Three Pieces of Advice from a Breastfeeding Counselor

*All of the doulas at NYC Birth Village have breastfeeding training. We also offer a two-hour private breastfeeding and newborn care class to help you prepare for the kind of feeding relationship you want to have! Learn more about our classes here.

  1. Build your village before baby is here and use these resources! The mother should not be the only person responsible for figuring out how to make breastfeeding work for the family. The most sustainable and successful breastfeeding relationships are able to flourish because there is a network of support around the mother and baby. Partners should educate themselves about breastfeeding so they can be an informational resource in addition to providing emotional and logistical support. Find out who among your close friends and family breastfed and who is open to sharing their stories, challenges, tips and tricks. You’re not alone in your journey, and talking with people who can empathize will help get you through the challenging days. Choose a pediatrician who is not just breastfeeding tolerant, but promotes breastfeeding and is knowledgeable about how it impacts your baby’s growth. Find lactation counselors or consultants in your area so you know who to call when you’re having issues. Research breastfeeding circles and La Leche League meet-ups nearby, which will help you troubleshoot, meet breastfeeding families in your area, and provide emotional support and encouragement.

  2. Learn how to hand express. Many people who plan to breastfeed will get an electric pump, which is typically covered by insurance. However, an electric pump is not the only way to get milk out and, on its own, it is actually the least efficient way to transfer milk. Hand expression is the next best way to get milk out second to your baby, which means your precious time will be spent more efficiently! You can get milk out using hand expression, an electric pump, or a manual pump. Think of all these methods as different tools, and each tool gives you more options and flexibility. Hand expression is great when you’re engorged and just need a bit of relief, when you are not near an outlet or don’t have an electric pump with you, or when you just don’t feel like cleaning pump parts!

  3. Create informed and flexible goals. Your number one goal is to feed your baby and ensure they are at a healthy weight. You can supplement with breastmilk, but it’s also great to have a backup plan. Exclusive breastfeeding is like eating farm to table for every meal. We would all probably benefit from eating farm to table for every meal, but that doesn’t always happen and that’s okay! Have a backup plan that you feel good about if breastfeeding isn’t going the way you expect in the first few weeks. You can start expressing and collecting colostrum in plastic syringes around 36-37 weeks so your baby has food stored for the first few days of life. You can research and buy a formula that you feel good about in case you can’t get your baby to latch properly so you have a backup plan handy. Another option would be to find a local milk bank with donor milk that’s available if you want to ensure your baby has a breastmilk alternative to yours. You can create informed and flexible goals by taking a breastfeeding class before your baby is born and/or talking with a lactation counselor or consultant beforehand to lay out your goals and understand what you’ll need to do in the early days and weeks to establish a good milk supply.

Big City Moms: The Biggest Baby Shower Ever!

We love building our village, it’s in our name! We had a great time connecting with new and familiar faces at MommyCon, and we are looking forward to our next opportunity to meet you face-to-face. If you are expecting or just had a baby, check us out at Big City Moms! The Biggest Baby Shower Ever is the country’s largest and original event series for expecting and new parents. Don’t miss out on testing the latest gear, learning from the experts, meeting other new and soon-to-be parents in your area, and going home with the latest products on the market. Visit for more info.

Tickets can be purchased here and start at $45, but we are offering a special promo code for $10 off: DOULA10

The Details:

May 7, 2019

5:30pm – 9:30pm

Metropolitan Pavilion

125 West 18th Street

New York City, NY 10011

How to choose the right provider for you!

Some people have low-intervention, vaginal births because of their provider, and some people do it despite their provider. People should also see their provider as their advocate. Someone who doesn’t just tolerate your birth preferences, but who embraces them and does what they can to help you get to that end goal. Of course everyone wants a competent provider, but that is the bare minimum. Just like everyone wants a healthy parent and healthy baby at the end of a labor, the way the labor happens also matters. The way your midwife or doctor treats you matters. Providers all have differing comfort levels with physiological birth. Some are going to be more holistic in their approach and some are more likely to turn to interventions.

So how do you choose a provider that is going to be aligned with your values? If you are working with a doula, they are a great resource! One of the benefits of hiring a doula earlier in the process is you have a sounding board for making decisions like these. They likely have experience with a bunch of different providers in your area and can walk you through the process of choosing a provider. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Check in with yourself. What kind of traits are you looking for in a provider? Compassion, efficiency, patience, a sense of humor? What factors are also important? Location, time of appointments, hospital affiliation, etc.?

  2. Find relevant referrals. Just because your friend loved their provider and you love your friend doesn’t mean their doctor is going to be the right fit for you. If you feel comfortable, ask them more about their experience. Were they hoping for the same kind of birth as you’re planning? What specifically did they like about their provider?

  3. Interview your provider. Sit down with them face to face. Do you like how they explain things? Do they make you feel comfortable? There are a lot of practices with multiple providers and it is hard to ensure you will get along equally well with all of them. In those situations, try to get a sense for how the group practices as a whole. If you would be horrified if one of the providers attends your birth, maybe steer clear of that practice.

  4. Have important conversations early and often. It is never too early to talk about how you want to give birth. Is your provider open to having conversations about your goals? Beyond wanting a vaginal birth, there are important details that can impact your laboring experience. If one of your goals is to go into labor spontaneously, you can ask a provider in your first conversation about their induction policy. You don’t want to wait until you are 37 weeks pregnant to hear that your practice does a routine induction at 41 weeks. If you’re delivering in NYC, it is especially difficult to switch after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Be up front now to save you trouble later on.

The New Postpartum Depression Drug: What Do We Know?

To date, there hasn’t been a drug made specifically to treat postpartum depression (PPD). Like many issues in maternal and reproductive health, there is a lack of research, funding, and answers. The small portion of people who are currently seeking out help for PPD are prescribed the same regimen available to people with generalized depression: antidepressants and counseling. Although PPD is one of the most common complications in the perinatal period, impacting ~15% of birthing people within the first year of birth, it is still very misunderstood. The FDA just approved Brexanolone, sold under the name Zulresso by Sage Therapeutics, which performed well in trials. Its wide release is slated for June. It will be administered intravenously and, unlike other antidepressants, the effects will be fast-acting with patients experiencing results in less than three days and lasting up to a month.

The drug costs $34,000 without insurance. Insurance companies are still deciding how they are going to cover a drug like this. However, even for people who can afford to pay the price, the time requirement is huge for a new mother: 60 hours in a hospital or clinic with a continuously monitored infusion. Right now it is unclear what type of access a mother might have to her newborn when under this type of care. PPD can be a life-threatening condition, and it is important to have life-saving options for those who are incapacitated and unable to take care of themselves or their babies. In severe cases, some people are hospitalized for much longer than the 60 hours it takes to administer the dose, and proponents of the drug argue that these are the situations where Zulresso will make a huge impact.

Postpartum depression vs. baby blues


  • Baby blues: ~50-80%  

  • PPD: 15-20%


  • Baby blues: 3 days to 1 month postpartum

  • PPD: a few days after birth but at risk from 6 weeks to 1 year


  • Baby blues: hormonal shift

  • PPD: history of depression, anxiety or other mood disorders, severe PMS, thyroid problems, hormonal changes


  • Baby blues: tearfulness, moodiness, frustration, irritability BUT interspersed with positive emotions  

  • PPD: anxiety, sadness, guilt, lack of interest in the baby, thoughts of hopelessness and/or harming the baby or yourself, feeling worthless, extreme fatigue and/or excessive worry about the baby’s health


  • Baby blues: support from family, friends, or a postpartum doula and self care

  • PPD: support from family, friends, or a postpartum doula, self care, counseling, and medication

References and resources:

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today, March 8, 2019, is International Women’s Day (IWD)! As birth and postpartum doulas, we feel lucky to witness the strength, grit, softness and wisdom of women every day. Some of our doulas share their thoughts on IWD:

What does IWD mean to you?

Sam: Every time March 8 rolls around, I am reminded to check in with myself and my fellow sisters. I honor all of the ways my life is impacted by my identity as a woman, the negative and the positive, and how I’ve grown from those experiences. It’s a chance for me to think about what strides women have made in the past year and what we must work towards in the future.

Who is a powerful woman in your life?

Erica: I look up to my sister, she has played many roles in my life including best friend; and at times, a parent and my biggest supporter. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support and love. She’s an amazing person and it’s been incredible to watch her grow, specifically into a mom herself.

If you could send a message to all the women in the world today, what would you say?

Karla: I’ve always been inspired by MLK’s: “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” It’s easy to get caught up in all that holds us back now.  As a doula in a woman focused field that helps women advocate for control over decisions that affect their body and family, I’m proud for any small role our doula agency has in making women feel more powerful.

We want to take this opportunity to highlight the ways we can all support and celebrate women every day of the year:

  1. Support women owned businesses, buy art made by women, and go see live music performed by women.

  2. Send a message to a special woman in your life and thank her for being a positive presence.

  3. Sit down with a young woman/girl and create space for them to ask questions and talk about their experience of womanhood.

  4. Respect and stand for everyone who identifies as a woman because we are more powerful when we are in community together!


New York Family Paid Leave: What You Need to Know

If you live in NYC or surrounding areas, you may have heard about the new law allowing residents to obtain paid leave and job protection following the birth of a child or caring for a sick family member. However, as FairyGodBoss explains, there are a few things that you should know before running to HR:

  1. Paid Family Leave (PFL) only covers a fraction of your income. Currently, the maximum payable is a percentage of your income up to $764 for 2019.

  2. The maximum amount of leave is 10 weeks for each parent for 2019, and will go up to 12 weeks in 2021. You don’t have to take each week consecutively, but they must be used within the child’s first year of life.

  3. Only the mother or father are able to take benefits from PFL.

  4. You will continue to be covered by your employer’s insurance as long as you and your employer continue to pay into your health insurance while you are on leave.

  5. You have to give employers 30-Day notice.

  6. If you are self-employed you may be entitled to some benefits that are displayed on the NY PFL website .

The US has a long way to go on the road to comprehensive paid leave (we are the only developed country that doesn’t have a national mandate for paid parental leave), but this is a great start!

Top 9 Apps for the Tech Savvy New Parent

Today’s new parent doesn’t go anywhere without their phone. We are thankful that app developers (who are also parents) have developed very useful tools that make navigating parenthood a little easier!

Kinedu: Baby Development App

Trying to figure out how to play with baby but aren’t sure where to start? The Kinedu app gives you developmentally appropriate exercises to stimulate your baby’s mind and strengthen muscles. These activities also build on each other so that your baby is prepared to roll-over, crawl, sit, stand, and eventually walk. The app goes from newborn to 24 months, so that you can play with baby through the first year of toddlerhood too!

Baby Connect (Activity Log) App

NYC Birth Village Doulas often recommend the Baby Connect App to new parents who want to keep track of diapers, time and duration of feedings as well as ounces that are bottle fed. This app allows multiple users (each parent, night nurse, nanny, or even pediatrician) to input data and have access to the information as the same time. That way everyone is on the same page!

The Wonder Weeks App

If you’ve ever read “The Wonder Weeks: How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward” by Frans X. Plooj and Hetty van de Rijt you know that a fussy period precedes a developmental leap for your baby. The Book’s app allows you to predict when your baby will go into each leap. After you input your due date, the app gives you a projected calendar of when baby may be going through each leap (suns mean a clear, less fussy period and clouds mean a fussy, more interrupted sleep period before a leap).

Mommy Nearest

Would you like to explore the city with your little one but are unsure about where to go? The Mommy Nearest App allows you to look up baby-friendly and child-friendly activities in your area. Who knows? You may even meet another new parent with whom shares the same interests as you. You know what that means…PLAYDATES!


Becoming a new parent can be overwhelming. This app helps you with mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation. Choose this app to regularly practice self care.


Do you have a ton of pictures on your phone but don’t want to share them with all of Facebook? Facebook has developed an app that automatically groups photos from events so that you can share them with other friends and family members who also have this app.

Pampers or Huggies Rewards Apps

You may find that your diapering costs for the little one are adding up. Download the Pampers or Huggies Rewards Apps to log your points and gain access to really cool prizes, coupons, and even FREE diapers!

White Noise Deep Sleep App

Its as loud as a vacuum cleaner in your womb, so baby may have a hard time adjusting to the stillness of our world. Install this app for soothing white noise to help baby fall asleep and stay asleep longer.

Peanut App

This app is like Tinder for new parents. As you enter your interests, Peanut matches you to other possible new parent friends in the area.

Jamie Martira's "Back to Work" Class

This week’s blog post features one of our very own doulas, Jamie Martira. Jamie is a phenomenal birth and postpartum doula. She also teaches a very informative “Back to Work” class that helps families transition into the fifth trimester. Read more about Jamie and her “Back to Work” class below.

NYC Birth Village: Tell us a little about yourself and how you came into this career.

Jamie Martira: I became interested in helping families through the journey of becoming parents when my niece was born four years ago and I truly realized the village it takes to raise a child.  It wasn't until the birth of my first child 2 and half years ago, when I returned to work after 4 months of maternity leave, that I realized there is a whole other phase of adjusting to parenthood that takes place beyond that immediate postpartum period that no one talks about; going back to work. Returning to work for me was daunting; I was stressed about making the time to pump, worried about the judgement I would receive from others, and scared to leave my baby with someone else. With all these feelings, I had no support and had to figure much of it out on my own with the "help" of a million different articles found through Google searches.  That's when I decided something needed to be done about this and there needed to be more proactive support for parents returning to work so they feel confident and empowered in the decisions they are making for their family.  And so I spent much of my time digging through tons of research to find the most beneficial information to share with families to ease the transition in returning to work and created the Back to Work class.

NYC BV: What kinds of things can a new parent learn from the Back to Work class? 

JM: The class is tailored to each family's needs depending on their situation. It covers the ins and outs of pumping, storing milk, cleaning and sterilizing parts, and feeding your baby when you're away, but also dives into your legal rights to pumping at work, how to communicate with misinformed bosses and coworkers, how to communicate effectively with caregivers, as well as how to manage your time and find balance between work and home.

NYC BV: Is there anything else you’d like for our readers to know about you or your services? 

JM: As a birth and postpartum doula, it's my true passion to work with families through each beautiful stage of becoming a parent. Going back to work is no less important than becoming pregnant, having a baby, and getting through those first few weeks. It's a natural and important part of parenting and I offer support and guidance to help families feel confident about this often forgotten about phase of parenthood!

If you’re interested in learning more about or booking Jamie’s “Back to Work” class, please visit our website and fill out a Contact Form. We look forward to hearing from you!


Our Doula-approved "Must-Have" Holiday Gifts for New and Expectant parents

What are the best Holiday gifts for new and expectant parents? Our doulas came together to create our “Must-Have” gift list for pregnancy, postpartum and for baby. Pick one of these to make your new parent friend or family member happy!


1. Money towards birth and/or postpartum doula services: NYC Birth Village doulas are experienced birth and postpartum doulas that offer a variety of packages to meet everyone’s needs. Check out our website to see what our doulas can do for your pregnant/new parent friend.

2. Prenatal Massage: Pregnancy can take a toll on a pregnant person’s body. Give the gift of comforting touch from one of our collaborators, licensed massage therapist Fiona Pippa. Contact us to learn more about her services.

3. Pregnancy Pillow: It can be hard to get a goodnight’s sleep while pregnant. This Queen Rose pregnancy pillow can help make your pregnant friend more comfortable.

4. Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is very important while you are pregnant or nursing. This Camelbak water bottle is an Amazon Best Seller!

5. Large Inflatable Exercise Ball: Regular chairs can be tough to sit on while pregnant. A large exercise ball is a good alternative to the conventional office or desk chair. This ball is also great to open up the hips and for pain management during childbirth. Bouncing on it can also soothe babies who are fussy during the postpartum period.


1. Breastfeeding-friendly clothing: It can be difficult to find clothes that are easily accessible for nursing or pumping AND cute! The Madri Collection has some chic clothing options for breastfeeding parents.

2. A trial subscription to Hulu or Netflix: Breastfeeding sessions can last anywhere between 15 to 45 mins in the first few weeks before baby gets more efficient at the breast. Give your friend or family member something to do while waiting for baby to finish nursing. Binge watching shows on Netflix or Hulu are a great way to pass the time.

3. Mani/pedi Gift Certificate: Raising a new baby can be pretty time consuming and it can be hard to find time to do something for yourself. Give your new parent friend a ticket to self care to their favorite Nail Salon. Its a great reason to get out of the house and treat themselves to something nice.

4. Go Milk Yourself: You Have Power. Express It! One of our very own doulas, Francie Webb, wrote an amazing book that teaches lactating parents how to hand express breastmilk. This is a great option for the breastfeeding enthusiast or for someone who is looking to an alternative to the electric pump. Find the book here.

5. Gift Certificate to Cloth Diaper Service: Cloth Diapering is a great option for your environmentally conscious friends, but may be a daunting task living in NYC where not every apartment has a washer and dryer. Diaperkind offers gift certificates for their cloth diaper services.

For Baby

1. Boppy Lounger: This super cute lounge chair is great for sitting baby upright after a feeding or just to hang out during the day. Find it here .

2. Boba Wrap: Babywearing has many advantages for baby. Its also an easy way to be hands-free and close to your baby at the same time.

3. Comotomo Bottles: These bottles help to ease transition from breast to bottle because of the soft silicone exterior and wide nipple.

4. SwaddleMe Swaddles: These velcro swaddles are great for keeping baby calm, snug and secure, just like in the womb!

5. Soothie Avent Pacifiers: These are popular among babies who soothe themselves by comfort sucking.

You can’t go wrong with any one (or more!) of these gifts! Your pregnant friend or family member will be touched by your thoughtfulness.

Happy Holidays!

NYC Birth Village

Family Spotlight: Kerry and Jesse Discuss Their Experience with a Postpartum Doula

Today we are featuring Kerry and Jesse who are the proud parents of Baby Everett

NYC Birth Village: Thank you for joining us for this interview! We’re grateful to have you on our blog today. What made you decide to seek postpartum doula care and subsequently choose NYC Birth Village for your doula?

Kerry and Jesse: We were fortunate enough to have multiple friends share their extremely positive experiences with NYC Birth Village. Prior to their recommendations, we had never even considered doula care and truthfully, didn't know much about it. So, my husband and I began researching postpartum doula care. We decided to test the waters with a birth and labor prep class and infant care class. We enjoyed our experience so much that we knew postpartum care would be very beneficial for our family. This was our first baby and we don't have any family nearby, so I knew we would need help and support. I also wanted someone that I could trust, feel comfortable with and open up to. After meeting Brianna, I knew we were in good hands.

NYC BV: In what ways did Brianna help you prepare prior to your baby’s arrival?

K&J: I'm not sure I can actually list all of the ways! From an educational standpoint, she spent several hours with us reviewing infant care and breastfeeding principles, both of which were completely new to my husband and me. As I mentioned, this is our first baby and we are the first in each of our families' to have children. We were nervous that we wouldn't have enough knowledge to care for our new baby but Brianna put us right at ease, shared information in a manner which was easy to absorb and helped us feel confident and prepared. However, Brianna's help went beyond educational; she offered us emotional support, as well. I had a C section, so was very nervous about our birth. She provided me with a safe space to voice my concerns and anxieties without judgement.

NYC BV: What do you remember and appreciate most about your postpartum support?

K&J: This is a tough one! I had a particularly challenging birth due to some complications during and after my C-section. I expected the first few weeks home with baby to be hard, but truthfully, there is no way to really prepare for how difficult it is. It is beautiful and wonderful, too. But, you are challenged in completely new ways as a person - emotionally and physically and all on little to no sleep! Having Brianna in my corner was such a relief. What I appreciate most about my postpartum care is knowing that I could depend on my doula to be there for me during a time when I didn't realize how much I needed it. I am not great at asking for help, but Brianna just seemed to know what I needed before I even asked. She asked me important questions and provided me a safe, supportive space in which to share my questions, experiences and feelings, as well as provide me with answers to the overwhelming number of questions I had as a first time parent.

NYC BV: What would you suggest to someone who is on the fence about hiring a doula for postpartum support?

K&J: I think it is the best decision you can make for yourself and your family! However, do your research to decide what services will be most beneficial for you and you can also ask to meet with a doula before deciding to hire him or her to make sure that you find the right person for you.

If you are interested in finding out more about and/or hiring one of our postpartum doulas, please visit our website. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Follow Us on Instagram!

NYC Birth Village is now on Instagram! Follow us @nycbirthvillage for info regarding our services, tips for pregnancy and postpartum, as well as provider and doula spotlights. Come join us on our adventures!

NYC Birth Village Doula is on Instagram! Follow us @nycbirthvillage

NYC Birth Village Doula is on Instagram! Follow us @nycbirthvillage

Family Spotlight: Megan and Sasha discuss their twin birth

Today on the blog we are interviewing Megan and Sasha. They hired Karla and Narchi for support during their twin birth.

NYC BIrth Village: Thank you Sasha and Megan for joining us for this interview! We’re grateful to have you on our blog today. What made you decide to seek doula care and subsequently choose NYC Birth Village for your doulas?

Megan: Initially, we were anticipating having one baby and we were planning to have a home birth. So we began looking at midwives and just tried to figure out how we could go with the most natural, most comfortable birth possible. And then, we found out we were having twins. Every midwife we talked to wasn’t comfortable delivering twins at home and we heard stories about how there could be a variety of complications. So we began looking at other options like the birthing center and the hospital. It became this big web of trying to find providers that would help us. We saw several different OBs. We were going to go with one provider, but they said that with twins there would be a higher rate of C-section because they were opening another center and they didn’t have enough people. We found another practice that we thought was very good, but it was very based in Western medicine, and it seemed like we were seeing a different OB every time. We decided that we wanted to make this experience a little bit more comfortable. That’s when we started researching more about doulas. We wanted to have someone with us who had gone through this experience before and reassure that it’s ok to ask questions about certain thing. I didn’t realize that a birth plan was important, but that changed everything. During the first few appointments that we went to, the OB said, “You absolutely have to have an epidural,”. The moment I put down the birth plan, the conversation changed. They were like, “Oh if this is what you want,” all of a sudden, “this is a possibility”. But Narchi helped us put those things in writing and have a support system to say “it’s ok to ask for those things”.

Sasha ended up getting some sort of virus. He wasn’t allowed to be in the delivery room for most of the delivery, and missed a lot of the labor process. Without Narchi there, I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without her.

NYC BV: In what ways did Narchi and Karla help you prepare prior to your birth?

Sasha: They helped suggest positions that were helpful, body work, and things that we could do to soothe Megan in some fashion. And just talking to us. We have our parents, but their method of advice is, “Oh well this is the way we used to it.” So I think it was good to have that kind of disconnected (historically speaking) relationship with somebody who can look at your preferences, and your way of doing things, and your strengths and weaknesses.

I was a little trepidatious about hiring someone like that. Initially, I thought that was what our moms were for. I think in the end, entering a hospital system is an unfamiliar territory, especially because it’s so driven by not getting sued. They are very objective about how they deliver information and are not conscious about the person’s manner of perceiving information. So I think the birth plan is very cool. All of a sudden you’ve spoken their language and it’s in writing. So now you are running the show with your special counsel, the doula. I was a little skeptical in the beginning, but she was consistent in the way she was treating Megan. So I was like, OK. She needs this and I saw how it could be beneficial.

NYC BV: What do you remember and appreciate the most about the labor support?

Megan: The doctor was trying to walk me through pushing. Narchi said, “You have to push and relax your legs at the same time.” For some reason that just clicked for me. And the doctor just looked at her like, “What ever you just told her keep doing it! I need you to tell all of my patients that” (Laughs).

Even though Sasha wasn’t allowed in the delivery room, she would say to my parents, “You know, maybe you should share this with Sasha, or take some photos or videos of the process and send it to him”. So that was really great and something that I was not aware of in the moment. But It was a really intense labor. She was there from the moment I started having contractions, she was there the entire time. There was a moment when I was having contractions way less than a minute apart. She said, “Maybe you should talk to your doctor”. She has this way of not being pushy, and say, “you can do this”, and say “this is a possibility”. So the doctor actually turned the dose of pitocin down. So things like that were really helpful in the moment.

My parents were there for the delivery process, which we weren’t anticipating either. Because Sasha was sick, the staff let my parents in. But having Narchi there helped to calm all the emotions that were present. I feel like if it were just my friends and family there, it would have been a lot more dramatic, or I don’t know. It was nice to have someone there who was close and supportive, but also on the outside.

If you would like to learn more about hiring one of our birth or postpartum doulas, check out our website at !

Edited for Content

Megan and Sasha learn how to bottle feed their 3 week old twins during a postpartum visit.

Megan and Sasha learn how to bottle feed their 3 week old twins during a postpartum visit.

NYC Massage Therapist, Fiona Pippa, Explains the Benefits of Massage Therapy for New and Expectant Parents

This week we are highlighting one of our collaborators, Fiona Pippa. Fiona is an NYC-based massage therapist who works with all kinds of people, but also specializes in prenatal and postpartum massage. Read her interview below.

NYC Birth Village: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into Massage Therapy?
Fiona: I have been working with my hands since childhood. I work as a sculptor, painter and as a passionate gardener. While growing up in Ecuador, I became knowledgeable about plant medicine, body work and shamanic practices. Massage therapy felt like a natural progression for me. Shortly after having my second child I enrolled in the Swedish institute of New York City to become a fully licensed massage therapist.

NYC BV: What are some ways that an expectant parent can benefit from Massage Therapy?

F: Massage therapy can have a subtle, yet powerful, impact on an expectant parent. It can reduce stress, alleviate pain and increase a sense of wellbeing. The most noticeable side effect of massage is relaxation, and in pregnancy this can be a key component of a healthy outcome.

NYC BV: What are some ways that the postpartum person can benefit from Massage Therapy?
F: The postpartum person can experience a range of side effects associated with natural birth, c-sections, breastfeeding and handling baby. Massage therapy can offer many benefits, such as alleviating localized and overall muscular pain, reduce edema (which is a common side effect of c-sections), and balance moods by encouraging the production of “feel good” hormones in the brain.

NYC BV: Is there anything else that you'd like for us to know about you or your services?
F: I am an experienced therapist with strong knowledge of different massage modalities, and I customize my sessions specifically to the needs of my client. I see clients at my Yorkville studio, I visit them in the comfort of their home or in their hospital room.

If you are interested in finding out more about Fiona or signing up for her services, visit the NYC Birth Village Doulas Contact Page!


Exploring the Science Behind Babywearing

Written by Neve of

“Babywearing may be as old as the human species, but modern science is now revealing some incredible benefits that were previously unknown.

Were you aware that mothers who carry their young become more responsive to their needs? Or that it promotes attachment between infant and mother? How about the fact that slingin’ your bubba reduces the risk that they suffer from reflux, “flat-head”, or otitis media (inner ear infection)?

And that’s just the start!

In this infographic, produced by in celebration of International Babywearing Week, 23 compelling studies are laid bare. Each provides fascinating evidence for the benefits of baby-carrying.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Babywearing, our doulas at NYC Birth Village can tell you all about it!


Time and time again, it's proven having a doula matters!

In most industrialized countries, families get much more hands on support than we do. I hear tales from ex pats about drs visits where you are given time to ask questions, hospitals were one midwife is assigned to each family during birth, visits from a fairy midwife postpartum who not only checks in on the mother’s recovery and breastfeeding but also cooks and cleans! In the US and especially NYC, we’re quite a bit far off from that. Cue in doulas!

The Ultimate Guide to Doulas has all the evidence that proves again and again that families do better with doula support!

At NYC Birth Village we specialize, in birth AND postpartum doula support. After years of doing this work, we realized that the one short typical postpartum visit from birth doulas wasn’t enough. Families were being left at a time where they needed more support! So we added postpartum support to cover the first month which can be especially challenging for first time parents who are still trying to figure out the topsy turvy ways of life with a newborn. Shortly thereafter, we got trained in lactation because it turns out breastfeeding is harder than it looks! And then we came to form an agency so we can spread the love and make sure as many families as possible get the support they need. If you need a little love, as you bring life into this world, we’re here!

Holding hands.jpg

It's like watching a pot, waiting for the water to boil

The last few days of waiting for your little one to arrive can feel never ending.  The due date is approaching and you are finally going to meet your baby but before that you are going to go through one of the most physical, intense events of your life.  Your family and friends are calling or texting everyday waiting for an update.  You are uncomfortable, anxiety levels are creeping up and you ready for all of this to be over.  It is a time of in between and it deserves attention.  

Soothing a baby can feel like at art...



You took your childbirth ed class, found your doula, read the books, bought the stuff and now you are home, your little one is crying and you don't know what to do.  Probably one of the most frustrating and overwhelming parts about being a parent is trying to address your baby's needs when you have no idea what they are asking for.  The first few months are a guessing game but to make things a little bit easier, we always recommend watching this 45 min video on soothing techniques. Make it a movie night for the whole family!