Fiona Cottrell Photo

Fiona Cottrell

Hudson Valley Doula


Phone: 845 399-8452

Birth Fee: $1500

Postpartum Rate: $30 to $35

Birth Doula Experience: 18 years and 190 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 18 years and 86 families served

Doula Training

  • DONA International, January 1999
  • HypnoBirthing, October 2001
  • Birthing From Within, May 2008
  • The Matrona, February 2015
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 1 to 2 births and 1 to 3 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? Some Hospitals
Neugarten Birthing Center. Northern Dutchess Hosp. Rhinebeck NYColumbia Memorial Hospital Hudson NYKingston Family Birth Place Kingston NY
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Certified Childbirth Educator (Prepared Childbirth Educators Inc.)
  • Academy Certified Birthing Educators

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Lactation Counselor (The Center for Breastfeeding)
  • Infant and Adult CPR

Other Relevant Certifications

  • American Heart Association BLS (Basic Life Support) Certification
  • Reiki Practitioner
  • Reiki practitioner level II Reiki for Sacred Childbirth (certified)

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • Home Birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Relinquishing mothers
  • Single parents
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Abortion Support
  • Acupressure
  • Antepartum doula
  • Military families
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Parenting consulting
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Reduced rates for women considering adoption
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Breast-feeding support. Reiki practitioner volunteer.

Languages spoken: English

Client Testimonials for Fiona Cottrell

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ChiWei Ranck

All I can say is, Thank goodness for Fiona!  My husband and I had hesitated a bit while trying to decide whether to hire post-partum help, since we wouldn't have any family staying with us, and our son is quite the handful.  But that's exactly why post-partum help was necessary for us, and Fiona was perfect.  She was the extra hand that blended in seamlessly with our family dynamics, as if she was one of the family.  She played with our son, did laundry, washed dishes, vacuumed, even made our bed.  Then she took the baby out for a walk while I took a nap, knowing she'd care for our daughter like her own child.  And because motherhood is never without stresses, sometimes, she just sat and listened.  I know I probably could have hired a cleaning service to do the chores, but with Fiona, there was total trust and understanding and a peace of mind that you don't get when someone comes into your house and handles your things.  Thing is, I never thought of Fiona as someone coming into my house to handle my things, she really was part of the family.  Thank you Fiona!

Posted 11/10/2013

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Sarah Koepplinger-Kieran

After speaking with several people in the area, we decided that a doula would be a great asset for us in the birth of our first child. Fiona was a referral. I spoke to her on the phone and after meeting with her once, my husband and I immediately felt comfortable with her. She was very accomodating, understanding, caring, and knowledgeable. I delivered at Northern Dutchess, where Fiona also works part time as a tech. Knowing that she was familiar with the birthing center, and the staff was also very comforting. We met with her once more after the initial meeting, and I spoke to her multiple times via phone and email. She never made me feel like my questions or concerns were stupid. When I started the very early stages of labor, even though it was the middle of the night, Fiona was supportive and patient. She met us at the birthing center at 4:30 in the morning, after several phone calls and texts. As soon as she arrived my husband immediately felt more comforatable and at ease. She knew exactly what to do and how to keep me calm. We progressed quickly, but then "hit a wall" at 9cm. Fiona's encouragment and advice helped to keep me calm and my husband from feeling helpless. With the support of Fiona along with the wonderful staff at the birthing center, I was able to have my baby naturally. Our daughter was born at 6:29pm, 14 1/2 hours after I checked in. Fional stayed with us for several hours after the birth, and continued to check up on me as a tech. She visited us when we were discharged, and continues to answer my new mom questions. I would highly recommend a doula, and if you have the option choosing Fiona. I feel that we have made a life long friend and she was an integral part of the birth of our daughter. My husband can't wait to take her on her first skydive to show his appreciation for everything she has done for our family. I really believe that Fiona helped in uncountable ways and is an invaluable part of the birth experience.

Posted 6/22/2013

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Melissa Eppard

As a first time mom, and a do-it-yourself type person, I thought my husband and I would be fine going at the birth experience by ourselves. After discussing doulas with multiple friends, and reading about their value in some of our books, I decided to look further into the idea. We were introduced to Fiona by our hypnobirthing coach, and soon after setup a time to meet with her at our house. From this very first meeting we could tell we were in the best of hands. For all of you reading this considering a doula... DO IT! It's the best investment in your birth experience you could possibly make.

To start with, she was there for me when I couldn't get through the emergency phone line at 2 am at 33 weeks pregnant, and started going into pre-term labor. She calmed me down, advised what I should do, and met me at the birth center where I was kept for a few days prior to going on bed rest. At the actual birth experience, Fiona's gentle touch and calm reassurance was the anchor I needed to keep from getting lost in rolling waves of contractions. I wish I could say that things went smoother than they did, but my little guy got a little caught up in the birth canal and I ended up pushing for 5 hours. I remember the Dr. suggesting that she could help me have this baby now (meaning a c-section) and I started to feel helpless, like something was wrong with me and I just couldn't do it by myself. This is where have a Doula like Fiona is so essential. Not only did she reassure me, but she helped me find my voice, and to keep the Dr. at bay while we tried a little more to stick with our original birth plan. Needless to say, our son was born healthy and beautiful, and so alert being drug-free on his entry into this world. Thank you so much Fiona. You felt like family to us during that precious and somewhat perilous time... It would not have gone the same way without you! 

Posted 8/12/2011

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Emily Siddique (for my mom)

I separately have given my testimonial as to Fiona's great help during my birth experience, but my mother, who was by my side during the birth, also took it upon herself to write a testimonial as well.  This is what my mother wrote:

I recently had the privelege and honor to be present at the birth of my first grandchild, Amaya.  Having the educational background of obstetric training as an RN and giving birth to my own four children naturally, I feel minimal medication during a normal labor and delivery is best for the baby.  Fiona, as the doula attending the labor and birth greatly increased the odds of that happening for Amaya.  During her labor at Neugarten, my daughter Emily's husband, Naseer, and I provided hands to grip and hold, encouragement and boundless love, but Fiona supplied the knowledge, experience and timely practical suggestions on location and positioning for each contraction.  Her constant calm presence, soothing touch and lyrical voice proivded the reassurance and relaxation necessary to get through the next contraction and eventual natural birth.  The nursing staff and midwife provided the essential medical checks of fetal heart rate and cervical changes during labor and delivery to be sure that all was going well, but I often felt that besides my daughter, Fiona was the most important person in the room.  I could not have done what she did for Emily, and ultimately, for Amaya.  Thank you to everyone, especially Fiona, for an exceptional experience.  Emily, Naseer, and I will never forget the absolute best introduction into our world for our precious Amaya.

Posted 6/22/2011

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Emily Siddique

I can't find enough words to thank Fiona for her invaluable help during labor with my first child.  An experience that was rather painful was made better with her soothing words and hands.  She helped me get through each contraction and made suggestions as to different positions I could try to ease the pain.  I swear that because of her, my labor, despite being my first, was fairly quick once I had her by my side at the birth center, and I was able to make it through labor drug free.  The best suggestion she made was for me to try out the tub as being in the water should help ease the intensity of the pain of active labor.  I decided to try it out, and ended up having my daughter in the water bath, which was in itself an amazing experience, and certainly not one I had planned on.  Ultimately, Fiona empowered me to make it through labor without drugs or other medical intervention, and for that I am extremely grateful.  In addition, she has been readily available since my daughter's birth to answer any questions or concerns I have had, and even made a house visit when my daughter was a week old.  I will not hesitate if we have baby #2 to count on Fiona to be there with us again!

Posted 6/22/2011

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Cyd Klein

Fiona was the perfect choice for our birth.  I had taken a Hypnobirthing class and while I wasn't completely sure I would be doing the birth without medication, I was hoping for it.  Fiona's enthusiasm for the hypnobirthing style of a relaxed birth plus her vast experience, hospital hookups, great reputation with others and overall friendly nature was what pushed choosing her over anyone else over the top for me.  

When the time came, Fiona's style was invigorating and relaxing at the same time.  She was calm and knowledgable while keeping me confident in what I was doing and making it through each contraction.  After laboring at home, with just my husband, for 24.5 hours, I was able to have the baby within 2.5 hours after arriving at the hospital.  Fiona didn't need any script (Hynobirthing concept) to help me relax.  Her voice was perfect, commensurate with her experience and clear love for the ability to help women through birth.  I was able to do it all without medication.

Her post natal follow up visit was a pleasure and her love of babies was illustrated in how she interacted with our baby in a soft, intimate way.  I wish Fiona was around to help me with everything!

Posted 3/23/2011

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Stephanie Schnackenberg

Fiona gave me a gift that I never thought I would receive...the gift of a fearless, beautiful, and empowering birth experience...not once, but twice! Her calm, supportive strength never felt invasive or pushy. She was there when I needed her and seemed to instinctively know when to step back and let my husband and I work together. She supported both of us in so many ways, and really changed the way I see labor and birth forever.

With Fiona assisting us, my husband and I had nothing but each other and our baby to be concerned with. She always seemed to know what I needed even before I knew it, from suggesting position changes, lightening the mood with a joke, to quieting fear with a calm, soothing voice or touch in a time of confusion and stress. She even took care of my husband, making sure he had time to take a break and recharge himself so he could continue to support me. She has an easy rapport with care providers, and there is clearly a mutual respect with everyone with whom she works.

Our babies were born into a calm, joyful room and Fiona was there to take pictures, handle all the details, and just let us bask in the wonder of our newborn.   Her presence is invaluable, and I cannot imagine having another baby without her. It is incredibly touching to see Fiona holding your baby after she has assisted your can just see the awe and joy on her face. You can tell she loves what she does, and she welcomes your baby with almost as much love and joy as you do.

Posted 2/3/2011

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Erica Elyse

Fiona was with me and my husband in August 2010 when I gave birth to my daughter. It was the most amazing experience of my life, and Fiona's presence had a lot to do with that. I had a lot of fear and negative energy to work through since my first birth was a cesarean birth and I hoped for a VBAC birth this time around. Fiona met with me before hand and listened and supported me as I voiced these fears. She was a calm person who was well acquainted with the birth process and the birth center I had chosen. She also had a wealth of knowledge in all sorts of techniques like Hypnobirthing, the Birthing From Within philosophy, and even Reiki. When the day came, Fiona was there! She helped me focus my energy and relax during the most painful parts of labor. She helped me trust in and believe in my body. In the end I gave birth to a beautiful baby completely naturally and had a successful VBAC!! I couldn't have asked for more from Fiona. My husband says she was incredibly helpful to him too. She gave him ways to be supportive and helpful to me during the birth process. Instead of feeling lost, he had a purpose. We also have some beautiful pictures that she took just after the birth, capturing the moment forever. Thank you so much Fiona! With Love, Erica, Josh, Gabriel, and Ruby


Posted 2/3/2011

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Diana Cohen

When I first met Fiona I'm not even sure I knew what a Doula was. I knew that she was extremely easy to get along with, seemed very knowledgable and being a Doula seemed to give her great joy.  It felt natural for me to use her.  I hear stories about friends who did not use a Doula and I am always so greatful Fiona was with me at the birthing center throughout the process.  She works at the birthing center so she knows everyone there and that made me feel comfortable.  To be honest the whole birth process is a hazy memory in my head but I do remember Fiona with me, rubbing my back and reminding me to breathe.  I never once felt judged (as I threw up all over her!)  I did end up in a C section, but Fiona was allowed to come in the operating room and she took some incredible photos (with my permission of course).  These photos are priceless.  Because of these beautiful memories, I have no regrets about having the surgery because through the lens, I'm able to see my husbands face when my daughter entered the world and it feels like such a joyous occasion.  That is really priceless.  Thanks Fiona!

Posted 1/28/2011

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ChiWei Ranck

I love Fiona!  This was my first pregnancy and my husband and I wanted someone to coach us through this experience with minimal hospital intervention.  Even though I ended up having a c-section, I was so happy to have Fiona available during the pregnancy, the surgery and after we left the hospital.  I appreciated her patience, straightforward non-pressuring advice and how she injected some light hearted humor into what was a very overwhelming experience. 

The one moment I remember the most was when I was having the surgery, the room was cold and I was cold, and she held my hand.  I distinctly remember the warmth of her hand and how it was such a relief to have that to focus on, while everything around me was cold and tense.  Afterwards, Fiona provided me much support and reassurance, even when I called her at odd hours.  I am so glad we hired Fiona as our doula and will do so again!

Posted 1/27/2011

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Mark Slauson

Exactly the kind of doula we wanted.  Relaxed, friendly, and very caring, I felt comfortable with her almost immediately.  She was fantastic during our long labor, as well as during a return visit to the hospital.  As a first time dad, I found her very helpful at keeping me actively involved in ways that not only helped my wife, but also helped me to feel connected to the whole birthing process. Her experience working in a hospital birthing center was very helpful, as she was quite knowledgeable, and able to keep us well informed.  She was also a great advocate to have as a go-between with the hospital, always keeping us aware of all options.  A very pleasant person, who I will be using again when needed. Thanks again Fionna! 

Posted 12/12/2010

Birth Availability for Fiona Cottrell

= Available. Calendar last updated: 5/15/2017 3:34:22 AM

Postpartum Availability for Fiona Cottrell

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