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"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel"

-Maya Angelou

Testimonials 

“We had a wonderful experience with Juanita when welcoming our first child in October 2020. We want other expectant parents (especially first time parents) to know what a treasure and honor it was to have Juanita by our sides. Mom planned to pursue an unmedicated labor and delivery, so we met with Juanita at the suggestion of our doctor. It was immediately apparent in our introduction meeting that Juanita was knowledgeable, compassionate, and intentional in her support for mom, dad, and baby as a family unit. After formalizing the doula partnership, we met with Juanita twice (a combination of video chat and in-person) in preparation for labor and delivery. Juanita provides an abundance of information and resources, but encouraged us to digest things at our own pace. We provided Juanita with updates as the due date drew near, and she was always quick and thorough in her response. We felt physically and emotionally supported, and mentally informed, throughout the weeks leading up to labor. Juanita walked us through various topics for consideration and conversation, and always presented a balanced approach that allowed us to determine what we thought was best. We implemented several of Juanita’s suggestions – these helped decrease Mom’s physical discomfort during her third trimester, give Dad an active preparatory role (and peace of mind), and help prepare Mom’s body for labor and delivery. While we were very happy with Juanita’s support leading up to labor and delivery, it was Juanita’s presence with us at the hospital during Mom’s 22-hour labor was truly invaluable. Juanita was mentally and emotionally present, even as the hours became long and exhausting; her steady focus and energy were a source of vitality for Mom and Dad. Juanita kept our birth plan in focus, while allowing us to feel comfortable and empowered to shift and adapt as the situation evolved. Ultimately, when Mom decided that it was time to employ an epidural, Juanita was supportive of the decision and continued to attend to us with the same high level of care and dedication. Juanita has clear command over her role amongst the hospital staff – she is present and informative, but never in any way pushed any agenda or became any barrier to Mom’s needs. Her efforts were always equally focused on mom and baby, and she was a firm yet respectful advocate for us when we weren’t sure what questions to ask, or help to request, of the hospital staff. She complemented the work of the hospital staff, and made us feel so much more comfortable in an environment that can otherwise be overwhelming or intimidating. In a literal sense, we are not sure what we would have done at the hospital without Juanita to guide us. She was a key player in the delivery process, and was the most invaluable ‘decision’ that we made in preparing for the arrival of our new baby girl. We will forever cherish Juanita – her warmth, her commitment, and her positive spirit. If you are considering hiring a doula, we very strongly recommend working with Juanita. She was a true lifesaver to us – so much more than we anticipated – at a time when we needed it. We cannot imagine anyone more equipped or prepared to support a new family through the challenging process of labor and delivery.”– Alanna 11/2020

“Chicago Family Doulas, and Juanita specifically, are wonderful! Leading up to the birth of our son at the end of March 2020, Juanita helped us put together a birth plan that we, and my doctors, were comfortable with. She was always available to answer questions and calm my fears (first time mom here!). We also took her Spinning Babies class, which I highly recommend if you truly want to experience birth and not just “get it over with”. When I went into early labor at 2am, Juanita was extremely responsive, letting us know over the phone what I could do to keep moving toward active labor. Once it was clear that labor would keep progressing, Juanita came right over. She was with me, physically and emotionally, through every contraction. When it was time to head to Prentice (my biggest fear was the ride to the hospital), Juanita rode with me in the backseat, manipulating my hips and making sure my heat packs were in place. When we arrived, I was at 6.5 centimeters. I was ecstatic, as my plan was to labor at home as long as possible. My only regret was that Juanita was not able to be with us when our son was born due to COVID-19 restrictions that were in place at the time. We will certainly be working with her again when it’s time for baby #2.”– Brette 11/2020 via Google

 

“Deciding to work with Chicago Family Doulas and the recommendation that we partner with Juanita as our Doula was without a doubt the best decision we made during my pregnancy. This was my first pregnancy and I was experiencing it during a pandemic having newly moved to the city of Chicago. Juanita was everything I needed; informative, helpful, a great listener, amazing coach, available whenever needed and for any question.I had a strong desire to have a natural childbirth and I now question if I could have had the successful experience that I did without her. Aside from the guidance and knowledge that Juanita provided throughout my pregnancy, when the time came for my son to be born, she was amazing. During my labor with her guidance we tried several techniques, even during the actual delivery. I attribute much of the truly positive pregnancy, labor and delivery I experienced to our partnership with Juanita. I am forever grateful to her and this amazing company for being my advocate, sister, teammate and coach through this experience in these trying times.”– Natalie 10/2020

“I had an empowering and memorable birth experience with my second baby boy (born 9/11/2020) and both myself and dad strongly feel that Juanita was a major driver in making that happen. I had a VBAC and was attempting to do so without any medication/intervention at Evanston hospital. I labored at home for 9 hours and went into the hospital when contractions were 3 min apart. Juanita offered to come over but I felt like I was managing the pain well but she was coaching me/alleviating my worries via text even at 3 am when she advised we meet at the hospital. At the hospital, Juanita was super hands on during the 15 hours I labored without pain medication. She was honestly probably the main person who allowed me to go that long without an epidural. She did so by being such a calming, reassuring, supportive person, advising how and when I should try different techniques to manage pain and get labor going. E.g., “Let’s do the next few contractions on the ball/standing up/walking the halls/in the labor tub, etc.” I was also working with the midwifes from NSAGO (who are AMAZING – big shout out to my midwife Gaye Koconis), and when I was checked and found out I was just 6 cm dilated after the 24 hrs of labor, I decided to go for the epidural to reserve energy for the rest of labor as the contractions were so strong. After getting the epidural, Juanita was obviously less hands on as I was not in any pain/couldn’t feel the contractions and thus was able to rest, but she nevertheless was in the waiting room on standby for the whole 11 hours I labored with medication. When it came time for pushing, that’s when Juanita’s presence was doubly appreciated. She would encourage and cheer and coach me through the pushing process in a more in depth way than the nurses and midwife were able to provide (as they were doing of course doing other things as well like monitoring the contractions, getting the room prepped, etc.). It was so appreciated because I obviously couldn’t feel whether my pushed were being effective and so getting that constant support and feedback from Juanita gave me the energy to keep going (“good adjustment; I know we talked about other laboring positions but you’re honestly doing such a good job in this I think we should stay here; you got this mama; completely relax now; etc.”). Baby came out in just 22 min of pushing! Again, I think that’s also a testament to Juanita’s presence. I can honestly go on about how working with Juanita was worth every penny (dad thinks she’s worth double+ with just the wealth of knowledge she has!). Juanita just came by for our postpartum visit and she was again another beacon of light. After 3 days of doubt and frustration with lack of sleep and milk, Juanita came and honestly put my mind to rest and I was able to get more sleep once she left. I was sad to have to say good bye — but I know she has many more mamas waiting for her to positively influence their pregnancy/birth experience as she did for us. From the bottom of our hearts: thank you a million times, Juanita!”– Caroline 9/2020 via Yelp

“I’m having a pandemic baby, and took the spinning babies course with Juanita. I love the approach to think of labor as a team effort between me and my little girl. Juanita thoughtfully showed both me and my husband different ways on how we can help our daughter finish her journey to join our family. The class really made me feel confident in my ability to work with my baby in the birthing process. Additionally, I really appreciate how informative their social media posts are on prenatal and postpartum care.  Its hard to feel supported in quarantine, and CFD taking the time to give the mamas out there information on how to have their best births and pregnancy experiences is a kindness that goes above and beyond their call of duty.”– Jasmine 8/2020 via Yelp

“I am positive that Juanita Montoya is the main reason I was able to have an unmedicated birth. I also want to make a plug for her Spinning Babies course, which taught me and my husband about the mechanics of birth as well as ways to prepare for labor, like the Three Sisters exercises. I cannot sing Juanita’s praises enough. I’m a first-time mom and I feel so lucky to have had Juanita as my doula. After my intake call with Annamarie, she matched us with Juanita. Juanita graciously came to our home to meet me and my husband and we loved hearing her holistic approach to labor and parenthood. Afterward, she sent us an email filled with encouragement and resources–everything from book recommendations to YouTube videos to help prepare us for birthing. And then, went I went into labor, Juanita coached me on how to breathe and moan in a low pitch to keep my muscles loose. She also applied counter-pressure to my back, taught me several stances to labor in, applied warm aromatherapy cloths to my shoulders, and suggested ways my husband could support me and be involved. Throughout the process Juanita explained what was happening to my body and she translated the medical jargon from the nurses and midwife into language I understood. Once my daughter was born, Juanita stayed to make sure we were settled in. And her care didn’t end there: we also had a postpartum visit where she checked in on our whole family and taught me how to begin to heal from labor.”– Amelia 4/2020 via Facebook

“Blown completely away by the competence, compassion, and service I experienced working with Anna Marie and Juanita at Chicago Family Doulas! Every step was made so easy for me and my husband and we were consistently learning from our sessions and felt very prepared for our labor and delivery. We were impressed with the rapid communication we received, especially once everyone’s set plans changed due to Covid-19. We were further supported after our son’s birth and heavily relied on our Chicago Family Doulas expertise throughout our process and having our Doula available via text and phone and video conference during our entire 15 plus hour labor. I knew from the first minute I interacted with Anna Marie that Chicago Family Doulas would be a great decision and I was consistently reminded that it indeed was. Thank you Anna and Juanita for supporting us during such an important period in our lives!”– Xiomara 4/2020 via Facebook

“I highly recommend Chicago Family Doulas! I first contacted Chicago Family Doulas early on in my pregnancy, and the owner, Anna, was very responsive and helpful. After a long chat with her, she recommended one of her doulas, Juanita, and set up an initial meeting with Juanita so we could decide if we wanted to proceed forward with her. It was always clear to us that if we didn’t connect with Juanita, we could ask Anna to set up a meeting with another doula. Fortunately, we liked Juanita and she turned out to be AMAZING! Juanita was always responsive to my questions and concerns throughout pregnancy and was super helpful while creating a birth plan. She specializes in Spinning Babies, so we took the spinning babies course with her, which was really informative and interesting. During active labor, she was a LIFESAVER. I thought I was getting a doula for emotional support and to position me effectively throughout labor, but she was INFINITELY MORE. Juanita is a powerhouse of strength and knowledge. She gave me really helpful advice throughout the labor process and guided my breath to help me relax into contractions, but more importantly, she put all her weight into me to help counterbalance the pains I was experiencing and to help my sacrum open the way it needed to. The relief I felt when she pushed on my hips during a contraction was invaluable. I’m sure I would have begged for an epidural or cried my way through labor without her. I’m so grateful that I had the support of a doula, and would recommend Chicago Family Doulas to everyone!”– Talia 3/2020 via Yelp

“Choosing Chicago Family Douglas was the best I could do for myself and my twins! Great contact from the beginning, thank you Anna for all support. And of course THANK YOU for reliable and amazing doula JUANITA. She gave me invaluable help and she did a really good job! With Juanita help I gave twin birth by the forces of nature <3 these women gave me support from first contact through delivery to the first questions and doubts after returning from the hospital. I recommend Chicago Family Doulas with all my heart!”– Gabriela 3/2020 via Google

 

“Juanita was absolutely amazing! Kept me calm throughout the whole process, always encouraging to let my body work as it needs to. All the sessions were super informative and to the point. Not too short and not too long. She made it very easy for us to make the right decisions about our birth. Thanks to her we switched to Evanston Hospital and our experience could not have been better. The doctor at the hospital said she was amazing and that she was one of the reasons my labor progressed soo smoothly! I will for sure hire her again if we have a second baby! She was our angel in such an important day for us!”– Patricia 12/2019

“Chicago Family Doulas is amazing! Juanita was my doula and was phenomenal. I could not have gotten through my (very long) labor and delivery without her. Her knowledge and support was invaluable and made a very difficult labor more tolerable. Highly recommend her and CFD!”– Jill 8/2019 via Google

“Juanita was my doula and she is the best! I can’t overstate how helpful she was throughout my whole pregnancy and birth. I couldn’t have done it without her.”– Jen 8/2019 via Instagram

“Chicago Family Doulas has been amazing! Highly recommend their care and support. The knowledge their Doulas have is so helpful, regardless of how many babies you’ve cared for. Spinning Babies with Juanita was incredible! Her teaching is what makes the class. After reviewing the materials post-class I came to the conclusion that anyone who thinks you can just read that stuff and get it is selling themselves short of the true benefits. We (my partner and I) both loved it and walked away feeling a lot less anxious about the process of labor and delivery. We’ve been doing the 3 Sisters of Balance daily since :)”– Laura 6/2019 via Google

“Juanita is the best! this is a review thats long over due! My baby son is almost 6 months old and I still can not appreciate Juanita enough! I was very nervous about the whole birthing process and I really want to have a natural birth. With all the education, exercise taught by Juanita, my body was pretty much ready before labor started. I was able to deliver my son without epidural and the labor was relatively easy and smooth. Juanita gave me a lot of support and courage, and she is always very professional and friendly. If I am going to have a second kid, I will definitely need Juanita as my doula! Thanks Juanita, Anna and Chicago Family Doulas!”– Madison 4/2019 via Google

“From the first time we met Juanita we felt so comfortable with her and knew she would be the right doula to work with throughout the pregnancy and labor. She was incredibly helpful in preparing for labor both physically and mentally and when we had some unexpected complications toward the end she was knowledgeable and supportive through our eventual induction and c-section. Juanita was a wonderful member of our team throughout an intimate, amazing, and sometimes challenging period and we are so grateful to her. Finally, Anna of Chicago Family Doulas was always professional, supportive, and responsive from the first time I reached out all the way through postpartum. We would highly recommend Juanita and Chicago Family Doulas.”– Meredith 12/2018

"Juanita was our labor doula and I cannot say enough about her. It’s not only what she does but how she does it. From the interview, prenatal visits, labor to post natal visit, We were so supported, cared for and comfortable with her. Her knowledge was incredible, her communication was immediate and thorough and her kindness was felt throughout the whole process. We were lucky to have her and we will always think of her as an integral part of our wonderful birth story. Thank you to Chicago Family doulas for this positive experience.”– Aneri 8/2018 via Facebook

“We used Juanita and couldn’t be happier.  She was great during the consultations before the birth, setting expectations and giving us things we could practice in advance.  I was attempting a VBAC, so we had some complications to address.  Juantia was supportive of our goals and made us feel confident when we changed our minds along the way.  Follow ups were great.  Juanita is kind, loving and so very helpful, and knowledgeable! I could not recommend her any higher, it was truly a great experience!”– Michelle 7/2018 via Yelp

“We toyed with the idea of hiring a doula with our first child, but ended up not getting one due to the expense. Big mistake! We’re convinced that the outcome might have been different with support from a doula. I ended up with stalled labor and got a c-section. For our second, we decided it’s definitely worth setting aside money for a doula. I was determined to have a VBAC. I asked around and several people recommended this agency. Anna was great about trying to find us a match. We met with her two recommendations. Both were great and knowledgable, but we ended up going with Juanita because I felt more comfortable with her. Juanita gave us a wealth of knowledge to help us prepare mentally and physically for my VBAC. When it was GO TIME, she responded to me right away even though it was in the middle of the night. Labor progressed super quickly. Silly me, I assumed since labor stalled with my first, the second would also take her sweet time. Uh, no. Painful and quick contractions started around 4am, I was at the hospital around 5:30am, and by 6:30am I was screaming my head off from the pain. Juanita was there every step of the way. My husband had to leave for an hour to get our toddler to daycare, and as soon as he stepped out my active labor went into full force. My birth plan said I would ask for an epidural if I really wanted one. I was begging for one, but things progressed so quickly that I couldn’t get one. I couldn’t sit still for more than a few seconds, it felt so painful. So there was no way I would be able to lay still enough to get that needle in my spine. The comfort measures that Juanita did were just enough to keep me sane. I swear I thought my body would literally rip apart with every contraction. We took it one at a time. Each time I thought I couldn’t bear it, Juanita helped me through it. She felt like a lifeline for me. Just past 9am, with 20 minutes of pushing, our baby was born. I did get my VBAC with no epidural, thanks to Juanita. It was worth every penny! If you’re on the fence about getting a doula, DO IT!”– Cindy 4/2018 via Yelp

“Working with Chicago Family Doulas was a great experience! I hired Juanita as my labor support doula and she was absolutely wonderful! Her knowledge, guidance, and support were exactly what I was looking for and received throughout the entire process. I had a successful VBAC with no epidural and I could not have done it without her! During our prenatal meetings, Juanita took the time to truly get to know me and my birth plan goals. She gave me advice and suggestions to help set me up to achieve these goals. She was available by phone, email or text with any questions both before and after delivery. Once my water broke, she met me at the hospital right away and didn’t leave my side until my sweet baby girl was in my arms. She kept me up and active in order to progress labor and had me doing things I would never have thought of, which was so important given the birth of my first child ended in a c-section due to failure to progress. She kept my birth plan goals and wishes in mind during the entire labor and delivery, and she was so supportive and encouraging. The physical support and pain management techniques, the pure knowledge and intuition of what to do next, and the kind reassuring words all played a huge part in my successful VBAC. Thanks again Juanita and Chicago Family Doulas! Looking forward to working with you again when we are ready for baby #3!”– Andrea 11/2017 via Yelp

“Having Juanita through Chicago Family Doulas was the best decision we made throughout our entire pregnancy. Juanita was so supportive and helpful during my last trimester and was a rockstar at my birth. We were able to go into our birth with a clear understanding of our wishes as well as realistic expectations. I felt empowered to have the kind of birth I wanted and Juanita was there every step of the way with us. I couldn’t have don’t it without her!”– Gina 4/2017 via Yelp

“We used Juanita and couldn’t be happier. She was great during the consultations before the birth, setting expectations and giving us things we could practice in advance. I was attempting a VBAC, so we had some complications to address. Juantia was supportive of our goals and made us feel confident when we changed our minds along the way. Follow ups were great. Juanita is kind, loving and so very helpful, and knowledgeable! I could not recommend her any higher, it was truly a great experience!”– Michelle 7/2018 via Facebook

“Chicago Family Doulas is absolutely wonderful! Anna was fabulous and worked with my husband and I to find the right fit for a doula for our first birth. We chose Juanita and could not have felt more supported in our birth experience. Juanita was by far and away one of the best decisions we made throughout our pregnancy and birth – having her with us was invaluable. During my very long labor, not many things went according to my plan, but having Juanita there to explain and help us make informed decisions was everything we needed. She bring so much knowledge and coaching with her – I would recommend Juanita to anyone looking for a doula, she is absolutely amazing.”– Kacie 4/2018 via Facebook

 

“We had a wonderful experience with our doula Juanita. It was my second pregnancy, and my goal was to have a VBAC. Juanita put a ton of effort into preparing me, providing advice on exercise and nutrition among other things. She came to my house twice before my due date and again 2 weeks after delivery to check in and provide additional support. She is truly an expert on the birthing process and has an impressive education. The result was great – I succeeded in the VBAC! I couldn’t have done without Juanita’s guidance. She helped me to manage pain and discomfort during labor and delivery and gave advice that made all the difference. I’m so glad that we found her!”– Lisa 3/2018 via Facebook

 

“I gave birth to my first son two weeks ago. Juanita was our doula and an absolute Godsend. I wanted to do an unmedicated birth and she helped me to prepare accordingly. I labored until I was 5cm at home with my husband before we headed to the hospital where we had Juanita meet us. The contractions were starting to become more intense and the transition to the hospital distracted me from focusing on my breathing. The minute she arrived, she got to work. She had me changing positions, applied pressure to my back, encouraged me to continue to eat and drink and was able to silently direct my mom and husband to participate in the comfort measures without distracting me. She was so calm and knowledgeable, silently but firmly guiding and encouraging me through labor. Towards the end of my labor I was able to get into the tub room at the hospital. Despite being 10 cm dilated, the staff let me get back in the tub and left us alone. After 2 or 3 contractions, our baby boy came out and Juanita was the one who scooped him out of the tub, unwrapped the cord from his neck and placed him on me. I couldn’t possibly imagine Ben’s birth without her. She will forever have a special place in my heart. Words simply do not describe the gratitude I feel towards Chicago Family Doulas and Juanita. This is the most incredible service and I encourage anyone who is considering going the unmedicated route or who wants extra support to hire them!”– Samantha 2/2018 via Facebook

“I researched several doulas in the Chicago area and ultimately went with Chicago Family Doulas to support my birth.  From the beginning, I felt like I really connected with Juanita and she was super supportive of my birth plan.  Juanita was absolutely wonderful to work with.  She was always quick to respond to my text messages and emails.  She frequently sent me excellent tips and suggestions on preparing for my labor.  My labor was exhausting (as expected), but I couldn’t be happier with the way my labor and delivery turned out.  My husband and I were definitely thankful for Juanita’s continuous support during the entire labor process.  She went above and beyond to help me prepare physically, mentally and emotionally.  Thanks to Juanita, I was able to deliver my baby naturally.  Something I know, would not have happened if I didn’t have her by my side!”– Sara 4/2017 via DoulaMatch

“After our 20-week ultrasound when we learned that our daughter would be born with a cleft lip and palate, we knew we would need support after her birth and explored the option of a post-partum doula. Anna was attentive to our needs and connected us with a doula that had worked with a family that had a baby with a cleft. Juanita came to our house and we immediately felt at ease. She was knowledgeable, thoughtful and a good listener. We weren’t sure if all doulas were like that, so we set up a meeting with a doula that worked for herself and was local. We immediately realized that Juanita had indeed been special and that we felt a connection with her. From the first day we met Juanita, we felt reassured and supported. She genuinely listened to everything I shared and offered a valuable perspective on pregnancy, labor and birth. I knew I always wanted a natural labor. To prepare my husband and I signed up for a Bradley methods class, thinking it would be enough to prepare us. When we met with Juanita and listened to her talk about how she supports women during labor and birth, we realized what an asset she would be to have during my labor and birth of our daughter, and we began to consider the idea of having a labor and birth doula in addition to a post-partum doula. The concept of a doula was completely new to my family and me and we hesitated to justify the additional cost, knowing that so many women give birth without a doula all the time. However, after we met with Juanita we felt reassured that we would be in good hands and that my hope of a natural birth would be more likely with her on our team. Taking a chance on something new to us and hiring Juanita as our doula was the best decision we could have made for our family. After learning of our daughter’s cleft diagnosis, it became even more important to us to avoid any unnecessary medical interventions for her birth. I knew she was going to need a lot of support after birth and needed to make sure I avoided a C-section at all costs. To do so, we knew we were going to need support in case complications were to arise. There is absolutely no way I could have given birth to our daughter naturally without our doula, Juanita, from Chicago Family Doulas. Juanita physically, mentally and emotionally prepared me for labor and birth. I had a difficult labor and on multiple occasions was encouraged to have medical interventions by my physicians. At each of those times, I was relieved to have my doula to discuss the intervention with and then each time be suggested an alternative we could try first. Even more, she knew how to support me during the physical pain I was experiencing. She used her words to encourage me, but also used her hands and body to alleviate the pain I felt during contractions. She has a plethora of techniques she uses depending on the situation and the woman she is working with. Even more special was how she also empowered my husband, sister and friend that were with me for the labor on how to support me. She taught them how to massage and hold me, and she had them providing me with liquids to drink and fanning me throughout. Everyone had a role is supporting me. I gave birth at Prentice Women’s Hospital and after my daughter’s birth, the nurse informed me that the hospital has a 96% epidural rate! I was shocked. She said many women come in wanting a natural birth, but she has found that only women with a doula or personal midwife or coach are usually able to successfully have a natural birth. Had I not had my doula, I am certain I would have been part of that 96% on top of having other medical interventions. Although my labor was long and challenging, I was successfully able to deliver my daughter naturally and I felt both cared for and supported throughout. I’m so grateful we stumbled upon Chicago Family Doulas, Anna and Juanita during my pregnancy. My daughter entered this world at a healthy 9 lbs 6 oz. Both of us were fully alert after birth and ready to bond.”– Paula 4/2017 via Facebook

“Annamarie made the process of finding a doula that fit our needs incredibly easy, despite our last minute request. We matched with Juanita, who is truly a gifted doula, both in her physical and emotional help with labor support. I would highly recommend Chicago Family Doulas and Juanita especially.”– Rebecca 2/2017 via Facebook