Kind Words

"Amazing....wonderful... worth every penny.... that is what comes to mind reflecting on my experience with Shalene, but those terms don't quite do it justice.

Shalene worked with me through the birth of my second child.  I did birth classes but didn't have a doula for my first delivery, which ended up being complicated and left me feeling out of control, weak, and racked with guilt.  I did not want that again for my second.  Shalene helped me achieve a birth and experience I cherish.  She helped with different positions, working through the pain, and knew what I needed - even when I didn't.  She interfaced well with the medical staff and was extremely knowledgeable in all facets.  So after a failed induction and emergency C-section with my first, I had an unmedicated, natural delivery with my second.   And for that I will always be grateful to Shalene.  Could not have done it without her.

I also highly recommend her online courses.  They cover the complete birth journey and experience, more than what was taught at the hospital course.  Even through this was my second, I learned a lot." ~Meredith

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 was our doula for the births of both of our girls.  She 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 of her first birth, 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

"We used Shalene as our doula for the births of our first, second, and third children. Her online courses were very informative and well worth the time and money.  I really used the pain coping techniques with each labor. 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 births, she coached me through breathing, and visual exercises to maintain my focus.  I could not have had the most amazing experiences of my life without her support. I tell everyone, she is worth her weight in gold!"- Vanessa Boa-Amponsem

"Not only does she come with extensive formal training and tremendous experience... She comes with her whole heart. When I first met her I was impressed by her confidence and professionalism. I also appreciated her organization and communication skills. Now, I am even more grateful for the way she has honored and affirmed me as a new mama while preparing me for the labor and delivery process, in the hospital as I gave birth to my sweet baby girl, and later as I began my "postpartum journey." I have grown to love and appreciate her kind, caring heart and her ever gracious, never judgmental, manner. Even the (many) staff at my local hospital who have worked with her absolutely love her. Highly, highly, highly recommend!!" - Rebeka

"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

"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

"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

"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

"My experience with Shalene  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

"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

"Shalene is an amazing doula.  She is a wealth of knowledgeable, professional, accessible, caring, empathetic, and super supportive.  Shalene is a great listener and really took the time to get to know me and my family before the birth of our son.  The time we spent together before the birth was equally or more valuable than the time we spent at the birth.  Although my labor and delivery were extremely quick, and in the wee hours of the morning, her quiet presence, skill, and expertise were priceless.I would recommend her highly to anyone who is looking for a special and supported pregnancy and birthing experience." ~Laura Keaton

"Shalene was wonderful support for my first childbirth experience! Her presence made a very unknown and stressful situation very positive! Her knowledge and expertise calmed my nerves on both the best and craziest day of my life! She was a great resource both before and after my birth experience! No matter how you choose to birth, Shalene makes sure you know that every birth is beautiful! When she walked into my delivery room I literally cried with relief!! Also the pre and postnatal massages were dreamy!!" ~ Rachel Looney

"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

"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."


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