More than anything else for your pregnancy, delivery, and or postpartum period, I highly recommend hiring Sam Swartz to be a doula. More than classes, diapers, cute baby clothes, and anything else, Sam is the best gift you could give to yourself, your new baby, or to the pregnant woman you know in your life. I cannot express that enough! Sam spent a significant amount of time before my baby was born educating me, listening to me, and helping me prepare in every single way for delivery. She supported me during the difficulties of pregnancy. And all the questions I had regarding delivery were answered by her. I had a much better idea of what to expect. In addition, she gave me thorough explanations and resources to help me understand the many options and what they mean for choices that arise during pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum period.
During the delivery, Sam was my coach, my cheerleader, and I now could not imagine not having her there. My husband and family were very supportive, but Sam was able to support baby and me in a way that none of them could because of her extensive training. She was able to inform me of what was happening inside of me and what was happening to the baby. She helped me know what to expect. She narrated what I was feeling. This greatly reduced the fear, uncertainty, and anxiety I was feeling. In addition, she was gentle and kind, yet a source of great strength to me during contractions and pushing. She was respectful and worked well with the medical staff and with my family. She stayed for a few hours afterwards to make sure that breastfeeding went well. The hospital staff was wonderful too, but they had several patients to take care of, where Sam only had me to focus on. So she was able to give me her undivided attention, which no one else was really able to do.
In the weeks that followed the baby's birth, Sam made time to come visit on a regular basis. Again she's extremely respectful and always sought our wishes and then regarded them. She went above and beyond in supporting us during that transition. She ran errands for us, cleaned for us, did our dishes, held the baby when I needed to nap, continued to answer my questions, talked with me for moral support, brought me postpartum tea to help with lactation as well as other very thoughtful and helpful gifts, and several other things that supported the baby, my husband, and me. My husband was able to get sleep because Sam took care of so many things that were on his plate. While a doula may be a new or unknown profession to you, please consider this and make the investment. If you are financially unable to do that on your own, then put it on your registry and ask people to contribute to it. She is so worth it, and you will not regret it one bit! We are forever indebted to Sam Swartz, and eternally grateful for who she is and her loving personality, and high level of expertise that she so generously poured out onto my family and me. -Margeaux
What can I say...Sam was there holding my wife's other leg while she pushed. I think we held her legs for almost 2 hours straight. She was attentive, dedicated, humble, and supportive from day one of hire to the birth and beyond. The questions she asked and the information she imparted helped us to prepare mentally and logistically for all the angles and complications of the process, and enabled us to make informed choices without her pushing any particular agenda. Doula services had a positive impact on our mental health through the experience and helped alleviate or avoid the stress of what would have been many unknowns. She continued to offer exceptional and even an unexpected level of genuine, caring support well after the birth.
From a husband's perspective...its just great to have a well informed and calm hospital room partner to share the experience and lighten the load some so you can focus on being the best supportive husband you can be. -Chris