“Only with trust, faith, and support can the woman allow the birth experience to enlighten and empower her.” - Claudia Lowe
I must start by saying that my husband
and I are both physicians. Not only that, but I am an anesthesiologist.
It is unlikely that there are many people who have an ingrained bias
toward conventional medicine (and, admittedly, skepticism of the natural
childbirth movement). I'm here to tell you that not only is this an
absolutely awesome experience that I would highly recommend (barring
medical necessity for intervention), but also that Jessica is the woman
you want standing by your side throughout the process.
Jessica has a natural grace and quiet strength about her which is
strengthened by her personal experiences with birth. Her knowledge is
vast, but her love of her role in helping women during their pregnancy,
labor and delivery, and postpartum issues is what makes her so special.
She instantly put any anxiety or skepticism within me to rest. She
strengthened my resolve to strive for a fully natural birth. And when it
was time, she was the face I looked to in any moments I started to
Jessica was a strong presence in the room when she was needed, and
she faded back quietly between those times. She was a seamless part of
my birth team, providing support for myself or my husband in this
yet-uncharted territory for us. I am ever thankful for her for that.
Moreover, she took incredible photos during that time which I will
cherish forever. They are beautiful, poignant, and honest. And yet, I
was only vaguely aware that she had taken some pictures. Her talent in
that arena came as quite a blessed surprise.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Jessica to anyone who is lucky enough to find her - she is, quite simply, amazing.
I would highly recommend Jessica. When we
found out that our daughter had many complications, we were so afraid a
natural birthing experience would be taken away from us. Jessica is so
wise, compassionate and a true advocate in the delivery room. her
experience guided me through the pain and kept me focused on the goal.
It was hard for me to trust my body, since I had never felt anything
like childbirth. Now I look back on the day my daughter was born, and am
proud of how we, as a team, handled the experience. Jessica also took
pictures and made us a video that I still can not get through without
crying happy tears. No words can really express my gratitude for all
that Jessica did to help us bring our little miracle into our lives.
I recently had baby#5. My first 4 children were not born naturally. I didn't know how to trust my body.
I approached Jessica at 9 weeks. She encouraged me to look for a midwife. I found a midwife/ob practice. I struggled with convincing them that I did not have PIH. I only had high BP in the office.. Every test came back perfect. They still were not happy. I knew the me and baby were fine! I was being beat down by my care providers. Jessica talked to me about diet, natural ways to reduce stress and help BP. She encouraged me to find a care provider that would support me. At 32 weeks I switched midwives. I felt supported! TY Jessica!!
At 37 wks, I lost my mucus plug. Lots of pressure. I asked the midwife to check me. I was 5 cm and 70%!! I wasn't in labor...we waited. Early Saturday morning I felt *different* I knew that would be the day. I called Jessica. We decided to head down the road.
Jessica was wonderful. She walked with me, rubbed my back, brought me juice. We chatted and passed the time. When things got **real** she helped me into the tub, helped me get through the contractions one at a time. She helped me keep control over my body and emotions. During moments of doubt she reminded me that I was strong and that I could do this! It was such a blessing having her there. Jessica took pictures and helped me nurse minutes after delivery.
After a few days we began to see signs of jaundice in our lO. Her levels were increasing and my milk had not come in. Jessica suggested I nurse constantly, sit in the sun, drink tons of water and do skin to skin. The levels came down!! We were able to avoid being admitted to the hospital! TY Jessica!
Jessica was a wonderful support throughout my pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. She gave me a gift. She showed me that I was strong, that I could trust my body. It was wonderful, healing and empowering. I honestly can't thank her enough! She was a true blessing.
We had a great experience with Jessica for the birth of our first child. We met her because we signed up for her Bradley birth class. After taking the class we realized that Jessica had both an incredible knowledge of the birth process as well as a demeanor that made us both feel very comfortable with her. She gave us support via phone and email leading up to the day of the birth, at which she and my husband corresponded over the phone until we felt we needed her to come to the house. She was a lifesaver! She helped me get into various positions, encouraged me to walk up and down the stairs (which did wonders for moving my contractions along), and used several different techniques to help me relax and focus. I felt 100% comfortable with Jessica in our home assisting us.
One reason why it was so wonderful to have Jessica with us was in making the call about when to go to the hospital. She recognized the signs that meant it was time to go and again we trusted her completely. Sure enough I arrived at the hospital 8 cm dilated and had my baby less than three hours later! My midwife had surgery just a week before I went into labor and so instead of having a midwife catch my baby I had the on-call OB whom I had never met. She was not supportive of natural birth and if it weren't for Jessica I don't think I would have had the strength and confidence to insist on the things that were important to me (no IV, changing positions, etc.)
Afterward I had to have stitches, which took quite a while, but Jessica stayed with us for over 2 hours talking about the birth, giving me tips on recovery, and helping us with breastfeeding. She came to visit us a day or two later and again was a wonderful resource for help with the postpartum period and breastfeeding. I would very highly recommend Jessica to anyone! I really do credit her with the fact that I was able to have a drug-free, natural childbirth.
My husband and I hired Jessica to assist
us with our HBAC after a horrible experience with our first that ended
up with a c/s for
"failure to progress." I was told that "some people just can't have posterior babies." Well, Jessica supported us through a long, intense labor that resulted in the vaginal birth of my second posterior baby at home, a baby that was 2 lbs heavier than my first! Jessica helped us achieve the birth that we felt we missed out on with our first.
Unfortunately, Jessica wasn't able to attend our second home birth b/c she had given birth only a few days earlier herself. However, Jessica was a huge emotional support to me when my pregnancy went over 41w and helped me give myself permission to relax and let my body get started with the work it needed to do.
Jessica was an absolute superstar during my labor. I had a very long, hard labor with lots of back labor. In early labor, Jessica first came first before we transitioned to the hospital. After almost 30 hours of labor I got stuck at 8cm and the baby had rotated into the transverse position. I was devastated. At that point I just didn’t think I could handle any more pain so I inquired about pain management options. I remember feeling defeated when I learned an epidural was my only option. We asked the doctor to leave the room so we could discuss our options with Jessica. That’s when I started to breakdown. I was sobbing telling them I was so tired, I couldn’t do it anymore. Jessica explained to my husband that it was totally normal for me to be feeling this way at this point in labor. I was in the thick of active labor, close to transitioning and starting to doubt myself. This is when Jessica recommended walking the halls to get that baby moving. The stretches worked and helped rotate the baby back to LOA. I did end up having pitocin to help things along but Jessica was by my side the entire time and she was 14 weeks pregnant! After 2 ½ hours of pushing and almost 40 hours of labor, I delivered a beautiful baby girl who was big and healthy. Jessica helped me nurse her immediately for the first time. She also stayed for a while after the birth to make sure we had everything we needed. After we arrived home from the hospital, Jessica visited to help with breastfeeding and answer other questions we had. When my daughter was about a week old I woke up one morning with painful mastitis. Jessica helped me figure out what I needed to do, who to call and how to avoid a trip to the ER like my OB wanted me to do! Even now, 18 months later I know she is still there to offer advice or answer a question if I need her. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Jessica. She will definitely be present at the birth of our next child!
Having Jess as our doula was an awesome experience and helped us to have the birth we desired. Being first time parents we were beyond nervous about birth in general but Jess did an amazing job to help put at us ease and teach us that birth is a natural and wonderful experience. From the first time we met her, she was so knowledgeable and really educated us and opened our eyes about natural birth and all of it's wonders. She made herself available by phone, email, and text to answer any questions that we had along the way. When our birth day came, she was right by our side. She showed up at our house and the minute she arrived we were both at ease. I was able to labor comfortably at home for several hours while Jess encouraged me to move, use different birthing positions, and even called our chiropractor and arranged for him to make a home visit to adjust me and better prepare my body for labor. When we decided to go to the hospital she was supportive and encouraging and helped make the transition from home to hospital as comfortable as possible. She was a fantastic advocate and reminded the staff about our birth plan and wishes. Due to an allergic reaction (we have a cat and she is highly allergic!) and despite her best attempt to stay by our side to see us through to the birth of our daughter, she had to leave. But before leaving she called and arranged for an excellent back up doula. She waited until the backup arrived and briefed her on my labor status, birth plan, etc. We were sad to see her go, but felt confident in her choice in replacement. Later that evening after our daughter was born, we were so excited when she stopped by to visit and check on us. She'll forever hold a special place in our hearts for her very important role in our special day!
When we first met Jessica, we were already 5 months into the pregnancy. We had researched and thought we had found a Dr.s group who would let us attempt a VBAC. But, half way through the pregnancy, they began to back track and were asking me when I would like to schedule my c-section! I couldn't believe it. I found Jessica online and began to explain the situation. She was so reassuring that I knew she was going to be our doula. She was the one who recommended the mid wife we chose. She worked closely with our mid wife and was so affirming and reassuring that we would be able to deliver vaginally, that we were able to get over all of the negative words and opinions of the ones who had come before. We chose a home birth because I was fearful of going to the hospital and being forced into a c-section (as happened with our first). Jessica was such an encouragement. I was having contractions and dilating slowly over the course of 6 days and nights. I was so frustrated that my body just wouldn't get on with it already! But Jessica remained calm, she made sure that someone was with me at all times (she had a conference to go to in the middle of all of this) and always reminded me that my body was up for the task. In the end, we delivered a beautiful baby boy in the comfort of our home. Thank you Jessica. You helped me to believe in my own ability to deliver and reaffirmed that God had in deed equipped me with everything I needed.
I first heard about Jess after i found
her website when looking for information on VBAC. I had a terrible
experience with the birth of my son. After a C-section because of a
failed induction in which i was told "I thought you could do this and
you can't" i knew I wanted the birth of my second son to be different.
We hired Jessica because of her vast knowledge and experience and we are
so glad we did. Throughout the pregnancy, not only was Jess supportive
and kind, but her knowledge of birth and pregnancy really helped me to
feel secure and safe especially because of all my doubts in myself.
Jessica always made me believe that not only could i deliver vaginally
but i would and largely because of her, I did.
We chose a hospital birth and Jessica was there for a 20 hour
in-hospital labor. She was so kind and helpful throughout the labor and
delivery. She coached me in different positions to ease pain, kept an
eye on the monitors so the nurses wouldn't intervene unnecessarily and
helped my to have a completely drug free delievery. Because of her, i
was able to withstand the rigors of transition, and the pressure of
pushing. Throughout it all she was a mother, a friend, a sister, and a
nurse all rolled into one. Not only did she help me but she showed my
husband how to help me to and this was invaluable.
I cannot recommend her enough! I will forever be grateful to Jess for giving me a birth I only dreamed was possible!
Having Jessica as our Doula was one of the best things my husband and I could have done! From the very beginning of my pregnancy Jessica gave us support and direction on decisions that needed to be made. My husband and I were pregnant with twins. Jessica always supported our desire to have a natural birth. We chose to have a home birth. Jessica showed up at our house with encouraging words and my comfort her proiorty. Jessica knew exactly where to apply pressure to my back. She was very calm and good at keeping everyone in the room calm. I had no idea at one time I had 6 people in the room with me. Just with Jessica being there I felt more confident, calm and safe. Even when everyone left family and midwives, Jessica stayed and made sure my husband and I were comfortable. I look forward to my next pregnancy and to share that journey with Jessica as our Doula!
Thank you Jessica for being a wonderful Doula for our family!
Bridget and David Moody
Home birth mom of twins, Lilliana and Oiliva
Jessica was absolutely fabulous as our doula. From the moment we hired her, she was there every step of the way. We had many concerns and questions about pregnancy and the birthing experience, as this was our first time. Every question we had, she answered. She also offered guidance, but never interfered in our decisions. When my pregnancy last longer than 42 weeks, Jessica helped us shift our plan to a home birth so that we could still have the experience we had imagined. We are forever grateful for the midwife she recommended. Although she was not able to attend the birth of our daughter (she is very experienced and sought after and was already attending a birth), she offered a replacement and visited us the very next day. She will always have a special place in our hearts because of the attention and caring she gave us.
Our family had a wonderful birth
experience with Jessica. I had my first daughter without a doula present
and swore I would have a doula for my next birth and Jessica was the
doula for us. She was there for us before the birth with advice about
how to handle a variety of issues including GBS status, induction and
fast labors. I ended up going into labor with my second daughter on the
same day that Jessica was returning from a very long road trip. Jessica
dropped off her family at home, immediately jumped back into the car and
drove 45 minutes to the birth center to be there to support us during
our birth. Jessica supported both myself and my husband through my very
fast labor and helped to reassure my 4 year old daughter who was also
present at the birth. She also took many excellent photos and a video of
the labor/birth experience which are absolutely precious to me.
After the baby was born I had a minor postpartum hemmorage and Jessica stayed calm and cool and assisted the midwives with dealing my condition and kept me focused and calm. Jessica also came to our house a few days after the birth for a postpartum visit to make sure we were all doing ok.
Jessica Groves is extremely knowledgeable about labor and childbirth and I would recommend her to anyone as a wonderful doula. If our family is blessed with a third baby, Jessica will be there to welcome him or her into the world.
Jessica was awesome. She *listened* to what I wanted in a birth experience and helped me find the best path to make it happen. I wanted a natural, drug free vbac, which might sound simple, but if you've ever been pressured by doctors/midwives to have all sorts of interventions, you know that having a natural birth is not as simple as it may sound to others. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't as savy with my first birth and let my doctors persuade me that 40 weeks was past due. (Of course I know now that 40 weeks pregnancy alone is no reason to intervene and that first pregnancies are on average longer than 40 wks!) I really educated myself during my second pregnancy, because I figured that the more educated I became, the more power I would have in shaping my birth experience. In my search for more knowledge, I found Jessica. Jessica was a constant source of knowledge and encouragement. If I hadn't met Jessica, I'm not sure that I would have been able to accomplish a vbac, but with her and the birth team that she recommended, I was able to have the drug free, natural birth that I wanted. ( I had a different doula with my first birth, but it ended in a c-section because I wasn't delivering my baby fast enough for the doctors.) If you are serious about controlling your own birth experience (as much as humanly possible) then Jessica is the doula for you. I know she was the right one for me.
Jessica was an amazing help to us during the birth of our daughter, Bronwynne, a labour lasting more than 46 hours. Her support, encouragement, and resilience was astonishing. Not only was my husband and I able to have the natural Bradley Birth we had planned, Jessica was also able to provide us with additional help (reflexology and chiropractic services) through her network of professionals when my labour stalled. Without a doubt, her doula expertise went above and beyond our expectations and were essential to our successful birth and postpartum recovery. I would recommend Jessica to anyone looking for a doula with natural childbirth experience, a Bradley Instructor with midwivery education, and/or postpartum doula support.
Jessica was our doula for the birth of our first child. We learned of her services when we took her Bradley Childbirth class. We had originally planned on a hospital birth but switched at 28 weeks to a home birth. I felt more comfortable with this decision because I knew she would be there. She was available at all times and was very understanding and supportive. I felt she was uniquely qualified because she has had three children of her own and one of them at home. In addition to this it helped me be more comfortable that she had also attended so many births and was taking classes to become a midwife herself. She was very informative and answered all our questions. She was the first person I called and kept tabs on me throughout the day. She arrived as soon as we thought we needed her (we had a home birth) and stayed until we were comfortable with her leaving. She seemed to know intuitively what would make me comfortable even when I was unsure. She also returned to do a follow-up visit to make sure the breast feeding was going well. I would highly recommend her as a doula and look forward to having her be our doula next time.
Jessica was a great doula! She was there for us from birth classes to postpartum help and everything in between. She is very knowledgeable in many different aspects of birth and newborn care. Jessica is very approachable and easy to talk with about any concerns a couple might have. She takes photos of your birth and is your voice during labor and birth to make sure you get the kind of birth you want. I will definitely use her for my future birth experiences!
Jessica came into my pregnancy with knowledge, support, and understanding. Being in the field of birth, I was extremely picky when looking for someone to support me, especially with my third baby. After reading her birth story during my pregnancy, I completely melted for the experience. I deceided that Jessica would be the one for us, with her balance of grand knowledge and emotional support. She acknowledged my baby en womb, which was imperative to me. When the time came for my daughter to make her appearance, Jessica helped to ensure confidence in my ability to birth strongly, proudly, and powerfully. Ava's birth was difficult and I began to doubt myself, but Jessica encouraged me that I was doing a wonderful job. Soon after my healthy, strong, beautiful baby girl came into the water and into my arms.
Jessica referred me to a midwife who would allow us to deliver how we wanted and really listen to my concerns. I was free to labor at home, and thanks to Jessica’s doula services I felt comfortable staying home and calling her every so often with changes in contractions so as to best gauge when we should leave the house to ensure that we weren't laboring too long away from the hospital or delivering a baby in the car on the way there. During labor Jessica was great at managing my stress and pain. I really wanted my mother to be there for the delivery, and she was in a car accident on the way, and Jessica kept me comforted and kept the midwife from rushing the delivery to see if I could hold out until she arrived—and we were able to hold off pushing until she got there which made me so very happy!
During transition when I had the worst pain, Jessica knew just where to apply pressure to comfort me, and that was such a relief. She knew my birth plan and ensured I had all the options I wanted—laboring with a birth ball, delivering with a mirror, letting me touch my baby’s head while pushing, etc. These were momentous occasions I missed during my first delivery because I wasn't thinking about it and was more concerned with my baby’s heart rate. Having someone else in the room other than my husband that could focus on those small but very important details was priceless. And to have her take photos of things I missed with my first delivery was great. You never get to experience the same birth twice, so cherishing every moment is precious.
Thank you, Jessica, for making that day so very special!
When we learned of our pregnancy, my husband and I started a dialogue about a natural birth. We were very curious but a bit cautious. I found Jessica’s website and called her right away. She spent 20 minutes with me, sharing information about all our natural birth options. Her vast knowledge and positive attitude encouraged us to further pursue a natural birth. We signed up for Jessica’s Bradley Method birthing class. It was a 12-week intensive course. The most important lessons we learned were; a healthy pregnancy leads to a healthy birth, a woman is strong enough to give birth without medical interventions, and a birthing mother’s best support is her loving husband. That being said, Jessica played a very special role in the birth of my son. She spent time getting to know us, she helped us develop a birth plan, and when we decided to make a last-minute change, she was by our side every step of the way. Jessica is the #1 reason that my husband and I were able to have the birth of our dreams.
Jessica is a dedicated and energetic doula. She is very committed to giving you the best possible natural birth experience. I had a very difficult delivery and in the end had to have an emergency c-section. Jessica was there every step of the way. Of course, my husband and I had a full plate--we had just closed on our first house, and as a 39 year old diabetic/hypertensive I had a very healthful pregnancy until the 9th month when I was diagnosed with pregnancy induced hypertension. We worked with Dr. Atlas OB/GYN and Perinatologist and Kathy Sloan Nurse Midwife and together they helped me through a natural induction and we worked hard to have a natural birth. After 48 hours of painful back labor we decided to break the waters and when another five hours later I had not progressed any further and with blood pressures that were skyrocketing to 170/100 the doctor felt we had to go ahead with the "c" I was devastated but Jessica and my husband reassured me. Twenty minutes later came our beautiful and healthy 6.5 pound daughter Sabina. She was three weeks early but a picture of health and didn't even have to spend any time in NICU. A week after the birth I developed "post-eclampsia" and ended up with aveolar hemorrhaging (a serious lung bleed) and spent the next week in the critical care unit fighting for my life. Jessica came and met with my husband to make sure he was okay taking care of baby, having the house painted, staining the floors and having a mini nervous breakdown. Mine was a dramatic birth but baby and I are doing well and we have Jessica to thank for helping in every way she could. My husband Mike and I highly recommend her. Sincerely, Mike and Thyra Mannozzi
Jessica and I are both Bradley(R) instructors and we were pregnant at the same time, both planning our first home births. After Jessica had her little one and told me about her birth experience, I knew that I wanted her there to support me when I gave birth. She agreed to join my Birth Team. I felt bad asking her to travel to southern Montgomery County, but Jessica didn't bat an eye.
I felt really nurtured by Jessica's assistance prenatally and at the birth. She read and respected my birth plan (whether she know it or not, she helped me develop it); she worked well with everyone else on my birth team; and she provided suggestions and support that no one else gave (even with another doula and a midwife there). For a couple of specific examples: Jessica squeezed my hips the best (I was surprised at how strong she was!) and she suggested an assymetric position and "leaning into" a contraction to try to help me rupture the membranes naturally.
It would be sinful to omit mention of the pictures Jessica took. I and my family will treasure them forever. They are professional quality, exactly what you think of when you think you might want pictures.
I know many doulas and childbirth educators in the DC Metro area. None are even close to being as devoted and involved as Jessica. She is a wonderful resource not only to childbearing women but also to those who educate them.
If you can get into one of Jessica's classes and/or hire her as your doula, you will absolutely, without a doubt have a better experience, no matter the outcome of the birth. (Which in my case, I realize I didn't mention before, was a healthy, beautiful baby girl born totally peacefully and safely in my bed in my home.)
Jessica is one of they many reasons we chose to have our 2nd child naturally. After a not so good experience birthing my daughter at a local hospital I knew my second birth was going to be without drugs. Luckily i met Jessica and not only learned that my birth could be drug free but also that I could have a supportive birth attendant in a midwife and be able to come home soon after birth to be with my family. So, when I got pregnant with #2 my husband and I took Jessica's Bradley classes and prepared ourselves for our natural birth center birth. It was great to have Jessica around during pregnancy and birth to ask questions and just be supportive of our not so typical birthing decisions. We were blessed to have the birth of our dreams when our son was born in January. None of this would have been possible with out Jessica!!
Jessica provided us with all the information and more that we needed to make informed choices and have a successful VBAC at home! As a Bradley instructor, she offered private classes to work with our schedule and even came to our home. Her passion for her work is undeniable and I loved having her as part of ourbirth team. During my pregnancy, Jessica was available by phone or email to answer any questions I had--as well as after the baby had arrived. She is resourceful, educated, sincere, and warm.
I would never give birth to a baby without Jessica by my side. She was an incredible support system weeks before I delivered, during and after.
While my husband was a great coach and comforted me every moment during labor and delivery, having Jessica with us gave us the extra boost of confidence that we could get through it successfully. She moved me from position to position to ensure my own comfort and even moved the baby to the correct position for birth by having me labor upside-down (we were stomach to stomach). I know we couldn't have done that on our own.
Her emotional support was paramount leading up to and after my son's birth. Plus she took some amazing photos for us that documented the entire experience. We couldn't ask for anything more.
She is like a birth library...have any questions and she'll make sure you have plenty of answers to make informed decisions. She is always going to be your best advocate in the delivery room to help make sure you get the birth you dream of (unless there is a medical emergency).
I just love her and could go on and on...