Susannah is a certified postpartum doula providing services to families in Northern Virginia and Washington DC.
Susannah Kolstad is a DONA certified postpartum doula and certified Mother Roaster providing postpartum care to families during the first 12 weeks after their baby arrives. She provides services to the Northern Virginia (NOVA) and Washington, DC areas including Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Washington, D.C. Here are what her past families have said about her care.
“Susannah was a great resource before and after giving birth to my third child, offering much information relevant to preparation for the birth, postpartum planning, and then postpartum support. I loved that she came over and brought me delicious food from her Sacred Postpartum recipes, such as an Aryuvedic porridge, homemade yogurt and granola, herbal “mama’s tea” and her own canned peaches. Per my request she also cooked a nourishing meal with one of her recipes. She showed me how to use the baby carrier/wrap that I had not figured out with my previous children, and now I can “wear my baby” with confidence. She has many skills to support a mom after giving birth with the belly wrap using warming herbs and spices for healing, as well as gave me a tincture to help relieve the painful cramps that come in the first few days. She did my laundry and dishes as needed, and held my newborn warmly. She also engaged with my older children who also needed attention. I am grateful for her support at this intense time, and feel that her “extra touches” of skills helped me begin to recuperate more swiftly from the birth, especially now that I’m and older mom and have experienced the effects of previous births and long term changes on my body and energy. I would recommend her for any mom who wants to not only get time to rest but also the healing required to support her overall to help her regain strength and vitality in her motherhood journey.” – Amy G., Alexandria, VA
“Susannah is amazing. She really helped my family out during a sensitive and emotional time. She knows so much about babies and postpartum recovery. She is incredibly kind and eager to help. She also showed my baby love and affection, and has great swaddling skills. She would come over for a few hours to help take care of the baby, lend an emotional ear to me, and take care of things with my baby and house while allowing me to take a much-needed nap. I cannot imagine having a newborn baby and dealing with recovery issues without having Susannah around. I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending her to new mommies. ” – Melissa R., Washington, DC
“There are not enough words to begin to describe how wonderful Susannah is as a Doula and a person. Hiring Susannah was one of the best decisions we made for our post-partum journey. As soon as we booked her services she sent us monthly email with tips and information for where we were in planning for our baby and our lives once she arrived. She checked in via Skype when in-person meetings were not possible, and was always available via phone, text or email. Our first day with Susannah was exactly what a new parent needed. Coming home from the hospital is overwhelming and she was exactly what the doctor should order. She was able to help us with swaddling, crying, feeding, ridiculous mom questions, and overall well-being. We had a difficult time with latching and breastfeeding and Susannah was a supportive, calm voice during the entire time. She had resources for us and let us play with her baby gear (slings, etc.), which was invaluable for our decision making as new parents….Even with our parents in town, Susannah was a great addition to the family dynamic. We were able to sleep, eat a few meals when we asked, get recipes and advice, and become more confident parents. Susannah continues to help with all of my questions 8 weeks later and counting, and is always a reassuring voice when needed. We can’t recommend her services enough and will continue to work with her in the future. She is a great Doula, amazing mom, spectacular resource and now a great friend.” – Heather, B., Lorton, VA
“Susannah’s help was invaluable to us during the first 12 weeks after giving birth. Susannah served as our post partum doula and was happy to bathe, swaddle, rock, feed and cuddle our baby while we caught up on much needed sleep. While the baby slept she performed light housekeeping and cooked wonderful meals. While we were awake she shared her expertise on everything from baby wearing to the most effective ways to soothe a gassy baby. Furthermore she performed a beautiful sealing ceremony complete with ceremonial bathing and belly binding which I found to be truly transformative. I highly recommend Susannah without reserve.” – Tammie, L., Arlington, VA
“Susannah was a lifesaver for me! After an emergency C-section I developed post-partum anxiety and was unable to sleep. She was incredibly kind, patient, knowledgable, and generous with her wealth of experience. She helped me set up the breast pump and showed me how to use it. She sent me links to amazing resources on everything from post-partum depression to yoga for sleep to videos on how to feed baby a bottle properly. She took excellent care of my son, and always managed to feed him and get him back to sleep without trouble. She was 100% reliable, knowledgable, caring, and experienced. I highly recommend her! ” – Jacqueline D. , Washington, DC
“I didn’t actually have the pleasure of meeting Susannah as I live out of state but I was gifted a mother roasting by my cousin. My birth story, well it didn’t go as planned, not even close, as I ended up with preeclampsia and in the hospital. While the staff was very kind, I was hurt emotionally and spiritually with the medications and sadness that my body had other plans. When I received the box, it was like Christmas! The enclosed note was beautifully written, with an opportunity for a ritual bath for me to express my unfulfilled desire for a joyful water birth. Included were many other thoughtfully chosen items to help both emotionally and physically. Each item was packed with the utmost care, thoughtfully labeled and explained. I cannot express my gratitude for you, Susannah, and the personal touch I received even at a distance. Thank you for the opportunity to make peace with my body and birth story, it was really priceless to be able to celebrate the gift of my beautiful little girl in such a unique way. I had just assumed I’d have to “get over” the disappointment of missing out on a home birth but thanks to you I have a cherished memory of a celebration and made peace with my body.” – Bree, B., Port Hatchineha, FL
“Susannah was our nighttime doula for two months. Her professional and personal care for myself and our first child really helped our transition to parenthood. Professionally, she advised many details a new mother should know (i.e. healing, breastfeeding, comforting child0; personally, she was always warm and shared many child raising experience with me. Our late-night conversations saved me from the threats of postpartum blue, and I felt very safe to leave my child for her when I needed to take quick nap between nursing sessions. We cannot say enough thank-you to Susannah, and we surely wish our testimony will help more people know the importance of hiring the right doula like Susannah!” –Iris Ying-Chen P., Washington, DC
“Susannah is a fantastic postpartum doula for newborns! She’s friendly, conscientious, reliable. Her training and experience are top notch; she’s so knowledgable. Clearly, she loves babies and helping moms through those first 2-3 months (or less, if you can manage on your own). She’s available for questions by text and email. Her range of postpartum services are impressive. As a mom herself, she gets it. Thanks to her help overnight and my mom’s help during the day, my recovery was dramatically less intense with my second than it was with my first. Her help allowed me to get a little more rest, stay a little more connected during a time that can be so isolating, and my husband to get the rest he needed to be able to function at work. Signing on for Susannah’s postpartum services is a wise investment that benefits the health of the family. For me, it was essential.” – Natalie S., Alexandria, VA
“Susannah brings both great warmth and knowledge to her work with moms and babies. She was courteous and professional from beginning to end, from introductions to helping with day-to-day tasks all the way to billing. With her deep understanding of babies’ development and needs, I would recommend her highly for new moms” – Julee N., Falls Church, VA
“Susannah was great. This is our first child and both of our parents live at a distance, so to rely on parental help meant they would have to move in with us. However, I know it can be difficult in that kind of situation when things are so new and the people dealing with things are so sleep deprived so we enlisted Susannah for assistance and I am glad we did. She helped to emotionally support both of us in those early weeks when things weren’t going exactly as planned. She had external resources she was able to refer us to when it came to breast feeding. And not to mention the help around the house of trying to get in meals, dishes, and somehow the new endless loads of laundry– for as small as they are, they produce a lot! We were able to take naps and a date night knowing we were leaving our little one in trusted hands he was familiar with. During those wearing out growth spurts, she was reachable for those questions you had when she wasn’t there of how much crying is normal? Is this poop ok? Sounds silly but just having that back up and a nonopinionated voice was invaluable. She’s responsible and calls ahead of time with any scheduling conflicts as she has her own children. We plan on using her again if we are blessed with another little one.” – Stephanie D., McLean, VA
“Where do I start! Susannah was fantastic. She helped me navigate the crazy world of being a first time mom. From the first time we brought home our newborn, she was there to offer support and answer any immediate questions we had. My husband and I do not know how we would have made it through the early weeks without Susannah giving us the easiest and fastest tricks in the book. Susannah always made sure to ask how momma was doing and letting me sneak in some solid naps and showers. Susannah was incredibly kind hearted, flexible, and really put me at ease and thinking “I can do this!” She helped specifically in establishing breastfeeding after some early days of big weight loss and accompanying me to appointments as well. I highly recommend Susannah!” – Lauren C., Arlington, VA
“Susannah was a wonderful help with our newborn. She was very kind and knowledgable and helped not only with the baby but also helped keep us fed (and wearing clean clothes!). Her assistance and guidance in infant care were invaluable as we learned how to be parents to our new son. She was flexible and willing to do whatever we needed to be of help. We were very grateful for her assistance during the first weeks of our baby’s life!” – Kaitlin J., Arlington, VA
“Susannah was so helpful to me and family during my newborn daughter’s “fourth trimester.” Her nurturing demeanor and pleasant personality are perfectly suited to a postpartum doula. Susannah helped me understand the changes my body and my baby were going through, and helped care for both me and baby during the challenging first several months. Susannah has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and I relied upon her expertise when navigating breastfeeding, pumping, and postpartum issues. She cared for me as if I was her own family member by ensuring I (as well my family) was rested and properly fed–advising me on proper nutrition for postpartum women, techniques to get more rest with the baby, and how to regain strength after pregnancy. Susannah cared for my baby as if my baby was her own, holding her and caring for her as only a mother and doula can do. As a first-time mom, Susannah taught me how to help my baby sleep, how to comfort her, and how to ensure my baby is nurtured and cared for in so many ways. I highly recommend Susannah to any new mother, whether it is your first or fifth child!” – Jane W., Washington, D.C.
“Susannah was one of the best investments I made for myself and my family. At two weeks postpartum, I knew I was in way over my head and needed help, immediately. Susannah helped me figure out how to take care of my baby, breastfeed and pump, and generally adjust to life with a newborn while also taking care of myself. I can not recommend her enough. I only wish I had known about her services before I gave birth so that I could have had her immediately after!” – Suzanne S., Alexandria, VA
“I am so glad that I hired Susannah for help with my baby. She was an excellent resource and an encouraging friend. Susannah prepared meals for me, did laundry and dishes, and even baked me lactation cookies! More importantly, she provided me with a wealth of information for various problems I was facing and was never judgmental but always encouraging and sympathetic. As a first time mom, it was a huge help to have Susannah, and I would definitely recommend her to others.” – Katherine L., Herndon, VA
“I have known Susannah for a very long time and can tell how passionate she is about providing this service. She was great at providing advice for my wife and I when we had our first kid. She showed us a range of options and was very supportive along the way. I would definitely recommend her to any of my friends who have a baby, even if they don’t think they need the help. Her expertise definitely came in handy.” – Peter K., Bethesda, MD
“We had a great experience with Susannah. She was very helpful in guiding me through some breastfeeding concerns as well as giving me a few general baby tips. As a first time mom…it was great to really talk through some of the difficulties I was having. She was a great listener and offered me a range of suggestions that I could pick and choose from depending on my comfort level. She also came equipped with a lot of good information and literature regarding the issues I was having. All-in-all we would highly recommend her services.” – Jamie K., Bethesda, MD
“Susannah came to my house when it was convenient for me and my family and was extremely knowledgable about the important things. She could answer every question I had and if she could she found the answer for me. I was a first time breast feeding mother and Susannah helped me through the rough patches and I’m now 4 months string. I don’t know where I’d be without Susannah. I would recommend her to any mother or mother-to-be who wants a professional, understanding, and knowledgable doula.” – Sarah H., Alexandria, VA
“Susannah was very accommodating to my schedule when I asked her to come for a full day of help. She listened too me questions and concerns and gave me good advice, helped out with chores and baby-minding, and went to the doctor with me to sit in the waiting room with my daughter. She was encouraging without being judgemental, offered help before being asked, and was excellent company. If my baby hadn’t passed her 12 week mark I would have hired her longer!” – AJ F., Arlington, VA
“I’m a first time working mom; my parents and in-laws live about seven hours away and my husband travels for work. The amazing part about hiring a doula is that you have someone to help you when you need it. You can ask a doula to do things you need without inconviencing family. The first few weeks of having a baby, I had a lot of help from my husband, family and friends, and during that time our baby girl mostly slept. After everyone had seen the new baby, help seemed to quietly disappear and the baby started fussying all the time–especially when I was alone with her. Susannah was incredibly helpful and if I could have hired her every day when I was on maternity leave I would have. She has unique experiences of being a working mom and a full time stay at home mom; she knows how to help with being home all day with a baby and with preparing to go back to work. She has helped me with everything–from baby comforting, breastfeeding, being able to take care of the baby and myself (when I’m by myself), helping me get out of the house with baby in tow, and figure out transitioning to work and daycare. She’s cooked, cleaned, and packed lunches, allowing me to go to sleep without having to worry about what I was going to eat or if I was going to have clean clothes the next week. She has helped me feel more independent and confident as a mom, and I have successfully juggled work and the new baby from her advice and support. I would hire her again without a doubt, and I highly recommend her to any mom in the area.” -Stephanie M., Arlington, VA