Stephanie Sauer Pasternak, CD(DONA), CLC Photo

Stephanie Sauer Pasternak, CD(DONA), CLC

Bergen Doula - Birth Doula & Lactation Counseling

Website: https://www.bergendoula.com/

Phone: 201.245.7614

Birth Fee: $1250 to $1950

Fee Details: Varying packages available to fit every woman's needs. Packages may include: consultation, prenatal home visit(s), phone/text/email support upon hiring, access to resources & evidence based info, 24/7 phone/text/email support beginning 38 weeks, in person support when active labor begins, 1-2 hours post partum support at place of birth & post partum home visit. Add-ons may include: additional prenatal and/or post partum home visits and/or lactation counseling specific visits. Prenatal visits focus on getting to know each other, discussing birth wishes and expectations, how best to prepare for labor & delivery including coping strategies, resources needed etc. Post partum at place of birth usually focuses on breastfeeding (if desired) & babies transition from intrauterine life to life outside the womb. Post partum home visit(s) allow for breast feeding support & general support concerning both your and baby's physical and emotional comfort and well being.

Birth Doula Experience: 3 years

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, November 2016
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
with the presence of a licensed healthcare provider.

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Lactation Counselor (The Center for Breastfeeding)

Other Relevant Certifications

  • CPR Certified - Red Cross
  • Rebozo Training

College Education

  • BA/BS

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Previous birth trauma and/or birth injury
  • Single parents
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Special Services Offered

  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR
  • Breastfeeding Consultant Services
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Parenting consulting
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Bergen Doula has New Parent Circles that meet in varying parts of Bergen County. Activities may include professional guest speakers who specialize in women's, men's and babies postpartum health and well being and related topics. Also organized for our participants: parent/baby yoga & meditation, parent/baby swim, etc. All Bergen Doula clients are encouraged to attend.

Languages spoken: English

Certifications for Stephanie Sauer Pasternak, CD(DONA), CLC

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Client Testimonials for Stephanie Sauer Pasternak, CD(DONA), CLC

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Lindsay Schoenfeld

It’s truly hard to express in words what Stephanie meant to us during our pregnancy, laboring, birth and postpartum, but I’ll try! We got pregnant with our son in October 2018 and knew we wanted the support from a doula but didn’t know exactly what that mean…until we met Stephanie and from that first moment, we knew we wanted her to be a part of our journey.

Because this was our first pregnancy we were thirsty for knowledge and Stephanie was the ultimate resource – helping us create our birth wish (birth plan), sending us evidence based articles so we could make educated decisions, offering ways to stay centered and healthy and making intros to vendors that align with our philosophies.  The beauty of working with Stephanie is she supported our decisions without judgment and was (and continues to be) a beacon of love and encouragement.  She’s as hands on as you want her to be – and while I have an amazing partner in my husband, she brought an extraordinary balance of confidence, knowledge and poise to our labor and delivery.  As a result, she was a major reason why that experience was amazing (how many people can say that?!).

One of the most challenging aspects of this experience for me wasn’t the pregnancy or delivery, but rather the ability to breastfeed.  We had hoped to exclusively breastfeed and Stephanie helped to guide us down that path.  Her postpartum visits were not only valuable from a knowledge and practical perspective but even more impactful was her presence and encouragement, which brought a wave of comfort and love during the extremely difficult first few days.  

Stephanie will forever be a part of the family – she was with us for every step of this intimate and beautiful journey and we’ll be forever grateful.  And of course if there are more littles in our future, she’s the first person we’ll call! 

Posted 10/12/2019

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Rebecca

I had an rough induction with my first birth that left me a little traumatized and wary of the dehumanization of birth in a hospital.  The second time around I knew that I did not want the same thing to happen. I knew a doula would help me avoid unnecessary interference in the birth process. Specifically I was hoping to avoid needles and an epidural. We met with Stephanie before our birth and really discussed how to have a natural birth in a hospital. Throughout the end of the pregnancy little complications would arise and Stephanie would give me research to support the actions that my midwives were taking. It really put me at ease.  When I learned that I would have to have another induction Stephanie was my second phone call. We talked about how I could still have an empowering birth despite the need for another induction.  With her help I had a great birth without pain medication, she encouraged me and helped me navigate the hospital setting.  After the birth I ended up hemorrhaging, it was terrifying. Stephanie held my hand through it all, the beautiful moments and the difficult ones, she is a great doula and a wonderful supporter of women!

Posted 9/21/2019

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Lauren Simon

Hiring Stephanie was the best decision we made in the pre-birth process! From the moment we met, we knew she was the right fit for us. She was so warm and friendly and knowledgeable and spent hours with us in just the pre-hire meeting! During the two coaching sessions right before the birth, she made us both feel at ease and ready for the challenge ahead. Ultimately my birth did not go as planned and Stephanie was there to help us every minute along the way and truly was an advocate for what we wanted and needed. I do not know how we could have gotten through it without her support!

Posted 9/9/2019

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Tal Netanyahu

I was hesitant about getting a doula. I had a hard time justifying the expense, and I was dragging my feet with the search.
I don't know if it's fate or just dumb luck, but Stephanie was available and I reached out to her. After one phone call I could tell this is the type of person I needed in the delivery room - direct, honest, warm, caring, funny, motivated, professional... Ultimately I just enjoyed talking to her. Her sense of humor and confidence made me immediately comfortable, and we set up an appointment to meet.
Little did I know I'd go into labor the next day, a week early! I called Stephanie to tell her I'll require her services earlier than I thought. She did not hesitate, and that night once I needed her, she was at my door ready for action.
I can't say how happy I am I decided to take her. Throughout the entire thing she was supportive, comforting, helped both me and my husband keep our heads, was friendly with the hospital staff and made sure we were kept informed and I was distracted from the pain.
I ended up getting exactly the birth that I was hoping for, getting an epidural late enough so that I didn't need to be induced, and it was purely Stephanie's pain management that helped me through those last few crucial hours. She's a miracle worker.
After it was all over, she was there to help me breastfeed for the first time, and even took some candid photos that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
A couple of days later Stephanie came to our home for a postpartum visit. I'm not exaggerating when saying she already felt like family to us. She stayed for hours going over everything from latching and positioning during feeding, to pumping and general baby care. Since then, whenever I had an issue, I texted her and she answered immediately, always being very attentive and excited to help.
Stephanie is a treasure. I can't imagine giving birth without her.

Posted 4/10/2019

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Elise and Ivan

Working with Stephanie was life changing.  Before meeting her, my husband and I weren't sure about whether or not to hire a doula.  Knowing that we wanted to have a successful home birth, we interviewed several doulas as I neared the last weeks of my pregnancy.  Our connection with Stephanie was instantaneous and we think that this is a testament to her warmth, experience, and spirit.  It felt as if were already long time friends.  What surprised us the most was the ways in which she prepared both of us for this experience. Birth coaches are essential not only for the pregnant person, but also for their partner.  Our pre-labor sessions with Stephanie were treasured moments where we could truly focus on the arrival of our baby.  They helped to create a stronger sense of intimacy between us, which ultimately translated into how we brought our daughter into this world.  Stephanie is a wealth of information and helps you focus on what is really critical. She says from the beginning that her role is to take on your stresses so that you don't have to and surprisingly, it works.  We left every pre-labor session with Stephanie with a renewed sense of energy and excitement as well as with steps to help prepare us for birth.  Stephanie was ALWAYS available and responsive to our calls, texts, and emails and was the first to arrive on the day I gave birth, transforming our space into a Zen retreat.  Her and my husband were a rockstar team and that was because of the trust that was carefully established.  After my delivery, which she was by my side for the entire time, she stayed with us for several hours to ensure that our new family of three felt at ease.  We were in constant communication for days afterwards, and during my post-partum visit, she offered to speak with some of our family members whose nervousness about my breastfeeding had been causing us some stress.  Don't hesitate to hire her!

Posted 3/18/2019

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Amy Zeman

I couldn't be happier with the choice I made to hire Stephanie as my doula for the birth of my son. As a first time mom, I was looking for someone who would guide me as well as advocate for me when I was at my most vulnerable moments. Stephanie made me feel prepared for the unprepared and was there by my side the entire time. I look forward to having her be a part of my family forever.

Posted 3/15/2019

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Alexandra Burkhart

When I was pregnant with my son, I didn’t know what a doula was, and I didn’t know what kind of birth I wanted to have. All I knew was that I was terrified of delivery! I was anxious about the pain, the hospital, and the whole realm of the unknown. After some research I wanted to strive for an unmedicated hospital birth and I knew my husband and I would need support and guidance. 

After our first meeting, I felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Stephanie's experience and understanding of the process helped turn my third trimester from fearful to joyful. We met and spoke many times before birth, and I became more and more excited to experience labor and birth. Knowing that Stephanie would be there to help me get through labor allowed me to revel in the idea of it. I surprised myself — I was now aching to feel the contractions and get through them with her support! 

We were so lucky to have the birth that we wanted — and I’m not sure I could have done it without doula support. There are so many benefits to having a doula, but for me, the best part was that I could just feel calm and enjoy the last leg of my pregnancy. I knew that once it was time, my husband and I could just focus on the experience of labor and birth. Stephanie was an angel that allowed us to fully experience it, let us be in the zone and not worry about details. She is a facilitator of the most ancient beautiful life force.

Another benefit was Stephanie’s expertise as a lc. She was generous with her time right after birth and helped my baby and I get started. In the weeks after birth, we had some issues and questions, and Stephanie’s breastfeeding guidance was paramount. 

Our second time around, it won’t even be a question. Even though we are more confident in the birth process now, we need our doula! Stephanie’s guidance was invaluable, magical, and worth every single penny!

Posted 3/15/2019

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Amarilis Rivas

Everyone says that labor is hard. Well, you don't really know how hard it is until you're in the throes of it. Time stands still and flies simultaneously. You succumb to your own internal ebbs and flows of pain as you get ready to welcome that perfect little angel into your life. Your body literally becomes the vessel of an ancient birth ritual- and no matter how well you've prepared for the event, and regardless of the fact that the body knows what it's doing, what you actually experience is as foreign as it gets.

I knew that hiring a doula would be essential for me considering the fact that I'd chosen to go the natural route (pain killer free!- the horror!) The second I met Stephanie in person I knew that she would be the perfect fit for me. She is passionate for what she does, extremely well-educated, experienced, loving, and has a very grounded demeanor. And did I mention that she is also very funny? Well, I couldn't have selected a better advocate for my birth plan. She was able to answer my crazy questions and pointed me in the right directions as far as literature to read, videos to watch, and exercises that would help prepare me for my day. And the day that I went into labor, I felt comfortable and calm knowing that she was there just to help me get through it all. I highly, HIGHLY recommend Bergen Doula. She will forever be a part of my baby's birth story and a part of my family's life! I lover her to bits!

Posted 9/18/2018

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brittany he

Throughout most of my pregnancy, I felt really good and had complete faith that I could take it all without any problems. I knew I wanted an epidural and that was that. But pregnancy and birth are unpredictable and when I was thrown a curveball towards the end of my pregnancy, I knew I needed to find a doula. I had always thought that a doula just helped you through the birthing process, providing breathing support and things like that, but Stephanie did so much more!! From our initial phone call and meeting all the way until after we arrived home after giving birth (and even now, 3 months later!), Stephanie has been so supportive and helpful! She has made sure that we are always informed of our different options and does not judge at all. During the pregnancy, she made sure we knew what our options were once I went into labor and made sure I was as comfortable as possible by showing me different stretches. She checked in often and was constantly in touch when I went to the hospital earlier than planned, even showing up in person to check in well before active labor started. After the birth, she came to our house and made sure everything was going smoothly with breastfeeding and made sure that we, as new parents, were surviving the first few days with a newborn. She helped my little family through so much and I would 100% recommend her to any and all soon to be parents — I know I plan to use her again myself in the future!

Posted 9/16/2018

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Lindsay Kay Cohen

When I found out I was pregnant, I went through all the emotions - beginning with excitement but evolving into apprehension. I met with an OB who unfortunately did not help ease my worry, did not offer me warm congratulations, and left me feeling like I was in for something I could not handle. Call me crazy, but I preferred to see my pregnancy as normal, exciting and empowering! When I switched to midwives, I had found a better match for me. I had a normal pregnancy, but even if I didn’t I knew I was always in good hands. It didn’t hurt to get a hug every now and then as well! At first, I was not sure if I would also need a doula or if I could afford it, but my midwives highly recommended Stephanie. She gives hugs too! I loved the genuine, personal care she gives expecting mamas and I knew from our initial phone call that she needed to be our doula.

My baby girl is 6 weeks old now and I’m still raving about her birth and the value of having a doula. I will be for many years to come. A big perk for me was feeling so at ease about having a natural birth, even when things got quite hard in the moment. Stephanie is so knowledgeable about birth and in the weeks prior to my labor and right up to the big moment when the intensity was growing and my husband was beginning to wear out, Stephanie never made us feel like something was not going well or uninformed. I only felt that everything I was experiencing was normal, expected and that I could do it. It was a stellar feeling that is unfortunately not part of many other birth stories I have heard. 

The most admirable thing about Stephanie, which makes her such a wonderful doula, is her energy and passion for this work. She was unwavering in her support after many long hours of labor and she really cares about the families and babies she works with. Her love and support just overflows! 

Posted 9/13/2018

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Sarah Henderson

Where do I begin with this review...I was under the impression that a doula shows up at your birth, helps you get through labor, and that's the end of that relationship. Stephanie was an amazing support through the labor process, but it was the time before and after the birth that caused my husband and I to frequently say "wow, it was worth it to hire Stephanie just for that."

Prior to labor, Stephanie came to our house twice to ensure we were physically and emotionally ready for the arrival of our baby girl. She checked in over email throughout the last trimester, and was so responsive to the barrage of requests I sent her over that time. She helped me change over to a new midwife practice, and also find a great local pediatrician and chiropractor (all people she would personally vouch for), and any health-related recommendations she sent to us were always accompanied with the supporting science/research.

During labor, Stephanie did everything I could have wanted or needed.

After labor, Stephanie stayed with us to work on nursing and ensure we were ready to move to recovery. Our baby is now 12 days old and I've talked to Stephanie almost every day. She came for a post-partum visit and immediately corrected the bad latching habits I had picked up at the hospital. She's talked me off the ledge multiple afternoons and always texts me back - even when I'm losing my cool over a 3 am feeding. When I asked if she knew anyone who could come give us a night of relief (post-partum doula), she immediately called up her contacts and found us someone great.

In summary - Stephanie has been everything to us. Her local connections, experience as a mother of 3, and training as a lactation consultant make her an incredible resource. Her compassion, sense of humor, and boundless energy make her a fantastic doula. I can't imagine having gone through this experience without her.

Posted 6/5/2018

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Jenifer Chavez


My husband and I have selected Stephanie after a long research because her natural empathy with us, her professionalism and the human sense that she transfers. She follows up all my pregnancy, delivery and postpartum; She did not limit her service as an expert consultant, Stephanie built a really close and nice relationship making us feet confident and comfortable.

We had planned a Natural birth with active Labor, also, for us was important the participation of my Husband and the connection with my baby. We followed all the birth plan that we designed, even if at the end the delivery turn in a C Section, I'm completely satisfied and happy with all the decisions we took together.

Stefanie is that kind of person that gave her best, she always answered immediately and effectively all our calls and messages. She never lost sight of the goals that we determined at the birth plan, especially when it changed in a C section, and she took care that the hospital followed as much as possible our birth plan.

We are so happy to have chosen her as our Doula

Posted 2/15/2018

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Jenifer Chavez

Mi Esposo David y yo estuvimos buscando una Doula para tener un soporte para recibir nuestra primer hija. Despues de entrevistar muchas Doulas, escogimos a Stephanie por la gran empatia que genero con nosostros, profesinalismo y humanindad que transmite. Ella no solo se limito en asesorarnos previo, durante y despues del parto, si no creo una relacion con nosotros y nos hizo sentir siempre seguros durate todo el proceso.

Yo planee tener un parto Natural, tener una especial coneccion con mi Esposo y bebe durante este momento; hicimos todo como lo que planeamos y siento que no falto nada de lo que deseamos a pesar que tube una complicacion que termino en un parto Cesareo.

Stefanie es una persona especial que da todo de si misma, siempre respondio imediatamente nuestras llamadas y mensajes, nunca perdio de vista los objetivos que determinamos juntos, ademas creo una coneccion con mi esposo y con migo que nos hizo sentir completamete en famila, es la tia Norte Americana que lo sabe todo en el momento mas importante de nuestra historia como familia, la llegada de nuestra primera hija.

Nuestro idioma Nativo es Espanol e Italiano; quiero exaltar la flexibilidad y capacidad de Stephanie para interpretar y facilitar la comunicacion no solo entre nosotros, si no tambien con el personal del hospital.

Estamos muy felices de haber elegido Stephanie como nuestra Doula.

Posted 2/15/2018

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Jenifer Chavez

 

Mio marito ed io stavamo cercando una Doula affinche ci affiancasse durante tutto il processo del parto della nostra prima figlia. Dopo aver vagliato diverse Doule, abbiamo scelto Stephanie per la gran empatia che ha avuto con noi, la sua professionalita' ed umanita. Lei non si e' limitata solo ad accompagnarci nel prima, durante e dopo, ma ha instaurato una relazione con noi che ci ha dato sicurezza in tutte le fasi, specialmente essendo stranieri.

Io avevo planificato un parto naturale, avere una consessione speciale con mio marito e la bebe durante il parto. Abbiamo fatto tutto quello che ci eravamo prefissati e e che desideravamo che avvenisse durante il parto, anche se questo si e' complicato alla fine, tramutandosi in un cesario.

Stephanie e' una persona molto speciale che da tutta se stessa, rispondendo sempre immediatamente alle nostre chiamate ed ai nostri messaggi. Ha condiviso i nostri obiettivi e non li ha mai persi di vista, creando una conessione con me e mio marito che ci ha fatto sentire completamente in Familia.... e' diventata la Zia d'America che sa tutto del momento piu' importante della nostra storia familiare, e dell'arrivo della nostra prima figlia.

Noi siamo Italocolombiani e stranieri in USA, eppure ci teniamo a sottolineare la flessibilita' e la capacita' di Stephanie di interpretare e facilitare la comunicazione con noi e con il personale dell'ospedale, specialmente alla fine quando da un momento all'altro e' cambiato tutto, e' abbiamo dovuto fare un cesario.

Li e' dove si e' rivelata incredibile, aiutandoci a gestire la situazione e al tempo stesso assicurandosi che l'ospedale seguisse comunque il nostro programma di parto.

In fine, aver investito in Stephanie, si e' rivelata la scelta piu azzeccata che abbiamo potuto fare, sopratutto nella nostra condizione di stranieri..

Grazie Stephanie

Posted 2/15/2018

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Tom Tang

I love Stephanie! She was my doula for a Thanksgiving 2017 baby! We just had our first baby, and Stephanie made my birthing experience really positive. I do not know if I could have made it through the pushing phase of my labor without Stephanie’s guidance (holding my hands and legs and her positive coaching!).

Stephanie also provided tons of pre-labor support (via home visits) and post-labor support. She is super attentive and would check in on me throughout the whole process and post process without ever being intrusive. Just the right thing touch. Stephanie really cares about your birthing experience and I am so happy I found her and I am so happy she was part of our birthing experience. I love this woman to the moon and back.

Posted 12/14/2017

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Liz SK

Stephanie was our stand-in doula at the last minute because our baby was early and our original doula was unavailable. While this would typically be a stressful situation, Stephanie stepped in seamlessly and brought her knowledge, experience and warm presence to our birth.

Stephanie came prepared and I appreciated that she thought of many small things to make me more comfortable. She was not judgmental of my choices and very helpful when I had any questions. My family really enjoyed having her around and she was a great person to have by my side. Stephanie also provided a postpartum visit at which we were talking for so long I didn't even realize it had been over two hours. She is clearly extremely passionate about what she does and her love of the babies and the birthing process shines through.

I would highly recommend Stephanie and if we choose to have another child I would definitely hire her again.

Posted 9/21/2017

Birth Availability for Stephanie Sauer Pasternak, CD(DONA), CLC

= Available. Calendar last updated: 11/15/2019 8:57:14 PM