A birth doula accompanies a woman during labor and birth to assist her, and her partner, in achieving a safe and satisfying birth experience. I specialize in attending VBACs and home births (and of course accompanying my clients should a hospital transfer be requested). Doulas come from a variety of backgrounds. I am a certified hypnotherapist, certified childbirth educator, founder and former director of two doula services (Mom Service, Beyond Birth), health administrator (Family Birth Center, Birth Cottage, March of Dimes Resource Center, Maternity Center Association) and health writer with extensive education and over 35 years of practical experience as a birth doula. I am also one of the founders of the Hudson Valley Birth Network.
During your labor and birth, I offer emotional support, physical comfort and, as needed, communication between you and your providers to help you make informed decisions. I am independent and self-employed, working for you -- not your caregiver or hospital -- and will support your decisions within the limits of my expertise. I will be guided by your preferences, and I will remain with you from the time active labor has begun (or earlier, if previously requested) until one or two hours after the baby is born. As a doula, I will utilize non-medical support techniques for labor and birth. I will strive to maintain a calm and peaceful birth environment.
A doula does not perform any medical procedures or clinical tasks, such as vital signs checks, fetal heart check, or vaginal exams. She cannot make decisions for you. I can help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth preferences.
As a doula, I cannot exercise your patient rights for you. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, and if necessary speak with clinical staff on your behalf to help you understand benefits and risks of procedures, but you or your partner will inform the clinical staff of any decisions you make.
My doula services include a prenatal home visit; 24-hour "on call" from the 38th week of your pregnancy until you give birth; support during labor, birth, and up to two hours postpartum; a postpartum home visit; and unlimited email/text/phone support until 6 weeks postpartum. If for some reason I am unavailable to attend your labor or birth, birth doula support will be provided a back-up who you will also meet. In case of my sudden illness or a family emergency, my back-up would provide labor support.
Please call me to set up a free prenatal consultation. Payment plans are available, as are discounts for those clients who are also taking my mind+body birth hypnosis course.
I look forward to working with you to help you achieve the joyous, confident birth you deserve! Your body and your baby KNOW how to birth!
I simply can't thank you enough for seeing me through Abel's speedy and dramatic entry into the world. As soon as you stepped into that triage room and I saw your familiar, smiling face, panic receded...Motherhood was in full, beautiful force...all of us taking care of each other.
Thanks, Julietta...as Kate said, you were a real help throughout and brought a profound sense of calm.
David G. (Kate's husband)
I believe that having a doula is the best thing you can do to ensure you have a positive birth experience. Mine was incredible even though it was so intense and ended in a Cesarean. Julietta's presence took away the fear and allowed my husband and me to focus on the process because we were able to rely on her knowledge and skill. Julietta is a master at what she does. You will be hard pressed to find someone more knowledgable about birth and the birthing process. She exudes confidence and comfort. I will have her at my next birth [read about Anna's second birth, below!].
Virginia Beach, VA (formerly Naples, ITALY)
Julietta was with me during my first labor, which was long (39 hours) and ended in a Cesarean. This time, I wanted a VBAC. My only goal was to “push a baby out of my vagina.” Julietta shared that goal, in my exact words, with the labor nurse. And immediately she created her natural, relaxed-yet-professional, funny and joyful rapport with the entire L&D staff. Our room was the fun place to be, and we had a blast!
When we found out after 12 hours of natural labor that I was only 3cm dilated, I lost all my composure. I was distraught that my body was following the same path to a C-section as my first labor. Julietta and the midwife did not want me to get exhausted, and the midwife recommended an epidural. Julietta’s explanations helped me through my decision to have the epidural, and after it was administered I was fully dilated in an hour-- no Pitocin needed! Julietta was right by my side through four hours of intense pushing, and a vacuum-assisted birth. She cut Lucelia’s cord, and cried with me as I repeated, " I did it! I did it!" Any woman who has had an unexpected caesarean knows the fears and doubts that can develop regarding future births. Any woman who has tried to have a medication-free birth, but had to have interventions, knows those thoughts as well. Julietta trusted my body even when I didn't. I call Julietta my Birth Angel.
Virginia Beach, VA
I refer many of my midwifery patients to Julietta for hypnosis. She’s helped them to overcome anxiety and really trust their bodies. I’ve also witnessed her in action at the hospital as a birth doula and she gets very impressive results.
Kathy Herron, CNM
Midwife, White Plains, NY