Northern Va. Prenatal Classes with Expecting the Best

Hypnobabies pain minimization and elimination techniques through self-hypnosis plus complete childbi Hypnobabies pain minimization and elimination techniques through self-hypnosis plus complete childbirth education including consumer choices

Operating as usual


After 8 years and hundreds of clients here at Expecting the Best, it's time for an exciting update! Join me at HelloBirth where we are building a collaborative membership organization for hypnosis for birth practitioners. Thank you for all of your support and we'll see you there!



Year after year, decade after decade, century after century...women have carried, birthed, and nurtured humanity.

During times of immense strive and intense fear...women have brought forth life so that despite all odds...we could carry on.

But women are more than the children they have (or don't have). We give birth. We operate in the OR. We lead countries. We touch the smallest lives in immeasurable ways. We write books. We lead congregations. We do wondrous, practical, magical, and powerful things. Happy International Women's Day. As always, I'm in awe of all we've done and all we continue to do.

Timeline photos 04/28/2020

You are seen and your story matters. ❤️

To the parent who labored for days and ultimately decided a cesarean was best for them.
To the parent who was coerced into a cesarean and regrets the way their birth unfolded.
To the parent who confidently planned a cesarean because that was their most empowered birth.
To the parent who isn’t sure whether or not their cesarean was truly necessary and wonders if they could have made different choices and had a different outcome.
To the parent who has different feelings on different days about their cesarean birth experience.
To the parent who is still heartbroken years later that they never had the vaginal birth they so deeply yearned for.
To the parent whose cesarean birth was life-saving.
I know that so many people have assumed to know how you feel about your birth. But not enough people just ask you how you feel. Not enough people listen and empathize and meet you where you are. There’s no right or wrong way to feel about your cesarean birth. The entire range of emotions is valid. I hope that you can find even that one special person who stays curious, asks you to share your experience, and doesn’t hold any judgment for how you gave birth or how you feel about the way you birthed your baby. And if not, I hope these words bring you some comfort.
📸 of me and my first sweet babe after he was born by cesarean almost 10 years ago.

Timeline photos 04/23/2020

Hypnobabies offers many stress reducing tools for pregnancy and birth. Birth partners who take Hypnobabies classes are ready to support in so many ways, even if you can't have a doula physically present with you right now. Link to register for the 6-week series is in my bio!

10 Ways Doulas Support In the Age of Social Distancing 04/02/2020

10 Ways Doulas Support In the Age of Social Distancing

Doulas are good at figuring stuff out.

10 Ways Doulas Support In the Age of Social Distancing Virtual doula support? That's the latest buzz word since COVID-19, when hospitals began restricting visitors. Kudos to the doulas everywhere who've been getting creative about what our role looks like these days and recognizing the value of our knowledge and support even if we can't be physically pr...

Why Doulas Are Essential Medical Personnel, Especially In A Pandemic 03/27/2020

Why Doulas Are Essential Medical Personnel, Especially In A Pandemic

Thanks, Jessica Diggs. Your support this week has been amazing!

Why Doulas Are Essential Medical Personnel, Especially In A Pandemic At DTI, our team has been hosting community calls to gather data and resources on what doulas are experiencing during this pandemic. And what we’ve seen, across states and in different communities, is that we are all navigating the nuances of today’s particular moment. In some cases, we are grap...

Virtual Doula Support 03/24/2020

Virtual Doula Support

Here we go! Let's do this.

Virtual Doula Support Virtual Doula Support Interested in having a doula as a part of your team but not sure what that looks like in these uncertain times? We got this! Virtual doula support is $750 and includes the following: Unlimited phone and text support as needed Two virtual planning sessions (1 hour each) On call....


Excellent stats. This is why I am always recommending Centreville OB-GYN (Reston Women's Center) to my students and clients. They recommend interventions when they are truly needed, just as it should be! 7.7 percent! 😮😁

7.7% Primary CS rate!!!!!!

Midwife Stats are in!
Births compiled for 6 months, Sept 1 through March 1

103 vaginal births
4 of those were vacuum assisted
16 of those were VBACs
1 of those required an episiotomy

13 Cesareans
8 of those were primary CS
5 were failed VBAC or VBA2C

This is a 76% success rate for VBACs

This is a 7.7% primary CS rate (national rate is 21% thank you very much)

67 percent of our clients birthed with no medications given to get labor started or to make it go faster.

40 percent birthed with no epidural

Some of our data is missing for perineal tears, but it looks like about 30 percent have no tears at all and only 25 percent have 2nd degree tears.

Timeline photos 02/15/2020

🌹are red, violets are 💙, never met anyone as sweet as you. Valentine's Day 💘 birthing time complete with roses, chocolate and candlelight turns into early morning February 15 birthday 🎂 Happy birthday, new baby!


I absolutely love what Christine Taylor provides and would recommend her to anyone! DC is a great place to be, Christine, just saying! Just kidding, Atlanta needs you.

Photos from Northern Va. Prenatal Classes with Expecting the Best's post 11/17/2019

These doulas are going to nail their interviews! Such powerful stories. @ Washington D.C.

Photos from Northern Va. Prenatal Classes with Expecting the Best's post 11/16/2019

So much fun and learning in this space! These doulas are absolute naturals. And even babies have fun at our trainings 😍

Photos from Northern Va. Prenatal Classes with Expecting the Best's post 11/14/2019

So excited to teach DTI's full-spectrum doula workshop starting tomorrow in DC! @ Capital Hill Historic District


Awesome working with Balanced Birth Support to witness people transforming into parents before my eyes!

Babies coming from everywhere. Running from GW to Sibley to GW and back to Sibley again! We’ve been a busy team this week!

Wishing Jenny a great evening at work! 👶

Timeline photos 10/02/2019



A midwife is a health care professional who provides a multitude of health care services for women. Certified nurse midwives are advanced practice registered nurses, certified with the AMCB and licensed in every state in the US. Non-nurse midwives (CPM, CM, LM) have completed rigorous midwifery training programs, obtained certification by passing an exam and even have licensure in many states.

Midwives offer individualized, comprehensive and respectful care. We support all birth options and specialize in providing expert care during pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum and beyond.

Midwives incorporate research based practices and refrain from the use of invasive, unnecessary interventions during the childbearing process. We are advocates of individual’s informed choices and respect their decisions without judgement.

Physicians are experts in managing and treating pathological disease processes, performing surgeries and other important procedures and tests to diagnose and treat illnesses.

Midwives are experts in normal, healthy processes. We also diagnose and treat common gynecological conditions and common issues that arise during pregnancy. We are firm believers in disease prevention and health promotion.

We work in a variety of settings such as community clinics, school clinics, and private practices. We attend births in the home, birth centers, and hospital settings.

Midwives are:
educators and consultants
researchers and mentors
advocates and protectors
legislators and lobbyists

Over the years, I’ve personally had the pleasure of gaining many new friends and family members. I absolutely LOVE my life as a midwife♥️. It’s the most fulfilling career ever!

This country needs more midwives, especially midwives of color!Research affirms that MIDWIVES are the answer to improving poor outcomes in maternity health care systems in the US. Seek midwifery care! Consider midwifery as a career!

📸 The beautiful birth of baby Ali!

Everything You Need To Know About Massaging Infants - Smart Parent Advice 09/17/2019

Everything You Need To Know About Massaging Infants - Smart Parent Advice

Everything You Need To Know About Massaging Infants - Smart Parent Advice Whether you have a gassy baby in need of relief or you want a new way to bond, infant massage helps. Everything you need to know about massaging infants is right here.

Doulas: 17 Science-Backed Benefits | WeTheParents 09/16/2019

Doulas: 17 Science-Backed Benefits | WeTheParents

Yay, science!

Doulas: 17 Science-Backed Benefits | WeTheParents Looking for the science behind doulas? This round-up of 17 compelling studies examines evidence-based benefits of doula-support.


There is still 1 space left in my September Hypnobabies class at Nurturing Touch & Wellness. I love teaching in the space. They have a nice variety of classes to offer!

Happy September!


As providers have shared these policies, there have been several different reactions that I'd like to counter-point.

💬 Reaction #1: "Good riddance, provider. Patients are better off knowing this so they can find a more supportive provider."

🤚 No. While I agree that providers should be forthcoming on their viewpoints instead of bringing hostility into a birthing space, this is only helpful for people early on in their pregnancies who still have plenty of options. Switching care providers can be stressful and difficult if not impossible in late pregnancy, even under the best of circumstances. Forcing a patient to make any choice, even if it goes against medical advice, is never acceptable. Forcing a patient to choose between medical care and the auxiliary non-clinical support they desire is harmful.

💬 Reaction #2: "The doulas must have acted very badly for these providers to react this way. They have a right to practice how they see fit."

🎤 Sure, of course. Yet I reject the notion that doulas raise liability. A doula's role is often to bring the whole team closer to achieving the informed consent that is actually necessary in reducing liability. Doulas first listen to their clients. Then we become a microphone for their needs and preferences.

Furthermore, a provider's job is to accept the people -- all the people -- who you want in your birthing space. It doesn't matter how badly behaved they are! It's their job to deal with it. I fully understand that the role of the doula is a professional one. I strive for that in my own practice. However, I ask you: who decides whether the people in their birthing space are helpful, supportive and professional? You do! Birthing families are the only ones who get to decide that.

💬 Reaction #3: The provider as villain. The doula as the only one who knows what the client needs. We don't "collaborate" with doctors because we're not medical professionals.

↩️↪️ This is unhelpful too. Why shouldn't we collaborate or at least co-exisit? It makes no sense to try to cut out any of the team members because each of us fulfills such different roles and brings completely different skill sets. I do very much encourage doulas to tweak their approach if they find the people they're working for and with are getting the impression they're telling clients what they should or shouldn't do. Instead of sharing our own opinion, we should be sharing what some people choose and also what other people choose and then asking the client what they prefer. We help them find the language to ask the questions. In non-emergent situations there is almost always time to have this kind of discussion that helps create a healthier decision making process. In cases of emergency, we hold and witness these experiences to the best of our ability and we are there on the other side of them to continue holding a hand and lending an ear.

In the following break up letter received today by an expecting mother in North Carolina, an OB office releases her as a client.
Can an obstetrician or midwife decide what can or cannot happen in their private practice?
But is right and ethical to deny their clients the option to choose the people who will be part of their birth support team?
No. No it is not. That is not the "mutual respect" they reference in the letter below.
The bright side here: Apparently, people are listening. The impact and awareness of doulas is spreading. People are noticing and learning that doulas have the potential to greatly impact the birth experience for the clients they serve.
The sad part: This isn't the first time just this week that we have learned of providers wanting to take control and restrict doulas' support. It is as if they feel threatened. If they are providing respectful evidence-based care, why the fear?
“Just wanted to bring this to your attention if you’re wanting a doula for your next birth. I got dropped as a client today, because I asked to have a doula for my birth and they only work with one doula. This week, at my 16 week checkup, I asked if they could meet and interview my doula, and they called back and said that’s not how they do things. I get a letter by mail today saying the following.

I’ve yet to meet with a doctor that actually delivers, and this was all through the nurse practitioner. A doctor on staff never once reached out to me. I was not rude or mean.

Moral of the story: if you’re looking for an OB open to the use of a doula and one with any type of manners, don’t go there.

Literally shocked, and I am in between providers now because I asked a simple question.”
- An expecting mother in North Carolina
*Shared with the mother's permission

Timeline photos 07/25/2019

There's so much more to birth than simply surviving it. You do not have to choose between healthy parent/healthy baby and having an experience designed to minimize unnecessary drama/trauma. You can and should have both!

”If we as a nation truly want to take care of our children, we must first take care of the mothers who give birth to them.” Kitty Ernst, CNM, MPH
📸: .photography
Atlanta Birth Center

Electronic Fetal Monitoring to Prevent Fetal Brain Injury—Ubiquitous But Flawed 07/18/2019

Electronic Fetal Monitoring to Prevent Fetal Brain Injury—Ubiquitous But Flawed

Hospitals sure make a big deal out of monitoring the babies during birth, yet it doesn't really seem to help at all, while actually increasing risk.

Electronic Fetal Monitoring to Prevent Fetal Brain Injury—Ubiquitous But Flawed This Viewpoint argues that the near-universal adoption of electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) in labor and delivery units has occurred without evidence that it has reduced adverse neurological events and has contributed to an increase in US cesarean delivery rates, and calls for the education of...


Yes! Medical and non-clinical professionals alike need to remember how powerful our words are for building or breaking the confidence of new parents.

So. I am having to spend a good deal of time convincing my clients that their ni***es are perfectly perfect.

Is that odd?

I think it’s sad.

Why are so many birthing professionals telling breastfeeding people that their ni***es are inadequate for feeding??

My exact phrase to my clients after hearing their tales of ni**le put-downs is, “Your ni***es are perfectly perfect”.

Do you know why? Because they now believe that their bodies aren’t perfectly perfect. Again. I’m sure. I’m sure at some point - or several points - in their lives they were told that their bodies weren’t good enough. Too this or too that. Or not enough this or that.

What exactly are these professionals doing in making blanket statements about these ni***es? What’s the goal?

Imagine. You’re hours post the most exhausting event of YOUR LIFE. You have a baby in your arms on your chest. A baby you may have longed for or a baby who in the very least took a long time to meet! You’re bloody and sore. Your only feeding plans are exclusive breastfeeding.

Nurse/OB/Midwife (or even: Your Mother, Best Friend, Cousin’s Daughter’s Uncle’s Wife) steps in as you may be struggling to latch your baby and says: “Eh. Your ni***es are . I’m not sure you’ll be able to breastfeed”.


Did you just say that?!

Unless the ni**le is legit GONE (as one of my bestie friends had to have one removed during cancer treatments - but has gone on to single side nurse for over a year now because she’s that amazing 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼) then biology dictates that your breast and ni***es are probably just fine.

Are there variations of normal? OF COURSE. Some babies do struggle with some shapes and sizes. With some adjustments it’s something that’s usually overcome-able.

That’s not even my point in posting this.

My entire point is the fact that people are being told their bodies aren’t good enough (yet again) to do something biologically normal.

Does it mean it’s easy? Not always.

The damage being done to nursing relationships is not good though. Mom having more doubts leads to worry and if she has no actual support, she’s probably going to stop breastfeeding sooner than her original goals.

And THAT is the problem.

My whole being wants to help families reach their personal feeding goals. When someone else has placed unneeded doubt, it makes my job way harder.

Please know EVERY SINGLE client or friend who was told this - went on to breastfeed successfully. In some case for many YEARS.

So stop the body shamers in their tracks. “Oh really? I think my body is perfect and capable of feeding this baby I just birthed”. 💪🏼 🛑 ✋

As always, IF you run into fit issues and need help, call an IBCLC. We will not shame your ni***es and will do our best to help you meet your personal feeding goals. 🥰♥️

Photos from Northern Va. Prenatal Classes with Expecting the Best's post 06/04/2019

Time to lead another amazing group of humans for a starting tomorrow morning! Can't wait to dive in. @ Austin, Texas

Photos from Monet Nicole - Birthing Stories's post 03/23/2019

It is an absolute honor to be invited into these spaces. ✨💕✨

Timeline photos 01/09/2019

Leaving Virginia on this sunny, windy day to head to 60-degree weather in Austin. Full of anticipation as I gear up to meet and guide the first group of doulas to join in 2019! 💓

Timeline photos 12/20/2018

New to the concept of hypnosis? It's a very natural state of being that everyone experiences, for instance daydreaming or going on "auto-pilot" while we drive somewhere we've driven 100 times, or when we get lost in a book and we don't hear someone trying to get our attention. You can teach yourself how to recognize these states of mind more readily and apply them to childbirth (yes, indeed) in several useful ways:

To bring much more comfort and thereby, relaxation to the contractions and birthing process
To help expecting parents to feel much more confident, positive and excited about labor, birth and parenting
To actively deal with fears surrounding birth

We teach you how to apply hypnosis skills in very practical terms. Although we listen to recordings repeatedly as we learn hypnosis, you do not have to lie still and listen to achieve satisfying results during birth. In fact, a combination of active movement and restful periods help with comfort and progress. We also help partners/husbands learn ways to be involved and how to feel supported themselves so they can have a great experience too.

Early bird price now until December 30th.

How cesarean births became a 'global epidemic' - and what should be done about it 12/07/2018

How cesarean births became a 'global epidemic' - and what should be done about it

"Women hold plenty of power when it comes to the course of their own labor and birth; we should exercise that power. There are three things, done separately or together, that mitigate the chance of a woman having a cesarean birth."

1) Consider hiring a family physician or a midwife as their healthcare provider rather than an obstetrician. The cesarean rates of midwives and family doctors are far lower than the national average. Obstetrics is, after all, a surgical specialty and midwives and family physicians do not perform surgeries.

2) Do not let a physician induce labor unless there is a compelling medical reason to do so. You want to maximize your chance of a vaginal birth? Then you want normal labor on your side.

3) Labor as long as you can outside the hospital. The less time you spend in the hospital, the less chance of having an unnecessary medical intervention that leads to a cesarean section.

How cesarean births became a 'global epidemic' - and what should be done about it Reliance on new obstetric technology and lawsuit-averse doctors made traditional birth seem more risky than c-sections. It's not.

Photos from Northern Va. Prenatal Classes with Expecting the Best's post 11/30/2018

A gift of love from a client 💕 A necklace in the shape of an oxytocin molecule*** along with these kind words:

"It's hard to put into words the gratitude we have for your support and guidance in bringing our beautiful son into the world. Thank you for your calm confidence in helping us achieve an experience as close as possible to our birth plan while translating "medicalese," incorporating innovative techniques, and imparting a deep sense of support when needed most. We are so happy to have worked with you; you most certainly have found your calling. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. 💓"


***Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain.

It's sometimes known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone," because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially. It may also be released when we give birth to and nurse our babies.

To say that I love my job would be an understatement!

Timeline photos 11/27/2018

Why I'm giving 🌟🌈

The United States is the only industrialized nation where the maternal and infant mortality rate has not decreased over the past 20 years. Black women are four times more likely to die during childbirth or just after childbirth than white women in the United States.

Snag this shirt, donate, or both!

In collaboration with Circle of Health International and Barbara Verneus’ (creator of Tiny & Brave Holistic Services and the Dope Moms Need Dope Moms initiative) is raising funds for DTI's 2019 community doula trainings.


As birth workers, we have the right and privilege to transform the industries we are a part of.

Learn more about our partnership with Tiny & Brave Holistic Services, as well as our scholarship with Circle of Health International to better fund and support Black, indigenous, POC and LGBTQIA+ birth workers:

Timeline photos 11/27/2018

Beautiful story 🌟 🌟

Protecting the birth memory is so important! There are different journeys to the same destination. Every family deserves this level of care.

There is a big misconception in our culture that midwifery is a step down. Only EIGHT percent of births in the United States are attended by midwives. My ultimate hope is that this number could be EIGHTY instead. Not only would our outcomes be safer (study up and you'd be amazed) but so many families would also feel cared for and experience less trauma, no matter the mode of delivery. Yes, an obstetrician was ultimately involved and leading the care, but it was the midwives who were mainly responsible for the support she felt.


It may not be the most beautiful picture, but it’s honest and raw. People ask me if, in hindsight, I would have chosen the Atlanta Birth Center, even though I ended up in the hospital with every single medical intervention. The answer is a resounding yes. I transferred to the hospital because my midwives carefully concluded it was no longer safe for me to give birth outside of the hospital. I would choose ABC again, because the level of care provided there is unparalleled. No, I didn’t get my water birth. I didn’t get my drug free vaginal birth either. But I got my son, safely. I became a mom, and I attribute this to the extraordinary level of care I received from the . Today is . Please consider donating to the birth center so other families can access the same extraordinary prenatal and maternity care.

Timeline photos 11/01/2018

Last weekend I made it through the CrossFit L1 certificate course in one piece. After an agonizing wait I got my test results today and can call myself a CrossFit Level 1 trainer! Guess I'm a little proud. 😎 I learned a lot from our teachers. It was eye-opening to be immersed in the mechanics of proper form for a full weekend. Now I know more about what I need to work on personally and how to help others with the basics.

Timeline photos 10/19/2018

"Thank you for believing in me even when I didn't." Such sweet words from a client. 🌟💕💪🏼

From the moment this strong mama walked into my class, I had a feeling she would be successful in her desire to give birth unmedicated. Having already experienced both a Cesarean birth and a vaginal birth with twins, she knew what she wanted and was determined and educated. I had the privilege of supporting her as she learned Hypnobabies self-hypnosis for birth, which was great reinforcement for the belief she already had for herself and for the choices she made to take care of herself and her sweet babies.

My dear, you always believed in yourself, even if it disappeared briefly in the final moments before you gave birth. I was happy to fill in the small gaps with my encouragement. Thank you for the honor! ❤️

Our Story

Hi! I’m Jenny Bennett, a Hypnobabies hypnosis for birth instructor and hypno-doula in the DMV area. I’ve been teaching classes since 2012 and attending births since 2013. I also enjoy leading other doulas in training groups both online and in person as a doula educator with Doula Trainings International. I look forward to meeting you and helping you prepare for an easier, more comfortable birth, no matter what twists and turns may be experienced along the way.

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