top of page


"Anne was literally such a blessing to have as our Doula! I had no idea what I was missing out on not having a Doula for my first two pregnancies/births. The experience was night and day!! Not only did she support me in every decision I made, she informed me about area hospitals, best practices to prepare my body for labor and tips and encouragement to pursue a VBAC when I was surrounded by a lot of people telling me that's not a good idea. I ended up having the labor of my dreams - and was completely night and day from my previous two experiences! I'm happy Anne was a huge part of that and I truly couldn't have done it without her!! I was so happy to see her face and have her with me during the whole labor!!" - Alexandria Arnold 

"I LOVED having Anne as my doula. I remember meeting her for the first time and instantly knowing she was The doula for me. She has a very sweet, nurturing spirit and a big heart full of compassion and empathy for her clients. She was great about checking in with me throughout my pregnancy and extremely supportive of my birth plan whether I decided to go unmedicated or medicated. I expressed to her early on that I felt empowered to try this birth (my 3rd) unmedicated but was deep down terrified whether I could do it or not. Anne reassured me by guiding me with her knowledge and helped put my fears at ease. When the time came, I chose to do it unmedicated and during labor Anne was my rock. She literally breathed with me through contractions, encouraged and comforted me the whole 5 hrs of labor. She is amazing at what she does! She was so calm the entire time that it made me feel relaxed, empowered and confident even in those intense moments. I look back on my birth experience and thank god that I had her there with me every step of the way! She is a huge part of what made my birth experience so beautiful and memorable! I can’t thank her enough and I highly recommend her to anyone considering a doula!!" - Jenna Healey

“I previously worked with Anne so when I became pregnant with my first child she was my go to Doula! She gave me great advice as well as answered my questions (I swear I asked everything under the sun). Not only does she keep you calm while in labor but she’s like having a best friend there who knows what’s going on even if you don’t. I highly recommend her to anyone needing a Doula in the future! My daughter was born on June 21, 2018 and we couldn’t be happier!!” – Priscilla Lussier

“At 38 weeks pregnant, my husband and I decided to search for a doula. We were both skeptical about what a doula does to help with labor, but we wanted an unmedicated, natural birth and to avoid a c-section. On a Monday, Anne quickly responded to a Facebook post that a friend initiated. After reviewing her Calming Touch page, I was impressed by her professionalism, and the reviews showed that she was caring and well appreciated. She agreed to meet with us the next day. My husband and I were even more impressed with her in person. She was very knowledgeable and supportive of our plans. We hired her immediately. She even lent us some books from her personal library to help us prepare. Anne wanted to meet with us a second time, but my labor started before that could happen. At 6 am on Friday, I told Anne that I thought I was having contractions. Even though she had another client in labor (her water had broken, mine had not), Anne continually kept tabs on my progress. By 3 pm, we made our way to the hospital. It was an honor and a relief that Anne showed up to our labor (we had only met 3 days before). She supported us, especially my husband, through every contraction as we tried to focus on staying calm. She gently suggested various positions and techniques, which helped tremendously. After the birth of our daughter, Anne stayed with us and took pictures with my husband's phone, since we were both too excited and emotional to even think about recording the moment. She even took a picture of the notes she took of our birth experience, recording the times of each major event. She did not leave our side until it was time to go to the recovery room (at 5 am the next morning). A week later, Anne came for a postpartum visit, bringing a sweet gift and just talking with us about how the whole experience went. She answered all our questions and concerns and assured us that we can always look to her if we had more. In all, Anne was more than we could have ever expected from a doula. We could not imagine our birth experience being as successful without her. Thank you, Anne, for making the birth of our daughter so incredible wonderful! Best. Doula. Ever.” – Christina Fleck

“Anne is such a knowledgeable and kind woman- being a doula is just in her blood! I am so thankful that I found her! Like many of the testimonials below, my birth did not go as planned- I had planned for an all-natural birth with no medical interventions, but caved and asked for an epideral. I was scared she would be “disappointed” or unsupportive of that choice, however, she continued to support me and give me strength throughout the rest of my labor. Her presence alone kept me calm and grounded during active labor and pushing- she even brought essential oils which were a LIFE SAVER when I got heartburn towards the end. Even before the birth and being at the hospital, she was always a text or phone call away, and if she didn’t know the answer to a question, she was looking it up right away and getting back to me very quickly. The support she offers even after birth is amazing and very welcomed for this first time mom! She is such a loving and wonderful person and I have grown to love her over my journey from pregnancy to post-partum and beyond- So happy to call her a friend…and you can bet that if I am still in the area for next baby…I will absolutely be using her services again!” – Kristin Thompson

“While I did have some scary moments like tripping from tiredness & a bad reaction from meds to baby not progressing down because he is large and I'm narrow, AND our pressures dropping because of the epidural; she kept me calm and focused the entire time. I didn't have a panic attack during labor and her support and setting the room up to be as relaxed as possible were much needed as this pregnancy wasn't the easiest and I was nervous about having to do a c-section because of his size (he came naturally thanks to some tricks). Thank you for helping make my last delivery a great one!"  – Kim Castillo

"I can’t express enough how grateful I am for Anne Shell and her doula services. She helped me deliver both of my girls naturally, and though they were different experiences (one being during a pandemic), Anne’s expertise and care made both labors empowering and amazing! We knew this time around that she could not be physically present at the hospital. But even with her there virtually, she was right in that room with me, encouraging me, telling me how strong I was, and helping me through every breath and contraction. Her suggestions to change my positions helped move the labor along quickly and efficiently. She will always have a special place in both of my girl’s birth stories. Reach out to her if you are looking for the BEST doula in Hampton Roads!"-- Christina Fleck (birth #2)

“Anne was my doula for my first born, born December 31st 2013. Anne is extremely passionate about her work and very knowledgable. She was very supportive before during and after I gave birth. She taught me so much, supported every decision I made and helped me through what turned out to be a very different birth then I had planned for. She was a saving grace when she showed up. She stayed with me for the whole LONG process and continued to be the rock thru it all. I would recommend her service to anyone!” -- Morgan Todd

“Anne was amazing to work with. She spent about 24 hours of my 34 hour labor with me and helped me to labor at home as long as I possibly could. She knew my birth plan and my ultimate goal. I did have to stray away from my birth plan a bit but Anne supported all decisions that we made. She greatly helped me make informed decisions and also kept my husband very involved. She has continued to keep in touch and has not only been a doula but also a friend. I would recommend her services and hope to work with her again in the future.” – Rose Angleton

“I asked Anne to be my doula for the birth of my third child because I had a lot of stress surrounding this birth. We had just moved from across the country, hadn't met many people yet, and my husband was going to be away on his ship. Despite all of that, this labor was my favorite! Not only did I have the natural birth I wanted to, but Anne just made the entire experience amazing. My biggest issue during my other labors was the inability to relax during contractions. Anne came fully prepared to help with that! At one point, I felt like I was in a nail salon because I was so relaxed! She is very informed on techniques to cope with the pain and very supportive. Towards the end of my labor, I asked for the epidural but I had already made it far enough that my body was ready to push! I am so thankful to have her helping me, because she is the one who got my through it all! I also want to add that she has breastfeeding support for you as well. She gave me the number to a LC quickly and I now feel even more supoportive in my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter. All of my children have issues breastfeeding in the beginning so it's important that I have people to turn to right away.”.– Nicole March

“Anne was my doula with my second child, a vbac. We had many meetings so we could get to know each other. She is an amazing woman and just so sweet. When I was in labor she came to my house and helped me with each contraction for 36 looooong hours! At the hospital she helped me stay strong and have the birth I wanted. I couldn't have done it without her. I love Anne” – Amy Bowen

“Anne was INCREDIBLE! She not only stayed with us for about 21 hours but was extremely supportive and comforting. Even though my birth didn't go exactly as planned, I was so grateful to still have her support. She brought amazing sccented oils to fill the room and calming music, even the hospital staff was impressed! Both my husband and I were glad that there was somebody already experienced in the process in our corner. She even kept in touch after and paid a little home visit and brought us a delicious dinner. I couldn't have imagined having a better doula. Thank you again for being there and helping us!” – Melissa Zombey

“Anne was a wonderful support before, during, and after the birth of my second daughter. I started meeting with her a little over half way through my pregnancy. She was happy to meet earlier so we would have plenty of time to get to know each other and become comfortable before the big event. Anne was always quick to answer any questions that I came up with and offer tons of research backed information, which I loved. Although I planned an all natural birth, my labor progressed very quickly and labor pains became too much for me to mentally keep on top of. Anne was an amazing support while I labored at home and at the hospital. She knew my original birth plan and kept encouraging me to get to my goal, but was 100% by my side when I chose an epidural. Her support through out the entire process never faltered even when my plans changed. Her support has continued through my postpartum weeks by frequently touching bases with me and offering additional helpful information on healing, breastfeeding and even bringing a meal by to make our families transition that much easier. I would highly recommend her services to anyone looking for that personal touch during their pregnancy and birth.”  -- Samantha Pitman

“I worked with Anne in the Navy. I loved talking with her about pregnancy and the whole birthing process. I was about 5- 6 months pregnant with my second child when I asked her to be my 'doula' (since she wasn't technically one yet) She gave me ALOT of information and told me books to read if I wanted a better labor with this child.. WHICH I DID, my first was kind of a nightmare (for me, it may not have been as bad for others) So Anne Explained different ways to have my baby my favorite thing was when she said labor doesn't have to be painful and we talked about how I should breath it was AMAZING. So when it finally came time for my little girl to come out I was nervous especially since they wanted to induce me because I wasn't 'feeling' my contractions (I was having back contractions) all in all Anne was there showing my husband pressure points to rub so the intensity wasn't so bad and really there wasn't much pain but there still was because well hey I was having a baby lol. She brought me food and made sure I stayed hydrated and she didn't let nurses take charge really. I didn't have to lay on my back the hospital gave me a ball to sit on until it was closer to when I had to push (breath) my baby out when I was on the bed I was about to sit up in a squatting position, the nurse even gave me a mirror in case I wanted to see EVERYTHING. Anne was there praising me with for how well I’d done and only a little bit more until I get my little girl. Within 3 hours of being in the labor room from when I first got there to waiting for everyone who needed to be there and I had my baby on me,:) it was awesome! I was so proud. The only thing I didn't want was the Pitocin but it’s okay because I still got through it. Thank you Anne!”  -- Alexandria Helene Williams Wygant

“Honestly, when I first learned that I was required to have a doula, I was not thrilled about the idea. I really didn't want someone I didn't know in the room during one of the most intimate moments of my life. I interviewed a few doulas (I think 5) and chose the one whom I felt fit my personality the most. I did not expect to have an immediate connection with someone, or to be able to choose as easily as I did. When I met Anne, something just clicked and it was like I knew her forever and we were just catching up on what was new with us. I never once felt uncomfortable asking her a question or calling or texting just when I had a bad day. I felt like she went over and beyond what the services of a doula are. I not only gained a woman who was supportive of what I wanted but one that really talked me through some difficult moments during almost my entire pregnancy no matter how busy she was. My active labor was really, really fast and only lasted 2 hours from start until the time I birthed my baby girl. Anne talked my husband through the entire thing through text as she rushed to make it in time. She made it just as I was crowning and my husband said that my whole demeanor changed when she walked in the room and it was like a sense of calm came over me. He was right. Calming Touch is the perfect name for her. Her soothing voice and her hand on my back was exactly what I needed at the moment. It's amazing to me that I went from not wanting someone I didn't know there, to finding someone that was able to be a much needed added calm in a day of chaos. I am so glad that Anne has come into my life, not only as that extra support partner I so desperately needed, but as someone I now call my friend. I cannot thank you enough Anne, for all that you've done. Seriously!!” – Samantha Metcalf

“Had the pleasure of Anne serving one of our home birth clients. It was a pleasure to work with her! Bridget (midwife with Eva Homebirth).” – Bridget Taylor

“My boyfriend and I didn't know what to expect during labor and I was worried about the pain. We decided to get a doula for her knowledge and to help with techniques and positions. Anne was incredible!! If I had any questions I could text her anytime. Once my water broke I texted her and she told me what I could do until we should head to the hospital. I cannot say enough kind words about her. She is so caring and knowledgeable I don't know how we would have made it through without her. I ended up having to get a c-section and she stayed the entire time even through recovery. Once we got home she asked how we were doing and if we had any questions. She even did a house visit and brought us dinner. If you are looking for a doula, she is the absolute best.” – Kristin Manty

“Anne is a long-time friend of mine. We were stationed together while in the Navy. She was also part of my inspiration to be a doula myself. Last Tues, I had Anne help myself & with my mother's assistance complete my first successful VBAC, without meds!! My husband is currently deployed & even had he not been, we still would've hired Anne! She was amazing & helped me realize the awesome power that was my own body while in labor. I was already at 7cm dilation & water broke shortly after I arrived at the hospital. 3 hours of hard labor with Anne by my side offering encouragement, softly spoken words & excellent counter pressure, my beautiful little boy came into this world.
Thank You Anne for being there with me & helping through my labor.”  -- Pamela Love

“I highly recommend Anne for her doula services. She is so knowledgeable and was always just a text or call away during my pregnancy when I needed her. She was so supportive and encouraging during my labor and helped me with comfort measures when I didn't want my husband to leave my arms. She really helped me when I felt like I was hitting that wall. After my baby was born she stayed with us for a few hours to make sure everything was going great and I didn't need anything. She is just down right awesome and such a sweet, caring woman. If I were going to be in the area, she would be my doula again when we decide to have our next baby.” – Chelsie Mehok

Anne was so beyond amazing!! From the start of our consultation Phone call i just knew she was the doula I needed! She was so calm and soft spoken. She was able to answer so many questions as my pregnancy went on. She came over twice before my delivery to go over different techniques that would be helpful during delivery..and all those came in handy!! When it came to delivery I can honestly say i wouldn’t have been able to do it without her!! I originally wanted to go all natural but when i changed my mind about getting the epidural she didn’t even question me! Through every contraction she helped ease the pain. She made sure that i was comfortable at all times. Even after birth she made sure to check in and even had the best pot pies delivered and she even brought over delicious muffins! If you are ever hesitant about picking a doula, I highly recommend Anne and you won’t regret it!! - Allison Gray

We could not be more grateful for Anne and the tremendous role she played in bringing our first baby into the world. Her first impression was fantastic and we knew immediately that she was the doula for us. Anne has such a calming, caring and sweet disposition and made us feel completely comfortable with her before we even met her. Throughout our pregnancy she gave us so much support, advice, and plenty of reading materials to help us make informed decisions every step of the way. Being pregnant during a global pandemic (especially with our first child) was beyond stressful and Anne helped ease that stress so much. Late in my pregnancy I disclosed to her that I was not comfortable with my OB or the hospital I would be delivering at and she helped me to find the courage to change my doctor and hospital. That was the best decision I made during the course of my pregnancy and I don't know if I would've taken that initiative without her guidance. I was instantly more comfortable in the new environment and felt confident going into the final weeks before delivery. We ended up going in to labor two weeks early due to some health concerns and Anne was ready to go at a moment's notice. She even took a nervous phone call from my husband at 4:30 in the morning and was in the hospital with us by 5:00 AM. I was determined to go through labor naturally and with as little medication and intervention as possible, but my labor was extremely fast and intense. Many times I second guessed those goals and wanted to quit, but Anne kept me on track in the best way possible. She had such an amazing, gentle persuasion to encourage trying new things and keeping you moving with the intense labor pains. Somehow she always knew what I needed and fulfilled those needs without me having to ask or even knowing in the moment what I wanted to feel more comfortable. She was a tremendous support to my husband as well and helped keep his nerves to a minimum when watching me struggle through the tough parts of labor. The two of them as a team worked better than I could have ever imagined. I was able to make it through my labor medication-free and hold my beautiful baby girl within six hours from the start of labor. Just when we thought Anne couldn't be any better, she has been a tremendous support postpartum for us and our baby. She continues to send links to info to help us out and check on my well being and answer any questions I may have. We will undoubtedly be calling Anne for any future pregnancies and can not thank her enough for all she has done. I hope she knows how special of a person she is and that we will forever be grateful to her and her services. I cannot stress enough how important having a qualified, compassionate, and present doula was in my pregnancy, labor, and postpartum experiences. If you are considering the services of a doula (which you absolutely should), you truly cannot do better than Anne. - Brittany Tack

bottom of page