Alice Woodman-Russell

“Ellie is an absolute gem. My husband and I first worked with her as a sleep consultant during a brutal 18 month sleep regression for our daughter. Both empathetic and whip-smart, Ellie helped identify specific actions we could take to get sleep back on track. It was so reassuring to make a plan with her and to have real time follow up so that we could course correct and adjust as needed. When we encountered some challenges with the 2 to 1 nap transition, Ellie was the only person we wanted help from and once again she was exactly the resource we needed. We also felt SO supported by Ellie as a birth and postpartum doula for our second child. Using zoom, email, text, and phone, Ellie was like an expert big sister in the weeks leading up to the birth, as well as in the beginnings of labor, and most especially in the early postpartum period. The birth escalated so quickly that there wasn’t time for zoom support, but honestly the postpartum support alone was invaluable (and thank goodness for Ellie’s nudge via phone for us to hightail it to the hospital— our son was almost born in the car). Her expertise in sleep and lactation along with being a thoughtful and experienced mom of three… I truly can’t speak highly enough. We will forever be grateful to Ellie for helping us grow into happier, stronger parents, and she will forever be our go-to for all questions parenting / birth / sleep!”

Megan Berger

I felt comfortable with Ellie the moment I met her and it was obvious that she would be an asset. Ellie has such a wealth of knowledge about so many aspects of birthing. She’s truly done her research and is an arsenal of advice and experience. At 35 weeks, I learned that my baby was in transverse position and that I might need a C-section. This wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but I was really freaked out. Ellie was the best. She reassured me that my body and baby knew what they were doing and also taught me physical exercises that could help baby to turn, which indeed happened. I had my baby when COVID restrictions peaked. Hospitals barely let anyone in. My husband was with me, but Ellie couldn’t be in person. So we zoomed. I can’t express how amazing Ellie’s presence (even virtually) in the delivery room was. I felt more at ease under her direction and encouragement. She and the medical professionals in the room worked as a team. It was seamless. Ellie met me right where I was in each stage of my labor. It was almost eerie how she knew what I was thinking and what I needed to hear. Specifically, as it came time to push, she reminded me that I could trust myself and instructed me to do what my body was telling me to do. Those words got me through. I was amazed as I held my baby shortly thereafter! I also really appreciated how Ellie intentionally trained my husband. We were all the more confident because Ellie had shown him how to physically and emotionally support me. It was a precious time for the two of us as I depended on him and he was able to be there for me with all of his newfound knowledge and tactics. Probably the biggest testimonial is Ellie herself: she’s a wonderful person and perfect for this job. She’s both kind and fierce, gentle and energetic, knowledgeable, yet humble and focused on you. I look back on that time with a joy that is in part because Ellie helped to make it as peaceful and empowering as possible.

Cordelia Mueller

We cannot express enough how helpful Ellie was to us after the birth of our child. She is experienced, supportive and detail-oriented, just what we needed to sleep train our 3-month-old son. From our first call with her, we knew we had made the right choice in hiring her. Ellie is knowledgeable and provided a sense of stability and calm from the outset. She is attentive, comforting, and makes herself available at almost any time of day or night. She was so helpful in providing us with a tailored sleep plan that took into account all the goals we hoped to reach by the end of our two weeks with her. She does not try to steer you in any particular direction, instead she gives you the resources and information necessary to establish your own goals and the support both you and your baby need to reach them. Ellie answered all our questions promptly and provided in depth answers whenever we needed them. The calls we had were incredibly helpful. Our son did incredibly well with the sleep training and we saw results within days of starting. Ellie was reassuring and made us feel so much more confident about starting the process. Now at 5 months our son has an incredible foundation of healthy sleep habits and a sleep plan that we still reference if we are uncertain of anything. We could not recommend Ellie enough!

Sklyar McAlplin

My husband and I were blessed to have Ellie as our Hypnobirthing instructor and Doula for the birth of our first child. Our birth ended up being the all natural water birth we had dreamed of and we credit this greatly to our studying and practicing of Hypnobirthing under Ellie’s guidance.The truth is we discussed hiring her on the ride home from our very first class. She is an infectious presence you instantly relish being around and one we immediately connected with and trusted in countless ways. In many ways she is an open book and it was her honesty we first found so wildly comforting as first time parents to be. It was immediately obvious that she is also hugely knowledgeable in all things pregnancy, birth and infant related; she knows what to expect and what to do when unexpected things inevitably happen. Ellie is also incredibly warm, funny and fierce when the moment calls for it. She was present and proactive in ways we didn’t even know we would need – in the weeks leading up to our birth, during every active moment of labor (which for us started at midnight – sorry Ellie) and beyond, giving advice and support during the dizzying first few weeks. It is a rare thing to love your profession on such an emotional level and to succeed at it so greatly but if anybody embodies that it is Ellie. Our birth was no doubt made better by her presence and we are certain our daughter’s life will be reflective of her peaceful entrance into this world. No matter how prepared you may feel nothing compares to the whirlwind which ensues once your surges begin. Ellie was the calming and experienced guide we needed to see it through. She was a truly massive support for all three of us – honestly just as much for my husband as for me – and we truly couldn’t imagine our birth without her. We are so grateful to have her in our universe now as a friend and look forward to working with her again when the time comes. Thank you, dear Ellie.

Becky Simon

Ellie is a truly amazing doula that I highly recommend! She is a kind, nurturing soul who has a wealth of knowledge and experience surrounding natural childbirth. I am so grateful she played such an integral role in bringing my son into this world. Ellie was by our side from start to finish…a total of 28 beautiful laboring hours! Her support and care was beyond exceptional! It was extremely important to have a doula who both my husband and I connected with. This connection seemed almost immediate! Ellie listened to our needs and wants and shaped our birth experience based upon those wishes. Not only did we fall in love with Ellie but the staff at MGH did as well. Her warm and professional character caught the ears and eyes of the MGH staff. Multiple nurses, midwives, and doctors spoke very highly of Ellie, some even asking for her contact information for future recommendations. Having Ellie be a part of our birth experience was the single best decision my husband and I made. Do not hesitate for a second having her peaceful, beautiful energy involved in the birth of your little one!

Conor & Robin

We decided to work with Jenny after a great interview- we could tell right away that she was exactly what we were looking for. We were really looking for someone to support us and make us a stronger team, and at the same time be ready and available to address concerns as they came up. Since this was our first child, we were a little bit nervous and Jenny was the perfect match for us, helping to melt away all of our concerns as she prepped us for the birth of our son. Beyond the preparations and serving as a resource, the most important thing that Jenny did was serve as an advocate for both of us, allowing us to have a wonderful experience. She was very calm and relaxed during the entire process and kept encouraging each of us to tackle our respective responsibilities so that as everything was unfolding, we each had the best experience together and were able to focus on each other and the baby! Jenny does a great job of understanding when to be involved and when to let the couple have their space. We felt that Jenny has a really good understanding and feel for a couples’ dynamics and helps to highlight their strengths, during a very stressful time – which takes the stress away. We would recommend Jenny to everyone having a baby, especially if you really want someone that understands how to guide a couple through the process and feel relaxed and closer than ever.

Abigail Patel

Ellie gave me and my family the greatest gift: the umedicated birth of our second child. Ellie’s knowledge and passion guided us to the most perfect birthing day. Our child received the gift of entering this world peacefully and without medication and I received the gift of restored confidence in myself as a mother and in my body that was designed to birth in this way. The way in which I birthed our first child left me confused, frustrated and lacking confidence. When we became pregnant with our second, we decided to find a doula to help us have a more positive birthing experience. We couldn’t be more thankful that we found Ellie. It was a perfect match. Ellie is incredibly knowledgeable, quick to respond to any questions and is the reason why we were able to have an unmedicated, peaceful and beautiful birthing day for our second child. She gave me the confidence and knowledge that I needed to birth in this most natural way. During the birth, Ellie used essential oils, soft lighting, coached and guided me through every surge, used the rebozo for counter pressure and fed me water and ice chips. Her presence gave me peace and strength at the same time. Post birth, she gave me an essential oil foot massage that lulled me to sleep and I was able to get some rest. Two days after our birthing day, Ellie sent us the pictures of our birth experience and they brought joyful tears to my eyes. To see how relaxed and limp my body was, even though I was working hard mentally, was a beautful sight. This birthing experience has healed me in many ways and I will always be thankful to Ellie for this incredible gift. Because of Ellie, I no longer fear childbirth as I did after the birth of our first child. I no longer doubt my body or my mental strength.  My husband and I have the utmost respect for Ellie and we will always be thankful for her. Should we be blessed with another pregnancy, Ellie will be one of the first to know!

Jenny T.

Joanne helped me have the strength to bring my son into the world via VBAC. She calmly gave me support, especially at moments when I wasn’t sure if I could do it. She worked great with both my husband and sister who were there to support me as well. Giving us all ideas and suggestions. She also made sure the hospital staff were aware of my wishes, desires, fears, and hopes. Joanne brought a calm and grounding presence to my delivery that I am very grateful for.

Amanda Waddell

​After my initial doula went MIA, Ellie saved the day and took me on as a client just a few weeks before my due date. She graciously worked around our schedule and needs, and went out of her way to make my partner and I feel comfortable, ready for labor, and cared for. We kept in contact in the weeks leading up to b-day and she was always fast to respond and knowledgeable in answering my (many) questions. During labor, Ellie was everything you would want a doula to be–supportive, engaged, peaceful (may sound funny but it’s huge), and ready to do any/everything to bring my birth wishes to fruition. My labor was filled with intense back pain, and Ellie tried EVERYTHING to help relieve that–rebozo, hypnobirthing prompts, back massage, aromatheraphy, assisting my partner and mom in techniques to support me–I could go on and on. I felt like I was on another planet throughout most of it all, but I can remember Ellie’s calming voice and her confidence in me. That was key. I never would have made it unmedicated without her. The day after giving birth to our little girl, I spoke with many of the hospital staff who attended my labor and we all agreed that Ellie was amazing (and they know their doulas!). I couldn’t be more grateful for having her there with me. It was the hardest and best day of life all in one! ​

Sarah J.

My husband and I are first-time parents and decided to have a doula be part of the birth because we wanted to have the guidance of someone experienced with the process. I was initially a little nervous about having a stranger be such a big part of what is a very personal and intimate experience, but Joanne is such a warm and caring person that I felt completely at ease with her. We met with Joanne twice before the big day to create a set of birth preferences and she was always available by phone in case I had questions or concerns. Joanne did a great job of presenting different options without interjecting too much personal bias and was fully supportive of my choices. I ended up needing to be induced and Joanne was absolutely instrumental in helping my labor to move along quickly and allowing me to delay an epidural as much as possible by suggesting different positions/techniques. Overall, Joanne has a great sense of humor and is just a joy to work with. Highly recommended!

Jessie S.

I am writing this as my baby sleeps happily in his crib! Ellie was enormously helpful when my partner and I were absolutely DESPERATE for sleep — she gave us practical suggestions to move our baby into healthy sleeping patterns — both at night and for naps. Her advice led us to much improved sleep for our baby — and sanity for his parents! We appreciated her kind, empathetic manner, sense of humor, and straightforward guidance

Johanna Lam

We used Ellie as a birth doula for the birth of our daughter in January 2018 and then also followed up with a lactation visit. Her presence throughout the process provided us with a huge piece of mind, comfort, calm and reassurance. This was our first child. While I work in healthcare and have a good amount of medical knowledge about labor and delivery itself, there is so much I didn’t know and so much that you just can’t know until you’ve had the experience yourself. There are also a lot of factors to consider that may not be initially obvious and having the experience of someone like Ellie allowed us to be more fully equipped in navigating the process. From the initial visit with Ellie, I felt like my needs and intentions for my birth experience were truly heard and appreciated without judgement. My husband was quite nervous about the whole process and Ellie helped give him some tools to feel more empowered and ready to take on whatever came our way. I opted for an epidural and Ellie stayed with me while my husband stepped out of the room (he doesn’t do well with needles)– she even managed to keep me distracted as the resident was receiving step by step instructions on how to place the epidural!! She provided LED candles and an essential oil diffuser, ensured that lights were kept low throughout the labor and delivery process– all creating a more calming and conducive environment for the arrival of our baby girl. Every doctor and nurse that came into the room stated they felt like they were entering a spa. Ellie worked well with the medical providers and I believe even had some things to teach them (peanut ball and pushing positions!!). Once we arrived home, Ellie continued to stay in touch with us and provide support, especially with breastfeeding which was immensely useful. Overall, having Ellie at the birth of our daughter was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made- I would recommend her to anyone and everyone!

Anuja S.

“The Mary Poppins of Doulas”- Choosing a doula is a very personal and important decision. I had a tough time choosing a doula for the birth of my second child as I wanted someone to truly support my birth and choices. I am evidence-based and need hard facts for my decision-making. From the moment I spoke to Jenny, I felt that she will support my choices and be there for me without judgment.  She embodied the meaning of doula – to support a birthing mother. Jenny was interested in getting to know us personally, our medical history, and our choices. She is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of birth. Jenny does not have an agenda, she heard what I hoped for/feared/worried about and translated it all into the support that I needed. I met Jenny at the hospital when I had my planned C section. She was my ONLY support person in the hospital. I am forever grateful for her presence. She added to my confidence and joy I experienced. She comforted me and helped me stay calm. She knew when to speak and when to hold back. Having Jenny in the OR made me feel secure, focused, and positive throughout the operation. Thereafter, she stayed with me throughout my stay in the hospital. She was there for me like a family member. She comforted me, helped me nurse my baby, held my baby and was there for me anytime I needed her. The hospital had a graveyard schedule for newborn screening, Jenny would stay up to be with my baby as I did not want to leave my baby alone with the nurse. During my postpartum visit at the OBs office, the nurses mentioned how great she was to have in the room! Jenny is truly passionate about what she does and being a doula is her calling. She is an incredibly caring and compassionate person. My birth story wouldn’t have been the same without her. I don’t know how we would have managed without her. I would recommend her to anybody who wants a doula as I am confident that you are in great hands!

Kimberly Murray

As a first-time parent, I had a goal of a medication-free birth. Although my husband was on board, we felt that hiring a doula would help us navigate this new experience. We found Ellie on google and scheduled an online childbirth class with her as we could not attend our hospital’s classes due to work schedules. We decided to hire her as our doula because we appreciated her incredibly supportive spirit, as well as her ability to balance the current evidence with her professional experience. She was wonderful in helping me navigate the end of the third trimester; I had a slightly complicated pregnancy that would likely lead to an induction and I was nervous about how that might affect my birth preferences and goals. I asked her all my questions: she was available and responsive. She really helped me think through what questions to ask my provider at my prenatal appointments so that I was confident in making decisions that were informed and personal. In the end, I was able to have the birth that I had envisioned and felt so incredibly empowered by the entire experience. During labor, Ellie was a reassuring presence and was paramount in supporting my husband as he supported me. She was incredibly helpful in suggesting effective strategies to keep me focused, as well suggestions of when to transition to a different strategy to help progress labor. I undoubtedly believe that she was the key to my labor progressing so quickly and smoothly due to her timely suggestions, and effective support. She is everything that I had hoped a doula would be for our birth situation this time around. She filled the gaps between myself, the birthing person; my husband, the birth partner; and the medical providers, beautifully– seamlessly bouncing between them all so that I was able to focus 100% on childbirth. I am incredibly thankful for her support, and my husband and I have a beautiful and empowering memory of our daughter’s entrance into this world.

Jillian Archer

I was lucky to work with Ellie in two capacities. She was my hypnobirth instructor and I also hired her to be my Doula. She is amazing. Before meeting her I didn’t really understand what a Doula was and now I can’t imagine not having one! To say I was terrified to give birth is an understatement and having Ellie was invaluable. As a Hypnobirth instructor Eliie is knowledgeable and reassuring. I learned techniques that were so helpful in preparing me for childbirth and helped me turn my fear into empowerment.  After my first class, I was convinced that I wanted Ellie to be my Doula as well. Ellie is  confident, kind, and professional. She made me feel like I was her priority and she was with me (and my husband) every step of the way. She listened to my fears and helped me work through them and helped us create a birth plan that met our needs.  I felt comfortable calling her anytime to ask questions or get advice. During labor either myself or my husband was on the phone with her every couple of hours or so and she had a clear plan to help me keep my labor moving along. When it was time for her to meet us, Ellie was the calming presence I needed to stay centered and present. Ellie is also a lactation consultant which was an added bonus as not all Doulas have this certification.  i was so thankful to have her support with breastfeeding after my baby was born. Feeding my baby ended up being much more difficult than I had expected and having Ellie’s support was extremely helpful. I just love Ellie and recommend her to you without reservation!

Caitlin Haire

We took Ellie’s Hypnobirthing class and worked with her as our doula. As a result, I felt educated, empowered, and in control leading up to, during, and after the birth of my son. I knew early on that I wanted to do Hypnobirthing and to work with a doula – my goal was to enjoy my pregnancy and birth experience. I felt lost and shuffled through the initial prenatal appointments and, combined with an impending cross country move at 20 weeks, confirmed that I wanted a consistent presence in my corner that had the experience and knowledge to guide me through such emotional and uncharted territory. After my preliminary call with Ellie, I knew I had found that person. Ellie helped me to trust my body and instincts and follow my heart, to not give into the birth narrative that permeates popular culture, and to believe that I could do it on my terms. She instilled in me the self-assurance to ask questions and advocate for myself. She was a trusted, calming voice of reason and a source of reassurance for both my husband and me. She freed us to focus on our son and ourselves and created a positive environment where we were in control. We were able to operate from a place of informed decision making based on our priorities instead of fear and protocol. Ellie did all the things I had expected from a doula – a trusted advocate who could guide and support both me and my husband – and then proceeded to top that. She gave me the confidence, strength, and clarity to take charge of our birth story. I can look back now and say that because of Ellie I had a positive birth experience even when things did not go according to plan (again and again). And for that, I am forever grateful.

Rebekah Stafford​

Ellie is amazing, and I can’t recommend her more highly! Our daughter surprised us by coming a bit early, and I had only met Ellie for the first time 5 days before I delivered. We hadn’t even had time to have our pre-birth plan meeting, but when I called her to say it was go-time, Ellie was at the hospital within an hour. It was very important to me to have a natural birth, and I can say without a doubt that if Ellie had not been with us during labor, the chances of me sticking with that plan would have been pretty slim. As a first time mother, I didn’t know what to expect with labor – turns out its a pretty long and intense experience! My all things went relatively smooth, it was still 14 hours – that would have been a long time sitting in a room with my husband while the nurses occasionally checked in on us. Having Ellie there kept both me and my husband calm. She gave him instructions on how to support me through contractions, she reassured me that everything I was experiencing was normal, and she helped me get through each contraction. She has a wonderful presence and she’s incredibly capable – if we are fortunate enough to have a second child, Ellie will be there with us for sure!

Seth Dovev

Ellie is not only an amazing Doula and HypnoBirth coach but an amazing person. I first came into the Hypnobirthing course thinking this was a way for my wife to be prepared to deliver our daughter the way she wanted. Within the first 5 minutes of meeting Ellie and talking about what HypnoBirthing is about, I realized this was as important to me as it was my wife. I learned a LOT. I was able to ask any question that came to mind about labor and what to expect. These were sometimes ridiculous questions, especially being a new father. Every question as odd as it sounded, was answered. The Hypnosis and breathing was extremely helpful. Our conversations with Ellie felt almost like pre-birth therapy. We were going through something we’ve never experienced and Ellie was the support we needed to be prepared to enjoy the positive experience we were about to go through. The course was fantastic and we both learned exercises we could use if needed during labor and why and, most importantly, they worked! Heading into labor, I felt prepared and confident that our first delivery would be positive. During labor, I was able to focus on supporting my wife and she was able to to deliver naturally as we planned. My experience with HypnoBirthing was incredible and I would recommend this to any couple looking to explore ways to experience a natural birth. Ellie was available anytime we needed. When my wife went into labor, she got a call in the middle of the night and helped me focus on the hours ahead and what I needed to remind myself as we made our way to the hospital. The support during the last few hours of labor really helped my wife stay in the moment and allowed us to keep to our birth plan and enjoy our special day. My wife delivered naturally. We were so lucky to have Ellie help us through this experience!​​

Christina Kennedy

Ellie helped us implement a great sleep plan for our toddler. With a new sibling on the way, we knew we needed to help our toddler overcome early morning wake-ups. Ellie gave us amazing age-appropriate tools to incorporate into our routine. She is knowledgeable about all aspects of baby and toddler sleep with the research to back her suggestions. Can’t recommend Ellie and Joyful Birthing & Beyond enough!

Alexandra T.

For me and my husband, having our first child during the pandemic was a daunting prospect, especially since the rest of our family lives on the west coast.  So we decided to hire a doula to assist us since we couldn’t have either of our mothers support us in the hospital.  It turned out that hiring Jenny was one of the best decisions we could have made as expecting parents!  She was incredibly helpful during the weeks leading up to our daughter’s birth and absolutely invaluable while I was in labor.  She soothed me while I was in pain from back labor contractions and she helped me get some much-needed sleep before giving birth.  With her support, I managed to dilate to 7cm before having an epidural (which is impressive given my extremely low pain tolerance and speaks to Jenny’s ability to help me cope!). If you’re a first-time mom and you need a calming, soothing, caring person in your family’s corner, then Jenny is your woman.  You will not regret hiring her!

Sarah LoVasco

It has always been very important to me to have a natural childbirth. Upon learning that we were pregnant with our first child, my husband and I sought the support of a doula to help us move through the hospital / medical world while keeping our natural choices a priority. From the moment we met until the day our son was born, Ellie was an important fixture in our life. We took her Hypno-birthing class, which was incredibly informative and allowed us the opportunity to get to know Ellie in a greater capacity. My husband and I felt completely prepared once birthing day finally came (our son was born just shy of 40 weeks!). Ellie was instrumental in keeping us calm and helping us figure out when to head to the hospital. Once there, she set up our room with candles, used essential oil and massage throughout my labor and worked professionally with our midwife. Ellie’s incredible energy and extensive experience in the birthing room was evident throughout my labor- suggesting different positions, requesting a quiet, calm environment, and supporting my husband by helping him help me. Our son Orlando was born at 4:08am, without the use of medications or epidurals. My husband and I felt prepared for the questions and decisions presented to us at the hospital for the next 48 hours. Orlando’s birth was the proudest moment of my life, and we will be forever grateful for Ellie’s part in the entire process; we whole-heartedly recommend her services and hope to engage her for future pregnancies.

Sarah Raboin

My husband Tim and I recently had the pleasure of working with Ellie throughout my pregnancy and during the birth of our first baby. A close friend recommended Ellie to us and we were immediately struck by her passion and knowledge regarding pregnancy and the birthing experience. We also had the opportunity to take the Hypnobirthing class with Ellie and found this to be incredibly beneficial in preparing for our birth as well as on the day of our birth. Ellie made herself available and was incredibly responsive and helpful in the weeks leading up to our birth. As I passed my due date and was approaching the 42 week mark, Ellie consistently checked in and provided suggestions to help us get the process moving naturally. Ellie’s support throughout my labor was invaluable. She was attentive to my needs and flexible in her role. She and my husband worked as a team to support me in staying present, calm and grounded even as my labor became challenging. She also was of great support when we were faced with some difficult decisions and helped us to process the information presented and make informed decisions that were best for myself and our son. Following his birth, Ellie continued to make herself available and provide us with further information to help us adjust to all the changes associated with becoming new parents. We wholeheartedly recommend Ellie to anyone seeking support and guidance leading up to and on such an important day.

Elizabeth Hines

After a less-than-positive first birth, I knew I wanted to have a doula by my side at the birth of my second child. I’d first heard Ellie’s name in the early weeks with my first daughter — some local moms were talking about her breastfeeding class as an absolute lifesaver. As soon as I interviewed her to be my doula, I knew why. She is such a calm, positive presence with a wealth of knowledge in all things pregnancy, childbirth, and baby. I took her Hypnobirthing course to prepare for my second labor, and I know the tools I learned were an important part of achieving a much more satisfying birth the second time around. The biggest factor, however, was Ellie herself. Her support was absolutely paramount to my positive experience birthing my second daughter. She lifted me up when I hit some unforseen, life-altering emotional challenges just before going into labor, and she carried me through those last few moments of transition when you think you can’t go on anymore. I’m so glad Ellie was my doula, and I could not recommend her highly enough.