Birth Fee: $2000
Birth Doula Experience: 9 years and 260 births attended
Clients per Month: 2 to 4Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Laura: Metropolitan Doula Group moderator; a professional organization of metro-area doulas. Abby: Runs an expecting and new parent support and circle group in Crown Heights.
Languages spoken: English, Russian
Laura was exactly what I was looking for in a Doula. She was understanding of my wants and goals, took the time to get to know me and my husband, and helped us both approach our daughters birth from a point of confidence. The sessions leading up to the birth really helped us formulate a labor plan and understand the stressors and challenges we would face when the day actually came.
When I went into Labor, Laura was on call and ready to answer any of our questions through the entire night. As things progressed, Laura came over to our apartment and helped us calmly determine the ideal time to go to the hospital. Once in the hospital, she advocated politely but firmly to help me attain my goal of an all natural birth. Without her knowledge, expertice, and encouragement I'm not sure I would have been able to do it.
Lastly, Laura went out of her way to check up on us after our daughters birth. Once we had caught our breath she came over and answered any questions that came up since we left the hospital and helped me with some different breast feeding techniques. I can't recommend Laura enough and hope to work with her again.
We had a fabulous experience with Abby and Laura. We're second time parents but felt quite nervous about the labor and delivery process, especially because our first child was born in anouther country so we were unfamiliar with the procedures here. Abby and Laura put our fears at ease and worked with us to come up with a birth plan that suited our needs. They were respectful of my desire for a medicated birth and, throughout the process, encouraged me to trust my body and my instincts. The day of the birth, Abby was a calming and reassuring presence throughout the delivery. This extra support allowed me to relax and focus on the birth, knowing she was beside me every step of the day.
The word “doula” was totally foreign to us when we got pregnant. After attending a childbirth class at 27 weeks we realised maybe it was something we should look into. Abby was referred to us by our midwives and after the first phone conversation with her we knew we liked her, what we didn’t know was that we would come to LOVE her and Laura!
We had 3 pre-delivery visits. One with both Abby and Laura to make sure we were a good fit as a team and then a second visit from Abby to discuss our thoughts on what type of birth plan we imagined. The third visit from Laura was to walk us through what to expect when we actually went into labour through to delivery.
Abby was with us for the actual birth. I ended up being induced (not in my birth plan!) and Abby arrived at 8am staying with us until we delivered at 830pm. Pitocin is fairly tough but we managed through the hard and fast contractions with no pain medication - that is 100% down to Abby’s consistent massage and movements. She guided me so expertly that I trusted her implicitly. Our precious baby girl arrived safely and I can not imagine any other birth scenario than the one we had. It was perfect.
Postpartum Abby came to visit and her guidance with breastfeeding was invaluable in those first scary days. If I could have had her stay with us for a few months I would have!
Laura also came back to visit and took the most beautiful photographs of us as a new family. She captured our excitment and our awe so perfectly. Memories that we will cherish always.
in summary, both Abby and Laura are incredibly knowledgeable and experienced. We are so grateful that we were able to have them in our birth team. We credit them with keeping us calm in pregnancy, labour and postpartum allowing us to embrace and enjoy the ride!!
I highly recommend Laura and Abby! I had an extremely long birth and Laura was there supporting me every step of the way. I honestly don't think I would have ended up having a vaginal birth without her. She was grounded,supportive, and extremely knowledgeable. in many ways I feel that she was the single most important person at my birth. Abby was my sister's doula (and made my placenta pills which were very helfpul postpartum). She was perfect for my sister and helped her though another extremely long birth. These women are amazing.
I want to begin this testimonial by stating that my husband and I are incredibly grateful for Laura and Abby’s doula services. Prior to being pregnant, I mistakenly thought a doula was a frivolous function of bohemian excess. However after taking a birthing class and educating myself through research, I learned just how necessary, practical, and valuable a doula can be (assuming you have the right one), and we found our match with Laura and Abby. Not only were they highly recommended, but also upon meeting them my husband and I were immediately put at ease with their direct in-depth-knowledge, pleasant demeanor, and professionalism. We knew we could count on them to provide us with the support we needed when it came time for me to give birth, and having that mental assurance before and during childbirth reduced our fear, gave us calm, and allowed us to have the positive birthing experience we hoped for. Even though we had an excellent OB and facility, the truth is a doctor and/or nurse can’t be by your side for several hours while you’re in labor, but a doula can be. And when my husband needed to leave the room to either use the restroom or get something to eat, we both rest assured I was in good hands, and that kind of peace of mind is priceless. If at first you’re hesitant to pay for the expense of a doula (like we were), take our word for it that it’s money well spent because Laura and Abby’s doula services are worth every penny.
I am so grateful to Laura and Abby for helping and prepare and then give birth to my baby girl. As a first time mom I was clueless as to what I needed to do and options available. From the very first consultation I knew this was a great fit. I will speak to my experience with Laura here since we spent the most time together and she was there for the birth. Laura is "normal" - she is not going to make you do something because she believes in it- you have to want it and believe in it. She's not pushy (expect when you want her to get answers for you, she will!)- she is incredibly supportive. Laura educated me on what I didn't know and supported me in the decisions that I made. During the birth of my daughter I had some extremely anxious times. My epidural machine malfunctioned and my daughter’s heart rate dropped a few times. During these incidents Laura was very calm and again supportive. I can't stress that word enough! She knew I was anxious and she didn't try to talk me out of it, she let me feel the way I needed to feel and be in the moment with me. She helped to get answers and get things fixed as needed. We got through labor and delivery and despite those anxious times, I will always look back on it as a very happy and positive experience. After I got home Laura was there with references and referrals as needed. She understands that breastfeeding issues are time sensitive and was always very quick to reply and follow up. Again, SUPPORTIVE! I can't express how thankful I am to have had Laura in my corner and recommend working with this team in the highest regard. On one last note, even my husband who really wasn't involved in any planning, really and truly loved working with Laura. He even reccomended her to one of his future dad friends and said, "Dude working with her is a must!"
Sara, Zach, Halle and Prince (btw Laura LOVES dogs- huge plus)
Without Abby and Laura in our corner I am positive I would not have been able to complete a successful VBAC. They armed my husband and I with the facts and information we needed to be able to ask the right questions and push back when it seemed like I was getting pressured into scheduling an early c-section at 39 weeks. We were able to push the date back to week 41, but in the end baby was ready to come the very same day the original surgery was scheduled! Leading up to the actual labor and delivery, both Abby and Laura were available via email to answer any questions we had and provided us with some useful end of pregnancy tips to help move things along including suggesting labor induction acupuncture which we would otherwise never have considered. Abby was on call when my contractions started and unlike with our first pregnancy, we knew not to rush to the hospital and were more equipped to recognize when the time was right (which ended up being nearly 60 hours after the initial contractions started). Once at the hospital Abby was able to help keep us at ease and relaxed when I started having fun side effects of active labor that no one ever seems to talk about like vomitting and the shakes. She reassured us that not only was it normal, these symptoms were good signs that things were moving along in the right direction. Her coaching gave me confidence and let me know exactly what to expect and what was expected of me during the pushing part, and after nearly 12 hours of contractions at the hospital the baby arrived with just 20 minutes of pushing. The difference between this birth and our first was night and day. We're so glad we decided to hire doula services and especially happy to have found Abby and Laura. Thank you for helping us experience the birth we were hoping for!!
I'm very blessed someone recommended Abby and Laura to me and that I got to work with them. They have attended over 100 births and their profound experience and love of what they do really came across throughout our working relationship. I really appreciate our meetings to plan and prepare before my baby was born--extremely helpful for my husband and I! Abby was the one on call when I went into labor. Having gone through childbirth with Abby by my side and seeing the number of unexpected things that can crop up, I can't imagine giving birth without a Doula present, (specifically Abby/Laura!)
If you work with them, you can expect to receive awesome: compassion, commitment, expertise, professionalism, support, positive energy and utmost respect for whatever your birth plan is. Having Abby present at my birth also meant that my husband could step away from cheering me on to eat, self-care, etc. which he really appreciated! Having a Doula adds a wonderful energy to a birth. Abby was fantastic at putting us at ease whenever tensions ran high without stepping on anyone's toes. My family and the hosiptal staff all raved about wonderul Abby was too!
My wife and I were incredibly lucky to have Laura as our Doula for the birth of our first kid. I can say with full confidence that we wouldn’t have been able to get through the labour without Laura’s awesome support. She was cool, calm and collected throughout what was an incredibly tough and long-winded birth.
We really wanted to have a natural birth and we were recommended to get a doula as an absolute must by our OB. We searched high and low for the perfect Doula and really struggled to find one so we were really happy to finally meet Laura and Abby. They both had the perfect mix of warm-hearted kindness and assertive directness that is needed in the delivery room. We knew we’d be just fine with the support of either of them when the big day came.
And when that day came, it was incredible to see Laura in action, she guided us through every contraction and breathing exercise, she managed the doctors in the room and the many birthing partners (myself and my mother in-law included) and she even helped us to avoid using forceps or getting a c-section.
She did all of this whilst adding the perfect hint of humour that’s needed for the long hours in the delivery room. She really was an angel. There is no way we could have had the birth we did without her. We are forever indebted.
For anyone looking to have a natural birth, I really really recommend getting a Doula, and if you can have Laura as your doula, you’ll be incredibly lucky.
TLDR - Laura and Abby are AMAZING!!!
I can't believe its taken more than five months to write this, but alas, here I am. We loved working with Laura and Abby throughout my pregnancy; They both really have very different styles and each style compliements the other. My husband and I both got a lot out of our pre-work with them and felt heard and supported going into my labor. On the day I went into Labor, Laura was on call and we connected during the day to check-in and see that I actually was in labor. It was my first child and I was sure. Laura was there all day, checking-in and when we finally said she should come over, I was in very active labor. I was pretty panicked about getting to the hospital. My husband didn't know what to do and at that exact moment Laura came in and with a supportive and loving approach, calmed us both down. From that moment, until she left us a few hours after Goldie was born (and ensuring we were fed in that moment too), Laura was a beautiful, kind, supportive, loving, nuturing and informative voice during my labor. She supported and complimented my husband and helped me through some difficult moments. It felt like this gorgeous dance, and we all had some part to play in the choreography. I am forever grateful for Laura and for her ability to hold space for me and all that I was feeling on that day and after. She has since shown my new little family a lot of love and came by to check on us a few weeks after the baby. These two women are the missing pieces to the labor that you can't predictt, and they will make it beautiful with you. I highly, highly recommend them and couldn't imagine having done it without them.
I had the pleasure of having Abby as my doula for the birth of my third child. Even though it was my third child, I'm 100% happy in my decision to have her there. Her presence alone made me feel at ease and comfortable. She has a very kind, gentle, and non-judgmental way about her that makes everything better. Abby was by my side providing me comfort and someone to talk to even into the early morning hours. Mentally I would not have been prepared for what I went through that day if it wasn't for Abby. I highly recommend everyone have a doula at their child's birth and it doesn't get better than Abby's kind spirit and loving hands that just know what to do and when. She's the best there is!
I had an amazing experience with Laura and Abby. They were both very knowledgable and supportive of my needs, worries and wishes for my labor and delivery. They helped me think through the complications of going into labor with a second child. They helped my husband learn comfort techniques and how to be part of preparing and helping me through the birth. And, in the end, Abby did an incredible job of supporting me through my Pitocin induced labor without an epidural or other medical pain management intervention ... and a face-up baby. Her counter pressure on my back and her aromatherapy and calming voice really helped me get through the thick of the labor. I really don't think it would have been as positive of an experience at all without her there. I would definitely recommend this team to others.
Wow, where do I even begin. If it weren't for Laura and Abby, two amazing and compassionate women, my birth would have been a disaster. From the moment my partner and I met them we knew right away it was a good fit. They complement each other beautifully and each brings an incredible amount of knowledge to the table. Abby has such a soothing voice and presence and I really enjoyed our prenatal session together. And Laura, working with her felt like I was chatting and hanging out with a girlfriend, just easy and fluid. As a first time mom who wasn't sure what to expect I appreciated what each of them taught us. What sets them apart is their dedication to clients. I felt supported and cared for from the moment I reached out to set up a meet and greet. They always came through with recommendations and suggestions and I felt like they really listened to my needs and wants. What I will always be thankful for is their support. Abby and Laura came through for me so many times, especially the weekend of my birth which unfortunately took a path that no one saw coming. My home birth went out the window due to a combination of being abandoned by my midwife and the sudden onset of preeclampsia. Laura and Abby quickly jumped in and found me a care provider that was able to take me on as a last minute transfer. Although my birth did not go as planned, my twins were delivered successfully and the care I received at the hospital was by far exceptional. Abby and Laura truly were there for me emotionally and held my hand every step of the way. I don't even want to think about what my birth experience would have been like had I not had their guidance and support. If I decide to have baby #3 we will without a doubt choose to work with Abby and Laura again.
Simply put: Abby and Laura are the best. We felt comfortable with both of them from the minute we met and our trust and reliance only grew throughout my pregnancy. We found Abby and Laura to be very knowledgable and experienced, which was a huge reassurance to us as first-time parents. In particular, we took comfort in their experience across a broad range of birth plans and approaches and a willingness to hear our thoughts and concerns and to help guide us toward an experience that felt safe, comfortable and our own. We would add that they know the ins and outs of NYC hospitals, the personalities of so many OBs, midwives and nurses that we felt like we always had helpful insight to guide our decisions. It was a huge relief to have Abby arrive when labor picked up speed. She was calming and soothing and helped ensure that we had the best possible experience we could. She even got us breakfast after our baby was born and visited us three days later! We highly recommend working with this amazing team!
My homebirth was hard, fast, and until Laura arrived, quite scary. Her presence was intensely loving, calm and strong. She judged the situation and tone exactly right, made me feel capable and special, and spelled my exhausted boyfriend so that he could enjoy the birth of his daughter. She very nearly delivered the baby (midwife made it with 10 minutes to spare!) but kept the room calm and quiet which I desperately needed. Outside of the intensity of labor itself, Laura is smart, funny, warm and passionate. my partner and I consider her a friend. I can't sing her praises enough.
We had just about the best experience we could have asked for with Laura. My initial plan was to have a natural birth (no meds) in a hospital setting, but that idea got blown out of the water when I became pre-eclamptic and had to be induced at 37 weeks. It was a long and intense labor, but Laura was there every step of the way with us. Laura was such a strong ally and confidant for both myself and my partner, and I can't imagine not having her there with us. If we decide to have baby number two I'll want her apart of our team no questions asked.
Hiring Abby as our doula was easily the best decision we made for the birth of our daughter. My labour didn't go as I'd hoped and having Abby's experienced, calming, and steady presence in the room when making those tough decisions was invaluable. Both Abby and Laura emphasized that they were there as much for the dad as for the mother, which was invaluable for my husband when I drifted in and out of coherence! One of my main concerns was arriving at the hospital too early and having to go home again but because of Abby's experience we made the call to go to the hospital at just the right time and the cab ride wasn't the ordeal I was expecting. While in labour, Abby was exactly where I needed her to be without having to ask, which was amazing in retrospect. She was a totally calming presence in a situation that could have easily invoked panic. We are so grateful to have had her there with us.
Having Laura as a doula was one of the best decisions I ever made. Beginning at our prenatal visits, I was struck by Laura's knowledge. We discussed the preferences I had, the possibility of unexpected twists and turns, the role my husband would play as well as any fears or worries I had around birth. We also delved into the physological side of birth - what parts of my personality may show up when being pushed way outside my comfort zone, what lesson or story needed to be told in this process, how I would handle situations that didn't quite align with my dream birth. Since I am a doula myself, I found invesigating and reflecting on this aspect of birth extremely helpful and enlightening.
But Laura's real strength was how she showed up at my birth. When she arrived, I felt an immediate sense of relief. My stable, female presence was now present which put my mind at ease. She got right to work and had a toolbox full of pain management techniques that got me through my very intense labor. She had a tremedous ability to help me manage the sensations: her magical hands pressing on my back, using the rebozo to sway my hips, the hot water bottle placed just in the right spot. I never had to tell her what I needed or wanted - she anticipated with great skill which allowed me to stay quiet and meditative with my focus inward. She even made sure to keep me hydrated and fed as much as possible so I would have the energy to sustain birth.
She pushed me when I needed but also embraced me with such tender love when I needed. She had a seamless way of weaving my husband into the experience and formed such a solid team with him. She gave me space but pushed me when the time came to work. I remember her hugs quite clearly and her truthful eyes when she continuously reminded me that I can do this. She was invaluable and I feel so fortunate to have her in what I consider the best moment of my life. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
One of the best decisions that my wife and I took during our pregnancy was getting a doula. Our doula team of Laura and Abby we very knowlegable and extreemly supporting and comforting. We learnt so much about birthing through them. During labor my wife found a lot of comfort and strength and confidence in herself by the way Laura nursed her. Having her there also helped us time when it was perfect to go the hospital and cruise into delivery.Everything happened so smooth with the grace of God but i must say it was an asset to have our doula with us through this experience. She even surprised us with capturing moments on her camera. I highy recommend Laura and Abby and would use them again if we go down that road.
Our ambition was for me to play the role of doula-dad and it took a lot of reading and researching, but it wasn't until we met with Laura that we truly felt confident and ready. Her expertise and laid-back nature made us instantly feel at ease. And the advice that she gave was less of the rote info-overload we were getting elsewhere and more of the down-to-earth, comforting, and loving thoughts of another human whose most certainly been there and done that! Laura represents for us a real hallmark moment in our journey – the point where we went from overwhelmed to prepared, and where I transformed from doting dad to be to purposeful partner. As well, we are working with Abby to encapsulate the placenta and the process has been easy, informative and inspiring. I would highly recommend NYC Doula Love to any expecting couple in need of collaborators that they can trust.
I absolutely love NYC Doula Love! From my first conversations with both Abby & Laura, I felt supported, respected and strong - they are so knowledgeable and professional, with a great sense of calm that I really needed. My delivery was a VBA2C and I was in a situation in which my OB wasn't fully supportive and I was feeling timid about really fighting for something that ~might~ be risky. Before I had even officially signed on with them, Laura was invaluable in sorting through my prior experiences and my current options,weighing the risks against the evidence and practical reality of NYC hospitals. i had been facing massive hurdles in trying to find a new doctor who would even consider my VBa2C, but based on her experience, she made a recommendation for a new OB and encouraged me, while giving me 100% space and authority to choose for myself. Her advice helped build my confidence to fully research & fight for the delivery I wanted and to go with the doctor I trusted, even though he was out of state. And her labor prep was so informative and helpful - even though this was our 3rd baby, my husband and I learned so much. When I did go into labor, it was Abby who got the call. She brought such a great energy to the delivery that i can't even describe - I never would have made it through the whole 7+ hours of unmedicated labor without her. Every time I felt stressed or in pain, she stepped in and provided just the right amount of physical or mental touch. When I went deep in my head, she stepped back but remained present. My husband never felt left out, she provided a space for him to be with me emotionally, as my partner, while she was the objective, experienced voice. And at the very very end, when I was mentally and physically exhausted, Abby held me up (literally) and kept me from breaking. And I did it! I had my natural birth, sans drugs and I felt like a super hero. And I totally owe it all to these compassionate, intelligent, knowledgeable women!
Laura was amazing! All interactions were highly professional and thorough from the start. She was so responsive during my grueling almost 4 days of slow painful labor at home, to assure me what I was going through was normal and to discuss coping strategies. She sent me exercises and tips to try to progress my labor naturally which I think helped. When I wound up still needing some interventions at the hospital to speed up the delivery process and minimize pain, Laura never made me feel guilty about not having a "natural birth." I wound up going to the hospital at 2am with a "false alarm" 3 days before I actually gave birth and laura showed up at that time and was so understanding and stayed with me for almost 2 hours at the hospital helping me feel better. I loved my OB but I definitely wouldn't have been able to text her at all hours or have in depth discussions about birth so for this reason alone it's great to have a doula, and Laura is super responsive, nurturing and experienced!
During the relatively short period of actual pushing laura knew just what I needed, things my partner probably wouldn't have thought of --and I think her cheerleading really helped me get the baby out when I was almost ready to give up.
Laura's postpartum visit was also really helpful in checking that my baby was latching correctly and dealing with other lactation issues (like helping me put my breast pump together which for a brand new mom can feel overwhelming!) and she also snapped a few beautiful family pics!
Finally, Laura's birth photography is such an awesome perk! I never would have thought I wanted photos of the graphic stuff but now I'm so happy I have them so I can relive EVERYTHING about that magical experience.
Anyway to summarize I cannot recommend Laura more highly and her "backup doula" Abby also seemed wonderful when we met. My cousin also used Laura before me and gave her rave reviews!
Laura was an amazing doula! Both she and Abby helped prepare us for the big event; in the prenatal sessions we went over all the details of what would happen in the hospital. I’m grateful I had the chance to learn about all the options in advance, as I surely wouldn’t have been clear-headed enough to make these decisions in the heat of the moment. Laura and Abby were both great at answering questions and offering advice when I was two weeks overdue. When the day (finally) arrived my husband and I rushed to the hospital and Laura was there to meet us not more 10 minutes after we arrived ourselves. In the prenatal sessions I had discussed my desire for an unmedicated birth, but by 5cm dilated I was having doubts about my ability to follow through with that plan; Laura helped me find the strength I didn’t think I had and in the end I feel I couldn’t have had a better birth experience. As first-timers, my husband and I had no idea what to expect from labor and delivery. Laura explained all the hospital procedures and made what could have been a confusing and frightening time into a (relatively) calm experience. I felt completely comfortable with her—it was like having the warmth of a family member and the expertise of a doctor or nurse rolled into one. I’ve already recommended her to other friends of mine and I feel I can’t recommend her highly enough!
I'm a first time mom and as usual I was anxious about the labor. I was desiring a natural labor (med-free) and that's why I contacted the Carriage House Birth by my OBGYN recommendation.
I had Abby Block as my doula (Laura Vladimirova as her backup) and I have no words to describe the enormous support I had from them since the 1st contact until the baby was born. I had a 14-hours labor which 12 hours I was on med-free and without Abby's support (mentally and physically speaking) I think I may have not been able to deliver the baby the way I wanted. She was absolutelly wonderful. The massages and the peanut-shape ball were incredible - my baby's face wasn't turned corretly and I truly believe all the exercises Abby recommended helped baby's face to turn into the correct position.
All my anxiety was gone and my labor turned to be the most beautiful and intense moment of my life. And I have to give credit to all support I had from Abby and my husband.
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