Nina Stickney (CD)DONA Photo

Nina Stickney (CD)DONA

Down to Earth Birth Services

Website: http://www.downtoearthbirthservices.com

Phone: (928) 853-2306

Postpartum Rate: $30

Postpartum Doula Experience: 9 years

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

  • DONA International, September 2010
Type of Practice: Partnership with 1 other doula

Clients per Month:

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Birthing From Within

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • I have over 4 years of personal experience breastfeeding my own children and I've helped many moms with early breastfeeding.

Other Relevant Certifications

  • Trained Tranquil Transitions Placenta Encapsulation Specialist

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Expected stillbirth
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Induced and high medical technology labor & birth
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Plus size mothers
  • Postpartum mood disorders
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Survivors of Previous Life Trauma
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Teens
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth
  • Women and Families of Color

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

I have worked with the Chicago Volunteer Doulas providing labor support to women who otherwise would not be able to have a doula. I served on the Program Committee for CVD as well.

Languages spoken: English

Certifications for Nina Stickney (CD)DONA

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Client Testimonials for Nina Stickney (CD)DONA

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Paige

Nina is someone who has a special soul and is a blessing to work with. Beside her vast knowledge, professionalism and exterpise in post partum she knows how to connect with her clients on a personal level.  She truly cares about her clients and listens to their needs and concerns. She articulated everything to us so that we could practice what she taught long after she left. Breastfeeding was a challenge with my daughter but she assisted with latching and helpful techniques to make sure I was providing proper nourishment. She also knows my needs and relates to my emotions and allowed me to get much needed sleep when I was exhausted trying to feed.My husband and I are so thankful for Nina and her work with us and our daughter Avery. I would highly recommend her to anyone in need of a doula. 

Posted 6/4/2019

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Ellen Deering

My husband and I would  highly recommend Nina! 

We hired Nina for the birth of our second daughter. Her communication during the hiring process was very prompt and professional. She met with us in our home beforehand, getting to know us through a friendly conversation while answering necessary birth plan questions. Our daughter was born during Thanksgiving weekend and,  Nina kept in communication during a busy holiday time. This showed her commitment, professionalism, and kindness. Nina arrived at the hospital with coffee and food for my husband and, supported us both in many ways. Through massage, encouragment, prayer- Nina did it all with a constant level of calmness that guided us through the stages of labor! We were able to achieve our goals for a natural birth and, we consider Nina’s role to be pivotal to meeting our birthing goals successfully. 

Nina also kept in communication postpartum, checking on breastfeeding and our transition to the long days of busy postpartum life at home. Nina is generous, compassionate and an overall, lovely person! Give Nina a call!  

 

 

 

Posted 6/28/2018

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Lauren T

I gave birth one month ago with Nina as my doula. I cannot say enough positive things about Nina. She was so supportive in the lead up to my delivery, checking in regularly and providing great advice and resources for every question i had.  She has done the same after delivery and has been an amazing support for myself and my husband as we transition into parenthood. During delivery she was extremely attentive and dedicated, helping to calm me and my husband during a labor which came on VERY quickly and as a result, did not go according to plan. Without Nina there it would've been an incredibly scary and stressful situation. I cannot recommend her highly enough!

Posted 6/21/2018

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Jessica Appleton

My partner and I had a wonderful experience working with Nina as our doula. Nina was very kind, calm, and supportive of my feelings and wishes during my pregnancy and labor/delivery. Nina provided a wealth of knowledge that helped with dealing with some of the complications I experienced during pregnancy.  Nina utilized techniques that was extremely helpful during my unmediated labor. I would definitely recommend Nina's services and would love for her to be my doula again.

Posted 10/8/2017

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Kate Cauhorn

Nina was absolutely amazing! This was our first child and I had SO MANY questions throughout my pregnancy, delivery and after! I still email or text Nina with questions or concerns. She quickly repsonds and is extremely helpful, practical and encouraging. My husband and I decided we didn't need to (or want to) go to a bunch of classes before giving birth BECAUSE we knew Nina would be with us every step of the way. I ended up having a relatively easy labor and I know this is becuase of Nina. If you are the type of person that needs to know everything about every step- Nina is your person. If you are the type that wants to just sit back and let pregnancy and delivery happen without being stressed or concerned that you are not doing enough- Nina is also perfect for you!!! 

Posted 9/6/2017

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Michelle Y

Nina is AMAZING!!!!! I honestly cannot even express in words all the amazing-ness that is Nina! In the weeks leading up to my birth, Nina was an invaluable resource - checking in with me at least every other day about my pregnancy, prenatal midwife visits, resources for things like yoga, massage, etc. We had a prenatal visit where Nina went through a birth plan with both my husband and I. Then, Nina almost never left my side for hours during my labor. She was always right there, with comforting words, suggestions for switching positions. Nina's presence is calm, comforting, nurturing - she just has this strong but soft presence that makes you feel that everything is just okay! And she has this ability to help you feel confident in your own labor process, to remind you to connect with your breathe, etc. And, afterwards, Nina has been an invaluable resource again - checking in with us regularly, making suggestions, offering advice for postpartum care, breastfeeding, etc. I feel so empowered that I was able to have exactly the kind of birth I wanted - a natural home birth - and I wouldn't have been able to do it without Nina. But, also Nina has helped me process my birth experience and postpartum period in a way that has also been empowering. Count yourself both lucky and in really good hands if Nina is your doula!!!

Posted 8/14/2017

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Erin Fagan Faley

Nina was amazing. We hired her as our doula, and she was supportive from the beginning.  She sent us reading material (books I wanted to read but had not been able to reserve at the library) for both me and my husband. She checked in on us regularly to make sure we were feeling comfortable, and she almost always remembered to follow up with us after our doctor visits to check up on our health. 

I wound up needing an emergncy life-saving Csection 3 weeks early, and I was never even given the option to try for a vaginal delivery. Nina came to the hospital and offered as much support as she could. And this happened right before Christmas, when she was on "vacation" and had a backup doula. She checked with me every day and came to the house when we brought him home to offer us some postpartum doula services since she was unable to help us in the delivery room.

We would highly recommend Nina to anyone that was in need of a doula. We would not have gotten on so well without her help.

Posted 8/6/2017

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Catherine Nolen

I am so glad we decided to hire Nina as a doula for our first baby.  I felt so comforted by her presence during labor and birth. She was always one step ahead of the hospital staff in keeping us informed and reassured during the entire experience. My husband was glad to have the extra support as well. I would definitely recommend her services to other first time moms.

Posted 7/10/2017

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CURRAN H

 

I normally never give people reviews, but Nina deserves a review in my belief because how wonderful she was. 

I first disagreed with the idea of a doula when my wife wanted to hire one, especially because this was our second child. But after meeting her, my thoughts completely changed and I was impressed.

Nina was wonderful and my wife and I are so glad we had her as a part of the birth. She met with us several times before my wife went into labor and answered all our questions of what to expect during the birth. She develeoped a plan for us prior to my wife going into labor. Even the hospital staff were very impressed with how professional and comforting to my wife she was. 

She was a great help and she assisted my wife in reaching all of her goals with having natural child birth. She knew how to keep my wife distracted from the labor pains during the birth process which helped make my wife reach her goals while still providing comfort to me and my family at the hospital. I guess you could say she is a great multitasker.

She made home visits when we were back home from the hospital and continued to support my wife. 

All in all, I would highly recommend her to anyone who is considering having a doula. Her professionalism and knowledge was amazing. I would especially like to say that her honesty was by far the best trait. You only need to meet her for five minutes to see how honest and sincere she is. 

Posted 6/30/2017

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Susanna Hopman

I hired Nina as my doula for my second child's birth which was Spring of this year (2017). My first delivery did not go as planned and I ended up having a csection. When I got pregnant with my second child I knew I wanted it to be different. I wanted to have a successful VBAC and had heard hiring a doula increased my chances. I asked around and was given her name. She drove out to my house for a meet and greet. I instantly felt she was the one I wanted by my side when I delivered my little girl. She was always available to talk about any questions or concerns I had throughout my pregancy and always willing to help. I was able to have my unmedicated VBAC and I owe most of that to her and the coaching she provided during my labor and delivery. She has continued to be involved and supportive during my postpartum weeks. She has a very sweet and calm personality that makes the labor, delivery, and postpartum process much easier to go through. I loved her and would highly recommend her to any one looking for a doula. 

Posted 6/27/2017

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James Ulwick

I feel awful that it's taken over eight months for me to write this, but I assure you that period of time has nothing to do with any lack of admiration and thankfulness for Nina.

I had to be talked into the idea of a doula by my then-pregnant wife, but boy, am I glad she did. Nina was kind, compassionate, accommodating, and took extra time to ensure that she was providing us assistance in the way in which we preferred, and in an effort to accomplish the goals that we set out for my wife's pregnancy.

Nina met with us twice before the big day to go over techniques for turning the baby and to assist my wife with sleeping trouble. She was incredibly helpful and had lots of tips and ideas for ways to make my wife's physical burdens lighter.

When it came to the day of our baby's birth, I can't tell you how impressed I was with Nina. We called her twice in the early hours of the morning, and she knew, just by listening to my wife go through contractions on the phone, that (a) the first time we called, she wasn't ready to go yet, and (b) the second time we called, it was time to go to the hospital. Over the phone! Nina met us promptly at the hospital, and was absolutely invaluable in helping us to have a natural birth. My wife had awful back labor, and to help her get through contractions and to deal with that pain, Nina basically put in 12 hours of uninterrupted lower back massage. I don't think I saw her leave the room once. My wife cared very much about (1) going without an epidural and (2) avoiding a c-section, and in the end it was Nina who suggested the movements and changes in position to push from that enabled my wife to push our daughter out.

I cannot stress enough - Nina was unbelievable. We would not have had the outcome we wanted without her. We have our daughter thanks to her. I could never be grateful enough. IF YOU CAN, ASK NINA TO BE YOUR DOULA!

Posted 4/6/2017

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Colleen Seaton

Nina was with us for the birth of both of our sons. We were immediately drawn to Nina's calm demeanor and her focus on our wants and needs. For the birth of our first son, Nina helped us navigate all of the decisions we had to make around what we wanted for our birth experience. She is a fountain of knowledge and easily laid out options so that we could make the best choice for us. In my second pregancy, I really enjoyed touching base with Nina in the months leading up to the birth. It was nice to talk to someone about all the details of the pregnancy and to have her be so intersted and excited for me.  During the birth, my husband found her presense especially comforting. Because of her experience, she was able to jump in and meet needs that neither of us knew we had. I remember her having a cup of water at my lips while I was laboring and me not even realizing how thirsty I was. When I found out I was pregnant with our second son, we were so anxious to find out if Nina was available because we couldn't imagine her not being there. She was an amazing cheerleader during my labor and she was someone that could help me process the experience afterwards because she was there for it. I loved hearing her experience because she saw and heard things that I hadn't.

Posted 1/29/2017

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jcarlilemartin

My husband and I used Nina for the birth of our third child. We had not used a doula before but were interested in a less interventive delivery and birth experience. Nina was AMAZING. From the moment we interviewed Nina in our home, we were comforted by her gentle but confident demeanor. Nina was a great resource and wealth of informatoin throughout the end of my pregnancy, especially when I was disappointed to learn my baby was breech. She enabled me to go in to my delivery with confidence and so much positive energy and my husband and I both felt supported and nurtured throughout. During the actual delivery, Nina helped with props, positions and served as a great advocate, knowing better than the nurses and doctor in the room, that I was ready to push. She was a calming force throughout the process and truly gave us the most amazing birth story! 

We also used Nina for placenta encapsulation services. It was great having her in our home in the days after we brought our baby home. She was thorough and helped educate us on the process. 

The delivery of my daughter was the most wonderful, empowering day of my life. I want to have more babies just so I can work with Nina again! 

Posted 1/24/2017

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Emylee DiCicco

OOh my goodness. Where to begin!? I don't think my husband and I would ever hire another doula besides Nina. She is the best! During my pregnancy she was always available to answer any of my questions, no matter how silly they were. She even let me borrow some great pre-natal books that were super helpful. During my labor she was my rock, giving me the confidence to keep going and navigating my husband through the birthing process. I had a home birth, in which the midwife barely made it in time to deliver my daughter, so that said, Nina did all the hard work of supporting me throughout my labor. Most importantly though Nina was there AFTER my daughter was born. When you're an overtired, scared new mom, it is such an amazing blessing to have a go- to person. I think having Nina available to answer my questions and provide support, made breastfeeding so much easier and helped me transition into being a mommy. My husband and I both highly recommend Nina. She is more than a doula to us, we consider her a dear friend and are so glad she was there for the birth of our little one

Posted 1/22/2017

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Megan Reid

Nina helped my husband and I welcome our son last October and we have been SO grateful for her help. She was a great source of information in the time leading up to the birth, a huge supporter during the birth, and has been a caring voice checking in during the months after. This was our first child, so we were learning as we went along. Nina got us thinking about things that we weren't even aware of for our birth plan, but that ended up being really important to us. She was a calming voice and a soothing touch when it was most needed. And, she collaborated with our midwife to help us have a great birthing experience. I can't recommend Nina enough and I hope that we will be able to work with her again!

Posted 1/19/2017

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Elizabeth Davis-Berg

Nina helped me have a natural VBAC at Prentice. During labor she reminded me to breathe and was very supportive. She was a great support person for us before, during and after birth.

Posted 8/27/2016

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Julia Dudek

My husband and I were so fortunate to have found Nina. She was an incredible source of support to us before, during, and after our baby was born, and I would not have achieved my goal of a natural birth without her. She is sincere, warm, and knowledgeable and provided just the right amount of information that we needed at different times, always answering questions thoroughly and providing additional resources. We did not take additional birth classes but felt prepared from our meetings with her, as well as the books and reading material she loaned us. When I unexpectedly experienced back labor, she not only provided emotional support, but physically supported me through massage and comfort measures, which took great stamina. She brought out the best in me, as well as my husband, with her calm confidence and was mindful of us as a couple and her presence at such a profound moment in our lives. Because of her reliability and quiet strength, I trusted her to advocate for me at the hospital. She did so while respecting the medical professionals, so much so that both obstetricians remarked that she was one of the best doulas that they had seen. Finally, she gave me excellent guidance to start breastfeeding successfully and was an ongoing source of support postpartum.

Posted 8/20/2016

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Tj Shanoff

Nina was phenomenal from the moment we first met her. My wife and I had our first child this May. We are both in our 40's and were pretty nervous about what to expect, and Nina's warm kindness and knowledge put us at ease right away. During labor, she was poised, considerate, and extremely helpful - like having a member of our family there with us. (She's also a Beatles fan - which always helps...) We met and hired Nina to be our doula, and she very quickly also became a friend. We recommend her services unequivocally!

Posted 8/15/2016

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Brianna Hammerly

Nina was great! I was sort of in denial that labor was happening, so I kept telling her not to come yet, but she must have heard something in my voice, because she did anyway- her timing was perfect. She arrived right as I realized I wasn't handling contractions well and needed the help. She stayed up with my husband and mom in the delivery room and rubbed out cramps in my leg from the baby's position and stayed by my side when they had to take the baby for emergency resuscitation, which really helped me not to freak out. Now everyone is doing well and she still checks in!

Posted 8/15/2016

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Jinnene Hoggarth

Nina was the most perfect doula for myself and my family. Most recently, she attended my planned cesarean birth. As a former home birth mom, choosing a cesarean was a very hard decision, but was the right choice for my body. Nina remained available throughout pregnancy to help me process my feelings as I became more accepting of my plans. She helped my husband and I to focus on the things that were important to us and find ways to get our needs met in the hospital setting. 

On the morning of the birth, Nina met with us early in the morning and brought doughnuts (at my request) to the nursing staff. She met with the nurse to introduce herself, remained professional with the staff, and prioritized my own and my husband's comfort. She was able to help facilitate early skin to skin in the operating room, baby led breastfeeding in recovery, and comfortable communicaiton with staff. While I recovered, she went to my home and encapsulated my placenta. She visited me postpartum and helped me take care of my home and family. Nina is always tactful and says the exact right thing at the right time. I couldn't have asked for better support. 

In addition, I unfortunately miscarried about two years ago. While Nina had been planning to attend the birth of that child, she instead filled the role of a bereavement doula of sorts. Nina stayed with me the evening I miscarried until my husband came home. In hindsight, I wish I had asked her to stay longer. She visited me afterwords, checked in periodically, and allowed me to cry. Nina is one of only a handful of individuals in my life who supported me in the way I truly needed during that difficult time. She remembers my angel baby's birthday and checks in on me each year. With my recent birth, it was truly a joy to have her by my side. 

Posted 2/23/2016

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Sharlisa Grant

We were fortunate to meet Nina a few weeks before my son was born. It was our second child and we were planning to have another homebirth. The pregancy flew by, and we hadn't given a lot of thought about the upcoming delivery. As time moved closer to the due date we realized that it might be helpful to have a little help as it had been 4 years since the birth of our oldest son and we were a little rusty.

And then we met Nina. The moment we sat down to talk to her, she felt like family. She has a gentle, sweet spirit that is full of encoragement and support, and she has a way of making you feel like you've known her your whole life. She is well versed in all things birth and is willing to share everything she has to help you have a wonderful birth.

Fast forward to the day I went into labor...

I had a rough labor filled with about 10 hours of back labor. To this day my husband and I look at our son Caden and we are SO grateful that Nina was there. We literally would not have made it without her. She is amazing at anticipating your needs and will appear out of seemingly nowhere with cool towels, honey sticks, a gentle word of encouragement, or a comb to squeeze just when you need it. I truly believe she was born to do what she does. The post partum visits are also a great touch as it is great to have someone there to talk to through the little things that you forget like how to swaddle a newborn or positions to try while nursing. My favorite touch were the labor notes. What a great keepsake to remember your birth. Truly awesome! 

 Nina is just so awesome that mere words cannot express our love for her and what she has to offer this world. If you are looking for a wonderful person to be by your side for the birth of your child, look no further!! One meeting with her and you will see what I mean and how great she is as a doula and person :)

Posted 11/3/2015

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Holly Macejak

I was nervous about our search for a doula. Being pregnant with my first child I was nervous about choosing the right person to help guide us. After our first meeting with Nina, my husband and I knew she was the perfect match for what we needed. Nina was very open to how big or small of a role she would play in the delivery room and that freedom for us to choose made things tons easier. She never told us what to do but listened to what we envisioned and gave us guidance and options.

She was always available to answer questions and provided us with information about pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. I could not imagine going through labor without her help. My husband had elbow surgery the week before our son was born so he was a bit limited in what he was able to help with. She was right there for both of us but never once assumed control. I wanted a completely natural birth and I wholeheartedly believe having her by my side as support helped me accomplish that. 

She offers placenta encapsulation which she did in our home. I highly recommend this! Not only are the capsules  wonderful to have, she was available to help with nursing questions and to make sure I was getting everything I need for recovery. So many people focus on the labor and delivery aspect that you forget what it will take to recover. Nina made that a focus as well so that I didn't feel so overwhelmed. I highly recommend her for a doula. After our experience with her I would like any future children I deliver to have this support again. 

Posted 6/26/2015

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Jennifer Slivka

From the beginning we knew that Nina was going to be a gentle and kind addition to our delivery room. Nina was incredibly helpful before, during and after the birth of our son.

Nina gave us great information during our initial visits. She was very patient and answered any questions we had. During the early stages of labor, I felt that I could always contact Nina with questions.  I can still remember being awake in the middle of the night as contractions were growing stronger. During what would be the last quiet night in our home for quite a while, I was was able to call to give her updates and ask for advice. I felt comforted knowing that I had someone I could turn to who could remind me of all I had learned in preparation for birth, such as positions to ease pain and breathing techniques. I was especially nervous about getting to the hospital in time, but Nina helped to calm and reassure that I had plenty of time to labor at home. 

I don't know if I can sum up how helpful Nina was in the delivery room. I felt supported and cared for during the entire process. My husband was also very glad to have someone to support him during the birth of our first child. From the priceless photo of my husband and I as we left our house for the hospital, to the massages and ice chips, words of encouragement, physical and emotional assistance- I always felt like I was in a safe and special place. Nina was a great doula and a wonderful support for our family! 

Posted 2/9/2015

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Erin Stanfill

My husband and I had such a wonderful experience with Nina.  I initially spoke to her over the phone.  She was calming and full of information on the phone and at our prenatal visits.  I love the way Nina encouraged me to listen to my own body in the days and weeks leading up to my son's delivery.  She strikes a good balance between supporting natural birthing methods and acknowledging necessary medical interventions.  I was planning a completely natural labor and delivery.  However, my son flipped over breech at 41 weeks and my water broke before any methods of turning him could be used.  Nina was so supportive as I grieved the lose of ability to give birth naturally.  She stayed with me in triage and in preparation for my C-section.  She even gave me a foot massage before the procedure to help me relax through the contractions.  She was the first face we saw coming back to the recovery room and was so gentle with our new baby.  She guided me as my son latched for the first time to begin our breastfeeding relationship.  I think the most wonderful thing about our experience with Nina is how she continued to check up on our whole family post partum.  She has sent me texts and emails just checking in and she always answers my calls and emails about issues we've encountered after coming home from the hospital.  Overall, Nina made my husband and I feel like we were part of a family even before our son's arrival.  Just knowing she was thinking about us and genuinely cared about our health, physically and mentally, was incredibily comforting. 

Posted 2/6/2015

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Liudmila Nikitsina

I am so grateful to deliver my first baby with Nina in unmedicated natural way. From the first appointment, when we just get to know each other, I realized that she is very important part of upcoming delivery of my precious baby. She is full of positive energy, naturally makes things flow in a relaxed and calm way. She is very very respectful to every person she meets on her way. I could have never ever imagined that was only the beginning of all the good that Nina has in her. When the big day came and I had to go though 24 hour labor process, I was able to understand finally what a gifted personality Nina possesses. She helped manage stress, anxiety, fear, depression and many other challenges that any women will face during labor. Above of all, she helped me to replace all these negative emotions with positive that I truly believe was the key element that helped me go till the very end and do this the way I wanted. The help was above and beyond expectations because of all complications we had to face. Nina and all my team fought to make it the way we felt it is the best for me and my baby thinking out of the box. Nina is an example of what the doula is should be.

Posted 12/9/2014

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Sarah Herndon

Nina is truly a Godsend. I am so glad she was an integral part of my birth experience. We interviewed several doulas and just clicked with Nina. Her warmth, positive energy, and calm confidence drew us to her and we are so grateful she was our doula.

This was our first baby. We were surprised when my water broke a month before he was due. We met with Nina twice so far but hadn't had the last meeting to go over comfort measures in labor yet. When my husband called Nina to let her know I was in labor but to take her time (it was progressing slowly), she still got to the hospital quickly. It was great to have her present so soon, it gave my husband the chance to go back home and pick up things we needed without leaving me alone. When Nina arrived at the hospital she was able to talk about the comfort measures we could use before I needed them so I felt informed and more prepared. She brought beverages and snacks that were easy for me to eat/drink for hydration & energy. She encouraged us to ask for the only telemetry monitor in the ward so I could walk the halls-we got it! She was very respectful of the nurses and doctors. All three of us made it clear that she was there to be a support person, and the nurse was so impressed with her, she asked for her contact info to share with other nurses and friends. I didn't want to have any pitocin or pain meds, but my labor was going slow. Nina advocated for me to use a breast pump for nipple stimulation. It worked! And I was able to express colostrum for my son, which was so great to have available for him after he was born. Nina helped us cope with the contractions, enouraging us in our desire for a drug-free labor, which we achieved!I'm a pretty modest person, but I felt comfortable being my most vulnerable, loud, naked self with Nina. Nina was with us for the majority of my 23-hour labor and right there beside me as I pushed! We were able to follow our birth plan closely thanks to Nina.

Posted 8/7/2014

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Carolyn Tomchik

I had a wonderful experience with Nina as my doula! I moved to the Chicago area when I was 6 months pregnant. I barely knew my new OB and while I had an idea of how I wanted to deliver, I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to manage. When I sat down with Nina for our first interview, I immediately felt much calmer. We talked through all of my reservations and concerns; each one was answered with empathy, information, and reassurance. Nina is funny and warm - her quiet confidence is comforting and never overbearing. She clearly strives to be very in-tune with her clients. Working with her felt like I always had rock solid backing, but I was calling the shots.  I knew she would provide me with unwavering support during labor, armed with her experience and knowledge, and that she was there to support my birth as I wanted it. Nina guided me through the process of articulating my priorities for a birth plan and answered all of my questions along the way. She also asked me questions about how I respond to touch, to music, to scent – so she could be prepared to provide support and comfort in the way that would benefit me most. She also made sure to work with my husband to make sure she could support him. Over the course of these meetings I became increasingly confident in my ability to handle delivery. When it came down to it, my labor was so fast that while Nina came as soon as I called her, she arrived at the hospital to be told I had already delivered! My labor and delivery, while quite fast, was very smooth and calm. I credit my calm to all of the preparation I did with my doulas and the confidence they helped me build. Nina stayed with us after delivery in the hospital and helped me get established with breastfeeding, provided a friendly ear to chat with, even brought me a much-needed fresh and healthy snack! I’m a perfect example of how a doula can help with delivery, even in the unexpected case that they aren’t present for it!

Posted 3/27/2014

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Jennifer Depakakibo

I cannot say enough good things about Nina. She was instrumental in assisting us with the birth we wanted. Even from the initial start of our meetings, we could see her warmth and excitement about us and our birth right away. She is so caring and listened to all of our needs, questions and concerns. Our labor started around 11:30pm and she coached us over the phone right from the beginning. She arrived at our house by 5am, to help with labor. She utilized her bag of tricks to help ease my pains, like a rolling pin on my back (I loved that thing!), I was on the birth ball, eating a bit. Her words of encouragement got me through my anxiety and fear, as well as my husband's. When we transitioned to the hospital, I was still very much in early labor, only 2cm. We decided to stay at the hospital and receive rest medication for laboring later. Nina helped guide us and make us feel good about that choice. We found ourselves ready for the ABC room (west sub) by 4pm, my water broke as soon as we entered there. Nina was on the floor right by me, comforting as I'm straddling the toilet laboring in the bathroom for a bit. She helped me keep up with my breathing techniques to relax. I go to the bed to labor some more...she had a rebozo and was doing some belly sifting which helped finally turn our baby to the right position. He was OP before. I got in the tub by 6:20pm, completely relaxed by the water and delivered our son in two pushes by 6:37pm. My husband asked Nina to videotape the moment and she did an excellent job. She stayed with us after and helped assist with nursing. We didn't realize it at the time, but Nina was pregnant with her 2nd child at our labor. I would never have known! She gave us full energy and attention during our long 19 hr ordeal, it was amazing. She really is such a sweet, kind person and I felt like I had a good friend by my side during our entire process vs. just a "doula assistant". That says A LOT! 

Posted 2/1/2014

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Delaney Susie

I can’t say enough good things about Nina’s services as a doula and about her character in general. Her enthusiasm about pregnancy and childbirth will make you excited again about being pregnant and will surely help you have a more peaceful childbirth. This is really the work she’s meant to do! Nina is present and intuitive, knowing how to help at each step of the way. This was my first birth and a homebirth, lasting about 15 hours with a very long pushing phase of about 5 hours. She came early and stayed late and really helped make things more comfortable and safe…from applying counter-pressure to my hips & making sure I stayed hydrated to texting my family for me. She finished my labor project (baking & frosting a cake), cleaned the kitchen & had grilled cheese & soup waiting for me after giving birth. Better than these chores and the essential oil in Nina’s “doula bag” is her kindness, empathy, and joyful nature. She was the one who during the intense final stages of pushing offered a light spirit and said the encouraging words I needed to hear like “You’ve got this girl.” She met with my husband and I before childbirth for 2 visits to understand our wishes, fears, and plans and left us with books and resources, also checking in before and after delivery. She helped me process the experience with a time-line that she typed which allowed me to remember details of my son’s birth that I had forgotten. I also hired her as a post-partum doula for her very reasonable rate. In one afternoon she tidied up the house, advised me on nursing and infant care, allowed me to take a nap, and even left a delicious meal on the stove! She does these awesome things in a quiet and easy way. Having her around felt like having an old friend there, and I am so happy she was part of my child’s birth story!

Posted 1/28/2014

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Josh S.

Nina was a great help for me and my wife before, during, and after the birth. When we first interviewed her we noticed immediately that she had a calming presence and was an active listener. It was obvious from the start that she had both passion and respect for the birthing process. We knew that she would be dedicated to helping us achieve the birth we wanted. My wife was dealing with anxiety on having another child, and her prenatal visits not only calmed our nerves but got us excited in the weeks leading up to the birth. She did an excellent job helping my wife work through her fears. Additionally, my wife and I found that we would talk more about the big day after meeting with Nina. On the night of the birth, Nina was ready when we called and met us at the hospital. She provided encouragement and a helping hand whenever the need arose. My wife was using Hypnobabies, and she reminded her of her relaxation cues. When some fear crept in when signs indicated that we may not get the birth we had hoped for, Nina was there to help explain what the issues were. She allowed my wife and me to relax and focus on the birth. In the end, with Nina at our side my wife had the natural unmedicated birth we hoped for. After the birth Nina was wonderful in following up and talking with us about any questions or issues we had. She helped talk through the birth experience with us, filling in gaps in things we hadn’t noticed or had already forgotten. Her postpartum meeting helped to provide closure to an exhilarating experience. We were thrilled to have Nina be a part of the birth story of our second son!

Posted 4/3/2012

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Emily Bobinac

 We are so thankful to have found Nina to be our doula. She helped to alleviate my fears by teaching me that birth was a natural process for my body. I was so amazed at how well she listened to our thoughts. It was important to her to individualize her care towards our needs and help make this the best experience possible. We actually practiced coping techniques and it was wonderful, I learned more that day than in all my previous birthing classes. She was always available by phone or email and would check in to make sure I was doing okay. It was great knowing she was there. Nina made a comment about "enjoying" our labor and I had never thought of it as something I could enjoy before. When the day finally came, I truly did enjoy my labor at home, before the hospital, by using the techniques Nina had taught us. We ran into a lot of unexpected difficulties, but Nina was there through it all with no sleep and a positive outlook. I was grateful that she had listened so well during our sessions, remembering that I need lip gloss to function and loved hydration, and would offer them to me before I even realized I needed them. After 36 hours of labor and 2 nights of no sleep, I finally decided to accept an epidural. She knew how much I did not want an epidural, but saw that I was confident in my decision, and supported me. It turned out to be the break my body needed, and within a few hours, I was ready to push. She was an amazing support to my husband as well, allowing him to take a nap, get something to eat, and helping him to know when to speak up to our doctor. After our baby was finally born, she stayed with us to make sure we were settled and comfortable. Her support is what made our child's birth a great experience and we could not have done it without her.

Posted 2/2/2012

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Nisha Asarpota

I decided very late in the process that I wanted a natural pain medication free birth for my second baby. A few things going against me were that for my first pregnancy I had taken an epidural early on due to a painful early labor, so this time I had low confidence in my ability to go natural. Secondly, I had no prior preparation in the form of child birth prep classes such as Bradley, hypnobirthing etc. And finally, I was going to have my birth in a hospital that was known to be pro-intervention and active labor management. With all these things going against me I decided that having a doula by my side would help me in my quest to have a natural birth. And Nina did just that. From the very first moment I met her I liked her. My husband and I felt an instant comfort level as she has a very warm, wonderful personality. She was always supportive, never aggressive. She blended into my family and it never felt as though I had a third, outside person intruding in my special moment. Rather her presence was so nurturing that I feel lucky to have had her with us. She was a wonderful support and confidence booster for me. When she showed me her bag of non-drug pain management supplies such as her exercise ball, massage olling pin, wrap and massage oils I actually felt excited instead of anxious. She was always available to talk and provide information and ideas. On one occasion when I was struggling with how to explain to my doctor my wish of not pre-determining a time for inducing labor, I talked things through with Nina and my conversation helped me to structure my thoughts and express my wishes to my doctor. On the big day she helped me manage my pain, she held my one hand as my husband held my other. I attribute a big part of my success at having my natural delivery to having Nina there for me. And after my baby was born, she stayed by me, helped me as I struggled to use the bathroom and helped me get comfortable.

Posted 12/31/2011

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Shanell Becker

The experience of giving birth to my daughter is one that I will always remember fondly and cherish, and Nina Plate filled such an important role as my doula. Nina’s sincere passion for her trade could be felt from our first phone call through her last postpartum visit to my house. During my pregnancy she listened to my fears and wants, provided me with information, but never pushed me toward any ideology I wasn’t comfortable with. She provided a steady emotional base and was always willing to take a moment to talk with me. When my labor began, she responded quickly and was by my side from early contractions through almost a full day of labor. Nina helped me in ways my husband couldn’t, and her presence meant that he could step out of the room to talk with family members or take a much-needed rest. I felt more comfortable laboring with someone that I had a relationship with, who had also endured childbirth and genuinely knew what I was going through. Nina suggested different positions, provided techniques in naturally dealing with pain, and was always very aware of my wants and needs during labor – something I don’t think my husband or labor nurse could have done as well on their own. I feel very privileged to have had Nina with me during the birth of my daughter and would highly recommend her services.

 

Posted 11/7/2011

Postpartum Availability for Nina Stickney (CD)DONA

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