We're writing to enthusiastically recommend Emma O'Brien's doula and placental encapsulation services. Her contribution to our birth plan and process was particularly invaluable due to the timing of our son's birth -- he was born on 4/20/20, precisely when COVID was predicted to surge in Massachusetts -- and Emma helped us navigate a late-to-care transition to a home birth midwife after 36 weeks of prenatal care with the midwives at Mount Auburn. Long story short: Emma is super skilled doula who will help make your pregnancy and birth an empowering experience to remember.
From the moment we started working with Emma, she listened thoughtfully, asked thought provoking questions, and provided helpful ways to approach pregnancy and the birth process. When the pandemic ramped up, Emma's extensive experience, community connections and all around resourcefulness became even more evident, as she worked to connect us with several midwives who could help us think through a home birth, provided suggestions for fresh local produce delivery and a summer CSA, and steadfastly offered emotional support and guidance. She also took social distancing and COVID safety precautions incredibly seriously, which was particularly reassuring during the early days of the pandemic when not everyone was doing so.
Despite the challenges that came with being pregnant and delivering during a pandemic, I feel lucky to have had an incredible birth experience. I will be forever grateful to Emma for helping me have a birth that was as close to nature as possible. For any parents who may be navigating a particularly complex pregnancy/pandemic landscape at the moment -- Emma is exactly the kind of person you want supporting you through this time. Even if there are restrictions on her presence during labor and delivery at a hospital, she can be an incredibly useful and reassuring source of love, hope and guidance during this special time in your life.
From the beginning of our first meeting with Emma, it was clear she was an incredibly knowledgeable, capable, and compassionate person. I am a survivor of abuse, so it was really important for me to find a doula who had training/experience in that area; Emma made the discussions around that feel safe and comfortable, and she was an amazing resource and advocate in that regard. The two prenatal visits we had were very informative. Emma took her time with us and made sure to go over all of our concerns. She helped us develop a thorough but concise birth plan that the hospital implemented. Leading up to labor, she responded promptly to any questions we had over text. And when the time came, Emma was the main reason my extremely difficult birth experience ended up feeling empowering, rather than nightmarish. She was with us for nearly 36 hours during which she helped us navigate unmedicated labor, medicated labor that included 4 HOURS of pushing, and finally an unplanned c-section. During that time she supported both myself and my partner—she helped me figure out labor postions (baby was malpositioned), transition in and out of the birthing tub, stay hydrated, massage a muscle in my back that spasmed during labor, and most importantly, process really tough decisions about interventions we were hoping not to have. After I'd had my c-section and my baby and husband had left the OR, Emma stayed with me and comforted me as they finished up the surgery. She finally left only after she made sure all three of us were settled in post-op. In the days and weeks after having my daughter, Emma continued to support us by helping us troubleshoot breastfeeding and bottle feeding issues. She is one of the most generous and caring people I have ever met, and I feel so lucky to have had her as our doula. I cannot recommend her enough—I will absolutely be hiring her again if/when I get pregnant with a second child!
My husband and I interviewed 4 doulas and we went with Emma. My husband was opposed to us using a doula until we met her. She struck a great balance between being personable and being direct. My husband and I felt completely supported by her in our vision of our labor and delivery. She advocated very directly with medical staff on the wishes of me and my husband, and the medical staff seemed in awe of our teamwork. She had essential oils at the ready while I was laboring and came to our home after the birth with additional support. During my labor she played my affirmations from the childbirth class that my husband and I took called Mama Natural. During delivery she reminded me of the affirmations and kept me focused when I wanted to give up. When medical staff tried to interrupt my hyno-breathing, Emma advocated for me to continue my practice. I would highly recommend her as a knowledgeable and supportive doula. My husband and I had the labor and delivery that we hoped for and Emma’s support and advocacy was an integral part of that. My husband feared that a doula would take his place and that he’d be cut out of experience. He met Emma and liked how knowledgeable she was. After the labor, he said he was so happy that we hired her because he felt like we were all team because she knew what our wishes were.
Stop your seach and hire Emma as your Doula immediately! My husband and I worked with Emma during my pregnancy, through the birth of our son, and touching base for questions/support in the weeks after his birth. As this was my first pregnany and birth, I was looking for a Doula to provide me with the information and empathic support that doesn't always come from medical professionals. Upon meeting Emma, I knew she would be a great person to have on my birth team because of her experience and vast knowledge, as well as her relatable and warm approach. She always remembered my preferences and things that were discussed during previous meetings without being reminded. Her support during my labor was invaluable, especially when faced with having to make decisions about interventions that we had not anticipated. Her knowledge of Spinning Babies helped my son come into the world when other interventions were not working fast enough. I had a very long, 31-hour labor, and Emma was there for me and my husband through the whole experience, never failing to be positive and jump in where she was needed. Hiring Emma was a great decision for me and my family, and I highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a Doula!
The MVP of my birth experience was definitely Emma. She was an amazing resource throughout my pregnancy, an advocate during the labor and delivery and a comforting, helpful presence postpartum. She worked seamlessly with the labor and delivery team -- so much so that when I recently ran into one of the nurses the first thing she said was, "you had that awesome doula!" I recommend Emma wholeheartedly. I had a super long labor and delivery with an induction, hours of unmedicated labor, hours of medicated labor, getting to full dilation with pushing before the medical team recommended a c-section.She explained what was happening at every step (medical speak can be hard to decipher while in labor!) helping me to feel good and empowered. Emma provided amazing massages and taught my mom and husband her moves! She had broth on hand when I couldn't eat and helped to make me as comfortable as can be throughout. She truly held me up during the labor and delivery marathon. Anyone who picks Emma as their doula is lucky - she is one of a kind!
The MVP of my birth experience was definitely Emma. She was an amazing resource during pregnancy, an advocate during the labor and delivery and a comforting, helpful presence postpartum. She worked seamlessly with the labor and delivery team -- so much so that I recently ran into one of the nurses and the first thing she said was, "you had that awesome doula!" I recommend Emma wholeheartedly. I had a super long labor and delivery with an induction, hours of unmedicated labor, hours of medicated labor, getting to full dilation with pushing before the medical team recommended a c-section. Emma provided amazing massages and taught my mom and husband her moves! She had broth on hand when I couldn't eat and helped to make me as comfortable throughout. She explained what was happening at every step (medical speak can be hard to decipher while in labor!) helping me to feel good and empowered. She truly held me up during the labor and delivery marathon. Anyone who picks Emma as their doula is lucky - she is one of a kind!
I don’t even know where to begin! Working with Emma was by far the best decision we made! From our very first meeting, I knew Emma was professional, knowledgeable and a perfect match for me (we‘re both obsessed with bone broth!) but she completely exceeded our expectations!
When my labor got rough with back labor and multiple days of painful contractions, Emma stayed with us the whole way through, all the way up until our beautiful baby girl was born on the full moon. Emma was an absolutely angel and brought out all her “tools“ from calming lavender essential oil to exercises to help alleviate labor pain. She was a great complement to my husband in providing support, and offering a second opinion throughout my natural birth experience.
My my husband and I will never forget this magical experience, and having Emma by our side made it that much more special.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I could not recommend Emma enough.
I cannot say enough great things about Emma! Emma was recommended to us by our post-partum doula, who we hired again when we found out I was pregnant with our second child. At first I wasn't sure I wanted a birth doula, my first birth resulted in a c-section because baby was breech. But I am so glad we worked with Emma! Not only did I get the VBAC I so hoped for, but I was able to labor and deliver without an epidural! Something I never thought I could do and I credit much of this to Emma. She is so knowledgable and yet she is also a very calming presence. She was reassuring and gave me the confidence I needed to trust my body and labor without pain medications. She was also an incredible support for my husband and I think he was better able to support me because of Emma's presence. After my daughter was born, I had difficulty delivering the placenta as it stuck to my c-section scar and required pain medication and interventions to deliver it. Emma was right there to reassure me and keep me from panicking during this unexpected event. Emma pays attention to all the little details. From using a fan to keep me cool, bringing me sips of water and juice, even spoon-feeding me yogurt while I help my baby on my chest right after birth I felt so well cared for with Emma there. She worked seemlessly beside my L&D nurse, husband, and OBs. I am so happy that I was able to have such a positive VBAC birth experience after an unwanted c-section with my first child, and I know it was Emma's steadfast support that helped me achieve this. If we plan on having future children, I would hire Emma again in a hearbeat as I can't imagine a birth experience without her!
We cannot recommend Emma more highly! We worked with her for the birth of our second child, which was my first pregnancy, and truly wish that she had been there when my wife gave birth to our first child. Emma is responsible and responsive, highly prepared, extremely knowledgeable about birth, and completely supportive. As others have said, her presence is very calming. Leading up to labor, we stayed in touch with her by email and text, and she helped us think through our options when it appeared possible that I would need to be induced for going past my due date. Ultimately she helped us through a fairly long unmedicated labor, which I'm not sure how we would have navigated without her. Her familiarity with hospital practices helped us avoid unnecessary interventions, and she had a great intuition for the little things that would help keep us comfortable and relaxed throughout labor. It was very reassuring to have someone there who had seen so many different births and could help us keep perspective on our own experience. I felt complete trust in her judgement throughout the whole process. At first we were unsure about using a doula, but after working with Emma I can't imagine giving birth without her!
An amazing help at the time of need, Emma truly empowered my birthing experience! My labor started with baby in posterior position (aka sunny side up) and a lot of back pain, as they told me in the hospital. Within 1/2 hour, Emma helped me through some poses to turn my baby! I ended up not needing any of the dreaded labor augmentations. She helped me through breathing and fully supported all of my decisions (I ended up getting epidural at 7cm). She also was invaluable in taking care of all of my family (mom and husband) emotionally, so that they could also support me, instead of panicking. :) I had a great, amazing time all through the birth of my daughter.
She also took care of us before and after birth with house visits, helped me find a great lactation consultant and answered a swarm of of my newbie mom questions. She's friendly, kind and extremely knowledgeable. It's really thanks to her that I'm remembering the birth of my daughter as empowering, beautiful experience - looking forward to repeating it and working with Emma again next time! ;)
We hired Emma on the recommendation of friends, and she surpassed our hopes and expectations. I planned a Hypnobabies birth, and Emma listened to the tracks so she would know the cues to use with me. She met with us beforehand and helped us make a great written birth plan, and gave us lots of tips. When my actual birthing time was very different than I expected, Emma was right there. She held me and my husband with her non anxious presence. She was totally unfazed and un-exhausted by my difficult labor. We have a healthy beautiful baby, and love Emma like family. As a huge bonus, she connected us to a fabulous post-partum doula who has also become a key member of our care team in these first tough months. Thank you Emma!
We had a wonderful experience working with Emma. My husband and I cannot recommend her more highly. She was instrumental in providing education and support to us during the birth of our first child. I think that without Emma I would not have had the confidence and comfort level to stay home during early labor as long as we did, which made possible the birth experience that we were hoping for. Emma even brought me a smoothie before we went to the hospital! She truly goes above and beyond for her clients and really cares deeply about their experience. She provided a written narrative of the birth that was very meaningful to us and we can keep to reflect on afterward. If you are on the fence about engaging her services, I would encourage you to do so - you will not regret it and she will support you in having the birth experience that you are envisioning and also be there to provide a knowledgable point of view if things go differently than what you would hope. Thanks to Emma!
Emma has been such an amazing resource to both my myself and my husband during pregnancy, labor and postpartum. Her sage advice and calming presence made a world or difference, and her personal care and attention far exceeded any other medical professional we had worked with. When some unexpected issues came up during labor at MGH, Emma really helped my husband and I stay calm and focused on the end result (our beautiful baby girl!) Small things she provided like essential oils, candles and organic chicken broth (since I couldn't eat with an epidural) made our hours in the hospital somehow feel a bit more like a relaxing spa. Her responses to all of our questions were prompt and thorough, and all of our meetings in person felt like chatting with a friend (who happened to know anything and everything about pregnancy and childbirth!) When I was having some issues breastfeeding postpartum Emma was the first person I reached out to for advice. As a first time mom I often feel overwhelmed and like I have no idea what I'm diong, but knowing that I can reach out to Emma makes me feel a lot more confident. We can't recommend her enough!
Emma is amazing! We got to know her through a series of prenatal visits, and she made us feel incredibly comfortable with the idea of having someone so new to us in the delivery room with us. By the time I went into labor, she felt like a friend, and I was thrilled to have her as a support person. She was with us through a very long and traumatic birth, and she was calm, encouraging and supportive of both of us (my husband and me) throughout the birth. It was so reassuring to have her with us, both because of her delighful personality and presence and because of her wealth of knowledge. When I had an emergency c-section, Emma met me in the recovery room while my husband with with our son to the nursery. I was so, so happy to see her.
After our birth, Emma visited regularly to provide postpartum support. She knows exactly what new parents need and she fit herself right into the rhythm of our postpartum life, tossing the laundry in, emptying the dishwasher, and creating delicious and inventive meals for us using whatever happened to be in our refrigerator. She knows all about food intolerances and has made us wonderful gluten-free and paleo meals. We also can't say enough about how she interacts with our infant son -- we've felt so comfortable leaving him in her arms while we nap!
I wish I had had the opportunity to use her placenta encapsulation services (unfortunately, I wasn't able to take my placenta due to infection), but as an herbalist, Emma has supported my postpartum recovery with hormone-balancing and milk support teas that are so delicious and nourishing, they've become a part of my daily routine.
She has reassured two brand new parents that our experiences are normal -- this is invaluable! -- and she has really helped us to process the challenges of our birth experience and adapt to our new life as parents.
We would strongly recommend Emma to anybody looking for a birth or postpartum doula.
I can't say enough about what Emma did to help us through the birth of our son. She was incredibly supportive, helpful, knowledgable, and insightful as we approached zero hour. She even helped me to take a breather and enjoy the gorgeous summer weekend for a bit while my wife was entering labor. Our son is about a year old now, but we're very thankful for Emma and the work that she did to help us through all of this. Thank you Emma!
I have put off writing this review because I don't even know where to begin, but in a good way!
My Little One was born on February 24, 2017, and is currently 12 weeks old. I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant I really wanted as natural and low-intervention a birth as possible. I was connected with Emma via a member of my queer cooperative community in Lower Allston, who works in Reproductive Justice. Honestly, I put off contacting Emma until I was in my third trimester; with moderate PPD and the tension and ultimately absence of my child's other parent, I was frozen when it came to figuring out a birth plan. I couldn't imagine a ~*perfect birth*~ given the circumstances. And as I had a very non-traditional family/community, it was hard to navigate the waters when my crew was so different from the standard. I had many issues even in Boston with misunderstandings from medical personnel of my support team.
But Emma stayed in touch. She called and texted me, reminding me she was available and willing to work for me. Finally, I called her and discussed all the issues I was struggling with. She was so sympathetic, and this was before I even officially hired her. She made herself available, often driving between 20-30 minutes to see me. I believe she drove to me 3 xs for simple meetings to discuss the possibility of her being my doula! When I went into labor around 9:30am on the 24, a FRIDAY, Emma basically came straight to the hospital for me. Though this is my first child, my labor was a total of 4 hours. I labored in a bathtub, and Emma used an array of techniques, my favorites being aromatherapy, and this subtle, yet amazing, fan.
Emma is kind, and has the sort of demeanor that is just comforting. I regret not hiring her sooner only because I could have put my mind at ease so much sooner! Please hire her, I don't think you can make a better choice.
Emma supported me through my VBAC. Instead of a birth that came naturally as I had expected, I had to be induced for preeclampsia. This involved a 3 day induction that Emma supported my husband I through. I was very comitted to having a VBAC but felt a little under pressure from OBs at the hospital to go for another C section (despite no medical necessity). Emma gave me information and the confidence to wait it out and allow the pitocin to do its work over 2 days and then progress into actual labor. I truly believe that without Emma's support and guidance I wouldn't have made it there. She was such a great support during the 2 hours of pushing as well and encouraged me through such an intense experience. I am so happy we worked with Emma and wholeheartedly reccommend her. If you are interested in speaking more about my experience I am more than happy to chat with you about it.
Ema was kind and supportive throughout my pregnancy. She was confident, calm, and adressed all of my concerns very quickly. As an herbalist, she made me some fantastic teas and a sitz bath that helped me cope with my symptoms during pregnancy and post partum. She also encapsulated my placenta which was very helpful. Since I was late to go into labor, it happened that another one of her clients went into labor just before I did. Of course, I was nervous that this could happen. However, Emma was available to us and there for us. She helped us communicate our needs with the hospital staff. She came to see us when we got home offering advice, support, and helpful healthcare items. I couldn't ask for a better experience. Emma is top notch!
Emma is amazing! She is very knowledgeable, kind, caring, supportive, professional, and gentle. She also has many resources. All of our meetings were great and she addressed all of my concerns and questions with lots of patience.
My labor was 42 hours long, with about 31 of that in the hospital. Emma arrived on Tuesday night and stayed until Thursday morning. She was dedicated. When my birth plan went out the window, she was there to support me. I couldn't have done it without her!
My husband and I really enjoyed working with Emma. She was very accomodating with our little one's early arrival on Christmas Eve and stayed with us through the entire labor. She brought electric candles and essential oils, which were a great help during the tough times. She also wasn't afraid to jump in for whatever was necessary. In terms of post-partum care, Emma has been a huge help with our new little one and helping me adjust to motherhood. Again, she's great at taking inititiatve and doing what needs to be done without me telling her. The best part though is that she's a fantastic cook, which is so necessary when the last thing you want to worry about is what's for dinner. We love working with her!
Emma has been a huge help to me post-partum. I have a 3 month old and have used Emma for both placenta encapsulation and post-partum care. She was amazing, picking up my placenta at 3am from the hospital and then hand deivering the miracle pills 2 days later to my house! Who does that?! Emma, that's who! My husband was so impressed at how calm and relaxed the pills made me and he now swears by them and urges all of my pregnant friends to do it too.
My husband started a company when I was 9 months pregnant and it keeps getting busier. He suggested I hire someone to help me with the baby and let me get a break, as he will be working too much to help a lot. The first person I thought of was Emma. Luckily, she was available and i've had her come between 3-5 times a week. She is the only non-family that I trust with my daughter and my daughter loves her.
I highly recommend Emma for anything that has to do with babies, doula care, placenta pills and post-partum care!
We immediately felt a connection with Emma upon meeting her at the Mama&Me Meet the Doulas night in JP. Her vibe is laid back, friendly, organic and soothing. Finding a Doula that was in touch with LGBTQ issues was a must and Emma was perfect. She is very professional and has a tight working relationship with her back up doula; she also has great connections to other resources we used throughout the process. Emma made several visits to our house to get to know us and our vision for our birth. Our dogs loved her, which rocked. Although due to complications we couldn't encapsulate or print the placenta, she was set to offer a awesome Placenta package that we were super excited about including encapsulating, art print, etc. Our birth, of course, went nothing like our birth plan & vision but Emma was there for me throughout the process. Leading up to induction, she offered as much support and natural intervention as possible including her own tea and connecting me to an accupunturist. She even created a perfectly scented essential oil for me. During labor, she was a constant source of strength and encouragement, keeping my focus on my own goals and intentions. After the birth, Emma came to the house to make sure we were adjusting and to assist us with starting our new life with baby. We had some greivances w/ the hospital regarding the placenta and she also acted on our behalf in effort to resolve the issues, sadly to no avail, but her efforts were much appreciated. We did not take her up on it, but as part of her service she did offer to do our laundry, sweep our floors, do anything! She is for sure dedicated and I would easily recommend her to my friends.
We have a beautiful, healthy baby girl and we are so happy Emma is part of her story. :)
We're so happy we chose Emma as our doula. From the first email through the first phone call and then the first meeting, we just felt like she got it-both who we are and what we wanted from a doula. She came by for several pre-labor visits, just getting to know each other and she'd share different strategies and tips for the final weeks. She was extremely conscientious about scheduling, making sure we not only had a backup doula for when she had a previously-scheduled weekend away, but that we met the backup doula so we'd feel comfortable should we need her. Luckily, my wife went to term, and Emma was back in plenty of time.
We stayed in touch with Emma through texts an emails, with Emma giving encouragement and advice, then when she started doing induction (twins that went full term, some blood pressure, so midwife encouraged us to start induction), Emma was right there with support and commiseration.
When my wife finally went into labor, she came over at 4 am, helped us get ready to go to the hospital, including making sure we ate something, didn't forget anything, and actually locked the house. At the hospital, she helped with pain relief, she helped us make sense of what the doctors and nurses said, she got waters and juices or stayed with my wife while I stepped out to make a phone call or get snacks, and she was just there. All night, and all day, and all into the second night. When my wife found she had to have a c-section, Emma came in with us and helped us both stay calm, she stayed with my wife while I went with the babies, and then helped with recovery, and then to top it all off, she went to meet our older son and take him to school, showing him pictures of his new little brothers and helping him feel like part of everything! She also made great teas that helped before labor and after, with milk production.
Truly, she did all we'd hoped and more, and we can't imagine making it through having twins without her!
I met Emma through my social worker, and I have to say it was the best recommendation I ever had. Emma was my doula for my first born child, just a week ago. She was nothing but great help throughout my entire labor; she truley lives up to the doula standards, nothing but calm, supportive, and positive. She made me feel nothing but comfortable throughout my entire labor. Not to mention, she accomodated me with such an ease, even with my late request of service, and very understanding and supportaive about my family lifestyle and financial stability. I would recommend any pregnant woman to Emma because I know that she will deliver. Apart from her doula expertise, she's also a herbalist. Her suggestions on herbal remedies for both health and relaxation helped out tremendously. I wouldn't of asked for better service, she was nothing but great, not only to myself but my family as well.
Emma was my duola for my very first child just two months ago. We found her in the last month of my pregnancy through a chain of recommendations from friends of friends. She was very accommodating of our late request for her service, and supportive of our alternative lifestyle and family structure. She helped us expand our toolbox with her knowledge of different techniques and prepare for labor by practicing those techniques. I gave birth at the Cambridge birth center with Emma and my partner attending. She was a calm positive presence and an excellent partner to my partner. Between the two of them I received constant care and attention. It was a natural, no drugs labor and throughout the process I felt loved and supported.
I met Emma through a friend. It was towards the beginning of both my pregnancy and her journey as a doula. Emma met with me on a weekly basis to share information on movement, nutrition, herbal support and birth planning. Emma was and continues to be an incredible and reliable resource; any recommendation she makes, she backs up with literature and research. We practiced streches and different pain coping mechanisms, and thanks to her I made it through a very heavily-medically-monitored non-medicated birth! During labor she was a constant, yet somehow non-invasive calming presence. She made helpful suggestions about how to move, how to cool off, how to warm up,how to massage, and how to leave me alone when I needed it. I'm not sure the nurses would have remembered to give me my son if she hadn't reminded them after they cleaned him up!!
I honestly cannot say enough about this woman. Not only did she support me through my pregnancy, and a fast and furious birth, she provided welcome information, recipes, and emotional support post-partum. She wrote up our birth story when I was too tired to! I would recommend her to absolutely anyone, and know without a doubt that she could make any birth or reproductive experience or choice more informed, more comfortable, and more peaceful. I am so grateful to have met her!
= Available. Calendar last updated: 06-01-2020
= Available. Calendar last updated: 06-01-2020