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Oakland, CA
   

 

My Philosophy

"I truly trust the birth process and believe that most women have the inherent ability to birth babies with ease.   The key is continuous emotional support that keeps the fear away during birth."


Labor Support Testimonials


 

 

"Linda was invaluable during my labor.  Not only was she a reassuring and calming presence, her experience and knowledge helped prevent a c-section and kept my labor on track.  She helped answer questions, explain what was happening, and was our advocate with the nurses when we needed one.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have had her with us during the most important experience of our lives."

Leah, Peter and Vivienne

 

 

 


 

"Linda was instrumental in helping us avoid any unecessary medical interventions that my doctor suggested. Her presence ensured that we had an easy and safe natural birth. We appreciate her expertise, calmness and sense of humor."

Dara  and Jim


 

"Linda was an amazing, calm and grounded presence during my labor and delivery. I was committed to delivering my daughter naturally, but my OB GYN was less than supportive of that goal and seemed to think I would end up with a C-Section because of health problems. When I switched to a midwife and doula team, my prenatal and childbirth experience was transformed.  Despite the fact that my daughter was posterior, I was able to deliver her naturally without pain medications. Linda's knowledge of pressure points made the pain of back labor bearable. Throughout the intense labor and over four hours of pushing, Linda was a strong and reassuring guide. And since the birth she has continued to be a loving and supportive presence in our lives."

Julia and Onyeka


"Linda attended the birth of our daughter at Alta Bates in Berkeley in April 2009. We fully credit her with helping us achieve our goal of having a completely natural childbirth. I went into labor early in the morning, and she came over to our house as soon as we called her. Part of our plan to avoid the temptation to have drugs or an epidural during labor involved laboring at home as long as possible. So I spent 12 hours of a 16-hour labor in the comfort of my own home. My partner and I felt very comfortable with that decision because of Linda's presence. Just having someone in the room with her many, many years of experience comforted us and helped us feel secure in our choice not to run off to the hospital at the first contraction. During the time at home, I really appreciated that Linda was not waving aromatherapy candles in my face, offering me massages or otherwise telling me what to do. I really wanted someone to be present to answer any questions we had or to let us know if she saw any warning signs of something going wrong. But I did not want to have anyone in my face, demanding my attention or energy. Linda absolutely respected that and gave me plenty of space. At the same time, she didn't wander off. She was available, and she was watching closely. It was a huge comfort to both me and my partner.

 When we did finally go to the hospital, my impression as soon as we got there was that Linda knew all the Labor and Delivery nurses who were around that night and was on extremely good terms with them. Everyone greeted her by name and seemed happy to see her. When I was in triage, she asked who was on duty and requested a particular nurse whom she knew to be very supportive of natural childbirth (and who turned out to be wonderful). It was so wonderful that Linda and our lead L&D nurse knew each other and were comfortable working together. It felt like they were our team. It was great.

Linda was also great in terms of knowing how the medical professionals would respond to particular conditions. For instance, at one point during my labor, we were monitoring the fetal heartbeat, and it started to slow down during contractions. Linda was aware that if that happened X number of times in a row, the nurse would have to call in a doctor. Linda very quickly identified that the heartbeat didn't slow down unless I sat down, and she suggested I try standing up. The nurse - who had a trusting, good relationship with Linda - saw what was going on and held off on calling the doctor. The next
contraction, everything was fine, and we didn't have to call in the doctor. There were lots of little things like that... I wish I could remember them all. What I do remember is the overriding feeling that Linda is a goddess, I felt very safe under her watchful eye, and there's no way we would have been able to navigate the medicalized birth world without Linda there to guide us. 

When it came time to push, Linda really got actively involved and coached me through every second of it. I spent only an hour pushing, but by that time I was really exhausted. I had spent a good portion of my labor on my feet, hadn't been able to keep any food down, and had been having contractions every two minutes for around 12 hours by the time I started pushing. My body felt so out of whack that I basically lost the ability to tell when I was having a contraction and when I wasn't. Linda came forward and took a very active role in the last bit of labor. She kept her hand on my belly and told me when I was having a contraction and had to push. And, along with our lead L&D nurse, she coached me through proper breathing technique and various positions to help birth the baby. Again, I felt hugely reassured to have her there. Afterwards I wondered, how do people do this without an experienced coach to guide them? 

Finally, Linda was truly fantastic with postpartum support. You get a lot of advice (both wanted and unsolicited) after you give birth to a baby... on bathing, diapering, feeding, sleeping... and a lot of it is completely useless. Linda was the only person whose recommendations for newborn care were 100% spot-on. She came to check on us immediately following the birth and was available to answer my questions by phone for months afterward. She gave me truly excellent advice on stuff like breastfeeding and how to get my newborn to sleep in her bed rather than on my body, etc. It was all really practical, common sense stuff, but it was hugely valuable in those early days of sleep deprivation and getting to know my daughter. I'm currently pregnant with my second, and we will of course be working with Linda again. We feel so much gratitude and affection for her. She is caring, humane, and wise. I can't recommend her highly enough."

Amy, Michael and Adele


"I cannot recommend Linda highly enough as a doula. I was pregnant for the first time with twins and kept hearing her name again and again. And upon meeting her, I instantly knew she was the one to help me and my husband through this unknown journey of labor. The story is too long to tell--but suffice it to say we experienced all interventions a hospital can throw at you--and still I 
had a powerful and positive experience. Giving birth is an intimate event and it just seemed right to have Linda  there. She supported us throughout the whole days-long experience and helped us navigate all the choices we had to make along the way. She also spent a few nights with us as we acclimated to our new life with two little boys, one of whom was quite fussy!

She is funny, down-to-earth, and highly-skilled and it was an honor to have
her a year later at their first birthday party."

Anne, Tom, Diego and Gabriel


 

"I am incredibly thankful Linda Jones was my doula. Eliza is my first and most likely my only child, so I had a lot weighing on how her birth went. I didn't even know what a doula was before the pregnancy. There was even a time, when my husband and I doubted we needed one. We thought we read and knew enough about childbirth to do it on our own. We were so very wrong. If Linda hadn't been there, I'm sure my birthing experience would have been incredibly different and I wouldn't have been satisfied with the results. She gave me sound advice against a drug used in induction and guided me toward a better one. This allowed for me to have the rest of my labor go drug free. I was having incredibly painful contractions and she suggested a low hum, this took the edge off the pain I needed. She also requested a nurse that completed a solid birthing team when it came time to push. And these are just a few examples from a long list of support, care and love I received from her, before, during and after. Eliza's birth has been the best experience of my life and I owe a large part of my happiness to Linda."

 

Renee, Nathan and Eliza


"When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had not idea what the birthing process would be like. As it turned out, I was in labor for 42 hours! Fortunately, I had Linda Jones there with me every step of the way. Linda's calm presence, comforting back rubs and extensive knowledge helped get me through the arduous labor -- and through the relatively easy birth of my second son four years later. Now, as I get ready to send my first born to college, I remain thankful for the care and wisdom she provided."

Rachele and Laird


"My life partner and I felt so fortunate to have Linda Jones as our doula. Her ability to act in a supporting role during the birth of our son gave us the reassurance  and confidence needed to achieve everything we desired in our birthing plan. She is one of the reasons we were able  to have a natural birth with no IVs, no antibiotics, and only intermittent fetal monitoring--all in a hospital setting! She is reliable, extremely experienced, calm, loving, and a wonderful teacher. She was actually the back up doula for the one we originally hired and we were  very pleased with her. Even though we were not her original clients, she treated us as if we were. She met with us several weeks beforehand and provided education on birthing tips. During the late stages of active labor, Linda came to our home and demonstrated strategies to help my life partner provide me counter pressure and breathing techniques. At the hospital, she was quick to advocate for me and the baby at all times. She was able to stay with us after the baby arrived and made sure that our son had properly latched for a successful breast feed. During the postpartum weeks, Linda lovingly called and visited making sure that everyone was well and healthy. If we were to hire a doula again, it will be Linda for sure!"

Felicia, Bruce and Makoto

Photo Credit: Audra Dewitt.