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

September 2013


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

This is a question that new Doulas often ask of seasoned Doulas, but clients rarely ask.

The answer is simple! What’s in the bag is


Well, not in the form of “confidence” as you may know it.

In the beginning of a Doula’s career, she looks for “things” to put in her Doula bag. Things that will make her feel like she brings value to her client’s birth.

That Doula has not yet learned the secret.

In her Doula bag are things like massage tools, rolling pins, tennis balls, rebozos (a long piece of fabric used in a variety of ways to help support and comfort a laboring woman) various massage oils, essential oils in a variety of flavors, heat packs, ice packs, flickering battery operated candles, an ipod/iphone dock and other things of that nature.

Many Doulas keep this bag near their front door for quick and easy access or even in the car for fear of getting called to a birth and not having time to get home and get the bag before heading to the birth.

The truth is…. Most of the stuff in the bag is absolutely UN-necessary. Typically the majority of that stuff… never even comes out of the bag, with the exception of her granola bar and bottle of water for when the Doula takes a quick “break” while her client is peeing.

In fact, I challenge the new Doulas that I mentor, with full Doula bags, to take one item out of the bag that she didn’t use after every birth she attends. When the bag...Read 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

Well, here we are! It’s the end of summer, and another school year has started.

As most of you know, my blog posts about sleep usually focus on infants and toddlers. For now, I’m stepping out of the box to look at sleep among teenagers, or more accurately, LACK of sleep among teenagers.

According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep deprivation among young adults is at epidemic proportions.

Many teenagers flock back to school with a feeling of excitement. They want to be liked, to belong, and to succeed academically. Maybe they want to participate in new activities, experience the responsibility and financial benefit of holding a part-time job, or hang out with friends. Whatever the reason, teenagers are filling their lives with more activities than a healthy lifestyle can support.

Our biological clocks work best if our sleep is consistent.

When we are running on one schedule during the week, another on Saturday, and yet another on Sunday, we throw off our body’s rhythms, causing exhaustion.

This sleep-time discrepancy between school nights and weekends is the biggest culprit.

Between attending school, struggling with homework and maybe extra credit projects, playing sports and instruments, participating in other extracurricular activities, working at part-time jobs, spending time with friends, texting and social networking—not to mention, eating, maintaining general hygiene, and driving to all of the above—...Read more

The short answer is... NO!

Your husband can only be your doula if he IS a doula and even then, being the doula to someone you are emotionally connected to, poses certain challenges.

The role of a doula and the role of your husband/partner during labor are vastly different but equally important. Let me explain….

The Husbands/Partner Role:

The role of your partner (who is emotionally connected to you) in labor is a tremendous asset to you in many ways. Your husband/partner provides comfort to you in a way that a stranger is not capable of.  

They know you intimately; your fears, your passions your deep concerns and your history. They can anticipate your reactions before you have even had them. They are the person you look to in life for support and they are likely the person you feel most comfortable being your real self with.

You grew this new life together and for many couples, this is their first birth experience ever.

This relationship in the delivery room is incredibly valuable, HOWEVER, it is not the doulas role.

The Doulas Role:

The doulas primary focus during your pregnancy is education, followed by the support of the decisions you make. She is able to answer your questions and lead you to the resources that you seek through relationships that she has developed....Read more

Mentoring other Doulas has been a long time passion for me.

Northeast Doulas over the past 12 years has perfected their business model and started sharing it with other like minded Doula/business women. In fact, ProDoula, A Doula Certification Agency For The Modern Woman was founded to give women looking to become a Doula the opportunity to create financial freedom for her family as well, something other certification organizations neglect to give much focus to.

It is my belief that when Doulas behave professionally and operate their businesses as real and legal businesses, the Doula industry will earn the credibility that it deserves. 

Carrie Johnsen and Julie Morris of Doula Partners in Charlotte North Carolina have done just that!

Northeast Doulas has been mentoring these two phenomenol Doulas/Businesswomen for about a year and a half now and we are so proud of all of their accomplishments! 

Take a moment and get to know these "Doula-entrepreneurs" 

These ladies are experiencing so much growth that they are looking to add to their team of amazing Labor and Postpartum Doulas.

Who better to facilitate a training for them then... ProDoula!

On October 3, 4 and 5 ProDoula will be in North Carolina facilitating a Labor and Postpartum Doula...Read more

You know how we know we’re awesome? Because you told us! Northeast Doulas is proud to be a winner of the 2013 Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Awards. We took first place in the NY Metro area for the Midwives & Doulas category, and it’s all because of YOU!

The reader-driven awards program, in its third year, recognizes the best parenting brands, products, and neighborhood services and resources for families with children ages 0-10. Driven by an audience of active and engaged moms, this year’s Totally Awesome Awards amassed more than 236,000 online votes in 94 categories ranging from local bests (Easiest Drop-off Childcare and Coolest Camps for Kids) to all-time brand favorites (Comfiest Cribs & Beds and Freshest Maternity Fashions).

We attended the Totally Awesome Party celebrating New York’s winners and finalists at Citibabes and had a great time, but the best part of it all is that the Mamas are the ones that choose the winners! We think our staff is pretty awesome, and the business we’ve built over the past 12 years is too. We’re passionate about what we do and nothing makes us happier than to know that that passion shines through!

Thanks again for taking the time to vote for us and for letting us be part of your birth and postpartum experiences.

We think that all of YOU are Totally Awesome too!

 Read more


~ It’s 2am. I have to pee. I’m not pregnant. I haven’t had a sip of anything since 6pm. I wonder if I can wait till morning. I can’t. I get up. I go pee. I come back to bed and I’M WIDE AWAKE!

~ My 2 year old cries for me during the night. I bring him into our bed. My husband goes to the couch. We play musical beds all night. None of us are sleeping well.

~ I had a baby 6 weeks ago. I sleep for 30 minutes at a time. I’m exhausted. My baby sleeps all day. She saves all her a wake time for the middle of the NIGHT!

~ My son is 10 years old. He is stressed out about taking tests at school. He is losing sleep over it. It’s breaking my heart…

~ My 3 year old is terrified at night. Nothing has happened to warrant this fear. She starts to cry as soon as she gets her pajamas on. From the monsters under her bed to the “bad man” in the closet to the nightmares…. We are exhausted and at our wits end.

~ My little one (8 months old) was sleeping 11 hours a night and then his teething got real bad. He seems to be in constant pain and is miserable all night. He will only sleep if I sit in the rocking chair and rock him all night…


These are just a few of the stories about lack of sleep that we hear regularly at Northeast Doulas.

I spend a great deal of time searching for great resources for our clients. So...Read more