Adrienne and Dennis had a beautiful Hypnobabies home birth; the first of two births I attended on my birthday this year (you can read about the other birth here). I received the following testimonial from them today, and burst into tears reading their kind words and remembering how amazing they were to spend time with both before and during their birth. I love what Dennis writes, because it is a great description of how a good support person can help both the mother AND the father to feel comfortable and supported during the birth.
Congratulations on your baby girl, Adrienne & Dennis; it was an honour to support you and I am thrilled to hear you are already considering inviting me to the birth of your next child.
Feel free to share this post with anyone wondering what the benefit of doula support might be to a birthing family.
After interviewing Jessica Austin, my wife and I came to the immediate decision to hire her as our doula. We were preparing for our first child and feeling very cautious about who we would want to support us during our planned home birth.
We were immediately taken with Jessica’s enthusiasm and excitement for all things birth-related. She had detailed answers to all of our questions, and referred us to various studies and statistics when that was appropriate. Her website is an excellent resource. Most important, she combined a professional demeanour with remarkable warmth and friendliness – we wanted her around!
I was unfamiliar with what a doula does, and anxious about having someone take over my supportive role for my wife during the birth. I wanted to make sure, amidst the midwives, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law that I would have a role and not feel squeezed out. I was also, frankly, worried that the cost of a doula was an unnecessary expense.
My fears were unfounded.
Jessica made sure that I was free of all the little distractions so that I could be present for my wife. She supported both of us through the birth. She was unfailingly kind, respectful, and helpful. My wife’s birth was long. Jessica stayed with us for almost 24 hours, including all of the active labour. Much of that time she was actively massaging my wife’s back, helping her with the birth pool, and generally being amazing. Both my wife and I drew strength from her presence – I can’t think of a more important qualification.
Even before the birth, Jessica met with us twice to go over our birth plan. Her suggestions were immensely helpful and very practical. One night, my wife was feeling anxiety about the birth. Jessica met us for coffee and helped my wife address her fears.
Start to finish, Jessica was caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable. I have recommended her to anyone who will listen ever since, and I even tell people not looking for a doula about her informative website.
Finally, the cost. I was worried a doula would be a waste of money. After all, with me, the midwives, and family present, why would we need another helper? What became clear to me from the very beginning is that this was the best money we’ve ever spent. In all honesty, Jessica should be charging more than she does. When we hire her for our next baby’s birth, I will be paying her more than her going rate. That isn’t a joke or hyperbole – she is fantastic and deserves every penny (and more).
Thanks Jessica; we can’t thank you enough for your integrity, compassion and knowledge. We wouldn’t dream of having our next baby without you.
– Dennis Hill