Shamina Rao, CD(DONA) Photo

Shamina Rao, CD(DONA)

Website: http://www.shaminarao.com/

Phone: 9177436144

Birth Fee: $2000 to $2250

Fee Details: Complimentary meet & greet session, in-home prenatal visits, Access to evidence-based information and resources; guidance in preparation of birth preferences/goals, unlimited phone & email support throughout your pregnancy, prenatal yoga, continuous support throughout labor and delivery, Immediate postpartum care and breastfeeding support after the birth, in-home postpartum visit, lactation support

Birth Doula Experience: 5 years and 56 births attended

Doula Training

  • DONA International, July 2015
Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: -1 to 3

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Breastfeeding Counselor

Other Relevant Certifications

  • Reiki Practitioner
  • Certified Yoga Instructor

College Education

  • AA/AS
  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Adoption
  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Domestic Violence
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • LGBTQP Families
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • VBAC
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • Abortion Support
  • Acupressure
  • Antepartum doula
  • Breastfeeding Consultant Services
  • Cancer patients and survivors
  • Military families
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Placenta encapsulation
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Reduced rates for women considering adoption

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Full Spectrum Doula and Coordinator at THE DOULA PROJECT

Client Testimonials for Shamina Rao, CD(DONA)

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Melissa Di Pinto

 

pt 1 of 2

 

Shamina is an exceptional doula and we are so grateful to have found her.  She is passionate about her work and this shows in all she does - from her willingness to call the hospital on your behalf to ensure they have resolved a water issue, to her ability to swiftly track down and retrieve birthing props from the labor and delivery floor that she intuitively knows will help you.  

We worked with Shamina during our second pregnancy, which was a challenging one from beginning to end.  We appreciated how she really took her time to understand the issues, listen to our concerns and respond with knowledge, compassion and support. Throughout the pregnancy and delivery Shamina created and held a safe and supportive space for my husband and myself.  We were thoroughly pleased with her care before, during and after the delivery of our son. Shamina provides comprehensive care and is deeply knowledgeable about pregnancy issues and complications, labor and delivery, postpartum care and breastfeeding.  She is also extremely generous with her time and resources. Shamina provided me with well-vetted referrals for acupuncture, physical therapy and pre natal massage at a time when I desperately needed relief.  She made herself available whenever we needed her and responded in truly thoughtful and helpful ways.  

Posted 9/2/2019

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Melissa Di Pinto

pt 2 of 2

 

Shamina is a great listener and is patient.  She helped guide us through the induction process, offering advice for how to delay Pitocin use and helped us to find our voice and navigate this part of the process ourselves.  Once my labor started she continually checked in and offered advice but waited for us to let her know when we needed her there.  This empowered and provided us with some very memorable and precious time to labor alone as a couple.  There are things about Shamina that we believe are hard to find and set her apart from the rest.  One is her breadth of experience and passion for helping clients deliver naturally in a hospital setting.  This is not an easy thing to do and she is great at it.  Her skill and confidence really put me at ease, which in turn further supported us in achieving our goal of a natural delivery.   Shamina is a quiet but powerful force.  She has a gift for knowing just what you need while in labor and delivering it with confidence and calm.  During labor Shamina read the room and my body with ease.  She effectively applied counter pressure and massage without me even having to ask during the most trying parts of the labor.  Her skillful assistance was a big reason why I was able to stay the course of an unmedicated labor.  When postpartum complications with preeclampsia sent me back to the hospital, Shamina provided informed and calming support.  Her advice while establishing breastfeeding and help thinking ahead to my return to work were extremely helpful.  It is our belief that having the right doula by your side is essential.  We have no doubt that Shamina will be the right doula for you.  

Posted 9/1/2019

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Rachel Miller

I went back and forth about hiring a doula because it was my third baby and my second labor was so short that my doula missed it. I am so grateful I decided to hire Shamina because this birth was so different from my second. It turns out that I don't think I could have had the medication-free birth I was hoping for without Shamina's help. 

Throughout my pregnancy Shamina was a constant source of support via text or email. She answered questions, gave suggestions and advice and pep talks as needed. After my experience with my second birth, I made sure to send Shamina updates often as my due date got closer. She never made me feel like I was a bother despite all the texts. 

When my labor finally happened (six days after my due date!) more of it took place in the hospital than I planned. The comfort that normally would have helped me cope at home was absent which is why Shamina was so vital. As soon as she walked into my hospital room, she took charge setting a calming atmosphere. She was a great sounding board when the doctor gave me a few options about how to get my labor to progress and I really trusted her opinion and expertise. When things finally started to get hard, Shamina gave me lots of suggestions of different positions to labor in but always followed my lead and allowed me the space to find what was most comfortable to me. She maintained a calm, positive energy when I started to lose my mojo and empowered me to trust my body.

Shamina, I can't thank you enough for helping me achieve the labor I wanted. 

Posted 7/27/2019

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Nicole Nemetz

Shamina Rao is a fantastic doula! She assisted my husband and I with the birth of our second baby, and was worth her weight in gold. I had a C-section with my first, and really wanted to try for a VBAC. Thanks to Shamina's expertise, suggestions, and calming presence, I was successful! 

From the moment I met her, I liked her, and felt I was in capable hands. Besides knowledgeable, she is very professional and I felt grounded and at ease with her. She evaluated the reasons why I had a C-section with my first, and made suggestions for things I could do this time (exercises, yoga ball, prenatal chiropracter, etc) to increase my chances for the desired result of a VBAC. However, she was never pushy about any of this. She checked in lots towards the end of my pregnancy and was responsive with any questions I had.

On the day of delivery, I went into labor around 2:30am, and Shamina was available the moment I texted her (such a relief!). Since this was my second labor, it progressed much more quickly than my first and she quickly arrived at our house so we could go to the hospital together. This was amazing because her massage and acupressure really helped during the contractions I had in the cab!

At the hospital, she was fantastic about continuing the massage and pressure during contractions, along with suggesting different positions and offering any advice if my husband and I had questions. She, the doctor, and the nurses all had a wonderful repoir (despite it being the first time they had all met), and really worked together to support me. The L&D team even commented afterwards about how wonderful Shamina was. She helped me dig deep when I was losing faith, and was crucial when I was pushing...holding my hand, counting out, cheering me on. And we did it!

I can't say enough good things about Shamina and highly recommend her to anyone consdering a doula. I will definitely work with her again if we go for a third!

Posted 7/25/2019

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Jeanette Wallace

We hired Shamina again for the birth of our second child - laboring without Shamina’s guidance was too daunting of a prospect to risk alone. We were able to labor mostly at home, with the comfort of pets and music. Shamina kept me on my hands and knees to weather the contractions, which were fast and powerful. Once we made it to the hospital, she helped communicate with nurses and doctors, who were otherwise unfamiliar with how fast my active labor becomes. With her coaching, I was able to labor and deliver for the second time without an epidural as well. I highly recommend her and hope to hire her again in the future! 

Posted 7/20/2019

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Jane Katz

My experience with Shamina was fantastic, for so many reasons. First off, Shamina has the perfect combination of holistic and evidence-based knowledge. She never recommends anything that she cannot back up with fact, which is reassuring during the birth process. Shamina is also a yoga instructor, and has a calming energy to her at all times. This comes in handy in a hospital setting at 4am when contractions are through the roof. 

Shamina is able to walk you through all your options, carefully describing every possible scenario and outcome. This made me feel confident and informed when my birth took a turn in a different direction. While I was planning an un-medicated birth, I ended up with an induction and needing epidural. I felt that these were the right decisions in the moment and with Shamina by my side, I had no doubts. 

I would wholeheartedly recommend you hire Shamina as your birth doula, with complete faith that she will support you no matter what! 

Sincerely,

Jane + Brandon

Posted 7/11/2019

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Emily & Alex

We knew Shamina before deciding to ask her to be our doula, having practiced yoga with her. She helps me stay centered in my body and focused on meditating and breathing through physical challenges in my yoga practice, thus she was an obvious choice as a support person through the experience of childbirth.

I didn't want a birth plan, knowing that investing in a "plan" meant it would go right out the window (foreshadowing!). I completely trusted both Shamina and my partner, Alex, to help me make decisions about the labor experience while it was happening.

On the day of our baby's birth, I labored briefly before getting to the hospital (water broke, and I was GBS+). Upon arriving, we learned our baby had turned breech since my last appointment 5 days prior. Given how far dilated I was, a C-section was the best option for keeping both me and the baby safe. I only cared about us both ending up on the other side of the birth healthy and safe, but we had done very minimal thinking about C-sections and didn't know what questions to be considering.

During this time Shamina joined us, helping me get through contractions by encouraging movement, breathing, massaging my back and applying counterpressure on my hips. She calmly helped us prep for the C-section, coaching us on what to expect, in between intense contractions. The five hours from water breaking to our baby's birth included active, rapid labor and unexpected major surgery. Shamina's directness and equanimity helped us get through the whirlwind of it all, feeling as confident as we could. She joined me and the baby in the recovery room right after surgery to guide our first nursing experience, and with her help we were feeding successfully right away.

Shamina's guidance got us through a very surreal journey, on the other side of which we now have our beautiful son. I'd recommend her highly as a steady presence on a wild ride. 

Posted 7/8/2019

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Becky

We had a truly amazing experience with Shamina. 
 
The highlights: Shamina is very kind, professional, reassuring, and calm. When we first got to the hospital they only allowed 1 person in the room, so my husband toughed it out with me. It was awful- very painful, and nothing I was doing helped me cope. The Dr. told us that I wasn't very dilated and the baby's heart rate decelerations were very concerning, so they'd likely need to accelerate the labor- read: Pitocin, pain, and a higher likelihood of c-section.

Then Shamina came in and everything changed. She had me stand, sway my hips, put counterpressure on my back, and gently, and repeatedly, coached me on how to breath to get through each contraction. It went from pure agony to really Zen. I could tolerate the contractions so much better. I was almost falling asleep between each 1. Even better, the fetal decelerations went away and I dilated considerably fairly quickly. Truly, not only did Shamina help me tolerate labor better, everything she was doing helped the baby tolerate labor better. I was amazed.

In the delivery room, we continued what had been working before, and added in a birthing ball. I ultimately requested an epidural. Shamina talked me through the decision and made sure it’s what I really wanted then we moved forward.
The epidural helped a ton. Shamina encouraged me to take a nap. When I woke up, I surprised myself by starting to cry and confess my fears about pushing and about being a parent. Shamina was incredibly calming, and helped me talk through everything, and helped me release all those fears.


Shortly after I delivered after 10 minutes of pushing. Shamina helped guide us through the 1st hour after birth. She was like a shadow, there but not there at the same time.


In the short amount of time we spent with her I came to trust her completely. Her judgment is right on and her demeanor is perfect.

Posted 6/29/2019

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Katie

I give my highest recommendation for Shamina! From the minute I met her, I knew I wanted her as my doula. She has amazing, calming energy. I felt reassured that all would be fine as soon as she came into my life. My labor wound up being an induction and the baby was, unexpectedly, 9 lbs (note, I'm a petite 5'1''). Shamina made all the difference in my ability to have a successful vaginal birth. She has an unbelievable gift of touch. It was the counterpressure that she provided during the contractions that enabled me to breathe through the pain. Also, Shamina worked beautifully with my doctors to get me through the pushing part of the labor. Words really can not express my gratitude to Shamina! Again, I give her my highest recommendation!

Posted 6/17/2019

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Lisa Meng

When we found out we were pregnant with our first child, we knew that we wanted to have a doula support us through the journey. Shamina was reccomended to me, and from our first conversation I knew she was the perfect fit. She was matter of fact, gentle, calm, and knew the NYC landscape inside and out. We began working with Shamina when I was around 20 weeks and her advice and guidance was invaluable. From helping us select a provider we trusted, to being available with suggestions on how to manage pregancy aches and pains, it really felt like we had a partner walking us through every step. She met with us for many hours as my due date got closer and sent us everything from hospital packing lists to a prenatal yoga sequence to make us feel truly prepared. When labor actually began, Shamina was there for us. She was available on call at all hours of the day and night and really championed us through some tough moments and decisions. In the hospital there was so much happening at once, and it felt reassuring to know we had someone in the room who was giving us the advice that we needed to hear and in line with what was truly best for us. After the baby was born, we were busy experiencing a rush of emotions and it was Shamina who reccomended when we tried to get the baby to latch during our skin to skin time. I truly feel like having her in those moments helped us have a smooth transition to breastfeeding, and given her expertise with lactation, I never worried once about breastfeeding because I knew I would have help on hand if I needed it. I've sent her name around to all my pregnant friends and can't reccomend her enough for anyone who is looking for a solid friend, partner, confidante through all the experiences of pregnancy, labor, and motherhood! 

Posted 6/17/2019

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Shreya Patel

I was looking for someone who could help us navigate the hospital setting and be an advocate / consultant if we had to make decisions in the process. My main goal was avoiding a C-section and I thought Shamina was really good at listening to what we were focused on and helping us work through the process. I didn’t want anyone that would be too “holistic care” as I wanted to work with the hospital system and get an epidural (and not get judged for that) and Shamina was great. Our OB actually recommended her and she helped us navigate a very long labor: she spent a night in the hospital with us, would give us a second opinion and propose an alternative on medical recommendations if she thought there was another way and she even helped me do yoga in bed AFTER getting the epidural to get the baby in position... all things that were super helpful in my case.  For anyone looking for an advocate in the medical system, I would highly recommend working with Shamina. 

Posted 5/8/2019

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Hope

Shamina assisted with the birth of my third child. I had two previous vaginal deliveries that did not require medical intervention, and I hoped for the same experience with the third birth. Upon meeting Shamina, I knew she was an excellent match for us. She listened to my prior experiences and validated my concerns while bolstering my confidence for labor. I felt that Shamina would be able to coach me through an unmedicated labor, if all went well, while also being able to support me through any unexpected/unfortunate complications requiring interventions. Shamina met with me ahread of the birth and recommended appropriate care to address pelvic/groin pain (prenatal chiropractor) while also providing me with exercises to prepare and strengthen my body for labor. She provided support and advice when my water broke but labor did not begin. She encouraged low intervention options to promote contractions which helped me avoid use of pitocin, thereby enabling me to move freely throughout the labor. She helped during labor with various positions to ease pain and effective use of the room and birthing tools. Most importantly, Shamina was the voice I needed during transition and pushing the baby out. When fear crept in, I could look at her face and listen to her voice - finding the confidence I needed to endure a bit more. While my husband provided loving encouragement and the midwife provided technical expertise, Shamina provided calm confidence. Her presence was critical to my birthing team! Following the birth, Shamina helped position the baby for easy and immediate nursing. She continued to help me manage my pain while I delivered the placenta and while the midwife removed blood clots and adminstered stiches. A few days after returning home, it was a pleasure to have Shamina visit and hold our sweet baby while also helping me process the birth verbally and emotionally. I can't imagine the birth without her support - I'm so very glad we had her with us! 

Posted 4/1/2019

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Katherine F.

My husband and I had a wonderful experience working with Shamina and would strongly recommend her as a birth doula. I was very comfortable with Shamina from our first meeting through delivery. She is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. She also has a clear, precise communication style while being empathetic and a good listener. Throughout my pregnancy and the birth, Shamina was extremely helpful, supportive, and never judgemental (including with respect to our decision to use an epidural). Knowing that Shamina would be with us during labor and delivery significantly reduced the anxiety we had around the birth of our first child. Her presence also allowed my husband to focus on being emotionally supportive and present for our son’s birth rather than being a labor coach. We would definitely love to work with Shamina again if we have another child. 

Posted 3/21/2019

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Tara

I gave birth to my first and only child in November. Shamina’s support before, during and after my delivery were indispensable.  As a 40 year old, single, first-time mom I was a little anxious, and being of “advanced maternal age” the medical world only added my anxiety.

From our first meeting it was clear that Shamina was knowledgeable, resourceful, sensitive and kind and was available and communicative after our meeting.  At our 8 month visit she met with myself and my mom.  That visit is a bit of a blur, but I do remember feeling comfortable and confident that Shamina would represent my best interests, advocate for my birth plan and help me navigate what ever complication or issue I may run into.  

At 38 weeks, after a non stress test, my doctor sent me to deliver.  Although my wish was a natural birth, I knew this didn’t forebode well.  After I paged my midwife and called my mom, I reached out to Shamina.  

Shamina arrived to the hospital shortly after I was admitted.  At this point I was anticipating a Caesarian so we discussed my options around that. We didn’t get to that point, in fact a balloon induction is all I needed, but talking to Shamina helped me feel comfortable with whatever course my labor and delivery was going to take.  Throughout my experience Shamina was a strong, reassuring, sensitive presence.  Along with my friend and midwife I was secure that I had everything I needed and could focus purely on giving birth to my daughter. 

I did not know how challenging the postpartum period would be and Shamina continued to provide me with critical support as I recovered emotionally and helped me keep a clear head around what my daughter needed.

I can not recommend Shamina more as a doula.  She exemplifies what it means to provide support and guidance in such a critical time in a woman’s life.  

 

Posted 3/4/2019

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Kathleen Bowling

If I have any additional children, I will definitely hire Shamina as my doula again.  I have also been recommending her to all of my pregnant friends.  Shamina was so compassionate and professional throughout the entire process: prenatal, labor/delivery, and postpartum.  She always listened closely to my concerns and questions and drew on her extensive experience and knowledge to address my personal needs.  Her presence during my labor and delivery was indispensable: strong, maternal, grounded, encouraging.  She knew what types of touch would best address my pain while I labored, and with her calming voice she guided me to use my own body and voice to progress through each contraction.  Even my husband recognized how special Shamina is: after we parted ways from our initial consultation, he said, "Hire her.  We don't want to pass her up."

I highly recommend Shamina as a doula.  She is experienced, thoughtful, compassionate, and effective in her practice.

Posted 1/29/2019

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Seo Park

From the very beginning Shamina has always been responsive and available to discuss all the questions and concerns we had. We’re first time parents, so we were nervous about labor and the postpartum period and Shamina really made us feel at ease even starting with our first phone call. During the first prenatal visit, Shamina had helpful and thoughtful advice, feedback and resources which helped us prepare for labor and for the baby. It was also helpful to be able to keep in touch with Shamina leading up to birth with additional questions and her thoughts on what my OB recommended. Our baby was breeched, and Shamina had a lot of resources and exercises on how to help flip the baby. Our baby did flip, thank goodness. No matter what concerns came up, Shamina was always able to provide advice and feedback that made us feel less alone and confused, especially with all the information on the internet. My labor was a bit complicated and ended up having to do a c section, but Shamina was helpful throughout the whole process and we felt really supported during this trying time. Her postpartum visit was super helpful going over my postpartum care as well as the baby’s and answering our many questions. She helped with breastfeeding positioning, which was more helpful than what the hospital showed me, and she helped my baby successfully latch on my left side which he hasn’t been able to do! 

Overall, I couldn’t recommend Shamina more! We felt really supported and it was great having someone in our corner that we trusted during a confusing and scary time. She really helped us feel more prepared for the baby and labor!

Posted 11/21/2018

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Anna Curtis

Shamina is PHENOMENAL! My husband and I welcomed our first child in June and we are so thankful that Shamina was by our side. From the initial prenatal meeting to our postpartum visit Shamina was attentive, kind, thoughtful, informative, and supportive. I was worried about working with someone who had their own agenda and would try to sway me towards their preferred practices but Shamina really got to know us and fully supported our decisions and empowered us to have the birth we wanted. She listened to us and simply wanted to be our advocate towards the experience we envisioned.

During labor, Shamina not only knew all of the pressure points and was helpful physically but she was so encouraging both to me and my husband. I felt empowered and safe with her helping us through such an intense experience. Also, once our daughter arrived, Shamina took sweet photos and captured the beautiful moment so my husband and I could focus on our new family of three. 

After the delivery, she came to our home and helped guide me with different tips for breastfeeding. It was wonderful seeing her again. 

We honestly can't say enough wonderful things about our experience working with Shamina. Although our time with her was, in the grand scheme of things, brief, she feels like a part of the family. Having such a strong, informed, experienced and supportive professional by our side alleviated so much stress and anxiety and allowed my husband and me to focus on the experience of welcoming our daughter into the world knowing we had her by our side. 

 

Posted 8/19/2018

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Jennifer Conway

Shamina’s caring and thoughtful approach came through from the start. During prenatal meetings and conversations she took the time to really get to know me and my husband and our expectations, needs, and concerns. Shamina made us feel incredibly comfortable which is so important since a doula sees you at a time when you’re most vulnerable and the doula/client relationship is so intimate.

Going into the birth and during it Shamina made me feel supported, secure, and confident about decisions in my control and out of it. For example I went 10 days past my due date and ultimately had to be induced. This was not part of my birth plan - I was hoping for as little intervention as possible - and I was so anxious! Shamina called or texted almost ever day during the 10 day waiting period, keeping me calm and recommending different techniques to help bring on labor.

As a doula and a mother Shamina has tons of knowledge and experience that’s invaluable and she cares deeply. She could help me anticipate, understand, and plan. For example she walked me through the induction process in detail so I would know what questions to ask and what to expect.

Shamina was with us at the hospital through the entire birth (18+ hours), supporting and caring every step of the way. Her expertise, positive attitude and calm demeanor allowed us to be truly present and at ease during and after our son’s birth. If you plan to breastfeed, having support and guidance in the beginning is critical. Shamina patiently helped me through early breastfeeding issues in the days right after the birth when I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and got me and my son off to a solid start.

We had a wonderful experience with Shamina - I’m so grateful that we had the opportunity to work with her. I couldn’t imagine my son’s birth without her as part of it and I highly reccommend her. 

Posted 7/6/2018

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Rita Leduc

After having a first birth that was far from my ideal vision, Shamina took on a challenge with me. I was putting unreasonable pressure on making this second birth happen naturally and I had a lot of trauma to work through. Shamina not only supported me in my pregnancy journey as I sifted through these feelings - offering accompanying practices to help clear and prepare my body and mind - but was the perfect balance of gentle and confident when labor finally began. She helped me access my own inner strength while offering external support as needed. In short, Shamina escorted me through one of my proudest, strongest, most successful experiences and helped gift me the birth that I wanted so, so badly. I am forever grateful to her and recommend her with all 8lb 6oz of this new little nugget!

Posted 7/1/2018

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Carolina Carvalho-Cross

Shamina was present for our third daughter‘s birth. Having given birth twice before (once with a doula and once without - I would never ever recommend going without a doula!), I knew exactly what I wanted from a doula - and Shamina was easily able to provide that and more. My labor was intense as I had to be put on pitocin and without Shamina I 100% for sure would not have been able to achieve my goal of giving birth without pain medication. From suggesting different positions to providing counter pressure and helping my husband and sister help me, she was able to navigate me through the pain and provided me with the experience I had always wanted during childbirth, but had not yet been able to achieve. And yet I knew at the same time that should I not have succeeded she would have provided me with nothing but support for an epidural or anything else I might have required. She was such a calm and soothing presence and kept me calm and collected through what could have easily been a very stressful experience as my daughter came 5.5 weeks early. We are ever so grateful to her and recommend her without hesitation. I am sad we will not be having any more children as I would have loved to have hired her again for another birth. 

Posted 5/26/2018

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Lily Antflick

As I reflect back on my birth experience, I can't imagine going through it without Shamina. Having her by our side throughout my labor was incredibly helpful. She is a strong, calming, and knowledgeable force, and gracefully guided us through this new and intense experience. Her dedication and encouragement helped me find the confidence to get through the day. Shamina's expertise in yoga and reiki was comforting throughout my pregnancy, keeping me physically and emotionally at ease. I was very fortunate having Shamina by my side during this monumental experience. Shamina continues to be a positive presence in our lives.

Posted 4/22/2018

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Neela Vaswani

I can’t imagine giving birth without Shamina. Even before going into labor, she was instrumental as a guiding, calm presence. She helped us with gentle third trimester yoga that relieved my back and hip pain; she answered a thousand questions, assisted with our birth plan, made key nutritional suggestions. She dealt with us as individuals, really listened to our family story (both emotional and physical), and, moving forward, took everything we said into account .

I had a difficult labor (after developing preeclampsia) and ultimately had to have an emergency C-section. The decisions we made were urgent and Shamina helped us to make wise choices. She worked well with the nurses and doctors, speaking their language, but also humanized the “medical experience” by demystifying everything and alleviating our fears.

Initially, my husband was skeptical about having a doula but once we met with Shamina, he was fully on board; throughout the difficult labor, the two of them worked as a seamless team to relieve my pain with acupressure and massage. With Shamina by our side, we felt held and safe and comforted and informed. It was a privilege to have her at our daughter’s birth. It’s amazing to me how one person could support three very different members of a family, simultaneously (in our case, mother, father, and baby) while also navigating the medical bureaucracy. Thank you, Shamina, for your grace, calm, knowledge, and straightforward practicality. You’re a life saver.

Posted 3/11/2018

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Leah Steiner

Shamina was the perfect fit for our birth experience. From the moment we met her my husband and I felt her confidence and compassion. We couldn’t be more right. She was tremendously helpful when making decisions and easing the pain of labor. Her knowledge and nonjudgmental attitude left me feeling fully prepared to make the best decisions during labor. Shamina continued to check in on me for days after the birth and left me feeling secure and supported. I highly recommend Shamina!

 

Posted 3/11/2018

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Aleza Summit

Shamina's grounding presence was invaluable during my labor. Both at home and at the hospital, her calm and supportive energy helped me a lot. Particularly when I felt frustrated that things were not going how I might have liked, her experienced advice and hands-on support (including some reiki!) were key in helping me and my partner shift that energy towards calmer acceptance of the situation, which ended up culminating in a birth experience I felt really good about.

Posted 2/18/2018

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Sarah Bogucki

Our experience with Shamina as our doula was wonderful and everything we hoped it would be. As first time parents, we wanted an experienced professional who was both warm and knowledgeable. Shamina exceeded our expectations. During our long labor, Shamina provided hands-on tips and techniques for mom as well as moral support for dad. She helped us to advocate to the medical staff, while respecting the connection of the birth partner and mom-to-be. We would wholeheartedly recommend Shamina to others who are looking for an exceptionally competent and compassionate doula on their birth journey.

Posted 12/8/2017

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Uchenna Itam

Shamina provided invaluable support during my pregnancy and labor. When I was expecting, she encouraged me to trust my intuition when I had reservations about my doctor and advised me on switching midwifery practices. She also helped me devise a birth plan and coached me and my husband on active labor positions. For months, Shamina was always just a text or phone call away, whether I needed advice on which birthing classes to take, selecting a breast pump, or finding an acupuncture practice to help relieve my anxiety. When I went into labor, Shamina came to my house and accompanied us on the hour long drive to the hospital, holding my hand the entire time. Her calm energy and gentle touch complimented my husband's strong presence perfectly; she never overstepped. After 12 hours of labor, I delivered my son just how I had hoped: naturally. A few days later, Shamina visited to help me process the birth and check in on breastfeeding, bringing tea and snacks with her. I can say without a doubt that Shamina played an integral role in making my birth story a happy one. I cannot thank her enough.

Posted 10/23/2017

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Jeanette Wallace

Shamina is a wonderful doula. She is confident and sensitive -- qualities I think all doulas should possess in such a life changing experience. My labor and delivery was very fast, with subpar care at my local hospital. Shamina made me feel at ease at home and the hospital, especially when the hospital told me there were no rooms and I would be sequestered in labor triage where I could not receive pain medication because I was not technically "admitted." Shamina, who kept a close eye on my husband as well, eased me through each contraction - which were unrelenting. I dilated from 4cm to 9cm in half an hour. Without her guidance, hands on approach, and knowledge of the hospital itself, I don't think I would have had such a smooth labor. My husband was also grateful for her presence -- as first time parents, we were anxious to have someone experienced in the room. I highly recommend Shamina and would be happy to share my experience with mothers to be who are curious about her.

Posted 10/13/2017

Birth Availability for Shamina Rao, CD(DONA)

= Available. Calendar last updated: 10/19/2019 12:02:26 PM