Reflecting back on my birth, it was a and the doula support I received from Ellen was one of the reasons why!
I initially connected with Ellen Jordano through the Health Foundations Birth Center’s partnership with the Doula Internship Program. Her certification as a Lactation Counselor and training in Spinning Babies made her stand out among the others in the program. Although we could not do our initial “get to know you” meeting in person due to Covid-19, I felt an immediate connection with her during our FaceTime call and could easily see how passionate she was about providing birth support. Ellen touched base with me every couple of weeks to see how I was doing and to encourage me to keep up with the Spinning Babies daily exercises I was doing to keep Baby in proper alignment. We agreed to have a socially distanced meeting at 36 weeks to talk about my birth plan and to come up with a plan when I was in labor. Ellen was a fantastic resource for me during my pregnancy and readily made herself available if I had any questions or concerns.
When my water broke a couple of days before my due date, I let Ellen know what was happening and she was a calming and encouraging presence behind the scenes for me during my early labor. During active labor, we met up at Health Foundations Birth Center and she kicked right into high gear to help me cope with the contractions. She was encouraging through each one, reminding me to breathe and stay calm. She described herself as a “comfort queen” and she is truly that. Ellen had essential oils, a back massage tool and many suggestions for different labor/birthing positions to keep me comfortable. She also worked as a team with my husband to provide labor and birth support which was empowering to him as well. Reflecting back on my birth it was a wonderfully positive experience and the Doula support I received from Ellen was one of the reasons why! I would highly recommend her services to anyone looking for a Doula.
Beyond being an incredible comforter, especially during times of confusion or when we were feeling discouraged by the length of labor.
Our experience with Ellen as our doula was truly a godsend. At our initial meeting, we felt a deep connection with her. We felt comforted by her ability to empathetically listen to our story, and seek to know us as a couple and growing family. As first time parents, Ellen offered encouragement and reassurance to our many questions. She also gave us exercises, strategies and resources to prepare us for the big day.
By the time we went into labor, I had established a meaningful relationship with her, like that of a mother and daughter, which helped ease my anxieties. It was especially meaningful to have this type of presence, since during the pandemic we could not have any other family members join our birth. Throughout my long, unmedicated labor, Ellen offered back rubs, hips squeezes, made sure I was well nourished, and coached my husband to be the supportive partner I needed. As a person who doesn’t normally ask for help, it was such a relief knowing her hand was there to squeeze and she would be with me during each contraction as I yelled, “Ellen hips!”
Beyond being an incredible comforter, Ellen was an important advocate for us, especially during times of confusion or when we were feeling discouraged by the the length of our labor. Knowing our birth plan and preferences, she helped us speak up for our needs.
Finally, knowing our values, motivations, and spirituality, Ellen helped us call upon these things and dig deep in the hardest moments of pushing when I felt like giving up. Reflecting back on our birth story, we believe without Ellen’s presence our whole experience may have felt traumatic. However, Ellen brought us an immeasurable amount peace and helped us optimize our inner strength.
Ellen has continued to support us post birth with lacation and postpartum care suggestions and home visits. We are so grateful for Ellen and will forever consider her part of our family.
We value and Ellen well-exceeded our expectations before, during and after birth.
Bringing new life into the world, especially for the first time, is a magnficient and momentous undertaking. As our daughter’s birthday was approaching, the fear of the uknown and hopeful anticipation was peaking. With Ellen as our primary birth-partner, our heart’s were able to acheive a confident peace about the birthing process. Ellen was quick to listen to our needs, and provided thoughtful answers founded in a wealth of experience and knowledge. We value clear and compassionate communication, and Ellen well-exceeded our expectations before, during, and after birth.
When labor began, I felt excitement and joy in the time to come, as well as a sense of nervousness and concern as I knew the hard-work and waves of labor my wife was about to wade through in the coming hours. Ellen was timely in meeting us at the Health Foundations birthing center, and was quick to take lead as our advocate and partner when we did not know which step to take next to facilitate a meaningful, smooth, and timely birthing process. She was well-equipped to meet not only my wife’s needs, but also mine, every step of the way. From postural suggestions to words of encouragement, and more significantly her enduring presence of peace and comfort, we made it through more than 24 hours of arduous labor.
Ellen and I worked as a team to meet my wife where she was, every step of the way; and with her assistance, my wife and I would both describe the laboring process as ultimately beautiful, spiritual, and permeated with profound meaning.
After birth, Ellen continued to provide us exemplary service with texts of encouragement, a simple phone call to answer any pressing questons, and even a home visit to help us process and better appreciate the entirety of the miracle we had witnessed with our daughters birth.
With certainty, I can attest that Ellen will be our partner in birth as our family grows, as well as a good friend for a lifetime.
She struck a of anticipating our needs without being intrusive.
Ellen was actually a back-up doula for my doula. I had only ever chatted with her on the phone when she came to relieve my doula after a long night. (We had had the option to meet, but naively thought we wouldn’t need to reach for back-ups, ha!) Even so, I felt instantly at ease with her. She has a solid, joyful presence, and her hands are *magic*. I’ll be forever grateful for her physical support — massage and squeezes, even just her hands on my forehead. She was proactive in caring for me through those late stages. She struck a wonderful balance of anticipating needs without being intrusive. Another testimonial says she felt Ellen was like a mother, and I had that same sense of comfort and security, like I was held and safe and could let down while she was with me.
She also brought such a sense of celebration and openness (and homemade granola — the best I’ve ever tasted) to our followup house call and conversation. We would highly recommend her!