Debbie was a crucial piece of the successful delivery of our first child. From the first moment we met her, we knew that she would be able to provide the support, knowledge, and experience that we were seeking. After our first meeting, I decided that I wanted to have a natural birth. This was a different direction than I had previously intended. I never thought I would have the strength to be able to do it, but Debbie solidified my change of heart.
Debbie helped in preparing our birthing plan and also provided extremely useful information during pregnancy. When the big day came, she was fully available and responsive from the early morning text messages I sent. She advised me what was happening as my body was preparing for the big moment that day and most importantly, she advised that I listen to my body. Her knowledge and experience allowed me to feel confident in the decisions I was making e.g. attending one last yoga class that morning, and looking back, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
The nurses and midwives at Pennsy all knew Debbie very well. It felt as though she was an extension of staff, but with the ability to provide us with intimate assistance. Anything we needed; she took care of. Typically, the hospital staff pops in the room every half hour for vitals and the rest of the time you are left in the dark, wondering what exactly is going on and what to expect. Debbie fed us knowledge of what was happening with the labor and was able to keep the atmosphere relaxed, providing electric candles and incense, making the experience feel more like a yoga studio than a cold, sterile environment.
From helping me reach each summit, counting me down from the peaks, and then providing that sense of yogic calm during the valleys… Debbie was absolute perfection. I would not have been able to reach my goal of natural labor while also keeping myself and my son safe and healthy as he joined us. My husband and I cannot imagine bringing another child into this world without having Debbie by our side!
I wanted to tell you how much you rock! Thank you for helping me bring my son into the world. Having now birthed two babies has made me realize what a very special job you have: you help women with such a sacred and personal task. You are very well-suited to your job and I'm incredibly thankful that I found you specifically. Your attention, compassion, and knowledge were felt deeply. Thank you also for staying with us for a bit after Calvin was born to make sure we had some food and company! We value you, that you were a part of this moment in our family's life.
Our experience with Debbie was outstanding and I recommend her to all of our friends. I don't think many people understand the importance of having a doula by your side when they already have a midwife. However, know that in a hospital setting your midwife will not be by your side leading up to the birth. They will be in and out just as a doctor would, leaving you and your partner to navigate this journey alone much of the time. Hiring a doula is an investment in constant care, reassurance, peace of mind, and pain management while you labor. I cannot reiterate enough how worthwhile of an investment a doula is.
I wanted to have a natural birth and stay at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. Debbie prepared us very well and also recommended an excellent birth class. When we did finally go to the hospital at a very late state of labor, this is when Debbie became absolutely invaluable. The hospital was very full, we were stuck in triage and couldn't get a room. The triage nurses were over-worked and didn't seem to care that I was about to have a baby right then and there, maybe in the hallway. To them, this happened hourly, it felt as if they had zero empathy for my pain or predicament. Debbie arrived and I cried for the first time. It was like having my mom, my best friend, my teach arrive. Her strength, her calm, her conviction gave me strength that I would get through this. Debbie helped so much with the back labor, knowing just where to push on my back to help with the pain, cooling me off with ice cold wash clothes, giving me drinks between contractions. Having someone there (besides my husband who was great) that was there for me and me alone gave me my confidence back. The nurses and midwife once in the delivery room were great, but Debbie was our rock. She advised us through all 25 of hours of labor, she encouraged, she empathized, she cheered!
Giving birth was an incredibly joyful, empowering journey. But that hour or two of chaos and agony while we waited in hospital halls and the hellish triage, it was Debbie that pulled me through. Hiring a doula is the best investment you can make for having a baby and Debbie is just the person you want by your side. She is strong, confident, calm, and incredibly kind. We love Debbie and will always be grateful to her.
Debbie was our doula for our first child. At first we weren’t 100% sure we even needed one; there would be midwives, doctors, hospital staff, etc.—what could one more person do? In hindsight, we are sooo happy we hired Debbie. She was with us the entire time, even picking us up at 3:30AM to bring us to the hospital! When we had questions and the nurse isn’t in the room (they come about every half hour), Debbie was right there. When I (dad) needed a break or to get food, Debbie stayed with mom. Debbie kept track of contractions. She made my wife comfortable. She helped us to make decisions that we weren’t totally equipped to make ourselves. Above all else, she made our birth experience feel normal and safe. We will absolutely hire her again for our next child.
Debbie was an incredible support from the moment I had my first contraction and until my little one was in my arms and beyond! We corresponded by phone for the early labor and she provided much needed support while I was in more intense labor at home. In the hospital, she is an inimitable doula, anticipating what I needed and providing a calm voice with helpful encouragement, massage, understanding and advocacy through the various stages of labor. She listened to my wishes prior to birth and was instrumental in making my birthing plan come a reality. I would always plan to have Debbie by my side in the future. Thank you Debbie!
I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy that I wanted to try to have a natural childbirth. After quite a bit of research and discussion with my husband we decided that having a doula with us during my labor would help me to achieve that. Debbie was the first and only doula we met with — we just knew she was the right person to be with us during such an intense journey. Debbie helped me prepare for labor by sending me materials on breastfeeding and labor, as well as exercises for much of the pain I was having during pregnancy. A few weeks before my due date we all sat down to go over my birth plan. Debbie made me feel safe and confident that I achieve the birth I wanted.
At 37 weeks pregnant I found out I was at risk for choleostasis — and for an induction. Turns out on the day of my induction I also went into labor. However, due to my high risk pregnancy I could not have the natural birth I wanted — in the birthing suite with low interventions. I was stuck in a hospital bed, with constant fetal monitoring, with the threat of pitocin looming. Debbie was a constant support to my husband and I and helped me get through what was a very tough and long labor. Debbie helped during labor by offering massage, advice on different positions to try while laboring (even while being monitored), and as a sounding board… if I was feeling unsure about how I was being treated as a patient, or if I was feeling like I could not go on — Debbie was there to encourage and guide me through to the next phase of my labor.
In the end, after 36 hours of labor, I did wind up with a cesarean. As any first time Mom who had hoped to have a natural drug free childbirth this was heartbreaking — but Debbie encouraged me, held my hand while I cried and told me I was amazing and did my best, and now I was going to have my baby! I know that there was no way I could have made it to that point without Debbie’s support. Even after having my son, Debbie made sure we were both doing well and offered so much support and advice for breastfeeding, which we were having trouble with. Though I did not have the birth experience I wanted, having Debbie there was a tremendous help. She is so kind and just a wonderful person to be around — I know that without a doubt if I’m lucky enough to have a second child I will be trying for a VBAC and will absolutely have Debbie there with us!
My husband and I made the decision early on that we wanted a completely natural child birth. As I neared my due date, I became nervous about being able to facilitate a natural birthing process myself in a hospital and we realized that getting a doula to assist in that process might put my mind at ease. My best friend knew Debbie and recommended I speak with her about my birthing plan. She immediately put me at ease at our first meeting and I knew we needed to have her be a part of our delivery. I communicated with Debbie often as my due date approached and I felt such relaxation knowing she would be able to assist in achieving the birthing process we imagined – and she exceeded our expectations. We were able to achieve a drug free childbirth and I can honestly say I don’t know if we could have done it without Debbie. She was so incredibly supportive and caring during my entire pregnancy, labor, and delivery. We were so incredibly satisfied with her services and care that Debbie will be assisting us with the birth of our second child as well.
My husband and I welcomed our first baby into the world in October and cannot say enough wonderful things about Debbie. If we get pregnant in the future, we would hire Debbie back in a second! She was a calming presence, knew exactly what kind of motivation, encouragement and touch I needed during actual labor and (we were with the midwifes at Penn Hospital) knew the entire team in Labor & Delivery at Penn which was enormously helpful. It was also very encouraging to see the hospital staff and delivery team knew Debbie personally and clearly loved her.
We interviewed nearly 6 other doulas before finding Debbie. You won't find better!!
Debbie was my doula for Javier and she is amazing inside and out! I can't speak highly enough of Debbie. She is one of the strongest, kindest, warmest, loving, women I know! She was my warrior and champion throughout my entire pregnancy and delivery. I couldn't have done my VBAC without her.
From the moment I met Debbie I knew I wanted her in my life. And it didn’t matter if it was by way of doula, friend, or yoga guide.
We hired Debbie as our doula for the birth of our son Otis in 2014. And I contacted Debbie many times throughout my pregnancy. She was especially helpful when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and became scared of pain during childbirth. She didn’t care whether I wanted and epidural or not, but cared and made sure that my wishes were granted when we arrived at the hospital.
Once my water broke, I was petrified and nervous, and I wasn’t able to find comfort in my mom, nor my husband, nor all the exercises I learned in birth class. Debbie came over and was my best friend and sat next to me through the ugliest moments of labor and also through childbirth.I tear up when I think of those hours, not only because of the birth of our beautiful son, but also because of the bond and friendship I formed with Debbie. She’s our angel. And I’ll always be grateful.
Debbie the Doula ~ Birth Doula (DONA International), Birth Arts International Trained Postpartum Doula, Certified Vinyasa and Prenatal Yoga Teacher
t. 215-200-2176 e. email@example.com