27 years and 249 births attended
20 years and 40 families served
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 2 to 4 births and 2 to 4 postpartum families
Postpartum limits/restrictions: There are no limits
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
I attend hospital births in Dutchess, Columbia and Westchester Counties. I will also attend births as far north as Albany, and as far south as Manhattan. I also attend planned cesarean births if the mom is a single mom. I have attended births at Northern Dutchess Hospital, Vassar, Roosevelt Hospital, Einstein Hospital.
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
I have attended home births.
I volunteered at a maternity home in Venice, CA from 2005-2013. Most of the women are single, have no partners, and so I am with them when they give birth. I am a certified childbirth educator (ICEA), and teach private childbirth education classes. I am a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). I love what I do, and feel very privileged to help moms, couples and families welcome their babies to the world. In California, I have supported women and their partners at UCLA Santa Monica, UCLA Westwood, Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and Little Company of Mary in Torrance. I relocated to the New York area in 2013 and was there until December 2019, and supported families as well as volunteered at NY Healthy Families of Dutchess County.
I really believe that every woman who wants a doula should have one, so I have a sliding scale if there is a need.
Venice, CA Service range 50 miles I live in Venice, but travel North to the San Fernando Valley, and south to Torrance.
Jenny was our doula for the birth of our first son, Oliver, and she made all the difference in our birth experience! We met with Jenny several times before Oliver arrived to get to know each other and review our birth plan. During my long 20-hour labor, she provided essential support to both me and my husband -- without her, I know I wouldn't have been able to stick to my birth plan and have a natural, unmedicated birth. We loved Jenny's calm, grounded manner and deep experience as a doula. I still remember Jenny looking into my eyes during a difficult stage of my labor and getting me through each contraction by breathing together. She also provided postpartum support and helped us get on track with breastfeeding and taking care of our newborn. Thank you, Jenny!!
Jenny was incredibly attuned to what I (the birth mother) and my partner needed throughout the course of my labor. To the point that she did things I didn't even know I needed, but that made all the difference in making me as comfortable and energized as possible. For example, when we first arrived in the hospital Jenny immediately asked how I felt about the temperature in my room and adjusted it accordingly. Then she asked if I wanted light spa music and some lavender scent, which was just right and which I never would have thought to ask for. Later, when we got into the room with the hospital's laboring tub, Jenny leapt into action, covering the clinical white light on the wall with her purple scarf to create a more soothing ambience. We spent some time laboring out on the birthing center's porch as well, and Jenny kept a sweet and thoughtful conversation going there as I focused on my breathing. During delivery Jenny asked me what I needed at just the right moments, offered me ice to chew and held my hand. She is also a lactation consultant, so she helped get me started with breastfeeding and then visited me at home for a full consultation when I was engorged. I would recommend Jenny to anyone and would have her as my own doula again without hesitation.
My husband and I were very anxious about finding the right doula for us for our childbrith. The moment we met Jenny, our minds were immediately put to ease as we knew she would be the perfect fit for us. Not only is she incredibly knowledgeable and professional, but she is also very comforting and nonjudgemental. I knew she would support me in whatever kind of birth I hoped to have, and I could trust the information she supplied me with as it was totally unbiased. She is a brillient childbirth and baby care educater, as well as a Certified Lactation Consultant, which was a wonderful bonus. We were able to have private classes with her in our home before delivery, which was great because toward the end of pregnancy I was most comfortable in my own home. We felt so prepared heading into this new journey, and once I sarted breastfeeding I really felt that I had an advantage due to having taken her breastfeeding class. Most importantly, she was an absloute godsend during my labor. It was over 20 hours long and rather challenging, situtations arrose that i did not expect, but Jenny got me through it. She took care of me, my husband and my mother throughout my whole labor and for that we will forever be greatful. She made me feel comforted and supported, and empowered me to achieve the vaginal birth I had hoped for. I do beleive without her I very well would have ended up having a C Section. I felt truly cared about by Jenny before, during and even after the birth of my child. The postpartum period is scary and fragile and just knowing I have her to reach out to helps a great deal. Not only do I highly recommend her as a doula, I would say she is an absolute necessity.
It is hard to convey how important Jenny's support and presence turned out to be, in one of the most traumatic yet beautiful days of my life. Here is my genuine attempt, knowing that the raw experience of labor and the support one gets in such life shattering (and life-making!) circumstances, are beyond what any words might express:
I cared a lot about avoiding any chemical pain relief or pitocin etc, and wanted as natural of a birth as possible. However I was caught off guard when labor hit: I got back-to-back contraction right away, and the continuous surges lasted almost throughout the 15 hours of labor! If Jenny hadn't been by my side, I probably would have caved and begged for an epidural after 2 hours! Instead, she helped me breathe, came up with one idea after another to cope with the pain, and was exactly the vital support I needed, all the way until my little one latched on. Every decision we made (for example the decision to accept an IV of fluid temporarily at one point), was made very calmly and deliberately, thanks to Jenny's advice and experience.
Jenny is very experienced: she's been a doula for many years, and even teaches other doulas. This really shows in how wonderful a resource she is. I should also add that Jenny speaks French like a native: this was important for me as it is my native language, and in the hardest moments of labor it was very comforting to be able to communicate this way.
I am so proud and happy, both for myself and for my baby, that I had a natural birth, and Jenny's comforting words were crucial for this -- thinking back I can still hear her calm, supportive, and energetic voice: "stay with it... breathe..." My husband, too, felt truly included in the process, and we will always be grateful for Jenny's help welcoming our baby into this world.
Like many new mothers, I had breasfeeding difficulties but desperately wanted to continue breastfeeding. After moving states with my 2 week old, I contacted Jenny in a panic as my son was not gaining weight well and my milk supply was low. With all honesty, Jenny saved breastfeeding for the two of us. She immediately saw a latch problem, correctly diagnosed a tongue/lip tie, (all of which had been missed by a previous lactation consultant) and taugh me ways to help my son feed with breastmilk and gain weight while we worked on the breasfeeding. I met with Jenny at 3 weeks and by 8 weeks, I was done with the nipple shield, his lip/tongue ties were repaired, he was latching correctly, and finally gaining weight well. My son is now 4 months old, has doubled his birthweight, and I have a freezer full of milk. Given her expertise as a Doula she completely understands the mother's complexities in the postpartum stage and the mother/baby dynamic which adds to her effectiveness. I can not thank her enough. I was ready to throw in the towel with breastfeeding, was emotionally a wreck and she helped me back from a very difficult place. My husband would say to me "what would Jenny say?" when I started to have my doubts. Jenny is a kind, funny, and smart person. I loved working with her and would strongly recommend her to anyone looking for a Doula or LC.
My husband and I were referred to Jenny through our hospital/OBGYN practitioner and another Doula, and we are so thankful we were able to use her as our Doula! Our experience with her was amazing - She was extremely knowledgeable, supportive, and easy to work with. As first time parents, we had no clue what we were getting into or how to navigate the delivery, but Jenny made it so much more manageable and less intimidating. She put our nerves at ease from the first time we met her, through the prenatal visits, the labor & delivery, and the postpartum visit. We had a very long, intense, and unexpected labor and delivery, that was quite challenging for everyone involved, and Jenny stuck with us throughout the entire process, guiding us and providing both physical and emotional support. We don't know what we would have done without her! She was honestly our rock, and even after the birth, she was there to check in on us before we were discharged, and provided very useful information in the postpartum home visit regarding lactation consulting, and answering our new parenthood questions. She was always readily available to us, day or night, to answer questions or just talk to someone for support. We would highly recommend Jenny to anyone seeking a highly competent and compassionate Doula and a less stressful delivery!
I never thought I would use a doula and was pretty cynical about it, but Jenny was a *lifesaver* during my labor and delivery! From helping me with breathing, to using a wooden roller and then warm shower on my back, to generally being calm and supportive (and responding to my needs rather than having her own agenda), she helped the labor process feel manageable and non-traumatic. I'm sure I would have needed an epidural without her help. I would recommend her to anyone even considering a doula. Thank you Jenny!
Chris and I were on the fence about using a doula for the birth of our twins, but once we spoke to Jenny, we knew we'd found a perfect fit. Jenny's knowledge, ease, experience, sense of humor, grit and feist made her a terrific doula. We felt entirely supported in our decisions during my labor, and Jenny was so present throughout the whole long process. In addition, she has been unbelievably supportive since the twins were born and had a rough beginning in the NICU, coming to visit, cooking us a meal and generally treating us as friends rather than clients. I also cannot think of a more experienced and dependable source of information and support for breastfeeding. We're so lucky to have found Jenny, and we hope to count her as a friend for a long time to come!
Jenny was my doula for the birth of my first child 3 years ago, and for the birth of my second child just 2 months ago. She was fantastic and I highly recommend her without any reservation. She is very knowledgeable and experienced, having attended more than 100 births and studied very widely on the topics of pregnancy, birth, and lactation. She is also very kind, helpful, attentive, and supportive--and she's a lot of fun to be around.
Jenny met with me several times during each pregnancy, had me call her as soon as I went into labor, came over as soon as I wanted her to, provided excellent advice and invaluable support during labor and delivery, and visited several times after each birth.
With my first baby, labor began with contractions and my water didn't break, so Jenny suggested I stay home as long as possible. It was great advice, and meant I could get some rest, labor in different positions, get massages from Jenny and my husband, take a shower, etc. It also meant that I could have the natural birth I wanted. We finally went to the hospital 20 hours after my labor began, and my baby was out 3 hours later.
With my second baby, my water broke first, so my doctor wanted me at the hospital right away. She felt things were moving too slowly and kept pushing Pitocin, warning that a C-section might become necessary. My nurse encouraged me to have an epidural. I very much wanted a natural birth, though, and Jenny's support enabled me to stand my ground and assert my preferences. When my cervix was taking a very long time to dilate and I was still at only 3 cms after 20 hours, Jenny suggested a sequence of 3 laboring positions that might help the baby get into a better position. An hour later, I had breathed my baby down and he was out with one push.
I almost chose not to have a doula to save money. But I'm so glad I hired Jenny in the end. Worth every penny--and more!
In preparation for the arrival of our first child my husband and I faced the task of planning for an unpredictable event. Jenny helped us prepare by giving us the knowledge and support we needed to be flexible and confident. As a labor support doula she integrated seamlessly to assist us while the medical staff provided clinical care. It was a great comfort to have Jenny’s constant presence as the nurses and staff changed shift; and her expertise with comfort measures was particularly helpful during labor. In addition to supporting us during labor and delivery, we took her childbirth preparation, baby care, and breastfeeding classes. Teaching the classes in our home allowed Jenny to tailor the information specifically to us and the configuration of our home. In short, the information she provided allowed us to be adaptable during (a very long) labor, and continues to help us as our son grows and changes. Jenny is an invaluable resource not only due to her expertise and experience, but also her calm demeanor and we highly recommend her as a doula.
My wife and I were very well-prepared for labor and delivery: we had both read and discussed with each other multiple books about so-called natural childbirth and also many medical conditions and procedures, had taken a birth prep class at our hospital, and had watched videos of positive birth experiences on YouTube. As a husband I felt very well informed about most of what might happen and the decisions I would need to help my wife make on delivery day. But it turns out there’s a lot more to childbirth than knowledge; there is a different kind of confidence that you need, one that comes from having someone present who has experienced hundreds of births and so knows how to handle anything that might come up. And even more, both of you need calmness, which plays such a huge role in letting the mother’s body do what it knows how to do. When my wife was in labor Jenny provided exactly this confidence and calmness, not just for my wife, but for me as support partner as well. This was especially helpful in the hour just before we went to the hospital: Jenny knew just what my wife needed, helped her understand and embrace what she was experiencing, and got us to the hospital at the perfect moment for a successful delivery of a beautiful and healthy baby girl. Post-partum Jenny has been an invaluable resource for practical advice, especially about breast-feeding. I’m so thankful to Jenny not only for the ways she helped my wife but for the way she helped me support my wife at the miracle of our daughter’s birth.
We had a very good experience with Jenny. We interviewed about 5 doulas and liked them all, but Jenny's experience over many years made us confident that she'd seen it all and would be able to help in pretty much any situation. She was also closer to us than others and slightly more affordable. The two pre-labor meetings were very helpful (in addition to the interview, which was a long conversation). She was also very responsive via email or phone when needed-- though we didn't ask her a ton of questions, mainly just reported on my OB appointments and how things were going. We called her in the morning of my labor, and it turned out that she was only with us at the house for about an hour before we decided to go to the hospital- but was helpful. I was in a zone and she mainly let me do my thing, but if I had been having more trouble I think she would have had plenty of suggestions. She followed us to the hospital, and it turned out I was already fully dilated, so I didn't need a lot of support. Jenny worked well with the midwife at the hospital and suggested some different positions. She also took photos of the delivery which was great, since my husband was busy holding my hand and encouraging me. The follow-up meeting was really helpful-- we talked about breastfeeding, the nursery set-up, the bathing set up, etc. Jenny has lots of good suggestions but doesn't push one way of doing things. She also related well to my husband, which was really important. We would use her again.
I cannot say enough good things about Jenny Gillespie. My husband and I both decided to use a doula for my childbirth because I really wanted additional support during the delivery process. I interviewed several doulas and found Jenny to be the best fit for us. I did not feel any pressure from Jenny to have my birth plan any specific way and I found her to be very comforting to both my husband and I. We also decided to do our childbrith, baby care and lactation classes through Jenny and I was blown away at the amount of knowledge she gave to each aspect of delivery, breastfeeding, baby care, etc. Jenny also took the time to understand and focus on the relationship between my husband and I. During childbirth my son started going into distress and I was extremely nervous. The staff at the hospital was not helpful in explaining what was going on and they wanted me to make certain decisions that I was not sure about. Jenny helped explain exactly what was going on and served as a great advocate for me. Jenny also helped me calm down and remain calm during the rest of my labor. In the end I had a good experience with my sons birth and I attribute that all to Jenny. After my son was born, he had some trouble latching on correctly, I had oversupply of milk and overactive let down. Jenny helped trouble shoot all of these issues and provided a good base for my son and I to have a healthy and positive breastfeeding relationship. Without Jenny's lactations support I do not know if I would have continued to breastfeed. Jenny far exceeded my expectations in a doula and I will continue to use her in the future for any children we have.
Caleb and I just want to let you know how wonderful it was to have you as our birth Doula for our baby girl's big day! You were such an invaluable part of the whole experience, that I just can't imagine how that night would have gone without having you there. I personally can't express enough how happy I am to have had you by my side.
You made such a big difference in making my experience through labor such a positive one. I think I got as close to my birth plan as possible, and a huge part of that was having you there to keep me focused and breathing- something that sounds easy, but isn't! You really are a calming spirit to have around, and you seemed to be totally in your element through the whole labor and birth process. Never once did I ever think that you weren't right there with me, and that's not easy- considering what an emotionally and mentally exhausting thing labor can be (not just for the mother, but the people around her). I know my husband as well was happy to have you there with us. I know he felt much better that there was someone else with us who knew what was going on at every step of the way and had the experience of how to help me through it all.
Without you I don't think I would've tried as hard to catch my baby, or understood as fast how to "push"- glad it only took a half hour! You were also invaluable in helping me to latch my baby on in that first hour.
You have always been generous with your time before and after the delivery as well; and it has been so wonderful to have someone to contact these first couple of weeks whenever the need arises.
I know that if we were to have another baby, I would want you there by my side again! I'm so happy with our little girl that it is hard for me to think that far in the future right now, but that is how strongly I feel about how great of a Doula you are!
With much love and a lifetime of appreciation,
We decided very late in my pregnancy to hire a doula (two weeks from my due date!), and completely lucked out in finding Jenny. We had been on the fence about hiring a doula because we are pretty private people and were not sure we’d be comfortable with someone along for the journey with us. Jenny met with us right away and immediately put us both at ease with her warmth and humor. She made a point to understand our boundaries – what makes me comfortable, what makes me agitated – and was always respectful of that. She made sure we knew it was about our comfort level, not hers, and said we could kick her out of the room at any time if we wanted some privacy. Well, we never kicked her out of the room! We took such comfort that she was there with us that we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Jenny was always just a phone call away when we needed her – for advice, questions, and, finally, for when our son was on his way. With Jenny in our corner, we always felt like we had a great source of experience, knowledge and wisdom on our side, and that was enormously reassuring and helpful for us as first time parents-to-be. She made us both feel like we could handle anything unexpected that may come our way during the delivery, and took a lot of anxiety out of the entire experience. During my labor and delivery, she always seemed to find a way to make me feel a little less uncomfortable, a little more relaxed. I always felt encouraged and empowered to go just a bit further than I thought I could, and I was so grateful for that support. She provided a continuum of care and support before, during and after the arrival of our son that truly made the journey a whole lot smoother.
Thank you, Jenny!
i had the most amazing birthing experience with Jenny she was our doula, and she made the experience really positive. I was really nervous about having my baby, and the love, support and relaxation she provided really helped a lot....I would gladly recommend Jenny to anyone who needs a doula!
Laura Santana & Brant Phalen
My experience with my doula jenny was wonderful! I was so relieve to see her when I was in labor.even though it was a short labor jenny was soo helpful especially for a drug free labor.my husband and I thank her sooooo much for being by our sides .
= Available. Calendar last updated: 02-17-2021
= Available. Calendar last updated: 02-17-2021