From my Postpartum Parents:

“Shelley is the best investment you can make in your family! After receiving a recommendation from a friend, we called Shelley to be our postpartum doula. Shelley took excellent care of our baby, our dog, and of us! She helped with the baby, breastfeeding and laundry, made sure I was eating enough and drinking water, offered useful (and non-judgemental advice), was/is a fabulous sounding board, and harped on self-care (very important!). Everyone needs a Shelley in their lives! We are eternally grateful to her!”
–Phil, mom to Clayton

“How can I/we ever thank you enough for all you have done for our family… you are an amazing doula and person. I feel so very blessed that our paths have crossed. Thank you!”
— Holly, mom to Grace, Foster, and Ethan

“I want to let you know what an important role you played while helping me/us postpartum. Mark and I talk of those early weeks often and how helpful, thoughtful, kind and special you are. You are in the perfect profession! You helped instill confidence in me, as a mother and I thank you.”
— Elise, mom to Natalie

“Shelley was an amazing help to me right after I had my second daughter. My girls were very close together, and Shelley’s support allowed me to be a good mom to both of them. I don’t know what I would have done without her!”
— Sharon, mom to Meaghan,  Natalie and Matthew

“Thank you so much for all of your help over the past 3 weeks- I’ve learned a lot from you and have really enjoyed having you in our home. You have eased my transition from a more delicate post-operative state to being able to manage the house and get through the day. I am now a big advocate for postpartum doulas!”
–Jeanne, mom to Camille and Calvin

“Shelley was invaluable to me as a first time mom. I would not have been able to get through the first few months as seamlessly as we did without her insight and knowledge. I am sure I could have “figured” things out and my motherly instinct did help. However, being self-employed and not having the luxury of maternity leave, I needed to make the most of every minute of the day. Having Shelley there to help me navigate each of my baby’s cues really helped me to know what to do next. She was also able to help me with some breastfeeding issues, as well as even guide me as my husband learned how to be a dad. Sometimes we forget this is a major life change for them too!”  –Kylie, mom to Reece

From our Real Deal Birth Students:

“What I liked best was how open everyone was to sharing experiences and asking questions, thanks in big part due to Shelley’s openness I think. We really looked forward to the class every week, which we were surprised by since virtual meetings generally don’t engage us as much, and we were sad when it was over. The practicing for labor activities were really helpful”

“You both were extremely knowledgeable and information was on point. Anytime someone had a question that you didn’t immediately have the answer to, you always did the research and followed up. The powerpoints were also extremely helpful for following along. We also enjoyed that the class size was small and intimate. We appreciated you keeping everyone engaged and actively participating, which helped to normalize and humanize the experience. Also, you both made us laugh quite a bit 🙂 “

“ I felt you were genuinely interested in each of us but balanced the time of having us participate and communicating information very well. Thank you so much! “

“Shelley made class very fun, very informative, all practical things I’ll need for this journey.  Now I feel prepared to make decisions regarding my birth. She helped me realize what I want out of my birth experience. She is a great, knowledgeable instructor!”

“We are especially grateful for learning how to assess situations, ask questions, and advocate for ourselves…. Our baby says “thank you” to Real Deal for helping his parents to have the confidence to bring him into the world safely, even though the process was the polar opposite of the original plan. “

 

From my Birth Parents:

“What words can thank you for participating in one of life’s most difficult and most beautiful moments. I do not know how I was so blessed to have found someone who could so gently and effortlessly guide us through such an event. Thank you for two beautiful births, many words of wisdom, and such an open friendship. We will never repay what you’ve given us and even so, I know you don’t expect us to, and that is part of the gift.”
— Kelly, mom to Graham, Kendall, Jude,  John Gabriel, and Karoline

“Shelley was more than we ever could have hoped for. I called her throughout our pregnancy and she was always there for me, answering questions at all hours of the night. She spent hours at our house with my husband and me teaching us ways to handle the feelings of labor naturally. When we entered labor, Shelley was indispensable. Our labor lasted 34 hours and she rubbed my back almost the entire time! This enabled my husband to spend his time concentrating on my emotional state. Many times throughout the labor, I felt as if I couldn’t go on. At the time I was unaware that our baby was in a posterior position, putting pressure directly on my back. Once it became apparent that the baby was no longer turning as he should have been, Shelley led me through countless positions to try and turn the baby naturally. With Shelley’s encouragement, we continued to successfully avoid the c-section.”
— Simone, mom to Max

“We can’t thank you enough for all you did. I’m certain our birth would have gone A LOT different if you had not been there to walk us (carry us) through it. Thank you doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of how grateful we are for your clear headed guidance during our laboring ”
— Yvette, mom to Micah and Kai

“Louis and I want to express our heartfelt thanks for the loving care, support, and tender guidance you provided during our son’s birth. We know that your coaching and expertise greatly contributed to us being able to achieve a natural birth. You truly are blessed with the grace to encourage any woman through childbirth.”
— Lori, mom to Matthew

“Your service and guidance were invaluable to us. Thank you for making our birth experience absolutely perfect. You are gifted at what you do.”
— Michael, dad to Nola

“When my wife Cynthia and I found out that people do more research when buying a car than when they have a baby, … we did some research! That research led us to our Doula, Shelley Scotka. Weeks before and during the birth process, Shelley, as an educated, unbiased, outside source, provided for my wife what I, as a husband could not! My wife had a sister and a mother who could not be in town because our sweet daughter came 3 weeks early. Shelley professionally and personally provided breathing techniques, different positions to feel the least amount of pain, and other somewhat vital options that we may have otherwise never known about. We wanted a natural birth with little to no pain medicine and as little risk as possible to baby Sadie, and Shelley did what she does best to made sure that we got just that! We will always remember her, especially her role in the awesome experience of the birth of our first child!”
— Aaron, dad to Sadie

Does a doula really make a difference?
Families report having a postpartum doula improved breastfeeding outcomes, increased their confidence as parents, helped them get better sleep, and improved their emotions, including reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.