Dulas in New York?
August 24, 2014 10:07 AM   Subscribe

My pregnent wife's due November 4th and we're really excited and, you know, terrified. I'm starting a new job in two weeks that's going to be very demanding (and will give me very little time off when the baby's born). We're interested in hiring two dulas -- one to assist during labor and delivery, and one for at home for a week or two after the baby's born. We live in Bayside, Queens and she's giving birth at New York Presbyterian Cornell Weill.

First, we want to hire a delivery dula -- someone to be there in the hospital (and maybe at home during early labor, if that's how this sort of thing works). We'd like to find someone who's experienced and calming and will put my wife at ease and be willing to pick me up off the floor when I repeatedly faint. Did you have an experience with an excellent delivery dula in Manhattan? We'd love to know about him or her.

Second, we want to hire a dula to help for four or five hours during the first week or two we're back from the hospital. We're particularly interested in hiring a dula who'll help teach my wife breast feeding best practices -- who won't just give the baby a bottle to let my wife sleep but instead assist while my wife's breastfeeding the baby.

We know of a handful of dula organizations in the area and would appreciate being pointed towards ones you found especially helpful. But even better would be recommendations of specific dulas you guys've had good experiences with in the past.

posted by thursdaystoo to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you already checked out La Leche League of Queens? I believe they are only lactation experts, but they may be able to talk to you about doulas in our area who are also lactation experts.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:11 AM on August 24, 2014

Is there a local parents site (email, fb etc)? They'd be a good place to start. Gl!
posted by cestmoi15 at 10:32 AM on August 24, 2014

Best answer: Here are a couple of sources. The first is DONA, or Doulas of North America. They are a major birth doula training and certification organization. On the first page, on the left side, you'll see where you can enter your location and find local doulas.

DONA: http://www.dona.org/

I found this link for postpartum doulas in your area: DoulaCare: http://www.doulacare.com/

The most important factor when choosing a doula is choosing someone you really like, really click with. You and your wife will be spending some really intense time with these women, and it's best to find someone who won't grate on your nerves.

Definitely check their references. And see if the postpartum doula has any specific lactation support training.

Good luck!
posted by primate moon at 11:15 AM on August 24, 2014

Best answer: I found my doula through Birth Focus (http://www.birthfocus.com/). We went to two of their meet and greets and found an awesome doula. The meet and greets were slightly painfully awkward, but worth it. Doulas are the best!!!
I was told (and I would agree) that your connection with a doula is more important than how much experience they have. I just say this to encourage you not to automatically disregard people because they have only attended a handful of births.
posted by avocado_of_merriment at 12:33 PM on August 24, 2014

Meetup.com has a LOT of neighborhood-based mommy groups in the NYC area - I would join the one nearest to you with the most members and ask their message board for recommendations. This is also a good way to hook up with other new parents once the baby is born.
posted by Mchelly at 1:16 PM on August 24, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for all the responses so far. Just one bit of follow up: my wife is planning to have an epidural, so info about dulas who are tolerant of that sort of thing would be really helpful.
posted by thursdaystoo at 2:54 PM on August 24, 2014

I know of a Philly doula,but she is an ironwoman and probably awesome....
posted by TheAdamist at 3:29 PM on August 24, 2014

The mission of all good doulas is to support the woman and her family in what THEY want, not some agenda of the doula's own. This includes any kind of planned interventions (such as an epidural) or avoidance of interventions. Many doulas are also experienced in supporting clients who give birth by c-section, planned or not. Just make sure to discuss this in interviews. It is possible that you'll meet a potential doula who does have their own strong ideas about epidurals or other medical procedures.
posted by primate moon at 8:37 PM on August 24, 2014

I know a doula who does both labor and postpartum services in NYC, Lijah Friedman. She's also a lactation consultant (and funny, to boot). This is her website, with contact info: http://lijahfriedman.wordpress.com
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:14 PM on August 24, 2014

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