“Of course it is very difficult to provide an objective opinion regarding something so personal, and someone so important, to me, my wife, and our new son. Unlike a great place for tacos or the best dealership to buy a car, a doula is more than a “vendor.” This person instantly becomes one of the most trusted, most important people in your life. I will therefore try to provide the most unbiased review possible, regarding our doula, Erica Kershner, but if my overwhelmingly positive feelings shade my words, so be it. My wife and I hadn’t considered a doula, until we attended a natural child birthing class. There, our instructor highly recommended Erica to us when we expressed an interest in retaining a doula. We were lost, and scared, and really felt we could benefit from someone – an advocate – with experience in this new adventure. Unlike other aspects of life, this process was so variable, and unpredictable; no book or guide can help you. You need someone with experience, to watch and respond “live, on the scene, as things unfold.” I am so glad we chose to retain a doula, and I am even happier that Erica was our doula. Erica is smart, kind, and patient. She made us feel safe, supported, and able to focus on what we needed to do. The outside noise melted away – from dealing with the providers, to fears regarding unexpected events… During the labor in particular, she kept her cool, had an unlimited number of ideas and suggestions to help my wife through labor, and simply did the things neither I nor my wife could do (or knew to do in the first place). I look at other births (friends’ and family) that occurred without a doula; I look at the worries, and pains, and issues that impacted them… and I know that, had they had Erica in their corner, things would have been much, much better. I’m grateful that Erica was there for us, was one of the first people my son met, and continues to be a part of this adventure. I recommend her without reserve or hesitation.
Finally, as mentioned by others, her photography is no gimmick. It truly is amazing and her talent is obvious.” — Ron P.
“Erica attended the home birth of our son as our birth photographer and was absolutely amazing. Not only was she totally respectful of the birth process, but her presence was both supportive and calming. I felt completely comfortable and at ease having her there which is so important when inviting another person to be present at your birth.
The pictures she took were absolutely incredible. She managed to capture the true essence of my birthing experience and I feel so blessed to have these photos to look back on. In addition, she is so sweet and thoughtful. I really couldn’t recommend Erica enough as a birth photographer!” — Rachel K.
“Having Erica as our Doula was one of the best decisions we made during my pregnancy. She gave us great resources pre and post and was incredibly supportive during labor. She knew just when to step in and what to say to keep both me and my husband focused and positive. My husband in particular felt that had she not been there, no one in the delivery room would have given a hoot about him. He appreciated her moral support, gentle reminders to eat, and tips on how he could help me to be more comfortable. I’m pretty sure that without her, my 22 hour labor (including 7 hrs pushing… not a typo) would have ended in c-section. She also took beautiful Pinterest-worthy photos after the birth.” — Dana K.
Erica was amazing. First and foremost she helped me to take care of my wife. Secondly she was the only person in the room, aside from my wife, who cared about me. Towards the end of our 22 hour marathon I fell asleep standing up. Erica quietly rolled a chair over for me and told me to sit down. She also made sure I was eating and drinking fluids throughout the day.
She was calm and soothing and is an incredibly easy person to be around, which is nice, considering how private and personal child birth seems in your head before you go through it.
I honestly can’t imagine having made it through the day without Erica at our side. And I hope she is still doula-ing when/if we have our next child. Highly reccomended.
p.s. She took beautiful non-invasive pictures of our brand new family after the labor was over. That was one of the happiest moments of my entire life, and it is so nice to have these great pictures to rmember it with.” — JB S
“Erica helped my husband and me with the birth of our first child in March this year, so this review has been a long time coming. We spoke to a few doulas before we decided that Erica was the person meant to support us through my first pregnancy and the birth of our baby. Erica is exceptional! She is warm, knowledgeable, knows exactly when you need her, how to help and how much to help. These are skills that cannot be taught or learned, but has to be innate, which really makes her one of a kind. She is a natural caregiver and has an amazing ability to be very calming and reassuring, which is so crucial during labor. Besides being an enduring pillar of support for my husband and me during my very long labor, she was fantastic throughout my pregnancy from answering all our questions, to giving us tons of vital resources, to just being there (via email, phone or texts) especially the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Beyond being an amazing birth doula, Erica is a brilliant birth photographer, and has captured beautiful, momentous and sentimental photographs that we will cherish forever! She has left an indelible mark on our lives. Anyone would be lucky to have Erica as their doula.” Milz G.
“My husband and I met Erica through the expectant moms group she co-hosts in Cambridge on Monday nights. We liked her thoughtful and nonjudgmental perspective on pregnancy and birth from the get-go. So when we came to the decision to hire a doula for our birth, there was no question that it was Erica we wanted by our side. Luckily, she was available!
We met with Erica several times before the birth. She listened to our needs and worries and helped us create a comprehensive birth plan. From the beginning, she was full of helpful resources, from belly mapping info and baby-positioning exercises to hypnobirth recordings and suggested reading materials.
Our son was 9 days late, and Erica was very accessible and helpful in supporting our goal of avoiding induction, even when the doctors were pushing pretty hard for it. She suggested acupuncture to encourage labor and provided a list of recommended acupuncturists — and I honestly think that was what helped get labor started (contractions began 12 hours after I got poked!).
My labor lasted about 20 hours — and I’m not sure if I would have had the unmedicated experience I did if not for Erica. She was absolutely essential to achieving the birth I wanted. She gave us space during the early laboring we did at home, then arrived just in time for us to head to the hospital. Throughout the rest of labor, she was as present as she needed to be. When I got fatigued, she always had a new position for me to try. She made sure my husband ate and took breaks when he needed them. She was there with massage techniques and essential oils at the most important moments. She was never overbearing or pushy, just supportive, encouraging, knowledgeable and kind.
Erica’s photography is the icing on the cake of her services. It’s entirely optional, of course, but I absolutely recommend having her snap a few shots when she can! After having her there though the labor, it seemed perfectly natural for her to capture the first moments my husband and I spent with our new son. I almost cried when we got the pictures. They were so beautiful! We’ll treasure them forever, along with our amazing birth experience — all thanks to Erica.” – Alison B.
“My wife and I were very happy with Erica’s help during the birth of our first child. During our interview meeting, before we even hired her, she showed us exercises and gave us tips to help turn the baby into the optimal position. Then and during our prenatal visits she was very informative and confident while also fully supporting our goals and wishes for our birth. I ended up being induced so we did not have the experience of laboring at home, but Erica was involved by phone to maintain support during the induction process. Once I started active labor she arrived quickly and was a wonderful addition to the labor team. She was both a supportive and encouraging presence while also somehow not being too obvious and allowing my wife to be my primary focus and therefore the person I remember the most clearly from labor and delivery. When the midwife made suggestions for position changes, Erica spoke up with her own ideas. The best and most impactful suggestion for my entire labor came from Erica – it was for the final position for the actual delivery. It was something the midwife and nurse had never done before but after having spent the day with Erica they trusted her and agreed to try it. It turned out to be perfect for me and I am so grateful that Erica suggested it! It is a wonderful bonus that she also does photography. I’m sure we wouldn’t have thought to take even one photo immediately after the birth of our daughter and we are so lucky to have a bunch of gorgeous photos of our new family at a very unique time.” -Naomi T.
“so i will preface this with the fact that going into the recent birth of our son, I had no idea what a doula was or did or why my wife was so insistent on having one at the birth of our child when we were going to be at one of the best hospitals in America with all of the docs and nurses they have. Now a few weeks after the birth of our son, i can say that having Erica at our side through the whole process was hugely helpful, and not just for my wife, but for me too. I was nervous that having a doula would in some way diminish my role in the birth process, but that was never the case with Erica. She was a great resource for information leading up to the birth, but what really helped me was that she was a great source of composure and strength to both of us throughout the labor and delivery. my wife and i had taken a hypnobirthing class and read a few books, but nothing prepares you for the moment you head to the hospital, when i forgot pretty much everything i had read/learned when i saw my wife going through labor. Erica drove through the night from a family celebration to make sure she was there for us when we needed her, and she then stayed with us at the hospital for almost 20 hours from the time my wife’s labor really kicked in to when our son was born. She helped make sure that we were active decision makers in the birth of our son, but never tried to impose her own views on those decisions in any way. and she takes amazing pictures too! i can recommend her highly enough!” -Scott M.
“My husband and I were so fortunate to have had Erica’s help for the birth of our first baby in August. She is extremely knowledgeable about both pregnancy and birth and provided lots of guidance on everything from exercises to help baby move into the optimal position for birth to navigating the medical system to get the type of birth experience we wanted. She helped us manage labor at home, and helped us make the decision about when to go to the hospital. Knowing she was experienced helped put our minds at ease so that we could focus on birthing our baby! At the hospital, she was a calming presence, and suggested ways that my husband could help support me. She found just the right balance of quietly supporting us and making helpful suggestions on how to keep the process moving smoothly. She worked seamlessly with the delivery staff at Mt Auburn, who later remarked on what a fantastic doula she was. On top of all this, she captured some amazing photos of our birth experience. If we have another baby, I will certainly be asking Erica to assist us!” -Amy G.
“Erica was our doula for the recent birth of our son and we are so happy we had her as a part of our team. From beginning to end, she was helpful, thoughtful, unassuming, knowledgable and professional.
Our prenatal meetings were great opportunities to set the tone for our birth, helping us to identify our needs and intentions as a couple while also building rapport.
Her attendance at our son’s birth was incredibly helpful for both me and my husband. She offered support, guidance and calm and consistent energy when needed. She was never intrusive, always knowing when to step in with words of encouragement and when to be a calm support, letting my husband and I work together through the process.
As a sweet bonus, she took some *wonderful* photos as we shared our first moments as a family of three – images we will cherish for years and will someday show our son as we tell him his story.
We would hire Erica again in a heartbeat and highly recommend her services!” – Mary K.
“Hiring Erica as our doula was a wonderful decision. As first time parents we did not know what to expect so it was very comforting to have Erica with us during labor and delivery. it was great to meet with her prior to the birth to discuss what we wanted out of the experience and with her help, we achieved most of them. She made us feel very comfortable with the whole process. Also, her photography is amazing and we are forever thankful for the memories she was able to capture! We would highly recommend Erica to anyone!” – Meghan M.
“After meeting with Erica and two other potential Doula’s for our first child, my husband and I decided to hire Erica and could not have been more thrilled/happy with our decision.
From the moment we met Erica, we both felt a comfort that we knew we wanted from a doula. Erica was professional, friendly and extremely knowledgeable in all areas (pre/post partum and labor and delivery). She helped us prepare for our birth and reminded us that this was “OUR birth” and that we had a voice in the whole process.
During L&D, Erica was with us every step of the way and made us feel empowered. Her support was unwavering and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
Erica is also an extremely talented birth photographer, capturing the best (and emotional) moments during labor and after birth, while being unobtrusive and letting my husband and I enjoy those moments as a couple-we feel so grateful to have those moments captured!
We can’t thank her enough!!” – Jill L.
“Erica was my Doula for my recent birth (a VBAC). I cannot recommend her highly enough. She is kind,, witty, supportive and empowering. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted a Doula or whether it would be useful, and I am now convinced that without her support and services I would have had another C-section and still be recovering from it.
Before the birth she was very patient with my questioning. During the birth she encouraging and uplifting without being at all intrusive – instead she made me believe I could do it.
I will add that the photos she took are simply amazing. And very precious. One thing I really loved is that because I was doing it without pain medication I can’t really remember my husband being there that much as I was rather distracted. And she caught some really special moments of him looking lovingly at me. They are the nicest family photos we have ever had taken.” – Catherine T.
“Erica is a great newborn photographer. She came to the house and took tons of photos of our 2-week old and our family. She edited the top 10 photos within days so we could send out a birth announcement. She sent all the photos (hundreds) within 2 weeks — and she even made a gorgeous print of one of the beautiful photos.
Erica is warm, kind, and talented woman and we really enjoyed working with her.” – Jamie G.
“My husband and I hired Erica to be our doula for the recent birth of our first baby, and were very pleased with her services. For us, it was comforting to have someone familiar and supportive be part of our birth at the hospital, since everything else about the process was new and unfamiliar (since our OB is part of a practice, we didn’t even know who the Doctor would be!). Erica knew when to step in and when to let my husband do his part, and was never intrusive. She also took really nice photographs of our new family immediately after birth. What I also appreciated was the process of exploring and envisioning what we wanted the birth to be like ahead of time — this allowed me to get in a good mindset and made me feel like I had tools on hand for dealing with whatever came our way.” – Lisa I.
Erica photographed my husband and me (and our furry family) for our maternity shoot recently and the whole experience was more then I could have asked for. I am normally very awkward in front of the camera, not knowing how to pose and feeling overall uncomfortable, but she made me feel completely at ease and in doing so, I was able to relax and position myself naturally. The pictures she took were absolutely stunning! I seriously couldn’t stop staring at them for weeks! We look natural and beautiful and she captured every bit of excitement we’re feeling about our expanding family. She also incorporated our pets into the shoot, snapping fantastic shots of them and with them, which was extra special for us! We will cherish these pictures forever as they are truly timeless! We couldn’t recommend Erica enough as a photographer. She is professional yet easy-going and relaxed and her skills behind the camera are top-notch! We feel so lucky to have benefited from her amazing talent! Thank you Erica, a thousand times over, thank you! – Emily L.