Anchorage Doula Shanna Switzer’s Client Testimonials:
“”Shanna is a knowledgeable and compassionate doula who offered me invaluable support during my recent birthing experience. When I met Shanna in person, she was responsive and professional as we discussed my wishes for the delivery of my daughter.
Shanna provided me with valuable information to ensure I was informed of the benefits and risks of the various tools available before and during my labor. Shanna was also available via text to answer my follow up questions (even silly small ones). I felt Shanna was willing and able to support me in my wishes and she was there beside me during my labor to discuss things and help me to embrace the birthing process. Shanna offered words of affirmation and encouragement. She used massage techniques to help me relax.
Shanna is an excellent communicator, asking for my desires and letting me know how she could help. Shanna cooperated with my support people and the medical team at the hospital. Shanna’s admiration and appreciation for the birthing mother’s experience is truly special. Shanna further supported me by visiting me at home after the birth to help me recall the experience and cherish the highs and lows, including sharing with me the photos I had requested that she take of my baby’s birth.
I am so glad that I had her support on this very sacred occasion, the entrance of my baby into the world. Shanna made me feel strong and beautiful.”
– Angela, 2017
“Shanna met and exceeded our expectations of a Doula. From our initial meeting with Shanna, we found her energy to be positive and we felt incredibly comfortable with her.
During our two prenatal meetings Shanna helped prepare us for all stages; preganncy, labor, birth, postpartum. We felt comfortable asking her any questions and speaking with her on any topic. She had great advice, suggestions and techniques and we felt 100% supported by her throughout.
During my labor, Shanna was absolutely wonderful! She supported both myself and my husband throughout. Her calming presence and words were essential in helping me stay relaxed and in tune with my body throughout contractions. I could not have felt more supported! I would recommend Shanna to anyone. After only knowing her for a short time, she felt like someone we had known for years. She was a key factor in helping us experience labor and birth exactly as we had hoped. Shanna is fabulous!!”
– Annie, 2017
“”Take It Low” – Shanna repeated this simple phrase to me many times during my labor, which came on strong and stayed that way. Although I cannot explain it, this phrase resonated with me and still, when I think about my labor experience I can still hear her voice.
Prior to labor I had met with Shanna twice, the first time was simply an initial meeting and the second time was to discuss our birth plan. This was our first baby and Shanna helped to identify things that were important to us and was very aware of what I wanted my labor and delivery to look like. By the third time we met I was in labor and just getting out of the shower at my home. As I stood in my bathroom trying to decide how to work through a contraction Shanna appeared. Without missing a beat she grabbed a towel, helped dry me off, and as the pitch in my voice went higher she reminded me to “take it low.” Once the contraction finished I remember laughing with her and me saying something to the effect of “here we go!”
As labor continued we made our way to the birth center where Shanna not only helped me through labor but helped my husband. She supported him so that in turn, he could support me. Shanna seemed to naturally know how to help and continued to gently make suggestions to reduce labour pain.
Shanna has an energy/presence that is perfect to aid laboring women. She is calm and patient but also encouraging and empowering. She came to our home the minute we called and helped us decide when to go to the birth center. She stayed with me through my entire labor (which lasted all night) and even after delivery when a hospital transfer was required and I was separated from dad and baby, she was there with me.
Shanna played a tremendously important role and helped welcome a precious baby girl into this world. She is incredibly knowledgable of the birthing process and provided amazing support. Both my husband and I agree we could not have done it with out her.”
1st and 2nd Babies
“Shanna is exactly what every family needs during any or all stages of a pregnancy. Regardless of whether it’s a first, second or last pregnancy, Shanna is a calming and knowledgeable resource to help with expectations and provide support in all aspects of the birthing experience. I was fortunate enough to rely on her expertise for both of my high risk pregnancies and births.
Placenta encapsulation is not something I had considered before learning about it through Alaska Birth Services. After speaking with Shanna, I decided that for my last pregnancy, I would trust Shanna with encapsulating the placenta and I’m so glad I did!
Shanna took the time to explain to me the benefits of the placenta encapsulation and answer any questions I had providing thoughtful and informed answers. She took such pride in the entire process. Shanna is truly passionate about this amazing organ and how it can help moms during the postpartum phase.
Shanna approached the encapsulation process from a place of love. She documented each step and even provided me with pictures so I could see her amazing work. The finished product was an amazing jar of capsules, an imprint of the placenta (which to me represents a “tree of life”) and a tincture that I can keep for years.
Shanna is one of the warmest people I have ever met. She is responsive and extremely supportive during the entire process. She is simply wonderful and I continuously recommend her services.”
-Jadi, babies in 2012, 2017
“I am so glad that I hired Shanna to be my doula. My husband and I feel as if we would not have made it through childbirth without medication if it wasn’t for Shanna. She was amazing and we both felt at ease with her. She is very knowledgeable and very comforting.
She is the reason I can look back at the labor of my birth experience fondly. As first time parents Shanna helped my husband and I create a birth plan that we felt comfortable with and for us to be able to take our time to make the decisions we felt were best for us in the throes of labor.
Shanna’s postpartum help is also invaluable, my little one loved spending time with her as she allowed me to take a nap at the same time as getting stuff done around the house that I requested. My husband also did not feel replaced or downplayed in the birth process at all, in fact he felt encouraged and more understanding of what was going on because of Shanna. Both of us appreciate her and feel that hiring her was one of the best pregnancy decisions I made
Bottom line, Shanna is amazing and you will not regret hiring her, but you may regret not hiring her. I know I would have.” -Naomi, 2016
“We were so fortunate to have Shanna as our doula for the birth of our second child. Throughout the end of my pregnancy and labor, she was present and supportive via text/phone and in person. My husband was initially hesitant to involve a doula, but afterwards he was profoundly grateful to have her there showing him how to best support and help me. Shanna helped us develop a birth plan that fit how we wanted to approach labor and delivery. We are both in science/ engineering and we knew we wanted a hospital birth with minimal pain medication/ intervention.
Shanna was never judgmental and never pushed any kind of agenda. What she did do was supply us with the necessary information to make the best decisions for us and our baby. When my labor slowed down at 5 cm, she explained my options and the pros and cons of each, something that nurses and doctors often don’t have the time to do (though ours did and she completely agreed with Shanna!)
She also helped me with positions that helped to orient the baby correctly so that the labor could continue progressing. I felt like because of Shanna’s presence, all the decisions I made were well-informed and this really helped me feel confident in myself and my ability to make it through the birth.
Shanna was an amazing presence during the whole process; she is calm and supportive and truly wants to help you have the best birth possible. I feel completely differently about my second birth because of her; I left my first birth feeling confused and out of control, but this experience was completely different; I had an amazing, powerful experience and that is completely thanks to Shanna. I cannot recommend her enough as a doula.” -Erin, 201
“My husband and I hired Shanna to assist with my first pregnancy (this was my husband’s 3rd child). I wanted to have a natural/unmedicated birth. I wanted to hire a doula for support but my husband was initially apprehensive to the idea. In his mind a doula would be replacing him during labor and delivery however my intention was to have someone that would be able to help us get through the process together. Shanna did just that!!
She suggested ways that my husband could support me, different positions I could try to help me progress and/or provide relief, and reassured me when I was feeling scared. She supported both my husband and I in more ways than I can say. Even my husband was very thankful to have had Shanna there with us through out the process. Having the two of them working together to support me greatly benefited me and ultimately our baby. Because of their support, I was able to have the birth I wanted for our baby. After delivery, my midwife even told me how impressed she was with Shanna and her support throughout.
Would I recommend Shanna to others? Absolutely and without any hesitation. She was worth every penny we paid her and many many more!! If we decide to have any more children, Shanna will be one of the first people I call!” -Heather, 2016
2nd and 3rd babies
“Our first birth was at a birth center and was without drugs and with no complications. However, we were left feeling like we could have used some “coaching” to help us through it. When we found out we were having twins on the next pregnancy (and therefore were forced to deliver in the hospital), we knew we needed some help.
Shanna was the perfect solution! She helped us navigate the hospital protocols and still managed to give us the support we needed to labor naturally. Her calming, supportive guidance was perfectly in tune with what my husband and I told her we wanted out of our second birth experience. She helped me stay focused and positive – despite dealing with a lot of fear and anxiety during my first birth. She also helped my husband know what he could do to help me. He was as grateful for her support as I was.
It’s incredible how in those raw moments of labor, a few perfect words of encouragement can make all the difference. Without her, I feel like we would have been lost in a sea of doctors, nurses and hospital procedures. She did everything she could to make sure the experience was special to us both before, during and after birth. I will be recommending her to everyone I know!” -Amanda, 2016
“My husband and I both could not imagine going through giving birth to our daughter without Shanna by our side. From the very beginning Shanna exceeded our expectations.
Through our pre-birth visits Shanna helped prepare us for L&D by spending a couple hours with us asking and answering questions, practicing labor positions and making sure we knew what all of our options were. She brought up things my husband and I had not even thought of and made us feel that much more prepared and at ease about the upcoming L&D. She was so supportive of how we wanted to do and made us confident we could. She checked in up until that time came and even though she had just finished another birth was there the moment we called.
At the hospital she was invaluable, helping us decipher what that staff was telling and asking us and even standing up for us when they were telling us we needed to do something we did not want to. She reassured and encouraged us we were in control and personally gave me the strength to stay so and Labor and deliver the way I wanted to. My husband was so grateful for her as I did not want him to leave my side and having Shanna was a relief to him as he was allowed to stay with me while Shanna got whatever I needed and encouraged us both. She stayed in the hospital until we were comfortable. I can’t say enough about Shanna, we 100% plan to have her at our next birth! ” -Kristie, 2016
“I am a military spouse whose husband deployed to Afghanistan when I was 20 weeks pregnant. I knew I needed a someone for support not only before birth but with me in case my husband was unable to make it home for the birth. I found Shanna on Doulamatch.net and during my first meeting with her I knew I had found the right person for our birth.
Shanna went above and beyond meeting with me prior to birth. When labor came fast and furious she was there quickly offering the support I needed to give birth to a 9 pound baby with no medication in 6 hours. Shanna continues to be a support for my family as my husband returns overseas. I highly recommend Shanna as she did all she could to ensure I had the birth experience I wanted.” -Dale, 2016
“Shanna was an excellent doula for my family. My husband was skeptical of hiring a doula because he was fearful of being replaced as the birthing partner during labor and delivery. After meeting with Shanna his fears were greatly reduced and he seemed much more ok with my desire to have her there.
She is very calm and professional and wants for you whatever it is you want out of your birth experience.In L&D Shanna was a huge help in assisting me in a medication free labor until I was 9 cm dilated. Unfortunately my baby girl was in a horrible position and head butting my sacrum the entire labor giving me HORRIBLE back labor. I never could have made it to 9cm unmedicated without Shanna’s help. I did give in at 9cm and get the epidural and things eventually ended in a c section after reaching full dilation and pushing for about 20 minutes. Baby girl was in a bad position and we could not get her repositioned.
Although my labor/delivery did not go as planned Shanna was a wonderful person to go through it with. If I have another child I would like to try (again) for an unmedicated L&D and I would not hesitate to reach out to Shanna once more.” -Jillian, 2016
“I just wanted to say how much I love my doula! I started laboring last Friday night and, feeling like things were stalling, finally called Shanna about 24 hours later. She came right over and got to work wrapping my belly and helping me with different positions for moving labor along.
Within an hour and a half it was time to go to the birth center where I had my sweet baby girl only four and a half hours after arriving! Shanna, who was such a calm, encouraging presence, was focused on my needs and feeding me positive affirmations along with sound laboring advice the whole time. She was even available before and after to address any questions or concerns I had regarding my pregnancy and the care of my newborn.
I highly recommend her services because she makes the whole labor and birth experience so much easier! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my experience with Alaska Birth Doula.” -Brittany, 2017 (also Liam’s mom, born 2014)
“I will forever be grateful for Shanna’s assistance during the birth of my son. I was sent to L&D after a slightly elevated blood pressure reading and low fluid level measurement. I really wanted to avoid being induced because that often leads to other unnecessary interventions.
After speaking the Dr I sought advice from Shanna and agreed to proceed with the Foley bulb. While it did get me to 4 cm, labor did not continue on its own. I did not want to start the Pitocin right away but was feeling a lot of pressure from the Dr to move forward with it. After speaking with Shanna again, she could tell how frustrated and overwhelmed I was becoming and came down to the hospital to talk to me in person
She really helped me to stand my ground on what I wanted and to stay in control of my own birth since me and Baby were doing fine I decided to take a few hours to rest before starting the Pitocin. I ended up waiting until the next shift started so that I could work with midwife instead of a Dr. Once everything got started Shanna really helped to keep me moving to different positions to keep labor going and she kept my husband engaged the entire time. I didn’t think that him being so involved was as important as it was. She kept me focused and confident in my ability to have an unmedicated birth even with the Pitocin. As labor progressed to the pushing phase, I felt like I was losing control and focus.
Shanna helped me through it as best as anyone could have and I was able to I’ve birth without an epidural! It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever done but I’m so glad I did it. I don’t think I could of done it without her! I doubt we’ll be having another baby before we leave here (military) but if I did, I would absolutely hire Shanna again!” -Stephanie, 2017
4 Babies, 1 VBAC
“Shanna is an amazing person and a wonderful doula. I have known her personally for over 20 years and she has always been a kind and compassionate person. I happen to know being a doula is absolutely her life’s calling.
She has supported me through the births of my 4 children, even doing so long-distance. With my most recent birth, she was the voice of wisdom and reason when I needed her the most. She was the person I sought advice from at every turn. Her intricate knowledge of pregnancy and birth is comforting, while her personality is encouraging, positive and exactly the support you need and want during as remarkable and profound a time as the birth of your child. ” -Sherry, babies in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2017
“Birth can be a crazy, amazing, emotional, scary, wonderful experience. Imagine, in the midst of all that, having a caring and knowledgeable woman by your side every step of the way, who not only knows what you’re going through, but also has the ability to help you find levels of strength within yourself you never knew existed! Imagine having a calm touch and an uplifting spirit present during the throes of labor, someone to cheer you on, someone who has your best interest at heart…THAT is what a doula can do and be for you!
Shanna was my personal doula at the birth of my son, Liam, and I can’t explain how greatly I appreciated her presence during labor, delivery, and postpartum. Through massage, breathing techniques, and tons of encouragement, she quickly became an integral part in making my son’s birth a positive, empowering experience that I look back on with nothing but pride and joy!
Shanna was an amazing birth support for me and my family! The level of care I received was outstanding. She was there every step of the way, even speaking faith and strength back into me when I had lost my own. I never could’ve finished my birth experience naturally (the way I always wanted and dreamed it would be) without her by my side! If you would like to know more about my birth experience with Shanna, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Thinking of hiring a doula for YOUR birth experience? Choose the best!”
3rd baby, VBA2C
“In 2014 we found out we were expecting our third child. I wanted to try for a natural birth because I had two previous C-sections. We were blessed to find a doctor in town who was willing to allow me to try for a VBA2C. I also knew that I was going to need as much help as I could get to make it through a natural delivery.
My husband was a huge support, but even he agrees that Shanna was the most amazing blessing through everything, and we couldn’t have done it without her!! I was a hot mess those last two weeks of pregnancy, and praise the Lord for Shanna, she was right there the whole time, easing my nerves, reassuring me I wouldn’t be pregnant forever, and helping me with tips to gain relief from the end of pregnancy pains and the plain exhaustion I felt. FINALLY, at 42 weeks, contractions started. I called her right away and she excitedly met me and my hubby there, with the most amazing smile and hugs.
Shanna walked the halls with me around and around the small little OB ward for what seemed like forever, and through my whole labor She was working with me on transitioning to different positions, moving around, massaging my back, anything that she could do to help me find the position that worked best for me and to help my labor progress. When it came time to push she was right by my side, coaching me through each contraction, giving me all the support I needed and next thing I knew my sweet Sadie was in my arms! Shanna helped me get positioned for nursing and Sadie latched on right away no trouble at all! After we were able to go home, Shanna helped me with so many different tips for healing and recovering after birth. She answered all my questions and all my many calls! The whole experience was exhausting yet amazing and one I couldn’t have done without her! Anyone who has Shanna as their doula will have their socks blessed off! There is no one more kind, loving, gentle, knowledgeable, and downright AMAZING as her!!” -Jessyca, 2015.
“Shanna is awesome! We hired her to help us with the birth of our first child, and I can’t imagine not having had her there.
Shanna was available prior to labor for all of our questions. When I went into labor 74 hours before our daughter was born, she helped both me and my husband with the labor process. She even stayed at our home one evening while I was in early labor just in case it was time to go to the hospital. When it was time, Shanna met us there and was by my side with comfort techniques and reassuring words. She even got some great pictures of the birth!
A week after I daughter was born, Shanna came to our home once again to check in with us and answer any of our new parenting questions, from breast-feeding tips to newborn care and postpartum care for me. If you’re looking for a great pregnancy, labor and newborn resource with a big heart, she won’t disappoint.” -Sarah, 2017
“Shanna was our doula for the birth of our daughter in January. She was an enormous support throughout my pregnancy and labor, helping me prepare for the birth (mentally and physically) and assisting us through a long and difficult labor.
Shanna is sensitive, warm and knowledgeable. From my very first meeting with her, I felt like she cared deeply that we had a positive pregnancy/birth experience and that she would be committed to helping us achieve this. Our experience proved this to be the case. From providing us with non-judgmental guidance and information to help us focus our birth preferences, though to her steady, non-intrusive presence and encouragement during 24 hours of labor and delivery
Shanna was wonderful. We are truly grateful for her presence on our birth team and highly recommend her doula services.” -Zoe, 2017
“My husband and I highly recommend Shanna! She was really a huge help when I had a very difficult labor, she was our sanity when we had to be transferred to the hospital at 2am.
It was her who highly made sure our birth plan are followed and was there all thru out. She was awesome! Thank you so much Shanna! -Anne, 2016.
“Shanna was an amazing doula! We wanted to write this review since our baby ‘Emily’ was born on July 2016 but we had a little bit difficult first 2 months with our baby.
Shanna was really helpful during my labor. I couldn’t [have] imagined delivering [my] baby without her! I would recommend Shanna to be your doula. Love her.” – Mam, 2016