Doula Support

Sweet testimonies from clients at an event celebrating supporting over 100 births! Please excuse the chatter in the background.

An Empowering VBAC!

"I used Shalene as my doula with my 2nd baby. The birth was a planned VBAC. I wanted a natural birth & really wanted a doula that was confident & had alot of ideas to help me through labor. Shalene fit my needs perfectly. She has birthed naturally herself & was very confident in my ability to have the birth I wanted. She was very professional & thorough in the interview & guided our time well. She really knew her role as a doula before & during my labor & never overstepped. She worked wonderfully with my husband, support friend (who is a labor & delivery nurse) & midwife. It was a team approach of labor support that was exactly what I needed. Shalene’s massage skills were priceless! I can still remember how good it felt as she rubbed my feet during contractions. It helped me to focus on my feet instead of my belly. I had taken the prenatal class with her which taught pain coping techniques. It was hard to imagine them helping but they really did. She reminded me of them & I used "the edges" & "seeing, hearing, feeling" to help me focus elsewhere. One thing I found comforting was her voice...I had several prenatal massages with her during my pregnancy & became familiar with her voice & the relaxing things she would say during the massage. Hearing her say the same things in labor brought me back to that state of relaxation. I felt completely safe & supported during my labor experience & had a successful VBAC! I would definitely recommend Shalene to any mother seeking out doula support!"- Andrea Flynn


"Shalene empowered my husband and me as a team and made suggestions for how we could support one another as a team.  Shalene did a fabulous job of not dominating the birth process and instead respecting the roles and expertise of each other person."  -Whitney Wall Bortz

Read Whitney's full testimony of Shalene's support, click here: Whitney's Testimony

"Shalene was very helpful with support to me, as a husband, and made suggestions of how I could be more/most supportive.  I was very nervous about using a doula, and I know the staff at the birthing center was also.  After the birth, both I and they were deeply impressed with Shalene and her work/ support." - Brennon Bortz


"Shalene was the perfect support person to have the type of birth we wanted to have. Having Shalene present at our birth and as a resource before and after pregnancy was extremely valuable and I would definitely recommend her services! She was very knowledgeable about the hospital procedures and was able to help us understand what to expect from the healthcare team and the options we had. She was also crucial in guiding me through different positions and movements to help labor progress. Shalene used massage and counter pressure to help me better cope with contractions. Her personality is so calm and compassionate… it was exactly the type of person we needed in the room with us during labor. We kept saying throughout the labor process, “How do people do this without you?” We’re so grateful for her support and highly recommend her!" - Emily Myers


"Shalene first met with us about three months before our due date. My husband and I had not been able to attend classes together so we discussed other options we had as far as support for our first experience having a child. We were referred to Shalene through a primary care physician we had just met. Shalene came to our house for the initial interview, and shortly after we started our conversation, we knew we liked her. She shared her amazing story of why she became a Doula, and we spent a very relaxed time getting to know each other as she learned about our expectations, desires and thoughts about our upcoming adventure. We are so thankful we hired her. The pre and postpartum massages were wonderful!! Her presence, guidance, and experience were just what we needed when our little one decided to show up a couple of weeks early. My husband appreciated her advice, which was always patient, unobtrusive, thoughtful, insightful and never overpowering. She helped hold the space and jumped in without hesitation when things got messy (in my case: vomiting... lots of vomiting). She offers so many services designed to prepare you for the "Labor Land" experience and the unknowable changes that come--physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, afterwards. Shalene is a gifted, passionate and experienced Doula my husband and I both highly recommend." - Jill Shatzer


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"After deciding that we wanted to try for an unmedicated birth for our first child, my husband and I knew we needed a doula to help us prepare for and support us during our labor. We met with a few doulas, and chose Shalene because she was so easy to talk to and from the moment of meeting her, we both felt very comfortable with her. Throughout my pregnancy Shalene helped us prepare for the labor with her classes (which help you mentally prepare for and cope with pain) and even had books for us to borrow if we wanted. During the labor, Shalene was absolutely invaluable! She helped us with our decision of when to go to the hospital and provided the perfect counter pressure and support (quite literally at some points) that I needed to be able to have an unmedicated birth. There were some complications with baby after he was born, and Shalene stayed with my husband and I until we knew what was happening and we were ready for her to leave. The prenatal and postpartum massages were so relaxing and just what I needed at those times. We also enjoyed that Shalene was able to put us in contact with a wonderful birth photographer. I know that if/when we get pregnant with our second child, Shalene will be one of the first calls I make because I couldn't imagine giving birth without her support."- Crystal Hazzard


"One of the best decisions my husband and I made was to choose Shalene as our doula. Her contribution to our daughter's birth and the birth experience for me and my husband was invaluable. People asked me, "Well what does your doula do?" My response was always, "She will be our constant; She will be there before, during, and after the birth." Shalene was our mentor, emotional support, and friend. Her Birthing From Within teaching provided a unique preparation for our daughter's birth. Shalene taught me to look within, to trust myself, and to listen to my inner wisdom. This was such valuable teaching that I applied in ways that surprised me during the birth. I was so greatful to have her there, to be not only a support for me, but for my husband as well. Our lives will be forever blessed by her presence though this birth." - Kevan and Trisha Minick


"The support Shalene provided for my husband and I during our second birth is beyond what we had imagined it would be. My husband comments often on how awesome she was, and how nice it had been to have someone so knowledgeable and supportive, and that, 'has your back' during short moments of essential rest. We had experienced a difficult birth with our first daughter, and I strongly feel that if it weren't for Shalene's emotionally strong presence at our second birth we would not have had the outcome we desired. THANK YOU for everything!" -Miranda Altice


"When I asked about a doula, my doctor spoke very highly of and confidently recommended Shalene. I certainly see why! Shalene supported every aspect of my pregnancy. Initially, she respectfully facilitated an intimate conversation about my desires for birth, suggested numerous ways to prepare, and included excellent books to read. I could rely on her to promptly answer emails, phone calls, or text messages, especially when I went past my due date. In the delivery room, she interacted professionally with my doctor and nurses while staying sensitive to my needs.  Shalene’s experience and intuition are invaluable. She realized the needs of this mama throughout pregnancy and birth. She carefully guided my husband and I through the compassionate use of interventions during labor when necessary. We will have to fly her across the country when we have our next baby!" - Holly Timme


"I am very grateful for not only the support Shalene provided for me as my doula, but also her informative and enlightening childbirth classes. She provided me with the tools which enabled me to fully experience the joy of pregnancy and childbirth calmly as a first time mom. Shalene guides you and helps you to look into yourself to find personal strength and intuition. She is very resourceful and connected to many other supports and services that can help you to get the absolute most out of your complete birthing experience. I am very grateful to have had her present every step of the way and during the birth of my beautiful son. She is a true blessing and I highly recommend her." -Tiffany Rupe


"Before I was pregnant with my first child, I knew I wanted to have a Doula to assist with my birth. I loved the idea of having a third party present in order to help myself and my husband stay grounded during an overly emotional and important time. I also knew we wouldn't be in the right state of mind to fully understand medical issues that could arise during delivery and I knew I wanted a natural childbirth. Shalene met with my husband and I to explain her role more in depth and once we hired her, she met with us again in our home to discuss my pregnancy, what we anticipated, and provided prenatal bodywork. We also attended her birthing class where we learned different pain coping skills and breathing exercises to assist during labor. When I went into labor, I wasn't aware that's what it was. I spoke with Shalene who was comforting and was available via phone during the middle of the night as my contractions became more intense and closer together. Shalene provided suggestions that I could do at home and came to meet us early in the morning and followed us to the hospital. Shalene was amazing during my delivery and used multiple pain coping techniques to assist with the pain I was experiencing. Shalene was very encouraging, stayed calm, and assisted my husband in helping me manage the pain. I was at the hospital for less than 5 hours before my son was born, completely natural. I'm so thankful for Shalene! I truly believe without her guidance and assistance, I would not have had the birth I had dreamed of having. Shalene has continued to check in with me since my son's birth and provided postpartum bodywork. Thank you, Shalene for being there for our growing family!"- Elyshia


"My birth plan involved giving birth in a hospital while attempting to have as non-medicated of a birth as possible. My labor was very long (24hr+), my cervix not progressing past 8cm, and I ended up with a C-section. That being said, the support that Shalene offered was AMAZING. Both she and my husband helped get me through my labor with a variety of techniques from breathing, use of vocalizations, positioning, birthing ball/stool, and pressure points/massage,to warm showers for relaxation, prayer, and visualizations. She also coached and supported my husband in his role throughout the process. Shalene guided me every step of the way. More than once I asked for 'Help' or felt that I 'couldn't go on', but she never doubted my physical and emotional capabilities. She kept gently encouraging me on, through one more contraction to try to labor naturally as long as possible. If it had only been my husband there I am not sure he could have handled watching me suffer for so long!  I am certain that a medical intervention may have occurred earlier and/or that I would have given up sooner without her! I must also attest to her professionalism with the hospital staff. She politely offered suggestions/addressed concerns before the next 'intervention' was attempted. This included the use of an epidural to see if I could relax past 8cm and dilate to 10. Having both my husband and her in the OR was wonderful and really helped me to feel better during the surgery. She also took some amazing pictures of my little one right after he came out that otherwise would not have been captured! Shalene stayed with me in the operation room and the recovery room, and she continued to check on me in the following days/weeks as I processed my birth. In short, her services and support were invaluable during the very dramatic yet beautiful birth of our child. I would highly recommend her to anyone who needs Doula services!" - Vanessa Moses


"We had a wonderful experience with Shalene as our doula.  She was considerate and caring about our hopes and wishes for our birth before, during, and after my labor and birth.  Shalene was organized and prompt with appointments.  Shalene was very informative as well as a calm presence the day I went into labor.  She came right away when we needed her.  Shalene has many items to make labor easier and many "tricks" up her sleeve to help with a variety of situations that may arise.  Labor is unpredictable and Shalene has many ideas to help in many different situations.  She was very observant to how I was feeling and what I may need at various stages of labor.  Shalene gave us great ideas for positions and ways to make labor more comfortable.  If something didn't work, we would try something new.  I had a couple moments of worry during my labor and Shalene was there to help discuss options and discuss what would be the best action to take.  She was honest, open, and was a tremendous advocate for me during my labor.  She helped me gain strength and stay in control, especially as labor progressed and became more challenging.  Shalene helped guide me through my hard contractions and pushing.  I felt incredibly comfortable and secure having Shalene by my side throughout my birth experience.  Both my husband and I feel so grateful that we had Shalene there with us.  My labor would not have gone as smoothly without her.  She was the most valuable resource we could have had.  She is calm, peaceful, informative, creative, and supportive.  She was with us until the very end and stayed until we were comfortable with our baby in our arms.  Her massages are priceless and her physical, emotional, and mental support is something that I didn't realize would be as helpful as it was.  She is a genuine person and anyone would be fortunate to have Shalene at their birth."


"I hired Shalene after deciding on an unmedicated birth and learning about how invaluable Doulas are. It was so important for me to get that empowering, spiritual experience that comes with having a natural birth and I always assumed that when a Doula would be with me, she would always advocate for the most "natural" birth and avoid all interventions at any cost, but I'm happy to say this wasn't the case for Shalene. I was a week and a half late when I went in for my induction. Shalene was with me when they started the hormones - she did everything I had read about that Doulas do, gave me moral support, answered my questions, put me in good positions, talked me through the contractions, massaged my lower back, etc. Where Shalene exceeded my expectations, was when the induction failed. I wasn't dilating because the baby wouldn't drop, I had been awake almost 30 hours, and told I had to restart the induction. After a painful cervical check, I was emotionally beat and seriously doubting if I had the fortitude to continue, but I held it all inside determined to have the "perfect natural birth" that I had been diligently preparing for even though I was scared, anxious, and knew that that was a rough road ahead. Shalene is an intuitive person. She sat both my husband and I down and said "I think it's time we start discussing compassionate interventions." In that moment I felt a freeing wave of relief. Hearing her validate what was going on in my mind made all the difference, and it allowed me to make the decision for a cesarean without guilt. She assessed the situation, and knew what the best course of action for MY birth was. My cesarean birth was beautiful, and my 10 pound baby was perfect. Afterwards Shalene explained that what she wants for her clients is to support them in their best birth scenario - whatever method that means. She was my saving grace and I'll always be grateful to her wise guidance. Worth her weight in gold!" - Kate Gardner


"I loved the fact that we shared the same values and beliefs about birth.  I also loved Shalene's confidence in the birthing process.  She maintained a peaceful atmosphere during the birth in spite of unexpected surprises." - Lindsay Rich

"Shalene was a wealth of information with the many questions we had and was great to keep the environment and mood a peaceful one.  She was great and exceeded all our expectations". - Daniel Rich


"My first experience with a doula was absolutely wonderful thanks to Shalene!  For my second pregnancy I wanted to attempt a natural labor in my home with midwives and with a doula.  I transported to the hospital with my first son after several days of early labor, barely any progress, and no rest.  My concerns for my second time around were having another extremely long labor, posterior fetal positioning, and pain management without medical intervention.  Shalene expertly addressed my concerns, needs, and was always reassuring and very supportive.  With the extra attention and care I was able to labor in the intimacy and comfort of my own home, receive advice and useful techniques to try when labor seemed to stall, and receive continual support to help cope with the pain and discomforts during labor.  It was such a blessing to my husband and I and we were beyond thankful to have Shalene as our doula and a major part of our birth team.  I would recommend Shalene Massie of Rhythm of Birth to doula for any mother desiring additional support for her labor, delivery, and birth experience. " -Anita Easterling


"We used Shalene as our doula for the birth of our first child.  Her 6 week class was very informative and well worth the time and money.  I really used the pain coping techniques.  She also gave me valuable information to empower myself in a hospital setting, allowing me to ask for exactly what I wanted and how I would be able to do so.  At my birth, she coached me through breathing, and visual exercises to maintain my focus.  Through seven hours at the hospital with her, and three hours of pushing, she encouraged me to the end.  I could not have had the most amazing experience of my life without her support.  I tell everyone, she is worth her weight in gold!"- Vanessa Boa-Amponsem


"So blessed by Shalene during our labor and delivery. She is gifted, compassionate, and respectful. She made suggestions to the OB/GYN after he asked for her opinion...he followed her advice on a small matter. She's well versed in knowing how to effectively communicate with medical staff to help the mother/family through the whole laboring process. She also encouraged me spiritually." - New Mother


"The first time we met with Shalene, one of the things she told us was that her goal was to incorporate Steve (my husband) and help him, help me the best way possible. And that's exactly what she did! From the meetings before our birth to the actual labor and delivery, Shalene was so supportive and encouraging. She helped me go into my birth with the confidence that even if things went differently than I hoped, I could still be at peace. During my labor, I remember at one point saying, "I don't think I can do this anymore", to which Shalene replied, "You ARE doing it!" I know my husband felt supported too. Looking back on the whole experience, Steve and I often say to each other that we don't know how couples do this without a doula! Shalene was such a blessing to me and I would definitely recommend her to anyone about to enter into this journey!"- Steve and Sarah Pupillo


"My experience with Shalene Massie was one of the best choices that my husband and I made in regards to this birthing process. Being this was our first child, we had a lot of questions and Shalene was helpful to answer those questions. She really prepared our hearts and minds for this birthing process. I ended up being in labor for 25 hours. I could of not done it without my husband and Shalene. Shalene was very patience and gave lots of guidance to what our next move should be. Since it was a longer process, it was refreshing having someone there who knows a lot about birth and is a mom herself. Going through the stages of having my first child, I am a firm believer now that a lot of what you going through is the battle of the mind. There's a bigger battle that goes on with your mind and how you will respond to the pain. Shalene’s classes were very helpful and prepare you to be confident and she gives you different techniques to deal with pain. She was never pushy and allowed for my husband and I to make decision together. She helped empower my husband to be a wonderful support system. The fear of the unknown can really make things difficult and Shalene really goes over all the "what ifs" and does a great job at communicating with you about your questions and concerns." -Justine Kugel


"I am so glad that we took part in Rhythm of Birth's child birth classes and had the privilege of Shalene being our doula for the birth of our first child.  The classes helped me prepare for my birth not only with practical education but guidance on preparing my heart for birth and transitioning into motherhood.  Also, the classes provided an opportunity for my husband and me to grow together in preparation for our birth.  At our birth, which lasted 27 hours, I honestly don't know what we would have done without Shalene!  She was so supportive and knew when and how to assist me.  She was physically and emotionally supportive, helping me recall my pain coping techniques and keeping me mentally engaged and strong during the most challenging moments. I am so thankful for Shalene and would recommend her to any expectant mother!"- Angela Miller

"Shalene was invaluable as our doula during the birth of our first child.  As a father, Shalene helped me to process the traumatic experience of seeing my wife in labor pains and remain focused and present during the entire 27 hours of labor.  She prompted me to perform various roles during the process of labor from start to finish.  Her wealth of experience and knowledge in light of my inexperience helped me to be an effective member of my wife's birth team."- John Miller


 "Shalene was a blessing to us as we were preparing for the birth of our first child! We were unsure at first about even having a doula. Would we rather have the privacy and time as just the two of us? Would it be nerve-racking having another person in the room? Since it was our first rodeo, I decided it was best to have the extra, knowledgeable support. We had no idea what it would truly entail and how we would respond during the pain. Once we bit the bullet, we decided to take her birth class so that we could have some continuity between all of us about pain-coping techniques and preparation. When my water broke, we had a while before labor really started but I had to be in the hospital because of GBS. We also had two false starts and labor stretched to 34 hours. As soon as Shalene arrived on the scene she was a calming presence. She suggested positions, when we couldn't think about anything but the next contraction. She rubbed my back, feet, & hands when my husband's hands were too tired. She stayed up with me through contractions that were five or ten minutes apart all night long, keeping me from getting any rest. My husband managed to take a much-needed nap, while Shalene stayed up and warmed compresses and prayed to herself by my side. I was so grateful to have her through that difficult night. Though I wanted a completely natural birth, the circumstances did not allow it and I needed pitocin and citotech. Shalene left the decision to us and gently asked questions and supported us. Shalene took the initiative and photographed us during the final pushes of labor and first moments of his life outside the womb. These are pictures I will cherish forever. Every time I've seen Shalene after the birth, she has made me feel empowered. She speaks so positively and genuinly about our birth experience, making me feel proud and strong. I am grateful she was present for our birth. And I am grateful that we have now gained a good friend." - Kathe Barlow


"Shalene's support was invaluable! My husband and I were unsure about hiring a doula because we thought an additional person might intrude on this special time. However, I am certain that my son's birth would have been a very different experience if not for Shalene. I had my heart set on a non-medicated birth and was truly surprised, and scared, to find myself undergoing an induction. Shalene helped me get to a place of comfort and acceptance with the process. She was there throughout the induction and gently and calmly guided me through contractions. I'm so happy I was able to forgo an epidural due in large part to her reassuring words, suggestions of different positions, massage and other techniques. The awesome thing about working with Shalene is that her support goes beyond birthing day. The pre and post-partum massages helped me relax and tune into my body. The planning meetings before birth were super helpful as well. Something that stands out in working with Shalene is how evident it is that she loves and enjoys her work. She seems to be truly living out her calling and inspired by the birthing process. She is absolutely the one you want in your corner on birthing day!" - New Mother


Childbirth Classes

"I'm so glad I took this class, and I would encourage anyone to take it.  Rhythm of Birth is the perfect class for a new mom- no matter what her plans are for birth.  I gained confidence in my body, myself, and my partner and feel prepared to embrace the adventures of birth and parenting with all the joys and challenges." - Jana Villanueva

"The class was informative, thought provoking, and comforting.  It exceeded all my expectations."- David Villanueva


"This was a very informative series of classes and Shalene made it most intimate, yet a very open group.  Sharing was very easy and I felt my voice was welcome in the class".  -Expectant Father


 

"My experience with this class aided my understanding of the journey into motherhood in a number of positive ways; pain coping, overall parenting expectations, and a basis for what to expect given different possible birth scenarios was amazing and super helpful!" - Emily Kaylor

 


"The pleasant atmosphere and discussions really improved our confidence and preparation for the birth." - Douglas Holmes


 "I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the birth art which made me come at the process of labor/birth in a more emotional, intuitive way." -Expectant Mother 


"I felt immediately comfortable and was surrounded by Shalene's calming presence.  This class allowed me to open up and share some thoughts and feelings that needed to come out.  She made me think deeply about significant events in my life that influence my view and attitude towards birth.  I loved the birth art and how it helped me to explore fears and beliefs about birth.   I can't say enough kind words to express my gratitude to her for that." - Brittany Sparks


"Shalene was a great teacher. The class was well guided, yet flexible. She is very confident and knowledgeable."  (Birthin' Again Class) -Andrea Flynn

"I liked how she adapted the lesson plan to our needs" (Birthin' Again Class) - Jeremy Flynn