"You can't go through labor without Wendy. Excruciating contractions in my back all 5 pregnancies. She solved the problem. Wendy was absolutely amazing. She was a blessing and a miracle Each pregnancy my husband tried his best to attempt to relieve the pain. Pain went from a 10 to an 8. Wendy came along in my fifth pregnancy. Through studying Wendy found out how to bring the pain down to a 2. Pain didn't disappear, but she educated herself and learned how to help it subside.
"She sat alongside my husband through each contraction and they worked together to press on each side of my pelvic bone in order to open up my pelvis. Another example of how important she was to me is when she walked away to grab something and I cried out to her to get her butt back to me and have someone else grab whatever it was.
"Wendy is so gentle, calm, and soothing. She cares with all her heart. Nine months later she still checks in to see how my whole family is. She even put my daughter's coloring on her fridge."
- Sarah Osness
"Thank you for the emails, Wendy. I appreciate the guidance and support you have given me so far on this new journey to becoming a doula. I have enjoyed getting to know you a little bit through Carol's class. I'm sure you have heard this many times before, but good things can never be said too much, so let it be known that you have an incredible fun-loving energy, and a huge, generous heart, which comes across instantly upon meeting you. Anyone who gets to work with you as their doula is highly highly blessed. AS AM I for having you as an elder community member and role model. Keep me posted on your comings and goings, breathings and birthings this summer, and I'll do the same!"
New Doula, Ziza Craig 2015
"As a doula, Wendy Ellen was professional as well as physically and emotionally supportive before, during and after the birth of my son in August 2008. Wendy Ellen had offered her help when I told her I was expecting a child and considering a more unusual and natural birthing plan at the so-called 'advanced maternal age' of 37."
"She actively listened to my plans for a drug-free, vertical birthing, my concerns of exacerbated lymphedema, and worries that for complicated reasons, my husband would not be able to advocate well for my interests. It was an easy decision to enlist Wendy Ellen knowing that she had helped other women through similar problems and that she is a caring and emotionally intelligent person."
- Jennifer L. Cullison
Nothing like having one of my poohbear babies come back and visit me. Jennifer's son has stayed with me through New Years with his Mom these past two years! What a gift!
Witnessing my wife go through labor is one of those experiences in life that I can genuinely say I could not have fully anticipated. Any book, class, or mental preparedness cannot soften the anxiety of watching your partner enter into increasing pain and discomfort, particularly with the uncertainty of going through this for the first time.
Wendy Ellen's presence was immediately soothing for my wife and myself. Her level of experience combines with her engaging and empathetic personality to slide perfectly into a stressful environment and create much needed calm.
It was remarkable to watch the intensity of my wife's contractions become visibly much more manageable with Wendy Ellen's touch, encouragement, and overall involvement.
Her genuine care for mother and baby is apparent throughout pregnancy and after birth. I don't think we would be alone after this experience in being able to say we now have a friend who happens to be a very talented doula. I couldn't recommend her more.
Posted 8/25/2015 Trav Korch
I'm so lucky to have found Wendy! She went above and beyond the doula experience and became a friend of my husband and I. She was able to clarify any questions I had prior to labor and ease any worries I had about the labor and birth experience. She really reinforced that the labor and birth was my own and not any one else's! Once in the hospital, the staff treated us with respect and didn't push me into doing anything I didnt' want to do and I believe it was because I went in with a detailed birth plan that Wendy helped me to create. We went in educated about the birthing process.
Once labor began, Wendy was there to help guide me to stay calm, relaxed and focused. As a dancer, she knew I wanted to keep moving during the labor process and we did so by dancing through the surges! My labor was looooong and she was there cheering me on every step of the way. She eased any worries my mom and husband had during the labor process and kept us focused. I'm glad to have had her as my doula and would highly recommend her. Lots of love!
Posted 10/28/2015 Vanessa Orr
My wife and I hired Wendy Ellen for the birth of our daughter. Even though this was our second pregnancy, it was my wife's first labor, because our son had been born via unplanned C-section.
Wendy Ellen was tremendously helpful, I don't know how we would have gotten through it without her. She's knowledgeable, experienced, and most importantly, she was compassionate towards my wife. We appreciated how flexible and adaptable she was, as the circumstances of labor continually changed. Her positive, energetic temperament is perfect for a doula; when we were feeling exhausted or discouraged, she was there to keep us on track.
I can definitely recommend Wendy Ellen, I'm really glad we hired her.
Andy Sept. 2015
"I have known Wendy Ellen Cochran for over 30 years. We raised our now adult children in the same neighborhood, blocks away from each other. We have always been like family! Wendy Ellen's daughter and I became pregnant almost at the same time! It has been wonderful to be in the presence of raising my son alongside her grandson! Wendy Ellen attended the birth of my son almost 16 years ago this August. She has always offered her doula services for our family, friends and community and I was delighted she got to attend my birth.
"As a multicultural community educator and performer, Wendy Ellen has been of great service to this community over the years. Her assisting births were weaved within her time commitments to teaching and performing and raising a family of her own. I am excited to see her finally get her certification so she can expand her fine services to women in various communities."
- Sandra Hall
wendyEllen went way beyond the call of "doula duty" during the birth of my first child and son born at 11:57 am on July 13, 2002, a little over thirteen years ago. My labor proceeded fairly quickly as I entered the hospital early that morning. When I called wendyEllen awhile later and was needing to take breaks to breathe during our conversation, she knew through her experience and intuition that I was going to have a fast and furious birth. I learned later that she made alternate plans to have her own daughter picked up from the airport so that she could come to the birthing room as soon as possible. I was glad when she arrived on the scene as the birth process was a more overwhelmingly forceful experience than I had envisioned. wendyEllen made certain that my birth plan which included having a natural childbirth without medication was honored and during some of the most intense moments when the contractions were coming without pause, wendyEllen used her quick-witted sense of humor to relax me. At one point, she made me laugh despite all that was happening in the moment when I told her that I just needed a break and her retort was that I would get one in twenty one years! She, of course, is a mother of two grown children and knew I was just at the beginning of the wild rapid ride of parenthood.
My childbirth was also colored by some unusual circumstances surrounding the mental health crisis that my husband was undergoing at the time. It was truly this issue that I would say plunged wendyEllen and myself beyond the normal doula/client relationship. When I was released from the hospital, wendyellen took my new baby and I under her wing and into her own home for several days while I worked to make it safe for my son and I to return home. She encouraged me to eat healthy and advised me as ways to increase milk production so that I could best nourish my new baby. In essence, she looked after my new baby and I so that our first days together away from the hospital felt safe and sound.
It genuinely felt more of a birth odyssey than just a birth story and I am deeply grateful that wendy ellen was there to support me through a simultaneously frightening and amazing time in my son's and my life.
...submitted by a wonderful former client who is a local East Bay Educator!
BIRTH EDUCATION CLASSES
Rachel Yellin (415) 383-8419
Rachel has a wonderful one day 8 hour birth education class in San Francisco!
Many of my clients who study with Rachel have been experiencing incredible, natural births with little or NO interventions!
PRE-NATAL DANCE CLASSES & Home Birth Midwifery services:
BODY WORK – Meadow Evans
Great for pre-natal classes, dance classes and lactation consulting!
A neat way to change your baby and avoid colic!