Phone: (914) 207-5511
Birth Fee: $1750 to $2200
Fee Details: Free initial interview. My fee includes text, phone, and email support upon contract signing, prenatal visits to discuss plans for your birth, on call 24/7 from 37 weeks forward, my presence at your birth with unlimited comforting for you and your partner, postpartum visits. * Borrow a birth ball * Access to my library for DVD's and books * 2 Prenatal visits (in your home) * 2 Postpartum visits (as desired in your home) * Help/tips with breastfeeding * Availability till 6 weeks postpartum for questions you might have
Birth Doula Experience: 4 years and 120 births attended
Clients per Month: 1 to 3Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Former President and Secretary of the board of the Hudson Valley Birth Network. "Positive Birth Movement" group facilitator every first Friday of the month at my house in Larchmont. Each month we have a new topic/theme to discuss, it's a great way to meet other "new" moms and to share birth stories and experiences.
Languages spoken: English, Dutch, French and German
Service Area MapArea of practice: Larchmont, NY
We’re blessed to have Joyce support both me and my husband through out this process. Few considerations from our circumstances so you can reference - 1. It was our first baby 2. We are both working (long hours) 3. Our hospital is in the city while we live an hour away in good traffic 4. Mom is below 35yr. No known pregnancy complication.
It all came quick. Pain and contraction started around 10pm. Hubbie called Joyce around mid night, she showed up in 15min. (She has a record responding to our messages very promptly and very on time for our appointments) We had Joyce sitting in the back of the car with me where she calmed me with acupuncture and helped me practice Lamaze. This continued throughout the labor process. It’s easy to feel concerned especially when you have a long drive ahead. Am I ok? is the baby ok? What if I start to bleed? What if my water broke on the road? What if...none of these bothered me much. Joyce has helped hundreds of moms. I trusted her and relied on her so I know we were doing great. I just focused on the contraction and tried to follow the breath. Hubbie was able to focus on driving as well so we got to the hospital safe. My contraction went on for three hours and baby came within a hour after we hit the hospital. Joyce helped us quickly navigate throughout the process and communicate with the nurse and doctor efficiently when and where she saw necessary.
We did not go to any prenatal birthing classes. It is not a must if you have Joyce. She is a great coach on all the the birthing concepts, processes and possible situations. We also had her work with us on our birthing plan which I found extremely helpful to understand into the very details of the labor process. This is a must. Less to worry about so you can focus on labor when it happens.
All in all, we are happy that we hired Joyce as our doula. She is professional, knowledgeable, mature and calm. We would recommend her highly.
Joyce has been with us for the birth of both of our children. Even as second time parents, we knew Joyce would have an important role as our doula. As it turned out, her role was absolutely crucial. We learned only a few days before our due date that our baby was breech, and the only option my OB gave for delivery was surgery. I was devastated given my strong belief in having a natural birth, as I had for my first child. Given the news, Joyce accessed all of her resources and connections to find us an OB (Dr Rodke) who ultimately assisted us in having the birth we wanted. Joyce also supported us emotionally and gave us the knowledge we needed to make informed decisions. We would have landed on a much different path had it not been for Joyce and we are so grateful. In addition, Joyce lined up reliable childcare for our child staying at home during the birth, which in itself was a huge burden lifted. Joyce is a wonderful person and birth advocate, and we highly recommend her.
As a single mother by choice, I knew that working with a doula would be an important part of my journey. I immediately responded to Joyce’s warmth, incredible knowledge, and willingness to discuss all the options available to me. I had a birth plan with specific wishes for my birth, but when my labor took some unexpected turns Joyce calmly and reassuringly helped me navigate the decisions and emotions along the way. Even though it wasn’t exactly as planned, it was a wonderful experience and Joyce was a huge part of ensuring that I felt satisfied, safe and well cared for in every respect. And her concern for me and my daughter has lasted well beyond the delivery room. She has been a tremendous resource and source of support as I’ve navigated breastfeeding difficulties -- another thing that didn’t go exactly how I planned. She has an extensive network and was so quick to mobilize and help me navigate a very emotional few weeks so that I could eventually reach a point of satisfaction and comfort. I feel incredibly lucky to have had Joyce as part of my journey.
In my first labor my only support was my partner. It started well, I got to L&D almost fully dilated, but my baby was posterior. The attending OB was new at the hospital and seemed confused. She did not believe my baby was posterior; she urged me to lie supine and broke my waters. I pushed for hours, but my baby was not given the chance to rotate and was stuck. I ended up having an epidural to relax my pelvic floor and, with huge effort and luck, delivered vaginally. I loved labor, but also felt disappointed and oppressed: I was put through unnecessary suffering, interventions, and threat of a C-section. I lacked the knowledge, confidence and clarity to defend myself. With my second, I wanted a natural and joyful birth, so I sought stronger support though hiring a doula. I chose Joyce because she was experienced, realistic, gave clear and prompt answers, and knew my medical team. Joyce shared critical information about my options and rights, helped me write a very specific birth plan, and made me feel empowered to make the medical team hear my voice. I felt prepared for every possible scenario. When the time came, Joyce helped me determine I was in labor and met me in the ER. She helped me through my contractions in triage while the nurses took their time to confirm that my baby was coming; and to move into L&D, which was challenging, as I was unable to walk. My waters broke. The attending OB was one I knew and trusted, and my baby was well positioned. Joyce reminded me I wanted a natural labor, so I evaded being hooked to an IV. My baby arrived very fast, and Joyce supported me throughout. She stayed while I recovered, and visited after to make sure we were doing well. Joyce also introduced me to the Positive Birth community, connecting me with other women who find birth as meaningful as I do. This birth was wonderful and helped me heal the trauma of the first one. Joyce was a crucial element in it, and I am deeply grateful.
Joyce was an incredible presence of strength and calm at the birth of my first child. She arrived at our home when I was almost twenty hours into what would be a 48 hour labor. She immediately opened her bag of tools and began working with me to alleviate pain and center myself. For the next 24 hours, Joyce walked with me, massaged my hips, helped keep the TENS unit running, suggested labor positions to keep the baby moving down, offered encouragement to me and my husband, and somehow never appeared tired! When we made the decision to transfer to the hospital after hours of pushing, I felt so comforted knowing that Joyce would be with me. She even argued her way in to the hospital room when she was told that I had exceeded my limit of support people :) Joyce took some incredible pictures of the birth that have helped me to process and celebrate those 48 hours. Her postpartum visits were so helpful to impart confidence to us as new parents. I can't recommended Joyce strongly enough as a birth doula.
As a second time mom, I wasn't initially planning on having a doula, but a few weeks before my due date, I suddenly felt I needed support to make it to the finish line (or starting line!). Having already spent time with Joyce at warm and welcoming meet ups at her home for new and expectant moms, I knew she would be the right presence. Knowing she or one of her amazing backups (both of whom I had met) would be there brought me tremendous peace of mind. Labor started ferociously and Joyce beat me to the hospital at 4am. I was so happy to have a calming force on my team while at 9cm, waiting not-so-patiently for the hospital to bring down their mandated wheelchair. Joyce had a big back of tricks (aromatherapy, pressure points, hand holding, NSFW photography) that I was so grateful for. One very intense hour later, my son was born. She stayed with me while my husband went to make calls to family and has been super helpful with referrals and emotional support since. We feel blessed that she is forever a part of our son's birth story and I trust that you will, too!
The decision to have Joyce as our doula for the birth of our 2nd child was without a doubt the best decision we could have made. She is kind, sensitive, knowledgeable, creative and passionate about her job. Having Joyce there for labor and delivery gave both of us the support we needed to guide and assist us through what can be an incredibly stressful experience. Joyce helped to keep things calm and even fun. She supported all of our wishes and from the moment we met, it felt like she was part of our team. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to hire a doula, we cannot imagine anyone better than Joyce.
After having had such a great experience with Joyce when my son was born 2 years ago, when I learned that I was pregnant again, the only logical choice was to make sure Joyce could support our family through this second birth.
With my 2nd, I was AMA, and learned very early on that I had a two vessel umbilical cord. Because of these two factors I was subjected to many more tests than I had had with my first,which lead to much more anxiety. Joyce was there with me every step along the way, always giving alternatives the doctors did not share, and providing me necessary reassurance. When it came time for the birth, she was the calming presence in the room that I needed to have a totally different, yet equally memorable birth.
One may think that a doula is only useful for a first time mom - but as no two children are alike, no two pregnancies or births are alike which is why having Joyce as a constant to bounce ideas off of and get a 2nd opinion was so helpful - even the 2nd time around!
I feel so fortunate to have had Joyce present for the birth of both of my children. If you can find a doula that you like, try and have her present at all of your births. Though you don't spend much time physically together, sharing in the experience of child birth bonds you with someone forever, and I am lucky that I was able to share that with Joyce, twice. 6 months after the birth of my daughter she remains a top resource for me that I feel very fortunate to have.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was 24 years old, and had walked through pregnancy and birth with many women I knew and loved. I thought I had the upper hand on birth because I was equipped with these experiences. However, as my belly got bigger and birth came closer, I had a feeling that my husband and I might need some extra support. Both of our families live 1,000 miles away, so we knew it would just be us in the delivery room, and while I had attended births before, my husband (Eric) had attended none! We had met with other doulas before Joyce, but the day she stepped into our home, we knew she was the doula for us. She was kind, attentive, and full of useful resources and knowledge without overwhelming us with information. Joyce supported us through one early labor scare and two false alarms, providing steady, unconditional support every time. One of my favorite things about Joyce was that as much as she supported me, she also supported Eric, and helped him be fully prepared for all of the possiblities of labor. The birth of our son was very fast, starting at 1 am and ending with his incredible arrival at 4:39 am. Because my labor was so fast, it was very intense, and I admittedly wasn't completely emotionally prepared. That was when I needed Joyce, and she was flawlessly there, holding space for me and reminding me of all of my own strength and ability to bring my baby safely into the world. Because of Joyce, my husband and I were informed and bolstered in the birth experience that we wanted, and it was truly magical.
Let me start by saying that I acknowledge being a possibility difficult person to work with because I have a need to be in control of most things and I hadn't yet mastered the art of "letting go" when heading into labor and giving birth. I could not have found a better match than having Joyce as my birth doula.
My husband and I met with Joyce for the prenatal visits that she offered and we felt very prepared for our planned all natural, non medical intervention birthing center birth. When my labor took an unexpected and emotionally devastating turn and I had to be induced due to prolonged rupture of membranes (aka. my water broke but no labor or contractions started), Joyce helped me to accept and transition to my birth story in a way that can not be taught in classes or even with experience.
Joyce has found the delicate balance of being a knowledgeable resource and competent professional and being in touch with the human experience of labor and giving birth. As my epidural was being placed and ultimately being prepared for my c-section after my labor was still failing to progress, Joyce was the steady hand and reassuring ear that helped get me through. While I thought Joyce would be at my side helping with my breathing, doing labor massage and pushing through contractions, having her there when things didn't go according to plan ended being an even bigger asset.
Additionally, she was very helpful during her post partum visits including her breastfeeding advice to help me to get my milk supply to come in after c-section. If I were doing it again, I wouldn't think of having another doula other than Joyce.
Doula Joyce has changed my life! She was present at the birth of my second son and helped to make it such an amazing experience, I felt reborn afterwards.
The birth of my first son was a traumatic experience for me, physically and emotionally. When I got pregnant again and was going to give birth again I was really scared. Joyce was really supportive in this anxious time leading up to the birth. Always there for me during meetings and phone calls.
When the actual birth started she was a continuous calming presence around me. There were times where I panicked as memories from the first birth surfaced, she always had the right tools and responses at hand to calm me down and encourage me.
But she went beyond calming and encouraging, she actually managed to make it into a beautiful and a spiritual experience - not something you have to ‘just get through’.
She interacted in a wonderful manner with everybody else involved: the doctors, the nurses, and most importantly, my husband.
I have always felt that after the birth of my first son I was never the same again - in a negative way. Since the birth of my second son I feel better than ever…
Joyce, together with my OB definitely made that happen. In other words, I cannot recommend her highly enough!
Joyce is the best! She wasn't there at my birth because my baby was breech and I had to have a c-section, but she was very supportive when I got the news. I could always text her and she even came over. It's invaluable to have someone that is there for you and that has experience with all sorts of births. Her monthly positive birth groups are also very great and open to all. It's a great way to create a community and share. You always find someone who went through the same thing and Joyce can put you in contact if need be.
Where do I even begin to describe the unwavering support of doula Joyce? We could not have gotten through our pregnancy and birthing experience without her. She brings an incredible amount of knowledge to the table accompanied by her calm and understanding demeanor. She always gave us the range of options without pushing an agenda and her diverse and worldly experience was extremely helpful as we navigated through it all.
After meeting Joyce, we changed our choice of hospital immediately as she was able to explain that this hospital would be more likely to accommodate our requests. She also recommended a midwife practice which we switched to and felt an immediate sense of relief after the first appointment. If we hadn't met Joyce, we would have been thrust into a situation where our requests would likely not have been accommodated and I know with certainty I would have had a c-section due to my difficult delivery. Our daughter was born with her arm/hand tucked next to her head. Joyce was there every step of the way, from the moment I got to the hospital to a couple of hours after giving birth. Her lights, acupressure, snacks, cool cloths, ice water, breathing exercises, and bedside manner were all so welcomed and got us through it!
One final note - I was interested in finding a doula who could also be there for my husband and I'd like to encourage anyone who reads this to do the same. There are many times throughout the labor and delivery process where the partner feels alone. Joyce never let my husband feel alone. She checked in with him and supported him, too, especially when I was the most vulnerable (like being held down to receive the epidural or being stitched after a terrible tear). It CAN be a traumatizing experience and Joyce was there for him, too.
We are so grateful to her and have found a friend for life. If you are considering a doula, do it - make the phone call and contact Joyce. You will not regret it!
Joyce is a fabulous doula and was an intricate part of the beautiful experience of giving birth to my daughter. Joyce spent two sessions with us prior to delivery. During these sessions, Joyce was loving and took her time explaining the process of birth and everything that was going to happen leading to delivery. Joyce explained all of my options [natural birth, epidural, c-section] etc. She gave us helpful techniques for positioning and checked in with me as I went through my final appointments.
I started having contractions before I went to sleep and woke up to more intense contractions at 1:00 am. My husband texted Joyce at 4:00 am in the morning. She responded right away with a calming energy. I can't tell you what a relief it was to have Joyce to guide us. It was our first child and even though we had taken classes, having Joyce to guide us let us enjoy the experience.
My labor was really difficult. Joyce knew when to encourage me to eat, rest, and walk. Finally we went to the hospital. I was heartbroken when the nurses and the midwife told me that I had not dialated enough. Joyce and the midwife supported me in making the decision to go home if I wanted a natural birth.
I was scared and exhausted. I didn't want to leave the hospital, afraid of the night that lay ahead of me. Joyce took my hand and told me that she wouldn't leave me. I could cry writing about it. Joyce slept next to me and helped me through an entire night of contractions. When we went to the hospital the next day, Joyce supported me in the tub and walking around the hospital. She made me laugh in between contractions and held my hand and told me how to breathe through the contractions. She was there when our beautiful little girl was born [naturally] and waited an hour to make sure that I was taken care of. I love Joyce and couldn't recommend a better person to have as part of your experience.
I am so happy I had Joyce as my doula for the birth of my baby. Because of her I had a natural childbirth with no epidural and look back on it as the most wonderful experience of my life. I was afraid of childbirth, having heard so many stories of difficult labors. I worried the doctors might perform an unnecessary C-section. I didn't want an epidural because it might make it more difficult to push the baby out, & lead to a C-section. A friend told me about her wonderful experience with a doula. At first I was skeptical, but at the childbirth class, the nurse said the only possible way to have a baby without an epidural was with a doula. In choosing a doula, it was important that she had expertise, & the right personality. Upon meeting Joyce, there was something special about her. She is warm, & embracing without being overbearing. She made me feel calm. It was so comforting to be able to contact her to get advice about concerns during the pregnancy. The night I went into labor, this being my first baby, I had no idea how to breathe as the childbirth class does not prepare you for that. Joyce taught me how to take control over the pain by breathing. She helped me dilate faster with exercises and positions during the labor that I felt I could not do. With Joyce, it was such a natural process that the doctors had little to do with it. No nurse or my husband could have done what she did. Afterwards Joyce visited me to make sure the baby & I were doing well. I could tell these visits were not perfunctory but rather she enjoyed visting. Months later when I contacted her about concerns about the baby she was always helpful, never too busy to answer a question. Having a doula is a necessity. Joyce made all the difference in the world. I feel blessed to have found her & to have been fortunate enough to have shared one of the most important events of my life with her.
Joyce is an amazing doula. She was highly recommended to me and I am so happy that she was available to guide me through my pregnancy and labor/delivery. As a first time mom, Joyce was always there to answer my questions - both day and night. She is extremely knowledgeable and warm and helped keep me calm throughout my pregnancy. Although my labor/delivery did not go as planned and my little guy came two weeks early, Joyce made me feel comfortable with my decisions. She was also the support my husband and I needed in the hospital when my labor/delivery became a bit scary and we were worried about our baby's reaction to the pitocin. Without a doubt, I would ask Joyce to be my doula again and I would highly recommend her to other moms-to-be.
Joyce attended the beautiful birth of my daughter in April 2016. I was planning on a VBAC and wanted as much support as I coud get for a smooth labor and delivery with limited medical interventions. Joyce coached me through an intense labor and provided the reassurance I needed to push my baby girl out into the world. Both my husband and I were grateful for Joyce's presence and support during our daughter's birth. She is a firece advocate for mothers and their birth plans and I loved having her by my side during my successful VBAC.
I went into labor 3 weeks earlier than expected and my doula who I was originally working with could not be here with me as she was already at another birth. My doulas back up was Joyce and I was completely overwhelmed and anxious as this was my first child and had not met her before.
From our first interaction on the phone Joyce did eveything she could to put me at ease and let me know that everything will be fine. Upon meeting her, she gave me the comfort in knowing that she was there for me and that I would have the kind of birth experience I wanted. Her professional and kind demeanor did exactly that, she coached me through the entire process and assisted me in delivering a beautiful healthy baby boy.
My husband and I are forever grateful for the birth experience she has given us and would highly recommend her to any family.
Joyce was wonderful during the labor and delivery of our second child. My first child was in the breech position so her birth ended up being an automatic ceasaran. I was really hoping to have a VBAC delivery when I became pregnant with my second child - which can be difficult to come by these days. I knew that I needed to prepare as much as I could so that I would have the best possible chance of delivering without another ceasaran. My midwife made it clear that I would need to labor at home for as long as I could in order to achieve this; which is why we ultimately reached out to Joyce. My early, at home, labor was very long, over 48 hours - with most of my contractions occuring at night - but Joyce was available to us even during those night hours for questions, advice, etc. She really held our hands through the whole early labor process and reassured me constantly that this was normal and that everything was going to be okay.
Once I was in active labor and at the hospital, she really became a pillar of strength. My midwife did not end up attending the birth, which made me even more thankful for Joyce- she became the nurturing mother figure I was hoping for and she talked me through each decision, explaining everything to me in terms I could understand. A lot of different words and reccomendations were coming at us via the doctor that ended up being on call and whom, although helped us greatly, we had never met. We ended up liking him very much - but in the beginning, before we really trusted him - we relied greatly on Joice's opinions and explanations on the things that he was suggesting. She was a source of strength for me when I was unsure of my footing. I have a tendency to become overly emotional and "clam up" at times, so I really needed Joyce and my husband to give me the strength to speak my mind. I would suggest her wholeheartedly and I am so thankful that she was there to help us welcome in our sweet little guy.
My husband and I had a fantastic birthing experience with Joyce who helped us deliver our baby girl in May 2016 at the Greenwich Hospital. Prior to the delivery, she met several times with both of us to go through our birth plan and preferences, always responding to the many questions we had and giving us evidence-based data and advice on best approaches. During the delivery which lasted more than 12 hours, she gave me the most caring support I could dream of, helping with both the psychological and physiological aspects of the process. She spent the night without closing her eyes always at my bed side. Giving birth is a very intimate experience and a doula needs to adapt to the parent's needs and personalities - Joyce did so extremely well through her humanity, emphaty and expertise. Her post-partum advice helped me navigate the challenges linked to breastfeeding and recovery - and i am still in touch with her for advice and guidance which she always provides as she is most passionate about helping new mothers and families. We can only recommend her wholeheartidly and will use her again if we have another child. Silvia Danailov and Nadir Benguernane
An experienced doula brings knowledge, familiarity, and confidence to a process that was fundamentally unfamiliar to my wife and I. From a new dad’s point of view, a doula helped give me confidence to support my wife through the process. For my wife, those two extra experienced hands were worth their weight in gold!
We met Joyce by chance at Full Circle Women’s Health. During the yoga class, my wife and I immediately sensed for Joyce's experience, calming personality and confidence building teaching style. We stayed late after class to get to know her better and shortly thereafter scheduled a time for her to come over to our home to meet and to get to know each other better.
By the time the big day came, my wife was a week past her due date and very much hoping to go into labor naturally. I slept like a baby next to my wife as she quietly texted with Joyce in the early morning hours. Joyce had given her the confidence to know what to expect and to know how to react to it. Joyce met us at our home and helped us labor there until we were ready to head to the hospital.
We got to the hospital and with Joyce's guidance, my wife was able to remain in a calm and peaceful state of mind throughout labor. Part of the reason that my wife asked me to write this testimonial is because she doesn't remember a lot of the specific details about her labor and delivery. From what I remember, it seemed like either Joyce or I - if not both - continuously had our hands somewhere on my wife massaging or applying pressure. During the more intense periods, Joyce was always a calm and reassuring presence helping my wife to focus within and giving us both the confidence we needed to get through it.
Our baby girl was delivered healthy and naturally without the use of any pain medication. Joyce was a huge part of helping us get there and we hope we'll have a chance to work with her again in the future.
For the birth of our second child, I found myself thinking a lot more about what I desired out of my labor experience. After much thought and reflection, I came to the conclusion that I would like to attempt a natural birth, free of any medication. After expressing this desire to my lactation consultant, her immediate response was, "You need a doula!" She referred me to Joyce as well as a few others.
In speaking with and meetings Joyce, both my husband and I felt that she would be able to guide and inform us through the birth of our second child so that we could attempt a natural delivery. Throughout our pre-meetings, the labor, and our postpartum appointments, Joyce was supportive and informative. During the labor process, she utilized a variety of tools so that my husband and I could work together to manage the pain of child labor. There were many moments where I was unsure of my ability to endure the contractions. Joyce provided encouragement and information so that we could make choices. In the end, we were able to achieve the natural birth we desired and I truly believe I would not have been able to do so without her support.
For those looking to work with a doula, Joyce is wonderful!
The support Joyce offered both me and my husband before, during and after my daughter’s birth has been invaluable. I was very nervous about delivering in a hospital and the medical interventions I thought they might push upon me. Joyce helped me articulate what I wanted for my labor and delivery and made me and my husband feel comfortable and supported from our very first meeting. I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible and with her support and advice I was able to do so. She was always available to talk or text and her responsiveness helped us stay calm and feel informed. Once at the hospital, Joyce worked wonderfully with the doctor and nurses and explained things to us so that we felt comfortable and in control. She was able to intuit what I needed and took care of it without me saying a word. She was also extremely supportive after my daughter was born and helped me identify resources I never would have found on my own. I am so thankful that Joyce was there for the birth of our first daughter!
We worked with Joyce on the birth of my first last month. I had heard about doulas and wanted one as part of my birth plan as a source of knowledge and encouragement – Joyce fit the bill! She has a network of folks that she was able to point me to for help pre-delivery (in my case pre-natal massage/ acupuncture).. She gave me insight into my birthing choices and was hands on (literally) during my labor. (She and my husband held my legs as I pushed out my baby). Also, she further vocalized my wishes for extended skin to skin contact with the hospital staff, giving me great bonding time with my little one. Following the birth, she’s continued to be a resource for post-partum support. Thanks, Joyce!
Joyce helped us achieve a natural birth experience at Stamford Hospital. She was a strong advocate of our birthing preferences and birth plan, and she negotiated on our behalf any time the hospital staff sought to impose a medical intervention. Joyce is supportive and easy to talk to and is knowledgeable and intuitive of the birth process. We completely trusted her judgment and expertise, and she served as a constant source of courage and energy throughout the journey. We are incredibly thankful for her!
Joyce was my doula for the birth of my third child, born on May 14, 2015. There is no doubt Joyce was THE KEY to our success. My first was a C-section, my second was a VBAC in the hospital. Despite the support of a midwife and a doula, I think the required hospital procedures created a situation where I needed a lot of drugs, sustained serious injury, and endured a difficult recovery. For my third, I was resigned to a similar fate, then a friend referred me to Joyce. At our first meeting, I was 36 weeks and unhappy with the OBs who made me feel silly for questioning whether I should have an epidural ("Of course, what do you like pain or something?") and reminded me I was "still a VBAC". Before we met Joyce we never considered homebirth, after an informed discussion with Joyce, it seemed like of course we could do it if that's what we wanted. She answered all questions and referred us to several homebirth midwives that would accept a late transfer. She did not pressure us into that decision, explaining she would honor and support me at home or at the hospital. She has valuable insight on how to improve a hospital experience as well. I did not anticipate it, but during labor, I found myself frustrated by the 'hands off' approach of the midwife, so I really needed Joyce and she was 100% there. Looking back, my behavior in the most intense moments was ridiculous and hysterical. We had to close the windows for fear that someone hearing me would call the police. Yet Joyce was unflappable. When we discussed postpartum, she was only all genuine positive support. The delivery was complicated by a compound presentation, and the midwife was working alone, so she relied on Joyce's assistance as well. Don't worry about anticipating what you will need, because Joyce will be there with everything.
When my husband and I decided we needed a doula's support, we did a ton of research to find the perfect fit. Our decisions tend to take too long because of our overly careful deliberation, but it was worth it in this situation. We didn't want to share this life event with just someone who was qualified. We needed to find someone who would complement us and make us feel comfortable & confident during a very exciting yet challenging time. From the moment Joyce entered our home, I felt calm. Her presence was soothing and warm. Because my husband and I tend to be anxious people who also don’t speak up enough, we needed someone who would help create a serene environment and give us the confidence necessary when interacting with the medical team. We were adamant about my experience being drug-free, intervention-free, and autonomous. Joyce armed us with the knowledge and confidence to do this. Each time we met, she not only got to know us personally, but also educated us in a way that prepared us for the many decisions we would have to make. Because of her, I approached and experienced labor with composure. My tendencies to over-analyze were overridden because Joyce taught me to be in the moment. My tendency to be a pushover was overridden because Joyce taught me to ask questions and use my instincts. During L&D I felt in control because I was in touch with my body and listened to my gut. When I was asked to do things that seemed unnecessary, I questioned it and was given alternatives. I would not have had this positive experience without Joyce. Also, Joyce provided immeasurable support the hour following the birth of my son. Without her guidance, I doubt that breastfeeding would have come so easily and that the strong bond with my son would have formed. The post-partum support she provided was incredible. I was feeling quite out of sorts, but Joyce’s advice grounded me. My experience would not have been so positive & meaningful without her!
I don't think I could have had the birth (or pregnancy!) I wanted without Joyce there with me. I had a physically easy pregnancy but emotionally I was a wreck half the time-made worse by the fact it took me by total surprise. I really thought I would be happy I was pregnant but just couldn't get my head around it and felt miserable most of the time - well until I spoke to Joyce. After just the inital visit she made me feel 100x better about everything and it felt like no worry was too small to share with her - she addressed all of them even if it was just to tell me it's ok to have those fears or worries. I knew within minutes I wanted her as my doula.
My little boy was born 8 weeks early - a total surprise. Joyce wasn't even supposed to be on call for his birth yet! I had a home birth planned and the day he was born I went into the hospital for just an ultrasound but instead I found out he was well on his way and most likely will be born later that day! My husband contacted Joyce to tell her the baby's coming and she came right away. I was so scared especially since it was my first time in a hospital and I was already hooked up to an iv - a far cry from this perfect homebirth I was expecting to happen 2 months from now. Her calm presence and knowledge of birth in a hospital as well as knowing what I wanted was indispensible. She coached me on what questions to ask the staff so I could stay informed and have a say in what they did to me. It wasn't the birth I pictured but I felt safe and almost relaxed the whole time she was there. I was able to have my homebirth in a hospital thanks to her coaching - grounding me during the hardest part of labor so I had no interventions and could focus fully on the birth. She continues to be a huge help now showing me how to pump milk for my baby while he's in the nicu and I'm home with a milk oversupply and engorgement issues. Anyone would be truly lucky to have her as their doula.
There are no words that can express how grateful I am for having Joyce with me during my birthing experience. But I will try. First off, thank you to a certain midwife who insisted that I hire a doula or she would not have accepted me as a home birth patient. Because of complications, I didn't get the home birth I wanted but I was able to have Joyce with me during my hospital experience. Needless to say, my hospital experience mostly went exactly how I didn’t want it to go but I survived it with some sense of conquest thanks to Joyce. Thanks to Joyce, I gave it everything I had in trying to have a natural birth. Joyce gave everything she had. She came with all her techniques and knowledge as mentioned by the other testimonials. That was awesome but what stays ingrained in my mind is how she held my hand, literally, through the more than 24 hours of contractions. And I was squeezing her poor hands to death. Joyce gave my daughter the opportunity to have skin to skin contact by having her father do it since I was in recovery and could not. And she took pictures of it. I can’t thank Joyce enough for this!! And after the birth, Joyce supported me while I had trouble breastfeeding, giving me advice and suggestion on how to get my daughter to latch on, etc. Joyce even provided tinctures and other natural remedies for the aid in milk production. Thanks to Joyce I never gave up on breastfeeding my daughter. Thank you Joyce for being an advocate, a coach, a teacher, a cheerleader, an inspiration!!
Having Joyce as our doula was one of the best decisions my husband and I made for the arrival of our second son. The warmth, knowledge, and support she provided to our family before, during, and after our son's birth was invaluable. She was always the first person to respond and make herself available to me whenever I needed help, advice, or just someone to listen. She is also amazingly knowledgeable about (and well connected to) the local resources and experts a new parent might need.
Joyce's support and encouragement was key in our decision to switch from hospital to home birth over halfway through my pregnancy, which I wanted in my heart but didn't have the courage for initially. And it was through her that we found our wonderful home birth midwives, Journey to Birth. With this team in place, the birth of our son ended up being more awesome and healing than I could have ever imagined. Joyce also provided invaluable support to me (both emotional and practical) through my struggles in the early weeks of breastfeeding and adjusting to becoming a family of four.
I highly recommend Joyce, and she will be the first person we call if we have another baby!
I was distrustful of the traditional medical field, especially when it came to childbirth. When I became pregnant I was unfortunately unable to find a midwife that I liked. The next best thing for me was to stay with my current OBGYN but search for a Doula to help be my advocate during the birthing process. After meeting Joyce we hired her almost immediately as we knew after our consultation meeting that it would be a good match. In hindsight, hiring Joyce as our Doula was the best decision my husband and I made during my pregnancy. Here's why. . .
Joyce opened our eyes to many things we had no idea about (delayed cord clamping, placenta encapsulation, delayed bathing) and explained them to us, while always providing educational links for us to do our own research. Prior to giving birth she was an amazing resource to bounce questions off of, and to help educate us (as best as possible) to "prepare us" for the birth.
Come birth day, she was a calming presence, helping my husband help me by showing him pressure points to help during my contractions, and explaining to us what stage we were in and what else was to come. She also documented the birth with photographs that are now so special to have. She stayed with me post delivery until my husband came back from the nursery with the baby so that I did not have to be alone.
Since delivering she continues to be a fantastic resource, drawing on her own experience as a mom and lending an open ear for any questions that come with motherhood. She is always there to provide resources, connect you with the right people and provide referrals as necessary.
Overall, I could not have been more pleased with our experience with Joyce. She provided all the tools to make the birth of my son Jack exactly the way I had envisioned it.
Joyce was highly recommended to me, and now I highly recommend her to others, citing her knowledge, warmth and calm energy. My husband and I met with Joyce twice before I went into labor. We also exchanged many emails and text messages during the three months between the time we first met and our daughter's birth. Anytime I found myself babbling to my husband about a fear or concern, he would say "Just text Joyce!" because he knew her prompt and thoughtful reply would help both of us relax. Each time we discussed something, Joyce noted topics we wanted to know more about and followed up by emailing links to articles, videos and referrals to aid in our learning and decision making. Joyce backs up her recommendations with research and data while bringing warmth and understanding to each meeting. We always felt more at ease after talking with her.
Because of Joyce, I approached the experience of my daughter's birth with excitement rather fear. In the delivery room, Joyce was able to comfort me, and also able to lend support to my husband by talking him through what was happening and what our options were. She took incredible photos that captured the moment our daughter was born, allowing my husband and I to be in the moment without worrying about documenting it. We told Joyce afterward that we could not imagine going through the birth without her—she was that instrumental to both of us.
Joyce's focus on positive birth stories helped me embrace my birth experience. One of the first things Joyce asked me after I delivered was “Do you feel good about this? You should.” She shared in my joy of having a new baby and kept my focus off of some of the obstacles we faced. Because of her, I share my story in a positive way and tell everyone the birth of our daughter was challenging but wonderful from start to finish, exactly how it should have been. Thank you, Joyce!
I hired Joyce even before I knew who my provider for the delivery would be. I thought "as long as Joyce and my husband are there, we can do this!" I was so right. After my husband and I met Joyce it was clear she was a natural and necessary part of our team for the birth of our first child in July 2014.
She has a strong and positive presence, while being patient and easy-going. She possesses a wealth of knowledge on all matters related to prenatal, postnatal and babycare. Her Positive Birth Meetings are educational and provide a sense of community during such a crucial time. Joyce was calm and clear throughout the whole process. During labor she kept me focused, while fully supporting my husband and his role. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Joyce and have learned so much from her.
Even after the birth Joyce was instrumental in helping my son latch correctly and answered any questions I had via text or telephone. The two postpartum meetings were such a gift and essential to my physical and emotional healing. Set up an intervierw over tea and you will not be disappointed. She goes above and beyond--oatmeal cookies and late night texts, to name a few.
Hiring Joyce was the best decision I made during my second pregnancy. I went into the situation looking for support during labor (I was planning a natural, umedicated labor and delivery) and my entire experience with Joyce turned out to be so much more. We met several times during my pregnancy and I learned so much from her about the natural birth process. She also provided me so much emotional support - I would unload my fears and worries, questions and pregnancy updates and she was always there to listen and offer her advice and support. This proved to be so invaluable to me, every expecting mother should have this type of support which I feel has become a little lost in our current day.
During my labor, she was the calm, steady rock that my husband and I needed. I ended up having a fast labor that intensified quickly and my son was born in the car on the way to the hospital! Everyone asks me if I was terrified, but the truth is that I wasn't scared at all. I knew Joyce was there with us and I had complete and total faith that she knew what to do if there was a problem. She ended up guiding me through the birth of my son (which happened so fast!) as he was born in the car on the side of the road. My husband and I are so grateful that she was there - I don't know what we would have done without her!!
Joyce's support postpartum was even more valuable. She truly helped me through a pretty rough couple of weeks of engorgement and emotional stress. I looked forward to our chats so much and realize now how important it is to have such a strong woman there for you when you need it most. She taught me a lot about integrating my newborn into our life with a 4 year old. I am thankful for her and am so blessed to have her now as a friend. I will always value her opinion and recomend her to other expecting moms. She also hosts a monthly Positive Birth group at her home which I have really enjoyed attending! I cannot recommend Joyce enough!
We interviewed Joyce along with 3 other Doulas during our search. She was the most warm and comforting of all that we met so we went with her and are so glad we did. Joyce took every worry, thought & hair brain idea we had very seriously. She forwarded articles and talked to her network of birth experts to answer any questions she didn't know the answer to right away. Which honestly didn't happen often as her depth of knowledge is vast. She will give you ideas and options and then support whatever you decide to do. She would never push her own beliefs or opinions on you. I found that truly wonderful as it felt like we had a great partnership and support system in Joyce.
We had some unexpected information given to us about our baby at 41 weeks it changed a lot of the things that we had put into place for our birth. That said, Joyce was amazing through all the change. She guided and supported us, she was present and comforting. It was exactly what we needed and both my husband and I felt so blessed to have her there with us.
I can't say enough good things about Joyce. She has the amazing ability to know exactly what you need before you even know, she knows when to talk and encourage and when to stay quiet. She is truly special and exactly who you want to have by your side during this very personal experience in your life.
Joyce was my doula with my first child who was born on June 3, 2014. She was wonderful and my husband and I are so glad we decided to hire a doula to support us during this very special time. Throughout my pregnancy we kept in touch and she always had great advice and resources for us as we prepared to welcome our little one.
One of the great things about Joyce is that she also hosts the monthly positive birth movement meetings at her place which are another great resource for all women to discuss childbirth and share their experiences.
I wholeheartedly recommend Joyce as a doula to anyone looking for a kind, caring and very competent doula.
I sought out a Doula because I was going for a VBAC and knew that I wanted the support that only a Doula can provide. By lucky chance Joyce and I met and it was the right fit from the start. Joyce is knowledgable, compassionate, supportive, non-judgmental, and kind. With Joyce I felt secure and confident that I could have a VBAC. She always responded right away when I texted, called or emailed her with a question or concern and she offered advice, encouragement, and friendship. Her advice was based on factual knowledge and her emotional support came from a place of deep understanding. I knew I could reach out to her anytime and rely on her to be there for me. Joyce also knew how to include my husband in the journey, which was important to me. Furthermore, she recommended Obstetricians to me who have a 97% success rate for VBACs, and they also provided me with excellent care. Thanks to Joyce I had the best team I could have hoped for and I had a healthy, happy and successful birth experience.
I hired Joyce to help me through the labor of my second child, but she ended up helping me with so much more. She played an important role in getting me in the right mindset pre-labor, as well as supporting me in several different ways post-labor. You can tell that helping women have a positive birth experience is not just a job to Joyce, but a true passion. I was new to the area and Joyce invited me to the Positive Birth Group meetings she hosts. There I met a network of like-minded women to help me throughout my journey. When it came time to assist me with the actual labor and delivery, Joyce came very prepared. She showed up with a heating pad, a TENS machine and endless knowledge about positions, breathing techniques, massage, you name it. She stayed up with me throughout the night, calmed me down whenever I felt scared, and most importantly, helped me make the right call about when to go to the hospital. Once at the hospital, she got the tub ready while the fetus was being monitored so that I could get in as soon as possible. She even set up candles and the lighting to make the labor room as calming and tranquil as possible. Joyce is a true professional! She knew what I wanted/needed without me having to ask. The best part about working with Joyce is that she is truly committed to giving you the birth experience you want to have. I couldn't have hoped for a better expeirence! Furthermore, anytime I had questions or concerns leading up to the labor or after the baby was born, she sent articles or resources to help. She is beyond generous with her books, videos, resources and time to keep you as well informed as possible. Ever since meeting Joyce, I have felt extremely well educated and supported by her. Joyce is the real deal!
I simply would not have had the same wonderful experience had I not had a doula. I was approaching the birth of my second child as one would approach the passing of a salt rock via their urine. The books Joyce, my doula, provided educated me on the strentgh of my body and helped me to trust in my own body. Joyce then bent over backwards to make me confortable at the birth and provided me with endless encouragement. The result was a successful VBAC in back labour and 9 pound baby circumstances. I could not be healthier or happier, as is my entire family as a result of Joyce, my doctor and my overall birthing experience. I am so grateful.
Hiring Joyce was one of the best decisions we made! Whenever I think back to the labor and birth, both me and my husband think, Thank God we had a doula! Especially an experienced and caring doula like Joyce. She really helped me to achieve the kind of birth I wanted (all natural!), and I also think my labor went as quick as it did because of all her help. She helped me to feel calm, secure and confident throughout my labor. It was also great that we met up for two meeting before the birth-- she educated me and my husband about the stages of labor and pain coping techniques, and also we got to know each other. Joyce lent me books and videos, which also helped educate me about birth and prepared me for it. She also came to visit me twice after the birth and was so supportive of me during my trials with brreastfeeding (all better, by the way!). My husband and I are very grateful for all her help; again, it was one of the best decisions we've made.
Joyce was an amazing presence during my childbearing year. Prenatal support was both emotional and physical. She was available for all questions, performed massage, and even created a belly cast and belly painting for me. She included my older daughter in everything as well.
During labor Joyce was available by phone early on, and as soon as I needed her was at my home in what felt like an instant. She was comforting for me and my husband. She also made my daughter a part of the birth, which is what we wanted. I felt completely supported and at ease with her.
In the postpartum period Joyce was also available and helped with the day to day of sorting baby clothes, as well as the more interesting work of baby care and care of me. Joyce helped me with cooking, and helped me transition from feeling very overwhelmed with a new baby to feeling much more competent.
"First of all, I just have to say that having Joyce as my doula was priceless. I really don't think my labor and birth process (and pregnancy for that matter) would have gone at all as well, if she was not a part of it. I truly agree with the people that say that to have a doula for your first pregnancy is essential. I would almost say, to have Joyce as your doula for your first pregnancy is essential. :)
During my pregnancy, my husband and I had two prenatal visits with Joyce at our home. She taught us many different techniques to help during labor (to relax, to encourage baby to get into a good position or to descend, to relieve pain or pressure). She answered questions that I had, and coached my husband on how to coach and encourage me throughout the labor process. She also came to the home visit that I had with my midwife and her assistant (we were planning a homebirth). All throughout these visits, I felt that Joyce was a great companion for me and I was looking forward to her support during labor and birth.
In addition to her standard doula care, I was blessed to develop my relationship with Joyce further through the Positive Birth Group that met monthly at her home. Joyce is passionate about educating women about their choices in pregnancy and childbirth, and about encouraging women to make the best choices for themselves and their babies. I learned a lot through these get-togethers and met new friends.
As it turned out, I had an exceptionally fast labor for a first-time mom. Fast enough that our midwife didn't make it in time for the birth (arrived about 10 minutes after baby was born). I was SO glad that Joyce was here. She was completely competent in supporting me emotionally and relaying instructions from the midwife (on the phone) to my husband to help me through the birth of our baby. I truly don't know what we would have done without her!
If you are considering Joyce as a doula, I highly recommend her!"
My husband and I were new to the area and since neither of our families was close by, I decided to hire Joyce - probably one of the smartest decisions I ever made. My labor was short (and a little early) and was very comfortable having her there. After induction, it progressed really fast and Joyce used pain reducing techniques to bring me some comfort. She took pictures and was available for any questions i had about labor and a new baby. It was very scary to be a new mom but because she was there with her suggestions, the fear turned into comfort and understanding. Her open personality was what i truly liked and admired about her. Joyce - thanks again for everything!
Joyce was the doula at the birth of my third child. I had hoped and planned for unmedicated hospital births with my first two children but had not been able to cope with the pain without getting an epidural. While pregnant with my third child, I decided to hire a doula as I still wanted to experience an unmedicated birth. While my husband is extremely supportive and willing to help in any way he can, he does not have the knowledge of a woman who has birthed her own three children drug-free and has devoted her career to helping other women do the same. Joyce is a wonderful resource and clearly has a passion for what she does. She believes in the inherent ability of a woman to birth her baby naturally.
She met with me at my home for an initial consultation. She made a second trip to my home to meet my husband. In the weeks prior to my due date she emailed me helpful links to information about delayed cord clamping, breastfeeding, labor progression, and the pitfalls of medical induction. During my labor, she utilized acupressure and a Rebozo scarf to help offset the pain of my contractions. She suggested helpful breathing techniques during different stages of labor. She was quietly encouraging and never overbearing. Joyce encouraged me and gave me the confidence to labor at home for as long as I was comfortable with. Once at the hospital, she was a grounding presence in the chaotic atmosphere of the labor and delivery room. After a quick (but by no means easy!) transition and a few intense pushes, I was able to deliver my baby without pain medication just 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital. It was something I had always wanted to experience and I believe Joyce helped me to achieve this goal.
Without Joyce, I don't think I could have done it!!
For my first delivery, I was forced to be in the hospital since I was pregnant with twins (though it luckily did end in vaginal delivery without any medical intervention). When I got pregnant again 9 years later, I was adamant about having a home birth experience. Since I thought it would be a walk in the park compared to my hospital delivery, I at first didn't plan to have a doula. But then my midwife convinced me of the benefits and I started looking.
Joyce and I hit it off immediately, especially since she had gone through home birth twice on her own. But it wasn't until my labor that I realized just what a treasure I had found! Unfortunately, things did not go as smoothly as I had planned. My baby was in a weird position and pressing on my pubic bone; after pushing unsuccessfully for over an hour I became weak and dizzy; then there was meconium, and eventually baby's heart started having decels. But Joyce was my rock! Her calm and resourcefulness in making me feel safe were endless. She knew just what to say and do at just the right time. Because of the decels,the midwife at one point told me that she would call an ambulance, but gave me a couple more pushes. The very last push she gave me I was ordered into a standing squat. With Joyce holding my arms from behind I gave one final desperate push and he popped out! After some suctioning, my baby boy did beautifully and latched on within a couple of hours.
Honestly, without Joyce, I am almost certain I would have had to be transferred to the hospital. (And we all know how that would have ended...)
I knew from my initial meeting with Joyce that she would be a wonderful labor support person. Toward the end of my pregnancy, she kept in frequent touch via phone, text, and email, and sent me helpful articles that she found. During labor, she was a calm and reassuring presence. She anticipated my needs and suggested ways that I could be more comfortable. Joyce was an integral part of my labor team and I am sure that I had a better experience because she was there. I am very grateful to Joyce for providing such warm and caring support to me and my husband.
This was my 4th child really didnt know what to expect but it was worth the efffort in meeting with and having Joyce by my side. I didnt feel that the hospital could push me into doing something that was not needed because i had joyce there to educate me on the possiable risk.Any and all my needs were meet by Joyce.
My experience with Joyce was and still is GREAT!!! Being pregnant with my second child I knew I wanted a very different experience than my first. I felt I lacked the personal attention child bearing deserves the 1st time around, so when I was offered a doula associated my doctor’s office, I jumped at the opportunity. Although I knew what a doula was in essence, I wondered how effective a stranger would be in aiding me during one of the most intimate moments one can endure. I quickly learned Joyce was not only a privilege but a blessing to have had at my childbirth. I wanted an as natural child birth experience as I can have in a hospital and she helped make that come true. She supported me with breathing techniques, gave me essential information to prepare for child bearing. She was like my ‘pit-bull’, protecting me from the any interventions I did not want in the hospital. She also was my rock, the one whom I depended on the most (more than my husband) to help me during moments of distress. Her insight as a mother of 3 and the fact we shared the same homeopathic perspective made us a perfect match. However, Joyce has made me question why there isn’t a LIFE doula? She has a remedy, an answer and/or a way to find an answer whenever I run into a situation. She is always available, especially via text. Joyce, or any great doula for that matter, is a doctor’s best friend since doulas are the 1st line of information and consolation before a doctor. Joyce is truly like a Fairy God mother to me, she’s: patient, thorough, tolerant, caring, has a wealth of knowledge and assertive when needed. I feel fortunate to have met her and realize there is no turning back; she has become a resource for to me for life…hope she’s ok with that!
My experience with Joyce was great. I like that she listened to my birthing plan and agreed with it. She was there throughout my whole delivery and labor. I like that she explained everything to me from medical tems into simple words that I will be able to understand after doctors came into tell me things. My birthing plan had went completely left and I was feeling kind of down about that, but Joyce made feel better about the whole thing. Even after giving birth to my daughter she was there when I needed. I liked that I was able to call Joyce when I had some concerns about my daughters health. She even went out of the way to call one of her friends to further help me with my concerns. I'm very happy that I decided to have her as doula for my birth, if I ever have another baby I would definitely like to have Joyce as my Doula again.
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