I provide a full range of birth services, including Antepartum, Birth, and Postpartum Doula services, as well as Childbirth Education and Sibling Support. In addition to each of these offerings (outlined below), you will have access to my extensive library of birth and parenting books.
Some of the things my clients seem to appreciate may be more difficult to quantify or define, like the fact that I am able to offer a continuity of care over a period of time. Other aspects typically show up as TLC (tender loving care) in the form of bath soaking herbs for a momma with some very tender lady parts, or maybe a batch of my home-made lactation cookies (or any form of food already prepared for that matter!). I know for sure my neck, back, and foot rubs have sent more than one woman into a nearly instant REM state! The point is seeing the need and rising to meet it.
My role as a birth doula is non-medical, offering encouragement, education, and resources. Prior to birth, I will meet with you or you and your partner 2 or 3 times to build connection and rapport. We will practice comfort techniques, learning how and where you carry tension. These open conversations about expectations, goals, and even fears prior to the onset of labor can go a long way toward building self-confidence and harmony.
My “on call” period is typically 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your estimated due date, and you may call or text me with questions, concerns, or updates at any time. When labor starts, you would then contact me and let me know when you would like me to come. Once you are actively laboring, I will stay with you, providing support until you have given birth.
Personal experience and professional training allow me to offer a wide range of pain management suggestions from breathing and relaxation techniques to position changes or hydrotherapy. The use of my rebozo or doing massage or acupressure, at the right time, in the right way, can make such a difference.
After the baby is born, depending upon circumstances at that moment, I will encourage family bonding and intimacy. I can assist with initial breast-feeding if desired, but I will then withdraw when you are comfortably tucked in and ready for some rest.
Birth Doula Services: $800.00
“Cindy always took time and humor and made sure that I understood. She genuinely cared for me and my family. She stayed by my side through the birth to support and help me as needed. She followed up with me after the baby and was immediately available during postpartum. Our connection is continuing and now we are close friends.” —Shekiba, remembering the birth of Mahdi
“In this state of continual giving to your infant—whether it is nourishment or care or love—you are easily drained, and you need to be replenished from sources outside yourself so that you will have reserves to draw from. Once you are aware of this, paying attention to and respecting these needs of the early postpartum weeks at home do not make you a weak or self-indulgent mother. They don’t make you a wimp. Rather, applaud your wisdom in respecting your own most intimate needs and the needs of your family.” —Sally Placksin, Mothering the New Mother: Women’s Feelings & Needs After Childbirth, page 84
As most parents will tell you, the transition that occurs when you add a new tiny person to the family can be joyful and rewarding, but few would argue that at times, it is also challenge-filled! This is where a postpartum doula can help. I can help you process the birth, assist with newborn care and nursing cues, care for your baby while you shower or nap, tidy around the house, run errands, start the laundry, make you lunch or tea, or just be around to listen.
Recognizing “normal” allows me to help with newborn care and breastfeeding and be another set of experienced hands that can help in taking some pressure off during this time of enormous transition. It’s important to note that postpartum doulas do not do medical tasks such as wound care, administering medications, or diagnosing medical or psychological conditions; however, I can offer referrals as appropriate.
I will meet with you or you and your partner before your baby is born to discuss anticipated needs. After your baby’s birth, you would then contact me to set up our first block of time, and we would then set priorities and additional blocks of time as needed.
Postpartum Doula Services: $30.00/hr
“I am receiving postpartum care from Cindy. There is no amount of money that can buy the love and support I have right now. It’s not a job, it’s a relationship. There are people in your life that become “your people”. Cindy has become one of “my people” through this experience.” —Nary, remembering the birth of Hannah
Antepartum doulas are called upon far less frequently; however, there are times when an expectant mom is restricted to bed rest or needs help organizing or setting up a nursery. Perhaps there are other children, and mom needs another set of adult hands, or she is hoping to work until she goes into labor and needs help on a couple of Saturdays. There are a range of reasons, but the needs are similar – shopping or errands, light housekeeping, organizing the nursery/home, food/meal preparation, laundry, etc.
I encourage everyone for whom I provide doula services to also attend my childbirth education classes. While an expectant mom can access a great deal of information online, it is no substitute for the rich discussion that happens as I start flipping open my birth atlas and pulling out teaching “props”.
Depending on class size, I typically teach childbirth classes as a series on 4 consecutive weeks, usually Saturday mornings, 9:30-11:30. Classes cover everything from an overview of the anatomy/physiology of birth and stages of labor, to coping strategies, comfort measures that work, interventions and interruptions, medications, and C-sections. We also discuss breastfeeding and newborn, postpartum, self-care, expectations and adjustments.
Childbirth Education Classes: $120.00
To sign up, contact me.
“Cindy was the teacher of the childbirth class I attended. She knows her stuff! She listens to your concerns and responds to your thoughts with consideration. I never actually had Cindy as my doula, since I ended up being delivered by C-section, but Cindy even met up with me during my postpartum just to see how I was doing and to meet my little one.” —Claire, remembering the birth of Evangeline and Heart2Heart Childbirth Class
Sibling support is offered when parent(s) plan to have an older child present at a birth. I would plan to meet with the child prior to the birth for 2 hours. Spending some time together, in their home where they are comfortable, helps me to get to know them at their most relaxed.
I will then be there at the birth with the child to provide complete emotional support, being their “doula”. My focus will be totally given to this child, answering questions, engaging or perhaps distracting them as seems appropriate at the time, or knowing when it’s just time to take a break. Finally, I can help them in bonding with their new sibling and integrating this new baby into the family.
“Cindy is readily available when her clients need her, and she makes an effort to establish a personal relationship not only with the mom-to-be, but with her partner and family as well, to make the birthing experience as comfortable as possible for everyone involved.” —Jillian, Director of Albemarle Pregnancy Center of Central VA
Combining services is the best way to create a continuum of care, tailoring a package to you and your family’s needs. The bonus is value!
Childbirth Classes + Birth Doula: $880.00 (save $40.00 – normally $120.00 + $800.00)
Childbirth Classes + Birth Doula + Postpartum Doula: $880.00 + $25.00/hr for postpartum care (save $40.00 + $5.00/hr)
I am also part of a network of birth workers throughout the greater Charlottesville and NOVA areas. Some are doulas, some chiropractors, and others maybe be counselors or have another area of expertise that sets them apart. When my clients have a specific need or may be better served by a different specialty, I have a fairly deep pool to draw on for referrals.