What are others saying about Empowered Birthing?
Hilary B. - Bastrop, TX
Jamie had been our doula during a past birth with us, and we wanted the same support again. I appreciated the support and being able to talk about interventions at our past birth. It made everything less “scary” since I knew what I was getting into. I was happy learning about optimal fetal positioning and felt more ready for this birth. The birth was all very fast, but I appreciated the support and confidence she had in me. I was a little scared at how fast things happened, so it was helpful to have her there and hands on to help me feel more confident. It made my partner feel more calm and like everything was going to be alright. It was all so valuable—the extra education, the labor support, having an “ear” to talk through decisions, being confident in me being able to have a natural birth, and providing a sense of calmness when thing were intense.
Iradis J.- Round Rock, TX
I felt an immediate sense of comfort around Jamie from our initial meeting. My intuition was that our personalities would work well together during the labor and delivery process. There was also a deep sense of calm that I felt, especially during the labor process, which made her stand out more than other doulas I interviewed with. I loved having a refresher on some different positions for laboring, as well as learning about some new positions and exercises to do before going into labor. She was very well prepared with a lot of great information and I appreciated that she gave some printed information for us to have in hand. She handled my long, early labor so well. She exemplified being sacrificial to ensure that I got the support I wanted even during the slow beginning stages of labor. My husband also felt empowered and well supported with her presence. He knows we both couldn’t have done it without her support. She intuitively and quietly knew how to anticipate my needs during labor, many times even before I myself could verbalize them. From my first texts/phone calls (before I was even 38 weeks), through the postpartum visit, I felt like she truly cared and never rushed me, always making sure to ask me good questions to find out how I was feeling and progressing in pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum. I had a great experience and felt that her support went above and beyond my expectations, which I really appreciated.
Nadia D. - Round Rock, TX
My main reason for hiring a doula was for added support in having a vaginal delivery. My husband was unable to be with me for our daughter’s birth due to unexpected circumstances, so it was really important that I have someone knowledgeable by my side to support my family and I through my birth experience. Jamie was the first doula on my list to interview, and I knew she was the kind of person I wanted with me through this very personal experience. Her calming, yet matter-of-fact demeanor was what I needed. During Hiba’s birth, Jamie helped me a lot emotionally and physically, more than I expected. With her prenatal guidance of what to expect, I felt like I was in control when labor started, and I knew how to handle it. With Jamie’s advice, I knew how to labor as much as I could at home and how to use the different areas of my house to help me do so. Her support in the delivery room at the hospital and adding pressure to my back was a much-welcomed relief. Jamie helped me to assess the risks and benefits of every intervention, which I otherwise would not have done. Her presence gave me the confidence to advocate for myself with the staff as well. Unfortunately I did not have my dream birth and ended up with an emergency c-section. Jamie helped me process my thoughts after surgery while holding my hand tight, and waited with me until I could see my baby. Despite not having my ideal birth, I left the hospital with my healthy baby feeling empowered in a way, because I was able to advocate for myself despite feeling moments of vulnerability. I was able to handle the initial grief of an unwanted c-section because Jamie was by my side with empathy, allowing me to go home ready for the excitement of being a new mommy. I would recommend Jamie to anyone looking for a doula. She went above and beyond, especially with keeping touch postpartum, and if we have another baby in Austin, I will be hiring Jamie again.
Keris W. - Austin, TX
I wanted to give myself every opportunity of a vaginal (hopefully unmedicated) birth. I didn’t want to experience a scary birth and regret not getting enough help. Jamie did an excellent job helping me achieve my goals; I couldn’t have asked for better. Our prenatal visits were extremely useful. I like to be prepared and practiced, and the sessions we had helped me feel more comfortable going into labor and the hospital. Her support, information, and discussion went far beyond OB office visits and baby classes. Most women really need the help of a doula! Jamie was the perfect team member for my husband and I. She teamed up with my husband to provide the support I needed through an intense labor. She reassured me when strange things happened (throwing up, shakes and shivers) during labor. My husband felt very prepared, but it helped him to have an extra support person during the whole delivery process. It kept him calm when pain levels and comfort measures were beyond his control. She offered numerous soothing techniques throughout that proved effective and definitely made the whole experience easier. I really had a wonderful birth experience, and that is priceless. I think she is changing women’s lives with their birth experience!
N.M.- Austin, TX
It was the last minute and I realized I had no real support during my birth. I wanted to make sure that I had someone on my side that would guide me through the process of giving birth. I contacted several doulas, and I felt that Jamie was authentic, ethical, and trustworthy, and she was flexible and able to accommodate me at the last minute. Even though we didn’t have much time prenatally, she took time to make sure she answered all of my questions. During the birth, more than one time she helped me understand what was going on, to ask questions, and make sure that what they were doing was to my benefit, not to their convenience. The most valuable things to me was feeling supported emotionally, not feeling alone. I don’t know how I would have gone through it without her. She held my hand, helped me relax, and made it so much easier. She really cared. And, I loved getting real birth photos that I wasn’t expecting to have. If I have another baby, she will be there. Having a doula was definitely a worthwhile investment, and I would highly recommend her to other families seeking a doula.
Lisa D. - Round Rock, TX
I interviewed three doulas and Jamie stood out as the most educated and most knowledgeable about labor and birth. She was the most experienced doula I interviewed, having attended many different kinds of births in many different settings. She also had the best personality, by which I mean that she was calm, peaceful, patient, understanding, and flexible, but at the same time, she was confident and strong, and you could tell she would assert herself on your behalf if needed.
It was my first birth, and I knew I wanted to have a natural, vaginal birth, without an epidural or other medical interventions. I asked Jamie to help me achieve that goal. With Jamie’s expansive knowledge and experience, and her unwavering, constant support by my side, I achieved the natural, vaginal birth I wanted.
I think the prenatal visits are possibly the most important and most valuable part of the services Jamie offers. The amount of hours she dedicated to me and my partner before the birth was unbelievable. We were so lucky to have her support leading up to the birth. She went over all sorts of useful information such as comfort techniques for labor. We practiced each of them, which gave both me and my partner time to experiment and get comfortable with the types of things we might each be doing during the birthing process. She also helped me develop my birth plan, and her extensive knowledge about the various medical interventions and their purposes, advantages, and disadvantages was invaluable to me.
Two things stand out the most about my experience with Jamie: (1) Jamie’s incredible flexibility and willingness to provide whatever I needed during the birth, even though what I ended up needing was the complete opposite of what she expected, and went against everything she and my partner had prepared for. Leading up to the birth, both Jamie and my partner practiced giving me massages and speaking encouraging words. During labor, it turned out that I didn’t want anyone to touch me or talk to me. Both Jamie and my partner found a myriad of ways to provide support to me despite this, such as bringing me food, drinks, pillows, hot and cold compresses, etc. (2) Jamie’s dedication to me and my partner during the prenatal period. In addition to the regular prenatal visits, which each lasted several hours, and were incredibly helpful in preparing us for labor and birth, Jamie scheduled an extra prenatal visit free of charge when she learned that my baby was still halfway between anterior and posterior at 40 weeks. She spent several hours with me doing exercises to help turn the baby and encourage labor to begin. It began the next day and my labor was short and smooth!
My partner says, “I definitely felt prepared, supported, and confident going into the birth, and I appreciated having help during the birth, since I didn't know exactly what to expect.”
I would wholeheartedly recommend her services to other families seeking a doula.
Y. - Austin, TX
We approached one doula only and after meeting Jamie we were convinced that she was the right fit for us. She was warm without being overbearing or preachy and in tune with our natural birthing and healing ideas without dismissing modern medicine completely.
Jamie was supportive throughout my long labor. She made sure I was aware of the facts every time we approached a stage when a critical decision (and there were a few like whether it was time to get an epidural after having gone through contractions for 22 hours, or when I realized that a forceps delivery or C-section was inevitable after I had pushed for over 4 hours) had to be made or I needed to come to terms with the way my labor was progressing. At such turning points, Jamie would help to clear my head by laying out the facts. I did not go into my labor with set goals in mind since one gets the labor that one gets but I did desire a natural birth and I got that given the circumstances.
Before meeting Jamie I was afraid of the pain I had imagined one might go through during labor. After our first meeting, something she said put me in the right frame of mind. She said that rather than resisting the pain one needs to give in to it to a certain extent. I found that that idea of flowing with the contractions (even if I can't recall Jamie's exact words) helped me a ton in dealing with labor pain.
When we hired a doula, we were not sure exactly what type of emotional and physical help I might need during labor, but after having gone through a long and hard labor I can say with full confidence that we would have not made it without Jamie. She has an infectiously strong belief in a mother's ability to have a natural birth and she provides all the support that is needed towards that end.
Sidney B. - Austin, TX
When making the decision to hire a doula, I did so knowing I would need a lot of support before and during labor and delivery because my family is out of state and I was not capable of knowing if they would be there for the birth. I decided to hire a doula for the guaranteed support and also to make my labor and delivery a positive experience. Jamie was very straight-forward and to the point with every question we had, well-educated and experienced. In our prenatal meetings, I was informed of a few options that I was not even aware I had as well as aided in making sure all bases were covered in my birth plan. The comfort measures she taught helped immensely. What stood out the most to me while working with her was that she was so thorough in helping me create my birth plan as well as making sure it all played out the way I had wanted, knowing I had support and would not be alone before and during my labor and delivery. I could not imagine my son’s birth without her help and support, and even despite the small complication, it was such a positive and empowering experience. The resources and support she gave was priceless. Without a doubt, after my experience I will always recommend a doula for any one I know who is expecting.
Stephanie B. - Georgetown, TX
Jamie is an invaluable asset. In our initial visits she gave great advice on positions, health articles and spent time with us helping release unfavorable memories of our first birth experience. Her countenance is so gentle and she's a very knowledgable person. She helped both my husband and I get through the labor and birth with more confidence. There's one thing that stands out to me just looking back at it all. I/We had originally wanted to go as natural as possible, and per Jamie's birth notes she gave us (thank you!), around hour 30 of labor, I requested an epidural. When Jamie came into the room, there was no judgement at all about the change in plans, she brought her bag of tricks for THIS plan. She even helped hold my legs while pushing. Definitely a strong woman! When our little guy was born, the room was electric with joy and smiles and there was no disappointment at all from anyone. We had achieved our VBAC, AND were able to breastfeed! My husband and I truly believe that if we didn't have Jamie, we were headed for another c-section. In our post-partum visit with her we were met with a wonderful surprise, PHOTOS! She snapped some quick photos of us with her phone and it captured a wonderful moment. It brought tears to our eyes all over again. My husband says, “The main thing [that helped me] is having that outside perspective. She sees things more as they are than we are able to. I was just sitting there fretting and her calmness helped me be calm.” I definitely feel like having a doula was a worthwhile investment. I would absolutely recommend her services to other families seeking a doula. Jamie was a blessing to our little family, she really was.
Sondra K. - Round Rock, TX
I am 30 years old and was pregnant with my first child. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy and knew I wanted to give birth at the Birthing Center. I wanted to hire a doula to really help my husband help me and to be a voice of reason. It was important to me to have as much calm as possible and that having someone around with the knowledge of normal vs abnormal would help facilitate that. Jamie gave an immediate impression of knowledge and kindess. Fast forward to my due date. I was 41 weeks pregnant when my water broke at 7:30am on a Monday. I was in contact with Jamie by text (because I prefer text) all day. Contractions started at 9pm and I asked Jamie to come over about 1:30am. She came over and helped me with my breathing and early labor so my husband could sleep. About 8am I had meconium in the fluids. I could tell since my water was re-breaking every time I had a contraction. It was decided for me to go to the Birthing Center. Jamie was with me all day giving me advice on positions and suggested bringing in the acupuncturist/chiropracter when things weren't progressing on their own. As frustrating as it was to be in labor without making progress, Jamie made me feel 100% better by always having one more suggestion of techniques to try. By Tuesday afternoon when the baby still hadn't descended into the birthing canal, and I still hadn't dilated, it was decided to go to St Davids. Jamie went with me and helped my husband sort through everything that was happening. I ended up with a c-section Tuesday night and a very healthy baby. It was so wonderful having Jamie there. That is exactly what having a doula is about. You can read all of the books and watch all of the videos you want but having someone with the knowledge that Jamie had was perfect when things didn't go by the book. I am so grateful for her assistance.
Amber B. - Austin, TX
I have 3 children. My first 2 births were completely medicated. With my last pregnancy, I knew I wanted the birth to be different. I was in my ninth month when I realized that I needed a doula to help me experience the natural childbirth I wanted. My husband was in the military and he was in another state. We didn't know if he would make it for the birth. I interviewed a few doulas, but I felt like I should keep looking. I knew time was running out. I was given Jamie's number and we set up a meeting. I felt very comfortable with Jamie. I thought she would be perfect at helping me and supporting me through my birth. I was a couple of weeks from my due date and Jamie worked with me to set up time to get together to discuss my upcoming birth and practice different pain management techniques. During the time before I gave birth, she sent me many informative articles pertaining to whatever I was questioning regarding my birth. She had plenty of information and I needed it. As my due date passed, I decided I would schedule to get induced. My husband had flown into town for 10 days. I wanted to have him there for the birth. Jamie was supportive of my decision to induce. She also informed me of natural induction methods and induction methods that I could ask my OB about. I went in to the hospital the night before I was scheduled to get induced, and fortunately for me, I went into natural labor. It happened very quickly. Jamie made it for the end of my labor. She was so helpful with my labor positions, counter pressure and just calm words. She was so supportive and helped me when I was in so much pain that I couldn't even remember to breathe slowly and deeply. I remember being terrified as I transitioned and she calmly told me that I was close and I could do it. I was able to do it. I had my natural childbirth that I dreamed of and Jamie was VERY much apart of it. I would recommend Jamie to any mother out there who is looking for a doula!
Alissa C. - Austin, TX
Upon meeting Jamie, all our doubts and concerns as to whether we should hire a doula were put to rest. Here we were, my husband and I, looking forward to the birth of our first child and having no idea how the birth would go. Luckily, I enrolled in the care of the Austin Area Birthing Center and felt comfortable and well-cared for. I found community there and very quickly heard through the grapevine that I NEEDED a Doula. Whether it's your first baby or your fourth, a doula is a necessity indeed. If it had just been my husband and I during the birth, I literally don't know what I would have done. My husband was very hands on the entire time, and I still couldn't have done without Jamie.
But jumping back to our first consultation...Jamie was extremely professional and articulate. She elaborated on exactly what her services were and what they were not. Not only did she have real life experience birthing two babies, but she had the knowledge and resources about birth to share as well. It was extremely helpful for this first time mom.
The birth itself was 48 hours of labor! I labored at home and hadn't slept in a couple days by the time I got to the birthing center. I chose to have Jamie meet us there and she was there just as she had promised and ready to go. Through approximately 14 hours of labor at the center she was there for me. This is priceless! Her physicality and endurance were the most helpful, as well as just knowing she was there for me. Even with a team of people - my midwives, their assistants, and my husband - I could not have done it without Jamie. I was able to have a natural birth and it was amazing and challenging.
If I haven't stated it enough -- I couldn't have done it without Jamie's help! Even if you don't think you need a doula, you will. Jamie is exceptional and I wish her only the best with her business!
Liz K. - Austin, TX
If you're considering a doula a all, if you're reading this, this it's worth at the very least interviewing Jamie. We are new to town and had already been through a beautiful, easy, natural labor, attended by a dear friend serving as 'doula.' I was confident that my body could do it again, but also knew that the extra support of a doula was never wasted. Then again, I'd only had a close friend present; it seemed forced or distant to hire a doula.
Well, Jamie was the perfect solution. Her whole package - including the prepatory meetings (to review what we'd learned before our first), flexible schedule, gentle demeanor, very knowledgable background, and even the follow-up - was exactly what we were looking for. And I haven't even spoken yet of how ideal her presence was during labor - that's where she really shines!
Jamie gently reminded me of alternative positions. I could accept or decline, fearless of offending. Jamie quietly had water or cold washcloths or other props on hand, anticipating my desires without me even asking, and equally importantly - without getting in my husband's way, either. I never felt there were too many people in the room. Jamie trusted my body, my instincts. I needed the clarity of her gaze when I was going through transition and she said, "This is it. It won't be long." Jamie remembered my history and details, she was a continuous presence whereas the attending midwife couldn't be. I trust Jamie's urgency helped convince the midwife to stay, right as I was pushing.
Most importantly, Jamie allowed me to have the best birth possible. She was like an invisible angel, providing the set of props, always helping my husband help me, smoothing things over.
Kristina M. - Pflugerville, TX
I can't say enough good things about Jamie. I initially was adverse to the idea of having a doula, but after meeting with Jamie and familarizing myself with the role of a doula, I started to warm up to the concept. Jamie met with me one-on-one and helped me go through my birth plan. She helped me understand the everything listed on the birth plan provided by my OB. She encouraged me to be more educated about my choices. She met with my husband and I as well and together, helped us understand how to make the experience more of a partnership. Jamie provided us with helpful literature about labor, the role of a doula, and a partner's role in the labor process. She checked in periodically and was involved from day one. When delivery day came, I couldn't have been more grateful and glad that we had decided to go with Jamie as my doula. We called her when my contractions were about 6 minutes apart and painful. She came over immediately and helped me continue to labor at home. She helped me with pain management through massage and breathing techniques. This was my second pregnancy, and the difference in pain management with her present, compared to my first delivery, is like day and night! She helped me not just get through the painful contractions, but breathe through them and try to stay as calm and at peace as possible. When we got the hospital, Jamie helped me stick to my birth plan and relay my birthing preferences to the L&D team. She helped me through the labor process by indroducing different positions that ease the pain. Jamie stayed by my side the entire time and made sure everything progressed smoothly. She was a blessing. If anyone is in need of a dedicated, easy to talk to doula, Jamie is certainly one of the best! I wish I had known her when I had my first!
Erin G. - Austin, X
We were considering not using a doula at all for our first birth. But when the due date inched ever closer, we came to our senses and started looking for someone to guide us through this incredible unknown journey. We were lucky enough to have the help and expertise of Jamie at the last minute! Jamie had her two children with the same birthing center I was going to, and I felt instantly close and comforted by her when we first met. It was her calm demeaner, her patience, and her natural mothering instinct that put me at ease during the entire natural birthing process. Before and even after the big day, she made herself available for me when I had questions about laboring or newborn care, and even sent me articles via email for research to help me understand things like hospital procedure in case I would need to be transported (which I didn't). Looking back, I don't know what I would have done without her! She provided just the perfect amount of encouragement, cheering me on and helping me with visualizations during labor. I am forever grateful for the confidence and the positivity that she wrapped around me leading up to and on the day of the birth. She was right there the entire 13 hours that day, starting before 5am, pressing on my pelvis to relieve my back pain through each and every contraction, keeping me hydrated, and helping to hold me up when it was time to push and finally meet my baby girl.