5 years and 47 births attended
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 3
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I believe every woman has a right to a birth experience that is of her choosing, and deserves to be supported, respected and loved throughout that process. My goal is to help you have a positive birth experience in any setting.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
I believe every woman has a right to a birth experience that is of her choosing, and deserves to be supported, respected and loved throughout that process. My goal is to help you have a positive birth experience. I will work with your care provider to help you achieve your birth wishes.
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
I believe every woman has a right to a birth experience that is of her choosing, and deserves to be supported, respected and loved throughout that process. My goal is to help you have a positive birth experience. I will work with your care provider to help you achieve your birth wishes and help support her services as well. I will also gladly make you a post birth smoothie!
Family Advocate at NYC Dept. Of Education, Member of PALS (Philadelphia Alliance for Labor for Support). Member of Weavers Way Co-op.
Fee includes 2 prenatal visits. Phone and email access. On call 24/7 access beginning at 38 weeks. Once you are in labor (4 minute apart contractions, lasting one minute each, for at least one hour) I will meet you and remain with you throughout your labor and birth and for one hour after to help establish breastfeeding should you choose this and/or to get settled. I will visit you in your home one week later for a postpartum visit and follow up.
Philadelphia, PA Service range 20 miles
Darlene was our doula when we were expecting twins. She was always available, attentive, and understanding when we discussed birth plans. During labor, Darlene counseled and reassured me when my birth plan didn't go as planned. Her willingness to share her personal stories meant so much to me and made me hopeful that everything would work out fine (it did). Darlene is an incredibly supportive doula. Her calming influence was exactly what we needed. We were so fortunate to work with her!
Our experience with Darlene Vanasco provided us the support that we hoped it would. We were looking for someone knowledgeable about the birth experience: preparing before-hand, navigating the process as it was happening, and processing our experience afterward. Darlene was the perfect person for all of it. She is very knowledgeable but does not have some rigid set of beliefs she expects you to follow. She is very supportive and adaptable to whatever decisions we made. The birth of our little girl was exceptionally fast for a first time mom, but nevertheless, she was invaluable at the hospital. Small but important items we left at home in our rush to the hospital she had with her just because she knew what a new mom typically likes to have immediately after giving birth. Although she is easy going and very polite, she does not get brushed aside by hospital staff during the varying but inevitable choas and makes sure the soon to be parents are informed and comfortable. Since the birth was relatively quick, we did not have the opportunity to utilize all of the services Darlene may have typically offered to assist a birth. Regardless, we were so glad she was there to guide us through it, offer words of encouragement, and support us during those very important few hours. We would recommend her, without hesitation, to anyone planning to have a baby. Thank you Darlene!
Darlene was remarkable throughout the entire process. I honestly do not know what we would have done without her. She is incredibly knowledgeable, responsive, caring, compassionate, & an overall wonderful person. Not only did she help guide my wife through the journey, she was also there for me - answering every question & guiding me through the process as well. I highly recommend Darlene without any reservations - she's the best!
The number one question I get from people I share our birth story with is, “Is a doula really worth the money?” To answer this question, I recommend the following: 1) Work with Darlene - not all doulas are alike - you can do your interviews if you like or you can save time and take my word for it - with 30+ births on her resume, you can rest assured Darlene has the experience you’re looking for - read over her contract which is another sign of a seasoned professional - meet with her - her energy is unmatched - she exudes calm and knowledge and security. 2) Eliminate any scarcity mindsets during the pregnancy and birth of your new addition - you deserve Darlene‘s support - no other member of your team will provide you with what Darlene provides you with - not your husband - not your midwife - and certainly not the doctor and staff on call the day you go into labor - but if you’re looking for a confidant to discuss your concerns, fears, dreams and wishes with, Darlene will be there to help you - before, during and after your baby’s birth. Is that worth it? If you ask me, the answer is yes.
We met with Darlene early in my pregnancy, after meeting a few other doulas and we immediately felt comfortable with Darlene and knew she was the right doula for us. I had a little bit of a complicated third trimester and Darlene was always checking in and reassuring me, helping see the best of the situation. Being induced 2 weeks early, I didn’t have the labor and delivery that I had originally planned and hoped for, but Darlene was by my side and remained the positive and calm presence that both my husband and I needed. I highly recommend Darlene to anyone looking for a doula!
We are so happy that we hired Darlene to be our doula. She helped bring my VBAC dreams to reality by providng my husband and I with so much useful information to make the birth process easier. Darlene has a very calming nature and I truly felt like she was in my corner. I'm happy to give her my full recommendation.
Darlene came into our lives late in my second pregnancy after we had already had a challenging pregnancy with placenta previa and premature contractions. Right away Darlene brought a calming presence and a very warm and understanding personality. She was very supportive and discussed with me extensively my options when it came to what we could do if I was unable to labor naturally(my previa was marginal and my ob had said I might be able to labor) and I needed a c-section. I was very afraid of surgery and concerned that it would make me not bond easily with my baby and concerned about my recovery afterwards. She was extremely compassionate and very knowledgeable about my options such as skin to skin after surgery, delayed cord clamping etc.
Unfortunately I began to hemorrhage when I was only 36 weeks. Darlene was my 2nd phone call(after my ob) and she was at the hospital when I was being wheeled into surgery. She wasn't able to come into the OR but waited for me to come out. It was an emergency surgery during which I lost a LOT of blood and was left woozy and out of it. She was so supportive, and I was very thankful to have her there. When we noticed my baby wasn't breathing well(I am a physician as well) she helped me express my concerns to the NICU team and get her evaluated very quickly(challenging as I was very woozy). She then came back to see me while I was in the hospital two more times and again at my home. Her guidance during this stessful time and the ability to offer a different perspective was wonderful to myself and my family. She has stayed in contact with me and continues to be a great source of support. I would highly recommend her to anyones looking for a doula for labor or after. We can't thank her enough for her support!
I gave birth last week 10.26.16 and Darlene was so incredible to work with. I wanted an all natural birth and I truly believe I could not have done it without her. She helped me with my breathing, different labor positions, distractions, etc. She really knows her stuff! Anytime I had any kind of question throughout my preganancy she emailed or texted me back within minutes which was so comforting. I had no idea how to write a birth plan and she helped me revise it numerous times and we ended up following it pretty much to a "t." She was also great with the nurses and midwives in the hospital. I would recommend Darlene to anyone looking for a doula. She is calming and knowledgabe and exactly what every woman needs in the labor room!
Working with Darlene was a wonderful experience. My husband and I wanted to work with a doula for the birth of our first child because we were a bit apprehensive about the process. I wanted to try and have a natural birth, but I was nervous about my own fears and doubted my capabilites. I was also concerned that I would be pressured into using interventions.
I knew Darlene was a great fit from our first meeting. She listened to our wishes and asked us thoughtful questions to better understand how she could support us. Darlene's energy and excitement about our journey was so refreshing and helped put me at ease right from the beginning.
We met with Darlene a few more times to finalize our birth plan. Darlene was always proactive and super easy to get a hold of and to talk to.
Fast forward to the big day and my husband and I were both incredibly grateful to have Darlene by our side. She continued to be a calming presence throughout my labor, working with the delivery nurses to help me change positions and breath through every contraction. Thanks to my husband, Darlene and the hospital staff, I was able to welcome our daughter into the world with very limited intervention (I had to have my water broken at 7 cm).
Darlene loves her doula work and it absolutely shows. Thank you, Darlene, for your guidance, support and love! You have a gift and I'm so glad Matt and I connected with you! Any mama-to-be would be lucky to work with you!
I felt an instant connection with Darlene when we first met for a consultation/interview, she exudes this positive amazing energy that is so calming. We interviewed four doulas, Darlene was the last interview and without hesitation I knew she was the right fit for our personalities and our desired birthing experience. The resources that she has available and that she was able to share with us on everything from induction measures to breastfeeding were fantastic, always comprehensive and evidence based. She put me at ease and was always available by phone, e-mail or text for my countless questions.
We wanted to deliver without medical intervention and Darlene helped us to assemble and articulate our birth wishes in a clear and concise document that was shared with my healthcare providers. I went to the hospital in the early morning hours on Thanksgiving and Darlene arrived when my contractions were five minutes apart; when my anxiety peaked she was right by my side to help me overcome the anxiety and fear, she comforted me and reassured me as I shed a few tears and was with me from start to finish.
The coaching and support she provided to me and my husband was invaluable. Darlene was an objective party when I was asked to consider certain interventions by my healthcare professionals; having Darlene made me feel much more confident in my medical rights and sticking to my birth plan. She helped me to stay focused on achieving our wishes throughout the entire labor and delivery.
We highly recommend Darlene, she was instrumental in our beautiful birthing experience!
I did not originally plan to have a doula and was hesitant about the idea of a stranger in the room cheerleading me on. However, Darlene was anything but a stranger and absolutely the best decision I made during pregnancy. After working with her, I cannot imagine her not being present for one of the most amazing experiences of my life. During my first meeting with Darlene, I knew she was absolutely the person I wanted by my side. She was warm, friendly, easy to talk to, and read me very well from our first encounter. She immediately recognized what kind of support I would need during labor and how she could provide that support.
In the weeks that followed, she continually checked in, met up with me to discuss labor techniques and worked with me to develop my birth plan. I wanted a natural birth, but because my husband and I were on a timeline, we had an induction scheduled if we didn't go into labor before my due date. The week before the induction, Darlene recommended a few techniques to jump start labor, which put me into labor the day before my due date.
During the labor, Darlene was supportive and encouranging. She kept reminding me how much I wanted this and I could do it. She talked me through the toughest parts of labor and kept me focused. She encouaged my husband to actively participate during the delivery and made sure the nurses knew my birth plan wishes. She was my voice when I was unable to tell them what I wanted. After my son was born, she stayed to make sure my post delivery wishes were met.
Even after the birth, Darlene continued to check in to see how we were doing and helped me work through issues with breastfeeding. I felt like she thought of me and my son as friends, not clients. It felt like she was part of the family and was always meant to be there. I got the birth of my dreams and it was because of her support and encouragement. I cannot imagine doing it without her!
My husband and I knew we wanted a doula for our birth, as I was attempting a natural birth with no medication, and knew both of us would need the support. I truly believe the birth team you select is critical to ensuring you have the best birth experience, and your wishes respected, especially when complications arise and interventions may be necessary. Darlene was a vital part of my team, and selecting her as our doula was one of the best decisions we made.
From our initial e-mail conversation, I liked her immediately. She was funny, kind, professional and prompt to respond to messages. After our initial meeting, we selected Darlene as our doula without interviewing any other candidates. I knew she was the perfect match for my husband and I. Darlene was helpful, informative and supportive throughout my pregnancy. She provided useful tools and information, and checked in regularly. She prepared my husband and I for the birth, by teaching us relaxation and coping mechanisms for pain management.
I was unexpectedly induced, and Darlene ensured I was calm, positive and focused to work on having the birth I wanted. She provided suggestions and checked in on me constantly until my contractions were regular. Darlene arrived at the hospital once my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, and assisted my husband with: supporting me, providing constant massage and counter-pressure for my back labor and worked with my mid-wife to ensure I was absolutely comfortable the entire time. Her calm demeanor and presence helped me to relax and remain focused.
She coached us through one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. We could not have done it without her. After the delivery, Darlene stayed to ensure I was comfortable, fed and that we had everything we needed, as well as answering any questions I had.
We can not recommend Darlene enough to other couples searching for a doula!
I did not have a doula present at the birth of my first child and decided to have one with my second child because I wanted more support throughout the birthing process and I wanted a natural birthing experience. We had a great experience with Darlene. She was flexible in scheduling our pre-birth meetings and was helpful in getting a birth plan written and discussing what labor support would be helpful during the birthing process. Darlene was very good with checking in on me during my pregnancy to see how things were progressing.
I had a very quick birth, so did not get to experience all of the support methods that we had discussed in our meetings prior to the birth. My husband and I were very happy with our decision to work with Darlene. She was extremely helpful in getting me to where I needed to be in a calm and supportive manner. I credit Darlene as the reason I did not give birth in an elevator! I most appreciated her support after the birth as I had some clotting issues. She was present with us as we worked through that and was able to offer support. We were really happy with our decision to have a doula present at the birth and we were very happy with Darlene and would definitely work with her again should be become pregnant again.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 04-18-2020