The Flying Doula
Brooklyn, NY Serves families in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens Must be accessible via NYC MTA.
6 years and 70 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
Volunteer Doula with the Institute for Family Health
Hi! I’m the Flying Doula, and I believe birth should be fun! If you think so too, we should meet! You can contact me directly with questions, or go to calendly.com/flyingdoula and schedule your interview! My birth support package includes two prenatal visits, phone and e-mail support, continuous in person support throughout labor, birth, and 1-2 hours postpartum, and one postnatal visit. I have 10 spots left at my current rate for birth support, and 3 spots left at my current rate for postpartum support! :-)
Brooklyn, NY Serves families in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens Must be accessible via NYC MTA.
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Post a testimonial for Emily Hursh
Emily was my birth doula as well as my postpartum doula. As a Single Mother by Choice it was incredibly important to me to have someone present at the birth who I trusted and felt could be a true partner in that process. Emily was an amazing advocate, frequently helping me to communicate my needs and desires to hospital staff, and listening to me in difficult moments. She was the best possible person to have by my side during a difficult experience that ended in an unplanned c-section. I am confident that no one else would have been as effective a supporter and I'm certain I made the ideal choice in having her as my sole support person during the birth.
Postpartum Emily was a source of calm and consistently provided needed information and scaffolding as I navigated new motherhood. I spaced her sessions out significantly and she was part of my experience well into my daughter's fourth month of life. Emily helped me navigate everything from the first bath to sleep training and I am hugely grateful for her ongoing presence in our lives. I know I am more set up for success in the long run having had her support early on.
Emily is an extraordinary doula. Not only is she deeply knowledgeable, and clear in her communication, but a tremendous advocate for my wife in the midst of what was a rapidly changing delivery. We were prepared with a plan to have the least medication and invasion possible, but when it started to look like we needed to pivot, Emily made sure that my wife knew she was still in charge, and that decisions were hers all the way down.
So, with Emily's help we felt confident in our plan, but also confident in the possible need to be flexible. Things looked calm after 20ish hours of labor, and we agreed that Emily should take a break, but shortly after leaving pain became unmanageable and Emily rushed back to the hospital. After 35+ hrs of contractions, ineffective pitocin, a problematic epidural, and back-labor Emily, who had very limited rest, helped my partner through her c-section and was an absolute rock the entire time.
I'm still in awe of Emily's physical feat of endurance, and her steady rudder of emotional stability, soothing calmness, and birthing-person-empowering approach to decision making made a harder than expected birth so much more manageable. She's both a gem of a human being and a real professional. I can't recommend her highly enough!!
We had the most wonderful experience with Emily - she is a fantastic doula. We felt so supported and loved throughout our pregnancy journey with her, and I could not have done this without her. As a teacher, Emily is so very knowledgeable and really helped me understand what to expect, and how I could best prepare for what was coming. Through our prenatal visits and her excellent birthing classes, my husband and I felt like we had the tools to deal with whatever was to come. I am an overall anxious person who tends to think of the worst possible outcomes whenever there's a problem, but Emily's calm demeanor, patience, and ability to explain the how's, and most importantly why's, of all the aspects of pregnancy and delivery kept my anxiety at bay. She also introduced us to the Gentle Birth app, which offered so many meditations, affirmations, and breathing exercises that helped with my anxiety and overall well-being as we were counting down the months and days.
In the delivery room, Emily was so helpful with different positions and things we could do to help. And during labor she was so reassuring, she just really kept me calm and made me feel like I could actually do this because it was so hard. I know my husband was also very happy to have her there as part of our birthing team. We are so blessed to have Emily as a part of the birth of our daughter - it was such a special moment and she will be remembered forever.
I couldn't recommend Emily more. The amount of love, support, and wealth of knowledge Emily showed us was the greatest comfort. We are so very grateful for her.
Emily was a wonderful doula to work with! During our sessions in my third trimester, she provided thorough childbirth ed, and went over many possible coping techniques for an unmedicated birth. Emily was always super responsive, whether through email, text or phone call. The resources Emily provided were very helpful, and tailored to my individual requests/pregnancy. I felt super prepared for labor, and Emily was excellent in the hospital deciphering the doctor's information, and reconciling it with my birth plan, while not explicitly telling us what to do - leaving my husband and I to make the best informed decisions possible. I was able to have an unmedicated birth as I desired (despite a 36+ hour labor and 3.5 hours of pushing) - and wouldn't have been able to do it without her! I highly recommend Emily :)
We are so glad that we found Emily. She was exactly what we needed to support our birth experience. She was a great resource and readily available to answer questions that we had. She is easy to talk to and we felt very comfortable with her being part of our birth experience, which is obviously a very intimate time! Emily is a great advocate and truly listens to your preferences and concerns - and helps you navigate through them accordingly. Would highly recommend her!
Hiring Emily as our doula for the birth of my first child was one of the best decisions I ever made! She was incredibly knowledgeable about pregnancy, childbirth and newborn care, and was able to present the information in a clear, down to earth way. It felt more like we were learning from a good friend than being in a stuffy class.
I have struggled with anxiety around hospitals for years, so my pregnancy came with a lot of new fears. Emily completely understood this and was able to ease my nerves by explaining what I could expect and how she would be there (and teach my husband) to support me during the processs.
I left both prenatal sessions with Emily feeling at ease and ready for childbirth (or as ready as I was ever going to be!). My labor ended up being incredibly quick and Emily was there to support both myself and my husband the entire time. I'm so grateful for all her help and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for a doula!
Emily was warm, caring and nurturing during my postpartum experience. She was able to provide a variety of services and take care of me, my newborn, and her older daughter. I was able to be relaxed and supported during a difficult first trimester. She was flexible and communicative but also was very intuative and seemed to know what I needed. Highly reccomend her!
The first time we met Emily, it was through a zoom call and we knew we had found our doula. I was really set on having an unmedicated birth in a hospital setting and I knew immediately that Emily would fight for my wishes and fight she did. Emily throughout the entire process was there to give me any information or referrals I needed, she was an amazing soundingboard to any doubts or worries I had always offering counsel, but never pushing her own pov. She wanted whatever we wanted and was an invaluable force by my side when nothing I had planned happened. You can not plan your birth experience, (I had 58 hours of labor and ended up in a c section) but you can plan who will be by your side. Emily was amazing, she was there by our side helping us try every position on the books for baby to descend, always motivating, patient and caring. She really cares, she’s that kind of doula that will sleep on the hospital floor and stay by your side when your labor spans days. But most importantly I believe you need a doula when things don’t go as planned, she was of immense help on helping me deal with all the emotions and frustrations. If she is available book her. For my next baby I will definitely be contacting her again!
Emily was a great support, both prior and during labor and delivery of our little baby girl. We had a fairly long delivery period after already arriving in the hospital and Emily suggested different positions and techniques to help with the process. She also had our back during a disagreement with one doctor, which helped to ensure we felt like we were heard and our wishes matter. Overall we were very happy and thankful for all she has done! We can highly recommend Emily :)
Emily was our doula for our first child and was invaluable in helping us navigate the whole experience. She asked us a lot of questions we hadn't asked ourselves and she provided many small tips that helped us avoid many headaches along the way. During the birth process itself, she was a calm and guiding presence. She advocated for us and added a perspective that the hospital nurses/doctors didn't provide. During one of the more stressful moments when our baby was whisked away to the NICU after birth, she was a great support and helped my wife and I stay grounded. She's also very flexible and able to adapt and offer a wide array of coaching and support. We had an extremely positive experience with her and happily recommend her to anyone considering a doula.
Emily was an amazing doula and my husband and I could not be happier! She was completely knowledgeable and never faltered. She was the perfect balance of involved, but stood back and let the experience be my husband and I's. My husband and I did the Bradley husband coached method and since she wasn't as familiar with it she read the book and researched it before the birth so she could be the most helpful. My husband did a great job so Emily mainly offered advice for positions and techniques, an extra set of hands, and ran interference when my family got to be too much. She was respectful but stern with my family. She also got beautiful pictures of my labor we're so grateful to have. We had an emergency cesarean and Emily was calm through the whole process and explained to my family and husband what was happening and made sure they understood everything and knew everything was going to be okay. I am so grateful to have had her there for my labor and delivery, would 100% recommend her to other clients, and hope to have her at future births.
Why should you hire a doula and why should it be Emily?
The answer to the first part started to delineate already before we reached out to Emily: if you, like us, live in New York City the chances are that you moved here from elsewhere from the US or even immigrated from abroad and, therefore, you don't have much family support around labor and birth. Moreover, medical professionals don't have the time nor the capacity to be with the expecting parents and provide them with information and emotional or practical support. Such support at birth is as crucial as that at death. Enter your doula, who plays the role of a support person vested in aiding childbirth: a senior family member, or perhaps a reiki master, witch or shaman who ushers the birthing partners to the Other Side of pregnancy.
Emily is a certified doula, who brings assets from her aerialist training: focus on the grand picture as well as miniscule details; stamina; and that rare calm that you need when you spin around high in the air. Meeting Emily at the birthing center happened without awkward formalities or false ceremonialism. Emily simply and seamlessly joined us for a twenty hour long journey---and we weren't alone anymore in the alienating temple of Western medicine. The emphasis is on "joined" meaning she is a team player. She was proactive without being bossy. Firm, gentle, chatty quiet, whatever quality suited the most to the moment. With 47 earlier expectant mothers or couples under her belt she not only knew what she was doing but also could have easily judged us. But she was so unassuming that we could have been billionaires or beggars, she would have likely treated us the same way.
Thank you Emily!
Thank goodness for Emily! I wasn’t initially sure I needed the support of a doula (it was my second pregnancy and I trusted the midwife practice with which I planned to deliver), but am so glad I wound up working with Emily. Without our conversations, which helped me to consider my body and needs for the first time in many months (difficult to do while working and parenting/wrangling a toddler in the midst of a pandemic!), I wouldn’t have given my pregnancy and birth the attention they deserved. Emily’s calming, grounded energy and deep-listening skills helped me to prioritize myself, identify my needs and desires, and welcome labor and birth with easygoing confidence. Every step of the way, Emily was communicative, responsive, and full of great ideas and resources without ever feeling overbearing. Her knowledge of acupressure was especially valuable and brought significant relief during labor. All in all, I was very happy with my birth experience and would recommend Emily with enthusiasm.
From out first conversation with Emily, she provided my wife and me with a sense of relief. As first time parents the birth process seemed overwhelming and perplexing. She provided us with concrete information and support via zoom meetings, texts and emails ahead of time. She has knowledge about both hospital protocol and the science behind certain things and offered good advice about a range of matters without ever being pushy about one approach. When the doctor urged induction - she provided additional context. During labor she enabled my wife to function as my primary support person, but suggested additional things we could also try. We recommend her.
Emily’s support as both a birth and postpartum doula was invaluable to our experience of becoming new parents. I ended up getting induced, which was not what I wanted or had planned for my labor, though Emily was supportive in helping frame the ways we could still make this labor our own. I felt like we truly had a wonderful birth experience despite this change in plan. Most critically, Emily helped to facilitate my partner’s helpful involvement in the birth. She knew how to track Pitocin contractions and the natural contractions when my body took over, and she explained what was happening to me and my partner in a way that helped us feel comfortable with what was happening and to know what to expect. When it got really painful, her calming presence and gentle encouragement helped me weather the worst of it, and get to the other side with such joy. Plus she took great photos of my partner and me post-labor with our beautiful newborn son that we surely wouldn’t have had the wherewithal to take otherwise.
Postnatally, I had some challenges with breastfeeding and back pain, and Emily was great at connecting me with resources. She also came over and knew how to help out without adding any stress. Her sense of humor and non-intrusive empathic presence really helped in those weeks when we were not getting any sleep and didn’t have time to put the dishes away or take out the trash.
We did not have a chance to meet Emily face to face until the day of labor because she was our back up doula. The first time I met her was when I was already in active labor at the triage. I was a first time mom so you can imagine the anxiety. As soon as we met, I immediately felt calm, open, and confident. She came in and quickly accessed the situation - how I was coping with pain, how my partner was handling, and the actual situation at the hospital and found her sweet spot. She was extremely professional, knowledgable and humble. She brought in a tiny “marry poppins” bag that was filled with everything I needed, and things I didn’t even think of.
There was not one moment she was not fully engaged and supportive. Even when she was quietly sitting back or quickly stepping outside. That’s when she was proactively finding out different ways to support whatever came our way. Whether it’s comforting my mother who doesn’t speak English, checking with nurses and doctors to get further updates, finding new ways to give me a different way to distract from contractions, she was extremely helpful.
She would know exactly what to say, how to say and when to say to for pain management. In between contractions, I would have questions about the process and she always made me feel heard and reminded me that this is my journey and I get to choose. She had my back.
If you’re looking for someone who can come into a chaotic situation fully prepared, knowledgeable, and extremely cool headed, I strongly recommend Emily without a doubt. She helped in every way making this birth experience not only less painful but also much more meaningful and beautiful. My partner and I strongly recommend Emily to other expecting mothers with no hesitation.
I highly reccommend Emily to anyone who is looking for a capable, confident, and wonderful doula. My husband and I felt that Emily was with us every step of the way of my pregnancy and birth, and she was a fortress of calm and empowerment when we needed her most.
Her pre-natal visits left us feeling informed and confident about the birthing process, and we really felt like she respected us and our wishes in every sense. She was constantly availabele to us by text and phone call, and was a source of great comfort and advice if we got worried leading up to the birth.
When I first went to the hospital, Emily was actually attending a birth with another client and sp she sent in one of her backup doulas to meet us right away at the hospital. We were very impressed at how caring, knowledgable, and calming her back-up doula was and we felt very at ease with her. We felt very comfortable with the backup and felt grateful that Emily left us in such good hands when she couldn't be there. However, as soon as Emily was available, she came to us straight away (we were very impressed with her sense of dedication to us!) and was able to be with us during the majority of the labor and the delivery of our healthy son.
I am so grateful to Emily for all her encouragement and help during the birth, and her continued support afterward as well. During her postnatal visit, she talked out our concerns with us as new parents and gave me good advice about nursing and caring for an infant.
We definitely reccommend Emily for anyone looking for an excellient doula, and we really credit her for our very positive birthing experience!
Emily was a warm, knowledgeable presence in the lead-up to our firstborn's birth. Her manner instantly put us at ease and her patience with our many questions helped us feel more prepared. She was respectful of our birth preferences but also gave us honest feedback about what to expect in terms of how our hospital's L and D operated and what to communicate to our obstetrician (how to prioritize our birth 'plan' wishes). We found her to be open-minded and her feedback gentle and reassuring--just the approach I appreciate.
I had an especially long labor (and a false start, with an attempt to check into the hospital one day early). Emily was a cheerful and calm presence throughout, giving my husband much needed breaks. We were so grateful for her wonderful support with this unpredictable, amazing experience.
Emily was a wonderful doula. In the months before the birth, she was always very helpful in answering all of my questions quickly, and was available by email or phone. She is extremely knowledgeable about all things related to childbirth, and on the rare occasion that she didn't know the answer to a question I had, she would look into it or direct me to the right resources so that I could educate myself. Her personality struck just the right balance for me-both professional and fun, laid back but responsive and reliable, and a great listener-always mindful of my hopes and intentions for the pregnancy and birth, never pushing her own opinions, but offering opinions when I asked for them.
I had some differences in opinion with my OB (I wanted a natural birth, and they were more interventionist), and Emily very skillfully helped me navigate my relationship with the doctors. She is so professional, and guided me in advocating for myself and my needs, while also being diplomatic and not angering my doctor. She helped me find the fact-based research I needed in order to explain to the doctor in reasonable terms why I wanted what I wanted. This made me feel so well cared for, relieved my anxieties, and turned a situation that could have been extremely stressful into a very good relationship with the OBs.
When my water broke and I had to go to the hospital to be induced rather than laboring at home as we'd planned, Emily was in contact all night long with my husband via text, giving both of us support so that we felt like we had the right tools and knowledge to get through a long and strenuous night. She arrived in the morning as soon as we asked her to come. During the birth, she was calm, gentle, encouraging and supportive. She suggested changing positions to get the baby facing the right way to come out, which helped a lot.
I would absolutely recommend Emily as a doula, she was the best support I could have hoped for.
Emily is everything I wanted in a doula — she’s warm, supportive, practical, knowledgeable, and open-minded.
She's also funny— she cracked me up once by calling the uterus "the original 3D printer."
My birth plan kept changing due to changing physical circumstances — my baby was breach for most of my pregnancy so I was scheduled for a c-section, but at the last minute my baby girl flipped around. Then I went back to waiting for my due date, which came and went. After week 41 I was scheduled for an induction, but I went into labor naturally on my way to the hospital. Through all this, Emily was always available to talk things over. All along I was hoping for a natural birth, and she sent me helpful information about how to encourage a breach baby to flip and how to encourage the onset of natural labor. The techniques she recommended were always evidence-based, and the info included the perspectives of the scientific community and medical establishment. I really appreciated that.
When I went into labor she rushed to the hospital. I was having extremely painful contractions and didn’t know how to handle them, but when she came flying into the room I felt a wave of relief. She was my coach, my champion, and my cheerleader. She supported me when I opted for the epidural, and she encouraged and reassured me as I pushed. I’m so grateful for all her help, and I’m so glad she was there with me for the most important moment of my life.
It's not often that a birthing experience goes more or less to plan - which was to have a natural birth at a birthing center. As luck would have it I was able to do so and Emily's sound judgment, deep knowledge of coping techniques, and calm and supportive presence was integral to that.
From our initial meeting onwards I immediately felt at ease with her and knew that her spunky and sensible personality would help get my husband and I through the marathon of birth. I was eleven days late and she checked in on me frequently - sympathizing the long slow torture of being so late and potentially being risked out of the birthing center yet still levelheaded in providing me suggestions on how to induce labor naturally.
When I finally did go into labor it was unfortunately in the middle of the night and yet she was extremely responsive, letting us know she'd come over whenever we felt like we needed her. A couple hours later I started experiencing back labor in addition to the traditional pelvic pressure. Once we shot her the YAS, HELP text, she came over right away and convinced me to try addressing the back labor by holding a series of positions for 20 minutes at a time. Staying in place for that long of a period of time while you're in labor is never fun but I trusted Emily and lo and behold the baby did resposition herself and it took the pressure off my back. Hooray!
Emily was like that throughout the rest of our experience - super helpful with suggestions but never pushy. She also had a great read on my husband and I - when I was in active labor at the hospital he really started physcially and emotionally comforting me and so Emily naturally took on a quieter role, giving us space to continue with that (which was working).
I know choosing a doula can be hard as there are so many amazing women to choose from - I would highly recommend Emily to be a part of your experience.
Emily was great to work with. She was very knowledgeable and supportive. You can tell that she loves what she does! She was able to answer all of our questions before the birth and was helpful with coping techniques and emotional support during labor and delivery.
Our experience with Emily was EXCELLENT.
We knew we wanted to work with a doula, but we couldn't have anticipated how essential it would be to the labor, nor how infinitely grateful we would be that it was Emily specifically who was with us throughout.
We ended up laboring mostly at home and then at a hotel (there were no rooms at the hospital!). My husband and I would have been overwhelmed if not for the calm, knowledgeable and encouraging presence of Emily. Our midwife coudln't be with us at home or at the hotel so Emily was the only guiding voice we had beyond our own instincts (and while we'd done our homework and partner very well together, we are not birthing professionals!).
Emily is kind, compassionate and has a positive energy that is easy to connect to. To be honest, when we began our search we worried that a doula would feel like a third wheel in our laboring process, but Emily was in fact a crucial partner throughout. She knew how to work with my husband and I - when to take charge, when to make gentle suggestions, when to simply fade into the background for a little while. She was more than willing to take on any task we needed and happy to incorporate our thoughts and suggestions into her plans. She answered questions with confidence and specificity. She was a steadfast presence from start to finish during labor.
To anyone looking for a doula, we highly recommend hiring Emily. We're confident you'll be very happy you did!
What can I say about Emily?
She is one of the most amazing, incredibly patient and sweet people I have ever met. Well prepared for every meeting prior to birth, she listened to and addressed all my concerns from past personal trauma to how to mentally handle birth as an analytical overthinker. It is so difficult to trust your emotional well being to another person in such a short amount of time and allow them to access to such a personal, intimate part of your journey to having a baby but with Emily it never felt scary. She has this amazing ability to make you feel safe and well cared for while still being professional with a personal touch.
Once she started being "on call" for this birth, I felt like I had a friend I could always get support from and who would check in just to make sure I was ok. During labor and delivery, she was there every step of the way to help deliver counterpressure, encouraging words, and anything else I or my husband needed. It takes a special kind of person to have this calling and I truly believe that Emily was made for this job. You will not be disappointed if you choose to hire her, and I am grateful to have had her guide me and my husband through this journey.
When we learned that we were pregnant with our first child we knew that the experience would be beautiful and filled with challenges at the same time. To ease some of the challenges we decided to include a doula in our team. When we met Emily the connection was immediate. She was very approachable, she expressed great empathy and demonstrated a wealth of knowledge in the field, answering our questions thoroughly and sympathetically. At the end of our meeting, we felt like we just met a beautiful person. From that moment on she made herself available always, checked on us regularly and encouraged us to ask questions so that we could set our hearts at ease. On the day of delivery, she created a much needed safe zone for me to embrace the experience of childbirth without having to explain myself to anyone around me. She made me feel safe, understood, even though I was in a place with many unknowns that everything was progressing normally. At the hospital, she communicated with everyone in the most professional yet approachable manner. During the postpartum visit, she shared my joy and listened to my worries. At the end of the visit, I felt stronger as a new mother. We consider Emily our friend and aunt to our new baby.
When I decided to have a doula, I reached out to a few girls that I thought had a profile fit for me and for what I wanted. Emily was the first one I interviewed and even though I still had other people to meet I knew immediately she was the one I wanted to have with me in my journey of childbirth. She is so sweet and knowledgeable, she had answers to all my questions, she kept me grounded, helped me get through my anxieties with objective solutions and the most positive attitude I’ve ever seen. Every time I had a question or a fear I would text her and she would answer right away with great insight and strong science to back her up. Unfortunately my birth plans did not go as intended, but Emily was there every step of the way, encouraging me, helping me cope with the physical and emotional distress, always with a positive attitude. I don’t think I could’ve gone through what I went through without her help. If I have another child I will definitely have her as my doula again.
Emily was our stand-by doula as our primary relationship was with another couple. She got the call early in the morning and met us at 5am in hospital and went straight to work. She has a very relaxed manner which put me at ease straight away, I was already contracting and so Emily initiated a routine of breathing exercises and applied hot and cold compresses to alleviate some of the labor pains.
She provided some insights into pain management, including hospital administered treatments and discussed our options. While my husband managed hip squeezes, Emily applied massages and helped center my thinking which helped me work through labor to a fairly quick birth.
Being our second child, we weren't originally planning to use a doula, as we hadn't for the first. I would definitely recommend their services, not just for pre and post birth consultations, but because they help to refocus labor into the journey, rather than the pain; she created a lighter mood in the room which helped relax me, and came with practical and helpful advice. Emily filled the gaps that my husband and I hadn't contemplated which allowed me to concentrate on my baby.
This birth was much quicker and 'easier' than the first, in part because we had the right environment and the best help, we would recommend Emily to other mothers
I booked Emily as my birth doula for my home birth even though she didn't have a lot of experience because I felt a connection with her as a person. I am so glad I trusted my instincts! She provided me with lots of useful information leading up to the birth, interacting with me in a warm, and friendly manner. When my labor started and I needed her, I was surprised by how immediately she shifted into this different, and more intense support role. She quickly figured out which comfort techniques were giving me the most relief, and coached me through using them with each contraction. She was my lifeline when my midwife seemed unresponsive, and she also supported my partner, allowing him to support me, and participate fully in the birth of his daughter. Ultimately, we made the decision together with my midwife to transfer to the hospital. Emily coordinated my family members to make sure we all made it there as quickly as possible, and as comfortably for me as possible. Pushing my baby out was more challenging than I expected. Emily helped me to understand why my doctor wanted me to try a different pushing position, one I had often read was an unhelpful one, and ultimately that position helped my baby to be born vaginally, unassisted, without an episiotomy! I can't thank Emily enough for her support of me, and my partner throughout my birth. She is an excellent doula!
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