Several of these former clients have offered to act as references. Please feel free to request contact information. You may find their original, verified testimonials at www.doulamatch.net
Ashley, Charlottesville, VA
Meredith was an incredible gift to my family. We interviewed many doulas in the community, and gravitated towards Meredith’s calm and strong presence. She is an incredible listener, and we immediately felt heard. We come from a family of physicians, and Meredith regularly sent us evidenced-based articles in response to our questions. She also anticipated many of our questions, and did a wonderful job providing education about pregnancy, the birth process and our choices within, and postpartum. We had a fantastic birth experience, even though it wasn’t what we planned, in large part due to Meredith preparing us for all the possibilities, and providing support throughout!
MAGGIE, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
I am not sure where to start, but I wholeheartedly recommend Meredith to anyone seeking Doula services. To anyone that doesn’t think they need a Doula, I truly hope you’ll reconsider – it is now my first piece of advice to any friends preparing for birth whether they hope for a home birth or hospital birth.
Throughout our pregnancy, Meredith equipped us with the knowledge and resources we needed to make informed decisions about our prenatal care and prepare for our birth. She instructed me on exercises to prepare my body for birth but also to remain strong and comfortable throughout pregnancy. She was always responsive – to emails, to texts, to phone calls – about even the smallest things and had great suggestions, natural remedies, and tips.
The birth of our little girl was intense, traumatic even, but Meredith was with us throughout it all. She came to our home where we labored for several hours – Meredith and my husband working like a well oiled machine to give me counter pressure, help with breathing, suggest various labor positions, and keep me hydrated/fed. We then labored at the hospital for over 8 hours, again with Meredith and my husband supporting me better than I ever could have imagined. We had several hard conversations with the doctors throughout our labor and Meredith assisted us in advocating for what we wanted. We were very close to the unmedicated, natural birth that we had prepared for but unfortunately my body had other plans and seizures led us to an emergency caesarian.
Meredith’s support in the hours and days following the birth was amazing. I will forever be thankful that when I needed to be rushed away, my husband was not alone. She helped us to process what had happened and start to move forward. I cannot recommend her enough and would be happy to speak with anyone as a reference.
Phil, Charlottesville, VA
I read a lot of articles, 2-3 books, spoke to a number of new parents and took a birthing class; but when it came to my wife’s actual pregnancy none of that held a candle to help and confidence I received from Meredith.
To start with, Meredith’s consults before the pregnancy were incredibly helpful and she was generous with her time. My wife often felt overwhelmed and road blocked by our doctors and nursing staff. We generally loved our doctors, but sometimes we didn’t really feel important to them and at worst my wife felt they were outright dismissive. I remember once the doctor’s only reply to a pain my wife was experiencing was to say, “Well luckily that will clear up once you have the baby.” It was in those times before the birth that Meredith’s kindness, experience, patience, and no-issue-is-too-small guidance really shined. She was always there and for every issue or problem we brought to her she had an array of perspectives and solutions to help us (mostly my wife).
For the main event I cannot stress enough how integral it was to have Meredith at the hospital with us. My wife’s labor was an exhausting 30+ hours. It was tiring, dark, high anxiety, and confusing at points– but the whole time Meredith was there brimming with positivity and bountiful energy and always fresh suggestions on position changes and the like. Though Meredith doesn’t agree, both my wife and I are convinced we could not have done it without her. I wish I was as good at my job as Meredith is at hers.
Jake, Mountain View, CA
Meredith is truly awesome. Our scenario: days after signing the agreement (and a month before due date) we went in for our 8-month checkup and were told that my wife had preeclampsia, so we shuffled off to the hospital to get induced. Amid the confusion we gave Meredith a call. She offered to either waive the contract or help us with the delivery. My wife was on the fence, because it couldn’t be further from the natural delivery we envisioned. In my second most important contribution to the birth, I successfully argued that we needed her more than ever. And I was right. 1000 points for Gryffindor.
After 72 hours, my wife delivered a healthy boy. It was such a relief to have someone who I knew 100% was in our corner throughout the process. I sincerely believe that Meredith’s presence over those three days allowed us to have a medication-free birth without c-section. For an induced delivery that went on for 3 days, I understand that to be a miracle. Maybe literally, given how hard I was praying over those three days.
We are negotiating between 8 (me) and 4 (her) children, so keeping that belly intact for the first one was really really important to us. Meredith may have enabled us to have babies 4-8 with a reduced risk of complication. I’m guessing at least 50% chance that Future Baby 5 is thanks to her. How do you put a price on that?? I’m not real free with my wallet, but what else would I possibly want to spend my money on? There is like a 10% chance she is an honest-to-God angel. HIRE THIS WOMAN.
Leslie, San Jose, CA
If you want an amazing doula, then I recommend Meredith Nelson wholeheartedly. I could write a whole essay about all the ways she supported and helped me with the birth of my second baby back in 2015 and with the beginning of my next pregnancy in 2016 before she moved to another state. I hired her at eight months pregnant with my baby #2, and she was so friendly, kind, and professional right from the start. She was in very frequent contact during the next few weeks while I struggled with a possible posterior presentation and then with going past my due date. She came over repeatedly to meet with me and my husband, she recommended services and practitioners I might benefit from, and generally kept in touch really well. She talked me off the ledge when I almost broke down and called my doctor to schedule an induction. She was a supportive and calming influence in the hospital. It was such a comfort to have her with us so it wasn’t just my husband and me alone in the hospital room while I coped with labor. She stayed for an hour or two after my son was born, perfect and healthy after a healthy, uneventful, unmedicated labor and delivery. Then she was still there for us for weeks after the birth, as our second baby proved to be much more challenging than our first. She visited and tried to help with breastfeeding, she recommended therapies for the baby, and she presented me with a typewritten account of my labor! When I got pregnant again soon after, she wanted to meet with me early to give me some advice for preventing posterior presentation. The advice she gave me in that meeting (our last, as it turned out, since she moved away soon afterwards) was responsible for my third labor being a fraction the length of my first two. And after having a different doula for that birth, I’ve realized that Meredith is truly something special as far as doulas go. If you are lucky enough to live in her area now, hire her!
Alicia, San Jose, CA
We had an extremely positive experience with Meredith as our doula. At our first meeting she set the precedent of being knowledgeable, courteous, and caring. At our two prenatal visits Meredith equipped me with exercises and suggestions for preparing my body for labor. She also explained to my husband and me the stages of labor which we both found very helpful. Meredith was always responsive by text, phone call, or email. She even helped with suggestions when I got Bells Palsy.
When I went into labor Meredith was patient with me as I was having contractions while on the phone with her. She offered suggestions for dealing with the pain and made herself available when I knew it was time to go to the hospital. She met us at the hospital right when we were walking in. I was really impressed that not only did she have her “bag of tricks” but also she was wearing a name tag so that the staff knew who she was.
Meredith devoted her time and energy to making sure I was comfortable and managing each contraction. When I felt nauseous she had peppermint oil. When I wanted a new position she had her rebozo and suggestions of what could help. The whole time she was calm and considerate making sure my husband knew how he could help too.
After the birth Meredith checked with me and gave me referrals for lactation consultants. She met with us a couple weeks after the birth and had more advice and support to share.
Overall I’m so pleased we hired Meredith. She comes with a wealth of knowledge and a compassionate spirit. I would definitely recommend her services!
Pan-Pan, Mountain View, CA
Several times after the birth of our son, my husband and I would look at each other, and out of nowhere one of us would say “thank God Meredith was there”, and the other would release a big sigh, slowly nod and say “yeaaaah”. Meredith was a source of calm, and measured strength throughout my pregnancy and delivery. She is confident in what she knows, because her knowledge is backed by both diligent research, and personal hands on experience. I really loved that she was able to give me both a research paper supporting a claim, but also relay anecdotes from her own experience as a doula. I especially loved the prenatal exercises she suggested to help build the muscles necessary for labor and delivery. We elected to go sans epidural, and at around 7 cm dilated, with non-stop contractions, I felt both mentally and physically depleted. I told my husband and Meredith “I can’t do this”. But Meredith looked at me and said “You CAN do this. You ARE doing this”, and that just really sunk in like “yes I AM doing this, so why am I saying can’t I do this?”. 3 hours later, holding my first child in my arms, I was so happy I persevered with Meredith’s help.
Meredith also guided my husband which I think was important, because it gave him confidence that he was doing a great job. My husband was also going through the most significant day of his life, and having Meredith there helped him achieve his full potential as my support system. And gave him someone to bounce his fears and excitement off of during all those long hours (I was not the best listener on that day I’m afraid).
Overall, I think having a doula by your side (and Meredith in particular!) is so important during delivery, and worth every penny. It is a shame that they are not covered by health insurance, but check with your insurance, some can pay for it with their HSA or FSA (I paid mine with my HSA).
Nicole, Los Gatos, CA
I am so happy that we sought out a doula for our second child’s birth, and that I found Meredith Nelson through Doulamatch.net. She was a perfect fit for us!
We had a rather negative experience with our first child’s birth at a hospital, and we wanted to make sure we had an advocate for us the second time. Meredith convinced me to switch clinics to Bay Area Maternity & hospitals to El Camino in Los Gatos, where we could have our baby delivered by a midwife and support from Meredith’s doula skills. This was perfect for us, because I wasn’t ready to have a home birth, but didn’t want to be hooked up to all the machines and put on my back like the first birth hospital experience.
Meredith came over several times before birth to meet with us and get to know how the pregnancy was going, along with sharing her experience of natural birth. She also encouraged us to write a birth plan. I had a lot of fear around having a non medicated natural birth, even though I really wanted to try to do it. Meredith helped me through that fear, and her support during my pregnancy and labor was essential. I just want to express how grateful we are for all of her support! We had the best experience this time, no medication during birth. She stood by my side along with the midwife and helped me get through the fear of pain during labor.
She is a great person to have by your side during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum visits.
Thank you so much Meredith!
Dana, San Jose, CA
Meredith assisted us with the preparation and delivery of our son in October 2015. We were a little late into deciding to hire a doula, but she was very accommodating with our relatively short time line – and 10 day early delivery! She assisted greatly with the pelvic pain that I was experiencing in late pregnancy and answered any questions we had, either from her extensive mental database, or she was quick to research verifiable sources to get us the most up-to-date, evidence-based information.
During my delivery she was a rock. She gave my husband the support that he needed to help me, as well as to provide me comfort, guidance, and reassurance. Her quiet, calm, confident presence was a huge part of my ability to deliver my son without an epidural. She was, however, fully supportive of whatever method we chose to take, and worked extremely well with the nurses and doctors.
I highly recommend Meredith to help with your birth process – she is fantastic!
Lauren, Williamsburg, VA
My husband and I are so profoundly grateful to have had Meredith’s kind and knowledgeable support during my pregnancy and the birth of our daughter. Meredith is a gifted doula who was a true source of strength and encouragement when our envisioned birth plan was turned upside down. With every obstacle we faced during our daughter’s delivery, Meredith was a source of calm and confidence – she never left our side through the many hours that I was in labor, she always ensured that I was as comfortable and informed as possible, and was an outstanding “teammate” to my husband. I truly can’t imagine having gone through the experience without her, she was our advocate, friend, and much-needed cheerleader from the early stages of labor at home until we (finally) met our daughter.
Meredith was also of great assistance in educating ourselves about the labor process, easing the late stages of pregnancy, and settling in after bringing our daughter home. Her familiarity with local postpartum resources in our community connected me with a wonderful group of like-minded mothers and a fantastic lactation consultant, without whom the first months of motherhood would have been impossible. She also provided us with a lovely baby blanket and a beautifully detailed birth story that was so touching and heartfelt, both will be forever treasured. Meredith is a genuinely warm, easy-to-talk-to doula with a wealth of knowledge and understanding about labor and birth issues – I will be forever grateful for her contributions and kindness.
Matt, Newport News, VA
My wife had delivered our first child by Caesarean section and was concerned with getting adequate support and preparation for a trial of labor for a VBAC (Vaginal birth after Caesarean). Meredith helped prepare us to know what we wanted from the hospital. When we had questions, she gave us options and she knew questions to get even more options from the hospital staff. Meredith did a phenomenal job of helping my wife and helping me to be supportive without telling us what to do. I couldn’t help push the baby, but Meredith helped me do a better job of being an active supporter instead of a bystander, since labor can be overwhelming. When my wife needed physical support, Meredith was great at showing techniques and good opportunities when and where I could help. Meredith’s suggestions were also great when my wife wanted something, but didn’t know what she wanted.
One of the difficulties of labor for my wife was the uncertainty of how long it would last. Meredith helped my wife stay focused on our plans and what changes we wanted to make to our plans as needs arose. When we were excited and looking for direction, Meredith helped us figure out what we wanted and how to get there. She was a tremendous supporter and guide and we were fortunate to have her help us.
Stacie, Portsmouth, VA
Meredith was a fantastic support for me during my pregnancy, labor & delivery, as well as after my baby arrived! I first looked into hiring a doula when my husband, who is in the military, was expected to be away when I was due. I looked in to doulas in the area and when I talked to Meredith, I felt like I found the perfect match. Her email communications were detailed, informative, and sincere. All of our communications and meetings from then on were extremely helpful. She took the time to research certain things that pertained to my medical conditions and send information along to me. She did not have to do that and it was definitely above and beyond what I expected. Throughout working with her, she was extremely supportive, provided a calm presence, and gave me information that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have had. This was my second pregnancy and I felt like I learned much more about pregnancy and childbirth this time than I did the first time (I did not have a doula for my first pregnancy). I had an unexpected C-section with my first pregnancy and was hoping for a VBAC this time. With her help, information, and support, she made me feel empowered in my birthing experience and let me know I had choices, which I didn’t really feel I had the first time. I ended up having a successful VBAC and even after giving birth, I felt like she was there for me and my family. I learned a lot in working with her and wouldn’t have traded the experience for the world! She is a wonderful, patient, calm, and knowledgable support!!
Amie, Newport News, VA
Meredith was the doula for our second child. We interviewed several doulas before her, but we were most comfortable with Meredith. She was warm, caring and extremely knowledgable. It helped to know that she was supportive of me and my birthing choices and wasn’t pushing a specific agenda.
She met with us for 2 prenatal visits and helped us prepare mentally and emotionally for labor. Meredith generously loaned us books and suggested websites to read more about topics we were interested in. These sessions were relaxed, informative and very useful. She also helped us write and revise our list of birth preferences. Reaching Meredith by phone or email for questions or concerns was easy and she was very responsive and patient despite my barrage of questions.
Meredith’s knowledge, presence and skills during labor were a true blessing. She was both physically and emotionally supportive. When I became fatigued or disheartened, she was quick to gently suggest another position, technique or suggest we ask the nurses about other options. My husband and I were both impressed at how she didn’t replace his role in the birth and instead showed him how to help.
Even after our baby’s birth, Meredith was there to help and support. During the postpartum visit, she addressed some of my breastfeeding concerns as well as my worries about transitioning a newborn into a household with a toddler. Meredith made a point to stay in contact to help during the first weeks to help the postpartum period be as stress free as possible.
In short, Meredith is a skilled, intuitive doula. She is there to help, support and guide not just during labor, but before and after. It was easy to talk with her about my hopes, concerns and fears surrounding birth. Without Meredith, the birth of our daughter would have been much more stressful, chaotic and painful. Instead, it was an intensely beautiful and positive experience.
Lisa, Hampton, VA
My husband and I were so fortunate to have had Meredith’s help for the birth of our baby in March. She is extremely knowledgeable about both pregnancy and birth and provided lots of guidance on everything from exercises to help baby move into the optimal position for birth to navigating the medical system to get the type of birth experience we wanted. She helped us make the decision about when to go to the hospital & giving us a whole lot of information about group B strep that I tested positive for helped put our minds at ease so that we could focus on birthing our baby! At the hospital, she was a calming presence, and suggested ways that my husband could help support me. She found just the right balance of quietly supporting us and making helpful suggestions on how to keep the process moving smoothly. She worked seamlessly with the delivery staff & my husband . Her hands on help with both counter pressure and the rebozo was a lifesaver for me. On top of all this, she captured some great photos & wrote an amazing story of our birth experience for our baby girl to read some day. Meredith will always hold a special place in my heart. She was a fantastic assistance to us & we highly recommend her services!
Adria, Newport News, VA
Meredith shared tenderness, a nurturing instinct and a huge amount of laboring support during our meetings. As a first-time mother, Meredith was my labor choreographer. I truly believe that my labor and delivery went so well because Meredith was on my supportive team and she ensured a calm environment for me.
Sasha and Adam, Salt Lake City, UT
Meredith was prompt, professional, knowledgable and friendly. She would come highly recommended by us to even our closest friends. We are so grateful for all she has done for us.
Jerry, Williamsburg, VA
Meredith was a godsend that turned our difficult labor process into a positive experience. We cannot stress enough how important she was during the birth of our daughter. We hit a lot of bumps in the road and Meredith guided us over each one calmly while providing the knowledge, comfort, advice and assistance that we desperately needed. I will enthusiastically recommend her to every friend or family member that is expecting a child in the future.
We were first time parents with a lot of questions and anxieties. Thanks to Meredith, we felt confident and prepared during the final weeks of pregnancy and ready for labor. Early in the labor process she could sense that we needed her sooner than expected. She was by our side almost immediately with a presence that assured us everything was going to be OK. Meredith displayed a very valuable sensitivity to our needs and priorities that made us feel like we had this very stressful situation under control. She was the perfect blend of teacher, coach, advisor and friend. She was a crucial part of our team before, during and after the birth of our baby. We can’t imagine going through this without her.
Amy, Provo, UT
Meredith helped us understand the choices we had. She helped me realize that I could feel in control of my birth experience by making informed decisions. She focused on the positive and helped me feel at peace about an event I was so nervous about before meeting with her.
Olivia, Norfolk, VA
Meredith was a great asset to have during my birth. She and my husband worked closely together to make sure that I was as comfortable as possible. She was also very aware of what was going on in the room and was able to offer assistance to my husband when he needed it. She was a very calming force for me and was very effective in managing my emotions and keeping me focused on the end result. I realized that my team would not have been complete without her. She also stayed after the birth to ensure that I was okay and to help out my husband who had to attend to our baby in the nursery until I moved to my room. She was extremely helpful and I am happy that I chose to have her attend my birth.
Alejandra, Williamsburg, VA
Meredith was my second husband and she encouraged my husband to be my second doula : ) They joined together wonderfully to give me the emotional and physical support that I needed to go through the most demanding adventure my body could bare. Having her with us, made us feel comfortable and confident with giving birth to my son in the most natural way possible.
Sarah, Williamsburg, VA
Although my husband was reluctant to hire a doula because he wasn’t quite sure what her purpose would be, he ended up being very glad that Meredith was there to help us through our son’s birth. With Meredith and my husband I felt like I had such a great team by my side throughout my labor — always someone to hold onto and someone to provide counter pressure. She was a constant calming, encouraging voice at my side and helped me and my husband understand the progress of my labor and what I might need.
At our prebirth meetings Meredith walked us through what to expect during our son’s birth, answered all our questions and taught us different positions and techniques to facilitate the progress of labor. She was available via phone and email from the time we initially hired her and we still keep in close touch and she is happy to help when I have needed guidance with breastfeeding and baby care and have had concerns with myself and my body postpartum. After Henry’s birth, Meredith wrote us a beautiful birth story and shared some pictures she had taken of him immediately after he was born that we wouldn’t have otherwise. I know that one of the things we were worried about when choosing a doula was finding someone who would not be pushy and who would respect our birth preferences and Meredith found a perfect balance between reminding us of our birth plan, helping my labor to progress effectively yet naturally and allowing us to make decisions along the way when choices had to be made- she was very supportive. Her kind, calm attitude and her knowledge and skill set helped me to have the birth that I wanted. I cannot recommend her enough and we will certainly contact her again with our next child.
Christina, Williamsburg, VA
There is only one word to describe Meredith: Awesome! When I first met Meredith at a birth circle, I really liked her. However, it took some convincing to have my husband even consider to get a doula for the birth of our first child. Being in the military, we were far away from family and neither my husband nor I had been around babies or really knew what to expect from birth. Of course, I had been thinking a lot of what I wanted my birth to look like. My husband didn’t believe in it at first. Not only was Meredith able to convince my husband that doulas are normal people, just like you and I ;-). She was also able to make him understand the importance of the decisions that I had made. I was lucky enough to had a pretty easy pregnancy, in the last two weeks of pregnancy I developed pre-eclampsia and because of Meredith, we were still able to not be induced but have our baby girl naturally, the way we wanted. On top of her outstanding support in the weeks prior to the birth, she coached us through the difficult few days just before the birth. I am not sure how everything would have turned out if she hadn’t been there. Although she didn’t have to, she went out of her way to meet us multiple times and even defended us in the hospital while I was being monitored. Because of her, my husband came around and not only accepted my wishes but turned into my biggest supporter. She is the doula that you want at your birth but also as the person that you can talk to. She is amazing – a wonderful and caring person.
Sharon, Williamsburg, VA
Meredith is very knowledgable and kind. Because of her I felt much more empowered and comfortable in the birth of my second child. Knowing she was there to ask questions and for support was so comforting to me. She gave me feedback on all kinds of questions I asked and followed up by sending me resources so I could make decisions based on facts. I highly recommend Meredith – she is a wonderful doula and a wonderful person!
John, Provo, UT
We learned more in our visit with Meredith than in all of our visits with the doctors combined. Before we met with her, we had been really apprehensive and worried about labor. We appreciated the peaceful spirit we felt as we left. We felt so calm, we were actually excited for our labor.
Anika, Richmond, VA
Meredith was by my side through the labor and delivery of my fifth baby, and it was my most empowering birth by far: a home-like midwife assisted unmedicated VBAC birth in a hospital setting. Meredith’s thoughtful and confident presence was invaluable in helping me to phyically and emotionally prepare for my labor (helping me address past birthing challenges and fears) and comfort me in perfect concert with my husband and midwife through my labor, delivery, and recovery. While still intense, I am convinced that my labor was shorter and my contractions more effective because of this team of earthly angels who anticipated and responded to my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs during every second of my daughter’s birth. Knowing the difference between my last daughter’s birth and my first son’s birth, I would never go through labor without a doula again, and choosing Meredith as a doula was and continues to be a blessing to me and my family.