"Ana has been a great support since the day we decided to hire a doula. Ana was kind enough to meet with us several times for our prenatal meetings. She had my husband and I try various relaxation techniques and helped us go over what my birth plans were. I had to go to hospital because I found out my water was leaking during my appointment with the doctor. When I was admitted, Ana was able to help me start my labor by trying acupressure points, so I didn't need to use Pitocin, which had been ordered by my doctor. During active labor, Ana was very supportive to both me and my husband.
Personally, applying counter pressure helped me the most during contractions. It required a lot of muscle strength, but Ana was very good at applying pressure the whole time I had contractions. She and my husband worked together as a team applying hip pressure for hours all through the night. Ana helped me focus on breathing techniques as well as trying other relaxation techniques. The ones that I didn't feel comfortable doing, she didn't force and was very agreeable to whatever I felt most comfortable. After birth, Ana came to our house to check on how the baby and I were doing. She was very informative about breastfeeding and had good resources for me if I needed or had questions about breastfeeding. She even made phone calls after the visit to continue checking on how I was recovering. Overall, Ana's presence during the birth has made my birth experience exceptional and unforgettable. Most importantly, Ana had helped me and my husband make our own decisions to follow our birth plan for having a completely natural, safe and unmedicated birth."
"Ana Hernandez served as my doula for a sliding scale price with the scholarship program that she and Organic birth Santa Cruz wonderfully provide for women and families who are in need of a doula but are unable to pay full price.
Ana is a wonderful doula and person who is very caring, calm, knowledgeable, easy going and very helpful. She provided pre and post natal services and education. She came to our residence and gave us lots of knowledge about natural birth, including lending us books and DVDs, and even showed and helped us with positioning and exercises on several occasions. She gave me contacts for other helpful resources, such as chiropractic work. Ana gave us lots of tools to work with, helped me along with my birth plan and also came to 2 prenatal appointments.
She stayed long hours at the maternity center before and while I was in labor. She was very helpful and gave full and complete support. She came with essential oils, lights, and other tools to aid in my birth. She gave me massages, helped with my positioning, and in advocating my needs and wishes to the staff and was just very helpful in general.
She also came came to our house for a couple postpartum visits to help out and gave me some postpartum exercises, tips, and lactation herbs.
I highly recommend Ana as a doula and am very grateful for the wonderful care I received from her."
"I cannot recommend Ana enough! Ana is kind, patient, and professional. She truly is a living, breathing book of knowledge on prenatal and postpartum topics and her passion for her work is evident in every interaction.
I hired Ana as a doula for such an important season of life for several reasons, but two features really differentiated her from other doulas 1) her ability to ask great questions, allowing her to really understand my needs and 2) her emphasis on postpartum care, which is arguably more important than support during labor and delivery because of the time it takes to recover. Her initial visits, prenatal information, and series of smart questions ultimately encouraged me to opt for a home birth and work with midwives. Had I opted for a medicated hospital birth, I am confident she would have been just as supportive.
As mentioned, we had a planned home birth that resulted in an emergency hospital transfer. Ana worked well - under a great deal of pressure - with my husband, the midwives, and the EMT and Hospital Team at Lucile Packard, helping me have the natural birth I wanted. She returned after an eventful labor and delivery, in the middle of the night, to our home to watch our 2-year old so my husband could stay with our newborn in the NICU while I recovered. She was also my first visitor the next morning, adorned with bags full of nurturing soup, tea, snacks, etc.
Lastly, I appreciated the 'menu' of services she offered as a doula. In the prenatal period, she walked me through a birth plan in case of hospital transfer, shared amazing recipes with me for postpartum nutrition including a list of ingredients to have on hand and helped me understand more about homeopathic medicines and environmentally friendly products to have in the home. During labor and delivery, she worked with my husband to make sure I was well taken care of and set up a beautiful environment in our home to make labor more peaceful. She also handled the emergency transfer like a champ! Her postpartum services, which were such a pleasant surprise, included weekly massages, help with cooking, brewing teas, blending herbs for sitz baths, belly binding, hands-on education about baby massages, as well as two beautiful 'ceremonies' which included the closing of the bones and Chinese mugwort warming. I was able to pick and choose how to spend my postpartum time with Ana and wanted to try out a bit of everything she believes a new mom needs in those very important first few weeks after birth. I didn't fully understand what a postpartum doula does until I worked with Ana and now it is the #1 thing I recommend to friends who are expecting.
Ana helped me really, truly take care of myself and celebrate the birth of my son in so many ways. Please get to know this wonderful, kind woman - she is brilliant!"
- Lindsay P.