Read testimonies from both Leonora's yoga students and doula clients.
If you have the opportunity to have Leonora Willis be a part of pregnancy, labor, or birth in any way, don’t let that opportunity pass you by. She is truly incredible.
I feel I have a unique perspective on her skills as a doula because I was not the birthing mother nor the supporting partner, who were both deeply immersed in the birth itself, but instead a close family friend who had more of a bird’s eye view of the long, beautiful labor and birth. I was with the first-time mother and her partner during much of the early laboring. As contractions became stronger they decided it was time to call their doula, Leonora Willis. With Leonora present, I watched as the mood in the room completely changed. Both mother and partner relaxed and the atmosphere suddenly felt calm and nurturing. I watched the birthing mother melt under Leonora’s touch, surrendering both to the contractions and to the relief of Leonora’s massaging, pressure application, and guidance. In the hospital, as the birthing mother acclimated to her new surroundings, I watched her focus on Leonora for stability and reassurance. In a labor that lasted 48 hours, Leonora continued to help this mama find her strength and believe in herself as well as helping her to rest and nourish as needed. Throughout the process the partner was also supported by Leonora, asking her questions and verifying that mother and baby were safe. It was so just so beautiful and powerful to watch Leonora work. Soon after attending my friend’s birth, I became pregnant (I’m still pregnant as I write this) and I began taking Leonora’s prenatal yoga class. Even over Zoom, Leonora is able to create community and attend to individual needs. She is so attuned to the pregnant body, I leave each class thinking “ah, that was exactly what my body needed.” She skillfully weaves stretching, strength, and mindful connection with baby. She has always made time for my questions and always makes participants feel that whatever is arising for them is valid and valued. I attribute much of my happy second trimester body to her yoga classes. If you have the opportunity to have Leonora Willis be a part of pregnancy, labor, or birth in any way, don’t let that opportunity pass you by. She is truly incredible.
I would work with her again in a heartbeat and was truly sad when our time together ended.
Working with Leonora gave me the confidence to go after the birth experience I envisioned for myself, despite conflicting circumstances with COVID-19 and limitations within the hospital infrastructure. She set up a calm and grounded environment for my partner and I at home that made us feel safe supported and able to completely let go and take lead in the process of giving birth to my son. I credit Leonora’s guidance and partnership with my midwife in being able to spend most of my time laboring at home and arriving to the hospital fully dilated and ready to push. Leonora not only provided me support during labor but also helped with my healing process after which included energy balancing, herbal nutrition and education, and Leonora’s superpower... body work. For any future mamas who have a vision for their birth but also have accompanying doubts or anxiety, I highly recommend working with a doula and suggest reaching out to Leonora to see if there is a match. I would work with her again in a heartbeat and was truly sad when our time together ended.
You have such a gift!
Your yoga classes have been the best thing I've done for myself these past 9 months. I can't thank you enough for creating the best flow and community. You have such a gift!
She was very knowledgeable, answered all my questions, and made me feel supported.
Leonora was so wonderful to work with! I first met Leonora while attending a prenatal yoga class she was teaching at Barefoot Movement. I was immediately drawn to her grounded energy and calm presence, which was exactly what I was looking for in a doula for my first birth. Before the birth, we met twice at my house and created a birth plan. She was very knowledgeable, answered all my questions, and made me feel supported. During the birth, which happened three weeks early, followed by an unplanned c-section, Leonora was there to support me every step of the way. She met me a the hospital ready to be my advocate, provided hands on support, and came to visit us after my daughter was born. In addition, we had two postpartum sessions that were also extremely helpful. I was so grateful to have her with me during this time. Thank you Leonora!
I felt completely safe with Leonora and able to trust her fully.
I am incredibly grateful to have connected with Leonora and had her as our doula. Throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery, as well as the postpartum period Leonora provided physical and emotional support, intuitive and practical wisdom, and compassionate care. I felt completely safe with Leonora and able to trust her fully (a personal requisite for what was the most intimate, vulnerable, intense, and empowering experience of my life). As I’m sure all who have had the privilege to work with her will attest, Leonora’s skill as a bodyworker is exceptional! Leonora provided significant relief for my prenatal aches and pains. In labor, her hands provided relief and her eyes gave reassurance through every single contraction until our baby arrived; I was able to achieve my goal of an unmedicated delivery largely due to her presence. She further supported my body recovery from delivery through belly wrapping, an herbal steam, and various massage techniques before ceremoniously concluding the fourth trimester with a cerrada. Simply put, Leonora played a pivotal role in my journey into motherhood. My partner echoes my praise for Leonora, as her calming energy and steady guidance allowed him to feel confident in his supporting role. While I will miss working with Leonora, I feel excitement for all the future parents and birth partners who have such an amazing opportunity.
I really do not know how I would have gotten my daughter out into the world without Leonora.
I cannot sing Leonora’s praises loudly enough. I have now said over and over as I’ve shared my birth story with friends and family, I really do not know how I would have gotten my daughter out into the world without Leonora. She was an invaluable support for what was a very, very long labor and she played a key role in helping me have the birth experience I was hoping for.
I took prenatal yoga classes with Leonora throughout my pregnancy and it was seeing her skills as a teacher and her perceptive and thoughtful approach to the mind-body connection that made me want to hire her as a doula to support my partner and I with the birth of our first child. I have zero regrets about that decision.
Leonora is an incredibly talented and intuitive practitioner and healer. I felt like during my labor she could sense what I needed better than I could myself. She was the one, of all of the people who were present at various times throughout the 50+ hours of labor and delivery, including nurses, the hospital midwife, my best friend and even my partner, who best new what to say and do, or to suggest something someone else could say or do, to meet me where I was at and to help me progress.
During our prenatal and postnatal sessions, Leonora came to our home and spent a few hours with me and my partner. For the prenatal session she helped us talk through and write-up a birth plan which we brought with us to the hospital. My goal was to have a labor and delivery with no interventions and to labor at home as long as possible and she helped us work through how to express our wishes. She gave me a bit of body work during the prenatal session to help alleviate some tingling in my hands and arms that was pregnancy related. For the postnatal session, we did a combination of bodywork, a beautiful herbal steam that Leonora prepared and lots of processing and talking about the labor and delivery which was something I really needed and appreciated.
During labor, Leonora spent many hours with me and my partner and my best friend Hannah, in our home. When she arrived, about 6 hours into real contractions, my friend Hannah said she noticed a physical relaxing and ease wash over both me and my partner. I had been taking prenatal yoga classes with Leonora and we’d had our prenatal session but when she arrived during labor, I was surprised at how easily I was able to relax and lean on her; physically, mentally and emotionally. I knew she had experience attending other births but also that she had an intuitive understanding of the body. She didn’t feel like a stranger in that intimate space, she felt like a combo of an old friend and like some magic angel spirit. I know that might sound overly woowoo, but it’s the best I can do to describe it. She went immediately to work the moment she arrived and was able to find pressure points in my back that helped relieve so much discomfort, she gave me massage, she helped encourage my breathing, suggested things that might be good to eat, and helped me find ways to rest and restore my energy. Once we were admitted to the hospital, this all continued and in addition she really held on to what she knew I wanted in my birth and helped me advocate for my wishes with the hospital staff. She helped me find positions that were more comfortable, continued to offer pressure point body work, aromatherapy, and relief with the Rebozo. She was patient, nurturing and present through it all. Leonora was the one who helped me get to the point where I was finally ready to push and who, in addition to my partner, was by my side coaching me as I brought my daughter into the world. Long story short, I think she is amazing and I have counted my lucky stars every day since my daughter was born that we had Leonora as part of our birth team.