NOVA Birth Services Partner

Shannon Mathews

DONA Trained Birth Doula

Hello! I have been loving on mothers and babies for many years. My love of child development started young when I spent 7 years studying and doing projects for kids and families as part of my child development courses. I loved babies even before I understood or experienced birth myself. I later became a nanny for a 6 week old baby and my love of children grew.

In the early 2000’s I married my husband and best friend David and they began a family of their own. My pregnancies were not as I hoped. I developed Hyper-Emesis Gravidarum and spent much of the time fighting for my life and care. I was unable to continue care with midwives as I was considered high risk, and that was incredibly difficult because my natural goals were no longer possible. I learned the need for information, flexibility and understanding patient rights as  I learned to advocate for myself, my desires and my needs during my pregnancies and deliveries. 4 times I had precious little ones, and 4 times I was deathly ill and fighting for good care. I was far from home and far from family and connections that many have. I didn’t even know that doulas were a thing. I struggled through the early months of nursing and parenting 4 kids under 5. Those were days full of joy and tears.

Spring forward 8 years, and I met with several mothers in the community who were pushing strollers or carrying small ones. When I would walk up and ask how they were doing, the women would cry, hug and talk for hours. And that is when I realized there was a need in the community. Women needed somewhere to talk, somewhere to share, somewhere to ask questions and be supported. That is where the New, Expectant and Expecting Again Support group was born. It meets in homes and community centers in and around Chantilly (and soon Vienna) and serves moms from all backgrounds and stages of life. Some just need friends, some need support and education. This group became a free resource for care and love that many were seeking.

After that, I was asked to attend several births by friends and family members. I was also called upon to help with nursing issues and early birth issues from friends in Virginia and Maryland. After my first couple of births I realized she absolutely loved caring for women during labor and helping them get a confident start those first few weeks with a new baby. A friend from a church ladies group told her. Shannon you need to be a doula. And I listened.

After taking new Child Birth Education classes, DONA Doula training and breastfeeding classes and working with other local birth workers to learn and expand her understanding of Evidence Based Birth and good practices I launched Nova Motherhood Services, in 2019 I teamed up with NOVA Birth Services in order to be supported and provide support to more wonderful families in the area.

My goal is to provide moms with education and support and quality care so that they learn what they need to about birth so they can properly advocate for themselves during the process. I doesn’t care if you want to go all natural, or if you want to feel no pain whatsoever, my goal is to support and inform you so you get to make well reasoned choices about your birth experience.

Pregnancy and birth don’t always go as we want or expect, but I will be there to comfort, calm and encourage you just when you need it.

One client said, “She’s like the sister you always wanted.”