I headed into my first pregnancy with so many unknowns and anxieties. I felt like I had the biggest test of my life coming up and no knowledge of anything on it!
I had always envisioned having a natural birth but honestly, I had no idea what that meant. I knew I needed some serious support and I hoped I would find it with a Doula. My OB suggested contacting Jen Nelson so, thankfully, I did.
Jen’s soft, nurturing personality shined through when my husband and I met with her. She just felt like one of the family.
Throughout the course of my pregnancy we met in the comfort of my home to discuss things that concerned me or answer questions I had; I had a lot! She provided me with books, websites and podcasts that were unique to my goals. Jen taught my husband and I about breathing techniques and laboring positions. She was able to explain labor techniques I was interested in, like Rebozo.
When going over my birth plan she made me feel empowered to have the birth I imagined, not the birth others imagined for me.
The morning my water broke, I no longer had the weight of a thousand unknowns on my shoulders. I felt educated and powerful. I stayed in contact with Jen, taking her advice along the way, until it was time to meet at the hospital. Jen’s advice and teachings guided me as I brought my son into the world.
Soon after I was settled in at home, Jen came over to check in on my son and I. She brought tea and let me ugly cry. She told me how powerful and amazing I was. This angel even did my dishes.
When people ask me about my birth story I’m proud to include the things I gained from having Jen as my doula. I couldn’t recommend this experience enough!
When my wife told me about having a doula I was kind of confused; I didn’t think we needed one.
On top of that I wasn’t even sure what a doula was, but being an open minded person I tried it out with no intention of continuing.
When I first met Jen I was silent and stand-offish, but she was very welcoming and kind. Jen was understanding of my feelings and tried her best to involve me in everything.
As time went by I liked what I was seeing with the way she helped my wife feel more comfortable and helped me understand certain things I was confused about. From that point on I started to trust what she was saying and she started to make me feel more comfortable as well.
Close to our due date we had a false alarm and rushed to the hospital at around 11pm or so and I called Jen and she was amazing, I have never seen anyone so ready and happy, she not once looked upset or frustrated like any other person would have been at that time of night, even though it was a false alarm.
When the big day was finally here and we were ready, I was calm and trusted Jen to keep my wife calm as well.
I saw her take charge in making sure the nurses and doctors stuck to the birth plan, she didn’t back down. At this point Jen knew us and what we wanted and it seemed like she was part of our family.
When my child was being born I watched her come out with the cord around her neck. I felt fear and I started to panic. Jen caught my eyes and she didn’t say anything, but just looked at me and it calmed me down as if I knew what she was telling me without speaking. A mental connection of sorts.
Jen has since held a place in my heart and will always be seen as family to me. Even after our birth she still checked in and was there if we needed her.
We even have a picture of her and our baby after birth that is the most amazing thing. Jen looked at our child with love as she has been there with our child since month one. Jen would even ask me if there was anything she could do for just me.
My OB at Peace Health recommended Jen upon our first prenatal appointment. I was nervous to reach out to her, especially after my family and peers discouraged me, saying it would be "weird" or "uncomfortable" to have a complete stranger in the room while I gave birth. I am so glad I looked past all of that and called Jen.
At our very first meeting she had endless educational resources to share on every issue I was curious about going into my first child birth.
Jen remained completely unbiased when answering my questions, and provided me with well-researched, evidence-based information so that I could make informed decisions in the delivery room.
On the night of my birth Jen met us at the hospital and stayed hours after the birth of my daughter, even guiding us through our first attempts at breastfeeding.
Throughout my birthing process, Jen was my rock. Her words were kind, supportive and effective: she made me feel strong and capable of achieving the non-medicated birth I had dreamed of.
I struggled with intense back labor during my entire birth, but Jen helped me power through with birthing positions that gave me relief and by applying counter pressure to my back as well as massage.
She helped me advocate for myself on decisions I had to make in a moment’s notice, espeically ones I hadn't prepared for ahead of time.
Most of all, Jen helped me feel comfortable and powerful through every moment of childbirth. She listened as I cried about my fears of becoming a mother in my final moments before pushing, she turned off the fetal monitor screen when she saw it was making me nervous, and she even gently stroked my face and reminded me that I was beyond capable of birth and parenthood. She literally held my hand while I pushed my beautiful baby girl and while I got stitches. She was the last person to leave the delivery room after guiding my daughter and I through our first moments of breastfeeding.
Jen visited us twice after our birth, providing further breastfeeding and emotional support. She let me vent, cry and brought me sitz herbs.
She has continued to support our family by keeping in touch, providing information on local resources and inviting us to consult her on parenting tactics and postpartum issues.
Jen is nurturing, non-judgmental and her highest concern is helping you achieve the birth YOU want. There was nothing uncomfortable about having her in the delivery room; without her guidance and encouragement I do not believe my birth experience would have been so positive or unmedicated.
Justine Parker, DO
I have worked with Jen Nelson for 3 years in my capacity as an obstetrical provider at PeaceHarbor.
She offers wonderful physical and emotional support for our patients both antenatally and intrapartum. She is encouraging, positive, evidence-based and a wonderful advocate for her patients.
With the data strong that those women who have doula support will have a more positive birth experience and less likelihood of cesarean section, I am in full support of doulas, and particularly of Jen Nelson!
Midori & Ebram
Jen is an amazing doula who supported us during our pregnancy and through the post-partum period.
It was our first pregnancy, and we wanted to have a home-birth. We were introduced to Jen from the Parenting and Pregnancy center. She is a great supporter of home-birthing and we were very relieved when we found out about her.
Her warm, down-to- earth, characteristics made us feel safe during the time she helped us with Pearl’s birth.
I started my labor around mid-night. When my husband called Jen at around 5:00 am she arrived at our home very soon after. She immediately adapted to the environment and grasped where all of the necessary items for birthing were.
She fixed me a peanut butter sandwich when I was tired and hungry from labor. Her calm attitude comforted me. She was so supportive and attentive. Knowing that I was with both Jen, my husband Ebram and our midwife Marjie, I felt I was not alone. They were all a great support for me.
During Pearl’s delivery, Jen was constantly cheering me up with loving words. Every time I pushed, I was assured by her that I was making good progress. By 9:30am, I had a healthy girl, who weighed 5lbs 11oz.
The next day, week, and month Jen was always available and kept coming back to our home to make sure we were doing well. She helped us with meals, laundry, dishes and even arranging our house when we were overwhelmed as brand new parents. She also had great insights and continued to provide useful resources for raising Pearl.
Jen is a great doula--above and beyond--and a kind, wonderful person.
I highly recommend her as a professional doula, if you are looking for a warm, loving, and easy-transitional birthing experience.
Going into our first pregnancy, I had no idea what a birth doula was. My partner told me a bit about it, but I was apprehensive about hiring one because I thought it would be uncomfortable to have a stranger in the room while my baby was being born.
When I first met Jen, I was surprised at how easy to talk to she was. My partner had done so much research on childbirth that I felt like I would be a little out of the loop when talking with her.
She made sure I understood the different practices that typically happen in a delivery room and helped me see different sides to decisions my partner was making that I was struggling with. IV locks, for example, were something I thought was absolutely necessary during labor. I was worried about my partner's wellbeing without one, but Jen offered evidence-based reasons why going without an IV lock could actually be okay, too.
My partner ended up going without medical intervention almost entirely, and I believe Jen was a big reason why she felt empowered to make her own decisions in the delivery room.
When it all came down to it I, like so many other mothers, had no voice in the hospital. I had no one to speak up when I couldn’t or didn’t know how to.
What struck me most about Jen was that she was listening to me wanting to know what made me most comfortable, what my hopes and fears and expectations were for my journey through pregnancy into childbirth.
After our first visit and Jen stayed in constant contact with us. One thing I loved was how she supportive she was of my communication with my husband in regards to our birth. She would share her incite or a good article or book to read and we would always come away with a feeling of peace and understanding of what worried or frustrated us before that.
I chose to have a completely natural birth. In doing so, Jen taught me how to come up with a way to manage my pain through visions, music and smells.
She accompanied me to one of my last doctors appointments, and taught me that is was possible to make my own choices in the birthing room to do with me and my child.
As I began hard labor she became my voice, kneeling beside me holding my hand while they broke my water talking me through every contraction helping me to see my visions. Jen thought of things I needed even before I realized I needed it. When I wanted to give up she reminded me how strong I am and that I could do this for my baby.
Forty-five minutes after her birth our sweet girl was laid on my chest she very groggy and struggling to begin to nurse. Jen held her head and helped me get her latched all the time telling me how strong I had been I felt completely exhausted but still new that with my doula my birth had been what I had wanted.
To this day we consider her as part of our family, we no longer live in the area but we keep in contact sharing pictures of our little ones lives.