$1200 to $1500
13 years and 270 births attended
Type of practice: Partnership with 1 other doula
Clients per month: 2 to 4
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
- Co-founder of DuPage Doula Network to provide local resources for growing families and professional support for area birth workers. (www.dupagedoulanetwork.com) - ICEA Director of Public Policy and Communication 2021
A positive birth experience comes from being fully informed and fully supported. I specialize in supporting your vision for your birth while also helping you discover all your options and be prepared for anything. My comprehensive services include consultation, prenatal meeting, birth plan workshop, phone/e-mail availability, attendance during your labor and birth to provide comfort measures, breastfeeding support, and postpartum visit.
Wheaton, IL Service range 30 miles
I hired Tara for my 4th birth and it was my 3rd all natural birth. Since I already used a doula for my 2 previous births I was looking for someone who was very experienced and was able to help move labor along. Tara did not disappoint! I felt comforted that she worked with my doctor a lot. Tara has a very calming & reassuring voice and presence before birth & during labor. She provided support before and after birth, suggestions on how to prepare your body for labor and offered contacts for baby & mom needs after birth. I was impressed by the different suggestions she made during labor to help get baby in position. If we ever have another baby I would want Tara by my side in a heartbeat! I highly recommend her doula services for new & experienced moms alike! I am thankful that she was able to help me achieve my goal of having another non-medicated childbirth!
My baby girl came four weeks early and I am so thankful that I had Tara there to guide me! Luckily, we had our pre-birth meeting just in time and had gone over birth preferences. My husband texted Tara early on Sunday morning and she was responsive right away. She talked me through a couple of issues (or things I thought were issues) over the phone and helped me to feel more confident about the whole process. I’m so glad I hired her for her experience and knowledge at that point alone! She also took some pressure off of my husband, which was a plus for both of us. We weren’t planning to have her come to the house but since my labor progressed very quickly, she judged on the phone that it might be best to join me at home first. In the end we had a successful natural birth (although I was lucky and had a very quick labor)!
I was so happy to have her support post-birth as well. Due to the baby coming four weeks early, there was a bit of pressure for a NICU stay which we didn’t want. While I was busy loving my new daughter, being exhausted from delivering a baby and probably delivering my placenta, she heard discussions happening between the medical professionals in the room and passed along this info specifically to me, so I had time to think about what I wanted and could speak up. To this day I still think it was so important that we got ahead of this NICU decision, otherwise they may have just rolled her out (and she was for the most part completely healthy, just early!)
Tara is extremely knowledgeable and cool under pressure, two very important qualities for a doula to possess! As a side note, I am so happy with the photos she took which is a nice added bonus. I highly recommend Tara!
We are SO glad that Tara was a part of our birth team! Not only is she a friend but she was such a fantastic doula, supporting us consistently throughout my pregnancy. She was just a text away, providing thoughtful advice, information that I requested, and loving encouragement. Our meeting to go over my birth preferences was so helpful and she carefully made sure she knew exactly what our desires were.
On the day of our daughter’s birth, we were in constant contact and her support and focus at the hospital was amazing. We only wish we could have had her as our doula for our first daughter’s birth!
She took photos during and after our birth, capturing such sweet moments of us meeting our little one for the first time and even stayed a little later than usual so she could take photos of our older daughter meeting her new little sister.
Her support didn’t end when our baby was born. She came over for a postpartum visit so we could go over the details of my labor and delivery (even providing a written timeline!) and to make sure all was well.
I could go on and on but all of this to say, Tara is THE BEST. We highly recommend her!
Tara graced us with her invaluable support and care for our first baby, so naturally I immediately texted her when I was pregnant with our second. She helped prepare us with her great reading recommendations among other helpful guidelines to prepare us for a birth to be as smooth as possible. When it was game time, she made me feel so calm, talking me through it all, that I felt more in control with my body and the birth. My husband appreciated pointers to help him help me, but also making sure he was taken care of as well (fed, hydrated, etc). I would recommend Tara to everyone!
I initially wanted a doula because I knew I wanted a natural, unmedicated birth, but wanted someone there to help me with pain management techniques. I am SO glad Tara was there with me! Having her there put me at ease, knowing there was someone there whose job it was to help women like me cope with a natural childbirth. Beforehand she offered great advice about having the right mindset going into a natural childbirth, and also offered tips on books and podcasts to read and listen to to better prepare me for a natural birth. It was SO helpful having someone knowledgeable to call when my water broke. I honestly don’t know what I would have done otherwise. She put me totally at ease, letting me know I didn’t have to rush to the hospital right away but to leave whenever I felt ready.
Once at the hospital, she knew exactly how to make the environment calming for labor. She took care of all the details like turning the lights low, putting on a calming playlist and a diffuser with essential oils, and bringing a heated rice pack for my husband to hold on my lower back during contractions. It was so nice to have her there to encourage me to labor in whatever positions felt right to me and also to suggest other positions. During the hardest parts of labor she gave great coaching, encouraging me to keep moving my baby down lower and not to fight the contractions. She also took gorgeous photos throughout the whole process. The photos tell such a beautiful story of the birth and are taken in such a tasteful way.
I would definitely recommend Tara to anyone wanting a natural hospital birth! Even the nurse on duty with us told Tara she was impressed with her and that she was the best doula she had ever worked with! Having Tara there during the birth of our daughter was worth every penny! I honestly cannot imagine going through that whole process without her there. When we decide to expand our family we will definitely be giving her a call again!
What a wonderful birth experience with Tara!
She served as an invaluable resource during prenatal and postnatal visits, as my husband and I were still getting familiar with the resources that we have in the area and she provided so many! Her familiarity with medical resources and approaches was extensive, and extremely helpful! She also recommended some great resources after delivery, such as mom groups and pediatric doctors who would be flexible with our somewhat new-age requests.
Tara was an invaluable presence during labor and delivery, providing an extremely calm and compassionate atmosphere and giving us the guidance and reassurance that we needed to get through a natural delivery not only successfully but joyfully! Her "box of tricks" for pain management was amazing; as I look back on labor I am so grateful to have had her there!
We would recommend Tara to anyone looking for emotional and physical support before, during and after delivery! She was fantastic and we will never forget her.
When my husband and I found out we were pregnant and began preparing for a natural childbirth, it was important for us to have a support person/ doula, especially as neither of us has family/ close friends in the area. My husband was hesitant to go the natural route but after our meeting with Tara, he was sold on attempting a natural birth--and on Tara as our doula. Learning that childbirth photography would also be included as part of the package was just an added bonus for us.
We were in touch with Tara throughout my pregnancy; she answered questions, gave advice, and shared resources. She met with us a few weeks before our due date to work on a Birth Plan—and even discussed what it might look like if things didn’t go according to plan. This was incredibly helpful as we couldn’t have planned for the kind of birth we had: weeks of Braxton Hicks, prodromal labor, water breaking at home, over 30 hours of labor, etc. Throughout it all, Tara was a calming and reassuring presence in the midst of this new and challenging experience for my husband and I. She was strong for me when I was doubting myself and my ability; she supported and encouraged my husband, taking some pressure off of him. I especially appreciate that Tara helped us stick to our Birth Plan as much as possible, including our decision to have an unmedicated birth, which gave me the confidence to stick to it, as well.
The photos Tara took turned out amazing! We didn't even see her taking pictures most of the time--she was just that good at multitasking: supporting us and capturing lifelong memories at the same time! :)) Tara also kept track of the progress during our labor and delivery in the form of a timeline which now serves as a beautiful reminder of the challenging and amazing birth we experienced. We will forever be thankful for the part Tara played in the birth of our little girl. Thank you, Tara!!
It was sortof fate that we ended up having the pleasure of Tara being our Doula. I initially found one woman, and she wasn't available so referred us to Tara, and I am SO thankful for that. Her support from the first time we met was easy going, calm, and kind. One of the silly things I wanted in a doula for her voice to be something I liked to hear, and Tara has that sense and calm presence about her that resonated with me.
I could text her anytime with questions about anything and everything, and she would always have an answer or a reference or a website or book to check out. She thoroughly helped us with our birth plan, and was supportive of whatever we chose, I felt no judgement whatsoever about anything.
When the time came for the birth of our little girl at 11:30 pm, we talked on the phone and she headed over. She was there every step, and her words of encouragement were so perfect for me through the contractions. When I said "I can't" she encouraged me and said that I can do it, ad when I started feeling like I needed to push, she said "give in to that feeling, go with each contraction, relax your shoulders, your baby is coming"- I felt completely supported by Tara, and ended up having our baby in the tub (not planned!) It was an amazing experience from start to finish. I know that sounds crazy, but with Tara's support I dont know what I wouldve done!! I was able to stay way more calm and "relaxed" than I ever expected, and a huge part of it was her cues, her touch, and her overall calm but confident energy.
When I met with Tara a couple of weeks after labor, she gave us a timeline of the labor (which I LOVE!- who ever remembers!?) and some beautiful photos of the labor.
If we have more children, Tara will be my first choice for a doula!! Thank you Tara <3 <3
I can’t say enough good things about Tara! My husband and I were immediately put at ease when we met her. Tara was warm, welcoming and full of knowledge. She was so supportive every step of the way. She has tons of resources that were very helpful as well.
When I went started having contractions, I labored at home and called Tara before we set out to go to the hospital. The last part of my labor was fast and intense. Tara was able to help me get through it unmedicated with the help of my husband. She allowed us to work as a team while being supportive and helping make suggestions of different labor positions to try. Her calming presence helped to make me feel safe and secure in the decisions I was making. I am so grateful for her expertise and help during that difficult time. My husband and I would highly recommend Tara! Best decision we made!
I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to transfer from midwives to an OB/GYN practice. After taking a weekend birth class and learning about the process, my husband and I realized that we really wanted the extra support we no longer hadn’t from a midwife. We felt that a doula with the experience and knowledge that we don’t have would really make us more confident and capable of getting the unmedicated hospital birth I was seeking. I knew there was the possibility of being induced, and I was scared of going down a road that would lead to other medical interventions.
I found Tara on doula match and was really impressed by her reviews. We didn’t have much time and luckily we both felt that Tara was the right choice for the piece of mind and guidance we were seeking.
My labor was induced and it was two days before things really kicked into gear. Tara was available and made sure we were asking the right questions of our doctor to try and stay on our unmedicated path. On the second evening of pitocin, we finally asked Tara to come to the hospital - she changed the lighting in the room and added aromatherapy and music (including some 80s soft rock that I really appreciated!) Thankfully I started to progress and we were really able to focus on moving things along with her help. She suggested various labor positions but also allowed me to stay in my comfort zone and and in control of the process. I believe she also helped my husband to be calm and supportive. Later, the nurses didn’t seem convinced that I was as far along as I was, and Tara helped them realize that I was indeed in active labor and needed to move to the delivery room.
I was able to have the unmedicated birth I wanted and my husband and I are so happy that Tara was part of it! I would recommend a doula to anyone, but especially first time parents like us.
We were so lucky to have Tara there for the birth of our first child. There is so much information out there and I was absolutely overwhelmed by it all. Before birth, Tara talked with us about much of this and was able to explain everything in a way that made sense. While I was definately still nervous about this first birth, I was much more informed and comfortable because of Tara. When I went into labor a week early, she changed her plans to be with us. She was there to calm me and keep me feeling strong. My husband really appreciated the guidance she gave him as well. Tara gave him instructions on how to help me, and this made him feel much more involved and ready. Even though our daughter's birth didn't go as I had planned, Tara made me feel strong and proud about everything that I had done.
I wanted to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to Tara for being with me and my husband during the process of welcoming my son into the world.
We decided to have a doula very close to my due date and we were lucky enough that Tara was available to help us. I decided I was going to try for a VBAC so I knew I needed help and support to have a good experience.
The first time I met her I instantly knew she was the person I wanted to share this special moment with. Her calming presence and kind words from our first meeting were present all the way through the birth.
During the weeks prior to my DD she sent me a lot of useful information, she sent me text messages and checked on me several times and especially if I had doctors appointments. She always had encouraging words and wisdom.
The day of the birth she came very early to our house and she helped me with the excersices and massages during labor. Then with my husband, we all went to the hospital where she kept helping me at all times. She always was very encouraging even during the last part of the labor where I was already tired and in a lot of pain (I tried to go natural after my first experience two years ago). Besides the pain I have beautiful memories of all the process. Unfortunately at the moment of pushing my son had some difficulties so I couldn't deliver naturally/vaginally but Tara stayed and meet us in the recovery room and made sure I was well.
I didn't realize that she even took beatiful pictures of us during labor and afterwards. It was amazing to see those a few days later!
I couldn't have asked for a better doula to be with me at the moment. My husband and I loved her!
We are so thankful to her and we definetely recommend her!
We had a fantastic experience working with Tara, who is an extremely professional and knowledgeable doula. Throughout the pregnancy, we appreciated having her as a resource and sounding board. We wanted to try to avoid induction, and as my pregnancy progressed (baby was born 1 week "late") that became more and more difficult. Tara helped us approach that in a thoughtful manner. Labor was very fast and we were quite taken by surprise. Tara helped both me and my husband navigate a rather scary situation. Her calming presence helped me stay focused and avoid panicing, and that vastly improved my labor experience. She even managed to take some beautiful photos of the birth even though we were only in the delivery room for ten minutes. But most of all, Tara is a very kind person and it was a pleasure to get to know her a little bit through the pregnancy and birth.
Tara was amazing to have with us at the birth of our first. As soon as she met us at the hospital, she helped to get me comfortable and did whatever was needed. She was key to helping me stay focused during labor and talked me through each contraction. As my husband helped me during the birth, she was there helping him and making him comforatable as well. I was able to deliver our little girl unmedicated and I attribute that to her being there.
We both could not have had such a succesful birth experience without Tara's support and encourement. We will definetly be working with Tara for our next child.
We couldn't have asked for a better person to support my husband & I leading up to and during my labor and delivery. I interviewed several doulas, but Tara stood out for her experience, professionalism and caring nature. In short she was amazing and I'm forever grateful she was part of the birth of our son.
In preparation for the birth of our son, Tara met with us twice. During the first meeting she talked us through a series of questions that laid the framework for my birth plan. At our second meeting, we went over the birth plan and some of the techniques that her and my husband could use to help support me during labor.
What my original plan was for my labor and delivery was to have a natural birth and to labor at home as long as possible. But at 42 weeks our little guy still had not shown up, so I was admitted for an induction. After my first round of cervical softening did not result in much progression, Tara was there again to talk through the options with my husband and I- to take another round of cervical softening or start pitocin. Tara objective voice, not advocating for one option or the other, but being the sounding board, we needed gave me the confidence to take another round of cervical softening. I think this decision was key for the remainder of my labor and delivery experience. After spending a day at the hospital, my labor started and over the next 24 hours Tara’s support and assistance was incredible from helping with different positions to reduce the discomfort of labor to being the calm, neutral voice when we were trying to make decisions about how to best progress my labor along.
In the end our beautiful boy was born naturally 23 hours and 54 minutes after labor first started. During that time, Tara support was intracule from simple things as someone being there with me so my husband could step out to get food to talking through the decisions break my water to assist with the progression of my labor.
Tara exceeded our expectations by far! She went above and beyond to provide helpful resources and support in preparation for the birth and general support for the last few months of pregnancy. She met with me and my husband on several occassions to answer our questions, provide extremly helpful and practical tips, share some birthing materials, and to make sure everything was in order for the birth. Then during the birth, she anticipated my needs so well, and found the perfect balance of when to coach and encourage me and when to just be a quiet, supportive presence beside me. I truly don't know how I could have made it through without her. Beyond that, she even took some amazing photos, and I didn't even realize she was doing it! Those pictures mean the world to my husband and me. She has also made herself available for post-partum support and has visited us twice, which has been so valuable. Throughout the whole process, she was incredibly responsive, available and helpful. I truly cannot recommend Tara more highly and we are beyond grateful!
Tara is incredible! We found Tara through DoulaMatch only a month before our due date. It was our first baby and we wanted to give birth in the hospital, but as naturally as possible, so a doula was very important to us. From the beginning, she was phenomenally professional and helpful and I felt comfortable with her immediately. She suggested many resources about natural childbirth and sat down with us to go through the process and our birth plan from start to finish. She never tried to influence our decisions, just gave practical and insightful advice from her training and experience. I like that she is very measured - she knows so much about natural birth practices, but she also respects doctors and the expertise they have. It was a perfect balance for us. Tara was always available for questions/concerns and checked in on me frequently before the big day. When it came time to go to the hospital, I was so relieved to have her there. She has this wonderfully soothing and calming presence and seemed to know exactly what I needed, whether it was the lights dimmed, the music changed, more or less counterpressure, a hot pack, water, and so on. Tara was so attentive, but I was also amazed at the way she empowered my husband to participate, and made sure that the two of us had time to share this special experience together. I ended up having to get Pitocin but was still able to give birth to our son Benjamin naturally and without drugs because of Tara's tireless coaching and encouragement (26 hours!). Her follow up was so special - she had photos and a timeline of the labor and delivery so we could keep the day in our memory - because you WILL forget some of the details. Aside from the obvious birth of our son, Tara was the best part of the experience, hands-down. I highly recommend her - she is very skilled and will take amazing care of your family!!
Following a frustrating CS with our first child, we decided to attempt an unmedicated VBAC with our second, and I learned that hiring a doula could drastically improve our chances of achieving that goal. I found Tara through a recommendation on a local parents facebook page. At our initial meeting, she told me about her experience/philosophies and offerings as a birth coach. Immediately upon meeting her, I knew that her presence alone was something I would love to have as a part of my birth experience. She was incredibly kind, calming, and knowledgeable, with lots of birthing experience. My husband was a bit skeptical of the additional cost of having a doula. When Tara came to our house for our pre-delivery meeting, we talked through our birth plan in detail and she discussed several helpful tips to prepare us. When she left, my husband looked at me and said, "Yeah, she's awesome, this was a great idea." Knowing that she would be with us greatly reduced my stress leading up to our delivery (I didn't lose sleep this time!). I started labor/contractions at 2am, and it was so nice to be able to call Tara right away and be able to communicate with her all day to answer questions and ease my mind with concerns as things progressed (and slowed, and sped up, etc). She helped guide us through making timing choices which allowed us to labor longer at home. We met at the hospital and she had brought many tools to help create a relaxing environment. She quickly helped my husband get the hang of several pain-reducing pressure techniques that were immensely helpful throughout my labor. It was invaluable to have another support person in the room both mentally and physically. Thanks to Tara, we were able to deliver our beautiful daughter as a natural VBAC, and we will always be thankful for this incredible birth experience. My husband has commented several times, that she was the best investment he's ever made! Her birth photos were a great bonus too! Thanks so much Tara!!
The best decision we made during our pregnancy was hiring Tara. I can't imagine what we would have done without her during the birth of our baby boy. It was my intention to have the least amount of medical interventions possible with no pain medication. I love my husband but I knew we would but heads after the birth if he did not take the Lamaze exercises seriously and he seemed so stressed by the responsibility. Tara was my rock and relieved all of the stress between the two of us. I was able to have the natural birth I wanted (despite being bed ridden with preeclampsia) because of Tara and her calm demeanor and undeniable soothing presence. It felt like we had known each other forever. She was able to explain the entire process and medical terminology to me as I progressed and kept me focused. She held my hand, fed me ice chips, explained what I should expect to come next, and gave me the best advice on positions and things I could do to progress the contractions. Everything I had read in advance seemed to escape me once I hit 5 cm but Tara was there to coach me through everything. My husband did not feel like he was any less a part of the experience and had less stress from having her with us. Even though I had to throw my entire birth plan out the window as soon as I was diagnosed with the complication, I honestly loved giving birth and found it extremely rewarding. We will be using her for our second child... And third, God willing. :)
Mine and my husband's experience with Tara was just incredible. Tara was recommeneded by a close famlly member who also had an amazing experience. My goal from the beginning was to have a natural birth, and Tara really helped make it possible. She provided me with resources - books, articles, foods, and tea, etc. that hleped me prepare mentally and physically for the birth. Which by the way, I 100% recommend reading Natural Hospital Birth and Birthing from Within and to EAT THE DATES - 6 a day! The active labor for my first child was only about SIX hours, and I feel the dates were key.
During the labor, Tara helped my husband and i feel as comfortable as we could be - offering suggestions for positions, where to labor, providing cold rags, ensuring we were both hydrated and fed, encouragement for the tough pushing, taking photos to capture the beautiful moments of labor and birth, and just so much more! I really feel Tara was essential to keep my goal for a drug-free birth possible. I did not even think once about wanting pain medication because she was always there to offer a way for me or for my husband to help me feel more comfortable. She was always so sweet and helpful, and even offered the nurses some sweet sustinance!
I contnue to value our time and continued support from Tara. She is an incredible doula and wonderful person and I would strongly recommend her!
Robyn and Alex
We engaged Tara in the 3rd trimester of my wife's pregnancy. She had heard a bit about doulas and the impact they can have on a positive labor, and we agreed that engaging someone experienced in natural birth would be the best next step as we work to bring our child into the world. My wife met with Tara and was impressed not only in her expertise in what we could expect from our own birthing process, but how to better involve the medical professionals we were already working with so that we could maximize the amount of support we were getting.
Following their first meeting, Tara came to meet with the two of us in our home on several occasions and spent a good amount of her time explaining to me how I can better support my wife as she goes through the labor process, and I really appreciated the time she spent with me to tell me how I could take an active, and more importantly a positive, role in the birth of my son.
When the day finally came, Tara was at our house within minutes of us requesting her and she played a critical role in helping us develop a beautiful environment within our home to labor in while we decided when to travel to the midwives' group. Tara brought essential oils and an incredible attitude that helped my wife and I continue to hold space. As things progressed in became more and more clear that the plan we'd put together with Tara would not be how things unfolded, but she helped us make good decisions for mother and baby and played a critical role in my wife feeling better about making the decisions that needed to be made for my son's health.
Tara was with us even past the surgery itself and stayed in recovery with my wife and I to talk, bring us water, and even just sit and be present. She eventually went home, but was back within a day with flowers, a heartfelt card, and a smile that helped us so much throughout our birthing process. We really couldn't have done it without Tara.
Having a doula (pregnancy and labor coach) was one of the best decisions we made! :)
It was great to have someone support you through your pregnancy and labor to help guide you in making the best choices for you, your baby, and your family.
Her positive attitude kept us excited about having a successful VBAC!
After having a c-section, with my son, I felt like a failure, I felt like I would never experience a beautiful natural birth, and I would live in regret for the choices I made in Kase's birth!
My doula, Tara gave me confidence to keep pursuing my dream VBAC and helped me cope with my traumatic birthing experience.
Through the sweat, tears, and happy moments throughout my pregnancy and in labor, she was always there cheering me on! :)
She helped create this amazing and beautiful VBAC (Vaginal Birth after a C-section) experience for us!
I can't thank her enough!!!! :)
Never give up, never let anyone tell u "can't", stay informed, trust your body, and follow your heart!
Every birth is different, every baby is different!
Happy World Doula Week and
Happy 7 weeks Baby Girl Kenley! :)
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
In the Family Way Doula Services!
I cannot say enough nice things about Tara Van Dyke. During my pregnancy, Tara helped me build a Birth Preference Sheet preparing me for labor and met with me several times before the birth to get to know my husband and I. Besides helping me prepare for birth, two of the most important things Tara did for me during my L&D was be the support my Mom would have been had she been able to be there, and help prepare my husband with natural pain management techniques. Tara has experience with clients who have lost loved ones, like my Mom, and is extremely helpful in finding ways to help make them feel part of the birth experience. I am happy to say because of Tara, I did not feel my Mom's absence, and it didn't stall my labor. The other thing Tara does tremendously well is educating your main support person how to be involved with the labor and feel as connected and as important to the process of laboring as my role was. Tara show my husband how to press on my back during contractions and shared positive words of encouragement to say during those times I wanted to give up. My Dad saw us in early labor and was so impressed with Tara, Mike and I working as a team, he described it like the melody and harmony of a song. Throughout my pregnancy and birth Tara was available 24/7 to calls, texts, emails. She always responded within minutes. At the hospital she prepared the room with a relaxing essential oil infuser and birth playlist. When I was nauseated and vomiting at times, she wafted a peppermint-oil soaked cotton pad which prevented further vomiting! She also kept track of a timeline of all the major events of the day for me to keep, which was invaluable to me since a lot of the day is hazy from labor. She also captured pictures of my L&D for us to keep and cherish forever! I could go on and on about all the wonderful things Tara did for us. I'd highly recommend her to anyone in search for a doula. She is a one-of-kind person and an amazing human being.
I cannot begin to say enough wonderful things about my pregnancy and labor experience with Tara as my doula! Over the past months, she has become a close friend, role model, and incredible support to both my husband and I--support that has extended through pregnancy, labor, and now postpartum.
When I first told my husband I would like to look into using a doula, he was skeptical as he did not want his role in the labor experience to be undermined. But after our first meeting with Tara, we both felt 100% confident that her role would only serve to enhance his ability to support me, and would make the experience much less stressful for both of us! This began throughout the pregnancy, as she provided resources, answered questions, and helped us develop a detailed plan for the birth of our daughter. With her help, I felt confident and informed entering my first labor experience.
When I began having mild contractions the day before Thanksgiving (several days before my due date), Tara voluntarily stayed home from her family's scheduled trip for the holiday to make sure she would be available for my labor. I ended up going into active labor the night before Thanksgiving, and Tara spent her entire Thanksgiving Day by my side to help us welcome our daughter into the world! What a sacrifice!
With Tara's help and encouragement throughout the labor process, I was able to have the natural, drug-free birth that had been my goal. Her and my husband worked as an incredible team to coach me through the extremely difficult moments. Her role allowed my husband to focus on fully supporting me emotionally, since she was there to help guide us through each decision.
Having Tara as my doula removed so much of the fear and uncertainty from labor, making it a positive and empowering experience for both my husband and I as we began our journey as parents.
We had a great labor and birth experience in large part because of the calm support and labor guidance that Tara provided. With her help we worked through several tactics to cope with contractions that we never would have thought of on our own even though we had read several books on the subject in preparation.
One of our fears in hiring a doula was that my husband would play less of a role in the birth, but that was not at all the case. Tara adjusted in order to work through him, providing ideas to him to present to me and we both agreed that her calm and positive demeanor was incredibly reassuring during instances where we weren't sure what was normal or whether we should call a nurse.
We are incredibly grateful to Tara for the role she played in making our first birth experience a positive one. Thank you also to Tara for the postpartum support that she provided. That voice of calm reassurance came through again after the birth. :)
Tara is awesome and my birth experience would not have been ANY WHERE near the same without her! My husband and I had our first baby, a girl, on June 15, 2015, 7lb 12oz. We were apprehensive about the experience and Tara helped put us at ease during our initial meeting. We discussed what could happen, what to expect. The day of delivery she was there to talk to us during the beginning contractions and labor at home as long as I wanted. Then went with us and make a HUGE impact at the hospital. She connected with the hospital staff and made both them and us feel comfortable. She got us, my husban and me, things we wouldn't have known to ask for - wireless monitors, changes in the bed, scents in the room, dimmed lights, shower during labor, changes of position, birthing bar and towel for grip - it just REALLY made all the difference. She was there to support me and my husband. She helped him feel empowered as well as me. My first birth process went from 7am with mild contractiosn to the baby being born at 6:06pm with NO medicine, no IV, and minimal checking (all what I wanted). All natural. And EXTREMELY painful. I absolutely could not have done it without Tara. She recommended the book Birthing From Within which helped a lot. With her and my husband together, with the medical staff, we had a great birthing experience. I had the birth I wanted, but was also prepared to face it if it went differently. The baby was healthy and so was I!! Afterward I had a real hard time emotionally and with nursing and Tara visited providing emotional support that was very helpful. I really feel the experience could have gone a lot of different ways and it went very well - healthy, happy, supported - for all, because of Tara. Really. I will definitely hire her again for baby 2. AND she took AWESOME pictures during the whole process. PRICELESS!
I had a great birthing experience with our doula Tara Van Dyke. From our first meeting pre natal meeting and throughout my entire 21 hour labor and delivery, Tara made me as comfortable as possible and it is an experience I will never forget. She put my husband Adam and I at ease and offered lots of advice and tips throughout the pregnancy, labor and delivery. She was able to support me and had several helpful laboring positions and ways that my husband could help me cope with my pain.
My goal was to go through the process naturally, but after 18 hours of intense labor unlike anything I had ever experienced, I made the decision to get the epidural. I was a bit disappointed that the day and night did not go exactly as planned, but my body could not do it any longer with the unbelievably painful contractions and after a sleepless night with no food for energy. However, all the of the work I had done with Tara's awesome help and support put my body in a favorable spot. I was dialated to 10 cm only 2 hours after getting the epidural and only had to push for about 40 minutes!
I know I would not have gotten as far as I did naturally without Tara there by my side, and I would reccomend her assistance and expertise to anyone who is looking for added emotional and physical support thorughout the labor and delivery process. She added a very positive element to the experience of the birth of our beautiful baby girl. :)
I can't say enough good things about Tara. My birth did not go as planned since I had to be induced. I wondered if I really needed a doula since it would not be a natural birth.. answer: YES. In fact, even more so because there were so monitors and IVs and beeping machines - it was beyond valuable to have someone in the room who was familiar with the process. The labor went on for more than 36 hours and Tara remained tireless by my side. She charmed the nurses and supported my husband. In the end, I realized it didn't matter to me what kind of birth I had - it was the kind of people around me. Tara was a big part of that. Thank you!
All the doulas interviewed were professional, friendly, and down to earth. However, the others came with agendas and clear preferences for how women should labor. Tara was unbiased and was clearly an advocate for only what each mother wanted. At our next two meetings, we discussed our birth wishes and how active a role she should play during labor. She was a wealth of knowledge and experience and came prepared with labor and delivery positions, tools for pain management, essential oils and massage. I felt comfort in knowing I'd be in her capable hands when the time came.
In early labor, when things were slow to progress, she came immediately as asked. After diffusing and applying essential oils and various positions didn't help contractions progress, we went to my doctor's appt and walked the halls for 4 HOURS after. When a second check showed no further progress we both returned to our homes. Contractions picked up after we arrived home, and even though it was the middle of a snowstorm, and she lives 45 minutes away, she shoveled herself out and headed back our way. She advised us to meet her at the hospital when hearing my labored moans and was waiting with a wheelchair ready when we arrived. She answered all the ER's questions when I couldn't speak, and while the next 25 minutes were a whirlwind, she was the picture of calm and professional. She provided comforting and encouraging words, back support, a hand to hold, and was everything we needed in that moment. Our birth plan was out the window, as I delivered our baby just 15 minutes later. Tara took photos, comforted me during the placenta delivery, and stayed until we were situated. She also came to our home days later, bringing more baked goods, my birth story, and some much needed decompression. While nothing went went as planned, it was everything I could have hoped and dreamed of. I am proud of my delivery and blessed that Tara was a part of it.
My Expericen with Tara was nothing short of amazing!!!!!!! Tara who I had never met or spoke to before she delivery made me feel so comfortable that I could not imagine having any one else. She was a back up to my backup who was sick that day. She jumped right in and made all of the difference in the world.
When I got to the hospital, I was 4 centimeters dialated and in a bit of pain. Tara was very positive and reassuring that I could get through this. When we were transferred to the delivery room I immediately asked for pain medication. Tara pulled out aroma therapy, warm pillows and straight talk to get me through. I went from 4-7 centimeters in an hour. Next thing I know it was time to push. She was an awesome coach. We got my baby girl into the world in 6 hours from start to finish.
Tara stayed with me for a few hours after the baby was born. She also followed up via phone and email to check on me. She has been available for EVERY need I have. She answers the phone everytime I call with an answer. If she doesn't have the answer she will find it and get back to me.
During our postpartum visit she washed dishes and held the baby so I could just sit and rest. She is absolutely amazing and I would reccomend her to anyone!
I have never worked with someone who was both extremely professional and also lovingly passionate about their work. My husband and I felt immediately at ease when we met Tara. In fact, we didn't even interview anyone else before chosing her to join our birth team as we knew we wanted her by our side as I tried for a VBAC. Even before we hired Tara she started taking care of us by sharing appropriate articles with research-based information that helped calm my many fears. She explained our many options when it comes to the birth to help us think through and articulate our wishes. Never did she push her own agenda. She is also "OB-friendly" which was important to us since we'd be birthing in a traditional hospital. Her advice to help us prep for the big day was always spot on and I felt more empowered by the day as I mentally and physically prepared.
When the big day came Tara was amazing. She literally brought her bag of tricks and offered all sorts of help to me and my husband as I labored. She faded into the background when my husband took charge helping me, but then would come back to the forefront when I needed more support. At the hospital she worked seamlessly with the staff and never left my side as she offered encouragement to me and my husband. I leaned heavily on her strength, especially at the end! I can't describe how huge that is, to have this complete, utter trust in someone at your most vulnerable moments. After the birth she stuck around to make sure we were OK before leaving us to enjoy our son, born via unmedicated VBAC! I could not have had such a successful outcome without her.
You cannot go wrong chosing Tara to join your team. You will be more empowered, brave, strong, supported, and informed than you ever thought possible. She brings out your best.
My husband and I couldn't have had a better expereience bringing a baby into the world without the help of Tara. It took us several years to get to the point of needing a doula and with several "incidents" along the way with doctors and hospitals, I decided there was no reason to go into delivery on my own.
I met with Tara several times to talk about our plans and how we saw the future of my pregnancy and delivery. She was the first person I called the day I started having contractions at work, 4 days before my due date. She calmly came to my house, timed everything, ensured that my husband came home from work and took me to the doctor right away. Within 2 hours, I was checked into a room at CDH, she was there beside us, and coaching us through the process. Tara's insight, experience, and sense of calm was perfect. Even though we took the suggested classes to learn about the birthing experience, Tara was the one who made it all make sense. Her compatability with us, my assigned nurse and the various doctors in and out was flawless.
I might say that delivering a baby was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I was never alone or afraid. I knew that it was all going to be OK with Tara beside me. With her on my left and my husband on the right, the two of them made a great team to get me through. It was a long night (so I would consider it) but a healthy, happy, 7# little girl was born and she has been perfect ever since. Thank you Tara!
We had a wonderful experience using Tara as our doula. My husband and I can honestly say that we don't think the birth experience we desired would have been possible without her help. Before delivery, Tara met with us twice and walked through positions, relaxation techniques, and our emotions about birth. She also gave us wonderful "homework" assignments that involved foot messages and other relaxation techniques. As soon as we needed her on delivery day, Tara headed to the hospital and worked with my husband each step of labor to make sure I was as comfortable as possible. Per our birth plan, I was able to remain mobile for almost my entire labor (up to the late epidural I received), and Tara constantly helped my husband to encourage me and focus me as we moved to encourage baby to move down and my cervix to open. She helped to reassure my husband when he seemed nervous and constantly provided verbal encouragement for me as well. I can't say enough great things about Tara, and both my husband and I feel so blessed that God provided her as a support for us during labor.
Tara was with me for the arrival of my first baby and I can't imagine going through that experience without her. Her presence is extremely calming. I felt confident in her guidance when unexpected issues came up and I was uncertain about what was happening. She explained things in a way that I could understand - never making a decision for me, but helping me see both sides so that I could make the right decision for myself. She was an advocate for me with the nursing staff and even helped navigate some issues in dealing with family who wanted to be a little more involved than we were comfortable with. She was not intrusive during family moments immediately after the birth and was nothing but an encouragement to both me and my husband throughout the entire process. I can only give the highest recommendation possible for Tara and believe that anyone who used her services would be extremely satisfied.
I couldn't dream of a better doula than Tara Van Dyke. I feel so very fortunate that she walked with me through the pregnancy and birth of my first child. She is a very calming and affirming presence, always happy to talk through any and all concerns I had about pregnancy and motherhood. The birth of my son remains one of the most amazing and profound experiences of my life, and Tara's presence through the entire process gave both my husband and me a feeling of confidence and security. As first-time parents, it gave us tremendous reassurance to have someone by our side who knew what was happening! By the time our second child was born, we had moved across the country, and that birth was much more difficult; I am certain the experience would have been much less traumatic if we'd had Tara by our side again. Tara is a treasure, and even across the miles she has given me abundant good advice and positive role modeling through my journey as a parent.
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