For expecting parents who are interested in exploring their options but not yet ready to hire a doula, midwife, obstetrician or other care provider, a consultation with me will help you:
-get clear on your options for prenatal care, labor & birth support
-policies and laws in your local area that may restrict your birthing freedom
-types of care providers available and referrals
-understand what a doula does, what the midwifery scope of practice entails, understand the difference between homebirth, birth center birth, hospital-based birth center birth and hospital birth
These sessions are half an hour to 45 minutes long and take place over the phone, video chat or at my home office in Aptos.
BIRTH DOULA SUPPORT
A doula is a woman who guides another through pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum by providing comprehensive and holistic support. I believe that creating a deep trusting relationship between doula and partners is profoundly important to the birth experience and postpartum. I believe that birth is a spiritual experience and rite of passage, that women have the right to birth however they choose and have bodily autonomy. I believe that birth is inherently safe, and when everyone in the room is in trust of the woman's body, the process unfolds with grace. A doula is not a medical provider and their support is limited in scope to providing non-biased information, physical support like massage, rebozo, nutrition, hydration, acupressure and emotional support for both birthing partners. I believe that every pregnant woman who wants the unwavering, unbiased and unconditional nurturing that a doula offers while they are pregnant, should have one.
My doula package includes:
-2-4 prenatal coaching sessions to prepare your body, mind and spirit for your birth and postpartum
-Continuous labor support from the time you feel like you need me up to 2 hours postpartum
-1 postpartum visit to address feeding, infant care, postpartum recovery, emotional state, birth experience and any questions or needs you have
-Integrated Health coaching in prenatal appointments with nutritional, herbal and lifestyle recommendations for optimal health during pregnancy and recovery *for additional support see my coaching services.
-Labor massage, postpartum acupressure foot massage and lots of hands on love! I am a trained massage therapist.
-Ongoing text and email support
-Prenatal Yoga sessions and/or rehabilitative exercise for birth preparation, postpartum healing and pelvic floor and core restoration.
Read my Yelp! reviews here
"I started this process not entirely sure what a Doula was or if we even needed this service. After the birth of our baby girl I have no doubt as to the importance of having a birth plan and being on the same page with your partner to having an advocate see your birth plan carried out by hospital staff. Ashley did all of this with professionalism and worked seamlessly with the Dr's and Nurses who appreciated, respected her presence.
The birth was challenging to say the least but Ashley's calm energy helped guide us to the conclusion both my partner and I had wanted a natural birth. Ashley loves her work and it shows wouldn't hesitate to recommend to my friends and family, 5 stars"- Ty, new father to Arrow
"Ashley and the people she works with are amazing!!! She is there to answer any questions you have throughout the whole pregnancy and empowers you to make your own informed decisions. I had a completely unmedicated birth at a hospital without any interventions whatsoever. I don't think I would've been able to do this without Ashley by my side the whole time. She helped me center myself when no one else could. She stayed with me through the whole process and kept in contact with me for my postpartum and baby questions. If I ever have another child I would choose her again!!"- Felicia, new mother to Kyliah
"I cannot imagine what my birth experience would have been without ashley. We had a difficult and traumatic birth, and I relied on ashley so much to get us through it. To say she was committed and present is an understatement. I completely trusted her and felt safer because she was there.
After coming home from the hospital, ashley continued to support us. She was intuitive about what we needed, which is critical when you are so exhausted that just planning and communicating what you need is too much. She gave us referrals for additional supports and was generally just a perfect balance between professional and loving.
Ashley is an incredible human being born to do what she does. My experience was that she was invaluable and I will absolutely hire her again if I have another baby."- Zoe, new mother to Fox
"As a single mother pregnant with my first child, I asked Ashley to be my doula not knowing what to expect or even knowing exactly what a doula could do for me. What I got out of working with Ashley is more than I could have ever asked for. Not only is she wonderfully knowledgable in the process of creating life, but her kindness and warmth made it easy to welcome a stranger into what was (for me) a very personal time in my life. She aided me throughout pregnancy not only externally, but was an open ear to talk to as well. And now I have the most wonderful birth story to share no doubt thanks to her care and expertise during the labor process. I felt fully supported and comfortable the entire time. Apart from being overly joyed with her services, Ashley's passion for birth and empowering women is stunning. Her light shines bright for what she does and in return gives the people she's working with the courage to shine just as bright."- Marjorie, new mother to Melody
“Ashley is an incredible doula and genuinely beautiful human being. My birth would not have been the same without her presence. She was by my side every moment (as requested) and helped me through each contraction by massaging my lower back; exactly the way I wanted her too. She gently helped me to remember to drink water and even got me to eat a bit of watermelon between contractions to keep my energy up. There were many moments that I wanted to give up but Ashley was there to remind me, in her positive and radiant way, that I was in fact DOING what I needed to do to get through. “You’re so strong. You’re doing it. You’re going to meet your baby soon,” she would exclaim in those moments when I didn’t want to push through the pain of natural childbirth.
Because of her dedication and strength I was able to move into a meditative space. I felt comfortable to be naked and to make any sounds that my body wanted to make. It didn’t even phase her when I grabbed her shirt and accidentally peed on her foot. She was my support through it all. She helped my partner understand what a woman in labor needs and also guided him through the whole 26 hour process.
Even though my midwife was present it was Ashley that delivered my baby! The baby came so fast once I was ready to push that he literally came flying out! Ashley was right there to catch him while my partner was supporting me from behind. She is an amazing doula and I can’t wait until she is a certified midwife. I want her to attend all of my births in the future.
Thank you Ashley Shea. My life is transformed because of the beautiful, natural home birth experience we shared. ” ~ Rosalie Hamilton, Santa Cruz
“I was referred to Ashley's doula service by a friend who had a home birth with her support. She's wonderful to work with, I always felt 100 percent supported by her. She guided me in making a birth plan that felt safe for me. She gave me books to read, videos and articles about birthing, child health and safety. She met with my partner and l helping us to get on the same page with the birth plan. As well as how he could help me through the birth process at the maternity center. And how to be there for me postpartum.
I was able to have a drug free natural child birth. The birth was pretty intense with back labor and a full twelve hours of pushing. Ashley gave me a TENS unit to use on my lower back which helped to alleviate some of the pain. She also massage my lower back continuously during those twelve hours of pushing! She kindly and firmly communicated with the doctors and nurses on my behalf. She was able to keep them from intervening unnecessary with me. It was with her help and support that allowed me to push for so long and ultimately have a natural birth. Being in a hospital setting they wanted to intervene after I had been pushing for several hours and Ashley advocated for me to go with my natural rhythm. I am so pleased with the results! I had a healthy baby girl. I don't think I could have made it through the birth with out Ashley's presence. I recommend Ashley's doula service to anyone looking for a positive and supported birthing experience.”- Jemini, mother to Arrow