Providing Professional Doula Services to Families in Greenwich, Westchester and NYC

Hospital Births

3 owners, 2 offices, 10 labor and postpartum doulas and 1 pink car!  All serving a common goal – to educate, inform and support women. 

Last week, while I was holding down the fort, Randy and Debbie met up with OB/GYN, Dr. Meedlen Charles and they headed to the WHUD radio station to sit down with Kacey and talk about women – babies, birth and doulas!  Listen to interview "Oh Ladies" now!

KACEY ON THE RADIORead more

It’s finally time to meet your newborn and you’ve been dreaming of seeing their perfect face for months.

When they finally get handed to you, they’re not always the “picture perfect” sight you expected.

What is all this cheesy stuff all over my new baby?!

It’s gross!

We ordered ours without the cheese, thanks.

While it can seem pretty unsightly, be thankful it's there.

The 'cheese' or more commonly referred to as vernix, is an important part of protecting your baby inside the womb.

Protection

Vernix Caseosa covers a baby’s delicate skin in the womb as it’s developing. The amniotic fluid’s acidity can damage this delicate skin and the Vernix coats the baby and prevents infection. It also keeps a newborn insulated, keeping them at a comfy temperature.

Moisturizing

Amniotic fluid would dry out a baby’s sensitive skin if it weren’t for the layer of hydrating Vernix. Your baby would be born a shriveled up raisin if their skin wasn’t constantly being hydrated while in the womb. Think of it as your baby’s first skincare regimine.

Soundproof Studio

It’s pretty noisy to float around in liquid for months, and the...Read more

Pregnancy comes with a ton of decisions to make. 

Which Hospital should I deliver my baby at? 

Which provider should I choose? 

Which do you choose first?

The Hospital or the Provider? 

WOW. These are just a few decisions to expect when you are expecting and it was overwhelming to just type these out. 

It has been said that "Doulas are experts in birthing options, not experts in clinical management.” So, since we as doulas have been deemed 'experts in options' we decided to break down your options when it comes to choosing a hospital and a provider. 

How to choose which provider to deliver your baby. 

You might have a connection with a personal GYN or you may have received a recommendation...Read more

Bringing "home" To the Hospital 

was the most recent topic Rosie Pope asked me to write about. (click the above link to read the post)

After her expert ob/gyn warned about the dangers of homebirth, her team thought, there must be a way to bring your home to the hospital with you!

I spent a good while thinking about how you could do just that and what I figured out is...

You can't!

Authored by: The Rock n' Roll DoulaRead more

"Judgement free? Can I write that on my birth plan?

I just don’t know how I will act when I am in labor, but in my normal life, worrying about what people think of me, keeps me from doing things sometimes.

I want to feel uninhibited when I’m in labor.”

What the fuck?!?!

Why is this something that American women even have to wonder about?!?! A wonderful and wise mother asked this question at our Women’s Prenatal Discussion Group a while back. We were talking about birth plans and she said, “I don’t want to be judged the next time I’m in labor. Is that ok to write on my birth plan?” My heart broke…

People ask us all of the time, “what does a Doula do?” My response is different based on who is asking the question. Sometimes I keep it real surface and sometimes I go deeper into the explanation.

A Doula brings a sense of normalcy to birth. She validates a woman and her partner and they feel free to embrace the experience because she is with them. She encourages them to learn and discover themselves and their philosophies during pregnancy and through the birth and postpartum period. A role that is taken on by no other birth professional.

A doula makes it feel absolutely normal to make noise during labor or move in a way that doesn’t seem normal when you are not in labor. In fact, she will make the noise with you, and she...Read more

 

On Thursday September 26, I had the honor of visiting with a group of obstetricians from China as well as the president of the China Doula Corporation.

I was contacted about a month ago by the teams NY friend, Certified Nurse Midfife, Dewan Duan.

The group was being led by Dr. Ruyan Pang, who is the Vice President of China Maternal & Child Health Association (CMCHA). They were traveling to the United States to study the benefits of Doula care during labor in relation to lowering their very high cesarean section rates. In various parts of China the c-section rate ranges from 46%-80%!

I was so excited about this opportunity and called our friends at Hudson Valley Hospital Center to set up a tour of labor and delivery as well. (Thanks HVHC for use of the conference room and the refreshments you provided!)

Dr. Ruyan Pang and her team were thrilled to see the birth tubs in the labor rooms and asked tons of questionsDr. Sheila Pongnon and CNM, Joanne Mazzio of Westchester Medical Practice and Sabrina Nitkowski-Keever, Director of Maternal Child Health at HVHC, were on hand to answer their questions. Meanwhile, Debbie was in the room next door, doula-ing one of our wonderful clients. The team got a brief meet and greet with her and...Read more

 

If you are a labor doula, nurse, obstetrician or hospital based midwife and you read the title of this blog, you know that graham crackers and saltines mean an all night birth!

So how do we do it?

How do we get into bed after a long full day, fall asleep for 6 minutes, get woken up by a phone call, hop out of bed, get in the car and work all night on no sleep?

We just do it.

The mom is doing it too. If she can do it, we can too.

And so we keep ourselves going the best we can. We stay hydrated and we keep the coffee flowing. When we step away from our laboring client for a brief moment to get her more ice or something else she may need, we grab another cup of coffee for ourselves.

In many hospitals, there is a little stash of crackers in the kitchen. Usually they are there for a mom who can’t take medicine on an empty stomach but on a long night, they become fair game! Those crackers are what keep us all going. When it’s 3am and we are exhausted and the acid feels like it’s burning a hole straight through our stomachs… we reach for a cracker.

In the many years that I have been doing this work, I have had the occasion to share a short visit over a graham cracker in the kitchen with a nurse, doctor, midwife or anesthesiologist.

I must tell you that I work with some awesome nurses, doctors, midwives and anesthesiologists.

They care about their patients physically AND emotionally and they are deliberate...Read more

The owners of Northeast Doulas, Randy, Debbie and Lauren had the honor of being dinner guests of Dr. Jaqueline Worth and Dr. George Mussalli of Village Obstetrics last night.

Let me start by saying, the food was great and the company… EVEN BETTER! You know obstetricians are cool when they want to eat dinner with doulas! I’m just sayin’….

The philosophy of this dynamic duo says it all! If it came up once, it came up 10 times, these docs recognize that women shouldn’t have to choose between a safe delivery and a beautiful experience. Hallelujah!

When these docs talk about their statistics, it is clear that their patients have been heard!

In 2011 their c-section rate was a remarkable 8%!!! That means that 92% of their patients had successful vaginal deliveries! Now, check this out, they had a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) SUCCESS RATE in 2011of … 91%!!!!!

Dr. Worth and Dr. Mussalli call their approach to obstetrics “minimally invasive obstetrics” and have trademarked the term MIO to represent their philosophy. Their statistics certainly support this approach! Kudos to these docs!

It is with great pleasure that Northeast Doulas introduces you to our new friends at Village Obstetrics!

Authored by: The Rock n' Roll DoulaRead more

Dr. John H. Kennell was a pediatrician and staff neonatologist in the 1950's. We are so grateful that he was the kind of man who really listened to his patients! His research and life's work played a huge role in mothers and babies staying together in the moments and hours following birth. Prior to his work, mothers and babies spent their first 12-24 hours apart with very little visitation between them. At 91 years old we say good bye to this great visionary, we thank him for his contribution to our empowerment as women and we wish for him eternal peace.

What a fantastic legacy you leave behind, Dr. Kennell.

Rest well!Read more

1)  Music is familiar. Making a playlist of songs that you know well, to listen to during labor can be very comforting. Giving birth in a non-familiar place can disrupt the natural flow and continuity of labor. Filling the room with things familiar to you can relax you and help your labor to progress. Typically, songs that you know all of the words to are songs that you have sang along to on many occasions. Those songs will stimulate familiar thoughts for you and can bring a comforting feeling with them.

2)  Music is personal. Music defines us in some ways and so can giving birth. Choosing to have music in your labor room and choosing what music will play gives us ownership of our room and ultimately our experience. It creates personal space in that room and tells the people who come in the room that you are a woman who has made choices about your experience. Own your personal space with the music that tells the story of who you have been and who you are becoming!

3)  Music is rhythmic and so is labor. Women who are given the opportunity to move during labor, intuitively move like they are dancing. When they are not restricted and are feeling uninhibited, women will roll their hips in a swaying or circular motion. Music helps us find that rhythm and allows us to go deeper into the experience.

4)  Music is inspiring. Think Rocky! Nothing inspired the...Read more

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