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Labor Doulas

February 13, 2007

Diana Antonellli

Laurel Axen, MS, L.Ac
Acupuncturist & Chinese Herbalist
Ph. 917.862.7589
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."

Birth Day Presence
Jada Shapiro and Terry Richmond- founders
Sarah Pancake


Tel: 917.751.6579


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.


Ilana Stein


Tel: 718.380.4030


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.

Melani Bolyai
Natural Qi Acupuncture and Herbs

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.

Beth Donnelly Caban

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.

Eden Bertrang

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.

Megan Davidson, PhD
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
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
136 Union street (between Hicks and Columbia.)
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.

Family Doula Services

Angela Ferin, CD(DONA) PCD(DONA)



Tel: 917.535.4424


Postpartum doulas, labor support doulas, childbirth education classes.

Park Slope Doulas

Stana Weisburd




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.

Anne Marie Polak

Tel: 718.784.3252
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)
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!

Sarah Kaylor

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.

Jessica Sowards
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 doula, Cori Pleune, recommended Jessica. Jessica trained and worked with Cori. Cori said that she was very capable and would recommend her.