Labor Doulas

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Diana Antonellli
212-226-1254
917-841-0876

Laurel Axen, MS, L.Ac
Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist
www.ancientcurrent.com
Park Slope office:
911 Union St (btw. 7th and 8th Aves), ground floor
Ph. 917.862.7589
I met Laurel when she was doing Bambino Boot Camp in Fort Greene Park. She has an upbeat attitude and is in amazing shape. She has transitioned into being a full-time acupuncturist and herbalist when her daughter was about a year old. In her own words: “I really love to work with women through the entire process of conceiving, carrying and delivering babies. I work with all the aspects of conception through delivery and post-partum care: fertility treatments, breech presentation, labor preparation, and induction if the woman is past 41 weeks. I am also a labor doula and work with women during delivery.”

My favorite accupuncturist to refer to both for morning sickness and later for turning a breech baby or inducing labor, is Laurel Axen Carroll from Ancient Current. Laurel is a native New Yorker, a mother of two beautiful little girls (ages 3 and 1) and a resident of Brooklyn. She has two offices (one in Ditmas Park on Avenue H and one in DUMBO at the Wellness Lounge on Water Street) and treats pregnant women for nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, breech presentation and labor induction (including a pre-labor protocol with treatments from the end of the 37th week until labor begins). Her pre-labor protocol treatments target core areas and any specific issues a woman is facing in late pregnancy and is useful for helping a baby to baby drop into position, and also to relax the mother’s muscles and calm her mind. With so many women facing medical inductions at the hospital, this treatment (which Laurel stated she has about a 90% success rate with mothers beginning labor by her estimated date of delivery) can help reduce the rate of interventions for moms. Laurel also works with dietary changes, herbal treatments, and yoga breathing techniques to help facilitate lasting changes for her clients.
-Megan Davidson

Birth Day Presence
Jada Shapiro- founder
Sarah Pancake

Jada Shapiro
www.birthdaypresence.net
doulas@birthdaypresence.net
917-751-6579
The Birth Day Presence Studio.
Pilates Garage
291 8th Street, ground floor, between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY (Park Slope)
Birth Day Presence provides birth and postpartum doula services, childbirth education classes, and professional birth photography to expectant parents. They offer a wide variety of price ranges. Jada is lovely and committed to helping families through the birthing process.  They also train doulas at their studio.  Jada Shapiro is a certified doula (DONA), certified Lamaze® childbirth educator, professional birth photographer, trained postpartum doula, and is certified in infant CPR. Birthday Presence trains doulas so they have doulas available on a sliding scale.

Haya Brant
www.clearbirth.com
347.262.6321
Labor doula and Postpartum Support with babywearing workshops

Jessie Conrad
www.jessieconrad.com
nycjess@gmail.com
347.885.2103
Jessie Conrad is a DONA certified birth doula, a certified lactation counselor, and certified Hatha, Prenatal and Children’s yoga teacher. She believes that birth is a normal, natural process, and she encourages and empowers women to develop confidence in their bodies and their ability to give birth. Jessie’s role as a birth doula is enhanced by her work as a yoga teacher; for example, helping women find postures that may be helpful during labor and birth and using the breath as a tool for relaxation. Jessie is a member and membership director of the NYC Doula Co-op and a member of the Metropolitan Doula Group. She feels that she has found a calling in doula work and hopes to continue expanding her skills within the birth community.

Megan Davidson, PhD
http://brooklyn-doula.com
http://BrooklynDoula.vox.com
brooklyndoula@gmail.com
917-627-6727
Professionally Trained Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding, Babywearing & Cloth Diapering Education & Support
Megan Davidson is a professionally trained labor and postpartum doula and the mother of two young boys in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Megan offers non-judgmental support for pregnant moms and their families from prenatal education and birth preparation, through labor, and during the postpartum period. As a labor doula, Megan provides physical and emotional support, research and information, and a platform for decision making, supporting pregnant women through labor and delivery with kindness and respect. Postpartum, Megan offers newborn mentoring and assistance to help families transition and enjoy their new baby. Services can include basics in newborn care, techniques for soothing a cranky or overtired newborn, babywearing or cloth diapering assistance, and holding your baby while you nap, eat, shower, enjoy time with older children or your partner, or attend appointments. Megan can also help with light cleaning and laundry, cooking, errands, appointments, sibling care, and resources and referrals for additional help. Services are always flexible tailored to the specific needs of individual clients.
Babywearing and cloth diapering in-home consults are also available for parents interested in learning more about either. Megan can help you with the carrier or diapers you already have and also has a large variety of carriers and diapers for you to try on/look at to help you find something that is right for you and your child. Assistance developing and infant hygiene/potty practice is also available.

“I owe a huge thanks to my miracle worker doula, Megan Davidson! Megan’s presence was a huge help at my homebirth. My baby was more than 9 pounds and I did not even tear. I felt great after birth and had tons of energy. The contractions were more painful than I expected. I couldn’t find a single position that was comfortable but Megan used her scarf in the rebozo technique to pull my belly up, which helped immensely. I had been trying to breathe through them on my own but when Megan arrived she got me to do low moaning and it seemed to really help. Having her there made a huge difference. She was awesome and helped make it possible for me to have a homebirth. What a difference! It was wonderful and I feel blessed.”
-Lucy

“We hired Megan first as a labor doula and then continued her services for the first 3 weeks postpartum. She was amazing and helped us so much through the whole process. Megan labored with me and helped me find ways to manage the pain by moving around and talking with me. I felt really secure having her there, even when the hospital staff started to make me very nervous. Megan was a calm presence. She stayed with us after our son was born to help with nursing and when things were not going well she returned to the hospital the following day. We saw her several times for the first 3 weeks of our sons life and she helped us get him onto breast milk exclusively after supplementing in the hospital. She also helped us find ways to calm him, taught us to bathe him in a way that did not make him scream, and showed us how to use the carriers we were given. When I got mastitis, Megan talked with me everyday and visited several times until I was better and breastfeeding was going smoothly again. I owe a huge thanks to her and highly recommend her!”
-V

BirthFocus
Ilana Stein
www.birthfocus.com
Tel: 718.380.4030
ilanastein@birthfocus.com www.birthfocus.com
BirthFocus offers free “Meet the Doula” open houses in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Fees start at $500 and include two home visits, the birth, and a detailed written account of the birth.

We went to one of their open houses at Beth Israel. It is an opportunity to meet a lot of the doulas that work with BirthFocus. Each of the doulas briefly introduced themselves, told us their experience, philosophy and background. Then each expectant couple sat together as doulas rotated to meet with you for a short, prescribed time. At first, it felt a little awkward- a bit like speed dating- but once we got the hang of it, we realized no one was going to go away with hurt feelings if we didn’t choose them and we could ask very direct questions about each doula’s experience, reasons for being a doula and their techniques. In the end, we met two doulas here that were in our top 4 to choose from and a couple others that seemed quite good besides. I thought it was a great introduction to the world of birthing, very informational, and well done.
-Karen

Melani Bolyai
Natural Qi Acupuncture and Herbs

www.NaturalQi.com
melani@NaturalQi.com
80 East 11th Street Suite 407 (btw. Broadway and University)
New York, NY 10003
She is an Acupuncture Supervisor in Lutheran Medical Center’s labor and delivery ward researching and providing instruction in using acupuncture to induce labor and reduce labor pain.

She was just a wonderful, incredibly warm and supportive person who put my mind at ease about the whole process. She helped remind me of my birth plan when we were in the hospital when things started to depart from our original birth plan. Melani put needles and pressure points in me so that I never felt nauseous once. I believe she also helped induce me by natural means of acupuncture because I told her I didn’t want to have Pitocin. The acupuncture was an added bonus to her being a fantastic labor doula. She was expensive but worth every penny. You get an interview, 2 visits and a postpartum visit to make sure you are okay.
-Amanda

Beth Donnelly Caban
pn.yoga@yahoo.com
718-753-6164

One of the most amazing women I have ever met. She is so grounded. She was awesome with the hospital staff at St. Lukes. She wants to know what you want the experience to be.
-Sarah

Eden Bertrang
917-648-9581
eden.bertrang@gmail.com

I highly recommend my doula Eden Bertrang. She attended the birth of our son 3 weeks ago. Hiring her was one of the best decisions we could have ever made. She was AMAZING. She stayed with us through a 40+ hour labor. She has attended approximately 15 births and is in the process of getting her certification. Her rate is very low. Also, my midwife who has been in practice for over 20 years said that Eden was one of the best doulas she has ever worked with –to me that means a lot.
-mindy

Megan Davidson, PhD
http://brooklyn-doula.com
http://BrooklynDoula.vox.com
brooklyndoula@gmail.com
917-627-6727
Professionally Trained Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding, Babywearing & Cloth Diapering Education & Support
Megan Davidson is a professionally trained labor and postpartum doula and the mother of two young boys in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Megan offers non-judgmental support for pregnant moms and their families from prenatal education and birth preparation, through labor, and during the postpartum period. As a labor doula, Megan provides physical and emotional support, research and information, and a platform for decision making, supporting pregnant women through labor and delivery with kindness and respect. Postpartum, Megan offers newborn mentoring and assistance to help families transition and enjoy their new baby. Services can include basics in newborn care, techniques for soothing a cranky or overtired newborn, babywearing or cloth diapering assistance, and holding your baby while you nap, eat, shower, enjoy time with older children or your partner, or attend appointments. Megan can also help with light cleaning and laundry, cooking, errands, appointments, sibling care, and resources and referrals for additional help. Services are always flexible tailored to the specific needs of individual clients.
Babywearing and cloth diapering in-home consults are also available for parents interested in learning more about either. Megan can help you with the carrier or diapers you already have and also has a large variety of carriers and diapers for you to try on/look at to help you find something that is right for you and your child. Assistance developing and infant hygiene/potty practice is also available.

“I owe a huge thanks to my miracle worker doula, Megan Davidson! Megan’s presence was a huge help at my homebirth. My baby was more than 9 pounds and I did not even tear. I felt great after birth and had tons of energy. The contractions were more painful than I expected. I couldn’t find a single position that was comfortable but Megan used her scarf in the rebozo technique to pull my belly up, which helped immensely. I had been trying to breathe through them on my own but when Megan arrived she got me to do low moaning and it seemed to really help. Having her there made a huge difference. She was awesome and helped make it possible for me to have a homebirth. What a difference! It was wonderful and I feel blessed.” — Lucy (March 2008)

“We hired Megan first as a labor doula and then continued her services for the first 3 weeks postpartum. She was amazing and helped us so much through the whole process. Megan labored with me and helped me find ways to manage the pain by moving around and talking with me. I felt really secure having her there, even when the hospital staff started to make me very nervous. Megan was a calm presence. She stayed with us after our son was born to help with nursing and when things were not going well she returned to the hospital the following day. We saw her several times for the first 3 weeks of our sons life and she helped us get him onto breast milk exclusively after supplementing in the hospital. She also helped us find ways to calm him, taught us to bathe him in a way that did not make him scream, and showed us how to use the carriers we were given. When I got mastitis, Megan talked with me everyday and visited several times until I was better and breastfeeding was going smoothly again. I owe a huge thanks to her and highly recommend her!”
–V. (April 2008)

Everyday Family Center at the Everyday Athlete
www.everydayathletestudio.com
136 Union street (between Hicks and Columbia.)
718.852.6300
The Everyday Family is a new center within the Everyday Athlete Studio in Carroll Gardens that is facilitated by experienced Childbirth Educators, Doulas, Midwives, Nurses, and Lactation specialists and caters to the needs of new and expectant families. They have Childbirth Preparation Classes, Breastfeeding and Newborn Care classes, Breastfeeding Support Groups, Colic Support Groups, Prenatal Yoga, pre and postnatal training (with childcare!) and yoga, nutrition, massage, craniosacral therapy, and more.

Natashia Fuksman
With Woman NYC
withwomannyc@yahoo.com
917-617-2771


As pregnancy progresses, a really common referral that I make is for birth counseling – for mothers needing help processing their feelings about their upcoming birth (perhaps because of a previous birth experience, a history of abuse, or other stressors in her life). Both of the women I refer clients to for counseling are also childbirth educators who teach classes in Brooklyn for expecting parents. Natashia Fuksman of With Woman NYC is a local mother, doula trainer, birth counselor, and she also teaches childbirth education classes specifically for parents planning homebirths. Natashia has been assisting pregnant and laboring women for over 10 years and she has a wealth of information about pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum months to assist families who are planning for a homebirth or who are needed a safe space to process their feelings about their pregnancy or birth. She is compassionate and thoughtful, a wonderful listener, and I highly recommend both her childbirth education classes and her counseling services.
-Megan Davidson

Jennifer Kroll
doulasource@yahoo.com
212-465-7545

Sarah Pancake
spancake@earthlink.net
347-623-2646


Park Slope Doulas

Stana Weisburd
Park Slope
stanadoula@yahoo.com
Tel: 917.575.1227 Tel: 718.369.7170
Park Slope Doulas provide constant physical, emotional, and educational support, helping to give back the power to the mother and her partner so that they can experience birth as a safe and sacred experience. Stana works in Brooklyn & Manhattan.

Anne Marie Polak

Tel: 718.784.3252
doulanyc@msn.com
Certified labor assistant, holistic labor and postpartum doula, childbirth educator (Lamaze, Birthing from Within, HypnoBirthing), Lamaze breastfeeding support specialist, vbac support, cesarean birth support, bellymasks, certified Reiki practitioner.

Cori Pleune (nee Sisenwein)
http://dosdoulas.com/
cori@dosdoulas.com
917-554-8442
Co-founder of Dos Doulas. Cori Pleune (née Sisenwein) is a DONA Certified Birth Doula, certified Lamaze Childbirth Educator, and trained Postpartum Doula. She is certified with the American Red Cross in adult/child/infant CPR, and has completed workshops to help women breastfeed successfully. Cori attended her first birth in 1996 and has been hooked ever since. Her hobbies are knitting, reading good books and playing fetch with Gerdie the dog.

Cori was our attending doula and she was worth every cent! She and Sarah Kaylor work together as a team and, depending on the time of your birth you could get either one. We felt equally comfortable and supported by either one. They are strong, knowledgeable, great resources, kind and considerate. They asked what would help me get through the birth: I mentioned talking, laughing, singing and Cori happily obliged in every category and more. Lastly, I know money/budget is always an issue. We decided to pay for a doula and forgo a private room. I am so happy we made that decision (though definitely bring ear plugs!). Some doulas are more expensive because of their experience, and I felt that giving birth in a traditional hospital I wanted a doula that could tell me from experience what I could expect at that hospital, that she feel confident enough to be strong with the doctors and nurses, who might rally for a c-section. In the end, we were right to pay more for their experience. On a routine checkup on my due date, my water broke and my OB/GYN wanted to admit me to the hospital asap. My husband and I spoke with Cori and she gave us the right words to convince the hospital that I would be okay laboring at home for a certain period of time. After getting checked in and out, signing a waiver and promising I would be back within 12 hours of the water breaking- I was let go. Hooray!
-Karen

Having Cori present after the birth of my daughter, was truly a gift.  She helped me to feel comfortable and confident with my new baby girl.  She helped with everything from breast feeding advice to teaching me to tie the Moby wrap but, most importantly, she empowered me to be sure about myself as a mother in the very beginning.  She’s amazing!
-Katie

Sarah Kaylor
http://dosdoulas.com/
sarah@dosdoulas.com

917-612-5927
Co-founder of Dos Doulas. Sarah is a DONA Certified Birth Doula, trained Postpartum Doula and Hypnobirthing instructor. She has also trained as an End of Life Doula and is certified with the American Red Cross in adult/child/infant CPR, She has completed workshops to help women breastfeed successfully. Sarah birthed her son, Jacob, 17 years ago and has supported women in labor ever since. Her hobbies are running, drawing, making sock creatures and snuggling with Django the uber mutt.

See Cori’s review up above.
-Karen

Jessica Sowards
http://www.lotusdoulas.com/
jessica@lotusdoulas.com
917-721-3963
Jessica is a labor and delivery doula certified by DONA International and member of the Metropolitan Doula Group. She became interested in childbirth after the birth of her son in 2006.

My husband and I spent a long time debating whether or not to hire a doula for the birth of our daughter and we are so glad we did! Jessica was an invaluable presence at our birth and I truly believe was vital in helping me have the birth I wanted. Thanks to Jessica, we got to the hospital right on time (almost 6 cm!) and with her coaching, my labor moved along fairly quickly. It was so great having Jessica as part of our daughter’s birth and we would definately work with her again!
-Anon

After interviewing multiple doula contenders, we knew that Jessica was a perfect fit. She brings a contagious sense of calm, serenity, and purpose to the space that she’s in, and these are invaluable traits in the labor arena. She helped me manage anxiety that arose when my due date came and went, and was ever available during that uncertain window. I was determined to have an unmedicated birth, but was ultimately overwhelmed by the unanticipated complexity and challenge of my 17 hour labor. Jessica came to our house to guide us in our decision to ultimately move to the hospital, and, thanks to her experience, I was a critical 6cm on arrival. She helped me to move through each contraction through visualization and breathing, and I felt safe and anchored with her by my side. With her support, I achieved my true wish for a natural birth, and now have a cherubic 8lb, 12ozer in my arms! I highly recommend Jessica – she is a lovely combination of accessible, warm, and seasoned.
-Kelly F Brogan MD

My husband and I did a lot of preparation for our son’s birth in the hope that he would be born without pain medication. Hiring Jessica was a key part of this preparation. She helped us meet our goal, offering valuable advice during labour. I was in the bath tub when she arrived. While the water took the edge off the pain, it also slowed my contractions down. Jessica suggested getting out of the water to speed them up, which worked and hastened the moment of going to the hospital. Every moment when you feel like you’ve rounded a corner comes a great relief, and also gives you added encouragement to press on. I was dreading the taxi ride to the hospital, but Jessica’s suggestion on positioning in the back of the cab–on my knees facing out the back–made the ride feel completely fine. It is also really valuable to have someone with Jessica’s experience tell you that you’ve made it past the toughest part, particularly if you have a long labour, as was my case. It was great to have her help before and after labour as well: she suggested important questions to discuss with my ob/gyn and answered particular questions I had about breastfeeding. And she takes great pictures! We will certainly treasure the ones she took of our son’s birth.
-Alexandra

Stephanie Watson-Campbell
http://www.storkstorenyc.com/
Stephanie@storkstoreNYC.com
347-463-8454


The final resource I want to suggest, is both a store, the Stork Store http://www.storkstoreNYC.com and the owner of that store, Stephanie Watson-Campbell, a local doula, childbirth educator and lactation counselor. Stephanie said she realized that her neighborhood was in need of a cool, hip and comfortable place for support, supplies, and classes and she created the Stork Store, on Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg, to fill that need. They carry a wide variety of products for pregnancy, labor, and postpartum including, baby carriers, breast pumps, nursing bras, birth pools, cloth diapers, cool toys, and much more. The store also runs several classes though out the week. Some of them include a breastfeeding circle that takes place on Mondays, Mommy and Me tea on Tuesdays, music classes for all ages, childbirth education, cloth diaper and sling workshops (taught by me!), baby sign language, and more.
-Megan Davidson

Stephanie gave us all the information we needed to make informed decisions. She was wonderful and supportive during a difficult delivery.She made sure that my wishes to breastfeed were honored even when I was not in a position to advocate for them myself. Stephanie also supported me through all my breastfeeding conundrums with patience, education and laughter. I cannot recommend her services enough. I wound up not only with an educator and doula but also with a friend.
-Carrie

Stephanie brought a wonderful and welcome dose of calm and stability to the birth and the exhausting days afterwards. During labor and delivery, Stephanie was by our side for 24 hours straight. She helped immeasurably, with words of encouragement, and key advice and help dealing with doctors and nurses  and afterwards, Stephanie’s warmth, energy and expertise made breastfeeding possible and then enjoyable, and kept our family in good humor as we navigated our first weeks of parenthood. As a doula, Stephanie provided advice and expertise that would have been difficult to find elsewhere – and she did it with warmth and zest, quickly  becoming a welcome friend in our home.
- Theresa

Stana Weisburd
stanadoula@yahoo.com
917.575.1227 or 718.369.7170

I gave birth to my daughter in Nov. 2007 and was blessed to have Stana by my side. As a first time mom, I wanted someone very knowledgeable about birth and who communicated well, able to address my questions and concerns, and be a gentle, yet strong presence during the birth. Stana was all of this and more. Stana really cares about what she does and is very passionate, but does not push any of her ideas onto you. Whatever type of birth you’re looking to have, Stana just tries to help you attain that, supporting you throughout. She recognizes your goals in the birth (mine was not to have to use pain relieving drugs) and helps you stick to them. Stana communicates very well and makes herself available to you from the moment you hire her, not only the two weeks before and after birth. She is very experienced…she’s attended about 50+ births. In addition, Stana is a L.M.T (Licensed Massage Therapist). She utilizes massage technics during the labor and also offers a prenatal massage as part of the package.She is very gentle, but very to the point and is not afraid to advocate for you and your birth choices. She was my voice at the birthing center, reporting my progress to the staff, so all I had to do was focus on the labor. I loved the fact that Stana helped my husband be more involved in the birth. For these reasons, I highly recommend Stana.
-Sen

Women Doula Group
http://nycdoulacoop.com
The doula coop has both birth and postpartum doulas. Newer doulas are all in mentoring relationships with more seasoned doulas (such as Natashia Fuksman, Kenzie Fields, Haya Brant, Megan Davidson, etc). The newer doulas have ongoing mentoring and professional training, so you get a great value for your money in my opinion. If you look on the website you can see a current list of members, but they are also still growing. The doulas range in price from $200-$1800.

Jamie Yates
www.theurbandoula.com
jamie@theurbandoula.com
646-552-7458
New York City is a hectic, frenetic place to be pregnant. For those of us who are transplants with family far away, having a baby can seem like a daunting task. Many of us navigate the subway everyday, work long hours at stressful jobs and have busy social lives. Now add being pregnant to the mix and you’ve got a special set of challenges. While I can’t promise you a seat on the subway, or an understanding boss, I can assist you in having a sane pregnancy and birth. Whatever your choices, I offer my non-judgmental support in having the kind of birth that is right for you.

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