$200 to $2500
5 years and 102 births attended
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 4
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
VIRTUAL perinatal and birth support now available. Please reach out for details. I offer a sliding scale fee to accommodate clients with a range of budgets whenever possible. My fee includes the following: Two prenatal sessions in your home where we discuss how your pregnancy is going, how I can best support you and your family, birth preferences, concerns, special considerations and more, as well as reviewing comfort measures for birth (massage, acupressure, breathing, positions, visualizations and more). - Attendance of your birth--I am on call from week 37 of your pregnancy until your baby is born. - One postpartum visit, usually within the first week you are home with your baby. I am also available for postpartum doula services and private or group childbirth education instruction.
Brooklyn, NY Serves families in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens
We had such a great experience with Maris. This was the birth of my first child, and I knew I wanted the support of a doula. My partner and I sifted though many Doula profiles and met with three before deciding on Maris. We loved her strong but peaceful energy, and she was a great listener... I immediately felt like she was my very knowledgable friend, rather than just a stranger we had hired. It was key for my comfort, inviting someone to be such an important part of our birth experience. During our pre and post birth meetings, she was very open to focusing on our concerns, and helping us plan for our own specific needs and goals. She also provided us with a ton of additional information and resources.
I had planned a natural birth and had been practicing Hypnobirthing, but I went over my due date and felt the pressure of a looming induction date, so I attempted to "naturally" induce myself with castor oil, which put me into a very hard, fast labor. On top of that, our daughter was in an OP postition, making for a long, painful pushing phase. Despite the experience not being totally what I had hoped, Maris helped me manage my pain and get through it without an epidural. She helped me to understand and feel comfortable with decisions I had to make along the way. Despite the circumstances, I ended up feeling positive and satisfied with my birth experience, and I think that's completely due to Maris's involvement.
After the birth, the midwives and other staff commented on how apprieciative they were of her and how she was such a great doula. She has a way of being this strong support in the room, without taking any focus or energy away from others. I think it takes a really terrific doula to make my, my partner's and the hospital staff's experience so much better. If you're looking for a great doula, I highly recommend hiring Maris!
This was my second pregnancy but the first that I went to term with. My first pregnancy was short as my son was born preterm at six months. With this pregnancy, I wanted to make sure I had someone experienced and put together to help me reach full term and also go through an unmedicated delivery. I could not have chosen a better doula to share this amazing time with. She was always quick to respond to any and all of my random pregnancy questions. I was extremely worried about giving birth preterm with this pregnancy too since I have a short cervix. Thankfully I did go to 38 weeks at which point Maris was by my side from the time my water broke till my beautiful baby was finally here. It was not an easy delivery since I refused medication and there was some fetal distress. But Maris made sure that my wishes for my birth plan were diligently followed and she was by my side making me feel safe and secure thru all the mind-numbing pain. My husband and I are eternally grateful that she was there to help me deliver our baby since he could stay home with our toddler and we did not have to worry about who would be by my side since both our families live far away. We didn't just hire a doula, we got a friend and wonderful human being into our lives who will forever be part of my little one's birth story. I highly recommend Maris for all these reasons and I know she will be an excellent support to you and your family if you do choose to have her be part of your pregnancy and birth.
Maris was the second of three doulas we had scheduled for interviews for the birth of our first child. It took all of five minutes after she left for us to decide that we wanted her to be our doula - we never even interviewed the third!
She immediately made my husband and I both feel completely at ease, and we were both amazed at her calming presence and her desire to sit and be with us for as long as we needed her - nothing felt rushed. For both of our prenatal visits, Maris was patient, thorough, and loving as she educated us in everything from pain management exercises to what goes into our hospital bag. She came over right away the morning of my labor, and was very receptive to my desire to labor at home as long as possible. She even left and came back (at my request) in the middle of the day. She told me "you'll know when it's time to go to the hospital." I believed her, and she was right.
Once in the hospital, she was an incredible source of support. She was the one who checked me into triage as my husband was carrying all our stuff. I had a contraction in the hallway and suddenly found myself putting the entire weight of my body up against hers - to say the least, Maris supported me both physically and emotionally.
During the craziness of the final push, I remember looking into Maris's eyes as she repeatedly told me that I was safe and that my body was doing exactly what it needed to do. I really don't think I would have had such a quick and relatively "easy" labor had it not been for her calm and experienced guidance. If we ever have another child, I would want Maris to be our doula again.
As I was approaching the end of my first pregnancy, I knew I *should* work with a doula, but I wasn't 100% sure what a doula really did. I found Maris through my midwife and I instantly felt relaxed and at ease around her. It wasn't until after my birth that I fully understood the magic of her work as a doula. Maris was INDISPENSIBLE to myself and my husband for our birth. This was a really special moment and she managed to be at all times comforting, reliable, warm, and supportive in a way that never felt overwhelming or intrusive. She was so essential to my comfort and successful home birth - I don't know what we would have done without her. Upon reflecting on our birth, my husband and I both agree that Maris is an incredibly talented birth worker, we would have been lost without her. I can not recommend her enough - she is a truly special doula and we are so grateful she was there for our birth.
In the months leading up to my due date, I experienced a lot of fear around childbirth. My partner and I hadn’t considered using a doula at all, but we’re definitely glad we decided to hire Maris just 3.5 weeks out from my due date! Maris was extremely respectful of my phobia from the outset, letting me decide how much information I wanted to receive at my own pace, and was just generally a very calming presence for us fraught first time parents-to-be—just knowing we'd have someone so experienced really put us at ease, too. Even though my positioning ultimately necessitated a C section, I found Maris's support and counterpressure techniques very helpful when I was first having contractions in labor. Maris also helped me to be my own advocate throughout the entire birth experience at NYU, encouraging me speak up when I was less than confident in a couple aspects of my care. My partner also found Maris to be a valuable source of emotional support throughout my 36-hour labor! In retrospect, it's hard to imagine having done it without her.
I was unsure about having a doula for my birth up until the 6 weeks prior to my due date, but was so glad that I changed my mind and found Maris!
Maris made me feel comfortable from the very beginning, and she understood and eased my concerns. She was always reachable via e-mail or text, and quick to respond when I needed her. She also spent a lot of time talking to my husband, answering his questions and making him feel confident as we were entering the unknown.
Maris met us at the hospital, and because of her I had such a positive birth experience (My own mistake was not calling Maris to come meet me at my apartment when I first started my contractions). I was able to go natural with no epidural, though she was supportive of any decision I made, epidural or not. The counter pressure she applied during the final contractions was immensely helpful. I had a great staff of nurses and doctors with me, but Maris was a constant in the room and was an advocate for my husband, my child and me.
I can't say enough positive things about Maris. She was the best for our growing family.
My experience with Maris was wonderful from start to finish. She was recommended to be by a friend. From our initial conversation on the phone I got the feeling that she had a lot of experience and I was confident about moving forward to meet with her.
During our first meeting Maris gave me a chance to express my needs and concerns and then she provided thoughtful ideas and a plan to move forward. My major needs were mental and physical support during the the weeks leading up to the birth of my second baby. Right away, after our first conversation, a lot of my anxiety was lifted. This was very important to me, since it gave me a chance to enjoy the last weeks and rest before the due date.
When I went into labor, Maris was very responsive right away and continued to stay in contact with me ( the labor progressed very quickly). She came over and we took an Uber to the hospital together. My contractions were strong and I am so grateful that Maris was next to me. She knew exactly what to say and the pressure points made the contractions more bearable.
In the hospital things progressed very fast and Maris helped me and my family make decisions. When it was time to push there were many people around me giving me different directions, but Maris helped to keep me calm. I was so grateful to have her by my side. I think without her it would be a lot more painful and traumatic.
Maris was great to work with! She always had a very warm presence and made my husband and I feel taken care of and comfortable. I was worried about my husband feeling comfortable with our doula because he's a more private person but, through a somewhat confusing and complicated labor, Maris did an amazing job of offering support and offering us private time when it was needed. She also answered so many random questions via text both before and after labor and I could tell that she does this work because she really cares about helping and supporting people. Maris also laughs easily and who doesn't need that in such a crazy time?!
A friend gifted me postpartum sessions with Maris – it was the best gift I could have asked for. Maris was such a nice, calming presence to have in our home the few weeks after my son was born. She helped me with breastfeeding, which was a HUGE help those first few weeks, and helped with whatever else I needed. My son loved her and would fall asleep as soon as she held him.
It sounds cliché, but I knew from the second Maris picked up the phone that she had to be my doula. Out of everyone I interviewed, she instantly had that old friend warmth which is incredibly hard to feel out both over the phone and in a matter of seconds. My partner and I wanted to find someone who we felt incredibly comfortable with, and who exuded a chill, laid back, and supportive demeanor. She checked all those boxes immediately, and continued to check them throughout the entire process. Maris was incredibly non-judgemental in every aspect of our discussion re: our birth plan and preferences, and followed up on absolutely everything we had questions about in great detail what felt like minutes after talking about them. When my water broke, she was quick to hop on a call with me to talk through process/options, which was a major stress-relievor with impending labor and induction (including working through an induction strategy my partner and I felt comfortable with). We went to the hospital the next morning feeling incredibly prepared and informed, and were able to work with the triage team to ask the right questions. My labor ended up progressing incredibly quickly, and Maris was able to make it in a pinch without hesitation, and was a major support to both my partner and I: both in making sure we were hydrated, and fed, and in answering questions about progress and hospital process which was majorly helpful as first time parents. She continued to provide incredible support with pain management, and helped labor progression by working through positions while I was laboring down. Not to mention being a key supportive member of the pushing process, and eventually taking photos for us which captured labor beautifully. I honestly can’t recommend Maris enough, our postpartum visit felt like a family reunion!
My wife and I had an incredible experience working with Maris as our Doula. From the moment we met her, we felt comforted by her warm energy and confident expertise, a feeling that only increased as our pregnancy progressed and into our birth. Maris was a huge support in the weeks leading up to our due date, listening closely to our birth plan desires and introducing my wife and me to positions and strategies that would help with our labor. She drew on her abundant resources in the birthing community to help with the hip pain I was experiencing and was an enormous emotional and tactical support as my due date neared with no signs of labor. Ultimately I was induced, and I was fairly emotional about that as I had really wanted to labor at home and was determined not to have a cesarean if at all possible. Maris was a huge emotional support in scheduling the induction and kept me optimistic about my plan. She offered to come to the hospital for as much or as little of it as we desired. she ended up coming twice, first as my pain increased and she kept me company while my wife rested and got my wife food. We told her to go home when we learned labor wasn't progressing, and she came back the next day at 3 am to be there for all the hardest parts. Maris gave me a massage before my truly active labor started that helped me feel relaxed and rejuvenated and ready to push. She supported and encouraged me as I tried every option to avoid cesarean. And she held my hands and legs during labor alongside my wife, encouraging me and making me feel strong and able to power through. She also got me a lox bagel immediately after I delivered, which was just icing on the cake of her incredible performance. We couldn't have asked for a more patient, empathetic, or knowledgeable doula experience. I strongly recommend Maris as a doula, she is an incredible person and a powerful support in the birthing process.
I couldn't recommend Maris highly enough. My partner and I knew that labor and giving birth would be such a private and intense experience, we needed someone we would be comfortable sharing that with. When we were first considering Maris, we found her to be so easy-going, non-judgmental, and sincere, we knew we had found the right fit. Once she started working with us, she was always responsive and highly committed. We relied on her advice and great insight to help us navigate through every step of the birthing process, and she offered it in a way that always supported our decision making. Giving birth felt like a huge accomplishment, and I did it with amazing support from my partner and Maris.
First let me say that I did extensive interviews to find a Doula. I think in total I did 15 phone interviews and then met with my top 5 in person. From the moment I spoke with Maris I knew she was going to be a great fit for our family. Maris felt more like a friend and in some ways a part of the family. She was amazing!!! My labor was crazy long. 4 days to be exact and Maris was there for me and my husband anytime we needed her. We were a home birth transfer so not only did Maris help out with laboring at home she also came to the hospital. We wouldn’t have been able to get through labor without her.
There simply is no better Doula out there than Maris James. We can’t recommend her more. We pray that she is available for our next pregnancy
Maris was wonderful from the moment we met her. She was so calm and warm and confident, we were instantly at ease and knew we didn’t need to meet anyone else. Maris came to attend at our daughter‘s birth without question, even though we went into labor at 34 weeks and hadn’t even had our first prenatal visit, nor was she contracted to assist until 37 weeks. She helped to calm us first time parents, and soothe the pains of a very intense labor, reassuring us that this was normal and I wasn’t dying! Maris is so knowledgeable and full of sage advice; having had two of her own children surely enhances her vast scope. Maris is extremely responsive to calls, emails and texts, and continues to be so in the post partum period. She has sourced lactation help as well as post partum doulas, night nurses, counselors, support groups, and hospital contacts to allow us to give feedback on a difficult labor/birth situation. She is completely accommodating of our schedule and even brought food for us at our postpartum visit. Maris is just a lovely, calm presence with a beautiful nature, and we can’t recommend her enough!
It was so wonderful to have Maris as my doula for the birth of my first child! I was nervous about what to expect but Maris was very understanding and knowledgable, which helped calm my nervous. She met with us and worked with us to think about our birth plan, and to prepare us for what to expect. At the hospital, Maris was there for every step of the way. She was supportive and calming, and helped me get through each contraction. The birth happened very quickly and she helped us to stick to our birth plan. And even after the baby was born, she came by to do a home visit and was happy to continue to provide support for any questions that I had. She helped me get through my labor and helped us have an amazing birth experience!
We are extremely happy that we found Maris. She was gentle, loving and extremely knowledgeable. Maris knew exactly how to support me when I really need her and was extremely intuitive. Thanks to Maris, we were able to have the birthing experience we planned and hoped for.
As soon as I met Maris, I knew she was someone with whom I could share my son's birth. She offered my husband and I practical information and support and didn't offer any judgment about our choices. I labored for two and half days and the entire time, Maris was a calming nad supportive presence. She helped my husband and I feel more connected and was herself an integral part of the labor. We had hoped for a natural childbirth, but out of medical necessity, I ended up having an induction and a c-section. It was disappointing to have to deviate from my birthplan, but Maris helped me to accept this unexpected turn of events. I would wholeheartedly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a supportive, warm, and calm presence in the delivery room.
Maris is the kind of person that can put others at ease upon first meeting - she quickly became a comforting presence for both me and my husband prior to our son's birth. She is kind, knowledgeable, supportive and understanding.
In the weeks leading up to my son's birth, I experienced episodes of prodromal labor, which was confusing and frustrating. Maris made herself available 24/7 to answer my questions, help me find relief (mentally and physically) and troubleshoot my symptoms. I could not have anticipated better care from anyone; Maris consistently provided the emotional support I so desperately needed.
Maris was also able to provide an excellent referral for a local acupuncturist in the Park Slope area to help relax my mind/body and to aid in natural induction.
In the end, once my labor was consistent, it was really, unexpectedly quick. Maris came to our apartment, we hopped in the car and rushed to the hospital... unfortunately, in good old NYC rush hour traffic. My labor was pretty intense at this point. Maris sat in the back seat of our car with me and helped me relax during what could have been the most stressful time of our lives had we not had her in the car for support. My husband was able to focus on driving knowing that Maris was there to focus on me. We sat in traffic for over an hour. Upon arrival I was already 7cm! In less than 20 minutes, I was fully dilated, my water broke and it was time to push! No time for drugs or an IV, which made me nervous, but thanks to Maris my nerves quickly turned into determination and joy that I was going to get what I wanted: a VBAC! Maris was an excellent birth coach and held my hands the entire time. She made sure that I stayed hydrated throughout labor, and after our son was born, she went out and got us sandwiches.
We had a beautifully positive experience working with Maris and I personally cannot recommend her highly enough. Maris, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
I did a lot of research and interviewed a handful of candidates before selecting Maris to be our doul. I am absolutely sure I made the correct choice. Maris was by my side as soon as I needed her and never left until my daughter was safe in arms. Her support was constant, calming and supportive but never intrusive. She facilitated the empowering, transformative birth experience I was hoping for. I really hope she will be available for our next child.
I am so grateful to have had Maris support me through my labor and birth. She provided guidance and comfort to me and my family as we progressed through labor and I was so relieved to see her beautiful face at that postpartum visit! The perinatal consults were amazing. We worked thorough my birth plan and she identified unique and specific ways to support my and my partner.
Because she was a part of such a transnational moment in my life, she has become a part of my birth story and my lifelong memories.
You will never forget your labor and the birth of your child. It will change you forever. You deserve to have the support and resources to make your birth experience the best possible experience for you. Maris provided me with just that. I simply cannot recommend her strongly enough.Thank you Maris!
= Available. Calendar last updated: 04-04-2020