaining the birthing process, she does hands-on training so you can learn comfort measures for labor AND teaches a really cool "gut bugs" class that focuses on the importance of "good bugs" for your overall health. She's personal, smart, and non-judge-y.
For me, the most important thing she did was visit me a couple weeks after I had come home. My husband had gone back to his deployment, and I was alone with the baby. Allison came for a "how's it going?" visit just when I needed her most. She has this calming presence that helps you remember that women have been taking care of babies for millenia...that everything will turn out just fine...relax. :)
My husband and I are ready to try for Baby #2, and I'm so sad Allison is moving! It's hard to fathom having a baby without her. California's loss is Virginia's gain, that's for sure.
PS - This woman makes THE BEST lactation cookies. I'll miss those, too. :)
Our first child was born naturally without any medication in March 2015.
Reasons why Allison was the right doula for us:
1-She wanted to be there. Allison always responded quickly to emails/calls/texts. That's good customer service.
2-She is knowledgeable about the body from a holistic standpoint and regards birth as a natural, healthy experience. She demonstrated a variety of stretches and exercises for me to do in the weeks leading up to labor that helped my body and baby's body be in optimal position and condition.
3-Like my husband and I, she is a believer in Jesus Christ and she was comfortable with and contributed to our inclusion of prayer and scripture during labor. We discussed this in advance, and she said she would always respect a client's preference in this area (like every other area).
4-Speaking of my husband, he says that having Allison with us during labor and birth mainly provided reassurance. We had attended class and read books, but having her there, we knew she would be mindful of options we might forget in the heat of the moment, and we knew she had our backs. In the event of medical intervention being suggested, we knew she would remind us what questions we might ask in order to help us make a fully informed decision regarding the risks/benefits of any procedure. Having Allison with us at the house helped us be more sure of ourselves when it was time to decide to go to the hospital. After the baby was born, he adds that Allison brought him a sandwich, for which he was very grateful!
5-We felt comfortable with Allison. She just fit right in. Yes, my husband and I might have been just fine without her there, and she certainly never got in between us, but it was, to use his word, reassuring to have someone with us who had seen labor and birth before. That gave us confidence, which minimized the opportunities for fear to creep in, which minimized pain and led us to a joyful birth.
My husband and I loved Allison as our doula and would highly recommend her. We are military and moved to an area when I was in my third trimester and was suggested by other friends to look into hiring a doula. When we met Allison we knew she was the perfect person to support us through this amazing journey. This was our first birth and we knew we wanted someone with experience and knowledge, but also someone who would support our decisions and my individual needs. She is well trained and experienced professional who provided us with up to date information to help us make the best decisions for our birth. She is compassionate and provided me with the best physical support during my labor. She has an easy going demeanor and is relatable. I would definitely hire her again!
Allison Stusse was my doula at two of my four births. I requested Allison to assist me because I had experienced two previous births where my basic birth plan was not considered by the medical professionals. I am soft spoken, and I felt I needed an advocate in the room who I trusted. Allison was exactly that for me. We spent a lot of time talking about my history, and the birthing positions I wanted to try. I had confidence that Allison could intuitively read me and proactively be my voice. I wanted to give birth in a hospital because I wanted all the amenities available for my baby in the case she needed them. What I realized from my first two births, was that I also needed someone who was looking out for me. With Allison's help, I was able to deliver naturally, without any pain medication both times. She assisted me effectively in pain management and communicated on my behalf with the doctors, nurses, even my husband. One of the things I learned about Allison as she worked with me, is that she is passionate about her interests, continually educating herself. She has an easy manner about her that would make anyone feel comfortable. I would highly recommend Allison's services to anyone looking for a doula. A birth is such a personal experience. I am thankful I shared mine with her!
= Available. Calendar last updated: 6/5/2017 11:18:09 AM