Hillsdale, NJ Service range 50 miles
$1800 to $2050
$45 to $50
Availability Remarks: I support families of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. including, but not limited to, people of color, LGBTQIA+ parents
$1800 to $2050
$45 to $50
7 years and 100 births attended
7 years and 150 families served
Type of practice: Independent contractor with a doula agency
Clients per month: 1 to 2 births and 1 to 2 postpartum families
Postpartum limits/restrictions: no limits
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Depending on the acceptability of the hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
Volunteer Prenatal & Postpartum Yoga Teacher at the Veterans Administrations Hospital in the Bronx, NY Voice for the voiceless moms of our injured Veterans and Yoga Teacher.
It differs only if it is daytime services or Overnights.
Hillsdale, NJ Service range 50 miles
I feel very strongly that every person giving birth should always have a doula by their side. And if you want the best doula imaginable, you should choose Maria. Having her as my birth doula was an absolute game-changer. Her unwavering support, calming presence, and wealth of knowledge transformed my birthing experience into something truly empowering. From week 20 to the early stages of labor to the triumphant moment of delivery, Maria's guidance and encouragement were invaluable. Her genuine care, reassuring words, and expert guidance not only eased my anxieties but also created an environment of strength and positivity for both me and my husband. I am immensely grateful for the personalized care that included yoga, check-ins, and information on what to expect each week. She provided emotional support that made this journey into motherhood an unforgettable and positive chapter in my life. She really goes above and beyond any expectations - like capturing and sharing photos of the first moments of my baby's life. Thank you for being an integral part of my birthing team (and now family forever).
Maria was both my birth and postpartum doula. Choosing her was not a light decision, but it was the best one I’ve ever made. I had no idea how instrumental she would be. I interviewed many doulas and Maria stood out in multiple ways, two in particular: 1) she was the only one to ask about my husband and involving him 2) her vast experience and knowledge.
I wanted a doula for the support but also to help me not Google everything. If I had a question, I went to Maria. She’d explain or send me articles about what was happening, why I was feeling a certain way, etc. This was invaluable. Especially the days leading up to the birth, I had LOTS of questions/concerns. She also makes great recommendations w/o pushing them (ie pelvic floor specialist, birthing classes, books, breastfeeding supplies, etc.). However, the emotional and physical support was what I didn’t know I needed. At the hospital she explained things to me before, during, and after they happened. She supported every decision I made. She gave me massages, moved me in different positions, and come the birth, she alerted the nurses that it was time. She was my biggest cheerleader! After, she stayed to help with baby latching and until I felt ok.
As a postpartum doula she’ll provide your baby with so much care and love, all while helping with housework. I had a horrible recovery, so having her felt like it saved me and my little family. She ALWAYS checked in and found ways to help me when I thought I couldn’t feel better. Maria tailors her expertise to your needs/decisions/beliefs. She never made me feel wrong, less than, or foolish. As a first time mom I’m so appreciative of this. I’m confident my birthing and postpartum experience wouldn’t have been nearly as calm or successful without her and I’m beyond grateful to have her in my life. Magic. Maria is magic. If you need a birth or postpartum doula, you will not find someone better.
We had the most incredible experience working with Maria. She came into our lives as a postpartum doula to help us with our 8 month old. At the time I was struggling to balance some of the changes like introducing solids and also balance returning to work with caring for my baby. Maria came in and immediately took charge after understanding our family set up. It felt like having a loving grandmom who knows just what to do.
Our baby instantly loved her and both my husband and I loved how she took care of him. Maria is very thoughtful in her way of taking care of children, especially about what's good for them, their independence, their learning, nutrition, and their emotional needs. She had a knack for soothing my son and helping him rest. He absolutely loved spending time with her. He enjoyed laughing, dancing, playing, being naughty, and having a good time while learning from her.
She also helped us exhausted parents by doing things around the house that made life easier. She showed us how we could move forward with taking care of our baby while also resuming everyday tasks.
And most importantly, as a new mom who was struggling with a few things, her advice, affection, and words of wisdom stayed with me long after our time together and I’m so grateful for that.
Maria has such a positive, kind, caring, wise energy about her and it was truly a pleasure to have her in our home and I highly, highly recommend her to any parent who needs support.
Our family hired Maria for postpartum doula services for a total of 40 hours over 10 visits in August- September 2022, and highly recommend her to any family seeking a warm, helpful, loving presence in their homes with the arrival of a new baby.
Skills and talents include:
Washing of baby
Massaging baby (and ridding of gas)
Massaging mother (esp swollen legs and feet)
Leading gentle yoga and stretch sessions
Preparing healthful foods such as chicken soup and lemon-turmeric-ginger shots
Light tidying of clothes/dishes
Wise, supportive, emotionally attuned advice on range of topics
Helpful recommendations on how to improve feeding/ sleeping / eating / postpartum recovery
We will truly miss Maria and she was a wonderful help to us!
When we were looking for a Doula, we didn’t realize how important this person would be in this whole experience. Maria Elena is exceptional in what she does. She went above and beyond in all aspects. Right at the beginning of our initial meeting, we felt a connection and knew we were in good hands. Although we did not know her, she automatically felt like family. Her energy was so positive, making us feel we had nothing to worry about. For any question that we had, she had a professional answer. Leading up to the birth, we felt very confident and at ease knowing that she would be there with us during the whole time. She prepared us in different ways for the labor and birth experience. She educated us about the different scenarios, our rights in the delivery room, and how to prepare emotionally and physically. She was available for any questions 24/ 7 leading up to our birth and did numerous house visits beforehand. If you are lucky enough you might get one of her foot massages! I had to get induced; the process was arduous and lengthy. The hospital does not provide a nurse on your side the whole time - we could not have done the pre-labor surges (and the entire birth) without her support. We started with dancing bachata together to move to process along! I will never forget that! She also worked so well with our doctor and nurse - they were a fantastic team. I wanted to breastfeed, and I am lucky to do so. I give a lot of credit to Maria Elena for that. We went over how to start the process right after the birth, and even though I was delirious, I followed her instructions and had her by my side. She continued to support me postpartum as well. We were very fortunate to have had Maria Lena with us because she’s a sought-after Doula.
Maria was an invaluable resource for our family both during and after my pregnancy. Before I gave birth, we messaged frequently on different questions I had as my due date (and later, induction date) approached. Once she arrived as our postpartum doula, my recovery and our ability to parent both our newborn and our toddler improved dramatically. She helped with everything from teaching us how to bathe baby, to doing laundry and household tasks so we could get some rest. Our infant daughter thrived in her care and we already miss her!
As a first time father, I can say Maria Elena made my experience way easier with her knowledge and calming presence. It was great to have another person advocating for my wife at the birth, and she provided tons of helpful advice and information in the weeks and months leading up to the big day and in the days that followed. Maria Elena is an extremely sweet and caring individual and anyone would be lucky to hire her as their doula. I guarantee she'll be a great help to you.
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After I gave birth to our beautiful, healthy baby boy, Maria Elena stayed with me and my husband and helped us establish that ever important “first latch” during the golden hour. As she was helping massage my breast to get colostrum flowing, my husband stepped out of the room to call his father to let him know he was now a grandfather. All of the doctors and nurses had left the room leaving us to enjoy our “golden hour”. It was in this moment that I felt myself starting to fade. My hearing got fuzzy, my vision got blurry, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe and was being pulled away. I passed out. The next thing I remember is my guardian angel calling out to me, pulling me back: “mommy, mommy come back to us!” She had our sweet boy in her hands and kept him safe so I didn’t drop him. From there, due to loss of blood and drugs in my system (I forgot to mention I was induced with Pitocin) I was really ill and vomiting. Maria Elena helped me through it and I don’t know where I would’ve been without her.
In the days and weeks following our son‘s birth, Maria was there to answer questions, offer advice, and listen to me and hear me even when I wasn’t saying anything. The days and weeks following our son‘s birth were some of the hardest of my life and Maria Elena always knew exactly what to say and do to help me through it. Her postpartum visits where she worked with me and my husband to give us advice, help us with the baby, bring order to our home, stretch and meditate with me were invaluable.
Maria Elena is one of those people that I’ve only known for a short time but I feel like I’ve known forever, I admire her and respect her and trust her implicitly and when we decide to have another child, I would be honored to have her along with us on the journey again.
Part 2 of 3
I am one of those 20% of women whose water broke before any sort of contractions started. Though it was late at night, Maria Elena was there to answer our call right away and help guide me through making the right decision for us and for our baby. After arriving at the hospital, the doctors and nurses were quite negative, I was feeling incredibly anxious because of some issues with my IV. By the time Maria Elena arrived, I was a mess. When she arrived, she immediately comforted me. When I describe this moment to others, I say that she came in “Doula guns blazing.” She had essential oils ready for me, whispered affirmations in a calming voice to me, breathed with me, massaged me and encouraged me to “let it out.” In that moment and in so many moments that followed, she knew EXACTLY what I needed.
As labor started to pick up, Maria Elena knew exactly what to do, what to say, what tricks to pull out of her Doula bag to make each wave manageable and to empower me through each one. She helped offer her advice, helped advocate for me (as she had helped me craft my birth wishes) and ensured that I had every support I needed.
When it came time to push, she was right there beside me and gave specific, clear instructions on how to best bring my baby boy into the world. It’s hard to know what you’re doing well you’ve never done it before but Maria Elena empowers you to feel like you could do anything with her by your side. During this time, Maria Elena helped capture pictures I will cherish forever: the precious moments in which our son was brought into this world and in which both a mother and a father were born as well.
Part 1 of 3
I’ll begin this review with my “nickname” for Maria Elena: I call her our guardian angel and I truly, truly believe that our paths crossed at (as she would say,) “ just the right moment.”
After interviewing a few different Doulas and Doula teams, my husband and I decided to go with Maria Elena. Her warm demeanor, clear passion for what she does, extensive knowledge of her craft, and generosity of time and spirit set her far above anyone else we had spoken to.
In the months and weeks leading up to our son’s birth, Maria Elena was there for questions, concerns, baby product recommendations, prenatal yoga sessions, advice, preparing for and reviewing doctor’s visits, easing anxiety, and coaching me and my husband through the labor process and what we needed to do to prepare to labor at home for as long as possible. She lent us her birthing props including her peanut ball and Rebozo and she recommended some invaluable reading to both me and my husband. Maria Elena loves to learn and is consistently trying to improve her craft and learn more about her practice, a trait I truly admire. Her passion for her work is palpable in everything she does. Whenever I had a question, she was there to answer it and, if she didn’t know the answer, she knew who to ask or what book to consult to find me the answer. She came to our house and gave us advice about how to best set up our small space, what to pack in our hospital bag and what we should have on hand for postpartum recovery.
My birth story, like so many others, did not go as planned but, with Maria Elena there to support us I will forever look on those days and hours feeling empowered, proud and immensely grateful.
Maria is an exceptional postpartum doula and was the perfect fit for our family. She provided overnight care in a way that was specific to our family’s needs. She focused on identifying what was important to us rather than taking a one size fits all approach. She was extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of postpartum care and helped me successfully establish breastfeeding and overnight sleep routines with my newborn.
During a very intimate time in our household, welcoming a new child, Maria made our transition home from the hospital seamless, and set us up for success going forward. Most importantly, she anticipated the needs of the mother and baby and even helped with and got to know my older child; she did everything she could to be supportive. Her holistic approach, calming demeanor, and accommodating and generous nature made her the perfect postpartum doula. Any family would be lucky to work with her!
What a beautiful journey my birth experience was with María Elena!!
We started with pre-natal yoga sessions. I do love yoga but by that time I was very disconnected with my practice and she guided me to regain confidence in my body, to do one day at a time and to listen to my body and my baby. We worked on different techniques besides yoga, from meditation to massage to dancing, and more specific techniques like Spinning Babies. In the aspect of mental health all those techniques helped me to have a clear mind and keep calm as a mother and entrepreneur that was looking for a soothing pregnancy too.
This was my second child (after 4 years of having my daughter) the pregnancy and birth experience were completely different from the first one. My estimated due date was August 9 and I went into labor on July 13 just coming back from a long day at work. María Elena was a great support at this time to help me coordinate having everything ready for the hospital. My water broke that night and my OBG suggested I rest and stay calm until the contractions started. Maria Elena's support gave the opportunity to my partner to rest and take care of our daughter that night, so he could be ready for the next day.
At the hospital in the pre-natal room we worked on breathing, yoga, and chanting. My delivery process was long, but smooth at the same thim. The environment in the pre-natal room was of warm collaboration, empathy and respect, things that made me feel all the time during the long wait that everything was ok and that I could handle the pain.
The delivery was smooth, even though the long wait and the tiredness of the day. I wanted to do some art with the placenta and that was successfully achieved even when we were all tired. For the next few days we were in constant communication and I received some postpartum visits to ensure I was doing good self care and that I was confident with my new baby.
My husband and I hired Maria as our post-partum doula this past August. As first time parents we did not know what to expect and really wanted someone with experience to lean on. One of the things that stuck with me is this sentiment: Many people in your life have raised maybe one or two children, a doula has seen MANY diverse births and worked with many diverse babies and famililal units.
I ended up not having the exact birth plan I wanted and then struggled with breastfeeding post-partum. Maria was there in many difficult moments, allowing me to cry in frustration and offering informed ways to help me overcome my challenges. She was not judgemental when I flip flopped between trying to breastfeed, exclusively pumping and ultimately formula feeding but rather offered me support and guidance in whatever stage of my journey or frame of mind I was in. The best way I can describe welcoming Maria into your world post partum is like being enveloped in a firm, warm, hug where you are seen, worshipped, and mothered. The best part of all is that your new little babe gets even more snuggles than you can provide!
Maria was our birth and post partum doula and I cannot recommend her highly enough. After interviewing close to 50 doulas, I decided on Maria because of her wealth of knowledge, experience and calm personality. She was also very easy to talk to and non-judgmental which was very important to me. Many people think that doulas are only important for certain type of births and I will say that Maria was knowledgeable and open to our needs and wants and took the time to explain the birth process as well as different scenarios that we may face.
During the months leading up to my birth, Maria checked on us and was always available to help guide us; from reviewing doctor visits, to baby product recommendations, exercises to help my pelvis or just ease general nervousness, Maria was always there helping us prep for the big day.
I ended up beng induced and my birth was long and arduous with some moments of pain. Maria was there the ENTIRE TIME from the minute I checked into the hospital until a few hours after birth and baby had her first feeding. She helped guide me through the numerous medical interventions to ensure I was informed, consented and comfortable. She was my rock and my advocate on this journey.. actually not only for me, but my husband as well, ensuring that she gave him gentle advice for how-to best support me while also supporting him.
Post partum, she came to my side and healed me after birth. At a time when I saw no light, she made me feel like myself again and gave me my strength back. She has been an asset to me in my journey as a new mom; helping with lactation troubleshooting, baby related questions or even my own confidence struggles and insecurities. We are so grateful for her and without hesitation recommend her for any birth or post partum needs. If you have any questions I will gladly welcome a call to personally refer her.
When I became pregnant, I knew immediately that I wanted Maria as my doula. We were connected previously through yoga and I’ve always felt such a warm and nurturing energy from her that I knew would be just what I needed to guide me through my first pregnancy. I learned so much about what to expect during each trimester, the actual birthing process, and the postpartum experience. Most importantly, Maria made me feel empowered to ask the right questions of my doctors and helped me understand that i had choices throughout this journey and I was the best advocate for my baby! I truly felt like Maria was a second mother to me and contributed so much to how calm and reassured I was during my pregnancy. I started having contractions late at night and Maria arrived quickly and guided me through a non-medicated Labor until my beautiful baby boy was born! Her presence did not end there and she continued to check in on me, send positive messages, and share meaningful advice post Partum. She even made a few more in person visits to ensure my baby and I were doing well. I can’t speak highly enough of Maria and she is genuinely in the perfect role to nurture mom and baby along the way!
We had the pleasure of working with Maria this past Fall with our first baby. To say I was anxious about the whole affair would have been an understatement. I was terrified. Used to being in control and on a schedule - letting go of a timeline and letting whatever happen was difficult for me. But after we found Maria, I knew no matter what happened, I’d have a calm, experienced, knowledgeable, compassionate person to help guide my husband and me.
Maria is the perfect mixture of compassion and know-how, silliness and strength - and something that was important for me; she’s immensely spiritual but grounded at the same time.
I felt supported and cared for by Maria leading up to my delivery, during, and after. Maria is so gracious with her time. She offered prenatal yoga sessions (the last of which I’m sure got my labor going one week early like I desperately wanted) and plenty of get-to-know-you time, so I felt comfortable on the day of my delivery.
The day of my delivery was a blur. What I do recall though is Maria offering support and assistance at every point. She advocated for us when we needed, and was constantly pulling tricks out of her bag to ease my anxieties, physically comfort me, and soothe my worries. She was also just a pleasure to have around as always. She can read a room, and if this is important to you, you know what I mean.
I would have Maria as my doula again in a heartbeat and hope to have her for our future deliveries. She’s a gem of a doula and a human, and when it mattered most, she was exactly who I needed her to be.”
= Available. Calendar last updated: 01-22-2024
= Available. Calendar last updated: 01-22-2024