Pregnancy is a series of choices; of decisions and indecisions in the face of a firehose of “facts” proffered by everyone from doctors, to family members to random old ladies at the post office. It can be incredibly overwhelming for first timers, especially those living far from family in a country whose healthcare system is foreign. That said, hiring Fabienne was the single best decision we made since deciding to get pregnant in the first place! From the first moment we met her, Fabienne made us feel calm. It’s hard to describe Fabienne’s superpower, but she has a very quiet, soothing vibe that makes you instantly feel safe and heard.
From the moment we hired her, Fabienne was a godsend. A font of knowledge, of good advice, reassurance and stress relief. Her frequent emails, phone calls and in-person visits were the ultimate confidence booster and often the highlight of my day. I felt comfortable enough to ask Fabienne things I would have felt awkward asking my doctor, my mother, my sisters or even some of my closest friends.
Fabienne prepared me so well for labor that I found myself actually looking forward to it. And when the time came, she shared the experience with me right from the first pangs of pre-labor over breakfast that morning, to pacing my bedroom with me during active labor, to sitting on the floor of the bathroom while I cried on hands and knees in the shower, giving me the strength and resolve to make it through transition, helping my husband get me to hospital and getting me into position to push out my son with no epidural and without the need for a single stitch. I credit Fabienne for that – there is no way I would have managed a natural, un-medicated birth without her. And even had I needed medical intervention, I have no doubt Fabienne would have made me feel comfortable with that too, making sure I could control the controlables and have my preferences respected.
Every time I needed her, Fabienne was there. In the hospital, while the nurses just stood on the sidelines, watching, Fabienne assembled her birth stool, coaxed me onto it and helped keep me together – body and mind – while I pushed out my little boy. When I think about the toughest parts of my labor, most of all, I can remember looking into Fabienne’s calm green eyes and knowing she was there and that I would be ok. That kind of support is so rare and so invaluable.
In the days and weeks after the birth of my son, Fabienne was also there for us… helping me figure out how to breastfeed, how to optimize my sleep, reminding me to take my placenta pills (that she’d prepared) and take care of myself while learning to be a mum. I could honestly go on and on. It still wouldn’t do Fabienne justice. I may have another child just so I get the experience of having Fabienne as my doula again… she’s that brilliant. Because, more than my doula, throughout the entire process, Fabienne was my friend. You couldn’t possibly do better than having her on your birth team.
Less than a month out from our due date, I read Expecting Better (the one book I read) and learned that the author recommended having a birth doula for better outcomes. I had heard of birth doulas before but I assumed they were for other people more crunchy than us -- a couple of MBAs who call Palo Alto home and love to work. I Googled "birth doula Palo Alto" and found Fabienne.
I instantly trusted Fabienne most among the three candidates I reached out to. I told her that I wanted to have the shortest labor and recovery possible, and the best possible outcome for my baby. Even though we only had three weeks from our first meeting, she was able to guide my husband and me though her vast knowledge of Lucile Packard's birthing practices (for instance that they have other pain management options besides the all-powerful Epidural), and to teach us all we had naively thought we would learn from our doctors -- birthing positions to consider, exercises to do to prepare the body leading up to d-day, ways to manage pain without medication, even how to get a proper latch after birth.
We felt so empowered by Fabienne. By the time I waddled into the hospital at 4:30am, we had a birth plan for a 100% natural birth that my husband and I had real confidence in. Baby J came into the world quickly and efficiently, alert and ready to eat. I credit Fabienne 100% for giving my husband and me the knowledge and courage to do J's birth our way. We left the hospital after just one day, and the three of us are doing very well. Giving birth is tremendously painful and challenging and there's no way to describe it in words. But that's no reason to immediately opt for whatever the hospital wants to do. It's a reason to lean in and state your preferences, and trust Fabienne the river guide to help you get the "Fabulous Birth" you want.
- Arar & Shayne
My husband and I were expecting our first child and friends had recommended we hire a doula. Like many first time parents we really had no idea what to expect with any part of the birthing process. We decided to interview a few doulas and the moment we met Fabienne, we knew we had found the right person for us. We ended up having an amazing birthing experience because of Fabienne. I was able to have a completely natural birth (my ideal birth) because of her support and guidance. She made me feel powerful, confident and in control while creating a very comfortable, calm and peaceful environment (amist a very intense experience) for the birth of my child. I really did have an amazing team of individuals working with me the day my child was born and Fabienne was the star of that team. Following our birth she also visited me on what turned out to be my most challenging day postpartum when I was completely sleep deprived and having issues with breastfeeding. Her ability to be calm, caring and supportive while making me feel stong, capable and confident was outstanding. I am so thankful for her support to help guide me, my husband and my child through the experience. Fabienne is truly a talented and gifted doula and is such a naturally caring and supportive person. I feel so fortunate not only to have had her be a part of the birth of my child but also to have her as a part of our life.
My husband and I both agree that hiring Fabienne, was the best decision we could have made for our birth experience. We both highly recommend her!
First of all, Fabienne is very warm and caring, while also being very knowledgeable and professional. She went above and beyond what we expected both before the birth and during. She met with me before the delivery to get to know me and to prepare me. By the time I was in labor I completely trusted her to get me through it. I know my husband felt much more at ease knowing that we had her to help us during labor and delivery.
Fabienne is THE reason I was able to manage a natural birth. The midwife at the hospital told us the next day that Fabienne was the best doula she'd worked with and she'd been around quite a few! All in all I couldn't have asked for a better doula!
We cannot recommend Fabienne highly enough! She is wonderful and is a skilled and knowledgeable doula. She helped our family usher our daughter into the world, immediately making us feel comfortable about inviting her into one of the most intimate experiences of our lives. She was incredibly generous with her time. Not only did she respond to our many questions quickly, thoroughly, and with tremendous kindness, she also went out of her way to talk us through our concerns on the phone and in person and to get to know us, outside of the standard meetings.
She helped us feel as prepared as is possible for the birth and helped us to successfully avoid medical induction for our tardy baby. The birth was a long and difficult one, and Fabienne was there as a patient and caring guide for us the whole time. In the end, I needed a caesarean section, but despite the challenges, we are happy with our daughter's birth, in no small part because of Fabienne. We feel really fortunate to know Fabienne as a person and a doula. We hope we live in the Bay Area for our next baby!
- Maron & Justin
I would highly recommend Fabienne to anyone. She has such a calming demeanor and is so knowledgeable. Even though I had to have a scheduled c-section due to a breech baby, Fabienne's emotional support was wonderful and her support with breastfeeding was so valuable. Thank you!
It was the best decision ever to hire Fabienne as our birth doula!!! Caring, competent and simply "fabulous". We would recommend a birth doula and Fabienne in particular to all pregnant couples, especially if it is the first pregnancy. We could not imagine how this birth would have been without her. We always wanted a postpartum doula and not a birth doula. Now we know it is exactly the other way around. We didn't necessarily need a postpartum doula, but definitely a birth doula. And for us being far away from family and friends, it was great to have someone around who we could trust. Fabienne was and is an important and caring friend during this very intense time of birth and early parenthood.
- Heike & Michael
Thank you, Fabienne, for guiding us through our labor and birth. You struck the perfect balance of calming, confident, and encouraging. I credit your presence with my ability to get through my birth plan. I am certain I would have gotten nervous and gone to the hospital too early without your help. You knew the perfect amount of space to give my husband and our doctor, both of whom greatly enjoyed working with you. We would absolutely partner with you again and are grateful to have had you on our team. A beautiful experience.
I would recommend Fabienne to other expectant parents in a heartbeat! My husband was hesitant about hiring a doula, but her personality convinced him right at the first meeting. As for me, I had the birth experience I was visualizing and a big part is thanks to Fabienne's amazing support. Even though we took classes, her one on one prenatal visits were more effective, as there was a lot of back and forth and we could ask questions freely. During my labor, all the techniques and the positions Fabienne suggested were so helpful at encouraging me and relieving my pain. Once at the hospital I really appreciated all the encouragements during the pushing phase and being able to speak French with her was very comforting. Her help in getting baby to latch on right away was also great. Thank you for everything Fabienne!
Fabienne is very professional with an ability to adapt services to her client's needs. I felt very positive after our prenatal sessions and knew we'd make a great team! She was particularly skillful at making suggestions and helping to discuss the options without making my decisions for me. Fabienne’s support was beyond anything I could have imagined. From being there, to suggesting a shower that got everything started, to endless counter-pressure on my hips to help me through the contractions. Without her, the VBAC would not have been possible!
Fabienne was able to help us on such short notice and continued to be flexible as our needs changed. I was able to nurse better and with more confidence after her help. We also felt more confident as parents in general with her reassurance and guidance in areas where we were struggling. Fabienne's help as a postpartum doula allowed us to feel more confident as first-time parents doing things like bathing the baby and nursing in new positions that allowed me and baby to be more comfortable. Her calm and confident way of assisting was much appreciated. She was such a huge part of our daughter's homecoming and getting settled into our new life with baby. We cannot thank Fabienne enough for her knowledge and expertise and especially her kindness. There are not enough words to thank her!
" My husband and I were both very pleased and impressed with Fabienne's services. We found her to be very informed, supportive, communicative, and flexible. We also appreciated that her approach was both nurturing and grounded. We would definitely recommend her highly to others. "
- Eva H
" Fabienne made it clear that she was there to support our decisions - not try to persuade us to follow any opinions. She was a great listener and gave advice without pushing her opinion at a time when many other ‘professionals’ were only too happy to give theirs. It was great to be supported and not judged during a time when you are feeling sensitive, hormonal and cannot think straight! "
" She was huge source of comfort and strength to me. She never left my side. I remember her unfailing, devoted support.
I have absolutely no idea how I would have managed without her kindness and 100% support, both practically and emotionally. I will always be grateful to her. It was one of the best decisions I made in my life to hire her. "
" Fabienne was fantastic during labor. She provided me with a secure and calming environment to be with my baby. "
"When my husband and I decided to have a home birth, we were unsure that we needed a doula as well as a midwife. I have to say, that I couldn't have been happier with our choice to have Fabienne at our birth. Fabienne was a wonderful support for both of us. Before the birth she provided information on everything from breastfeeding to general labor positions and techniques. For the labor, Fabienne was an extremely calming presence. She supported me with each surge - quietly breathing with me when it seemed I was doing well on my own and more vocally when I needed the encouragement to continue (e.g. suggesting different positions and breathing techniques). Fabienne also supported my husband throughout the labor by encouraging him to get rest and nourishment.
Fabienne is extremely knowledgeable, gentle and is willing to customize her style to fit your needs."