Jessica C. – Los Angeles – 3/24/12
Where to start–these two are just the epitome of knowledge, professionalism, compassion, enthusiasm, comfort and fun. They are an absolute “dream team”.
I selected this dynamic duo to support childbirth at home with my second baby. Everything was pretty straightforward and uncomplicated throughout my pregnancy until my only brother died suddenly and tragically 6 weeks before my due date. I was a mess and terrified the devastating stress would effect the remainder of my pregnancy, my delivery plan and my baby’s health.
Shelly and Seannie brought empathy, compassion and comfort to me and my family during an extraordinarily difficult time. I was able to work through much of my grief in a healthy and positive way before delivering a gorgeous and healthy baby girl right on time (with a speedy birth to boot) in one of the most incredible moments of my life, straddling joy and sorrow, life and death and welcoming another angel into our family. I would have been lost without my birth team to support me.
I also have a rare physiological impairment that makes breastfeeding beyond difficult. After going through hell trying to successfully establish breastfeeding with my first baby, Shelly and Seannie knew tackling this with a preemptive plan was a huge priority. They championed my commitment to nursing with as little stress and heartbreak as possible this time around. And that’s exactly how it’s been. Stress-less and beautiful
There is no question-Shelly Girard and Seannie Gibson bring exquisite grace and a wellspring of knowledge to the art of homebirth. Your family will be blessed by their loving hands and the tender skill of their craft.
My husband and I wanted a home birth and we couldn’t have found a better pair of midwives. I agree with an earlier review that birthing at home is something you must desire with all your heart and soul, that preparing for it means full body wellness, attention, and mindfulness throughout the pregnancy, and that creating a network of trust and support around the parents-to-be is vital.
Both Shelly and Seannie hold a plethora of knowledge and experience. Their individual personalities compliment one another very well with how they approached each question/concern we ever had. They always brought us in with love, kindness, and respect. No topic was taboo and no concern was ever treated as trite or insignificant. I found that the more questions my husband and I brought in the door, the more we got out of our visits.
They also had excellent suggestions for a birth class – shout out to Kathy Killebrew “Imagine Your Birth” – this class was incredible and HIGHLY recommended by mother and father alike, home birth or not! Shelly also recommended a wonderful chiropractor, Dr. Mike Denapoli, who continues to serve our family.
Something I realized after the birth of our son, is that these women really left much of the responsibility and the process of birthing to us. I feel that this is a key piece of information for anyone who might rather be looking for someone to “take over” or to be the leader/authority during the birth. The hospital route may be a better option. I had an OB/GYN (I tried two actually, as I transferred care after not feeling supported enough) and registered at a hospital as a back-up and I say for certain that the approach and information available couldn’t have been more different. It is not my place to judge, but to point out that I felt way more trusted with the natural processes of my body with these midwives than I ever did with anyone in the hospital system. The medical system felt more based in a culture of fear, preparing for something to go wrong rather than right.
Giving birth was no doubt the most intense, personal, and amazing thing I’ve ever done. It’s hard work! But you get the best prize at the end. And I love that all the choices were made by us and supported.
Seannie and her assistant, Chemin, were with us for the birth. They didn’t arrive until about 3hrs before the baby arrived (not that one would ever know how the timing will work out exactly). Even though Seannie was calling regularly to check in over the course of the labor, I feel that most of the labor process was left to us – which was ok – though I suppose if we would have asked, she would have come whenever we requested her. Even when they arrived they left space for us to have our own experience. I was free to move, be on my feet, get in the shower, crawl into bed or on the couch. We all trusted the natural process of birth, which is overwhelmingly beautiful and powerful! There was no fear or hurry, no tension or pressure on me to do anything more than what felt right. Just an occasional suggestion and a few examinations of dilation and blood pressure as well as monitoring of the baby’s heart rate.
Seannie gave great suggestions for using my breath and she was extremely helpful when the time came to crawl into the pool and to learn how to push in the most effective way. She and Chemin were organized and prepared. While thankfully there were no complications, we felt confident that they would have been prepared to act if any arose. They were the face of professionalism, absolute readiness, experience, and support the entire time.
When our son was born into his father’s arms at dawn, we were wrapped, dried, and warmed and then given space to revel in our first moments as a new family. After that, much attention was given to showing my husband how to cut and care for the cord and testing/documenting what needed to be documented. Then Seannie, as mentioned in another review, gave supreme care in giving me a few stitches, both women helped me with a shower, put me in bed with my son, and then took their time with cleaning up and following through with all last details as my husband and sister made us all a wonderful breakfast. There was never any sense of urgency to wrap things up and move on.
The next day, Shelly came to meet our baby and check me over to make sure everything looked good. Her assistance with breast-feeding was invaluable! She was so sweet and patient as she not only gave me suggestions, but she helped my baby learn his role in the feeding process, too. She set my mind at ease after a few failed attempts at feeding. All was good from that point on.
We have now had one post-natal visit and we are looking to our last visits with these wonderful ladies with bittersweetness. Should we decide to expand on our family, we will certainly go the same route! Endless thanks and gratitude to these women for what they do and who they are.
Yaus F. 3/8/12 – Inglewood, CA
Shelly & Seannie are awesome! They are a wealth of information and reference resources that were just as unbelievable as they are. They were very accommodating. The atmosphere, very calming. Our journey with them was peace-filled, inspiring, and catered to our likes and dislikes. They are truly apart of our family & will be the hands that help welcome our future bundles if we have more. The price we paid for such excellent care was minimal in comparison & we even turned down FREE care so that our experience could be a true Labor of Love! xoxo
Cydney S. – Los Angeles, CA – 2/15/2012
I LOVE these two ladies and can’t recommend them enough! They’ve been doing this for over 40 years and they have it down. They are both lovely people with wonderful bedside manners, and more than capable of handling any situation that might come up during the birth. I had a beautiful experience on the birth of my first child and plan to go back to them for every birth we’ll have in the future. They are the BEST! I wish everyone could have as wonderful an experience as we had.
On the first meeting, I walked in with two pages of questions and they took the time to answer each one all the while giving me the up most respect. We had also interviewed another midwife, and she acted annoyed like we were questioning her expertise when we ask all the questions. It was our first time going through a birth and we needed to ask those questions. Shelly and Seannie understood that and never made us feel bad about it.
They monitored me really well all through the pregnancy and anytime they had to examine me, it never hurt or made me feel uncomfortable the way it sometimes does at the doctor’s office.
When I went into labor, I called Shelly at 3:30am in the morning and she stayed on the phone with me for an hour talking me through the contractions and making sure I knew how to breath and felt like I could handle them. No doctor is going to do that.
Then, when the time came for them to come over for the birth, Shelly was at my house with an assistant for 7 hours. She coached me through the labor when I needed it and was quiet and gave me space when I needed that. Then she took excellent care of the baby and myself after the birth and didn’t leave until I was well fed, had nursed my baby, and the house was picked up.
Seannie came by the next day to check on me and helped me more with nursing. She spent a while with me and made sure I was OK and felt good about nursing and that my body was healing up alright.
You really get more than what you pay for with these two. I would not have changed one single thing about my birth experience and only wish others could have the same as I did.
I trust these two with my life and my child’s life and would recommend them to EVERYONE. THEY ARE THE BEST!!!
Rosie J. – Lansing, MI -11/30/12
I give my highest recommendations to Shelly and Seannie. They are a great medical team to surround yourself with during such an important and precious time of your life, becomings of motherhood. I am a doctor myself and very well aware of the medical wonders and pitfalls. Having a natural birth was extremely important to me. However, I wanted to have a knowledgeable and a medically competent team/midwives next to me who understand human physiology, how it works and how to intervene appropriately. Thus, after talking to numerous midwives, I came to chose to work with Shelly and Seannie. They exceeded all my expectations. I would love to write a long and detailed review for you, but I read all the posted ones and I do not want to be repetitive. They are all great, informative, and I agree with them all. The payment for the care was worth every penny. I have had many patients who came to me and wanted to do home birth; however, it is my professional medical opinion that many are too disconnected with their body and are fearful to take this journey. In such cases, the most wonderful midwives cannot offer the best care; because the patient cannot receive it. So, before you choose anyone; to get the best of this experience, make sure that this is really want you want and that you are able to trust your body in this process (or else it will not work). Because even the strongest one of us will ask for an epi when the baby is about to come out:))) You need to have a strong team with you, with whom you can really connect (it’s just like any other love story). The technicalities and the medical knowledge that Shelly and Seannie have are far beyond what I see in every day OBGYN clinics, in UCLA, Cedars, etc. Sometimes things might not go as we planned or wished: every birth is different, every baby and every mom is different. So take all these reviews with grain of salt. Yet, the medical and the humanistic CARE that these ladies offer is exceptional.
They are medically and holistically grounded and carry a good balance of both. They have all the medical resources that you might need throughout your care: MD, Pediatrician referrals, ultrasound and research resources, resources for all prenatal testings and immunizations available. They will help you throughout your pregnancy if you have any concerns: headaches, backaches, yeast infections, constipation (via homeopathic care or refer to a chiropractic physicians, acupuncturist…by the way, these are not interventions; they are all extremely important during pregnancy). In short, you can trust their guidance in any medical or holistic care that you might need.
THE BIRTH: Shelly delivered my first baby on March 9, 2011. She was focused, professional, extremely intuitive and knew how to connect with me and how to be in charge all at the same time. I usually like to be in control of these kinds of situations; however, I was delighted to be able to let her do her thing. I had to get 5-6 stitches after the delivery. Shelly was able to do that for me and I had absolutely no complications and no scarring after. They also deliver great postnatal care. They will come to your house to check you and the baby post delivery (I believe the very next day). Then you will see them until your are all better (no more bleeding). I hope that this helps you. In short, I think about Shelly and Seannie a lot when I am with my son, James. I think about them because they helped me to have a birth that I really dreamed of having. So please, before you chose any midwife; dream of your birth and know that this is really what you want (it’s ultimately your responsibility and your strength that will make it happen). And for the rest of the details, THEY WILL GET YOU THROUGH.
Leah N. – Culver City, CA – 8/9/11
I had my second and third children with Childbirth at Home and had a great experience. Prenatal visits are relaxing and fun, something I always looked forward to. Shelly and Seannie addressed all my prenatal issues thoughtfully and in a well researched manner. Both births were quick and wonderfully aided by their years of experience. Their knowledge and support during labor was effective in my healthy, fast deliveries. I feel very grateful that they share their vast experience with the Los Angeles community and enable women to have amazing home births. I am incredibly appreciative of their time and skill. I had two wonderful home deliveries because of them. And despite how busy their practice is, you always feel like you are their only client. I would highly recommend them!
Jenny M. – Tarzana, CA – 7/14/2011
Seannie and Shelly were more than I could ever have asked for. They were highly recommended to me by a couple women that had gone with them for all of their births. Their knowledge, love and tenderness was overwhelming! I had done quite a bit of research so when I finally met them I was 5mths pregnant, and felt as though they knew me for years! As soon as I started going to them they made me feel like they knew me better than my obgyn. The day I gave birth Seannie was like my angel. I felt so supported and taken care of. I couldn’t have asked for a better birth!!!!!!
Janay L. – Los Angeles, CA – 7/5/2011
This is a long review, I hope it is helpful. In Dec of 2007, my husband and I found out we were having a baby. Naturally we went to the doctor’s and did a ultra sound and I was about 4 1/2 weeks pregnant. So we ended up going back to confirm due date, she said I was 7 weeks and the baby would be due around Aug 28, 2008. I wanted a natural vaginal birth, when I told her my birth plan, her response was ” we will see when we get there, and how your doing” I couldn’t believe it, I was so upset, I felt like she didn’t care to stick with what I really wanted. I had another doctor I would go see at Cedars and I went to him and he gave me a due date of Aug 30, and when i told him my birth plan he said “Okay”. I really like him as a doctor, yet I wanted the birth of my first Child to be an amazing experience one that I would always remember and cherish, not be “just” another delivery. I ended up going to my Chiropractor and told her i was pregnant and wanted to have a natural child birth and i told her my experience with the doctors and how i felt.
Little did I know she had both her kids at home. I told her I was interested and asked her for her midwife’s information. Well after long researching and finding out her midwife had moved to Texas. I was lead to Shelly and Seannie. I met them when i was already in my 2nd trimester, and I absolutely loved them, they made me feel like we were a family, like i was their daughter. They had so much knowledge and experience about both Home Births and Hospital Births. I left there and told my husband this is it, they are the ones to delivery our little one. I was very heavy already when I met them, so they were naturally on my case about my diet, though it was very hard to listen because I literally ate everything I saw or craved! I’m 4’11 and when I gave birth to my son I was just about 190!
I had regular prenatal check ups with them, every check up they were on me about my diet, and exercise. I didn’t do any exercise, i spent my days at the spa getting massage’s every week, going to the chiropractor, Dr. Mike, and my diet was eating everything. Well when my due date came around I wasn’t even close to going into labor, yet i looked like i was about to deliver triplets any second! Shelly and Seannie told me to do a lot of walking. They never made me fell scared or fearful about being late, and overweight, they said everything was going to be okay. On Sept 3, 2008 Shelly and Seannie thought it would be best I go see their Chiropractor, and then they gave me a choice of doing acupuncture inducement.
I went and saw Dr. Mike, he said the baby was having trouble going into my pelvic because of the way my pelvic is shaped. and he said come back on Friday which was the 5th and I will get the baby in your pelvic and you will have the baby within 72 hours. Well on Friday i got a call from Shelly and Seannie asking me to go get a non-stress test done with Dr. Wu to make sure everything is still going smoothly. So before i went to see Dr.Mike I went to see the obststerician and he said everything was prefect, though if I didn’t have the baby by Tuesday then we need to look into plan b. Well I decided to also go get acupuncture because there was no way i was going to have this baby in a hospital! Well I Saw Dr. Mike on Friday, I went to the acupuncture Saturday Morning, I went into Early Labor at 2:30 in the morning Sunday(at the time i didn’t know i was in labor) .
I knew for sure I was in labor at 6:45 am. I called Shelly and she said I was in early labor and to go walk,eat,relax, & to take every contraction on at a time, which was the best advice she could of gave me. I’d call her every 30mins or so and let her know how i was doing. about 12:30 my contractions were coming a little stronger and she said she was going to get things ready to come over, 2:30 comes around and she is already at my house, and I was about 8cm. She helped me through breathing and she had great trips on making me feel more comfortable. I started to push around 3:30 or so, and every push she helped me with and gave me great support and guidance.
I delivered my son at 5:34 pm,on Sept 7, 2008 and there is NO WAY i could of EVER have done it without Shelly! She was absolutely amazing and made everything go so smoothly! and she got everything cleaned up right away, it was an amazing experience! It was so amazing I continued to keep in touch with both her and Seannie, And about a year ago My husband had got a job in Texas, and we were planning on having another baby. I told him there is NO WAY I will have a baby if Shelly or Seannie can’t be the ones to deliver our new bundle of joy. So my husband didn’t take the job and we stayed here in LA and 14 weeks ago Shelly and Seannie delivered our 2nd child, a little girl. The birth was so amazing, it went so fast and was so calm, it couldn’t have been better. I wouldn’t have it any other way, I love these two ladies so much they are a part of our family and forever will be.
R. Ernie S. Glendale, CA – 7/5/2011
The birth of our baby boy was nothing short of amazing! Nothing short of completely smoothe and magical! There were 3 reasons for that, my beautiful, spiritually attuned girlfriend Candy and our brilliant midwives Shelley and Seannie! This was my first experience in dealing with midwives at all and I have to say that at first I definitely had my reservations about the whole thing. Those reservations lasted til about 3 minutes into our first meeting with these magnificent ladies!!!!
To say that these women are kind enough to know how to make the experience of childbirth one that allows you to easily breathe your way into the journey is an understatement. Shelley’s experience and Seannie’s acute knowledge of the the things a woman goes through when preparing to birth a child was music to our ears EVERY MEETING!
Believe me when I say that I could go on and on but I won’t as quite a few people have done that amazingly here already but I will say this, with all honestly dealing with them felt like a spiritual circle we became a part of for those months! They were sweet, kind, gentle and vveeeryy goood at their profession and for me that switched around my entire perception about childbirthing. Midwives are the way to go! The way it should be done! And these two women are unquestionably the way to go!
Martine K. – Studio City, CA – 6/30/2011
I found out I was pregnant shortly after moving to SoCal under what felt at the time like really negative circumstances. I wasn’t ready to have a child and I felt panicked every time I thought about what lay ahead – ESPECIALLY the labor and delivery…
After meeting with an OBGYN who was simply horrendous, I knew that I would have to go with my gut and look for a Midwife. The idea of a hospital birth was more terrifying to me than anything else. So I began searching online for the highest rated Midwives in California… and it didn’t take long for me to find Shelly and Seannie. In fact, their website popped up first and I was hooked from the moment I finished reading Shelly’s biography.
I was already 5 months pregnant when I scheduled my first meeting with Shelly and Seannie. I was scared, working too many hours, stressing how to pay them on time (I did it – almost single handedly – in three months with both Midwives graciously reminding me to focus on the Baby first, money second the whole way along), stressing how to make things work in a difficult relationship with my son’s father, stressing diet, just stressing EVERYTHING!
Even if they hadn’t both been very wise and compassionate and genuine in dealing with my basic first mom concerns and high maintenance self… even if they hadn’t been transparent with their own experiences, 100% honest about the hard facts when I was diagnosed GBS positive, and 100% professional about every exam and check-in… I would have loved them anyway just because they are both amazing women, wives and mothers. I would have loved them because they understood me from the very first meeting, they sympathized with the hard parts of what I was going through, and when I had my panic moments, they lovingly walked me through the process – NEVER belittled me or blew me off – ALWAYS took me seriously and helped me navigate my own emotions and body changes.
And when my water broke on March 6th just before 7am, Shelly was there by phone and soon enough in person to walk me through the labor with the same calm and patient approach she had shown for several months.
I earnestly believe that Shelly and her assistant, Sheman’s, gentleness and calmness were the primary reason I was able to have a quick, easy, perfect and manageable home delivery. They were the reason I remembered to keep using positive affirmations, Ina May style, to coax my Body through the foreign (but somehow, strangely familiar and natural) process of labor and delivery. And when my son’s big, healthy head began to emerge in the pushing stage, they were the reason I summoned up that last big whoosh of strength and got him out FAST and without any intervention necessary despite his size and my petiteness.
For years I’ve maintained I would only ever have one child – a son – and here he is now, sleeping peacefully in our little happy room as I write this. He is amazingly healthy, amazingly beautiful, and gets compliments and makes friends wherever we go. And whenever I am asked, I proudly and happily tell people YES – he was born at home, on my bed! And YES – if I ever had another child, I’d do it all again!
But only if I could have Shelly and her team by my side.
Anonymous – 3/23/2009
In choosing a care provider you have to find a good fit, and I interviewed at three different midwifery care practices. I chose Childbirth at Home – A Labor of Love for a few different reasons. Right away I was attracted to their pragmatic approach – keenly skeptical of the medical model but not deifying the midwifery model either. Shelly’s focus and knowledge on nutrition were important to me, as well as her decades of experience.
I waited until my third trimester to start care with them, and then it ended up being even longer because I failed a glucose test with my OB before I transferred. Shelly administered a re-test which I passed, otherwise I would be a hopeless gestational diabetic and not able to work with them. I’m still grateful they gave me the second chance!
Shelly and Seannie both attend each visit; as either one could potentially attend your birth this is a pretty wise method. And each visit is an hour, shockingly long compared to physician’s visits. Their care was thorough, and they were attentive to both reviewing records from other providers as well as processing paperwork. They also had (for me) the right balance of empathy and pressure. They prescribed a ton of walking and a very clean diet. With a 9-pound baby – and a hand over his face on the way out – I especially needed this to assure the expediency of my labor. And their office is a fabulous hillside paradise, a very calming environment that was just a bonus feature of working with them.
I initially hoped Shelly would attend my birth, since Seannie projects “protege” opposite Shelly’s “seasoned master,” frequently calling on Shelly for a second opinion. In the end Seannie was every bit the expert I was hoping for. Particularly when I was pushing, Seannie was an outstanding coach, helping me hone in on exactly what would work. I personally also had a doula, because I needed the extra pair of hands, eyes and ears. Not sure if every mother would also need one with these midwives, but it still helped for me particularly for early labor.
I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything else, and if I have another pregnancy I’ll go straight back to them.
Maria N. – Sherman Oaks, CA – 3/20/2009
I am currently pregnant with my third child, and Shelly delivered my first two (Seannie assisted the first). Shelly has years and years of experience coupled with an amazing talent and passion for her craft. I cannot speak highly enough of the integrity, sensitivity, breadth of knowledge and discipline these two midwives have. It’s the perfect blend of intuition, intelligence and scientific knowledge. They are grounded; they know their medicine, they know their clients.
Each appointment is an hour long– they genuinely get to know and care for their client’s well-being both emotionally and physically. They present facts and allow you to make your own decisions. Also, they are an invaluable resource regarding any referrals you may need from alternative care to traditional medical procedures. And there’s no secretary, or answering service–if you have a question or concern they personally answer or return your call. Also, the office, a.k.a. Shelly’s home, is a peaceful retreat in and of itself with it’s beautiful flowers and wonderful view. You never wait for more than a couple minutes for your appointment, either.
They are grounded, inspirational women to be around. Do not pass up the opportunity to meet them and see for yourself! Your baby will love you for it!!
Renee M. – Altadena, CA – 3/4/2009
From the moment I stepped into Shelly’s office 3 years ago, I knew that she and Seannie would become an integral part of my life. I felt pure love and a motherly dedication to my health and well-being as well as the child growing inside me. Throughout the remaining months of my first pregnancy, I was cared for, guided and loved by these two women as I prepared physically and mentally for my first birth – at home.
During the labor and delivery, Shelly was compassionate and assertive. She stepped back and allowed my husband and I to bond and work together. She also lovingly held my hands and guided me through other times during the labor when I needed feminine strength. I felt completely safe and in control under Shelly’s care. I knew that she would do whatever was necessary to protect me and my baby – and she did. My daughter was born healthy, alert and beautiful! Thanks to Shelly’s experience and care, I had no tearing and recovered quickly from the birth.
My daughter’s birth was such a wonderful event that my husband and I did not hesitate to start trying for a second baby. There was no doubt for either of us that a home birth with Shelly and Seannie would be our choice this time around as well. After a great 2nd pregnancy and labor, our beautiful boy was born at home – just 18 months after his sister.
Shelly and Seannie have touched our lives in too many ways to list. Most notably, they helped us to welcome our healthy children into the world. We feel so blessed to have these women forever in our memories! I will miss them dearly… unless, maybe, we decide to have another
Do you love these midwives? Want to add your testimonial? Send us your story and we will put it up!