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

April 2013

“I want an epidural” O.k. What I really said was, “GET ME A FUCKIN’ EPIDURAL!”

Here’s what I missed at the childbirth class that I took when I was pregnant with Erica.

I heard the word focus. I thought, ok, she means a focal point, a strong awareness, an understanding of what was happening to me.

OK, I can do that… I didn’t realize that what she meant by “focus” was to go deep inside of myself. Tune out all noise, light, sound, smell, self doubt, worry etc. and bring ALL of my focus to my inner self. My inner-self.

I didn’t realize that it meant I should concentrate all of my attention and energy internally.

I don’t know how I missed it, but I did. Instead, I focused on how long it had been since my water broke. I focused on the fetal heart monitor that I was attached to. I focused on how much my back hurt. I focused on how uncomfortable I was in bed. I focused on how much longer it would be before I met my baby, etc… Do you see where I went wrong?

So… after 27 hours of labor, I waived the white flag of surrender, got the epidural (which I didn’t want) and 20 minutes later I was fully dilated with no sensation to push. My doctor cut a large episiotomy and I delivered my daughter. He reached his entire hand and wrist into my body, pulled out my placenta, sewed me back up and called it a day…

Four years later, I was pregnant again. I was too busy to take a childbirth class this time and decided we were just...Read more

New Doula, Doris Jean Kolarek, really gets it! I am absolutely thrilled to have added her to our staff of amazing doulas at Northeast Doulas in the recent weeks. As her mentor, I have had the opportunity to discuss various topics with her relating to pregnancy, birth, labor support, emotional wellness surrounding birth and much more. After a recent conversation about birth wishes as opposed to birth plans, I challenged her to write a blog about the differences. As you read her thought provoking words, it will be clear to you why I am so thrilled to share her with our clients while selfishly keeping a small piece of her for myself.

Wishes; we make them on stars, fallen eyelashes, wishing wells, necklace clasps, dandelions we blow in the wind, birthday candles, pennies we throw into fountains and fairy godmothers we hope to appear. Throughout cultures around the world wishing exists but one category of wishes we all too often don’t hear about, talk about or make, are birth wishes.

Birth wishes are not birth plans and let’s examine the use of language in these phrases that differentiate them so. A plan is defined as a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. A wish is defined as a desire or hope for something to happen. In birth no matter how much we plan to do something we...Read more

You want to do what with the what?  The placenta? You want to do something to turn it into pills (placenta encapsulation, I’m told it is called) and you want to ingest these pills? The placenta... like the after birth? That bloody raw meat looking thing on the other end of the umbilical cord? That thing scared me when each child was born. It was (really) gross! You want to ingest that thing? You want to eat your placenta! Encapsulate your placenta? Why?

Ok, I get that the placenta is kind of a cool thing. It is a human organ that doesn't exist before pregnancy. The body just grows it once it is needed. It regulates the oxygen and nutrients our baby needs to grow, making sure she gets what she needs and keeps out the harmful stuff. Then, when the baby is done with it the female body just expels this organ. You are right, that is a really interesting part of human anatomy and they should have talked more about it in...Read more

The Best Birth Recipe

2 cups - Facility that supports your birth wishes

2 cups - Practice whose philosophy matches yours

1 can - Freedom to move the way your body asks you to

2 tbsp - Wisdom to trust your body and your intuition

1/3 cup - Freedom of judgment

3/4 cup each - Education and Personal Choice

1 cup - Emotional support of someone you love

1 cup Physical presence of a Labor Doula

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of a facility that supports your birth wishes with 2 cups of a practice whose philosophy matches yours.

This combination should be smooth. If the texture is lumpy or anything other than smooth continue mixing until you have achieved the smoothest consistency possible.

Add to that mixture, a full can of freedom to move the way your body asks you to. Stir in 2 tbsp of the wisdom to trust your body and your intuition.

Gently add 1/3 cup of freedom of judgment. No mixing spoons should be used unless absolutely necessary (or if dough asks you to use them) all mixing should be done softly and tenderly by hand. Dough should be warm and cozy to the touch.

Gently ease dough into a warm bath and soak until dough appears to climb out on its own.

Wrap dough in a thick, warm kitchen towel and pat dry.

In a separate bowl, combine equal parts education and personal choice until the two become one.

Pour 1 cup emotional support of someone...Read more


The achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time.

Jerry Patterson and I knew that when we had children, being consistent was something that would be important to us. “No” would mean no and there would be nothing that could transform it into a yes. As a teenaged couple, we would see kids beg their parents to change their minds about a no and be embarrassed by the manipulations that worked every time on those parents.

Eventually, we married and had our first child. I remember being at a friend’s house when that child was about a year old. She had recently starting walking but had crawled towards a small wooden statue in my friend’s living room. I said a firm, “No, we don’t touch that” and she stopped in her tracks. She looked at me and I looked at her and repeated, “we don’t touch that.” She wasn’t thrilled but had heard these words before and clearly understood them.

My friend immediately chimed in and said, “it’s ok. She can play with that. She can’t get hurt on it and it won’t break”. She started towards it to get it and put it in Erica’s would be accepting hands and was shocked to hear me say, “No, I all ready said no. It’s too late. It would be confusing to her for us to give it to her now.” “Oh, but it’s ok. She can play with it”, my friend repeated. I was amazed at how I had to speak MORE firmly to an adult about saying no than I...Read more