Pregnancy and Birth
Breastfeeding and Parenting
Books and Videos
Ina May Gaskin. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Erica Lyon. The Big Book of Birth
Emily Oster. Expecting Better
Penny Simkin. The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions
Cynthia Gabriel. Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds
Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham, Bolding. Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
Nancy Wainer and Lois Estner. Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)
Janet Balaskas. Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally
Kendall-Tackett Mohrbacher. Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers
Abby Epstein. The Business of Being Born
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
BIRTH DOULA FAQS:
What is a birth doula?
A doula's role is to help you have the most satisfying birth as you define it by providing emotional, physical and informational support to you and your partner and by helping you to advocate for your wishes during birth.
What are the benefits of having a doula?
Studies have shown that doulas impact the birth experience positively. Overall, women who receive continuous labor support are less likely to experience/require:
Epidural or other regional analgesia
Birth with vacuum extraction or forceps
Birth by cesarean
Dissatisfaction or a negative rating of their experience
Why hire a doula partnership?
Together we work as a team to elevate the level of service we would be able to offer as individuals. We combine our years of expertise, our various trainings and experiences having served over 160 NYC families to be able to address whatever challenges arise throughout birth, labor and postpartum together. You have two pairs of hands on deck with their connection to the birth world who are ready to help. And in the rare case the doula who's on call is at a birth, the majority of the time, we are backing each other up so you know who will be attending to you.
Do I need a doula if my partner plans on supporting me throughout the birth?
We often spend more time with the partner than they imagine. During early labor one of us is coaching the partner over the phone. In cases where partners are looking to take a more active role in the birth, one of us can assist with recommendations based on our training and experience for ways the partner can soothe the mother and better support her through this challenging time. This continues as one of us attends the birth. At the hospital, the doula attending the birth is at the partner's side as they are relaying the birth preferences to the hospital staff helping them navigate the medical system. It's also nice to have someone there if they need to take a break!
What if I plan on having a medicated birth / epidural?
Having a doula on site is still beneficial and likely to help keep this a low intervention birth. Having someone there to reassure you, to explain what is happening and to generally take care of your needs will help the birth go much more smoothly.
What if you are assisting another birth when I go into labor?
You always have at least one doula on call for your birth. The majority of the time we are backing each other up. If in an extremely rare circumstance one of us is at a birth and the other is unavailable, we have a team of doulas that we meet with regularly with similar philosophies and trainings and one of them would be sent in our stead. This has yet to happen but we are prepared just in case!
POSTPARTUM DOULA FAQS:
What is a postpartum doula?
What a postpartum doula does changes from day to day, as the needs of the family change. Postpartum doulas do whatever a mother needs or the family needs to best enjoy and care for the new baby. A large part of their role is education. They share information about baby care with parents, as well as teach siblings and partners to “mother the mother.” Additionally, they assist with breastfeeding education as well as place attention to the mother's recovery.
What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a baby nurse?
The role of a postpartum doula is to help a woman through her postpartum period and to nurture the family. Unlike a baby nurse, a doula’s focus is not solely on the baby, but on fostering independence for the entire family by placing a priority on teaching (baby care, breastfeeding support) and assistance around the home. The doula is as available to the partner and older children as to the mother and the baby. Treating the family as a unit that is connected and always changing enables doulas to do their job: nurture the family.
How does a postpartum doula work with my partner?
A doula respects the partner’s role and input, and teaches concrete skills that will help the partner nurture the baby and mother. The doula will share evidence-based information with the partner that shows how his or her role in the early weeks will have a dramatic positive effect on the family.
What can I expect during a visit?
Visits usually last 4+ hrs and start by debriefing the couple to identify areas that need attention. Every visit usually is centered around a set of priorities. In the early weeks, it's mostly centered around the mother's recovery and breastfeeding while the later weeks include outings and taking care of household responsibilities. Here's as example of a sample 4 hr visit:
Debrief the couple and identify priorities
Assist the mama in improving her breastfeeding latch while teaching the partner how to support the breastfeeding mother
Create breastfeeding stations around the house
Prepare a meal for the family
Do a load of baby's laundry
Watch the baby while the couple takes a nap/showers
Teach couple how to wear baby out
Childbirth Education FAQs
Why Childbirth Education?
There is currently a strong disconnect between the evidence shown by research to ensure a healthy birth with minimal interventions and what is being practiced in the majority of medical settings in our country. We believe there is a time and a place for interventions in birth and we are incredibly fortunate to have these options, especially for challenging births. At the same time, it is important to minimize unnecessary interventions that could disrupt the normal process of childbirth. This is why it is so crucial for pregnant women to educate themselves and take charge of their birth process. Our goal in teaching childbirth education is to provide the knowledge that will empower women to make truly informed decisions for their births.
What will I learn during class?
In our childbirth education class, we teach evidence-based information and cover materials from well-established childbirth methods, such as Lamaze, Bradley, Hypnobabies, and Birthing from Within. We also discuss important issues such as optimal fetal positioning, possible labor scenarios, what to expect in various hospital settings, how to prevent unnecessary interventions, and how to best prepare for a VBAC.
What is the class setting?
At the moment we offer private childbirth education classes, in the comfort of your home. This allows us to tailor our class according to your specific needs, in both content and length, and customize a birth plan that works best for you.