Grace Nowakoski Photo

Grace Nowakoski

HELD Doula Services

Northampton, MA Service range 50 miles Up to 1 hour by car from Northampton, MA

(203) 233-9114

http://www.HeldDoulaServices.com

Birth Fee

$950 to $1050

Birth Fee

$950 to $1050


Birth Doula Certifications

  • Warm Welcome Doula Training - Certified Birth Doula

Birth Doula Experience

4 years and 13 births attended


Doula Training

  • Warm Welcome Birth Services, September 2015

Type of practice: Solo practice

Clients per month: 0 to 1

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I have attended births at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Holyoke Medical Center, Baystate Franklin (Greenfield), and Baystate Medical Center (Springfield)

Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers

Attends home births? Some Home Births


College Education

BA/BS


Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • Babywearing education
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Elimination communication education
  • Miscarriage support
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Virtual and remote doula support

Fee Details

I am very willing to consider partial barter or flexible fees depending on your circumstances. I want everyone who wants a doula to be able to have one regardless of financial situation. Please contact me to share your needs and if I am in a position to be able to accommodate you I will. I trust that those who are able to pay at the upper end of my sliding scale will do so in order to allow me to provide reduced fees to those who need them.

Northampton, MA Service range 50 miles Up to 1 hour by car from Northampton, MA

Certifications for Grace Nowakoski

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Grace Nowakoski

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Margot

5/17/2020

In preparing to give birth for the first time, I knew that the labor of birth was going to be as much mental and emotional as it was physical. That was the reason my husband and I chose to hire a doula. Leading up to the birth, we got to know Grace very comfortably and we saw how gentle, calm and knowledgeable she was. She was a good listener and really got to know us as people and what was important to us. The night my labor started, Grace talked me through the early stages over the phone, then met us at the hospital right after we arrived at 1am. She was patiently by my side from then on, helping me find my own inner strength to have the birth I had hoped for. With her knowledge and experience of birth plus the friendship we had built, she advocated for me to the hospital staff and guided my husband to support me in all the right ways. When I met my first moment of doubt, telling her that I was too tired to go on and that I just wanted to sleep, her quiet confidence gave me perseverance in that pivotal moment. She said, “Margot, I think today is your baby’s birthday. You can sleep after he’s born!” An hour later, I met our son. Grace is gifted at this work, and I would hire her again in a heartbeat.  

Lisa Komoroske & Brian Cheng

5/8/2020

Working with Grace during my pregnancy and birth of our son was such an amazing blessing-she is so knowledgable, warm, and accepting. Like so many things in life, our path to having a child and the birth ended up to be very different from what we planned. We'd been advised by friends and family to be open and flexible, but also prepared...but what did this mean?? Grace guided us through the process to understand all the options and that there isn't one 'right' way or 'best' choice. This was so wonderful throughout the pregnancy, especially at the end when we quickly needed to make unexpected decisions. We also really valued her philospohy of supporting us as a couple-this really helped my husband be the best support partner he could and feel connected during the birth. I have never felt more supported during any time in my life than during this birth. I feel eternally grateful and will cherish the experience forever. 

Andrew Reagan

5/10/2019

I couldn't imagine being part of a birth without Grace. Her presence was calming, reassuring, and greatly helped my wife to have the birth she dreamed of...twice!

Sam Spisiak

5/10/2019

Having Grace as a Doula for the birth of both our sons was absolutely phenomenal. She was there to support both me and my partner during some of the most chaotic hours of our lives. I truly believe that it is because of Grace's support, knowledge, and navigation through the medical system that I was able to have the healthy, natural, beautiful births I had hoped for. Her support before, during, and after birth has meant the world to my family. I can't imagine going through a labor and delivery experience without her. 

 

Deste Roosa

4/30/2019

Grace is personable and knowledgeable; those are the two traits that drew me and my husband to hire her and enjoy working with her. When we interviewed Grace, we immediately felt comfortable in her presence; like she was an old friend. She was able to give me tips and information as a pregnant woman—in our very first interview—that I didn't receive from other doulas we interviewed, which made me feel simultaneously empowered and at ease. Needless to say, our following meetings with Grace were informative and very helpful as we geared up to welcome our baby.

During my long pre-labor, Grace was fully available in any capacity I wished, and we kept in close touch via text until contractions finally synced up and become regular (due in large part, no doubt, to a series of positions that Grace suggested to us to get said contractions more regular—a huge relief after two days of erractic contractions). She met us at the hospital just minutes after we arrived there and provided gentle, firm, confidence-boosting care and support throughout labor. She followed my verbal and nonverbal cues with great finesse, knowing when to step in and offer suggestions/ideas, and when to step back. She offered my husband great support and backup. She was a perfect liason between us and our midwives/nurses and spoke up for me about our birth plan. During pushing, she was a great cheerleader. She took some pictures at my request and I will cherish those forever. After birth, she stayed until we were comfrtably set up in our room and checked in with us a week later at home for a final meeting. 

Grace was a true gift to my husband, my daughter, and I during our pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I would wholeheartedly recommend her to anyone considering a doula. She has such a reassuring and calming presence, yet brings with her a font of technical knowledge applicable to your experience.

Lexie Mullins

11/8/2017

Grace is so warm and kind, and made us feel so comfortable working with her - she is great! She offered us some useful techniques to try during the end of pregnancy to help with discomfort and prepare my body and baby for birth. Baby wasn't turned quite right, and she offered me tools and techniques to encourage him to turn, and gave me emotional support as well when I was stressed about it! This was our second birth, and second time using a doula (in CA before), and we love the support and guidance a doula can offer, and Grace was a good fit for us!  She listened well to what we wanted and hoped for, helped us think through our birth plan and post-partum care, and was a great resource. She listened to the cd I had for my birthing technique (deep relaxation with Ann B.) and used the same words and techniques to incorporate what I'd been practicing on my own!  I went into early labor right when she was going out of town, and she offered to come to the hospital and be with us until she had to leave for her flight! Luckily baby decided not to come then and we went home. She helped me decide to go to the hospital when it was time for baby to come, and that was really reassuring! My labor was very different than my first baby, and I had been having pro-dromal labor for several days, and then wasn't sure what to do when I went to the midwife but didn't feel like I was in active labor! Grace was at her other job, but was ready and able to leave immediately and meet us at the hospital. Birth was slow and long and hard, but she was there offering support and techniques the entire time! She never intruded, but always helped. She massaged, did pressure points, hip pushing, helped me decide what to do. Her voice and suggestions were always well timed and so encouraging. She helped me push through and have the birth experience I wanted!  I'm so glad we chose to have Grace help us welcome our baby into this world; it would not have been the same without her!

Sarah Lusardi

10/10/2017

I am a single mother by choice.  I adopted twins from the foster care system and when they were almost four years old, I decided that I wanted to experience pregnancy and birth with my third child.  My sister was my support person, however I felt that I needed someone who would be able to advocate for me during labor and delivery, someone who knew the medical/hospital system and understand how to support me through labor.  This is why I came to Grace.  I interviewed a few other doulas but when I met Grace, I knew that she would be the best fit for me.  She had a calm and centered energy and was inquisitive and knowledgeable.  She met with me a number of times before my birth and my kids and dog loved her - always a good sign that I had chosen correctly!

During the labor, she came straight to the hospital when I called.  She was able to remind me about everything I had forgotten when I was in the throes of labor.  She supported me in trying out different methods and movements until I found what worked for me and my body.  My favorite though was when someone came into to draw blood and was hassling me about moving around too much to get a good draw.  Grace stepped in and reminded the woman that I was, in fact, trying to birth a baby and a little patience would be appreciated.  She was such a great advocate when I was not able to voice things myself.  

When my son Owen was born, she supported me throughout, updating me and encouraging me.  After, when I was at home, she helped me with my struggles with breastfeeding and helped me find a very skilled lacation consultant.  She came for visits and offered to support me in any way I needed.  It was great to have someone there just for me!

Although three will be enough for me, if I was going to give birth to any more children, I would, withouth a doubt, hire Grace to be by my side as my doula!

Robin Wilson

10/2/2017

 

"Grace joined us for the birth of our second child, whose birth was a successful VBAC. Though I had a healthy pregnancy, I also carried feelings of anxiety from the complicated birth of my first child. Grace’s calm and confident presence offered the support we were looking for. Throughout the pregnancy, she was organized, available, present, and pragmatic, offering emotional support as well as practical ways to help me prepare for and cope with labor. Some meetings were spent talking and sharing; others were spent practicing rebozo, acupressure points, and stretches. Grace was a wealth of resources. While she presented a menu of possible topics to cover, she continually followed our lead to provide the support we needed, always with honesty, genuine care, and good humor. During the birth, Grace’s steady presence was an absolute anchor for me and my partner. Taking her cues from me, she offered physical support by pressing on acupressure points during contractions and she also took care of practical details so that my partner and I could focus on the birth. Grace has a true gift for holding a sacred space, and we feel very fortunate to have been held by her."

Love,

Sarah Dumas

8/5/2016

We contacted Grace ring our third trimester, I was unsure if I needed a doula because our other two births were about 7 hours and manageable. We're we glad we found her, our third birth was nearly 24 hours and very difficult. She was our light! She reminded my husband to take care of himself so he could care for me, she stayed by my side id was there for me in ways I'm just so grateful for. 

It was an unexpected labor and I'll always have a place in my heart for Grace!

 

Jonathan, Sarah, Lilly, Elliot and baby Quinn!

Katie Koerten

8/3/2016

Grace was made to be a doula. She is passionate about birth and babies, and loves to support birthing mothers. Her knowledge is extensive. She continually attends classes and workshops to learn new ways to support birthing mothers. During my pregnancy and birth, she was a rich source of information, full of encouraging tips and tricks to help get my body ready for birth that I never would have known on my own (such as acupressure points, creative movement strategies and even laughing!), as well as podcasts, articles and research. While she was enthusiastic about giving advice, she shared it gently and without expectation, which allowed me to take what I found helpful. Not a big researcher, I needed to encouragement to trust myself and my body and believe I was capable of this daunting event. Grace listened and nurtured that instinct. Post-birth, Grace was tuned in to the highly sensitive and vulnerable nature of the postpartum time and I never worried that I was offending her with my foggy, emotional self. She encouraged me to eat nutritious foods and drink water and constantly affirmed that I was doing a good job. She rubbed my shoulders and kept me company when I was struggling to pump and make milk for my baby – raw, lonely territory for me. When I struggled with breastfeeding I called her sobbing and questioned whether to give up. Grace was the kindest listener I could have asked for, reassuring me of her deep belief in me and trust that my baby was lucky to have me for a mom no matter what. Grace brings deep respect for birth, highest regard for birthing mother and baby, and an always growing breadth of knowledge to her doula practice. What I value most is Grace's underlying appreciation for pregnancy and birth and the sensitivity required to support a pregnant woman. My time with Grace was always judgment free, which was so important to me as I had so much anxiety. I’m so happy that Grace is part of our long and happy birth story.

Birth Availability for Grace Nowakoski

= Available. Calendar last updated: 05-19-2020