I had a list of doulas to interview but when my husband and I interviewed Maria, we both agreed that we wanted her to be part of our family’s birth experience. I wanted someone who had experience with birth trauma because I had anxiety from my first birth and some hospital related trauma. Maria provided evidence based information during our prenatal visits which helped me feel more confident about my choices for a more natural experience. I was able to go into labor and labor for a while naturally, which was my utmost desire. Maria anticipated things I would appreciate and was prepared to meet those needs during the labor. We had built so much trust that when things did not go as expected during the labor and I needed a c-section, I continued to feel confident and supported. I was given time and space to process and grieve throughout the delivery which helped with my recovery process, both physically and emotionally. I also appreciated how she was able to communicate with my husband, allowing him to know how to be so much more supportive and involved. I am so glad we chose Maria and I definitely recommend her as a doula. This birth ended up being more involved than my first birth but having Maria there made a world of difference in helping me be less anxious about everything and having the peace I need to enjoy motherhood all over again. ~ Gillian
Maria was a God-send. She was so supportive, a wonderful listener, so encouraging and always a positive person to have near. I would recommend her to anyone and everyone that would be interested in Doula services. She was all that I hoped a Doula would be and more. I really appreciated the wealth of information she had about herbs, homeopathics, and different techniques to use for labor. She was always readily available when I would call and was very good about sending informative e-mails as well. Although my birth did not turn out as hoped, Maria was a vital part of the process, the labor and my recovery. I am so thankful to have found her! ~ Erin
As first time parents determined to labor naturally, my husband and I decided to use a doula. After interviewing multiple candidates, we decided on Maria. Though she had attended a limited number of births [at the time], her personal experience with delivering her own four children naturally at home (one unassisted), her extensive knowledge and clear dedication and interest in the birth experience, and her even-keeled calming nature convinced us that she was the right choice. ~ Anonymous
Maria was an invaluable resource throughout my pregnancy, and during my approximately 15 hour labor! In the very early stages, she walked with me and provided support, allowing my husband to rest. As labor progressed, I experienced a great deal of back pain, and for about 10 hours straight, she applied pressure to my lower back, freeing my husband to support me in other ways. In addition to applying pressure, she made gentle suggestions about switching position, the use of water/the tub, and most importantly, provided a strong, comforting and knowledgable presence during the time I needed it most. One of the most difficult things about labor for me, was not knowing what to expect, how much more intense the pain would get, and how much longer it would be. Maria was able to provide exactly the kind of help and support I needed both emotionally and physically during each stage of labor, and both my husband and I positive that she greatly contributed my being able to have the amazing natural birth we were hoping for. ~ Karli
Maria made sure that my hospital birth was the birth I wanted- she not only emotionally supported me and my husband throughout my 45 hour labor, she continously advocated for me with hospital staff and made sure that my birth plan was respected. She also saved my stalled labor by calling in a skilled acupuncture provider who got my labor started back up right away! I feel strongly that I would not have had the successful and positive water birth experience I had if not for Maria's amazing assistance. ~ Gabrielle
Maria knew just what to do. As soon as she arrived, I was in or close to transition, and Maria reached out during a contraction and held her hand against my lower back -PERFECT! I knew, in an instant, that I was GLAD to have Maria as my doula. Thank you! I highly recommend Maria -such a compassionate, loving doula. ~ Kathryn
We chose to hire a doula for our second birth and were so glad we did. Maria was focused, relaxed and very calm. She was very knowledgeable and encouraging but never pressuring or judgmental. The birth of our daughter went very smoothly, less than 3 hours, and completely natural and she was there the whole time assisting me and my husband during the birth of our baby girl. Maria was a wonderful doula and was always there for me when I needed her (especially through out the end of my pregnancy, labor, and after delivery." ~ Heather
My wife and I hadn't planned on having a doula going into this, even though we were wanting to do a VBAC. Lucky for us, just as my wife was going into labor, Maria gave us assistance over the phone. She helped with how the baby should or shouldn't be induced, as well as put us at ease with her knowledge about overdue babies. Maria exudes an air of positivity which is so natural that it cuts through all the chaos and negativity commonly found in conventional hospitals. It was great to have someone in my corner who knew all the answers and was so accessible. It's disturbing to think about how the whole labor experience might have gone had Maria not been in the picture. ~ Kevin
I had an amazing experience with Maria as my doula. I looked into many doulas, but I wanted someone who was very experience not just attending births, but giving birth herself. I also, didnt think I'd feel comfortable with a doula of my own age (20's) for me a more experienced nuturing and maternal person was what I was looking for. Maria was incredibly flexible with our schedule and we liked her immediately at the meet and greet. She was very thoughtful and kind. We ended up having our baby 3 weeks early and she was able to shift her schedule to attend our birth even though it was unexpected. We were very impressed with her knowledge and resources. She gave us so much info we didn't feel the need of a birth class. She had hand outs on labor, labor positions, acupressure points etc. And came to the birth with herbs, aromatherapy, homeopathy, tens unit machine etc. She was incredibly supportive and helped my husband find massage and pressure points to support me. My baby ended up in a difficult position and I was stuck for hours in transition. Maria helped us through it and we did some homeopathy which ended up helping my body and the baby resolve the problem. I also felt incredibly supported after the birth with breastfeeding help, palcental encapsulation, sitz baths and lots of advice including recommendations of chirporactor, cranisacral practitioner and homeopathy to help with breastfeeding issues etc. I highly recommend maria and am happy to have her as a continuing source of support and resources. ~ Patricia
Maria Armstrong was such a huge help during the labor and birth of my son, just a little over three weeks ago. My labor was fast, and I was worried no one from my birth team would make it in time for my son's arrival (we had a planned home birth). Maria was the first one to arrive-- incredible! For the rest of my labor, she proved to be just as responsive to my needs, even when they were non-verbally communicated.
Clearly, birth is a passion of Maria's; she is an experienced "birther" herself, and really gleans a lot of intuitive knowledge and expertise from her own experiences, in addition to her own (extensive!) personal studies. She is a joy to talk with, very personable and compassionate! She is a wealth of wonderful information, and yet never ever pressures or forces anything on you. I've learned so much from her, even during my third pregnancy!
Maria's soothing touch during those tough, intense contractions were so very helpful. She really made labor a lot easier! She even showed my husband some pressure points so he could be help relieve some of my pain, too, which I thought was VERY generous of her!
This was my first time using a doula. During my first two births, I never felt I needed one (I did not know Maria at the time!). But when Maria approached me about being my doula this time around, I thought I'd give it a shot! I'm sure glad I did, too! Her presence was calming and non-intrusive, yet she knew when to step in and help. I'm so thankful that Maria was a part of our beautiful birth experience; I would use her again, without a doubt. I sincerely hope you have a chance to meet Maria and see for yourself what a fabulous, friendly and lovely doula she is. ~ Katie