What it’s like to work with Megan the Doula…
Below are some longer testimonials from a few of the families I have supported over the years. I hope they can give you a more personal sense of the experience of working with me as your doula.
Megan supported us through my first pregnancy and the birth of our daughter, and helped us to have nothing but positive memories of the experience. Instead of being traumatic, childbirth felt intense, momentous, and exciting with Megan by our side, as she reassured us and calmed our doubts so that my husband and I could work together as a team. My husband keeps saying that the best thing she did for him was to say, “Don’t worry about re-parking the car — that can wait until after the baby arrives!” When there were suddenly a bunch of people around me in the pushing stage, she was able to calmly explain the role of each nurse, doctor, and assistant so that we were put at ease. She was intuitive and sensitive and knew just how to remove the small stresses and doubts that could have held us back from having such a great birth.
The best quality Megan brings to her work as a doula is her ability to listen and respond to the needs of the specific person she’s working with. Instead of lecturing us or instructing us on how to do things the “right way,” she approached things through asking us questions and prompting us gently to think through things for ourselves. She is open-minded, open-hearted, and generous with her time and energy. Overall, working with Megan is the best choice we made for our pregnancy, birth, and the start of our new life with our daughter.-Meghan M.
Hiring Megan as a doula was the smartest decision we made throughout my entire pregnancy. She was instrumental in giving me the confidence I needed to know I could go through with a natural birth. Megan met us at the hospital as soon as we arrived, massaged me during my contractions and was an incredible support for my husband as well. The labour and delivery went very well and exactly according to my birth plan and I believe Megan’s calm presence and support greatly contributed to that. After the birth, Megan was available for support and encouragement with breastfeeding. Megan is a wonderful doula and I feel like I’ve also found a friend in her after sharing such a wonderful experience with her.” – Genevieve M.
“Although I always felt positive about birth in general and had prepared myself and read a lot about natural childbirth, finding Megan and meeting with her prior to the birth of our son gave us additional peace of mind we were thankful for. We were pleased to discover that Megan had a really balanced and grounded attitude that boosted our confidence in pursuing our wishes for a drug free birth. She took the time during our meetings to methodically cover all aspects of ‘what to expect’, often from both a physical and an emotional standpoint. We were just so grateful to have found her!
Her presence during labour and birth was perfect: always watchful, there immediately when we needed her but never intruding. She gave me some wonderful pressure point massages that helped me so much with pain management and her words of encouragement, focus, and perspective helped me get through some of the roughest patches of my labour. I honestly feel like I couldn’t have accomplished my wish for a natural birth without her, but I did it! Megan is an absolutely fantastic doula (and person!) and we look forward to working with her again.” -Marion E.
“Although hiring a doula was my wife’s idea, I quickly came to appreciate the invaluable contributions she made to our birth experience. Pre and post birth she addressed all of our concerns and provided lots of useful information. During the birth she helped in so many ways that it is hard to enumerate them all. In addition to being a calming presence she contributed practical advice including massage techniques for pain relief. She interfaced with the medical staff to execute our birth plan and worked seamlessly with the doctor and nurses. Thanks in large part to Megan, our birth experience was a truly memorable one.” -Richard M.
“Megan was an invaluable support to us before, during and after the birth of our son! I am confident that without Megan’s support and (magical massaging hands!!), I would have been unable to have the delivery I wanted; one without medication or epidural. It was my first birth and my labor progressed quickly and intensley, so I desperately needed an experienced person to calm, reassure and focus me. Megan did all of this perfectly! She and my husband worked really well together and he has repeatedly said how thankful he is that she was there to help him as well. I cannot imagine having done this without her and there is no doubt in my mind I will need her for my next birth!” – Miranda P.
“Megan provided me with the insight, resources, questions for caregivers, and overall support that I needed to empower myself. She answered every question in a way that got through to me. I feel like a new woman, more confident than ever in myself and what my body is built to do. An unexpected side effect of this – my late pregnancy discomfort has eased significantly which I attribute to entering this new state of peace, relaxation and empowerment. I have an entirely new perspective on childbirth and I cannot wait for the experience of bringing our son into this world.” – Jen F. (Birth Plan Consult)
“Labor with my first daughter back in 2008 didn’t go so well. I had a long labor, and a difficult recovery. I suffered postpartum depression that went on far too long. So when I found out I was having twins, I was determined not to repeat the same experience. What I needed was someone to work with me through my biggest fear: a repeat of postpartum depression.
Megan worked with me during the pregnancy to help find twin support groups, discussing my plan to breast feed, and at length about depression. Although Megan was not with me during the delivery by emergency c-section, she was at the hospital with my husband before, and stayed with us after the twins were born. With her help, my daughter latched immediately after birth, and my son a few days later. Megan was there through the many phone calls, and emails (there were many), and both myself and my husband credit her with our ability to stay sane with newborn twins.
It is also because of Megan that I was prepared mentally to handle the stress of twins. I was able to keep a positive attitude, and avoid the postpartum depression that I suffered with for 8 months with my first. If you are thinking of including a Doula in your birth plan, do it. You will not regret having the support and peace of mind.” – Kerry H. (birth and postpartum support)”
“My husband and I were unsure if we should hire a doula for the birth of our first child. Then as my pregnancy was in its final stages, I became increasingly nervous about labour. When I was 35 weeks pregnant, my husband and I met with Megan and immediately decided that we wanted her to be present at our labour. We were happy she was available on such short notice. My labour went nothing like expected. I was induced and ended up having an epidural. Megan helped me decide whether or not pain medication was right for me, and more importantly, helped me be confident in my decision. After I had the epidural, Megan used massage techniques and aromatherapy which greatly added to the experience as it made me more relaxed. When it came time for me to push Megan cheered me on and as soon as our baby arrived, she took pictures for us.
I am sure that having Megan present at the birth of my first child made a huge difference. Before Megan arrived, my husband and I were nervous and stressed. After she arrived the whole atmosphere changed. I became more relaxed, and my exhausted husband was able to go and eat while Megan stayed with me. I enjoyed the labour experience and felt confident in the decisions I made. My husband and I both agree that hiring Megan as a doula is one of the best choices we have ever made!” – Carina H.
“Our first birth experience over exceeded our highest expectations and we believe Megan’s presence (before, during and after the birth of our son) contributed greatly. Prior to the big event, she met with us at our home and offered us her plethora of knowledge about labour and birth, breastfeeding and newborn care. During our discussions, Megan shared her expertise and personal experiences, which gave us the added confidence we needed.
We were reassured when we saw Megan arriving at the hospital at the same time we did. She immediately started massaging my back and saying encouraging words. When the labour was getting difficult, these encouragements made it possible for me to stay focus and confident. As labour progressed, she suggested a birthing position that worked for both myself and the hospital staff. One of the most memorable moments of the labour, was when Megan put by bangs up with a bobby pin. This little act made me feel understood and cared for. Megan’s enthusiastic, caring, and maternal nature makes her easy to befriend. Moreover, she is reliable and thoughtful, which makes her a fantastic doula. We are extremely thankful and highly recommend her!” – Christine S.
“Working with Megan for our birth was really the best investment we made. My husband and I are planners, we took the courses, I read the books, we prepared our “birth plan”, but hiring Megan and having her accompany us on our delivery date provided a level of support and encouragement you can’t really appreciate until you’re in that moment.
When my water broke a week before my due date and my contractions started weak and irregular, we very quickly accepted that our “plan” to avoid an induction, was probably unrealistic. My husband and I felt overwhelmed and confused, I personally felt like my birth plan was completely tossed out the window. We called Megan and I’ll never forget her calm reassuring tone when she simply said “Your plan is unfolding a little outside of what we expected. So let’s adjust the plan without compromising your choices. Why not try the birth without an epidural, as you had hoped, and just see how it goes”. Whether it would be possible or not, Megan’s calm matter of fact advice was exactly what I needed to hear. Every single birth is unique, and she reminded me of that. I felt empowered again!
My labour turned out to be a really incredible & beautiful experience. Megan was there every step of the way to support not only me but my husband as well. She knew when to talk me through a contraction and when to quietly stand by. She knew when to pull out her various “bag of tricks” (aromatherapy worked more than I ever appreciated it would!). Her counter pressure massage towards the end of my labor was phenomenal. We delivered our beautiful baby girl without an epidural as I had hoped. I know without a doubt the labour would have unfolded very differently had Megan not been there. I look back now on the birth of my daughter and I smile, for it really was one of the most empowering wonderful experiences of my life. ” – Daphne O.
“We are so grateful to have had Megan Howarth as our doula. We couldn’t be happier with the entire birth experience and Megan played a key role in making it all possible. She helped us to prepare for the big event by asking my partner and me key questions for reflection during her home visits prior to the birth, and by coaxing us towards the realization that nothing is predictable or totally controllable during labour. This way we were more ready to let the process unfold organically and take each challenge as it came.
She is approachable, reachable, reliable, and generous with her time. During the labour itself, I found Megan had an energetic presence. She was warm, supportive, and provided lots of encouragement. She offered suggestions for different positions during labour. What I thought was especially helpful were positions that involved my husband- like leaning towards him and holding his hands. This helped us to feel more connected as a couple throughout the experience. We highly recommend Megan. She helped us to feel cared-for before, during, and after the birth. P.S. She also makes incredible banana bread!” – Rebecca L