I can most definitely recommend having Sarah at your birth! We did a home birth (with midwife of course). The midwife was taking care of the medical stuff while Sarah took care of ME :) Sarah came to be with me at 6 in the morning before my mom arrived. She massaged my legs and feet, helped me get some things ready, and brought lots of amazing food and drink to keep me going. When labour stalled for an hour she went for a walk down to the woods with me. After we got back she recommended some things we could do to speed it up again, after calling the midwife and getting the OK, we did this and boy did it speed up! The midwife arrived at that point. Sarah had been with me for hours already. She coaxed me into different positions as the labour evolved so that I would be most comfortable. She held cold compresses in just the right spot. She gave my husband guidance on what he could do to help. In short, she was awesome! She somehow even managed to take some great photos with one hand while I was grasping the other in the birthing pool.
She even came to hypnobirthing classes over the summer with us as this was a technique we wanted to use and she was eager to learn it as well.
Honestly, you need to pick the doula you are most comfortable with. We met with 4 different ones and they all seemed competent but we just connected with Sarah and felt comfortable with her right away. She new exactly when to step in and when to step back.
As first-time parents hoping for a natural delivery, my [husband] Jeff and I weren't sure what to expect. Our biggest concern was that we wouldn't have the constant support we wanted during the labour and delivery process. Upon meeting Sarah, we immediately felt at ease with her and that she understood our concerns and needs. Through the pre-labour visits we discussed many possibilities and scenarios, and she worked with us to hep us understand the role of a support person. Her presence throughout my labour and birth was invaluable in terms of the support and encouragement she provided with calming touch and words, and it allowed Jeff and I to stay connected through it all, so we could really enjoy the experience together. After our son's birth, she stayed with us to make sure we were comfortable, and even came back the next day to help me with breastfeeding support and to get a plan in place for support once I was discharged. All in all, Sarah was pretty incredible throughout the whole process, and I highly recommend her for anyone looking for that personal touch at their child's birth. Thank you, Sarah!
Jen, Jeff and George
Hiring a doula was a last minute decision for us, but it was probably the best decision we made in preparing for the birth of our first child. From the first time we met Sarah, we felt comfortable and confident about sharing this special journey with her. Sarah spent time in our home before the birth and helped us prepare for what would be a very emotional and physically draining labour and delivery. After my water broke, she stayed with us for over 24 hours and provided continuous support and encouragement during the entire labouring process - everything from making lunch and massaging my back during the early contractions to helping me breathe and focus through the most painful and difficult contractions at the peak of transition. She helped my husband by giving him pointers on how to support me and empowered us to advocate for the birth we wanted. I truly don't know if I would have been able to get through such a long, tiring labour naturally without Sarah's constant help and encouragement. After our daughter's birth, her amazing support continued as she brought us dinner and muffins and provided valuable breastfeeding advice. Our experience with Sarah has been so wonderful and we hope to have her by our side for any future pregnancies.
Sophie, David and Neve
Sarah Baughman - of Expectations Certified Doula Services - attended my birth, and I cannot say enough about how wonderful she was throughout my pregnancy, my delivery and post-natal care. June was my first baby, and I didn't know what to expect. With Sarah's help, I built my confidence, learned techniques to cope with labor, and decided that I would attempt a home birth.
Sarah coached me through what my expectations should be, and when my labor happened she was there for me throughout the whole process. Having her there was so reassuring and comforting. She was very knowledgeable. I had a very slow, long labor, and Sarah knew the right techniques to get things moving along. With her techniques, I went from pre-labor to active labor in no time, and once things got started she was there for me through each contraction.
After my baby was born, I can't describe how wonderful it was to see her face when I was recovering from labor and birth. She helped me through some insecurities I had about being a new mother, and gave me the confidence and advice I needed to get off to a great start.
I wholeheartedly recommend two things: 1) a doula is a MUST at every labor and birth. 2) Sarah Baughman is the comforting, knowledgeable presence that is so needed throughout the experience.
I wish Sarah all the best. I know she has found her calling as a doula- she is so wonderful.
Leah, Sean and June
Having Sarah as my doula was the best gift I gave myself during my pregnancy. This was our first pregnancy and the emotional, practical and educational support provided by Sarah during the pregnancy, labour and postpartum was invaluable! This was especially true given our transient lifestyle as Project Engineers working and living between 2 cities. Add to that renovation of an income property and fluctuating blood sugar levels and it got a bit overwhelming. However, Sarah was there to help us develop a birthing plan, help us prepare for our son's arrival (i.e. set up the change table and hospital bag) and was always available to answer any questions. As the participants in my health care team changed (transitioning from my family doctor to OB), my doula was a constant. My OB was not available for my labour which started on the weekend so I had a whole new set of doctors and nurses who were changing shift when I came in. It was nice to know that there would be one familiar face in the birthing team with me other than my partner. During labour, Sarah exhibited empathy, patience and intuition implementing various pain relief techniques; my favourite was the frozen water bottle rolled up and down my back. She also effectively coached my partner when needed and relieved him so he could get some rest during the labour. Her presence was unobtrusive yet noted as she was there to facilitate every stage of the birthing process while being respectful of all of the participants. Ultimately, I felt I was empowered and that I had the best birthing experience that I could have and I credit Sarah for much of that. She is the quintessential nurturer and has obviously found her calling as a doula. Thank you so much Sarah!
Millie, Ben and Tyler
Drew and I cannot express in words how thankful we are to have had you at Brody's birth. I honestly don't know what we would have done without you. Having you there to reassure us, give us tips, offer guidance and support throughout the entire process is something that can't really be described. Not only did you take care of me, but you also made sure that Drew was taken care of, and I think a lot of fathers get forgotten in the process so that was awesome. As someone said to me - it's like having your best friend that knows everything about childbirth with you, and boy were they right! It's amazing to have had such a powerful experience with you, you are so kind and caring and even tempered that your energy just transferred to us to make the experience that much more wonderful. Again, thank you so much for everything you did and I wish you all the best with your future births, anyone would be lucky to have you as their Doula and I will definitely be in touch should we have another - can't imagine doing it without you.
Cynthia, Drew and Brody
Words cannot describe how much of a help Sarah was during my labour. It was extremely long and exhausting. When I felt like things were never going to end, was extremely tired, frustrated, scared etc. Sarah gave me the positive push that I needed to feel better. She did the little things like rubbed my feet, put wet cloths on my head and never left my side.
As someone who was so scared about the labour and all that I endured, I would have probably been frantic with fear throughout but Sarah kept me calm and positive.
She then went over and above and visited us after, made us food and just made sure that we were ok.
Thank you Sarah, words will never explain exactly how appreciated you were during this time and I am so thankful that I chose you as my doula to help me through this!