Look no further if you need a doula as the Doulas of Capitol Hill are pretty much as good as it gets. Having relocated from Europe to the US a little over a year ago and having all our family and friends over there cheering from afar throughout our pregnancy meant for us hiring a doula for additional and preferably professional help postpartum. We are first time parents and "going it alone" was a little nerve wrecking and overwhelming hence why we decided to get a postpartum doula. I initially had set my heart on a different doula service in the DMV area but the interview with Kirsty and her slick delivery on their services bowled us over and gave us plenty of reassurance. Aside from Kristy we also had the pleasure of working with Emily and Heather and given it was at times at very short notice it was all incredibly seamless and their commitment and support to us was tremendous. The tips and tricks we got from them collectively was an additional bonus and their input invaluable. From the first contact all the way to invoicing their communication and transparency was flawless and I couldn't speak more highly of the entire team. Rest assured we know where you are if we're having another one on the way and look forward to working with you again. A special thanks to Emily for putting me in touch with another local first time mommy as I seem to have gained another friend. Again, our sincerest gratitude and all the best for your growing business! Selina, Sebastian & Charlie
I am so, so happy I chose to work with Doulas of Capitol Hill! After attending one of their Meet Your Doula events, I decided to work with Ashley while becoming a mom for the first time. My husband Kyle and I are both transplants from California without any family in the area so it was important for us to find another member for our birth team to help support us. Kyle was hesitant to hire a doula at first because he wanted to have a very active role in my labor, but he felt that every doula we spoke to at this event was very supportive of this goal which made us very happy.
Because my due date was only 4 weeks away, Emily immediately set to work getting my paperwork together and soon afterward Ashley contacted me and we set up a date for her to come over. We talked through my birth plan and different birthing options, and she showed my husband and I different laboring positions and pain management techniques we could use all over the house. I really wanted a natural labor and she was awesomely encouraging! Then, Ashley kept in regular contact with me throughout the long wait for my baby. She checked in on how I was feeling after every appointment. I always felt like she was there to chat if I had any questions or needed someone to talk to!
Eventually, I was admitted to the hospital for an induction and Ashley told me she would arrive as soon as we called her. I texted with her frequently and her input on various interventions and decisions we needed to make was so helpful. Two days later, labor was finally starting and Ashley showed up early on Sunday morning. It had been a very long 48 hours in the hospital while nothing happened, and Ashely certainly brightened our spirits! She took beautiful photos on her phone while my husband supported me in labor and when things got more intense, she applied wonderful counter-pressure on my back to help my husband help me through each contraction. I ended up needing an epidural so we sent Ashley home for some rest while I slept, but while she was gone it was decided that I needed a c-section (at 10:30pm!). My husband called her while they prepped me for surgery and although she wasn't allowed to be in the operating room with us, she arrived in plenty of time to meet us in the recovery room, take the first pictures of us as a family of three, and help us try breastfeeding for the first time. She helped us get settled in our room before saying goodnight and letting us enjoy our first night with Rory.
Ashley also came back to my home for a postpartum doula visit. She checked in on how we were all doing, helped me clean my house, taught me how to baby wear my son, and provided some super fun company while we prepped some freezer meals. It felt just like having a friend over--but like, a really great friend who does chores for me! :) Thank you so much, Doulas of Capitol Hill! I am truly hoping to get to work with you again someday. -Carey Helmick
I didn't decide to encapsulate until my 3rd pregnancy. I will never have another baby without my pills. My postpartum bleeding was done so much quicker, my moods didn't make my husband want to commit me and I had the energy to fully take care of my family as normal. I was grocery shopping with a 3 day old. I would advise the tincture to help with future menopause too! -Sarah H.
Amy was terrific in our pre-birth sessions as well as during the actual birth. I felt like she really helped us talk through our preferences and be mentally prepared. I really appreciated that she did not push certain approaches/techniques but rather was very receptive to my preferences and wishes. She was great in remembering what we had talked about and reminding me of our options during labor. We also liked how well she worked with the staff at the hospital and that she was equally supportive of medical intervention if it became necessary. - Rachel
I had the wonderful opportunity to have Emily serve as my doula for our first baby. Through the pregnancy I had many worries and concerns. Emily was right there to talk, text, and email me about all of it. Throughout I felt like I had the opportunity to make the best decisions I could, when possible for the health (mental and physical) of me and the baby. My husband is from America, but I am from India. Even before the baby was born we had many discussions on ways to raise babies, since we come from different cultures. Emily provided evidence based information, so we could truly make informed decisions together. This served us well, especially since we are scientists but also because sometimes we were too busy to sift through all the information targeted at new parents to find what we were looking for. Through the pregnancy and labor I received positive reinforcement and non judgmental advice from Emily, which started off my role as a new mom with more confidence than I expected to have. I had a long induction, and through the many days of being in the hospital Emily stayed with me on the phone, keeping me sane! When things were getting more serious, Emily showed up early in the morning. She provided invaluable support for David and me for the next 20 hours or so. Even after baby Artemus was born, Emily would answer all my questions in person and by texts. I am pretty sure I sent her pictures of diapers!! I know that for Emily, being a doula is more than a job, because it shows in the love and care she provides to the whole family (including our family dog, who was not always nice to her!). To me, Emily will always be a part of one of the most special days in my life. In that aspect we will always be connected. Someday we will have another baby, and I hope Emily will jump on for the ride :)
I cannot say enough good things about Doulas of Capitol Hill. I had known my doula Ashley through one of my college roommates and when I became pregnant and I knew that I wanted a doula to support me, I saw Ashley was a doula and thought it was a great fit. My expectations were surpassed! I booked our package early in my pregnancy and I felt supported before I even signed on the dotted line. For pregnancy pains and discomforts, Ashley and Emily had suggestions for alternatives like a chiropractor, acupuncture, and when I went past my due date even an induction massage in my home fairly last minute! The customer service is impeccable, my emails/texts/phone calls were all answered in a timely manner and Emily even emailed me while she was on vacation! Every service I have booked has been worth it. I definitely feel like I am a part of the Doulas of Capitol Hill family! - Jackie Dean
Emily and Nicole are very responsible and caring people. I used their services for our first child, and we absolutely love them. As first time parents, we were back with little theory and zero hands on experience about how to properly take care of a newborn. Besides the little one, we also didn’t know what to expect out of ourselves. We have interviewed quite a few doulas, and we were both impressed by Emily’s downto earth personality and trustworthy presence, and we are very glad that we have chosen Emily’s service. From day one of Emily’s presence in our house, not only she patiently took care of the baby, but also gradually introduced us to all the little details of baby caring such as proper breastfeeding, bottle feeding and personal care. She gave our baby the first bath and engaged us in every step, carefully explained her every move. Everyday of her presence, we gained more and more confidence about taking care of the baby through learning and her encouragement. We learnt little tips such as how to safely get boogers out of baby’s nose, and also were blessed with introduction to useful gears like the Moby Wrap and the Breast Friends feeding pillow by Nicole. Emily has helped us in every aspect of baby caring, she always left us with a feeling that we were in charge with the baby, and whenever we needed help she would always be there. We always loved she started the day with “What is your objective today, what would you want me to accomplish today?” And at the end of the day, we always accomplished more because Emily worked very hard, her enthusiasm and energy motivated us to go beyond ourselves too. We were also impressed by the personalized experience delivered by Emily’s service. We are both foreigners born and raised in Asia, but Emily has made me feel at ease with the American culture, and she also observed and adapted incredibly well with our habits, we never felt any cultural barrier when communicating with her. We especially remembered one time when Emily cooked for us, she carefully researched the Chinese food characteristics, and made special combinations to cater the condition that the mother was in. Many months have passed, every day we miss Emily’s big smile when she walked in our door step, the positive energy she brought in, and the hard working ethics she always has. Our experience with Emily Smith and Nicole Bruno was way beyond our expectation. We are so grateful the service and assistance from Emily and Nicole, and our baby were enjoyed every moment spent with them. -Daisy Qin
We recently worked with Nicole for the birth of our first baby and had never truly considered what kind of birth we wanted. We intended to interview a bunch of doulas but the truth was that when we met Nicole, we liked her as a person and could see ourselves spending hours with her on the most amazing day of our lives. There was no reason to look elsewhere. She knew her stuff, she was sweet, friendly, and she seemed not-judgmental (that was important because we of course didn't know how our birth vision would evolve or be implemented on the day-of). We summarize Nicole's contribution as:
PREPARATION & INFORMATION: Nicole visited us and spoke with us at least twice prior to the big day. During those visits, she was so generous with her time. She helped us define our birth vision and educated us without us feeling like she was judging us for being so ignorant!! I don't think anything related to the labor process came up on the big day that we hadn't somehow discussed with her! Even in the hospital, she shed light on what was happening. At one critical point in the process, when the pain was becoming unbearable and Mom considered pain relief meds, Nicole wasn't judgmental but managed to find words and actions that kept Mom going. Within 45 min, we were pushing baby without medication when the doctors thought it might still take hours!
SUPPORT: Nicole was so responsive and supportive before, during and after. She even helped us install our car seat! On the day the water broke (at 4 am), Nicole responded to our texts within minutes. At the hospital, she was very attentive to helping Dad be useful and strong throughout the labor process. She visited us one more time after the birth and helped get us settled and answered the LONG list of questions we had - we needed that!
In a nutshell, we don't think we could have implemented our vision without Nicole. It was a huge pleasure working with her! THANKS NICOLE!!
~Maria, Lyle and Baby Elias
"The simple knowledge of knowing that Muriel would be coming was an emotional balm, but also she was supportive and encouraging always. She showed a lot of love for our babies and their progress...She kept us sane through the first ten weeks. That was priceless."
Heather was absolutely amazing in supporting us through our second unmedicated birth at GW University Hospital. She was patient, knowledgeable, reaffirming, and kept me focused throughout the entire process. I could not have asked for more in a doula. -Emily N.