Love Notes + Connections

 
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"Anna first acted as my doula with my oldest daughter, and I have no doubt the experience was so positive due to her guidance. Anna was not only there to help me care for the baby, but also for myself as a woman before, during and after the birth. I knew Anna was the perfect person to ask to be my doula because she is caring and sweet--her personality oozes calm, comfort, competence and maternal instinct.

In the months leading up to delivery she took me under her wing and was there to answer all my questions, even lending me some of her favorite maternity books. Anna was there to kindly guide and teach me, but she did not take the reins. Instead, she empowered me as a woman. At the hospital, she coached me through labor, advocated for my birth plan, and helped us understand. With Anna I wasn't merely a 'vessel' for a baby, I was a woman going through an amazing, beautiful rite of passage. I felt safe and aware because of her vigilance.

Anna was a knowledgeable and welcome presence after I came home from the hospital. She showed me techniques for rocking and swaddling that I may have been shown at the hospital, but in the whirlwind and recovery after having a baby, I simply did not absorb it. Anna was also able to assist me with successful latching for nursing and answered all my questions such as suggestions for nutrition. She also made sure I understood how my body would be feeling and healing, offering advice. Many friends and family visited, but I will cherish the amazing experience of having Anna afterwards because she was looking out for me as a new mother, something I desperately needed at the time. She enabled me to be the mother to my newborn girl that I desired to be by giving my knowledge, confidence, and encouragement.

Eighteen months after this experience, I had twins and while Anna was not able to be in the operating room, she was there immediately after. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. She is an angel!"

— rachelle c.


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“Eleanor was an wonderful addition to my postpartum care.  I was able to depend on her for anything I needed - from something as simple as holding the baby while I prepped supper, to prepping supper so I could hold the baby! She came a couple times a week to just be there for me and I was easily able to plan for the time she was there to do anything I needed.  Something this was sleep, sometime it was go for a walk, and sometimes it was just chat a little with her.  It sounds so simple but I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.  This was my second child and the difference of having postpartum care like this and not (which I didn't with my first) made the experience night and day different.  Eleanor is kind and attentive and I couldn't recommend her more!

- AShley m.


We used Anna and Eleanor as doulas for the birth of our first child and the whole experience was great! The meetings ahead of time were an excellent way to get to know the two of them as well as super informative. They gave us a lot of information to help us feel prepared as well as asking a lot of questions and really listening to us to understand our hopes, wishes and preferences for the birth. Our birth did not go in anyway how we planned, with a number of curve balls but it was so amazing to have Anna there every step of the way. She helped us to make informed choices throughout the whole experience as well as providing great emotional support for both me and my husband. She quickly established a rapport with the medical team which just made everything much smoother and more relaxed even at the most stressful points. Finally her follow up was amazing, she continued to provide excellent support when needed, just because our son had be born didn't mean she was done helping us. Whether it was a motivational text or recommendation for other resources to help with any issues that arose.”

- Phoebe D.


I am so grateful I found It Takes A Village doulas to support me during the postpartum period, following the birth of my second son. Having their support contributed to a radically different postpartum experience than my last birth. I came away from this experience, feeling joyful and renewed, and I was able truly appreciate getting to know my newborn. I value the time they spent getting to know me, and supporting me in a way that felt most beneficial to my healing. Whether that meant sitting and helping me work through my thoughts and feelings, making a nourishing meal, or taking care of the kids while I got in a nap, they were flexible to my needs from one day to the next. I also was able to witness their beautiful ability to truly listen and allow me to find my own way... and as a result I’m left feeling more empowered in this next stage of motherhood.”

- Laura A.


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We worked with It Takes A Village for birth doula services, and we cannot recommend them enough. Anna and Eleanor are so warm, so welcoming, and so reassuring. We love that they are there for you during labor and delivery, but they are also thinking about and supporting you beyond those few critical hours. They provide really holistic support for your transition to becoming a parent.

Before the birth, Anna and Eleanor provided us with lots of helpful information and resources (including books from their lending library!), asked us questions that helped us clarify our wants and needs, and helped us know what to expect and what choices we'd need to make during the birth. They are so approachable and non-judgmental, and we really enjoyed our preparation meetings with them.

Anna was the doula on call when I went into labor, and she was just wonderful during my labor and my son's birth. With her support and guidance, we were able to stay home for most of early labor, which was our goal. Anna was also great at the hospital, both for me and for my husband. She took beautiful photographs during labor and after the birth. She was such an unobtrusive photographer that most of the photos were a total suprise to us.

Anna and Eleanor's support did not end when our son was born. In addition to visiting us at home shortly after his birth, Anna followed up about some of the challenges we faced and offered referrals for lactation help, physical therapy, and more. Anna and Elearor also host a wonderful new parent group weekly.

Anna and Eleanor are worth way more than we paid for them, and we are so grateful that we've had their help and support during pregnancy, birth, and new parenthood.”

- Kaitlyn Q.


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"Anna is an excellent adoption doula (who happens to also be a labor and delivery registered nurse!). Anna provided doula services to us both pre and post adoption. Pre adoption, she helped us to read and interpret the medical information that we received from our adoption agency. We're so glad that we used her, because we would have otherwise passed on our perfectly healthy, beautiful daughter. Anna helped us to translate our baby's medical data to understand that what sounded terrible to us as laypeople wasn't actually a big deal at all.

Post adoption, Anna was a godsend. We had no idea how to care for a baby and we had so many questions about every aspect of our baby's care. Anna gave us great tips on feeding, transporting, entertaining, and diapering our baby. And, she was welcome relief when we just needed to sleep. When we left our baby with Anna, we knew that she was in the most loving and capable hands with a doula.

On top of Anna's training as a nurse and her love for babies, she is an amazing photographer. So, every time we used Anna, she captured the most gorgeous shots of our little one. I can't imagine a doula who is more qualified and passionate about her work. We were so lucky to have had Anna serve as our doula."

— kristian m.


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“Eleanor was a kind support not only during our birthing time but also during our prenatal care.  One of the most helpful things for us beforehand was practicing labor with Eleanor and Anna.  Eleanor and Anna also listened to any concerns/fears/anxieties we had, answered all of our questions, and helped guide us through our decisions while creating a birth plan.  I had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions leading up to labor, and it was such a relief to have Eleanor and/or Anna's text support during those times as well as during early labor.  When it finally was the "real deal," Eleanor came to our home to support us before it was time to head to the hospital.  We are so thankful that she was able to be with us and help us stay positive and strong during such an intense experience.  Eleanor also took some pictures during birth, which was special because the whole experience was a blur!  Another helpful thing for me during labor was hip squeezes!!!  I cannot stress this enough!  : )  Lastly, Eleanor came to check on us for a postpartum visit.  It was great to talk about our experience a few days later with someone who had been through the whole thing with us.  Thank you so much, Eleanor, for your support!  (P.S.  I love feeling like I could reach out to Eleanor and/or Anna even today if something came up - they are both genuinely caring and supportive people who are passionate about their work.)”

-Danielle K.

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Eleanor is the absolute BEST doula. She had a vested interest in the wellbeing of our entire family. Honestly, we wouldn’t have survived the first 8 weeks postpartum without her! Being first time parents, we were overwhelmed and clueless with caring for our 5 pound baby. Eleanor provided endless knowledge which resulted in confidence when holding, feeding, and burping our little girl. We could see the love she has for babies the moment we placed our daughter in her arms. Her calming energy allowed us to instantly trust her. As a new mom, this trust enabled me to think about myself and become human again with a nap and shower.”

- Stephanie S.


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“I highly recommend Anna and Eleanor, the doulas of It Takes a Village Birth and Family Support, for anyone interested in having an informed and empowering birth experience. As a first time mom, I did a lot of reading about pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I knew that I would need to prepare myself physically and mentally, and I knew that I wanted a support person with me, (in addition to my husband). Upon first meeting Anna and Eleanor, I knew they would be a great fit for us. Their warmth and enthusiasm for what they do and the families they work with was immediately apparent and genuine. Also, their knowledge and experience was exactly what we were looking for to help myself and my husband feel as prepared and confident as we could be going into labor. After our initial meeting, we met again to go over many of the possibilities that could happen during labor, as well as the benefits/risks of possible interventions, and we discussed my birth preferences. In the weeks leading up to the birth, Anna and Eleanor were available via text and phone, to answer questions, offer suggestions, and offer emotional support as well. Anna was the doula who was with us during the actual labor and delivery. She helped guide me through my early labor at home, and provided physical, mental, and emotional support during my labor and delivery at the hospital. Anna's perfect and unique balance of warmth and strength, combined with her encouragement and confidence in me, helped me trust in myelf and my body and have the unmedicated labor and delivery I was hoping to have for myself and my baby. My husband also very much appreciated Anna's presence and has since been telling everyone we know who is expecting a baby that there are two things worth investing in...a good stoller and a good doula :) I wish all expectant mothers could have as much love and support as I did welcoming my baby into this world.’

-Maryann G.


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"Anna Bonick is an absolutely outstanding doula. We had the good fortune of having Anna with us during the birth of our first child. Induction was necessary, and sometimes that can snowball into a cascade of interventions. While we understand that interventions can be necessary for the health of the mother and baby, sometimes more natural approaches can be taken (even in an induction situation), and unnecessary medical procedures can be avoided. This is where an experienced and properly trained doula can be extremely beneficial, and you will not find a better one than Anna.

Anna is a labor and delivery/postpartum nurse in addition to her doula training. Her extensive medical knowledge was so helpful in our situation. Not only was she able to provide comfort measures and birth position strategies to help the baby descend (she was suggesting techniques to the less experienced nurses!), but she was also able to advocate for us and explain to us what was happening when the hospital needed or wanted to intervene during labor. This is what makes Anna's experience unique - she combines a wealth of medical training with natural techniques to assist the mother (and father) during intense labor. I was able to deliver vaginally, and my husband and I believe I most likely would have had a C-section if Anna hadn't been there. 

Furthermore, Anna will provide wonderful postpartum care to new mothers. She is the most nurturing, compassionate person you will ever meet. Anna is excellent at reading people and will know when to step in and help, as well as when to let mother and baby be. Anna's extensive nursing background assisting postpartum mothers with healing and lactation makes her an excellent doula. She will not only be able to help a new mother and baby get their proper rest and nutrition, but she will also be able to recognize when a new mother or baby may need further medical attention.

I give Anna Bonick my highest recommendation."

— angela d.


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"Eleanor was a kind and calm presence throughout my labor.  She knew just when to step in to be an active participant and when to hang back and let my husband provide comfort.  She provided an immeasureable level of support just by being someone we could turn to to ask questions and get advice on how to move labor along in a way that was comfortable for us.  She also took photos of the experience (with our permission, of course!) and we now have those memories documented for a lifetime.  Thank you, thank you!"

— joan c.


“Working with Anna and Eleanor was one of the most joyful times for me. Every time we met, it was like being with two old friends. I hired them early in my pregnancy and then was thrown a twist of learning I was having twins. Anna and Eleanor were always able to respond to questions or concerns we had during the pregnancy. As the months passed, we realized I was going to need a cesarean and they continued to be exceptionally supportive and compassionate and present with me as my delivery plan continued to change. Being with Anna after surgery was a very calming and healing experience. They were wonderfully flexible as changes came up and I would 100% recommend them to anyone looking for an incredible team to walk with them along their pregnancy or post-partum journey.”

- Gwen M.


“I wanted to use a doula for my second pregnancy after I had a difficult delivery with my first daughter. With my first, I had an easy pregnancy and was not expecting complications. However, my daughter was sunnyside up and after pain meds/epidural, my labor stalled and I needed an emergency c-section. I also developed postpartum preeclampsia and had to be readmitted to the hospital. When I became pregnant with my second, I wanted a doula to help me prepare before delivery and help me reach my goal of an unmedicated VBAC. We interviewed several doulas, but when we met Anna & Eleanor we instantly knew we had found our match! They were so compassionate & understanding of my concerns especially after my first delivery. They provided exercises to prepare my body for delivery & ensure my baby was in the ideal delivery position.It also made me feel better that Anna was a former L&D nurse. Anna was amazing during my delivery. She transformed my room into a mini spa complete with lights and oils. As my labor grew more intense, she ensured I was as comfortable as possible and was constantly offering me water, back rubs, different positioning etc. When it felt like I couldn’t take the pain any longer, she gently offered other suggestions to relieve the pain. This gentle redirection was enough b/c when I finally wanted an epidural, Anna found the nurse and I was ready to push! I achieved my goal of an unmedicated VBAC & I couldn’t have done it without Anna. My doctor & nurses even thanked Anna b/c she was so amazing and helpful during the entire process. Saying thank you doesn’t seem like enough b/c I am eternally grateful to them for helping me through this journey. I was so terrified of being pregnant again after my first and the support they provided with my second was one I will never forget. This empowering experience has helped me bring closure to the trauma and guilt of my first delivery and my family now feels complete.”

- Amy B.


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Anna is gentle like a cumulous cloud floating in the summer sky, yet strong like the Rocky Mountains. Ok, this analogy might sound sort of ridiculous, but she truly embodies a quiet strength that allowed me to navigate my first birth with confidence. Doulas are the unsung heros of the birth team. Anna was by my side for every moment. Even when I would drift off during the most exhausting parts of labor, I would crack my eyes open and she would be right there, fully present and awake, sending me strength, reassurance, and comfort. My husband was an amazing support as well, but he agrees that Anna was truly the glue that held us both together. 

Our birth did not go as we hoped it would. We hoped for an unmedicated birth, but when interventions were suggested, Anna provided support for my wishes to wait it out longer, to try this or that. When I was too exhausted to continue without interventions, she also supported the decision and provided validation for doing so. She helped me to feel like I didn't just give up.  I don't know how to explain in words what magic a doula can have, and perhaps it is not all doulas have it, but for sure, Anna made the difficult parts of birth much more bearable, and had me focusing on the positive sides all the time. Oh - and kept me very hydrated! 

Anna was also a labor and delivery nurse, so she has an extra layer of knoweldge and experience. She and her partner (they are from It Takes A Village doulas in Chicago) provide so much support during pregnancy as well, so much education and resources. 

They also make a post partum visit, provide even more resources such as books from their lending library, access to some hypno birth and post partum recordings, new parent groups (at no extra charge!), recommendations for night nurses and lactation consultants, etc. 

Both Anna and her partner Eleanor are highly recommended by us!”

- laura s.