The Hamilton Doula Group helped in making the birth of our son Ronan a beautiful experience. From the get go they were very friendly and reassuring, meeting at a local coffee house to discuss options and get to know one another felt comfortable and stress free. Leanne and Crystal were very warm and friendly which eased much of my anxiety. Crystal was assigned to be my doula and was very patient with my pending potential c-section due to pregnancy complications. I did end up having a scheduled c-section so we opted to have Crystal assist me with postpartum baby care only. She was very flexible with my schedule and needs and was able to be there for me exactly when I needed her. She helped me care for baby, held baby when I took a desperately needed nap and chatted with me in the comfort of my home and in my pj’s about baby. She shared her plethora of knowledge and answered all my questions. Most importantly she assisted me in breast feeding, as this was without a doubt our biggest and most frustrating challenge since our son was tongue tied. In the end Crystal being there in the aftermath of birth was exactly what we needed. Thank you Crystal, you are a warm, kind, caring, knowledgeable and professional doula. Wishing you all the best.Alana M.
Leanne was amazing labour support! She offered support, encouragement & lots of hands on comforting. She also supported & encouraged my partner. I think what was particularly special about Leanne was her ability to read us & offer us what we needed when we needed it – it seemed very intuitive.Jenny V.
Crystal acted as our primary doula and Laura was our secondary. Both of these lovely women were knowledgeable, flexible, and above all, aimed to meet our needs as they arse. We found these characteristics to be particularly welcome in our case, since our birth plans were upended late in pregnancy upon discovery that our baby was footling breech. This discovery upended our plans for a home birth of course!
In response our new situation, Crystal offered great advice, and talked through our fears and concerns with us, providing a great deal of emotional support and encouragement. In the end, we had a surgical birth and Crystal throughout our decision making process, and offered She also was there in the hospital with us as we prepared for our daughter’s birth and as we settled in to learn about life with our new baby. The next day Laura checked in on us to see how we were getting along, and once we got home we visited with both Crystal and Laura again. It was great knowing that we had ready support available if we had any questions or concerns, or just needed someone to chat with.
I highly recommend working with the women at the Hamilton Doula Group. It means a lot knowing that you have ready and knowledgeable support available in this special (and sometimes challenging!) time of life.Courtney W.
Leanne far passed any expectations. I felt so supported by her. I had a higher level of confidence with her by my side. I loved that she helped calm down my husband. My family loved her so much as well. My sister said when she gets pregnant she’s getting a doula – but it has to be Leanne! She is truly meant to be a doula. Leanne rocks!Melissa M.
Having Crystal on our team was invaluable. She was:
INSIGHTFUL: Crystal helped us discover our goals, hopes and fears surrounding labour and birth in a very insightful and supportive way at our 36-week prenatal visit; I should say that this was the only real prep my partner and I had for the birth (we did no prenatal classes).
Crystal worked with me and my partner where we were at: I had some experience attending deliveries and knew what I wanted – and didn’t – to be a part of mine. That said, I had never done this before and didn’t know exactly what I would need.
SUPPORTIVE: my partner and I are truly that: a partnership. The reason we hired a doula was to enable our team to work optimally. Crystal absolutely allowed this to happen by helping my partner know what to expect, to identify in advance ways in which he could help, and provide on-the-spot coaching in massage and positioning during labour.
RELATEABLE: Crystal was very easy to talk to and fulfilled more of the “knowledgeable peer guide” role, versus a mothering-type role. I appreciated that.
DIPLOMATIC: Crystal was able to navigate with grace the somewhat tricky hierarchy of the hospital. She wrangled our (otherwise awesome) nurse’s passive-aggressive comment toward her with aplomb. Crystal was able to be of maximum utility and support for my partner and me, and helped the whole team (including nurse, med student, etc) work together instead of in competition.
ACADEMIC: Crystal was able to provide me with resources including PubMed articles about pregnancy topics in which I was interested; for example, a primary research study showing that eating dates daily from 36 wks associated with lower rates of induction.
In all: I have recommended a doula – and particularly, THIS doula – to everyone who asked how my birth experience went. I cannot thank Crystal enough for her support and guidance during this incredible time.
Thank you so much Laura! You made the scary unknown situation enjoyable. You made me feel at ease and I was able to stay calm and even happy throughout labour making it a very enjoyable and memorable experience. I rave about you to everyone. I suggest everyone gets a doula. Especially Laura! I feel like I was well-prepared beforehand on what to expect which alleviated a lot of my fears. Thank you again! You’re the best!!Jennifer G.
Leanne and the Hamilton Doula Group were fantastic to deal with! My husband and I engaged them for the private, in home prenatal classes as he works an unpredictable schedule, and Leanne was more than accommodating. Each class was well structured, thorough and informative. She was able to answer all of our (many, many) questions with ease and was so reassuring in doing so. As first time parents, her guidance and experience was invaluable to us. Additionally, she was able to tailor the classes to include specific information we were looking for. We really appreciated her non-judgmental and inclusive approach when it came to talking about pain management. The follow up emails she sends after each class were jam-packed with information, and the connections and recommendations she can offer in the Greater Hamilton Area are super helpful. We highly recommend Leanne and her team.Rebecca Z.
Crystal is a down-to-earth and caring individual who is so passionate and amazing at what she does. My husband and I had some fears about the labour and we really did not know what to expect. I did not want to deliver my baby in panic or fear, which is why I hired a doula to comfort me through this process. As soon as I hired Crystal, I instantly felt relieved, knowing that she would be there for additional support. She answered any questions I had prior to the birth and sent me informative articles to help with any of my questions. During labour she was patient, soft spoken, talked me through the pain and asked if I wanted to try different positions or techniques that we had previously discussed in our initial meeting. Crystal knew what I was going through and did what she could to comfort me. She also kept my husband interactive with me and her support kept him calm. Since becoming pregnant and reading the book “Active Birth”, I had hopes of having a natural birth and I could not have done it without Crystals encouragement. I also had a short labour and delivery and I have her to thank for that! I will definitely hire her for the birth of my next child. Thanks again Crystal.Melissa B.
My experience with Leanne was very positive! She was very knowledgeable and always responded quickly to any concerns or questions that I had. She also had a very confident, positive and reassuring way about her that was comforting as this was my first pregnancy. It was a great experience for us and made for a positive and calm delivery!! Thanks Leanne!!Laura K.
Crystal was a great presence during the birth of my first child. She really tried to understand my wants and needs for the birth, and explained some common questions/concerns that new moms often have. She came immediately when I told her my water had broken and helped me to make informed decisions at the hospital. During labour she coached me and helped me through, and also helped my husband, who didn’t know what to do for me. Crystal respected my decisions and never judged, and also made me feel that the decisions I was making were the right ones for me, even when I started questioning myself (I had wanted a natural birth and ended up getting an epidural, and Crystal kept telling me how strong I was for knowing what I ultimately needed, which was exactly what I needed to hear). Afterwards Crystal followed up and helped me with breastfeeding questions and other new parent concerns, and she was always available before and after the due date to answer any crazy questions I had. I would highly recommend her and hope to use her services when I have my next child.Katherine B.
My husband and I immensely valued Leanne’s support for our birth – before, during and after. The postpartum home visit was invaluable and helped to normalize our experience of having our first newborn son with us at home. Leanne is a warm and caring person and really approachable. She answered all of my questions promptly with empathy and knowledge. I tell everyone I know who is pregnant to get a doula – even if they already have a midwife. It is worth every penny!Margi C.
Crystal was an awesome Doula. She was at my last 2 pregnancies and helped me to deliver drug Free both times. She arrived at the hospital quickly and provided constant support and comfort. She gave me great ideas for positions and provided great hands on care. I would highly recommend her to all pregnant women.Karen R.
Love love love my doula!!! Leanne did private prenatal classes with my husband which were fantastic and really helped us prepare for parenthood. She was absolutely wonderful at our birth and walked us through a rough time when my carefully planned home birth turned into a medicated induction. She helped me feel at peace with the fact that nothing had gone as planned.Josie R.
Crystal is truly an amazing doula. It takes someone with compassion, dedication, honesty, understanding, and love to do that “job” and Crystal by far, has all of those traits and then some. When I first met with Crystal, she was not my primary doula; however, when my birth plan was completely shattered as we found out our son was breech, Crystal went above and beyond to help us get the care we so deserved. She put in countless hours, reached out to ALL of her contacts, and kept 24/7 open lines of communication to be there to support us. She also got me in contact with a wonderful group of women on Facebook who shared similar breech birth stories. She cared at a time when I felt abandoned.
I connected so well with Crystal’s compassion and help that I asked to have her be my primary doula! I ended up being induced on Christmas Day, and Crystal was there, on a holiday, with a smile and ready to support not only me but my husband as well. I can honestly say, I don’t think I would have been able to make it through labour without Crystal. The staff at the hospital were not understanding or accommodating, and Crystal helped me deal with all of the emotions of being in labour and not being supported by the staff. She helped keep the focus on our family and she was an amazing calming presence. She even got on the ground, for many hours, to help hold the monitor so I could have some pain relief on the birthing ball!
I ended up having a c-section, a birth so very far off from my planned home birth, due to a footling breech baby, and Crystal helped me rationalize and be OK with how my birth story ended. She is an amazing voice of reason, comfort, knowledge, and support. If my husband and I decide to have any more children, (which we will), I will absolutely want Crystal at my side. I can honestly say I believe she is THE VERY BEST doula in our area!Lisa P
Leanne helped us relax before, during and after childbirth. Having a husband who is out of town a lot made me nervous when it came to even thinking about the birth of our child. That fear was completely eased knowing that Leanne would be with me no matter what! Her childbirth education lessons were professionally done; we were impressed with the content, as well as Leanne’s tutorial style and humour. When I went into labour, Leanne stayed with us for nearly 24 hours! She was a great help to us at home, and provided the reassurance we needed with all the twists & turns that happened at the hospital. She was also fantastic when I needed some company and help with breastfeeding after our child was born. What an amazing and genuine caring lady!Raina R.
Words cannot express how awesome Crystal is. I never thought I would use the word ‘fun’ to explain my labour, but I had a fun day and it all had to do with Crystal. I will never forget walking around Dundurn Park with her and my husband, having contraction after contraction and not worried at all because she was there.
Things did not go so smoothly at the hospital, and by the end of the day (or should I say the morning!) I ended up having an unplanned c-section, which was totally fine because that is what needed to be done. I got the chance of trying to have an unmediated labour, which is all I wanted, and then I got the real prize of a baby! And what made everything so very fine was the calming, positive, amazing presence of Crystal. Without her, my husband and I would have been freaked out and uncertain and the day and a half it took to have Maeve would not have been anything like it was.To me a doula is as essential as a prenatal multivitamin. And Crystal: you are simply the best!Tammi H.
Leanne was our doula for our first child’s birth, and did private prenatal classes with us too. It was nice getting to know her during the classes, and right from the start we felt very comfortable with her. Leanne assisted me in achieving the totally natural birth experience I desired, and helped my husband know how best to support me.
Leanne was an absolute pleasure to work with, and offered warm support and frank advice. It really helped us feel prepared as we approached birth and parenthood. It was also great how much focus is placed on the birth partner in these classes – both the experience and needs of the birthing mother and her partner/spouse/supporter are focused on.