"Manon came to our house with ingredients and cooked really healthy and homey food for us. It was delicious and she also cooked a lot so we can have it for the next few days. I love her soup. What's also amazing was she put my baby in the carrier while she was cooking! I don't know how she can handle the baby's weight while cooking but obviously she can. I also loved that she cleaned and organized the living room and kitchen. Thank you so much Manon. You are Godsend!"
-Aerin, Postpartum Doula Client, February 2020
"My husband and I highly recommend Manon. We hired her as our birth doula for the birth of our first baby (due March 2019). We hired Manon because she exudes a warm, calm, and extremely positive demeanor. If you want to have someone who is organized, resourceful, and greatly supportive of your choices for your birth, she is the doula to hire. Before my labor, she provided us with objective data points from her experience (both professional and personal) which helped both my husband and I feel more prepared about the birth process. During my labor and birth, Manon was there with us every minute supporting me with her calm voice, reminders to eat and drink, positions, when to use what tool, and massages. I ended up having a much more difficult delivery than expected. At multiple points, my husband and I had to understand and make complex medical decisions quickly while being utterly exhausted. Manon not only reminded us of what we should think about, but also summarized what was being communicated by the doctors for my husband in a way that help him understand the situation and feel more in control of what was happening. Manon is also an excellent photographer and was also able to expertly capture amazing photos of beautiful moments through out my birth. Post-birth, she also provided helpful information and advice for recovery, breastfeeding and pumping, which helped me get my milk supply up and use the breast pump efficiently."
-Grace, April 2019
"Upon finding out I was pregnant, I had never even heard of a doula. Now, I can hardly imagine going through pregnancy and birth without Manon! She is truly a special and beautiful human. The week I found out I was pregnant was a whirlwind, I was already pretty far into my pregnancy, and the baby was a big surprise. I knew I was going to need extra support seeing as I don't have family in the area, and none of my close friends have kids. After a frantic google search of pregnancy/birth advice, I discovered that hiring a doula was the perfect place to start. I can't tell you exactly how I came across Manon's page, but I think it was no coincidence that I found her. From the moment we began communicating, she exuded professionalism, timeliness, and overall a comforting and warm disposition that put me at ease. Having a baby unexpectedly is definitely a strain financially, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to afford a doula. If I could, I would pay twice as much for her services, it was definitely worth it, but I'm so thankful that she offers such reasonable rates and on a sliding scale. After our initial meeting, I canceled the interviews I had lined up with other doulas - I knew she was the one I wanted by my side in this birth journey. Manon truly went above and beyond my expectations and was always happy to give advice and offer helpful resources, and was very thorough and communicative. My boyfriend and I were so comfortable with Manon, and my partner would have been a lot more anxious, nervous, and helpless during labor and delivery if it weren't for her guidance.
I consider Manon a friend and an angel, and I know my pregnancy and (all natural) birth would not have gone so perfectly smooth had she not been there. I'm truly forever grateful:) I would recommend Manon with the highest of praise to anyone seeking a doula."
-Kelsey, December 2018
"Giving birth is a Monumental event (to include prenatal and postnatal care) that occurs in a woman's life. Having the right doula(s) can be the difference between having great and memorable experiences (that result in a sense of joy and gratitude) or experiences that could result in regrets. I am more than happy to provide a review for Manon because this gal has gone above and beyond in all aspects of care she provided. She was genuine and generous, kind and caring, knowledgeable and professional. Overall, she was an absolute pleasure to work with. Pure awesomeness! I recommend her with the highest regard."
-Darla, December 2018
"I truly cannot imagine the birth of my baby boy without Manon. I was in labor for 21 hours and Manon provided steady, calm support the whole time. She worked seamlessly with my husband and the two of them were able to help ease my contractions. When my labor was stalled and doctors suggested different interventions, Manon provided some additional options for me and the medical team to consider. I liked Manon’s approach to moving my labor forward and the doctor agreed with it, so we changed courses based on her steady guidance. My labor took some scary turns and I was so relieved that I could turn to Manon every time we faced a juncture. She was non-judgmental with my choices (eg to get an epidural after hitting my wall 19 hours into contractions) and was a source of information. Ultimately I needed an unplanned c-section and i remember looking up at Manon in the operating room and having her give me a steady, calming look that provided me strength as surgery began. After returning home from the hospital, Manon helped normalize and contextualize the information (some of it quite alarming) we were getting from doctors and others. Her perspective and trust in me as a new mom was a welcomed antidote to the overwhelming information and instructions that kept coming our way. I couldn’t recommend Manon any higher."
-Sophie, November 2018
"I was referred to Manon by a very satisfied client. After reviewing her profile, I decided to set up an interview with her. Manon's personality certainly fit the profile I was looking for in a doula. She had a calm demeanor and I felt I could trust that she could meet my needs. Manon was such a pleasure to work with. She was in contact with me throughout my pregnancy. She responded quickly to my texts and e-mails and was had plenty of excellent resources for me to make informed decisions about my pregnancy.
When I went into labor, Manon was by my side within a reasonable amount of time after I had talked to her on the phone. She was a great calming force when I was in active labor at the hospital. I don't know how I would have gotten through it without her. She was so encouraging. It's like hearing her voice just made me feel like I was doing well and helped me to push through. Above all, Manon is very caring. She definitely has the personality for being a doula. I HIGHLY recommend her. You will not regret hiring her."
-Allyson, October 2018
"Manon Banuelos was very hands on, thoughtful, understanding and was a great advocate in all my choices. My experience was unbelievably smooth because she never left my side. She is more than a professional she has become a friend for life. I highly recommend her during your pregnancy and delivery as your Doula. You will not be disappointed."
-Kasha Johnson, June 2018
"Absolutely loved Manon. Her calm presence and the supplies she brought with her were a huge help."
-Jessica Abadir, April 2018
"Beautiful energy and support!"
-Lisa Arnold (CNM, ARNP), April 2018
Welcome! My name is Manon Banuelos. I am a DONA-trained postpartum doula, DONA certified birth doula, Certified Lactation Educator Counselor, and mother of two.
I was blessed with the support of two incredible doulas for each of my own birth experiences. Their continuous attention and encouragement helped me through some of the most challenging parts of my labors and births. I believe that all parents benefit tremendously from the support of a trusted, reassuring, and non-judgmental doula as they welcome a new baby into the family. Through my own births, I have had personal experience with birthing both in a hospital and home birth setting; this has gifted me with an understanding of both systems and an ability to effectively navigate the intricacies and differences of both hospital and out-of-hospital births. As a labor doula, I bring a calming, loving, and empathetic presence to the birthing room and believe strongly in supporting families in every way, regardless of how and where they choose to birth.
My interest in postpartum doula work and breastfeeding support also began with my own initiation into motherhood. After giving birth to my first daughter, I grappled with many challenges commonly faced by new mothers in our culture: breastfeeding difficulties, lack of social support, isolation, exhaustion, and many moments of self-doubt. Despite my many years of working with children and babies in various capacities, I felt ill-prepared for life with a newborn and wished I had someone around who had lots of knowledge and experience with newborn care. Looking back, I see that what I lacked most was community--friends who were also mothers, helpful relatives who lived closed by, and other forms of postpartum help--that would have supported me in understanding the many physical, emotional, and psychological changes I was experiencing as a new mother. Over the course of several months, I began to meet with other parents in my community to share experiences and to learn from one another. I read a lot, attended local La Leche meetings, and enrolled in several courses to further my knowledge about breastfeeding and the postpartum period.
I am passionate about helping families as they enter the wondrous--yet often challenging and confusing--world of parenthood. I strongly believe that all new parents benefit tremendously from the support of others in the community and that excellent birth support and postpartum care is integral to the birthing parent's physical, emotional, and spiritual health in the weeks, months, and years after the baby is born.
My educational background includes:
-DONA Postpartum Doula Training, Simkin Center at Bastyr University, Seattle, WA (July 2019)
-DONA Birth Doula Training, Simkin Center at Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA (July 2017)
-Postpartum Doula Training, Cornerstone Doula Trainings, San Francisco, CA (April 2014)
-Certified Lactation Educator and Counselor, UC San Diego Extension (December 2013)
-Bachelor of Arts in Education, Macalester College (2011)
-Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Macalester College (2011)
Additional trainings I have attended:
-Spinning Babies Workshop (September 2019)
-Hypnobirthing Childbirth Class taught by Tracy Barrett Adams of Seattle Hypnobirthing (July-August 2019)
-When the Unexpected Happens: Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth, Seattle, WA (May 2018)
-Improving Birth Photography: A Guide for Doulas, hosted by PALS Doulas, Kirkland, WA (June 2018)
-Apprenticeship with Kristin Dibeh, Doula and Owner of Kind Birth Services (Fall 2017)