"I say this without a shred of over-exaggeration: I would not have been able to get through my pregnancy and birth without Allison by my side. Words truly cannot describe what having her as my doula did for me, my mental and emotional state, and my labor and delivery experience.
After a rollercoaster struggle with infertility, I was finally pregnant with our miracle baby--and I was terrified. I had so much anxiety and worried about every little thing I did, ate, thought, etc. Allison was always there (and I mean ALWAYS there) for me to vent my concerns, and she responded with love, empathy, and true compassion. She helped put things into perspective, gave me amazing advice and guidance, and celebrated every milestone. She was incredibly generous with her time, and I was so grateful for every bit of it. She always checked up on me and made me feel like I was a real priority for her, not just a job. I mattered. And that mattered so much to me.
When we started discussing my birth wish list, she understood exactly what I hoped for and filled in blanks with things I didn't even consider but was glad to add. She made sure I had realistic expectations and helped me to mentally and emotionally prepare for the biggest event of my life. Prepared with loads of resources to share, she made sure I had access to all the information I needed to go into my birth as ready as one can possibly be.
When the big day arrived, she was right there--starting with her immediate response to my "I think my water might've just broken" text at 1am. She went above and beyond during my labor, first by helping me make decisions on the phone when I was faced with needing to move things along but was apprehensive about interventions like Pitocin. We stepped back, took a breath, and thought everything through so I could be confident in my choices. When the time came for her to join us at the hospital, she jumped right into action, doing everything she could to help me through every contraction--from hip squeezes and massage to essential oils and visualization exercises and words of encouragement. When we were waiting hours for me to dilate, she didn't think twice about staying during all that time. Even just her calming presence helped me feel more at ease. She advocated for me when nurses weren't listening to what I was saying I needed or when I was uncomfortable with something.
I asked Allison if she could take photos to document this life changing moment, and she happily did, making sure it was during a time when she didn't need to be offering physical support. The photos she took were even more than I could've imagined. Capturing the exact second my baby came into the world is something I can’t thank her enough for.
I didn't just find a gem of a doula in Allison. I found a friend. She made every bit of difference in how I went through my pregnancy, and it is in large part because of her that I have the most positive outlook on how my labor and delivery ended up going. I think back to those 27 hours and don't think about being disappointed that I needed Pitocin and got an epidural when I originally hoped to not have them. Rather, I smile knowing that Allison and her unwavering support helped to create the environment I needed to have a beautiful birth experience. (And then I cry when I read the sweet book she gave us to my baby because it is so special.)
I could never thank Allison enough for everything she did for me. If you have the privilege of choosing her as your doula, you will be so beyond thankful you did."
“In all my preparation for child birth, finding Allison may just of been the best. Throughout my pregnancy she periodically checked in on me, offering suggestions and support. I felt comfortable to contact her with any questions, concerns or just anything I wanted to share. I reached out to her the morning my contractions began and stayed in contact until I was ready for her to help me labor at home before the hospital. Her support, suggestions, and encouragement helped me get through labor without any pain meds! Not sure I would've done it without her. I'm so thankful for all her help!! She was an awesome support for my husband as well. In the beginning he hadn't been totally convinced that a doula was something we would need, after the birth he raved to our friends and family how amazing it was to have a doula, specifically Allison!!”
“I feel fortunate to have had Allison as my birth doula during my hospital birth. In the weeks leading up to my delivery, she periodically checked in on me and provided excellent advice regarding pregnancy, prenatal care, labor and birth. When the time came for me to deliver my baby boy, she immediately left an event she was attending and met me at the hospital. She supported me alongside my mom. I don’t know how I would have gotten through active labor without her encouraging words and back massages. Overall, I had the birth experience I wanted. And Allison played an integral role in helping me to achieve it. Therefore, I highly recommend Allison’s doula services.”
"Allison is literally an angel from heaven!
She was there for me every step of the way. When my contractions began at 2am, she remained in contact with me and helped me labor at home as long as possible. When it was time to head to the hospital, she met me and my husband there and immediately got to work. She gave me gentle back massages and allowed me to hold/sway with her when I was in the middle of a contraction. She had such a soothing voice and her affirmations helped me get through so many contractions. She slowly poured water on me for hours while I labored in the tub. She even brought a peanut ball which was so helpful when I was laboring in bed. She provided incredible support to my husband and mom. I'm sure if Allison wasn't there, my mom and husband would've been so stressed out.
I labored without pain medications for so many hours and I wouldn't have lasted as long if Allison wasn't there. Even after almost 18 + hours of stalled labor, Allison NEVER left my side. I felt so empowered to be able to last so long without any medications and I'm so glad our baby girl was delivered safely in the end. Even almost a week after having my baby, she still checks on me! If you're looking for a doula, look no further. She's incredible!"
Working with Aly was one of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy. As a first-time-mom, I really enjoyed all of the resources out there with information at every stage of the process, but I knew I wanted extra personalized support to supplement the relationship I had with my OBGYN. Aly was super responsive in every way - first, the literal responsiveness that is so comforting via text and phone; and second, following my lead on what I was needing and hoped for in the process to feel as confident as possible as I prepared for the birth. Aly listened to my every concern and provided support in a kind way, never alarmist or pushy. She was a great sounding board and empowered me to make my own choices about how I hoped to experience labor and the birth, always without judgement. The way she totally snapped into action during labor and made me more comfortable than I imagined possible is just a testament to her skill, knowledge, and empathy! Highly recommend with all my heart!
"As a first time mom, I figured that having a doula would be very important to my natural child birth. Aly helped me so much from prenatal to postpartum. With the prenatal support, she was always checking in with me how I was doing and gave me great advice on how to prepare my baby registry, etc.. During the labor, she stayed with me the whole time to get through each contraction and also guided my husband how to support me. I had 30 hour labor, but thanks to her presense I had unmedicated natural birth at home! In my early postpartum I faced some challenge with breastfeeding. Aly gave me a lot of encouragement and shared with me great information. I felt our relationship is much more than a doula and a client. I'm so glad to work with Aly for my birth!
“Allison was a huge emotional support to me when my birth plan felt like it was flipped upside down. I wanted a natural birth with no interventions or medications. When my doctor told me I needed to be induced that day, I was shocked, frustrated, scared, angry, and sad. Allison was very informed about what medications would likely be offered to me. She helped me come up with questions I could ask the doctor. She also eased my anxiety and helped me get into a better headspace as we went through the induction process. In the end, I was able to have a version of the birth I wanted (one without painful procedures, pitocin, or pain meds). I am very happy with my childbirth experience and I am so grateful to her!"
"Allison was an amazing support throughout my pregnancy and now in my fourth trimester. While my delivery did not go as expected and I ended up having a planned C section (during the pandemic), which meant Allison was unable to attend the actual birth, she went above and beyond to make sure I felt her presence throughout the entire experience. I found Allison to be extremely warm, caring, compassionate and non-judgmental, which made opening up and building a relationship with her extremely easy. She consistently checked in, provided helpful feedback and advice, and made both my husband and me feel cared for and supported. We could not have asked for more from a doula - She is truly a gem! "
Having Aly guide us through my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and helping us stay informed has been so amazing. As this was my first pregnancy, I was nervous about all of the unknowns, and Aly made sure there were no unknowns going into the birth and postpartum. She went above and beyond, helping me navigate some complications during my pregnancy and weigh all my options throughout each step of the way. She discussed different options with me when my doctor was trying to speed along the birth unnecessarily, and I was able to have minimal interventions because of the confidence her knowledge and guidance gave me and my husband. We had the most lovely postpartum visit, and I always felt comfortable reaching out with questions as I experienced so many bodily changes and as I began life with my newborn. We really couldn’t have been luckier and I know this journey would have looked so different without her supporting and empowering us throughout it all. I was able to have the most wonderful and informed birth because of her help, and I couldn’t be happier.
“I would recommend Gentle Beginnings to anyone. We realized late in pregnancy that we needed more support and Aly was able to jump right in with resources/tools that we needed at that stage (both in-person and via video chat). She was able to take us through the process and teach us positions to relieve discomfort, breathing techniques, etc. When we had an unexpected complication, Aly went above and beyond to help manage the situation. Highly recommended!"
"Allison was so incredible as my doula for the birth of my second son. I found Allison late in the game (literally 36 weeks pregnant) but desperately needed some help in finding another doctor. I really wanted to try for a VBAC and my current doctor was not supportive (to say the least). Allison was quick to reach out and offer incredible support and helped me research to find a provider that would be supportive of my decision, especially being literally 4 weeks away from giving birth. Ultimately, Allison found my care team who was not only supportive of my VBAC but was happy to take me on at 37 weeks pregnant. While I didn't get my VBAC (for reasons that were out of my control) I ended up still having the birth experience that I wanted because of the support I had. I never would have gotten there without Allison or even had the chance to try my VBAC! If you have any doubts or just looking for someone to listen, you will not regret reaching out her!! She is super knowledgeable and caring :) "
"As a FTM, I am so glad I found Aly and was able to benefit from her guidance during my pregnancy, birth & postpartum. She helped me navigate some overwhelming doctor's appointments with her unbiased advice. She gave me tips on how to get the most information out of those appointments. She encouraged me to second guess some recommendations, but also supported me with my final decisions.
Without Aly's input I would not have felt as prepared and comfortable in the decisions we made. Throughout the entire process she was extremely responsive and engaged - not only during the telehealth visits - but also messaging between those appointments, and even when I texted her at 3am while I was in labor!
Aly read into some emotions that I wasn't able to process and because she walked us through that, both my husband and I were more prepared for what came next.
I gave her very little notice to get to the hospital, but she made it there and jumped in right in as my water broke within minutes of her arrival!
Aly had a positive energy from the first phone call through to the postpartum recovery. I am so grateful for her support that helped me achieve the birth that I wanted!"
Allison was a wonderful help with the home birth of our third child. She was very responsive, supportive, and accommodating. My wife and I would highly recommend her to any expecting couples!
I knew once I found out I was pregnant with my second and trying for a VBAC I needed a doula for the support I lacked the first time. I am so very grateful I found Allison! She is absolutely amazing. Leading up to my birth she checked in with me regularly and on more than one occasion talked me through my anxieties or concerns. The night I went into labor she responded immediately and was in constant contact with me and my husband before meeting us at the hospital. I could not imagine my labor without her. She provided physical and emotional support at every stage. She was a warm and peaceful presence in the room and I felt she was 100% on my team. After 3 hours of pushing, I did have to have a C section. It was an emotional decision for me and Allison was there through it all. During this postpartum period she has continued to be an incredible source of support by checking in on me and providing resources when needed. Through everything- pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum- I have felt undeniably she has been in my corner every step of the way. Truly look no further if you would like a doula for your birth!
Being pregnant, giving birth, and postpartum were absolutely the most. Doing these things in the middle of a pandemic added a whole other level of stress and unknowns. Having Aly through out the entire process was an absolute pleasure. She was so incredibly attentive and answered all my questions no matter how small. She was not able to attend our labor, but she FaceTimed with me and my husband for the entire time! Anytime my husband discusses our labor and pregnancy experience he raves about how important having a doula is. "Do you have a doula? You need one! You need Aly!" She helped me ask questions, but most importantly helped me trust my gut and supported the kind of labor and pregnancy I wanted. I cannot say enough about how wonderful she is. Look no further! She's your girl!
**All client pictures shared with permission**