“I waited until pretty late in the game to decide to get a doula, and even then I wasn’t convinced that it was totally necessary. My husband was even less sure as he didn’t really understand what a doula was there to do. But we decided to go for it anyway and met with Jess just a few weeks before I was due – we felt so comfortable with her right away and she shared a lot of useful information about the birthing process & what she would offer. When I eventually did go into labor, I was absolutely and completely blown away by how intense and painful it was. Despite all the reading, researching, and talking to people, I felt like nothing could have prepared me for that – or my partner who felt a little bit helpless. Having Jess there was probably the best decision we could have made. She gently encouraged me to switch positions, but understood when I couldn’t or didn’t want to. She was there to offer ideas and solutions, while trusting in me to know what was right for myself. She provided counter pressure during intense contractions for literally hours on end. She guided my partner on how to offer me pain relief as well. She even braided my hair during one of the quieter moments! My labor lasted over 24 hours and ended in a c-section (which by that time was not only necessary, but also a huge relief for my body and mind!). We opted to have Jess in the room during the c-section and it was a tremendous source of comfort and support for both my partner and myself. We are eternally grateful for Jess’s support, wisdom, and compassion during one of the most important days of our lives!”

“My husband and I were unsure if we wanted a doula at first. This being

our first child, we had this thought that we wanted to be fully “in it”
together — for my husband to be the “head coach” and for me to be the
“MVP” of this birthing experience. What we didn’t realize, and what
became clear after meeting Jessica and Mary Etna, is that we were
gearing up for him to be the head coach of a sport he’d never seen, and
for me to be the MVP of a sport I’d never played! Working with Jessica
and Mary Etna allowed us to get the skills and training we needed for us
to be fully “in it” together in a more effective and productive way.
Through the prenatal visit, they gave us the tools we needed to
successfully manage early labor at home before getting to the hospital.
We used every trick they taught us, including breathing techniques,
counter-pressure and positioning. It meant that we could stay at home
much longer than we probably would have which was the most comfortable
part of our labor experience. Jessica met us at our birthing center and
was a crucial support person throughout my active labor and pushing. She
helped calm me down when my breathing became frantic, reminding me to
“let go” of contractions as they passed and helped coach my husband so
he could be a more effective partner and support as well. I can’t
imagine the birth experience without their role. I wish every woman in
the world could work with doulas as thoughtful, sensitive, supportive
and knowledgeable as Jessica and Mary Etna.”