I'm a first time mother who delivered in spring 2021. The main reason I wanted a doula was to have someone help me advocate for my needs in a hospital setting & to feel empowered to make my own birth choices. Jo was the perfect fit for my family. My husband & I hired Jo for labor doula services & labor photography. She mostly supported me through phone/text/email/Zoom due to the pandemic but at the last minute (Iiterally when I was in labor at the hospital), she was able to provide in-person labor support! She was informed, kind, & generous with her time & her expertise (very prompt in responding to emails/texts). She was particularly helpful in facilitating discussions between my husband & I about our unique concerns about labor & made both of us feel very listened to. I wanted someone who could discuss the scientific evidence about birth-related matters, & she was great at sending me a specific article or summarizing scientific findings. On a personal note, it was important for me to have a woman of color as my doula - as I am often the only person of color in many spaces, it was incredibly meaningful & reassuring for Jo to be there for me during my birth, especially during a difficult experience (including a rather sexist comment) from one of my doctors during my birth experience. Jo's support throughout helped me feel empowered to make my own choices & advocate for myself, including in discussing the incident with my OBGYN postpartum. Also, I cannot gush enough about the amazing documentary-style photos that she provided of my birth experience. Being able to be completely present during my labor experience & not worry about photos, while also having professional, tasteful, beautiful photos of moments, including those that I would otherwise not have seen (e.g., my son being weighed, my husband's first moments holding him when I was busy recovering post-birth) - I will treasure them for the rest of my life.
August 12, 2021