6 years and 100 births attended
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 4
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Some Home Births
Only with a certified midwife present (LM, CPM or CNM).
For clients wishing to have their placenta encapsulated, receive childbirth education and/or Lactation services bundled prices are offered. Please see website for details regarding full list of services and fees.
Jacksonville Beach, FL Service range 50 miles
Mary is a fantastic doula. During our initial meet-ups prior to my giving birth, she made us feel comfortable from the start. She listened to what we wanted. She made my husband and I feel at ease right away. She was very open to my birth plan and my desire to use my hypnobirthing techniques. She was encouraging and knowledgable. During labor, her presence was very calming. She applied counter-pressure to my back, encouraged me to try different labor positions, helped me get in a comfortable position during the car ride to the hospital, and reminded me that I was doing a great job. After giving birth, she helped me with my baby’s initial latch, and she checked up on me to see how things were going with breastfeeding. She also knew who to recommend for my baby’s lip and tongue ties. Mary is awesome, and it was a privilege to have such a caring doula at my birth. My husband and I couldn’t recommend her more.
My birthing experience would not have been the same without Mary. She was by my side for the entire process, always providing relief and encouragement. She is extremely knowledgeable and I felt safe and protected the entire time. You can not underestimate the power in feeling safe and protected during labor and delivery. She was born to be a doula and she will always hold such a special place in my heart.
I can't say enough about Mary. She was an integral part of my birth experience and I credit a large part of my natural, unmedicated birth to her! She came to my house in the middle of the night at 1:30am when my contractions were strong and 2-3mins apart. I feel like without Mary I would have gone to the hospital at this point, as my husband was already running out of ideas on how to make me more comfortable. Mary arrived and I immediately felt relieved, she was so knowledgeable about each stage of labor and reassured me every step of the way. I am so thankful she suggested that I get into the tub at one point, where she poured water over my back during contractions - I can't tell you how much this helped with the pain! She helped my husband and I decide when we should go to the hospital. My goal was to stay home as long as possible and I was so relieved that I was 8cm when they checked me in triage. Mary was a calm force during the pushing stage, holding one of my legs and giving me soothing words of encouragement. She spoke up for me as she knew my birth plan from the start. Even my doctor asked for her name because he was impressed as well! I felt so comfortable around Mary and I am so happy that I chose her as my birth doula. Even after my birth, she came to my house to deliver my placenta pills. She helped me troubleshoot some breastfeeding questions I had. Mary really knows her stuff and I highly recommend her! She has a peaceful, soothing energy during labor which really meshed well with me and my husband. Thank you again Mary for all you did for us, we are forever grateful!!
Mary was absolutely an incredible doula and we can’t imagine what our birth would have been like without her. She was such a calming presence from the very first time we met her! Mary was very responsive to all my questions throughout pregnancy and always gave us evidenced based articles to help us decide what would be best for our family. I will remember her words of encouragement throughout the hardest points in my labor for the rest of my life and she always seemed to know just what would be helpful whether it was a back rub, hip squeeze, or just supporting my weight during each contraction. We did a Bradley birth class, so our intention was to have my husband be the coach and have a doula as our assistant. She filled this role beautifully, allowing the perfect balance that helped both of us and made sure we had the birth that we wanted. Our little baby boy arrived quickly and safely after a completely natural labor and delivery. Many thanks Mary!!
Mary is amazing! I cannot imagine my birth experience without her. I had back labor and her constant counter pressure is the only thing that made it manageable. Not only was she so supportive during labor, but she was also amazingly supportive the week after our son was born. She helped us get through a rough patch with breastfeeding with practical advice as well as sincere empathy. She made me feel like I wasn't doing anything wrong, which was really what I needed as a brand new mom.
I have to start this by saying....I am the kind of person who never thought they would need or hire a doula. With some uncertainties looming with our birth....unfamiliar hospital, and general nervousness after suffering a miscarriage in my last pregnancy....a friend recommended hiring a doula. She gave me Mary's contact info and I decided I would call her and feel it all out. When speaking with Mary for the first time I knew I wanted to hire her....she understood my concerns, was compassionate, and had ideas for preparing for our birth. Subsequent appointments further confirmed how happy I was to have found Mary. As with most births, ours did not go according to the plan....our little lady just did want to make her appearance. Mary was supportive and 100% there for me through all of the decision making regarding an induction. Once we were finally in labor she was amazing. I can't tell you how happy I was to have someone 100% there to keep me motivated and working towards the goal of bringing our baby into the world as safely as possible. it was also nice that my husband could eat dinner, and address work issues without leaving me alone. Mary's ability to keep me happy, focused and sane during the entire process was worth every penny and more than her service fee! I cannot recommend her enough....knowledgeable, qualified, fun....it was like having a great friend who is also an expert in birthing with you The entire time.
There are no words that could do justice for my appreciation of Mary. She was there for me and my husband since the beginning. She gave us resources to use for planning, she came over to our house to help with relaxation techniques and when I went into labor she was at the hospital before I was. She stood by my side the entire time, encouraging me, and making me comfortable, but never overstepping her boundaries. After the birth she stayed to make sure breastfeeding was going well and came over to the house a few days later for any more questions and to provide additional help with anything I needed. Even to this day she continues to occasionally check in with us. She is knowledgeable and compassionate and I am so thankful to have had her extra support during the most challenging and magical time in my life.
We heard of Mary from several friends who highly recommended her. We chose to have a home water birth with the Midwives Cooperative. I wanted a doula because this was our second child and not knowing what time we would have the baby, I wanted the support if my spouse had to tend to our 2 year old. I also wanted support if there was an emergency transpor. Little did I know...Mary was beyond great. I had 2 weeks of prodromal labor and was on an emotional ride.
Mary met with me several times and listened to me when I thought I was having contraction (And ended up just having more prodromal labor). I needed someone outside of my immediate family to listen to me, support me, and provide options. When my water broke in the middle of the night she was there. Since my first labor was only 8 hours she helped me figure out when we needed to call the midwives.
Even though I was tempted to just relax in my bathtub until the midwives came she encouraged me to try walking. This combine with counter pressure was just what my body needed. In just a few short hours we welcomed our big 9.5lb boy to the world. She was fantastic before, during and after birth.
Mary helped make our first meal and she visited us a few days after. We also used her for our placenta encapsulation and tincture. The turn around time was great and I highly recommend this option. This was the best gift I could have given to myself and our family. Her support, friendship, knowledge, and experience were beyond what we could have imagined.
I have to say that having Mary as part of the entire birth process was priceless. I would never want to go through a delivery without her caring support and guidance. I highly recommend her and all of her services.
Mary rocks! She was instrumental in our achieving a blissful homebirth with our third child. From the moment you meet Mary you will know that she genuinely cares about and trusts you, your baby, and your birth experience.
Mary played a large part in my planning for and achieving a drug-free hospital birth with my second child (which forever changed my outlook on birth!) and she was also the one who asked me if I had ever considered a homebirth. I appreciated the evidence-based resources she provided and that she encourages you to make your own decisions by asking *great* questions - NO judgement! With her assurance that it was never too late, I switched providers in my second trimester.
Mary is very professional and nurturing throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery. When my baby’s birth day finally arrived, Mary arrived before the midwives, to the complete relief of my husband and I - things were moving fast and he was not “catching a baby!” Even though this was our third birth, the peace of mind her presence brings is priceless. In addition to her active coaching, Mary applied counter-pressure to my hips as I labored, which cut the surges so well. She never overstepped or tried to take the place of my husband, but rather supported him so that he could support me. To have another woman by my side who has been there made me feel safe and collected. When I began to doubt myself she reminded me of my strength. I still hear her saying, “You are doing so well,” “It is hard.” My husband has said more than once, "I can't imagine what it would have been like without her.”
This was also my second time having my placenta encapsulated - I have had great recoveries and an abundant milk supply each time.
When people ask about my births, I am overcome with joy and emotion and Mary is forever a part of that. You will never regret hiring a doula!
We hired Mary as our doula to help us welcome our second daughter to this world. Our first child was born via cesarean and I was very interested in delivering this child via a VBAC. I knew that I would need a lot of support in my VBAC journey, and Mary was the perfect choice in providing that support.
Mary was not only invaluable during labor and delivery, but also in the prenatal meetings we had. She was very knowledgeable and encouraged me to ask the right questions at my prenatal doctors appointments to make sure I was armed with as much information as possible to increase my odds of a VBAC. She also assisted my husband to discern his role during labor and delivery. Mary was extremely easy to talk to and from our first meeting I felt like I had just invited a friend over for coffee. She made me feel comfortable and confident in my birth plan.
During labor, Mary was my ultimate advocate. She provided physical support through counter pressure and helping me breath and also emotional support by cheering me on. She also helped communicate with medical staff. For example, she asked the nurse if I could move around to make sure baby was getting a chance to descend. At some point during labor, Mary was just there as a friend to talk to and to provide some distraction. Ultimately, Mary helped me achieve a VBAC and I will be forever grateful to have had her at our birth. She really is the best!
Mary recently helped me through a long labor that ended in a successful VBAC! Her support, guidance, encouragement, and knowledge were very helpful before labor, during labor, and after labor. During labor, Mary did not leave my side at all...even when I encouraged her to take a break. She is very passionate about her job and takes it very seriously. I highly recommend her services and attribute a large part of my successful VBAC (of a 8 lb 15 oz baby) to her support.
We used Mary Ficek for the delivery of our first child. Mary Ficek was one of the best investments I have ever made. I read several books on the delivery process by qualified academics trained in research design. They were wonderfully informative. But none of them prepared me for what to actually do when my wife was in extraordinary pain every several minutes or how to actually handle sleep deprivation.
Mary showed up when we called her-- late one night, I might add and without delay. She stayed around for the multi-day birthing process at the hospital. She was helpful from start to finish. She always knew what to do to make my wife as comfortable as possible. She massaged my wife's back when it was time to sit. She encouraged my wife to walk when it was time to move. She even showed up with coffee when we needed it. She fit right into our conventional, hospital birth. We would be lost without her. She is worth every single dollar we paid her. The biggest endorsement I can offer is that my wife and I both agreed that we will use her for our future kids.
If you're reading this an uncertain about doulas, don't be. Hire her. You won't regret it for a second.
We are so glad that Mary joined us along this amazing journey. She was of great help not only to me but also for my husband. We decided to have a doula share and guide us through this journey, and after a bit of research and meeting her, we knew she would be the perfect fit for us! We loved her personalized classes and prenatal/postnatal appointments, they were appropriate and full of interesting and important information. We also liked that they were in a friendly environment and all the attention was on us, our questions and concerns. Our birth experience was so different from what we had planned (of course!), and though it was a bit stressful and scary, she was there all the time, answering questions and providing information. She was so involved but at the same time she gave us space and let us make our own decisions. We are deeply grateful to her!
When my partner and I found out we were both pregnant and due only days apart, we knew we needed to find a doula who could navigate a very complicated birthing scenario. When we first met with Mary she was very calm and knowlegeable, about both homebirths (partner had) and hospital births (I had). Her commitment to getting us the birth experience we wanted was evident in the way she constantly assuaged my fears of the hospital at every meeting.
Mary was with me during my early labor, which began overnight but then stalled out as the sun rose. She then came back when I called for her that night as real labor progressed. Throughout my birth she was there with resources I wouldn't have had otherwise. I was having back labor and asked for a heating pad, but the nurses didn't find one. Mary to the rescue! She held a heating pad on my back for hours, it was the only thing that helped the back pain. When an inexperienced doctor frightened me towards the end of labor, Mary was reassuring and helped me move around and get into the shower for more pain relief. At every turn she was there to comfort me and find new ways for me to get through contractions without pain medication, as I really wanted a natural childbirth experience.
During all this my partner was able to rest as she had given birth just 6 days prior. Our tiny newborn was in the labor room with us and he slept until the very end. As I began to push our newborn woke up and began to cry. Of course my partner wanted to be at my side during pushing. Without even asking Mary knew what to do, she slipped into the background and soothed our baby so my partner could watch our newest baby come into the world.
After birth Mary was there to help me with a difficult breastfeeding initiation. She was truely the most amazing person to have with our unique family during the most special time in our lives
I recently gave birth to my first child, and feel so fortunate that Mary was part of the process. I knew I wanted to use a doula, and Mary came highly recommended. I see why. She is obviously very knowledgeable about all aspects of prenatal care, labor/delivery and postpartum support. But, it was really her personality that made all the difference for us. She reassured me/us with her steady guidance, patience and words of support when I needed it most. She knew just when to step in and when to hang back. She made sure we understood our choices throughout the process. And although I knew Mary's preferences and the reasons behind them, I never felt pressured or judged by her if I went another route.
Mary proved to be a great support after the baby was born too as I adjusted to breastfeeding and struggled with some postpartum issues. She was readily available by phone or for visits.
My husband and I are so grateful to Mary, and highly recommend her.
I was scared of two things after my baby girl was born, the first was getting baby blues and the second was that I wouldn't have enough milk for my baby, as breastfeeding was a huge goal of mine. That's why I chose to encapsulate and I am SO thankful I did. It's like a miracle drug, but it's all natural! I had tons of energy (even with no sleep), no mood swings or baby blues and TONS of milk. Oh and I was only 3 pounds away from pre-pregnancy weight at my 6 week postpartum visit. This was my first baby, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I've had people tell me that I am super mom because I did so well after birth and I give all the credit to placenta encapsulation. By the way, my baby girl is 3 1/2 months old and breastfeeding is still going great with a good supply. :) I have Mary to thank for helping me achieve my breastfeeding goals!
As a first time mom I had not even thought about using a doula and was not informed on what a doula really was. My husband and I took a birth prep class and talked to our instructor (a retired doula) and started seriously contemplating hiring one to help us navigate the birth process. Once we met Mary we were convinced that we wanted her to be with us during labor as both a coach and advocate for certain aspects we wanted. Mary has been a great touchstone for questions and reassurance for those times after labor that you just feel completely lost and like you are doing everything wrong. She has eased a lot of my fears and self doubt. One of the great things about Mary is that she is an advocate and support for what YOU want and doesn't pressure you based on her personal beliefs. I would recommend Mary as a doula for first time moms as well as any one who wants additional support during such an important time in your life.
As a first time mom I did not know what to expect from birth, but what I did know was that I wanted to have a non-medicated birth. Although my family and partner supported me in my decision, I did not know if they would be able to help me navigate thru the contractions and everything else that labor entails. I knew that even though we were not able to give birth at a birthing center I knew having a doula was going to increase my chances of having the birth I wanted. I When I first met Mary she was warm and answered all my questions, she shared her own birthing experience, the fact that she had given birth at the same hospital I would be delivering at really made me feel like it was possible to have an non-medicated birth at a hospital. Throughout my pregnancy she would send me encouraging words and respond to my fear-ridden text messages. Whenever I encountered an individual that made me question my decision by saying something like "Good Luck"(in that you have no idea how much it will hurt voice), Mary was there to remind me to focus in the end result. When I started labor Mary was there and having her there for the entire time, to literary lean of (I would put all my weight on her and her incredible strength would help me thru my contractions. Mary or Saint Mary how I began calling her after the 20th hour of labor was the perfect mix of strength and warmth. We had a full house during parts of labor and Mary just felt like part of our family, I felt taken care of and when things got really scary, in those minutes right before pushing Mary was there to do whatever it was I needed her to do to help me through those last contractions and finally to help me in the pushing stage! After my baby was here Mary continued to check on for those difficult post-partum weeks. I am extremely thankful to have had her help in this amazing journey.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 02-21-2020