Testimonials

Testimonial from a mother I supported during pregnancy, birth and post partum breastfeeding support 2015:

Doula support during pregnancy. How many appointments did you have with your doula? 5?

Did you find this to be enough? Yes Ilena was always there when I needed her, either to come around or just a phone call/message.

What did you think of these appointments?

Absolutely amazing!! I was so grateful of the care I received, Ilena even came round when I was struggling to sleep and actually sent me off to sleep with her healing hands. Whenever I needed her, she was only a message away. I am a bit nervous talking on the phone and Ilena took this in and messaged me whenever I needed instead. She always offered wise words or just a friendly ear. She always just seemed to know what I needed. I really enjoyed the spinning babies techniques to help to align my hips as I suffered with terrible PGP in pregnancy and this helped me to feel confident with my body. I never felt like Ilena rushed the appointments even though she had a young baby of her own to care for, her presence was always 100% and I felt like I was the centre of her attention which I will be eternally grateful. I felt like I could totally trust in Ilena, she is one of those people you can open up to, she dealt with my personal issues with complete confidence. Ilena always brought just what I needed with her; she was full of knowledge of essential oils, crystals, and relaxation techniques to prepare me for the birth.

She spent a perfect amount of time with me in planning the birth, and sent lots of interesting links and help for me to look through, she clearly knows about birth and that is very reassuring.

Doula support during the birth

How many hours was the doula present at the birth?

I started in labour at 10 and rang and she came straight away at around 11 and stayed for the whole labour and birth at 7:45

Did you find this enough? Absolutely

What did you think of the support you received during the birth?

Ilena was the most incredible doula I could have wished for, I always wanted a doula with my first birth but never found one. What a completely different and amazing experience having Ilena here helped me to have. She was there when I needed her, she helped me trust in my own body. She offered words of support, or just a look straight into my eyes which made me believe in myself, she really is a very powerful presence. I wanted Ilena there to help support my partner through the labour, this is what I found difficult the first time around and she did just that. She made the whole experience what we wanted, and used her knowledge to make it easier, offering food and hydration throughout, keeping my pool warm, and just being so kind and helpful. Ilena never interfered, but I felt I had extra support and advice in following my birth plan which I didn’t have the first time around. Ilena also took some incredible photographs which is just an added bonus, another fabulous skill that she should be proud of. When I think back to my birth, I am filled ,with happy, warm and fuzzy tingling feelings and I feel like I am partly healed after a traumatic first birth. Ilena had better make sure she can get a flight over for when we have our next baby 😀 I wouldn’t want to have any other doula.

Doula support in post partum

After the birth – how many appointments did you have with your doula? As many as I needed.

Was this enough for you? More than enough, Ilena went above and beyond.

What did you think of the support offered to you during the post partum period?

Exceptional. I really struggled with breastfeeding, which Ilena knew I really wanted to succeed with. She got me lots of support form other mums in the area, she came to stay and support me in our home, without Ilena I think our breastfeeding journey would have been very different. Again, always there on the phone when I needed her, with encouraging words or advice. She had an excellent knowledge of the homeopathy which really helped with some anxious feelings that I suffered. Following the birth of my first baby, I suffered with some signs of PNS and I think that having Ilena there has helped to stop those feelings this time around.

In Summary

If possible could you issue a mark out of ten for the support you received during the different periods of pregnancy, birth and post partum from your doula (where 1 = “very unhappy” and 10 = “couldn’t be better”)

* During pregnancy: 10

* During the birth: 10

* During postpartum: 10

* Would you use the services and support of a doula in the future? Yes

Do you have any other comments or feedback or anything mentioned here or during y ur relationship which you would like to explain further?

Ilena helped and supported me to have the most amazing home birth, and I will never forget what she did for our family. I would really like to have Ilena present at any future births, I don’t think anyone else could give me those hugs, she is a healing soul and I will be forever grateful to her. Thank you

Testimonial from a mother I supported in pregnancy, hospital, birth, and post partum, 2015:

Doula support during pregnancy. How many appointments did you have with your doula? 5

Did you find this to be enough? Yes, I am very grateful that she came visit me a lot especially when I was in hospital. While my family was not around (except my husband and toddler), and even my best friends didn’t come to see me. I was feeling very isolated and alone. And she was there for me. It’s the best support one could wish for. She not only helped me go through the the complicated late pregnancy and labor, she also helped me go through one of the most difficult time of my life. For that I will be forever grateful.

What did you think of these appointments?

It’s not only very informative, but actually lighted up my spirit. Ilena gave me some very great tips of turning my breech baby at 34th week. Besides that many handy advices for healthy diet, exercise etc. When I was in hospital, her visit became something to look forward to. I was quite in a bad shape, mentally, and she gave me support and tips to work on those issues. So even this was my second labor – I thought I didn’t need a doula – I am still very glad that I decided to hire one, and feel very lucky that I found her!

Doula support during the birth. How many hours was the doula present at the birth? 8 hours

Did you find this enough? Well it might be better if she could come earlier, when everything started [planned induction]. But no one could predict it would happen so fast. So it was no one’s fault. Just that I felt I was a bit pressed to accept the oxytocin drops too early, and if she was with me, I might feel more confident about whatever decision I had made.

What did you think of the support you received during the birth?

Before the labor we talked about, during my first birth, because I had a doula who had controlled the whole birth, I felt that my husband was not really present there. So this time she thought she would focus more on encouraging and empowering him to help me, and it really made a lot of difference. Well the labor itself was not long, but we worked together very well. Ilena helped to sort out everything else, so we could focus on birth. She also helped to find solutions for every problem, such as the annoying oxytocin drops cables, well, basically all cables, so I could move easier. When the contractions intensified, she applied reiki on me and helped the baby to come out. But the most important part is, she was the first one who actually looked through the pinkish post labor atmosphere, and saw that clearly I was in trouble. I was losing a lot of blood and in great pains, but no one else saw that. She was the one who insisted that the nurse should check on me again, and got me the help I needed. Maybe eventually they would find out my situation as well, but maybe then I would be in greater danger since I would lose more blood. That was the moment I looked at my new born baby and husband, and thought I might die that day and ever got to see my another child again. And she was there for me, tell me to relax, give in, allow the doctors to help me. And that actually reminded me to focus on getting help and not letting the fear stay in my way.

Doula support in post partum. After the birth – how many appointments did you have with your doula? 2

Was this enough for you? Yes. But it can’t never be too much to be visited by Ilena. She is such a force of life.

What did you think of the support offered to you during the post partum period?

Ilena visited me in hospital while baby and I were there alone. Again she was the only one who came visit. It was not easy to deal with the aftermath of losing lots of blood and taking care of such a tiny young baby, all by myself. And it was a rather lonely time as well. She came with nutrient little snacks and her natural warmth, lighted up the cold hospital room. We talked about the birth and had some laughs. It was very comforting. I also enjoyed to receive her warm emails, messages and phone calls from time to time.

In Summary

It was my second labor and I thought I didn’t need a doula in the beginning. I am glad that I had changed my mind in the end. Because every birth is different and life is full of surprises. This pregnancy and labor didn’t go with what I had expected. But with Ilena’s support it became less of a traumatic experience. I couldn’t thank her enough for her energy, her kindness and lots of extra efforts that she put in. She was not just my doula but also a great friend in time of need.

Testimonial for a Birth Stories Circle workshop held in November 2014 over two 3 hour sessions:

“I could never imagine the power held in each birth story unfolding one by one in our TINY&mighty circle of mama warriors. Each ‘telling’ so unique. The power lay not only in the words, the melody, what’s unsaid, but next to the words, around, over and in between … in the pauses, something rising new or returning … pain? joy? guilt? sadness? a new emotion beyond any label, asking to be heard – asking to be held. The charge of such energy asks for immense respect, honour and skill in guiding such a process, as each telling is so unique-each experience so unique-each mother so unique. As we held the space for each other to enter in their own way Ilena held the group with a gentle honest strength, giving so much support yet honouring our space. Being open to what was learnt from one week to the next. How long do we speak for? How many stories can we truly support before we or the teller is overwhelmed? Can I retell my story? At no point did Ilena pretend to ‘know’, but with few words she reasssured me that she was on the same journey with us, but had committed herself to guide us with her intuition and wisdom. It was intense, challenging, beautiful, healing, moving and each story taught me something for which I’m deeply grateful for. The energy of this experience still resonates with me, the healing continues …”

Testimonial from a coaching client 2014 – 2015:

“I was telling a friend the other day that every time I see you or we speak on the phone I just feel so much better, and I do so much better”

Testimonial from a mother I supported in pregnancy and labour 2015:

“Thank you so much my dear Ilena, without you we surely can’t make through the hospital stay, the birth and the surgery in such an ease.”

Testimonial from a mother I supported over pregnancy loss 2015:

“You’re amazing. Your support is and has been invaluable to me. A million thanks for your love, support, energy and wisdom. I’ll never be able to explain how much it has helped. I am so glad you are using your amazing gifts to help so many women.”

Testimonial from a father I supported in pregnancy, labour and postpartum 2015:

What did you think of the support you received during the birth?

I found each appointment [with Ilena] to be insightful and helped a lot to prepare my self and my partner for the the birth. I was not familiar with what a Doula actually did but after meeting Ilena and seeing the positive effect it had on my partner I was immediately put at ease.

What did you think of the support you received during the birth?

Outstanding. Ilena was a calming influence in the room and was available at anytime for both my partner and myself. I was very appreciative to Ilena personally for helping me during the experience when required. All of the techniques used during the birth were familiar to us as we had gone through them in our appointments. Ilena gave us the support and confidence to ensure the birth was handle in the way we wanted (something that did not happen in the birth of our first child).

What did you think of the support offered to you during the post partum period?

For the first few weeks after the birth my partner was struggling to breast feed our child, Ilena offered to stay with our for several days to help my partner through this difficult period, something that we will be eternally grateful for. I am convinced that if we did not receive this support then my partner would of found it incredibly difficult to continue to breast feed. Our child is now 5 months old and is still breast feeding!

In Summary

If possible could you issue a mark out of ten for the support you received during the different periods of pregnancy, birth and post partum from your doula (where 1 = “very unhappy” and 10 = “couldn’t be better”)

* During pregnancy: 10

* During the birth: 10

* During postpartum: 10

* Would you use the services and support of a doula in the future? YES

Do you have any other comments or feedback or anything mentioned here or during your relationship which you would like to explain further?

“I would like to have on record that I was initially sceptical about having a Doula present during my partners pregnancy and birth. After my first meeting with Ilena I was immediately put at ease and I am convinced that Ilena has had a hugely positive impact on the happiness and well being of my child. The whole experienced was very humbling for me and has improved my own relationship with my partner and children.”

Testimonial from a mother I supported in pregnancy, labour and post partum 2015:

“Thank you Ilena…for all your support and fabulousness! Everything is going beautifully!”

Testimonial from a client I coached through building his own practice 2015:

“Your approach is often very confronting, which in the moment can come as a shock, but after our sessions I always reflect back and I notice how true and how powerful your observations are, and how much they help me to be really honest with myself about what’s blocking…so that I can move forward. Thank you for cutting through the clutter to help me refocus so efficiently.”

Testimonial from a client I am currently coaching through career and personal goals 2015:

“I perceive Ilena as highly intuitive and extremely fast in understanding me and my needs. She is so profound in her observations, that she can express my thoughts and feelings sometimes even before I am aware of them; a skill which is highly useful as a coach. I can imagine that this skill is even more powerful when working with pregnant mothers and their partners, especially during birth. She notices every detail and is able to calm down the energy and atmosphere instantly; something which is important and useful as a coach and again I imagine invaluable as a doula. I am grateful I have the privilege to work with her.”

Testimonial from a coaching client who I supported in working through some personal obstacles as she repaired her relationship 2012-2015:

Thank you for being so wonderful and for letting it be about me !

I feel so relieved to have been so honest with you – I obviously wasn’t willing to share how it all was for me until now and I am truly grateful to you for hearing and seeing me !!

Wowsers !!

I cannot tell you how light I feel for having spoken it out !!

I didn’t realise it was still there (annoying) so of course I am glad to have been able to give it space, and I am just so so glad that it’s now been shifted and you were so wonderful and able to hear it. I really already knew that whatever happens with me is “ok” – but I don’t think I have allowed that feeling and space and committment to myself until now so thank you for allowing me to access that.

Such a relief to be broken open !! All my love and gratitude.”

Testimonial from my manager at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (where I previously did voluntary HIV testing & counselling) 2012-2014:

“Ilena is highly competent at conducting HIV result disclosure and support counselling (in case of reactive and non-reactive result) as well as medical referral as required.

Ilena is a skilled counsellor, ensuring that her sessions are always client centred; helping people to assess their own personal risk of HIV infection and to identify and make changes to negative thought patterns associated with their sexual behavior and related risk of HIV infection. Following a non-reactive result, Ilena always provided extensive prevention education and on-going risk reduction support (condom use negotiation, regular HIV/STI screening, partner testing). Following a reactive result, Ilena has a calm, natural communicating style and dealt with such situations with empathy and reassurance, linking the client with follow-on medical care for further testing, treatment and care, while providing support and information for the next steps. Ilena has always shown compete flexibility in adapting to individual clients’ needs, always conveying complete acceptance to her clients with warmth and understanding.

During community outreach and public education activities, Ilena was always willing to help and has consistently proven her ability to talk openly and honestly with a wide range of audiences regarding their sexual health.

Ilena is an excellent peer counselor, she is self-aware and nonjudgmental and would be a true asset to any team. I know many of the clients in Amsterdam still miss her smiling face in the testing centre and I cannot recommend her skills highly enough.”

Testimonial from a client I coached specifically on career goals 2012-2013:

Ilena is a friendly, helpful and professional career coach, providing an excellent and punctual service with a human and personal touch. She is a good, efficient, punctual, honest and pleasant communicator, which is importamt when working through such delicate and personal topics. I achieved all the goals I set out to achieve with Ilena’s support, and surpassed many of them. I would have no hesitation in working with Ilena in the future and would recommend her professional results driven approach to anyone who would listen!

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