DONA Certified Professional Doula since 2007
On 2.7.15 I found out I was roughly 1-2weeks pregnant. Right away I knew I wanted an intervention free birth! Right away I knew I'd need a DOULA! It only made sense, since I lived/follow a holistic lifestyle. So I searched the web relentlessly and spoke with a handful of doulas. While some seemed great via website, once I got them on the phone or required an email follow-up they didn't "show and prove" at all. After some more searching, I came across Lauren's website. Within that day, I emailed her, spoke with her and decided that she would be my doula and assist in helping me bring my little guy Earthside. HOW DID LAUREN HELP ME DURING PREGNANCY??? While the first 6months of my pregnancy were "textbook normal" that changed at the 27th week mark when I was hospitalized for SVT arrhythmia (super fast heart-beat). Without going into great detail about this condition, as a first time mama I can't even formulate words describing how extremely supportive, resourceful and empathetic Lauren was during this rough patch in my pregnancy. She was everything that EVERY expecting mother needs, high risk pregnancy or not. WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE LAUREN AS YOUR DOULA? I wanted an intervention free birth. I was undecided on an epidural but knew that I definitely did not want a c-section and I knew that hiring a doula would greatly reduce that as an outcome for me. FAST-FORWARD TO MY BIRTH.....I went into labor on my son's due date 10.16.15 around 645PM. Lauren was there every step of the way! I birthed at St. Luke's in Manhattan so I labored with Lauren and my husband in a hotel a couple of blocks away (it's different lol but I felt most comfortable being as close as possible to the hospital given my SVT during pregnancy) for a few hours before we walked to the hospital! Yes I walked and I was so against it but Lauren insisted and it felt so good. I arrived at the hospital around 345AM and with the help of Lauren, my husband and a very caring midwife, I birthed my son at 530AM in the morning. Every single detail of my birth story isn't written here but the most important thing that I want expecting mamas to take away from this is that I had the most positive birth experience. It was everything I wanted it to be! I LOVED MY BIRTH and survived it with the help of Lauren as my doula. So do yourself a favor and just hire her:)
Best, Tahniesha, Jesus & Baby Lennox October 2015
We are so very grateful to have had a doula like yourself. Your support and reassurance throughout Sofia's birth was truly priceless to us. You always knew what to say and when to say it. Your coaching and visualization exercises were so helpful and you knew exactly when to go to the hospital. You were a calming presence through a hectic time for John and I. At one point during labor, your voice encouraged me and assured that the last push is all I need! You worked as a team with Melanie, our Midwife, welcoming our baby into the world peacefully and happily. We feel so fortunate that you were part of the birth of our beautiful daughter. We look forward to staying in touch. Thank you again with all our hearts. Love, Yana, John and Sofia Romano
From the first time I spoke with Lauren I knew from that moment, I wanted her to be my Doula. Lauren has a soothing demeanor a calming voice and outgoing personality. She is an amazing individual who is highly educated in her field of expertise; and the knowledge you'll receive from Lauren is incomparable. I can't Thank Lauren enough for being there for me during my time of need; and I will always be Thankful for her.
-Kyle, Rasheeda, & Baby Kyra June 2015
Lauren was an essential part of my birth team. I am 100% convinced that she is a major reason I was able to have a non medicated birth with minimal medical intervention, which was so very important to me. There is no monetary value I could ever say about the support Lauren provided for me that day, it was priceless. As a first time mommy I was so nervous and inexperienced of what to expect, but she helped me feel safe, supported, she gave me all the facts without any prejudice or judgement, her coping skills were my pain drugs, and when I thought I couldn't do it, she gave me the confidence & support i needed to push on. Lauren from the bottom of my husbands and my own heart, thank you for helping to make my birth experience a beautiful one.
Elizabeth, Christian and Baby Brandon July 4, 2016
I owe my amazing natural birth to my my doula. I have no doubt that I wouldn't have done it without her.
-Anca Queens, NY
Everyone should have a doula like Lauren. Thank you so much for sending the birth story and for being such a wonderful doula. I was very lucky to have you.
- Amity Queens, NY
I wanted to thank you again for being so willing to help me. As I've been reviewing Andy's birth in my mind, I realize more and more how important it was for me to have you there. I know that I would have been a statistic without your help and that would have left me very unsatisfied. YOU made a difference in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you...I can't say it enough.
-Tamara Nassau County, NY
I wanted to thank you again. I could NEVER have done it without meds if it weren't for your help. Please if you ever need a reference, tell them to contact me.
- XX Viki (This client achieved an induced labor with pitocin and no epidural.)
Repeat client, completely natural birth 2014
When I decided to have a hospital birth, I knew I wanted to keep it has natural as possible. Having Lauren as my Doula helped me achieve the birth that I really wanted. I had to be given Pitocin to help my labor progress and I don't think I would have made it through without an epidural if Lauren was not by myside in those tough moments. She assured me that I could make it through each contraction and reassured me that "I can do this, I *am* doing this". My fiancee was also supported by Lauren as she guided him on how to give me Reiki as I breathed through my labor. In the most crucial moments Lauren was there to keep me focused, keep me breathing and most of all, to hold my hand. You don't realize what a difference that makes. Our son was born healthy and strong and with Lauren's help I was able to have a natural/vagainal birth, even with Pitocin ( which made me very proud). Thank you Lauren!
"It was a great choice to have Lauren as our labor doula. She is fiercely dedicated to the profession. At the hospital she was a strong but calm force for my husband and I. She was positive comforting and determined. My husband and I agree, Lauren helped us to have the kind of birth we wanted and the outcome was very rewarding. Also she takes great photos- a priceless keepsake!"
- Carla NYC, NY
Without Lauren by my side I think the pain of labor would've driven me insane! Her support- both emotional and physical- were so key in getting me through most of labor at home, and in helping me push for a record-short period of time! We will call on Lauren the next time we do this for sure. -- Sunny and John and baby Penelope Brooklyn, NY September 2011
Lauren, Thank you so much for providing such great support. I could not do nearly as good as I did without you. I highly recommend hiring professional Doula like Lauren is. Im fromRussia and my family could not be there with me. Lauren gave me all emotional and physical support I needed. She was there for me when I had contractions for 3 days. She was on the phone with me during the night time and came to my house during the day. She is very knowledgeable about everything: acupressure points, how to rotate a breach baby, hypnobirthing and so much more. She can answer any of your question about birthing process and tell her opinion. But she never insist, she let you pick what is more comfortable for you. I was able to have a natural (vaginal) birth even though I was exhausted. She took amazing pictures and stayed with me a couple more hours after to make sure im fine. Lauren, you can give my number for references.
- Soyna and Baby Daniel NYC, NY September 2011
"I will be eternally grateful to Lauren for her role in the birth of my daughter. I was very fearful of my second labor given how unpleasant labor and delivery was for my first born. I desperately wanted to avoid a C-section again but did not feel I would be "able" to deliver naturally. Lauren gave me the confidence, strength and guidance I needed to successfully have my VBAC. She was a calm pillar of support for both my husband and me during labor and thanks to her, I will forever hold the most wonderful memory of my daughter's birth."- Marsha, Michael and Baby Lesley NYC, NY 7/28/11
And VBAC2 2014
When I first spoke to Lauren on the phone, I found her to have a calming effect on me. She was positive and optimistic. I will never forget her words, "your body is perfect". She was also very responsive and I could tell she was going to give me 100% of her attention when I needed it. That is why I chose Lauren. She was very supportive and empowering during my search for a vbac provider. Thanks to Lauren's guidance, I found the midwife and hospital where I was able to have the vbac I had hoped for. She never imposed her beliefs on me, but rather listened to me and gave me information. I could not have gone through labor without her. Her guidance and encouragement helped me get through an unmedicated labor, most of which was spent at home. Her role was instrumental in my delivery. My family and I will always be grateful to her.
- Kathy, Andre, Lina and Baby Gael NYC, NY May 2012
My husband and I hired Lauren to be our Doula after meeting with her once. Lauren has a very calm way about her and we connected so easily, I knew she was the right person to join our "team". Lauren was extremely helpful during the entire process and is very knowledgable. I didn't have to think about anything other than getting through each contraction. She helped me especially with my breathing and kept me hydrated. My husband was very thankful he didn't have to worry about anything, he was able to put all his effort on being by my side. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to labor at home at all, due to problems with my vision and my high blood pressure...my Midwife told me to get to the hospital right away (my Midwife only delivers at Winthrop, no home deliveries). Lauren was my strength at one point, I wanted to be examined to see how I was progressing and the nurse asked if i wanted pain medicine and said that they don't just do examinations because I ask (it was in the middle of the night, my Midwife wasn't there)...I called Lauren and she helped me feel empowered to stand up for myself, I asked again and I got my examination. Lauren also reminded me of squatting during the contractions - that and child's pose were my best friends! I was so lucky to labor really quickly with my first child, total of 8 hours...no pain medication what so ever and pushed my baby out in 20 minutes! I had the best experience and wouldn't have changed a thing! Afterwards, Lauren made sure I ate, she was feeding me french toast, orange juice and taking pictures...talk about full service!!! Love you Lauren :) - Karielle, Danny and Baby Landon Nassau County, NY February 2012
Repeat clients 2013
After beginning Lauren’s childbirth classes, my husband and I appreciated Lauren extensive knowledge of childbirth and experiences supporting women in the birthing process. Her passion in empowering women in the childbirth process was apparent from the second we met her. Throughout my pregnancy, she offered support when needed and reassured me that I had the right to the birth of my choice. Having her on my team encouraged me to be open with my doctor about my desires and refuse a routine induction that I really did not want. During twenty four hours of intense, inconsistent contractions, I knew Lauren’s support was a text or phone call away. She helped me labor at home for as long as I wanted, and had an arsenal of techniques to help with all stages of labor.When I grew inpatient, she reassured me that I could do it and offered her unconditional support. She helped me get in positions for back labor and giving me gentle massages. With her empowering words and presence, I was able to labor for 24 hours at home. When I arrived at the hospital, the nurses were overwhelmed and were gone for long periods of time. Lauren was there helping me focus on my baby through every contraction. She reminded me to breathe when I forgot, offered soothing words and support when the nurses were nowhere to be found, and gave my husband much needed breaks after 24+ hours of helping me through labor. She had a wealth of information on birthing in any setting, but was never pushy or judgmental. She never lost sight that I was in charge of my birth and had valuable advice when I asked for it or needed it. After seven hours in the hospital, the doctor demanded that I take pitocin and an epidural because I had been in natural labor for too long. She supported me in each and every one of my choices and listened attentively when I had doubts. Lauren’s encouragement and support allowed me to stay at home for more than half of my labor, avoiding a c-section. Having someone as knowledgeable, warm and strong as Lauren was both a source of support and inspiration. - Rosanna, Glenn and Baby Chloe Queens, NY
We are writing to enthusiastically recommend Lauren to anyone thinking about hiring a doula! Our first daughter was born in 2009, and while she was (thankfully) healthy and perfect...the birth was complicated and over-medicalized (is that a word?). It involved "stalled labor", a pitocin-drip, a failed epidural due to scoliosis that rendered one of my legs useless for 2 whole days, a nightmarish experience on the drug Stadol, and multiple threats that I had exactly 24 hrs to deliver or a c-section would be necessary, etc. I felt completely out of control of the process and totally at the mercy of a medical establishment that didn't have much use for my concerns. I knew with my second pregnancy that I wanted the experience to be different somehow, more empowering. I wanted to be fully present for the birth of our baby daughter #2. Most importantly, I wanted to labor at home and not in some sterile hospital room, hooked up to monitors. Hiring Lauren as our doula was the most important step towards achieving that goal! Lauren truly listened to our concerns and was with me every step of the way through the end of my pregnancy. She arrived at our home when my contractions started to get strong, and she used reiki & massage and also guided me into different positions not to just alleviate the intense pain, but to help move the baby off of my spine. After 5 hours of labor, my contractions went from 5-7 min apart to almost no minutes apart (this was because, we think, Lauren was able to get me into a position that moved the baby quickly into the birth canal). My water broke and our baby was practically crowning in the car! We had a scary 5-min trip to the hospital (running red lights, me gripping the dashboard while Lauren calmly guided me on how to breathe to stop the baby from being born in a Jetta). My favorite moment of the entire experience-one that I look back on with the most fondness- is when Lauren jumped out of the car at the entrance to the ER and calmly but firmly told a man smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk to get us a wheelchair, stat. She just took complete charge of a stressful situation, and I never once felt scared. I never once felt like Lauren wouldn't be able to handle what was happening; more importantly- I never once felt like I couldn't handle what was happening under her steady guidance. Our beautiful Anabelle was born exactly 10 min later in triage, by flashlight. Lauren was by my side the entire time, guiding me and encouraging me with the utmost confidence that I was a rock-star, that I was equipped to handle whatever this birth was going to throw at me. She was firm with me when I needed it, and gently encouraging when I needed that. She has an incredible instinct on how to guide a mother through this process while always keeping the end-goal (our beautiful little girl) in mind. I got the result I had hoped for- I labored at home for a quick 5 hours, and Anabelle was nestled in my arms exactly 20 minutes after we left our apartment. Lauren was as cool as a cucumber, and that made me as cool as a cucumber. Her confidence is infectious. I believe that every woman should have a doula present during birth, it just felt ancient and right to have a birth-expert by my side; it connected me to the process in an indelible way. Lauren is someone you definitely want on your team. I look back on Anabelle's birth with a smile on my face and incredibly proud of myself for fully experiencing her entrance into the world. I know that Lauren is the biggest reason why!
- Maggie and Mike Queens, NY
I was a first-time expecting mother, and had no idea what a doula was. I had never even heard of the word. All I knew was that I would definitely need an epidural to match my low threshold for the pain of labor. Months into the pregnancy, colleagues and friends urged me to find a doula. A friend who had just become a second time dad emailed me Lauren’s contact info. On a whim, I called Lauren and signed up for her childbirth education class. I figured, at the very least, it would be like a Lamaze class, right? Like in all the movies. By the end of the class, I walked away a completely changed mother. I learned about the expected process of labor and delivery from Lauren’s various props, charts, handouts and lessons. I learned that each woman and each baby is different, and that no one cookie cutter approach fits all. To that end, I learned countless techniques for relaxation and labor at home. I gained a foundation from which I could question condescending medical professionals. I learned that I didn’t have to just accept the answers I was given by the medical regime, and I didn’t have to accept the way in which I was shuttled through the typical prenatal program of hospitals like countless other pregnant women. I was introduced to a completely new (to me) philosophy on the birthing process, and I wanted me and my baby to have nothing to do with medical interventions. I had become completely informed. Most importantly, I was no longer afraid of labor and delivery. Armed with the knowledge from Lauren’s class, I was looking forward to the process of having my baby. In the days leading up to my delivery, Lauren coached me through a false alarm, the loss of my mucus plug and my water breaking. With her calm and experienced manner, she led me through the hours of my early labor. And when she arrived at my home, she became my birthing partner. We two women together did numerous laboring techniques from her class -- while holding hands, both propped over a birthing ball, my arms draped over her shoulders. She fed me, she came into the restroom with me, she held my hair back while I vomited. Most of all, she encouraged me and urged me onward with the calm but firm words she knew I needed to hear. By the time we arrived at the hospital, I was almost fully dilated and effaced (both concepts of which I learned from Lauren’s class!). While I endured my contractions, Lauren interfaced, on my behalf, with all of the hospital staff, from the rude registration staff to the no-nonsense L&D nurses to the on-call obstetrician. She advocated for my complete comfort throughout the process and conveyed my thoughts and fears to the hospital staff. Lauren coached me through each contraction and coached my husband to apply the relaxation techniques we had learned in her class. When it was time to push, there Lauren was, holding my leg and coaching me to breathe and push. Even in the throes of intense laboring and pushing, Lauren’s calm words in my ears brought me to a mental state that allowed me to complete a relatively quick and easy delivery. It was so quick – thanks to all the techniques that I had been practicing with Lauren at home – that I completely forgot about those very medical interventions I had been intent on avoiding! I credit Lauren with my having a completely natural and spontaneous labor and delivery, and my avoiding becoming another statistic. I truly could not have done it without her, and wholeheartedly recommend her to any and all expecting mothers in the New York area.
-Viravyne, Scott and Baby Brady NYC, NY
While I was pregnant, I remember watching and reading up on midwives and Doulas. I also distinctly remember the look my husband gave me when I even brought up the idea of a Doula. He basically said no way, no how. Then I had him sit down with me to watch a documentary on it and his perception of things started to change. Contrary to popular belief, sometimes simply going to the hospital hoping for a natural birth is just not going to work. Hospitals (not to take way any credit away from them because they do help people everyday all year round) are conditioned to follow a certain routine and if any little thing seems a little odd, usually this means drugs and eventual possible C-Section. Both me and my husband wanted as much of a natural birth as we could get. I can tell you right now that hiring Doula Lauren insured that birth plan. If it wasn’t for Doula Lauren, the possibility of me receiving a C-Section for my son’s birth would have been highly likely. It was through the voice of experience in Doula Lauren that we were not only able to avoid that BUT also avoid possible other complications. Both me and my husband agreed that hiring Doula Lauren was the best thing we could have done because it really saved us from embracing things we did not want during our birth. Doula Lauren is someone who gives sound advice and was always there for us. One simple phone call and she was there. If any question arose that she wasn’t 100% sure about, she would research it through her vast network of colleagues and get me the most accurate answer she can find. Honestly if you question the price or her integrity I can tell you first hand, if you want to minimize complications and have proper guidance for both you and your baby, Doula Lauren is the way to go. She is beyond worth it!
– Rachelle, Steve and Baby Anthony Queens, NY May 2013
Lauren was a dream! I was almost two weeks overdue and itching to get this little guy out. Though I was dilating, he wasn't descending and it was looking like a possible c-section. It had always been my goal to deliver vaginally, and Lauren helped me make that happen with her constant guidance, reassurances, and exercises. My son's birth would have been a completely different experience without Lauren. I am so grateful to have had her on my side. If you're pregnant, hire her. Hire her now. Rachel, John and Baby Grayson NYC, NY May 2013
Lauren was an amazing teacher and doula. My husband and I were expecting our first child and decided to attend Lauren's childbirth class which prep us in understanding what to expect (medication, process, healthy pregnancy, etc.) I had dreamed of a medication free vaginal birth but didn't think it will be possible due to the pain. Through Lauren's childbirth class and doula services -- it gave me the confidence that "I" am able to have the birth I wanted. In the end - we were able to deliver our beautiful baby boy (medication free)! Lauren was always a text or a phone call away for all the questions I have during my pregnancy leading up to the big day. We highly recommend her services! Anna + Tuan Brooklyn, NY July 2013 & January 2017
Our good friends, Kathy and Andre, had spoken accolades of their Doula, Lauren -- and so when my wife, Katie, became pregnant with our daughter in 2012, we immediately reached out for her information. Upon first meeting, we agreed that Lauren would make a great part of our birth team. Her calm, level-headed approach was invaluable and her in-home classes were convenient and affordable. The day that Katie went into labor, Lauren's presence and experience gave Katie the confidence and peace-of-mind she needed; when labor stalled, Lauren's knowledge and guidance provided a course of action to spur it along. That evening, Katie gave birth to our daughter Naomi, naturally, and unmedicated, just as she had hoped to do.. and we both credit Lauren for helping things go so smoothly. Highly, highly recommended! Joe and Katie, Brooklyn,NY December 2012
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you did to help us have the most wonderful birth imaginable. We were amazed by your loving and supportive presence during the labor and birth of our son. It is such a special gift to have such positive memories of our birth experience, and we will be forever grateful for your contribution to this most special event. - Michelle, Charlie and Baby Max NYC, NY October 2013 & July 2016
My first two births were at a hospital and each time there were problems because most medical professionals don't care much for informed and level-headed moms that will not be pressured to undergo unnecessary interventions. Once I got pregnant with my third, I knew I needed to completely shift gears and deliver at the Brooklyn Birthing Center. I also needed a doula, someone who would be there for me and my partner as we would mostly labor at home. I researched a lot of doulas and met with several before calling Lauren. I remember appreciating her always picking up the phone no matter when I called. When we met, I liked her confidence and the fact that she obviously is an expert in her field. Knowing that she was close to having 80 births under her belt, I thought the price for her services was quite reasonable. For one thing, you pay for someone's experience and for another, Lauren's work extends to months before and after labor. I would call her with questions and she would check in pretty regularly via text. She offered guidance and encouraged me to advocate for myself and to never do anything I did not want to do, in any medical setting. That was important. In the weeks leading up to labor, I called her a lot thinking I was in labor, but she knew it was not yet time. When it was finally the real deal, she was here within an hour and immediately went to work by helping me do lots and lots of squats. I had a labor that moved quickly and was pretty intense because this time there were no pain meds and what helped me through was Lauren's suggestion to chant "I am safe, I am strong, I am doing this." During the pushing phase, I remember Lauren being by my side and that she was very happy to see the baby. Right after delivery, she made sure I ate and had some private time with my partner and son. Some weeks after, she came for a follow up appointment, bearing gifts. She maintains that I was an absolute labor rockstar, delivering my 10 lb 7 oz baby naturally and without tearing. Choosing a doula is an important step and I highly recommend Lauren as well as her back-up doula, who was also wonderful when we met her, though we did not to utilize her services in the end. With gratitude, Simone & Alex and Alexey, Ark and Evan. Spring 2014, Brooklyn, NY.
Being that this was my very first pregnancy, I really didn’t know what to expect outside of what the movies and TV shows told me. I went through my early adulthood figuring that I would simply be taught what to expect once I got there. The way I understood it, giving birth really only involved 3 core people: You, your partner and your doctor. When my very close friends Steve and Rachelle became pregnant with their first child and hired Doula Lauren for their birth, the perception I had of a “normal” birth eventually changed. I first heard the word “Doula” from them. Admittedly my first thought was that it all sounded like an unnecessary luxury. But as I opened up more and did my own research I realized that hiring a Doula (the right Doula) wasn’t a luxury but a necessity. By the time it was my turn to become pregnant I knew that hiring the right Doula would be essential to my birth plan. I was very adamant about having an all natural, drug and intervention free birth. I had very bad experiences in the past with hospital stays and numbing medications, so it was very important that I stayed the course and had the proper support. It became clear through numerous sources that my plan would be incredibly difficult to achieve if I left myself at the mercy of the hospital system. I knew I was in good hands when I spoke with Doula Lauren on the phone and eventually in person. I could ask her anything throughout my pregnancy and she always had detailed answers for me. Our “no fluff” personalities clicked very easily and eventually became vital during my two-day prodromal labor. I started having my contractions at 5:00am on Monday and gave birth to my son at 2:13am on Wednesday. There were times where I surely second guessed my birth plan and wondered if I could really continue to the end without any pain medication. Doula Lauren was there every step of the way to make damn sure that I never gave up on myself. She had a myriad of techniques to help ease my labor and further my baby along. In the end, my birth experience went almost exactly the way I planned it. I was able to labor comfortably at my home, go to the hospital at the very last minute and deliver completely natural with almost no tearing at all. How many people can actually say that!? If my husband and I didn’t have Doula Lauren there to guide and support us, we would have surely gone to the hospital sooner then necessary and ended up with a very different experience. How would we have known any better? With her support I was able to accomplish something I was certain I would never be able to do. She’s the best of the best, plain and simple. Niki, Michael and Baby George April 2014