“The most fascinating – and certainly unexpected – aspect of my experience with Taylor was realizing that the knowledge and understanding about what was happening to me and about what I wanted was coming from within. I didn’t know I had it, but Taylor had the ability to simply make it surface..”
Margherita, mama to Emilia
During my search for a doula in New Hampshire, I bumped into Taylor’s website. The words she used to describe herself, her work and her approach, immediately connected with me, first and foremost the profound trust she had in nature.
I was in a different country then, and was having the most amazing pregnancy. I was healthy and in great spirits. I knew that relocating to a new continent, a new home, away from my family and friends, was bound to be a challenge. I wanted to protect the excitement, positivity and confidence that I had experienced till then. I wanted to equip myself with an additional “tool” that could help me secure a positive experience for myself, my husband and my baby. In Italy (where I am from) hiring a doula is not at all common and for a short while I had second thoughts. Most women go through pregnancy and birth without this special figure by their side, was I being difficult, was I being “spoiled”? But then I thought: is there anything more important than my well-being? I am doing something great and hard; I deserve this.
And so it happened. From the very first meeting – the preliminary one that Taylor offers to get to know each another before becoming her clients – she established herself as a calm, confident, safe listener, whose only goal is to understand and clarify what you desire and envision and to help you make decisions that are consistent with that objective.
The most fascinating – and certainly unexpected – aspect of my experience with Taylor was realizing that the knowledge and understanding about what was happening to me and about what I wanted was coming from within. I didn’t know I had it, but Taylor had the ability to simply make it surface.
She inspired us to ask questions, she offered evidence and input for us to research further, and I really enjoyed her useful booklet “The longest month of pregnancy”. She led our conversations in a way that allowed us as a couple to get to know each other better with regards to the experience that was waiting for us. She became a member of our team. Naturally, we understood which role each of us would take on, and I felt free and entitled to put forward my preferences, my needs, my requests (something that on normal circumstances I generally struggle with). Nothing was judged or twisted nor held as an unbreakable commitment.
My labor ended up being longer than I would have expected or wanted, but I found myself being the woman and mom I had hoped I could be: breathing, in the present, with no suffering, embracing the physical pain. What I remember are my husband’s hands on my lower back behind me and Taylor’s focused yet peaceful eyes ready to meet mine when pain allowed me to open them. As we’ve had had the chance to practice it.
Few weeks later, Taylor also answered our request to discuss our daughter’s birth. While I had positive memories of my long labor, seeing me in pain for so many hours had taken a toll on my husband. Taylor helped us re-live that experience, to understand it and store it in our memories in a positive manner. This was definitely the perfect closure of a journey with Taylor by our side as a trustworthy, warm and respectful ally.
“Taylor was a fantastic calming and grounding presence and sounding board for deciding if I wanted any medical intervention as I approached 42 weeks. Ultimately, she suggested a prenatal chiropractor that made home visits. The chiropractor came to my house and I went into actual labor within an hour of her leaving.”
Melissa, mama to Georgia
When I decided to hire a doula, I had just switched care providers. I was struggling to get appointments with the doctors and midwives that actually performed deliveries. I was worried that I was going to be confronted with strangers or, at best, individuals I had only met once or twice, when I delivered my baby. I wanted someone who was knowledgeable about birth, who I could trust, and had built a relationship with, present at my birth to support me. Taylor filled that role and brought me a lot of peace regarding the anxiety I had about not building a close relationship with my medical provider.
Looking back, I am surprised that I actually think Taylor was most helpful in the week leading up to my birth. I was almost two weeks overdue and had prodromal labor for four nights before actually going into labor. Taylor was a fantastic calming and grounding presence and sounding board for deciding if I wanted any medical intervention as I approached 42 weeks. Ultimately, she suggested a prenatal chiropractor that made home visits. The chiropractor came to my house and I went into actual labor within an hour of her leaving.
“It was exactly how I pictured it: my loving husband on one side and my trusted doula on the other. The combination made me feel very safe and confident that I could do it.”
Lora, mother of Rhea
As soon as I learned I was pregnant, my first order of business was to research doulas. I was anxious about giving birth and knew without a doubt that I wanted my husband and I to have a non-medical yet still experienced support person by our side. I met Taylor at a Great Bay Doulas Mocktail Party early in my pregnancy and immediately felt at ease in her calm, confident, and empathetic presence. Later, when I was reviewing her website, I noticed she mentioned using evidence-based practices and that made me feel even more at ease. Both her demeanor and the way she expressed herself on her website made me feel like I could really trust her and her approach.
Since I naturally have a huge fear of the unknown, I really appreciated all of the preparation for both the birth experience and the postpartum period that Taylor facilitated during our prenatal visits. There were so many great resources that she shared (books, mostly) and conversations that she helped me and my husband to have. Reading and talking about everything from pain management during labor to postpartum expectations made me feel so much more confident and prepared for the whole event. I also loved being able to send her updates during the last month of my pregnancy, especially the last week when I was overdue. Her support and encouragement during the prenatal period was exactly what I needed to relieve my fear and anxiety. By the time my daughter was ready to be born, birth did not seem like such a scary, unknown thing.
I can’t write this testimonial without mentioning my birth experience! I couldn’t be more pleased with the natural labor and delivery I was able to have. I firmly believe it would not have gone as smoothly without Taylor’s hands-on support. It was exactly how I pictured it: my loving husband on one side and my trusted doula on the other. The combination made me feel very safe and confident that I could do it. It also meant a lot when Taylor stayed with us for a while after my daughter was born, helping me start breastfeeding, getting me some food, and assuring me that everything from my incessant shaking to the baby’s crying was normal.
“Every little bump in the road, she was always there to scoop me back up and let me know that this was my birth and I was in control.”
Amanda, mother of Ella
The first time I had even heard the word doula, I was attending a VBAC childbirth class. I was 20 weeks along expecting my third child. Prior to this pregnancy, I had no idea what a doula even was or what they did. I immediately went home and searched the web, only to find Taylor. Just by seeing her face, I had a gut feeling that she would be the one to help me with my birth. Taylor was great about getting back in contact with me and after that one conversation I was so excited to set up our first meeting.
My husband and I met her a week later at Starbucks and she not only answered my zillion questions but she listened to me; my fears, my hopes, my concerns and my plans. I desperately wanted to have a VBAC since my first child was vaginal and my second was C-Section due to being breech. I had such a horrible experience with it that I wanted to avoid it at all costs. My husband and I knew in that meeting that Taylor was going to be able to help direct us and comfort us in the time of our birth of our daughter. We both walked out of Starbucks with smiles on our faces and a calmness that I didn’t go in there with. We signed the contract that night and from then on, she was great about sending me emails about my upcoming doctor appointments, phone calls to make sure everything was going well, and was always recommending good articles or lending books to make sure I knew all of my options once the birth came.
At one point when I was worried about my daughter being breech after an ultrasound showed her transverse. Taylor had tons of advice for me on what I could do without worrying about losing my options. Every little bump in the road, she was always there to scoop me back up and let me know that this was my birth and I was in control. She gave me self esteem when I didn’t have any and caring advice when I wasn’t sure about any part of the pregnancy.
Unfortunately as time went on, my daughter began to grow at a steadier pace then normal and my OB was beginning to take the VBAC off the table and lean towards the dreaded C-Section. Taylor was always there to reassure me that everything would be okay regardless of what happened and she would support me in any decisions I made or were even made for me. She checked in with me constantly as the dates grew closer and closer and she never hesitated to let me know she was only a phone call away. Ultimately, due to a considerable amount of ultrasounds showing a large baby, my husband, OB and myself decided a Cesarean would be the safest choice. Taylor really helped me cope with this. She never rushed me off the phone as I rambled on about how this isn’t what I wanted or tried to push me into making an decisions that were not my own. She helped me sort my thoughts and make sure that once the C-Section date came, I was prepared. She helped me write a birth plan and gather my questions for the big day reassuring me that she would be there beside me the entire way.
The day of the birth, she was there in my pre-op room from the first moment I walked in myself. She sat right beside me and reminded me of the questions I had for my nurses and made sure I had peace of mind before we went in. Knowing there was a great chance she wouldn’t be allowed in with myself and my husband, she assured me she would not only be waiting for us, but would also suit up in case of any small chance my husband had to go with the baby if she was taken anywhere and she would quickly step in so I was never alone. I was stoked when anesthesia said she could join us for the procedure. She sat there next to my husband and myself and as the C-section started, I began to panic remembering how horrible my last C-section felt. She quickly leaned over squeezed my hand and very calmly kept telling me “You are okay. You’re doing great. You are going to see you baby at any moment. Just keep breathing. ” She never took her eyes off me and made sure that I stayed focused and calm and just allowed myself to stay in the moment. She helped my husband stay connected with me as well and reassured us that we were both doing great. My daughter was born a week early and a healthy 11lbs. Taylor stayed with me by my side during the entire C-section, transport to recovery, helped with the first breastfeed, baby’s first bath, and more. She made sure every step that I had everything I needed and was always eager to get a nurse for me, take pictures for us, or just keep telling me how proud she was of me for overcoming my fears. I still get emotional 5 weeks later thinking about how deeply connected I felt to Taylor in only 20 weeks. I felt like she was family. I trusted her and she was exactly what I needed to be able to have the amazing birth that I did.
“Those prenatal visits are worth their weight in gold. They helped prepare my husband for his role in supporting me in labor. He felt like he played a part and was less of a background player than he previously expected to be. I felt like I had a prepared team and everyone was in it together.”
Emily, mother of Heidi
When I was searching for a doula, I was drawn to Taylor because of her experience as a VBAC mom. I wanted someone who had been there, done that. My birth was high risk and my goal was to experience labor and hopefully have a better birth than my first. I felt empowered and heard most of the time. More importantly, I felt prepared. I credit that to our 2 prenatal meetings where we walked through things. Taylor helped me think through common interventions and how I might respond to them. I felt like I was prepared for various outcomes and scenarios because we walked through them together. Those prenatal visits are worth their weight in gold. They helped prepare my husband for his role in supporting me in labor. He felt like he played a part and was less of a background player than he previously expected to be. I felt like I had a prepared team and everyone was in it together.
Taylor’s services were totally worth the fee. My husband, who initially struggled with what he felt was an additional cost, raved about what a good choice hiring her was. He needed her as much as I did. If I didn’t have her there to encourage my husband to support me, I am not confident I would have lasted as long. I would have felt like a burden to him if he didn’t get feedback and guidance from Taylor. Taylor is warm, encouraging, and assertive. She allowed me to take charge and supported my decisions. I know that is the role of a doula, but I guess I expected to be following her lead or waiting for her suggestions. In the moment of labor, I needed those around me to support me in whatever felt right in that moment. It’s like she knew my body would lead and she followed that. I felt loved and heard every step along the way.
“In many ways I feel that having doula empowered my partner to feel confident interacting with me.”
Fiona, mother of Annemieke
After practicing some comfort measures with a doula in our childbirth education class and hearing some of the supplies she brings with her to births, I thought that a doula might be a huge help in keeping me comfortable throughout my labor. After talking with my husband, he agreed and we decided to hire Taylor as our doula. We are both so happy we did and have never second guessed our decision.
During early labor Taylor just spent time relaxing with us and getting our home ready for our baby’s arrival. At one point she even ironed curtains for me! It was lovely to share this peaceful anticipatory time with my partner and another woman who was also engrossed in my labor. As labor became more active Taylor supported me intuitively and gently. At times she offered physical support during contractions. At other moments she provided food or water and even tidied the house or prepared items for the next phase. It was such a comfort to first of all just have another person in addition to my partner. This meant that Nick could use the bathroom, get a drink, or have a bite to eat without feeling as if he were abandoning me. Taylor also provided a great model for ways that Nick could support me. In many ways I feel that having doula empowered my partner to feel confident interacting with me.
I will always remember the way that Taylor stayed so close to me as I was facing my fears of pushing my daughter out into this world and whispered in my ear that I could do it, I was safe, and I was doing wonderfully. These sweet words of encouragement were just the touch I needed to have the confidence to bring our daughter into the world. After our daughter’s birth Taylor was right next to me as I began to try to breastfeed and held my hand as our midwife finished caring for me. She helped clean up our house and stayed with me as long as I needed to feel comfortable taking care of our daughter. There are so many practical reasons to have a doula, but the experience of having another woman – who’s in love with birth – stand with me as I gave birth, and the bond and support I felt from that, is why I think having a doula is invaluable. Birth is women’s work, a rite of passage, and one of the last sacred frontiers we can claim for ourselves.
“We knew we had an ally to count on during this crazy time. I felt so much more at ease in the hospital knowing Taylor was there.”
Rachel, mother of Sophia
As first time parents away from home and family, my husband and I knew we wanted support during the labor and delivery of our first baby. We wanted someone who had been there before, who was kind and could put up with whatever happens. We knew it would be good to have someone there to spot my husband too, so that he could get a break and step out if things got too queasy for him.
We wanted to aim for natural intervention-free birth while being open to however things played out. I wanted to go to the hospital at the right time feeling confident and not scared, know enough to avoid unnecessary interventions, and leave the hospital feeling good about my body and ability as a mother no matter how things went.
Taylor got to know us and helped us figure out what we wanted. She came to our house twice to help us with our birth plan and talk about birth options. She recommended great resources for me to read and I felt so confident by delivery time! She also was available to call when we thought my water broke and the doctors wanted to start an induction (false alarm!). I was so glad to have her support.
Before labor, I was so nervous about making too much noise and in general anxious about being embarrassed. I also was unsure of the alternate pain management techniques. Taylor put me at ease lead me through exercises to practice different techniques. I was skeptical, but practicing helped me feel more confident and comfortable with my body.
During labor and delivery, Taylor was emotionally and physically supportive to me and my husband and kept reminding us of our birth plan. We knew we had an ally to count on during this crazy time. I felt so much more at ease in the hospital knowing Taylor was there. She offered massage, counterpressure, help getting in the tub, space for my husband and I when we needed it, help with music, and even snapped a picture of our newborn baby and me. She was WONDERFUL!
“I feel so blessed that I achieved my goal of an intervention free hospital birth; and I am certain that our decision to have Taylor as our doula played a huge role in this.”
Ashley, mother of Eleanor
When I became pregnant I instantly knew I wanted a doula present during my labor. My husband and I felt strongly about having an intervention free birth, and we knew that having a doula (as well as doing tons of our own research) would raise our chances of this happening. There were many choices and decisions involved in the months leading up to my daughter’s birth, but I can wholeheartedly say that choosing Taylor as our doula was one of the best we made. Taylor was such a calming and reassuring presence for my husband and me throughout my labor. Her words of encouragement as well as physical support helped me feel relaxed and empowered.
Whenever someone asks my husband about our daughter’s birth, he is quick to tell them about Taylor and how he “couldn’t have done it without her”. She enabled him to take necessary breaks during my labor that allowed him to be refreshed and alert when I needed him the most. As a first time mother, I had no idea what labor would be like. Taylor was a wealth of knowledge and she really helped me feel mentally prepared for what was to come. I feel so blessed that I achieved my goal of an intervention free hospital birth; and I am certain that our decision to have Taylor as our doula played a huge role in this. Taylor provided a supportive, safe and calming presence that I feel every woman deserves while she brings her baby into the world.
“She is a great resource, and truly a great individual. Without her, I know I would not have had the birth experience I did, and for that I am forever grateful!”
Alicia, mother of Lucy
Having Taylor as part of our birth team was one of the best decisions my husband and I made in preparation for the birth of our second child. I was attempting a VBAC, and had never labored with my first daughter, so my husband and I had no idea what to expect. Taylor not only coached me, but she also coached my husband. She helped him help me, while also making him feel at ease. She helped with great natural pain management techniques, allowing me to get through labor almost unmedicated. She is a great resource, and truly a great individual. Without her, I know I would not have had the birth experience I did, and for that I am forever grateful!
“I am truly thankful for Taylor and the major role she played in helping me achieve the birth that was both the best for my baby, but for me as well!”
Erin, mother of Evie
When I was pregnant with my first daughter in 2012, I dreamed of natural delivery with minimal interventions and no drugs. I ended up delivering her via Cesarean after 7 hours of laboring on pitocin with no pain medication when my midwife discovered that she was frank breech. I was devastated and was determined for my future children to be born vaginally.
When I became pregnant with my 2nd child, the FIRST thing I did was research local doulas. I think I emailed Taylor 2 days after I got a positive pregnancy test! My initial hope for a doula was someone that would provide labor support that would help me manage pain and avoid a repeat Cesarean. I was pleasantly surprised that Taylor provided SO MUCH MORE than just labor support! My pregnancy was great, physically, but it was very emotionally difficult for me. I had moved since having my first daughter and and was really struggling with finding a care provider that truly supported my wish to have a VBAC. After each appointment with a new OB/Midwife, Taylor was a great sounding board that really helped me sort out which provider was the best fit for me and my birth wishes. I had only known Taylor for a few months but knowing that she had personally experienced both a Cesarean and a VBAC, it was like she was my oldest friend that I could completely be truthful with about not only my birth wishes, but my fears as well. Her emotional support during my pregnancy was invaluable. Throughout my pregnancy, labor and delivery she was a true advocate for helping me achieve the birth that I felt I had missed out on with my first daughter.
I’m happy to say that I had an amazing VBAC with zero medication or interventions. I am truly thankful for Taylor and the major role she played in helping me achieve the birth that was both the best for my baby, but for me as well! I highly recommend Taylor and wouldn’t hesitate to hire her again for future pregnancies.
“Taylor was actively engaged all night for the birth. She helped my wife directly, and she helped me so I could help my wife. Taylor was attentive and gentle, proactively engaged but never imposing with her presence.”
Mike, father of Sophia
Taylor Davis is a courageous and committed professional who gave my wife and me personalized service. Thanks to Taylor’s expertise, confidence, and character, my wife had a completely natural childbirth with no significant complications.
As a first time father, I wanted to know everything I could about bringing my child into this world in a safe and healthy way. I began reading the literature and plumbing the internet for the best advice only to find that I could barely scratch the surface of the tip of the iceberg. Having Taylor to ask questions gave me the confidence that I needed for the big day, because she had done her research and had experience, too.
I wanted to be confident and present to my wife. Since your wife wants you with her non-stop, you really do need a doula to bring things and facilitate transitions in positions. Taylor was actively engaged all night for the birth. She helped my wife directly, and she helped me so I could help my wife. Taylor was attentive and gentle, proactively engaged but never imposing with her presence. Any married man knows that his good advice only goes so far. Taylor was able to communicate with my wife in ways I couldn’t, including things I wanted to say.
Our daughter was born in April of 2014, which means that our pregnancy took place through that record-setting winter (over 230 inches of snow in our area!) Several times, Taylor drove the 90-minutes trip during stormy weather and demonstrated to us that we could count on her. From the beginning of her service, she listened intently, customized her service to meet our concerns, guided us with her training, and lightened the mood with her good humor.
“She knew what I truly wanted and helped me stick to my guns. Taylor was steady, calm, reliable, and dedicated. She never wavered no matter how out of control I felt.”
Lorraine, mother of Juniper
I hired Taylor because, after speaking with her, I learned that nothing I said was ever going to be judged or second-guessed by her. Even though I’m not a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) mama, I was also impressed that she had started a chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) in our region because many of my friends need that crucial support. To me, a doula is as important as a midwife in a hospital setting and we never questioned the necessity of hiring one. Many times, technical jargon gets thrown at a vulnerable laboring mother and this results in confusion. A doula helps bridge the gap between the hospital and the parents. My goal for this birth was to stay focused on having an unmedicated birth and she helped me with just that. I had never realized that I had some trauma from my first birth until I was in the midst of my second when I started experiencing fear because of the length of my first labor. Taylor helped my partner and me stay focused on the prize. She knew what I truly wanted and helped me stick to my guns. Taylor was steady, calm, reliable, and dedicated. She never wavered no matter how out of control I felt. One of the most valuable things about Taylor’s support is that she was encouraging. I think that’s one of the biggest flaws in modern birth. No one believes in a woman’s ability to birth anymore. A little time, a kind word, and a hand to hold can mean the difference between the birth a mom wants and the birth others feel she needs for their own vain purposes.