Offers virtual services
Annie Stephenson
Doula
Mill Valley, California
1 years of experience
5.0
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About me

I believe I was put on this earth to be a mother. And yet following a painful struggle with infertility, when I finally welcomed the birth of my first child, I felt so totally overwhelmed with everything that came with motherhood: the physical chaos caused by hormones, the stress caused by the difficulties I was having with breastfeeding, and the isolation of feeling solely responsible for this tiny human. I felt so vulnerable and completely ill-equipped to handle everything that was coming at me. It was as if my innate ability to care for myself and my baby were hijacked by hormones, exhaustion and fear. To cope, I became obsessed with feeding schedules, how to boost my milk production, and sleep routines in hopes of gaining some semblance of control over a situation that felt totally out of control. My own challenges during these first few months of motherhood are what led me to my work as a postpartum doula. Not only do I love the newborn phase, but I am able to empathetically nurture parents who are perhaps experiencing that same sense of overwhelm I experienced, as well as those who have little to no idea what to expect. My goal is to empower them with the skills and knowledge they need to feel confident and capable as new parents. Today, with over 19 years of experience caring for newborns, I am excited to bring my passion for babies, my sense of groundedness and intuition, and my innate nurturing and compassionate care to new and expanding families. I’ve come to understand that no two babies, or families, are alike, and I aim to provide non-judgemental, evidence-based physical and emotional support, and serve as a trusted resource for all of your postpartum recovery needs in Marin County and the Bay Area. I value our differences, and seek to create an inclusive practice honoring all orientations, ethnicities, cultures, religions and gender identities, and will work tirelessly to support your personal choices for your family. I live in Mill Valley, CA with my husband and our blended family of 4 kids. For me self-care looks like hiking the endless trails of Marin County, meditating and doing yoga with my husband, and spending as much time outside soaking in the California weather with my friends and family. I am equally obsessed with dogs as I am babies, so I promise to love your fur baby/ies as much as I love your human!

Education

Harvard University, BA Sociology (1998)

Certification and training

Postpartum Doula, Dona International (2021)

Specialties
Breastfeeding Assistance and Support Breastfeeding Support Evidence-Based Care Newborn Care Parenting Parenting Support Postpartum Adjustment Postpartum Care Postpartum Doula Care Postpartum Life
Languages

English

Service introduction

During this tender time of the postpartum period, my role as a doula is to provide non-judgmental, compassionate and nurturing care to new and expanding families. I aim to validate new parents’ feelings, normalize their concerns, and work alongside them to empower them with the knowledge they need to become confident and capable parents. With my support, my clients will have evidence-based information at their fingertips, such as knowledge of typical and atypical signs of emotional and physical recovery for mama, an understanding of age appropriate development for baby, and connections in the local perinatal landscape to provide referrals and recommendations for specialists as needed. My services include, but not limited to: • Emotional and Physical Support After Childbirth • Specialized Newborn Care • Basic Feeding Support • Soothing Techniques and Healthy Sleep Habits • Nursery Set-up and Household Organization • Sibling (and Pet) Adjustment • Trusted Local Resources and Referrals Newborn Support: I work alongside parents to educate them on the basics of newborn care including diapering, bathing, and helpful soothing techniques, while also offering the parents the opportunity to rest and recover, or spend quality time with older siblings. Feeding support: Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, or some combo of the two, my role is to provide reassurance and validation of any of your feeding challenges and choices. Support includes listening to your feeding goals and helping you achieve them, basic adjustments for optimal latch, understanding you supply, proper milk storage and/or formula preparation. Sleep support: Admit it, every new parent's biggest question is "when will I sleep again?" During our time together I will gently guide you and your baby into a flexible but consistent sleep and feeding schedule. When done properly, these routines will allow you to read your baby’s cues and anticipate their needs, nurture their ability to sleep (and therefore yours!) and improve moments of connection with your baby during their wake windows.

Packages
Daily shift
During a 4 hour shift I can: - assist with feeding, assess latch, recommend positions, aid with pumping and/or bottle prep etc - provide time for mama to rest and recover or bond with baby while I tend to household organization - educate new parents on soothing techniques, newborn care and basics such as bath, nail care etc - prepare nourishing snacks, teas and plenty of water for mama
$60.00
USD Per hour
Ratings and reviews
Average
5.0
# of Reviews
2
5.0

I can’t say enough good things about my time with Annie. Before baby arrived, she helped me prepare myself and my home for the postpartum period. After the dust settled and my mom/MIL went home, I am so thankful that we had Annie to help me adjust to life as a first time mom. In those early weeks, when everything was new and a bit scary, Annie guided us through many elements of newborn care. She was there for our first bath, taught us a good nap routine and helped me prep for my first solo flight with baby. She kept me fed, hydrated and well rested/relaxed, which was especially important as my husband transitioned back to work. On top of all the baby help, she became best friends with our bernedoodle puppy, which made his adjustment to our new normal much easier as well. Just watching Annie with my daughter taught me so much and I am very thankful for the time we had with her!

- Rachael G.

5.0

I am endlessly grateful for Annie and her support with me and my baby girl. We started working together when my baby was 4 months old and my only regret was that I didn’t find her sooner!! As a first time mom, I was overwhelmed with anxiety around feeding, sleeping and making sure my baby was healthy and happy. Annie not only listened to and validated my worries, but she helped me overcome my anxieties one by one. The safety and comfort she brought to our home helped me become more comfortable in my new mom skin. From helping me take time for self care to finding the best ways to interact with my baby, and even guiding me through some tough sleep regressions, Annie was a constant guiding voice and strong support system. She is now the voice in my head helping to calm and guide me during challenging moments, and I can’t thank her enough for that!

- Paige C.