and Baby Nora
and Baby Molly
"We chose to have Gwen with us for the birth of our third child. We were planning an unmedicated hospital birth with a midwife whom had delivered my two older children. Early in my pregnancy, I found out that my midwife would be on vacation the week leading up to my due date so it was very important that I have a doula-someone I knew would be there with me at the birth of our baby.
Words can not express how grateful I am that Gwen was with us that day. There were a variety of cirucmstances surrounding the birth that did not go as planned. My spirit was crushed in the days and weeks that followed. Something was taken from me that I cannot ever get back. But because Gwen was there, I was able to see the beauty in that day. She understands birth and how deeply it affects a woman on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. She allowed me to share with her over and over my feelings about the experience, validated how I felt and did not rush me through the emotions. I know God wanted her to be with me so that when events would unfold the way they would, I’d have a strong, godly woman by my side. God worked through her to help me realize His will in the birth of my daughter. He used Gwen to help my heart to heal.
Labor is a very emotional, vulnerable time for a woman. The circumstances that surround the event are unknown and while we have preferences as to how things will unfold, we really don’t know what will happen until we are in the moment. The one thing that we can plan on is who will surround us during this sacred time in our lives as we begin or continue our journey as mothers. Gwen’s presence is a precious part of the birth of my 3rd child. I am forever grateful that she was with us. To say that I would recommend her is an understatement as I believe any family would be extremely blessed to have her with them as they welcome their child into the world."
"Gwen was the most amazing doula. I am actually a new doula myself, and when we began planning a homebirth for our second child, I knew I wanted Gwen to be there as my doula. She is one of the most caring, compassionate, and selfless people I know. The loving attention she gave to my husband and I during the prenatal period and during our birth was priceless. She took lots of extra time to find out about us, and our hopes for this birth.
Our birth ended up going very quickly, but Gwen made it in time, and was able to provide support to me during the most intense period of my labor. She set up a diffuser with essential oils, helped fan me when I was getting too hot, and helped calm me down when I realized the baby was coming quicker than expected (on the toilet!). She stayed with us for about 5 hours after the baby was born, helping us get settled and baking a delicious “groaning cake” which was very tasty and helped me regain energy after a whirlwind labor. She checked in daily during the postpartum period, and brought us a delicious home-cooked meal.
Gwen truly went above and beyond in her role as a doula, and she has given me something to strive for in my own doula work. "
"As first time parents, we wanted to come into this pregnancy informed with the knowledge of seasoned experience. Our goal was to have as natural a labor and birth as possible. Gwen guided us, connected us to the right people, and informed us of many of the practices of todays doctors. It was with her guidance that we were able to be informed enough to build and present a reasonable and comprehensive birth plan to our doctor and later to the nursing staff.
With my wife's water breaking three weeks early, Gwen stayed connected to us for the first day at the hopsital. She spent that night and most of the following night with us at the hospital. She guided us in asking the right questions that helped us make well informed decisions. When natural labor and induced labor didnt work, the last option was c-section. Though Gwen supported the father in many way during the time at the hospital, she was instrumental in helping the him during the c-section. During the operation the father was the only one allowed in the room but when he left with the new baby, she stayed with the mother until she came back to the room and the father could come back. This allowed the father to focus on his new baby knowing his wife was not alone.
Gwen was a critical objective third party that always kept our wishes in mind but able to give us that outside look at our situation. We would recommend any first time parent to hire a doula and we would recommend Gwen to anyone looking for a doula."
and Baby Sophia
Love from Gwen's clients...
"We are beyond grateful to have worked with Gwen as we welcomed our first baby into the world! Prior to labor and delivery, Gwen met with us several times and dedicated herself to ensuring we were completely prepared for our son's birth. After listening to our concerns, she offered resources, guidance and expertise that completely surpassed our expectations. When we hit some unexpected bumps during labor, she provided much needed encouragement that only an experienced and nurturing mother could offer. Her presence throughout the labor process offered a steady and experienced hand that we were thrilled to have with us. In addition,Gwen's presence greatly enhanced my husband's ability to support me effectively in labor. While she never took his place, she served as another compassionate hand when the going got tough. I'm not sure how, but she managed to strike the perfect balance between a guide and friend. After our baby was born, she celebrated joyfully, shared with us spiritually, and remained with us until we were settled comfortably. She visited the day of our discharge and has continued to make herself available to us. Gwen went ABOVE and BEYOND to help us experience the birth we desired. We can't thank her enough for her presence with us during one of the most sacred moments in life! "
Mike, Leslie and
"I observed that Gwen brought a good mix of nurturing mother skills combined with doula skills to a recent birth we both attended."
~Erin Parkinson, CNM~
The Birthing Center at Aurora Sinai Medical Center
and Baby Kai
"Gwen is not only an amazing Doula, but a wonderful person with the most caring heart. She is overflowing with love and warmth. My husband and I are private/shy people, and we didn't know Gwen until about two months before our son was born. She quickly became a friend and a source of tremendous comfort. As a first time mom, I knew I wanted to have a natural childbirth if possible; but I was nervous and apprehensive. Not only did Gwen give me the confidence I needed through thorough education, but also through encouraging words, love and support. I had BH contractions about two weeks before my son was born, and I thought it was the real thing. Gwen responded immediately to my texts and helped me figure out what was going on. Below is a text exchange between my husband and I attesting to her awesomeness:
Me: Gwen said if it is real labor it will only pick up and not decrease. She said to keep drinking water, eating healthfully and to move around with resting in between. Husband: I love Gwen! What a great resource. Me: I know, she's amazing.
Having a friend and support person who is incredibly knowledgeable about all things childbirth only a text or phone call away is invaluable.
When the time came for my son's birth, Gwen was in contact with us throughout the middle of the night, and drove an hour and 15 minutes to our home at 2:00am to attend to me and my husband while I was in the beginning stages of labor. She suggested pain relief tips, handed me drinks of water, reminded me to take bathroom breaks, massaged my back, held ice on my back...the list goes on and on! When we got to the hospital, she continued her constant support, even a couple of hours after our son was born. She even had snacks for us after the delivery!
Gwen is an amazing Doula, and now friend. Because of her help, I was able to have a beautiful natural childbirth. We're forever grateful.
"I knew I wanted a doula when I first became pregnant and decided to have a birth without medication. I interviewed several doulas before I found Gwen.
Gwen has a maternal nature that instantly made me feel relaxed and taken care of. Before the birth she walked me through what labor decisions I might come across and helped put my mind at ease that we were prepared, or
as prepared as we could be. When I went into labor Gwen was not only a source of comfort (fanning me, massaging my back) but also guidance (gently reminding me to breathe).
I loved having her support during the most memorable event of my life. She truly defines what it means
to 'mother the mother'."
and Baby Judd
Clarke, Kerry, and Baby Griffin
"My family was so blessed to have Gwen at our 4th child's birth. My very first unmedicated birth!! We have never utilized a doula before for any of our births and now I'm sitting here wondering why. Out of all my experiences birthing I have never felt more relaxed, heard and in control as I did with Gwen at my side.
To say she is amazing is an understatment. We hired her with very short notice of my due date and she was so flexible with getting together and understanding of my other rambunctious little ones. Gwen has a very calming aura about her. I never felt rushed or pressured about any decisions I made. She always gave me the facts about any concerns I had and was very accepting.
How uplifting for a mom-to- be to know you are heard and that your birth plan will be recognized and taken serious! I absolutely loved that she included essential oils to be diffused while laboring to help calm me and used others at the right times to help with my progression and clarity. I honestly never thought I could have a baby naturally. I thought about and wondered how other women could do it. Gwen used subtle touches and massage throughout the process to ease my tension and relax me. The best part was keeping me busy and moving around that I didn't pay attention to how long every contraction was or how close they were coming together.
Before I knew it it was time to welcome my baby on his birthday. Gwen never left my side and was very comforting in every way. I owe it to her for giving me the support I needed at the right moments to be able to say I no longer have to wonder how other women give
birth unmedicated. It is such an amazing and exhilarating feeling to know you just accomplished something many women choose to not experience because of fear and lack of support. Even if you have a support system having a doula to know exactly what you need and when you need it is so reassuring.
I would highly highly recommend Gwen and will definitely be hiring her again."
and Baby Silas
My husband and I worked with Gwen as our doula for the birth of our fourth child. We hadn’t used a doula for any of our other births, but after hearing about some friends’ positive experiences with doulas, we looked into using one, and I’m so glad we did for this birth!
Although we’d experienced birth before, working with Gwen helped us to hone our expectations and desires for this birth experience as well as to prepare us for possible outcomes if our birth plan didn’t come to pass. She provided us with good information on preparing the mind and body for labor as well as our birth options (such as which interventions were optional, etc.) even within the guidelines of our planned natural hospital birth.
Throughout the pregnancy, birth, and early postpartum period, Gwen was an excellent resource for the various doubts and questions that arose. She was always available via email and text and responded promptly to all forms of communication. Her tips on labor preparation were very helpful, especially her advice about using a birth ball both prior to and during labor.
This baby came quickly and, due to the unexpected speed, I ended up spending almost all of my labor at home before heading to the hospital at what turned out to be the last minute. Using the birth ball during the labor process was so much more comfortable than laboring on my back as I
had at the hospital during my previous births. Even in the chaos of the rush to the hospital and the speedy delivery,
Gwen provided a calming presence and constant encouragement.
Throughout the entire birth process, Gwen was very respectful of our choices, both the ones we had made for our previous births and the ones we made this time around. She made sure we knew our options but left all of the decisions up to us and supported whatever we chose. It was reassuring to have a friendly face and an informed presence by our side as we welcomed our son into the world.
and Baby Jack
"After a less-than- ideal experience during my first labor, I knew I wanted to look into having a doula at my second child’s birth. But I was still pretty hesitant about the idea… Was it worth it? Would it really help me?
Enter Gwen. From our very first interaction, she was fantastic. In the weeks leading up to labor, she was there to answer my questions and also offered plenty of encouragement to calm my anxieties. When I went into labor (2 weeks "early"), she responded immediately to my middle-of- the-night texts and was readily available to come. Her presence when we reached the hospital was invaluable. My labor was pretty advanced when we arrived, and I immediately began having doubts about my ability to handle it.
Gwen knew exactly what to do and say to help me stay calm and overcome my fears. She offered physical support and encouraging words throughout labor, and helped me to pace myself by reminding me to listen to my body. Better yet, she also helped my husband know how to give me the support I needed.
Having Gwen at my son’s birth helped create the calm, safe, and supportive birth environment that I needed for a positive and empowered birth experience. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing."
and Baby Isaiah
"Gwen was a blessing to us as we planned for the birth of our 2nd child! She was very nurturing and informative throughout the preparation, during labor and after coming home. She asked the right questions and made us feel comfortable
She was professional and listened to our beliefs and desires in order to know how to best support our family. We would highly recommend her!"
and Baby Nora
You'd have to be crazy to consider going into the birth process without a Doula, especially for the first time. This is how we have felt looking back after our son was born in August, 2016.
My wife and I wanted a natural birth and felt that this would give us the best chance of success in having a healthy baby and a speedy recovery for mom.
Gwen worked with us throughout our pregnancy and prepared us with evidence based knowledge and what to expect at every step of what we'd be going through. She helped us to understand how every birth can be different and situations may come up that can change your plans. She prepared us for things we'd have never known or thought about. This preparation turned out to be crucial.. when our time came we didn't have time and needed to act quickly.
My wife's water broke before contractions started and our doctor wanted us to go to the hospital right away and likely start pitocin since we were now on the clock and pressure was on to deliver within 24hr. We had learned that pitocin can sharply increase pain levels and result in the need for an epidural which could in turn slow down labor and potentially result in a C-section. We were terrified and did not want to go down that slippery slope!
Gwen coached us through calmly bringing on contractions naturally at home and everything she told us worked. By the time we arrived at the hospital we went into labor intervention-free! During labor Gwen did so much more than support my wife. She made an amazing team with our labor nurse and was invaluable to me as the husband in showing me exactly how to help my wife the most. My wife told me afterward that she felt she was able to focus 100% on giving birth because she saw that she was in good hands and felt safe and trusting with such a rock star support team.
We can't say enough about Gwen and feel like she's a part of our family now. She'll be our first call if we're blessed with another pregnancy!
Rich, Susan and Baby Julien
It was our 4th baby, but first time we planned an unmedicated, natural home birth. I knew right away that I wanted to add a doula to our birth team. I felt an instant emotional connection to Gwen when I visited her site. Meeting her in person solidified the connection. Words can't explain how valuable she was to our family the day of our son's birth.
She was calm and attentive, which was exactly what I needed when things started moving along. Not to mention, the bread she made and gave me after the birth, was exactly what I needed to re-energize. I would highly recommend Gwen to any family looking to add a doula to their birth team!
Patrick, Amber, and Baby Dallas
"It's hard to put into words how much we loved the privilege of having Gwen as our doula. I could talk about how she was always reliable and professional, how she went above and beyond with meeting with us, talking to us, and praying for us, or how she made the most AMAZING bread for after our sweet little babe was born.
But, most importantly and above all, she made me feel safe, and valued, and beautiful, and like there was no where else that she would have rather been. And really, what more could you want in a doula than that? To have Christian women surrounding you with love while you birth your baby - well, there is just nothing quite like it. And I feel so grateful to know Gwen and can't wait to have her with me for my next babies as well!"
and Baby Brodie
"After discussing my goal of doing natural childbirth with my doctor, she mentioned that some of her patients had hired doulas to support them during labor. I found Gwen's biography on doulamatch.net and she seemed like she would be a great fit for my husband and me. She was extremely personable and professional during the whole process. She answered all our questions and educated us on the entire childbirth process, including postpartum recovery. This went above and beyond our 4-week hospital class and really made us feel at ease as first time parents.
My husband and I love telling our successful natural childbirth story to friends and family. Each time we tell the story, we mention that we couldn't have done it without Gwen. We're so happy we invested in her services!"
and Baby Silas
Aaron, Deborah, and Baby Anika
Gwen was my doula for our first pregnancy. Up until 34 weeks we were reluctantly planning a hospital birth without any interventions. I had some anxiety around the idea and knew I would need extra support with my birth plan. I had heard Gwen’s name through our natural birthing class and we decided to meet with her. Within the first 5 minutes we knew she was a perfect match for us. She has experience in most of the hospitals in Milwaukee as well as birth centers. One week later when we decided to switch to a birth center setting she was completely on board.
Gwen is incredibly patient and warm. She gave us great feedback regarding our expectations and made me feel 100% taken care of. When it came time for our birth she coached me through every contraction and helped my husband to comfort me. She is a coach for both mom and dad during labor. She held my hand during my postpartum care and helped us to relax with baby. She was back the next morning to check on us and show us the beautiful photos she had taken. I will be calling on her services for my next pregnancy.
Alex, Rachel, and Baby Evren
Nate, Bethany, and Baby Ezekiel
This was our first child and our goal was to have a natural child birth but we knew we would need help. Gwen was super helpful in preparing us for what to expect during the weeks prior to my due date. I had two days of non-progressive contractions during which time Gwen was always available to answer any questions and she even spent several hours the first night with us. When active labor finally began Gwen went with us to the hospital and continued to support us. It was nice to have someone else with us to help out however needed. Unfortunately, labor wasn't progressing very quickly and after 24 hours exhaustion had set in and I ended up needing to get an epidural and pitocin. Gwen continued to be supportive and never made me feel guilty for not being able to have a natural birth. Finally our son was born and Gwen was able to capture the moment on camera for us. After the birth Gwen visited us at home on two separate occasions to see how we were doing. It was nice to have such a caring person to be with us during the birth of our son.
Matt, Sarah, and Baby Paul
Our family has been blessed by Gwen’s support during the pregnancy of our new little blessing following the unexpected loss of our first son, Miles, just one year before. Miles was our first and his delivery was pretty quick (less than 7 hours) and easy considering he was our first. With the help of techniques, we learned at a natural childbirth class and the support of our nurse, I was able to have a natural, unmedicated birth - something that was important to me. Despite a smooth and wonderful birth experience, Miles unexpectedly went to be with Jesus when he was just 5 days old, before we even got to take him home.
Pregnancy following the loss of our son was emotionally very difficult. How do we celebrate and grieve at the same time, especially when the grief is still so raw? The confidence I had gained in knowing I am able to have a natural birth was overshadowed by the fears of experiencing loss again and of the traumatic triggers that would arise. I knew during this new pregnancy and especially following the birth of our new baby that I not only needed support, but most importantly, I needed help in remembering it is Christ who can and will overshadow our fear and doubt. Gwen’s faith and compassion helped us by doing just that. Gwen also helped us in many ways to prepare for both labor and the time we so hoped would come, holding our new blessing in our arms and getting to raise him up, by providing us with tools and connecting us with the resources we needed to make informed decisions. Through Gwen as our doula, God reminded us of God’s promise to bring new, good things from a storm. We are so thankful for her and her help and for every moment we get to have with Miles little brother, Paul, now on this side of Heaven!