When we found out we would be expecting out firstborn there were so many emotions. Happy and excited for what was to comes and finally being chosen to become lucky parents but I was also nervous and anxious for the unknown and uncontrollable situation that may ensue. In studiously talking to my more "granola" girlfriends about their experiences I received the strong suggestion to find a doula. My friend's experience had been a great one through a really tough labor and I in wanting to feel as prepared for anything as possible decided to also "safeguard" my own experience. The other reasons I ultimately went with their recommendations: 1) I felt like I craved the emotional support and genuine connection I feared may be removed in not knowing who would deliver me (my doctor's practice doesnt assign one dr so I had over 9 different on call doctors could deliver me). 2) I really wanted to go as natural as possible and not feel "forced" into doing things body or my baby weren't ready for. 3) And lastly I wanted someone else in the room who could cue to my always attentive and intense hubby that support through labor didn't have to completely fall on his shoulders. The result? Pre-labor: Natalia and Hope we're so attentive when I approached and missed my due date by a week and a half- Before every appointment and check in with my dr. I presented recaps and questions in what was being recommended and they provided me the resources but also reassurance that my feelings and concerns were valid. Labor: Once I finally went into labor Natalia was on-call and seriously helped create such a beautiful environment. She was calm, nurturing and somehow managed an incredible balance of providing helpful suggestions and support without being or annoying as lets face it, you are your worst self when you are in pain! In addition I feel like I should mention that I had a 32 hour delivery and Natalia stayed there the entire time with us to see the baby. They were so worth it!
When I found out I was pregnant, I was stunned! My husband and I were not expecting to be expecting. I cried for days because we actually were avoiding having kids so early on in our marriage. I was such a mixed bag of emotions...I reached out to Natalia. The empathy, gentleness, and care that poured out of her response was a true picture of the journey we got to walk with her as our doula. The shock and sadness melted away as we began the journey of preparing ourselves to welcome our little boy.
We chose to have a doula because I wanted the support. Someone who could help us navigate prep period and the labor and delivery. Natalia was just a dream. She has this amazing ability to be completely supportive while giving you your space, enlightening you while not making you feel stupid and empowering you to make your own decision instead of simply stating what you "should" do. I ended up being admitted to the hospital twice as being in labor (my labor stopped the first time) and had a very long labor that ended with a very long time of pushing.
Childbirth was a very trying time for me. But, whenever I recall the experience, I always remember Natalia being there. Whether in the forefront or in the background, she supported us. It was exactly what we needed and I'm firmly believe it helped my overall birth experience feel like a positive one even though so many things "went wront." My husband and I have both agreed that asking her to be in that process was probably the decision we made with the pregnancy/birth. Doulas are amazing... this one in particular.
Grace & David L. for Natalia Hals
"...I am thankful for having you as part of my birth team, thanks so much for the empathy, the encouragement, the compassion and the honesty you showed us. God bless you."
My husband and I partnered with Natalia for the birth of our firstborn, and couldn't have imagined the experience without her. In the months leading up to the birth, Natalia was a patient, caring and professional resource, making me feel comfortable and prepared for what was to come. Our labor was long and came with many twists and turns, and without Natalia, it would have been very stressful. She was a calm and knowledgable presence through all stages of labor, both for me and (maybe more importantly!) my husband. From relaxation and positioning techniques to her breadth of knowledge and caring nature, Natalia was the perfect doula for us and an invaluable part of our birth team.
'...with Natalia's knowledge and calm, encouraging demeanor, I know that it will be a beautiful experience no matter what happens."
When I found out I was pregnant with our second baby, I knew that I was going to need to start preparation for his birth early. My first labor and delivery ended in a cesarean and was overall a pretty bad experience. I wanted a vaginal birth for this delivery, and with a lot of fears to overcome I knew I was going to need all of the support and encouragement I could get.
Enter: Natalia Hals! What I loved most about her right off the bat is how she really listened to me. When it got right down to it, I had a lot of mental obstacles to overcome before my body would even think about going into labor (which is something I didn't even think it could do.) Not only did Natalia repeatedly reinforced that I COULD do it, but she helped me work through all of my fears by suggesting a different provider team (midwife group, chiropractor and acupuncture), providing evidence-based research, other VBAC testimonials, and many loving, encouraging words.
I ended up going past my due date again, but this time was definitely different. When I did go into labor at 41 weeks, 2 days, everything went SO smoothly. I stayed at home until contractions were less than five minutes apart and was 5cm at L&D triage. During labor, she helped me as contractions got much stronger and allowed my husband to focus on me while she took care of other details. She reinforced my birth plan, supported changes made to it, and encouraged me through two hours of pushing. Tyler and I could not replace her and I know that she was critical to my successful VBAC. Ladies and husbands - you need a doula, and you need Natalia. Getting baby into the world can cause a million and one emotions, but with Natalia's knowledge and calm, encouraging demeanor, I know that it will be a beautiful experience no matter what happens.
My husband and I were initially hesitant to hire a doula for the birth of our first child, mostly because we value our privacy and our independence. For the same reasons, we had chosen a birth center instead of a hospital. Trying to keep an open mind, we went to an informational session about doulas. This was when we met Natalia. I knew she was going to be "the one" almost the minute I saw her.
She exudes a calm, gentle - yet confident - kind of energy. In retrospect, we are so glad we decided to work with Natalia. Our birth went exactly how we wanted: it was completely natural, very calm and private. Natalia was a reassuring presence both at home during early labor and later at the birth center. At home, she timed my contractions and offered ways to cope with their increasing intensity. She even massaged my feet at one point, but she was able to give me my space when I needed it. At the birth center, she helped with transitioning between several positions. Since I had chosen a water birth, she helped me by pouring warm water over my belly and shoulders to keep me warm and relaxed. My husband had been taking photos through most of the labor, but when things got really emotional as I was pushing baby out, he "forgot" to be the photographer (rightfully so!).
We were pleasantly surprised to find out later that Natalia had managed to capture those precious moments on her camera! For all these reasons and also because we just love Natalia, we would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a calm influence throughout the whole process of giving birth. Thank you, Natalia!
"My husband and I are both extremely thankful that we hired Natalia Hals as our doula. We look back at the interview process and the prenatal meetings as a worthy investment of time and money. Natalia perfectly suited our personalities and my need for a coach. During labor, she encouraged me and diffused my frustration when my labor kept staring/stopping. She guided me in decision-making at every stage and encouraged us that everything was "normal".
After the labor, I needed lots of stitching, but my husband was busy attending to our daughter. Instead, Natalia held my hand and gave me quiet strength through the repair process. I am so thankful for her presence- physically and emotionally. A week after the birth, Natalia stopped by and served as a sounding board for any remaining concerns. She also gifted us with a written narrative of the birth for us to richly remember how our daughter wondrously came into this world."
Natalia was an answer to prayer.
I had already given birth six times prior to this pregnancy with three of those births being at home with my husband. But things were different during this pregnancy and we sensed that we needed to be at a hospital, or have a midwife at a minimum. We weren’t terribly excited about the hospital option because we have a pretty hands off approach to birth. So during the effort to find a like-minded midwife, a common friend told Natalia of our need and she kindly went out of her way to help us even though we had not yet become acquainted.
In my searching I also came across Natalia’s blog in which she wrote about her last birth a couple of years ago. I was deeply moved by her story and couldn’t help but be drawn to this woman of character and strength. My husband too was impressed and we knew that we had found the one we wanted to have present at our son’s birth if at all possible. After a lot of prayer and talking through our options, we chose to go to the hospital and asked Natalia to join us.
And were we ever glad we did! The hospital ended up being just fine it was me who was the problem. Natalia’s knowledge ended up being invaluable. For a couple of weeks previous to the birth, I joked that my uterus seemed to have forgotten what it was supposed to do this time around. But as the nights of false and unproductive labor dragged on it wasn’t quite as funny anymore. I was exhausted and had little reserves of energy left when labor actually began.
Several hours later, my contractions began to slow down and I just wanted to lay in bed and go to sleep. It was Natalia who recognized what was going on and encouraged me to get up; and to get me up she suggested that I go to the bathroom. I didn’t think I needed to and really didn’t want to, but I trusted her judgment. Upon moving around the contractions came back in earnest and I was holding my son in less than half an hour. Natalia is a life (and labor) saver! (She was right about the bathroom too, by the way.) Had she not been with us and nudged in her gentle, decisive way I would have had an unnecessarily prolonged labor. Thank you, Natalia!
Natalia knew what was needed and when. A bath, a sip of water, an encouraging word- or a bathroom break! And when she was simply in the background watching and waiting for those needs, her presence was a source of peace. I will be forever grateful for her knowledge and kindness.
I have 4 children. With my first 3, I never had a doula and didn't think I needed one. WAS I WRONG!! Talia was AMAZING!!! She made my LAST BIRTHING EXPERIENCE, my BEST BIRTHING EXPERIENCE! In a room full of people (my mom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and my husband) she brought me peace and helped me focus. I have never had such a smooth labor and delivery. We are FOREVER indebted to you Talia, you are a life saver!! We love you and you are forever part of our family!
~Amandia G. & Family
"...you brought such a calmness with you and she couldn't have done it as peacefully and wonderfully without you."
I wanted to say THANK YOU! Your support and encouragement during my daughters recent labor and delivery was incredible and MORE than we could have asked for or imagined. Even though this was her 4th child, the labor was very difficult with lower back pain which made it difficult to walk or even sleep. Her labor started a few weeks before we went to the hospital and was not easy for her. I prayed for her everyday and asked God for some relief so she could at least get some sleep. That is when God sent you to us, I received encouragement from you over the phone and suggestions for her to try to help eliminate some of the discomfort in her back. You suggested she get on her hands and knees to help the baby adjust and get into the correct position for delivery which helped more than we can say. My daughter was finally able to get some much needed rest. Totally an answer to prayer for her and this "worrisome" mother of hers.
Once we were at the hospital with a room full of family, I could tell my daughter was in need of focus and calmness...but with all the excitement for the new daddy and family there was a lot of commotion When you came in, you sat down next to my daughter and immediately I could see the calmness on her face, her breathing mellowed out and she remained focused during each contraction. This mom got a little emotional and you even comforted me. The delivery was quick and beautiful (2 1/2 pushes) and our new little prince Kairos (Kai) came into our lives. My daughter still talks about how wonderful it was having you there..."definitely an answer to prayer!" She said you brought such a calmness with you and she couldn't have done it as peacefully and wonderfully without you. Thank you again so much, you provide such an amazing service. I pray for your continued success.
Testimonials from clients who have worked with Natalia, Doula and Childbirth Educator