I wanted to share my incredibly positive birth experience in working with Michele and Naima. As someone who was always leaning towards the option of an epidural,  I wanted to make sure it’d still be valuable to work with a doula (and naturally, one who wouldn’t judge me for this choice). From the moment my husband Aric and I met with Michele, we knew shewould positively and constructively add to our birth. She was warm, open, non-judgmental and incredibly informed. She connected not only with me but with Aric, which we knew would be key during labor. The prenatal sessions with both Michele and Naima helped us feel confident and relaxed, and they had great information and ideas in response to the multitude of questions we had as first time parents. As for the labor and delivery process itself, I can honestly say that Michele played a huge role in making it the beautiful experience that it was. From laboring at home, where Michele helped us understand what was happening  (spontaneous crying fits? Totally normal and great!),  how my husband could help me, and when to head to the hospital. At the hospital, she dug deep into her bag of tricks to help me stay relaxed and cope with the pain pre- and post-epidural (it wore off, so I was extra glad to have her there). More than anything, Michele helped me feel safe, confident and empowered every step of the way. Later we recalled the little things she did that made such a difference – whispering guidance to Aric when he was running out of ways to soothe me, explaining some of the hospital lingo and happenings to me, taking pictures and even video of our new baby. For anyone considering a doula, I’d highly recommend Michele and Naima. I think they add a ton of value to any birth experience. That they are a partnership is a bonus – you have two great resources. I’m so glad and forever grateful to have had them as part of my team.

Mayumi Ando