Anne Schuchman Photo

Anne Schuchman

Mamma Mia Doula Services

Website: http://www.mammamiadoula.com

Phone: (917) 660-8243

Birth Fee: $1400 to $2500

Postpartum Rate: $40 to $50

Fee Details: Please see website for updated birth services and fees. Birth doula fees depend on location and services. In addition to basic doula services, I offer packages to combine birth doula services with childbirth education, lactation support, and/or postpartum doula services (please contact me for details). Flexible payment plans available. I also offer bereavement doula services for a goodwill offering only, reduced fee for military families where the partner is deployed, and reduced fee for low-income families (WIC qualifying). For postpartum services, rate depends on location and services desired: $40hr-$50/hr.

Birth Doula Experience: 6 years and 79 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience: 1 years and 5 families served

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

Not Specified

Type of Practice: Solo practice

Clients per Month: 0 to 4 births and 0 to 2 postpartum families

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

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Lamaze International

Breastfeeding Certifications

  • Certified Lactation Counselor (The Center for Breastfeeding)
  • Lactation Counselor Training (Healthy Children's Center for Breastfeeding)
  • DONA-certified for using TENS for labor support

Other Relevant Certifications

  • CPR Certified - Red Cross
  • In trainign with BAI for Postpartum Doula Certification, Rebozo use in pregnancy and childbirth, DONA-certified for use of TENS in labor, Spinning Babies training

College Education

  • PhD

Specialized training or previous experience

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

Special Services Offered

  • Acupressure
  • American Red Cross First Aid and CPR
  • Antepartum doula
  • Aromatherapy
  • Baby-led weaning
  • Babywearing education
  • Bereavement doula (pregnancy & infant loss)
  • Birth counseling for survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Breastfeeding Consultant Services
  • Cancer patients and survivors
  • Childbirth Education Services
  • Cloth diapering education
  • Infant massage education
  • Military famiies
  • Miscarriage Support (Before, During or After)
  • Mother blessing celebrations
  • Mother Roasting
  • Parenting consulting
  • Pregnancy, birth and/or newborn photography
  • Reduced rates for women considering adoption
  • Sibling support (for your older children at the birth)
  • Stillbirthday Bereavement Doula
  • TENS units rental

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

Volunteer with Hudson Perinatal Consortium Doula Program (Jersey City, NJ) Volunteer with Operation Special Delivery Co-Leader, ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network), Bergen County Chapter

Languages spoken: English, Italian, some Spanish

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Rutherford, NJ
Travel Range: 50 Miles
Travel comments/restrictions: fees vary depending on distance/tolls/parking

Certifications for Anne Schuchman

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Anne Schuchman

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Zoey Whitaker

Anne was wonderful, provoded great support and guidance through out the entire process, during pregnancy throughout labor and at The postpartum visit. She was an integral part of achieving a vbac and I am very grateful for that! 

Posted 10/30/2018

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Kristin Shiller

I cannot speak highly enough of how instrumental Anne's support was leading up to and during the VBAC delivery of my son in August 2018. After having an unplanned c-section with my daughter, I wanted to build a labor team that would give me the best opportunity to have a vaginal birth, but that I could also trust to provide the best care no matter what the outcome was. My husband & I chose Anne as our doula before we even picked a care provider! Anne is very familar with the VBAC community in NJ/NY and was able to give us great advice. Having had three VBAC deliveries herself, I felt that Anne understood where I was coming from as far as the motivations, fears, and concerns I had about the delivery. She's accessible and incredibly easy to talk to, and we were in touch frequently throughout my pregnancy. It was very important to me to have a doula who would support me through a VBAC or repeat c-section. I truly believe that no matter the outcome, Anne would have been a positive force in the delivery room.

My labor progressed quickly at home, during which we were in close contact with Anne. She responded right away and provided support over phone and text. She met us at the hospital as soon as we arrived and was right by our side for a relatively short but very physical, unmedicated labor. I questioned my ability to get through transition & pushing several times throughout the process. When I panicked because I wasn't progressing passed zero station while pushing (where my labor had stalled in my first delivery), Anne's calm presence and demeanor was a huge part of what got me through. I distinctly remember the incredibly warm look she had on her face throughout the labor, which gave me confidence in myself. She struck the perfect balance between supporting me physically and emotionally, while also giving my husband & I space to go through the experience together. If you are considering a doula, especially for a VBAC, you must talk to Anne!

Posted 10/30/2018

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Melinda Montoya

My husband and I decided we wanted a doula and we were so pleased when we found Anne. There were many reasons we wanted a doula and one of them was to feel at ease and find peace in the process of labor and delivery. Anne definitly provided that for us. She was easy to talk to and gave us so much information. Whenever we met with the doctor she would follow up with us and gave us additional information which was super helpful. She never told us what to do or gave her opinion, she just provided us with different points of view and research based info. Anne was very professional and kind. She wrote down the entire birth process and was with us in the hospital when i needed her. She had great techniques to help keep me calm and the best for me was all the facts and information she gave me. I felt at ease especially when she would explain that something I was experiencing was normal. She did a home visit after the delivery and continues to keep in touch. She is wonderful! You will not be disappointed.

Posted 10/17/2018

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Stephanie Grove

As a first time mom, I didn't know what to expect going into labor.  My husbamd and I decided to hire a doula to help us through the process.  We reached out to a few doulas, but Anne was the only one we felt really good about.  She was professional and organized.  Anne was an amazing source of supprt leading up to and during labor.  She was calm and experienced.  It really helped having her there during labor.  I would definitely recommend her!

Posted 8/5/2018

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Melissa Rovetto

My husband and I worked with Anne for the birth of our first child. Anne was friendly, down to earth, very helpful and full of resources. Whenever I have reached out to Anne with a question she always responded with useful information and with a supportive attitude. When my water broke, I called Anne to notify her first and she walked me through the process of what was going to happen. I ended up needing to be induced and Anne was with my husband and I providing relief, support, massage, and encouragement. I had a long labor and my husband I truly believe that if Anne were not there we would have had a different experience and we would have really struggled to get through the labor and delivery. Anne was a source of hope and encouragement for us and I am so very glad we worked with her for the birth of our son. I will recommend her to others and will reach out to her again when I have another child! 

Posted 5/23/2018

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Kate Tkac

Working with Anne has been a fabulous experience since my husband and I first met her at the initial interview. Anne immediately helped us feel comfortable with allowing her to be part of the intimate experience of the birth of our first child. She visited us in our home twice before the birth to go over procedures, goals and answer any questions new parents may have. While my due date approached, Anne was always on call to answer questions or just to check in to see how I was feeling. She even offered to cut a vacation short when she thought labor was shortly approaching! When I went into labor Anne helped me understand everything that was occurring.  She also has a TENS unit on hand which was so helpful to manage labor naturally. When asked, Anne came to my house and assisted in laboring at home until we all decided it was the right time to go to the hospital. With her assistance, I got to the hospital alread at 8cm! While at the hospital Anne remained by my and my husband's side and then coached me through pushing. When our son was born Anne stayed for about another hour in the hospital helping with initial feeding and to answer any questions. Anne then continued to remain on call to field any questions or concerns. The first week home I think I texted her multiple times a day and she was also quick with a response and always very useful advice. I cannot thank Anne enough for helping me through my goal of delivering my son naturally! It is easy to see that she truly cares about her clients and goes above and beyond to assist in any way. I highly recommend Anne if you are in search of a supportive, compasionate and knowledgeable doula!

Posted 4/22/2018

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Alicia Sordillo

Anne was like a fairy godmother. After my second child was born I needed support when my husband went back to work and Anne came to the rescue. When we first met I felt comfortable with Anne right away. My older son was quickly won over by her. She brought him books to read and let him draw all over her papers. My life changed after just one day with Anne’s help. My daughter was having trouble latching and was diagnosed as colic. Anne provided me with breastfeeding support and tips to help soothe my daughter. She took over with the baby and with my son when I needed a break. She even helped with the laundry, made my son lunch and prepared some dinners for us. I would not have gotten through the first 10 weeks after the birth of my daughter without her.

Posted 3/1/2018

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Marina Z

Anne provided my husband and I with peace of mind in knowing someone would be there with us in the initial weeks following the birth of our son. As first time parents we needed all the help and advice we could get! Anne visited us on 3-4 occassions (about 1 x a week), providing help with my son such as nursing support, answering questions, support group information, and help around the house. I think Anne has a warm heart and trully loves helping families with their new borns. I recommend Anne's post partum doula services.

Posted 12/21/2017

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Becky Vanderbeck

I hired Anne about halfway through with my second pregnancy. I had a c-section with my first and really wanted to VBAC with my second baby. I had heard great things about Anne on a local VBAC Facebook page. She was so great to work with! She was a fountain of knowledge and really made sure I felt prepared because this would be my first labor. When I went into labor she met me at my house and stayed with me for my whole labor and a few hours after delivery (it was a super long day: 25 hours from start to finish). She was a huge support for me and my husband in regards to not feeling overwhelmed by pressures from hospital staff and helping me cope with the pain during labor. She helped coach me during pushing and was able to habe my VBAC!  I honestly don’t think I could’ve done it without her. I’m eternally grateful for all her help, guidance and encouragement during my second pregnancy. If we have another baby I know my first call will be to Anne!

Posted 12/19/2017

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Dila Lazzarin

Anne I can't thank you enough for everything you did for me  during such important time in my life,strength guidance and compassion i will never forget how much you gave me! I'm so grateful I chose the right person to be part of bringing my baby Leah in to our lives in  12/2014 and now Lanah  10/2017 .you are not only someone with experience,skills,and  professionalism but also someone that puts your heart in to with a caring nature made me believe that I could do it and I think if wasn't for your encouragement maybe my VBAC wouldn't have been  so successful. My husband and I are already planning for the next baby and we really hope you can be a part of bringing our next little bundle  of joy in the world. Thank you again and I hope to see you in a the near future ...!

Posted 11/7/2017

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Sabina P

Our experience with Anne was awesome.She was always there with any questions or concerns after we hired her and always got accurate answers.She is very knowledgeable and trustworthy.I usually dont usually write any reviews but I needed to write this one as we were completely satisfied with her work.We had  a successful VBAC .She was very gentle,calm and reassuring throughout my labor,she is such a pleasant person to have around during these precious moments.We highly recommend her!

Posted 8/18/2017

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Erin A

Anne was a fantastic doula.  We were impressed in our first meeting with her; she was calm, open-minded, and willing to help us with the birth plan of our choosing (whether that involved meds or not).  She was very knowledgeable and clearly had plenty of experience.  In the weeks leading up to the birth, she was always available and checked in frequently by text.  She lent me plenty of books and CD's so I could continue to educate myself, and she answered all my questions.  

My actual birth went much more quickly than anticipated (it was my first and yet I only pushed for 20 minutes!) -- yet Anne's presence there was incredibly reassuring.  She talked me through the process, kept me calm when it was becoming chaotic all around me, and stayed with us for that first "golden hour" to help teach me how to start breastfeeding and to answer any questions we had.  She stayed in touch afterward, checking in on us here and there, and even brought us a written narrative of the birthing process in our post-partum meeting.  She was an incredible resource and we were so grateful to have found her.  

Posted 1/17/2017

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Amanda Foulkes

I hired Anne after an awful C-section with my firstborn. I was hoping for a VBAC but because our #2 didn't descend, I had another C-section. What would've most likely ended up in disappointment and sadness was a joyous, happy and miraculous event. Anne stayed with us for a long 13 hours and was so supportive of my decision to keep trying to push for 3 hours. She not only helped me decipher what the midwives, nurses and doctors were saying, she supported my emotionally and physically exhausted husband. She helped me get my body in every position that we could think of to get the baby to descend. Because she was there helping me every step of the way, I felt like I had a choice and was in control of my birth the entire time. Anne was able to "suit up" and come with us in the operating room. She didn't hesitate when we asked her to play photographer all while still being my cheerleader at the head of the table. Her gentle touches and encouraging words throughout my labor and delivery were always perfectly timed - and well received! Both my husband and I agree that without Anne with us, we would've had a completely different experience.
After we got home, she came by our home to check on me and baby and also delivered a beautiful birth story. I hadn’t even realized she took notes of our baby’s birth the entire time she was there! Thank you Anne for being gentle, caring and so knowledgeable!

Posted 4/20/2016

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Cecilia Fantoni

Anne is like calm waters in a storm. She came highly recommended by a friend, and I couldn't imagine having anyone else support us through the birth of our first child. Despite rather inconvenient times and location, she was open to take us on as clients and provided a wealth of information in the lead-up to our daughter's birth. Her personal toolkit during the 14 hours of labor we had together - largely at home - was amazing! We had taken hypnobirthing classes, but changing positions, hip compressions, rebozo, the Miles Circuit, and even the use of TENS, were key in getting us (and me) through the long haul.

Thanks to Anne both my husband and I managed to rest (even sleep), eat, and when my contractions started to slow down she helped labor progress and pick-up again, eventually leading to a quick natural birth in hospital. I should also mention that she is an extremely pleasant person to spend all that very intimate time with, and has been absolutely lovely in her follow-up as well.

I realize it doesn't always work out so smoothly, but Anne was judicious in her appraisal of the situation and in the information she provided, and most importantly, we were able to make decisions we felt comfortable with. We felt in control of our birthing experience, and supported in the choices we made. Even my OBGYN congratulated Anne on her work in getting us there and was impressed by her bedside manner! (She also happened to get the BEST photo in the delivery room!)

Forget your mother, mother-in-law or cousin: Anne is the calm, experienced Mamma you want in the lead up to birth and the delivery room!

Posted 1/13/2016

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EG

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I interviewed several doulas looking for the right fit. From the moment I mentioned this factor and how I think it impacted my first birth (which had deeply effected me in a negative way), Anne responded with absolute non-judgment and understanding and immediately recommended some books that were relevant to my experience. My goal for this birth was to feel empowered, strong and confident with support for my own decisions being honored throughout the process. Anne was absolutely instrumental in helping me achieve this beautiful, healing birth. From the preparation leading up to the birth, to her calm, level presence during labor and delivery, her experience and genuine care helped me through the difficult moments. I strongly recommend Anne as a doula for anyone, and especially for those with a history of trauma, as she always helped me to feel safe and respected.

Posted 12/29/2015

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Gina Guariglia Kelly

Anne was extremely supportive throughout my pregnancy and especially during my labor and delivery. My goal was to have a VBAC, so I knew I wanted a doula who had her own VBAC experience. I interviewed several doulas who met this criteria but none of them were like Anne. She is calm, confident and very knowledgeable. I also really liked the fact that Anne wasn't going to "clash" with my midwife or nursing staff.

She checked in with me throughout my pregnancy. Our prenatal meetings were great. She shared so much information with my husband and me. My husband was a little reluctant when I told him I was planning a VBAC, and Anne shared plenty of statistics about VBACs vs repeat sections. She has a large library, so I was able to read up on birthing, VBACs and even tandem nursing!

The day I went into labor, she kept checking in and was ready to go to the hospital whenever I was. She arrived at Morristown Medical about 45 minutes after I did and didn't leave my side (except to get me ice water and Jell-O when I needed it). Anne coached me through each contraction and gave me natural pain relief options. I ended up pushing for 2 hours and needed a lot of reassurance during this stage as it is where I got tripped up and ended up with my c-section with my first baby. No matter how frustrated I got during this part, Anne kept her cool and tried her hardest to make sure I understood my baby was indeed being pushed out!

I had a unmedicated VBAC within 7 hours of checking into the hospital. Anne is too humble to admit it but she played a large part in my success. She stayed with me for over an hour in the delivery room so my husband could run home to get our daughter to meet the baby.

I highly recommend hiring Anne as your doula. I couldn't imagine having anyone else on my birthing team. 

Posted 11/29/2015

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Alexis Moore

Anne is my pregnancy, childbirth, labor, and mom guru. She’s awesome and is the best, most wonderful and kind doula. Anne was my doula for my first baby, a 9lb 8oz girl born in a hospital, and as soon as I found out I was pregnant again, she was one of my first phone calls for my second baby, a 10 lb 3oz girl, also born in a hospital. Anne was the reason I was able to have an unmedicated natural vaginal birth for both babies, despite their size (where I was repeatedly encouraged to have C-sections). She also helped me maintain my focus when the going got tough during labor and I was questioning my commitment to a natural and epidural-free birth! She was in constant contact with me during pregnancy, providing me with materials, information, and simply a shoulder to lean on (the same shoulder I kept grabbing during labor! And Anne was sweet and gentle and never made me feel silly for anything I said or did). Both labors began with my water breaking and being told to come to the hospital right away, and this meant long nights of helping labor progress and staying calm while waiting. Anne supported my goals, assisted me the whole way through, stayed with me while my husband took breaks, and I felt safe and secure knowing that she was right by my side both times, the whole time. I have recommended her to all of my pregnant and trying-to-conceive friends. Should another baby be in the cards for me, Anne will again be my first phone call!

Posted 10/21/2015

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Jean Palomares

With my second pregnancy, I wanted to hire a VBAC experienced doula. When I first met Anne, she was very understanding and empathetic as I told her my story, through tears. But she was also knowledgeable and professional. I knew then that she was the right doula for us.

Anne met with me and my family twice during my pregnancy. She encouraged me to create a birth plan, asked questions I hadn't considered, and constantly stressed that every birth is different. She always responded to my emails and texts timely and with helpful information that put me at ease. No question was too silly or trivial to her.

When the day finally arrived, Anne came to our house ready and energized. She, along with my husband, supported me both physically and emotionally through each contraction. I was practicing the Hyponobabies technique and fortunately, Anne was familiar with the method. She guided us through labor, offered plenty of suggestions to help manage the pain, and directed us when to leave for the hospital. Once we arrived, Anne spoke to the staff and my midwife on our behalf, informing them of my birth preferences. For my husband, it was comforting for him to have Anne there to confide in while I worked through labor.

I ended up having another emergency C section but my experience was much more positive than my first, thanks to Anne. She stayed by my side throughout the entire procedure, held my hand when my husband left to attend our baby, and took the very first pictures of my baby and us as a family, which we cherish. Instead of feeling traumatized and scarred as I did with my first C section, I came out empowered and confident because I knew, as Anne said, I still gave birth. She was right, every birth is different!

We are so forever grateful for Anne's guidance and support as we brought our baby into this world and we highly recommend her!

Posted 8/31/2015

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Jessica Soria

My first child was born in a hospital. It was an unmedicated, all natural birth, but far from the empowered birth experience I had hoped for. The nurses and doctors ignored my birth plan and forced me to stay in bed. My husband and I felt helpless as I endured my labor flat on my back in a hospital bed.

From our first phone conversation, Anne was confident, knowledgeable and exceptionally understanding. At our first home visit, she listened to my wishes, asked great questions that I had never thought of, and really got to know me and my husband. Throughout my final trimester, Anne was an invaluable resource and the first person I called with a question or concern. Unlike my doctors, my family, or my friends, Anne always had relevant experience to draw from and knew what I needed to hear.

When I went into labor, it was the middle of the night. Anne was available, in close contact and ready to come and meet me as soon as I felt I needed her. My nurse and doctor were once again obstacles to the birth experience I was planning, but when Anne arrived at the hospital, she helped me think clearly and advocate for myself. If it were not for Anne, it would have been a repeat of my first birth, disempowered, and my wishes ignored. 

We walked up and down the halls of the hospital for hours to help my labor progress. She helped me manage my pain by reminding me of the breathing I had practiced, encouragining me to move in whatever way felt right. Even as my contractions grew stronger and closer together, I had fun, and actually enjoyed the time we spent chatting and working through the surges. Anne quickly became the wise best friend I needed by my side. Through active labor and delivery, she was calm, encouraging and knew just what to say or suggest in every moment and do to support me and my husband.

All expecting parents should take the time to find a great doula. Anne was the key my natural, calm, empowered birth experience.

Posted 8/21/2015

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Grace Peletier

I chose Anne Schuchman to be my doula and she was great. She met with me two times before the birth of my daughter in July. We went through a thorough questionnaire about my past births and desired outcomes. She was very available for questions by phone/email/text in the weeks before the birth.  She arrived promptly at the hospital to meet me after my water broke and helped me with pain management during my contractions using massage and a balance ball. We prayed together and she encouraged me throughout the labor in the delivery room. I would have had a much harder time managing the pain without her assistance. I was very happy with my birth experience and my beautiful healthy baby girl. I had two C-sections for my first two children and a VBAC for the third. I wanted a doula to help me get through the labor for my fourth without ending up having a C-section, and happily I had another VBAC. She did a follow up visit after the birth and even brought over some groceries! I would highly recommend her as a doula!

Posted 8/19/2015

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gigifleming

When I first contacted Anne, I was thinking that I would need her help to get through a natural birth. She was so knowledgeable and immediately put my husband and I at ease while giving us guidance on how to prepare for an unmedicated birth. Unfortunately, my birth plan did not turn out as my husband and I had hoped as I was diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. With ICP, the risk to the baby can be quite severe with a risk of stillbirth up to 15% past 37 weeks gestation. The diagnosis of ICP changed my status to a high risk pregnancy and necessitated having a c-section to get my baby out safely. I was absolutely terrified of having a c-section, and everything moved so quickly in the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy. Anne was there to keep me calm and keep me informed. One of the most important things she said to me was that my c-section was still a birth and didn't have to be a hard and cold medical procedure. She helped me to recognize that although I would not be having my daughter as I had planned, that I was doing what was necessary to ensure her safety. She advocated for my wishes in the OR with my OB. She held my hand when they took my baby to the NICU to be suctioned so that my husband could be with our daughter. Anne also took the most beautiful pictures of my daughter's birth that I will always cherish. Even after my baby's birth, Anne followed up with me to make sure that breastfeeding was going well and that I was coping with the c-section and recovery. She continues to keep in touch with me and send me information. Anne has been such a wonderful source of support. I truly could not have gotten through my daughter's birth without her. In fact, I told her that doulas should get an automatic pass to heaven because of what she did for me and my family. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with Anne and hope to do so in the future should we have more children. She's amazing!

Posted 6/27/2015

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Ibtissam Abou

I had a great experience with Anne and will be always very grateful to her for fully supporting me. I hired her based on the good reviews and a first meeting that we had where she nicely explained her role and found her very professional and compassionate. 

I delivered on Wednesday feb 18th at 9 17 am a cute baby boy. On Monday afternoon, labor started and I called Anne who supported me through her messages and kept in touch. In the evening, I decided to go to the hospital as I felt that the pain is stronger. When I let Anne know, she was very professional and left to me even if I think she felt that I'm not yet in active labor. She mentioned that I might be  1 cm dilated and if it's the case I should consider going back home. That's exactly what happens; in the hospital they found that I'm fully effaced and only 1 cm dilated but they admitted me as the Dr said that I don't have to go through triage. With some nurses advice and what Anne mentioned, I decided to go home as I was hoping for a vaginal/unmedicated delivery and knew that being in the hospital in early stage means a managed/ medicated delivery and higher chance for c section. Anne joined me Tuesday morning at home and spent with me all the day helping me through contractions that were getting stronger using different techniques and having the right encouragements for me. She stayed till evening when my husband and I were finding that it's too much for her and we asked her to go home and rest. Few hours later, we went back to the hospital where they found that I'm 7-8 cm dilated. Also she promptly joined us to the hospital and supported me through transition stage that I went through with no epidural. Pushing was the most difficult part and Anne proposed to use different positions and capitalize on the fact that I'm not on epidural. Thx Anne for all your great support. You made the birth experience much better for me. I'm very grateful.

 

 

 

Posted 4/8/2015

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Kristina Candelarie Kamm

Words can not express my gratitude for Anne's guidance and support as my doula. My 31 hr VBAC was successful because of her. She not only walked miles with me (we walked the hospital hall for hours, squatting and massaging my back), but she held my hand when I needed it, squeezed my hips and encouraged me to get through one more contraction. She gave me the motivation to wait- resulting in the most beautiful VBAC and birth experience. In the final hours she encouraged me to wait two more hours and that was all Joseph Parker needed.

She was the rock in the birthing team. I had my husband and mom during the whole process and together they worked seamlessly together. Each subbing out- Taking turns so they could rest, get coffee and relax knowing someone we trusted was by my side. She also offered suggestions to my husband and mom, to help me through each contraction.

Her presence at my birth was invaluable. I highly recommend to her to anyone, especially VBAC women. She will always hold a special place in my heart.

Posted 3/27/2015

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Jenny Chismark

Prior to the birth of our second daughter, Anne listened to wishes for an all-natural VBAC birth and provided personal insight as well as many educational resources to help prepare. She was in constant contact and was able to answer my questions as they arose.  Anne helped me feel completely prepared for birth.

Although I experienced a very short labor and birth, Anne helped in so many ways.  She met my husband and I at the hospital early in the morning and she was prepared for anything.  She helped comfort me during the pushing phase of labor and seemed to intuitively know exactly what I needed.  She was able to take  detailed notes and photos that I will cherish and be able to share with my daughter in the future.

My only regret is that I didn't hire Anne for the birth of our first daughter.  She is professional, experienced, and very personable.  We feel honored to share this special time in our lives with Anne.

Posted 2/20/2015

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Ginger Janow

I started considering a doula b/c my family and I were moving from NYC to Bergen &I was planning to try for a VBAC in the city.  I started to panic about the trip into the city, and initially emailedAnne to ask if doulas ever accompanied women from NJ to the city.  I expressed my concerns and my anxiety about traffic, what would happen if my husband was at work in the city, etc.  I also told her I was planning to VBAC.  She immediately responded with a very helpful email, explaining that yes she could accompany me if necessary, and providing a ton of info and resources on VBACs.  She told me that she had had 3 VBACs which I found extremely reassuring.  It took me a while to decide to use a doula, but when I finally met Anne I knew it was the right choice.  She was calming, warm, easy to talk to and extremely well informed.  I immediately felt comfortable.  From the first email, she informed me that she would be away the week before my due date and offered to provide either back ups or alternative doulas.  I decided to take the risk.  During our prenatal meetings, she helped me make lists of questions for my doctors and provided books and DVDs to help educate me on VBACs.  When I went into labor, she was on vacation, which I knew was a distinct possibility.  I texted her and contacted the back up doula.  The back up doula, who was also wonderful, came and met us at the hospital (it turned out I went into labor in the middle of the night) and helped get me through the first 3 hours at the hospital.  But after that, Anne showed up!  She left her vacation early to be present for what turned out to be an amazing birth experience.  With Anne and her sub's help I was able to have the birth experience I had hoped for.  My labor was as smooth as it could have possibly been and the whole experience was perfect, in large part thanks to Anne.  I highly recommend her.  

Posted 8/24/2014

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Rachel Marcotte

Having Anne at the birth of our daughter was one of the best decisions that we made to ensure a great birthing experience! Meeting with Anne before the birth allowed her to get to know my husband and me and get a feel for what type of support I would need during labor. Anne was so responsive to what I needed during the actual birth; She was there to provide emotional support for my husband and me, as well as encouragement and physical support for myself (using counter-pressure to help ease the pain of my contractions). It was so comforting to have someone there who knew us and was present for the whole birth! Anne's support allowed me to achieve the natural birth experience that I wanted. She is great!

Posted 8/16/2014

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Michaela Hayes

We were amazed at the service that we received from Anne before, during and after my VBAC birth with twins. My husband and I felt as if we could not have had anyone else in our corner that was so supportive of my birthing plans. It was very nice to have someone that was on call and that I was able to communicate and voice my concerns. During my birth Anne knew subtle ways in order to help ease my pain and kept my husband and I on track throughout the birth. It was a great experience to have Anne by our side and we would not have had it any other way! Thank you for such a fulfilling and wonderful birthing experience we appreciated and loved every bit of it!

Posted 5/28/2014

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Anonymous

For my next baby, I'll be reaching out to Anne again. She was key in helping me achieve a natural birth. The day my baby was born, I was heading for the hospital at 2 AM. My husband called Anne right away, and she made it to the hospital an hour before we did, even though she lives further away. She stayed there with us until 10 PM of the same day, almost two hours after my baby was born. She was very calm, warm and supportive the entire time. She ran small errands for us, made sure I drank water after every contraction and suggested pain reducing techniques. She taught my husband how to perform the hip squeeze during contractions, which was of tremendous help. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job as a birth doula.

She also spent a lot of time with us during the pre- and post-natal visits. She insisted on me having a healthcare provider I was comfortable with, which was part of the reason why I switched doctors after my 34th week. And that turned out to be the best decision of my whole pregnancy. I have a very strong suspicion that had it not been for Anne and my new provider, I would have ended up with a C-section for "a failure to progress" or some other such nonsense. (The baby was in a slightly unorthodox position and refused to descend by himself.) Anyway, please listen to Anne's advice on finding a provider that is a good match for you. =)

Finally, my husband agrees that hiring the doula was a great idea. Thanks to having Anne there, he was calm and relaxed, and even managed to do some work on his laptop during the first stage!

Posted 5/13/2014

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Jennifer DiBella

It was really important to us to have a natural childbirth. Our midwife recommended that we look into hiring a doula to attend our birth. Working with Anne was an absolute pleasure. It was wonderful to meet with her before the baby was born and review options for our birth plan. Also, she lent us some great books and shared some wonderful resources as we prepared. On the day I was induced, Anne was absolutely wonderful. She was very much in sync with my husband. She would take over for him when he needed a break and step back when I wanted him to be with me. It was seamless. She stayed with us through a very long and complicated labor. She even took some really amazing pictures of us as we met our son for the first time. We were very grateful to have Anne at our birth and could't have done it without her. I recommend her without reservation.

Posted 5/5/2014

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Christina Grant

Anne was a fantastic doula. We hired her rather late in the pregnancy but she was very helpful in giving us lots of information about the birth process and helped us figure out exactly what we wanted our birth plan to be. She was always available by phone or email for questions.

When it actually came to the birth she was wonderful at keeping me on track. I wanted to have as natural a birth as possible and had she not been there I probably would've had an epidural. She kept us going and while we had a rough pushing session I managed to have a completely unmedicated birth.

She made a great team with my husband. With the both of them there I think I was better able to stay calm and focused. She assisted him in helping me with new positions and was really great at the end when it was hardest.

She stayed through the end and for a little bit afterwards even though she had been with a client the day before and had barely had any sleep.

Postpartum she always answered my texts or emails and came to my house for a postpartum visit.

I would hire Anne again if I were to have another child.

Posted 3/24/2014

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Melanie Beller

When I first met Anne, I immediately liked her down-to-earth personality. She was easy to talk to, and we chatted for quite a while about a number of subjects.
My first childbirth experience had been quite challenging; and because of that, I felt it was important to have a doula for my second birthing experience. Anne was an excellent fit because she was willing to try many techniques during labor, including various non-medical options for pain relief.
Early labor went quite fast for me, and Anne and I agreed to meet at the hospital. She instantly jumped in to support me as I waited for a delivery room. Anne was a source of comfort and knowledge as I finished the birthing process and welcomed my new baby girl.

Posted 2/10/2014

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Christina DiFeo Petrella

My husband and I had a great experience with Anne from the start! We had 3 meetings before the birth and 1 after the birth. She was very informative in the meetings, answered all of our questions, and gave me books to read before the birth.She asked questions so that she could get a good sense of the birth we wanted to have. We also discussed techniques she could use while I was in labor to help ease any discomfort. I felt very confident going into the birth because I knew Anne and I had developed a solid plan and she would be by our side to help us through each stage. While my birth didn't go exactly as planned (I had to be induced) Anne helped me adjust to the new situation and reassured me I could still have the birth I wanted. She thought of other ways to allow me to still have the comfortable, natural birth I wanted. Since I was hooked up to an IV, I could not get out of bed to walk around like I had wanted to. Anne helped me adapt to this by suggesting different positions I could do in bed to ease the discomfort. I took Hypnobirthing classes before the birth so Anne used those techniques to help me relax between contractions.She was great at reminding me to use my breathing throughout the labor, which really helped. She used massaging and applying pressure techniques to help get me through the tougher contractions.Everything she did really helped me through each part of the labor and made me a lot more comfortable than I expected to be.She was also a great support for my husband. I had a strong sense of confidence throughout the whole birth because I knew she was by our side. Anne has a very calm demeanor that helped keep my husband and I calm through every part of the birth. She was a huge part in helping me have the natural birth I set out to have. And aside from being a great doula, she is a wonderful person that genuinely cares about her clients.I highly recommend her and would definitely have her as my doula if we have more children!

Posted 1/2/2014

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David Brown

We decided to have a doula on the later side (35 weeks) and met with Anne and a few others. Anne stood out though and her email response to our post was very thorough and genuine.  It was a thoughtful response and I felt comfortable with her right away.  She was very honest about not having delivered at our hospital before and her potential conflicts due to another client. 

After we met with Anne, we found out that our baby was transverse.  The ECV was unsuccessful at 37 weeks, I was scheduled for a c-section and decided a doula was not necessary.  However, we kept in touch with her and she was very responsive to any questions I had and also emailed us with any helpful information she found.  I had mentioned to her that if the baby did turn, then we wanted her service if she was available.  When I went in for my C-section, we learned that the baby had turned so we were able to go home and plan for a natural delivery.  I reached out to Anne right away.

Long story short, I went into labor naturally for a vaginal delivery but had to switch to a c section in the end due to our baby's positioning.  However, I did labor for almost 12 hours and Anne was very helpful with encouragement, massage, and giving my husband a break as needed.  As I heard various updates, she looked things up on her phone for additinal information and helped me think through my options instead of being persuaded by the doctor (who was not my doctor).

Yes, my husband and I could have managed on our own but having someone who really knew the labor process and to provide guidance was a huge help and kept us calm.  I think it is definitely an investment worth making and we'll go back to Anne if we have a baby #2 in the near future.  She's still in touch with us and I feel like I can reach out with any questions which an invaluable resource. 

Posted 9/25/2013

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Ela Jakiela

Anne was fantastic to work with.  I loved discussing my wishes, goals and fears with Anne during our prenatal meetings, and checking in with her every day the week I was due. She has a wealth of information and resources that she shared with me in preparation for our baby's birth.  When my labor started, I texted Anne at 5am, and sure enough there was a quick response and lots of great advice on how to handle early labor.  The true benefits of hiring Anne came out once we were at the hospital.  She made sure we tried every trick in her book to keep my labor going. She kept me hydrated throughout the labor, massaged my back and pressed my hips during the strongest contractions, and kept my husband involed when he could.  Her words of support during transition and pushing were invaluable. Her calm and confident demeanor kept me believing that I could deliver our baby without interventions. Hiring Anne was the smartest decision my husband and I made in preparation for the natural birth of our son.

Posted 5/27/2013

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Eva Mattes

Anne has been a great support partner before, during and after the birth of our son, she was committed beyond our expectations. Being a doula is clearly not just a job for her, it’s a vocation!

Posted 4/24/2013

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Caitlin Mennen-Bobula

 My husband and I strongly recommend Anne as a doula! She is very down to earth, straight forward and knowledgable. During the birth of our first child she joined us at the hospital after contractions came on very quickly and we left home in a rush. As soon as she came into the hospital room, it was like a breath of fresh air, a calm and steady presence that understood what I needed. Throughout the labor Anne was very hands on. Her advice and emotional support shepherded us through the hardest moments. We truly feel we could not have achieved our goal of having a natural birth without Anne. 

Posted 1/28/2013

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Lana Mustafa

 Anne is such a wonderful person. I really feel lucky to have had her as my doula.This was my third child, and I knew I wanted an all natural birth. She gave me a lot of information and links. We had 3 prenatal visits at my home, what I liked most about those visits was that the conversation was so natural, it wasn't a question and answer situation. As soon as I let Anne know i was in labor  she was on her way. At the hospital my m.w. broke my water and I got right into the shower. Anne seemed to have a magical bag or something, because as soon as I would ask for something it would appear in her hands. She had all kinds of things available to me, ex chapstick, lollipops even scented oils. While I was in the shower she gave me some lavender oil, the scent really helped me relax. The most significant thing Anne did was the hip squeezes. They were like instant pain relievers! After about 20 mins I came out and she continued with the hip squeezes. After about 10 mins I began feeling the urge to push. My m.w. confirmed it was time to start pushing.  I should also mention that I had quite the audience in the room with me. last minute my mother and my mother in-law asked to attend. Even though they were there to support me I mainly relied on Annes help. At one point while I was pushing Anne seemed to fade into the background. Once I realized she wasn't there I let go of who ever was holding me and began calling for her. It goes to show what kind of person Anne is, with just a few visits I felt like I knew her forever and I trusted her with my life. While I was pushing, I remember thinking about how thirsty I was, suddenly Anne appeared with water. After a few minutes of pushing my son was born. I was in complete shock, I really thought I was dreaming. Anne stayed by my side the whole time, she even helped take some pictures. She made sure the baby latched on correctly before she said her good byes. 

 

Posted 1/11/2013

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Phyllis Sica

Having Anne attend my birth was both a blessing & a gift.Her postive outlook & personal experience with VBAC fostered a wonderful comfort level from the beginning. She provided us with a great deal of literature, information, and always some new suggestions each time we spoke. Anne went out of her way for us, before, during and after the birth. Her dedication to helping expectant parents shines through immediately. She truly enjoys what she does & will strive to make sure her clients' satisfaction levels far exceed their expectations!

Her flexibility during my birth will never be forgotten. Anne traveled quite a distance, since we live an hour away. After spending most of a full day laboring at home, Anne was kind enough to bring me to the hospital when I was ready to go. Labor progressed faster than expected and my husband could not arrive at the hospital until about an hour after the baby was born. Anne stayed by my side the entire time. I don't know what I would have done without her! Her presence was warm, nuturing, and always optimistic. Her knowledge & personal experience were invaluable. She stayed in contact with me throughout my hospital stay and currently through the postpartum appointments. Her suggestions for follow up questions to ask the midwife have also been very helpful.

Unfortunately, due to baby's large size, the VBAC attempt was not successful. However, Anne's flexibilty and resourceful nature have been helping me to accept our new son's birth as a beautiful new beginning rather than a medical event. There is a long road ahead, but I know Anne will be there to help and offer any guidance if needed. As I said earlier, having Anne attend my birth was both a blessing and a gift. It was also one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Phyllis Sica, Piscataway, NJ

 

Posted 12/12/2012

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Venessa Levy

We just had our first baby and we are so happy that Anne was our Doula. First, during the pregnancy, she was very supportive by referring us to a lot of resources. She is also very knowledgeable, you can tell that she did much more than just the Doula classes to educate herself, and that she truly enjoys her activity. She brought us tons of books to read and very useful birthing tools such as the birth ball to cope with pain. She knows a lot of technics to manage the pain, and is very supportive of whatever choice you make for your birth, she will not try to influence you in her own way and is very respectful of your birth plan. She has also been very responsive even after the postpartum visit on whatever newborn questions we had, and even found out what are the breastfeed support session in my area, she is truly dedicated to this and is a wonderful doula!

Posted 9/6/2012

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