Martha and I were introduced through a mutual friend while I was looking for a postpartum doula. I was pregnant with di/di twin boys, and as my pregnancy progressed I decided to try for a VBAC and was looking for a birth doula. Martha and I started working together in my third trimester, and through all of the bumps and turns of my pregnancy she was flexible, open to my unique situation, and supportive of my goals. I really appreciated her coming to meet with me and my midwife, and how accessible she was 24/7. Even when I decided to change care providers at 37/3 in order to find a group who would support my VBAC attempt, she never faltered and stood behind me and my belief that my body was capable. Knowing that she was just a text or call away made me feel very secure, and I appreciated her gentle reminders to focus on breathing, eating, sleeping, and relaxing through the end of my pregnancy. As I got closer to my “final date” and I was stressed about not going into labor, her confidence helped me remind myself that my body and my babies knew what they were doing and that things were going to work out the way that they were supposed to.
In preparation of the birth we did a Fear Release session, and I went back to that place a lot as my pregnancy progressed.I truly did let go of my fears of not being included in decisions or a rupture after our time together. When either thought came up, I let them move by and focused on the fact that I was in control of my body and that I trusted what it was capable of.
I had a challenging labor – almost 27 hours from when things really got started, and Martha was present the entire ride. She was my coach and my anchor along with my husband, and created an environment for me when laboring at home and in the hospital that helped me to feel at ease and focus on my body’s ability to birth. The essential oils, music, counter pressure, holding my hand, verbal reinforcements, reminders of my breathing, and just being present and 100% there for me were all very helpful. Having her there, an experienced birth coach, helped me feel confident in my choices and confident in asking for time to discuss them. As the day progressed and we hit some challenges, she provided honest feedback and helped support me and my husband through a series of decisions (some of which differed from our original birth plan), ultimately leading us to a successful VBAC of twins – the first at Boca Raton Regional Hospital – surrounded by an amazing care team and a loving partner.
She has so many tools to help get through tricky labor – I had constant back labor and she was an endless supply of information and options for things we could try to move baby. I really appreciated the photos that she took, and the essential oil spray that she gave me. It reminds me of my birth and what I achieved. I also really liked being able to talk through my birth with her afterwards – and have found that to be a very important tool for me in the healing and recovery process.
Martha truly has a gift. She was my rock. Even with the changes we made as the day progressed, she was balanced and honest about her experiences, and it helped me and Chris feel like weren’t making blind decisions. I would recommend Martha to anyone looking for an amazing birth doula to be there for them, their family, and their babies. She made all the difference for my birth, and I believe that my successful VBAC was in no small part due to her unbelievable support.
I did a healing session with Martha last night , due to fear that I had in my 6th pregnancy! The next day I was going to turn 40 weeks with baby #6 and have never gone that far with my 5 previous children. In my mind something was wrong and I feared I would never have this baby. As the healing session finished, I felt at peace, a sense of calming, and ready to welcome my baby! During the session, I was so calm and focused I can feel my baby moving the whole time. I highly recommend it to be done during pregnancy!
I met you through Peaceful Pregnancy Pathways, and I’m so grateful I did. From the beginning, your help with the building of the birth plan was a huge benefit! The understanding of our goals and what to expect through labor was so helpful, as was the mental preparation for variable situations.
In the time leading up to the birth, the many suggestions we got to guide the baby into positions with the use of the ball and squatting were very helpful. You had suggestions for holistic medicines for me to research when I had headaches or felt ill. It was also helpful to have a point of reference to know what was “normal” during pre-labor.
You have some great resources, your library of books specifically. “Breastfeeding Made Simple”, while I didn’t finish it before the birth, has become very handy now that I’m in the thick of breast feeding. We ordered “The Wonder Weeks” and look forward to reading it. The suggestions of a seeing chiropractor to get back in alignment, the encouragement to join breastfeeding support groups and baby wearing groups have been very helpful.
What did you do to help me during labor? This is a loaded question! EVERYTHING!! I could not have done this without YOU. The aromatherapy, soft music and the physical contact were distractions that put me in a very peaceful place, I was actually able to disconnect during the last of active labor in between contractions. I noticed that while Fred did try to massage me before you arrived, it wasn’t until after he took cues from what you were doing that I felt relief. The use of the ball to relieve the intensity of the contractions. Talking me through my fears when I started to lose sight of what I wanted, what I had worked so hard for, talking me out the epidural without needing to talk me out of it, lol. Reassuring me that I could do this. I felt empowered but most importantly supported, guided and loved. When women talk about their birth experience, all of them have a horror story. I on the other hand feel I have a fairy tale, I felt I had full control of my body, 90% mental, 10% physical.
This is a message from Fred:
Following your lead and understanding what to do exactly to comfort her the best way possible was invaluable. You would make subtle suggestions to stand and rock side to side, or sit on the ball, giving me confidence that I was helping in the right way.
During the immediate post-partum period, your information, the visits, the phone calls, the support, all was so important. You helped us understand that it was all normal. You had great suggestions to help us help baby adapt with the baby wearing and the rocker, and Benny loves his custom CD mix =)
When I was “preparing” for baby, I focused a lot on the birth which proved beneficial, but I lost sight of preparing for when baby was already here, thinking that my mom would be all the support I needed. However, being able to talk to you almost daily on the days after birth were extremely helpful to give me reassurance that all I was feeling was normal and that “this too shall pass”.
I never imagined how much of a full service this would be… I am still trying to figure out the best way to describe a Doula. You really are so many people rolled into one. A vast pool of resources with an incredible peaceful energy. I see the benefits to having someone like you for support during pre/post-partum that I wish more people could see. The exposure to Doula’s in this society is so shallow that I will try my best to advocate for all that you do because I see the benefits, the reward and if nothing else, the investment that we made for our family by having you involved.
Thank you so much Martha.
I was 38 weeks pregnant, all set for a home birth, house ready with the birthing tub and all, when I learned my platelets were too low and I now had to deliver at a hospital. My dreams were crushed. I was very upset, and couldn’t move past that feeling. And there comes Martha… she told me to relax, breathe and calm down….Whoever knows me, that is definitely not my strongest point. So she decided to do an energy healing on me….We met at a park.. Sitting under a tree and listened to very quiet meditation music. Beside that we heard the birds singing and the wind around our heads….
Martha started talking and now I am really sorry that I cannot tell you more. I can only describe the feelings that I had.
I relaxed. I calmed down and I was only listening to her voice and suddenly I felt that everything would be alright. I found peace inside me. My pulse slowed down and my baby girl in my belly was moving like she would say “Finally mom, finally you got it and you can relax….”
When Martha said you can open your eyes now, I still sat quietly there and enjoyed the moment. It was too nice and beautiful to want it to end.
And yes everything was to be alright… 1.5 weeks later I had a totally relaxed birth to a healthy baby girl and the low platelets weren’t even a problem.
Martha’s Peaceful Parenting classes are very informative and helpful. I recently attended a birth where she was the doula, she has amazing energy and was exactly what the client needed during her labor. As a midwife, I will be recommending Martha to future clients of mine, I feel she is an asset to any laboring/birthing woman and her partner!
I am grateful to have met you through Natural Birthworks. The initial visit with LeVell and I was eye opening. Due to his work schedule I completed the pre-visit questions by myself. When we were both at your home reviewing the questions and answers I was pretty surprised by that he thought Hollywood portrayals of labor & delivery was reality. Going through the questions allowed us to have an open, guided dialogue about expectations and desires for the birth experience. We didn’t know the questions to ask each other to get to a real substantive discussion, but you did!
In the weeks that drew closer to my due date I really relied your expertise as opposed to Google for little things that deep down I thought were not a big deal, but the internet has a way of making them a big deal.
In the days leading up to the actual birth were so hectic; even knowing when the actual birth would take place was up in the air for a while. I purposely tried to keep family out of the nitty gritty of preparing for birth and actual birth because our ideas, wants, and motivations were so different than theirs. Having a second person who had my best interest at heart to discuss what was happening was really good for me. Waiting for baby to come is stressful when you think about it on your own and then compound that with well-wishers and it’s overwhelming. Although you wanted to stay abreast of any changes with me like early signs of labor I always felt you were patiently awaiting baby’s arrival whenever he wanted. Having someone that was like LeVell and I, happy to wait when he was ready, was really nice.
I really appreciated your referral to your prenatal masseuse! I had her come over twice and both times were such a treat. LeVell was super worried about me getting massages all pregnancy, but he was 100% okay with your referral. The prenatal massages were so relaxing.
As for “labor day”, you helped me with the last minute tweaking of the birth preferences. For some reason it was really important to me to still have a plan even though my first plan was turned upside down. You remembered to show up in my favorite color! We were so last minute with everything trying to block out the fact I was about to give birth and have major surgery that we weren’t really prepared for going to the hospital. Thank you for getting the cooler for the placenta (I finally found some cash & will pay you back!!). We didn’t research much about cesareans like what prep would be like and in a way not knowing what to expect was a good thing. The times when I wanted to know more I was so glad you were there to just reassure me things were going along the way they were supposed to. You helped LeVell with his surgical scrubs. He always tries to hold it together for me and selfishly I just take the support without always being mindful of reciprocating. I was happy that you were really there for both of us!
What surprised me the most was how much you reached out post-partum. I had a long “hotel stay” and I think we texted every day. I feel genuine care from you. I wish I was up to doing all the things you suggested like going to the babywearing group and breastfeeding support group. You have a lot of great resources and outlets to make sure women are fully supported. Adjusting to motherhood is harder than I envisioned and I am taking these first moments to just bond. Your FB post was about our family of three was meaningful. I am excited you’re going to take some photos of us especially since this is where we first brought our son home, but won’t raise him.
Thank you so much for being our doula. When I first decided I wanted a doula as a birth companion I was looking for someone that would just simply help out and advocate for a specific kind of experience during labor & delivery because I didn’t trust my husband to 100% have my back when the time came. When I think back on the interactions that you and I had I realize that you provided something I didn’t even know I needed or we needed. From the initial questionnaire to the joint “therapy” session at your home to reminding me it’s not too late to eat healthier to your persistence with holding me to my stated wants like breastfeeding I think you helped me a better, more thoughtful parent. I’m still learning of course and aspire to truly be zen. I know for sure I did two things right this pregnancy (1) tried to relax and accept things as they unfolded and (2) picked you as our doula.
I attended Martha’s “Peaceful Parenting Meditation & More” class and I thought it was extremely informative & helpful. Having been raised with a different parenting philosophy, this class helped me to look at several situations & scenarios with a fresh point of view. The class is well taught and easy to understand. The instructor was engaging & natural. She helped me feel comfortable being open to new schools of thought & ways of doing things.
I had never experienced a guided meditation before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Through the closed-eye experience, Martha walked me through a series of imagery that totally and completely relaxed me, and enabled me to acknowledge my fears and obliterate them for good. I am scheduled for an induction after being two weeks overdue. As I envisioned a beautiful, light moving around my pregnant belly, the baby was moving around so much and I actually had a contraction as my energy was focused on that area! I feel calm, strong and ready for the upcoming challenge. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to speak with Martha!
My original Doula ended up having to be out of town the week I was due so after asking around, divine providence connected me with Martha. Thank G-d. Martha was with me for my first birth last year and again with my 2nd birth last week. Words can’t fully express how meaningful it was to have her by my side, keeping me mentally strong, comforting me in moments of weakness when the labor got really intense, and knowing exactly what to say and do my entire labor. I can’t thank her enough for making me feel safe and strong in the times when I doubted if I could go on due to exhaustion during my 28 hour labor. I look forward to working with Martha again and again in the future and will continue to rave about her to every person looking for a doula. She’s incredible and this work is her calling.
My husband and I do not have any family in Florida. I knew we would be alone during our birthing journey and therefore I wanted a doula to help guide us. I am lucky enough to know Martha through a friend, and as my doula we also became friends. I planned every detail of what in my mind would be a beautiful, easy home birth, however the universe had something else in store for us. I had a c-section because I went over and the induction failed. There were many questions and decisions that I did not want to be faced with and make. Martha helped. She was there for the both of us through every step. She held my hand when I was sad and made me laugh when I was a little drugged. 😀 She took wonderful pictures of what I now believe was a beautiful birth, that made me a mother. I am forever grateful and happy that she was the one at my side.
Martha has a unique gift and it is making feel people around her at ease. This is key for a Doula, she needs to be calm and transmit that sentiment at all times. With her you can feel this from the very first meeting and throughout every phone call. Making you feel that you are not alone on this, especially because not everybody in your family is going to support you with the idea of a natural birth. It is good to be able to talk with somebody that believes it is possible. During labor, something as simple as rubbing my brows constantly was very helpful.
Our experience with Martha as our doula was wonderful. Our phone calls together early on were very helpful because, as a first time parents, we could use tons of reassurance! To know we were heading in the right direction was priceless. Martha’s experience and “know how” were essential to put me at ease when I had questions no matter what time or day of the week.
During the time leading up to the birth it was very important for me to understand how the process would unfold. I was curious to know how things would flow once we were ready to welcome baby to the world. Online research is very generic but once I checked in with Martha I learned how the local hospital staff tends to react in certain situations. To know how the process occurs once you arrive at the chosen facility really helps you somewhat prepare for what is to come.
She was very helpful in putting together my birth plan because I had no idea where to begin with creating my own!
We did a Fear Release session early on, and if guided meditation is something you like or are interested this is definitely something worth trying! This session helped me stay more positive about being pregnant and embracing the moment.
During my labor process, her ability to remain calm despite the chaos around was incredible! Also, her natural intuition knew exactly when to check in and ask questions. She has such beautiful, calming energy and that was key to help me relax through such a difficult time. The calming music she provided was most helpful.
We really appreciated the post-partum follow up and her flexibility in accommodating our schedules.
Martha is such a beautiful soul! Her passion for supporting women during such an important time in their lives is truly inspiring. Having her as our doula was such a blessing… we couldn’t of asked for someone more professional, caring and knowledgeable. Throughout my pregnancy she was so helpful and beyond supportive. As a first time mom, I had so many questions and she always available and made me feel at ease. On the day of my delivery she brought essential oils and relaxing music to the hospital to create the peaceful environment I desired. Words are inadequate to express my gratitude and appreciation for everything she did to make sure I had the experience and birth I always wanted. To say that I highly recommend Martha’s doula services is an understatement. She is absolutely amazing!
Dr. Carly Tokar
I really don’t even know how to express my admiration of and appreciation for Martha! We first met for coffee on a professional basis and I just knew she had really found her calling. I was hoping to find someone great to refer my expectant chiropractic patients to in the case that they needed someone to support them through their labor and delivery. After thinking I would have my second birth without a doula, I ended up referring myself because I felt a connection with her! There is great responsibility in being a doula, and making yourself an advocate for a mom in her most vulnerable time. Trust, reliability and honesty are qualities that are not always easy to find in someone in the doula industry, regardless of what they may tell you or how they may portray themselves. Martha has all of these and more! I am so grateful I made the decision to have Martha at my second birth, which was my first home birth. She provided the care, support, and words that I needed to get me through my labor and contractions peacefully and calmly, in addition to her constant contact in the weeks leading up to my son’s delivery. Due in great part to Martha’s presence, I can say without a doubt I had the beautiful home birth I have always desired! I know she will continue to be a part of my life and will always hold a special place in my heart. Plus, our boys get along so well that we will surely have to continue their play dates! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being exactly who you are and who I needed you to be for me! Xoxox
Martha’s energy is so nurturing, a woman who knows her power and stands with vulnerability. I have seen Martha using energy healing through her own journey moving courageously into her business, healing her illness and rising into greater heights as she lets go and trusts in what the Universe brings to her. With a loving and compassionate heart, through her personal journey with energy work, and her spiritual toolbox that she has gained, Martha is a natural healer and I am so grateful to have been practicing with her.