$3250 to $4000
12 years and 400 births attended
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 3 to 5
Attends hospital births? Some Hospitals
Westchester, Nassau, Manhattan, Bronx, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Fairfield CT
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth
Any Home Birth if attended by a midwife
Former President and Secretary of the board of the Hudson Valley Birth Network. "Positive Birth Movement" group facilitator. Support group for pregnant and new moms to discuss current topics. It's a great way to build your community and meet other "new" moms and to share birth stories and experiences. Host of Doula Circle @NURspace.com in Hastings-on-Hudson.
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
Larchmont, NY Service range 45 miles
I am so happy I chose Joyce to be my doula for the birth of my first child and I am so appreciative to have had her support! From the start of our time working together I felt I could trust her because of her vast experience and calm demeanor. She helped me weigh the pros and cons of a few different decisions I was planning on making for my birth. My birth didn't go as expected but Joyce was there every step of the way helping guide me forward with each decision I made and understand everything that was going on. I especially appreciated her presence when we were at the hospital because while the doctors and nurses were focused on watching stats and communicating those to the rest of their team, Joyce made sure I understood what was going on. She also helped my husband make sure he was doing whatever he could to be helpful to me and she gave him some much needed relief during a long labor. Post-partum she visited us while we were still in the hospital and also a few weeks after we got home. Especially after the unexpected c section it was really helpful to talk to Joyce about everything that happened to process the experience and discuss questions I had after having time to reflect. If you are considering hiring Joyce, absolutely do it! I can't imagine a better doula to have by your side!!
I feel lucky to have found her for my first pregnancy and I can't wait to have her again for my future pregnancies! I had a lot of fear going into labor & delivery and having her by our side gave me so much peace and confidence. She not only helped us create a birth plan but helped us execute on it better than expected - I had a really positive birth experience thanks to her.
Joyce was an absolute rock during labor and delivery, not to mention so helpful and informative during prenatal and postpartum. She gave me tips on how to induce labor naturally (they worked!), talked me through my contractions and distracted me in between them. She alleviated any panic me and my husband had, made me feel safe and cared for while giving my husband plenty of things to do to help - taking the pressure off him to know what I needed and when, he just did as he was told!
I didn't realize how much I would need someone to believe in me and repeatedly tell me I could do it as a push a tiny human out of my body but I 100% did and Joyce did a phenomenal job while holding my hand the whole time. When we got to the hospital at 9cm dilated and I was waffling on whether to get epidural, she gave me the push and encouragement I needed to go unmedicated and I'm so glad I did - I'm stronger than I thought and now I know I can go without in the future. Not only was she my greatest cheerleader, she was also my advocate in the delivery room and made sure all my asks were executed by the OB + team, explaining every option to me as we were going along, sometimes even providing alternatives.
Lastly, I wanted to exclusively breastfeed but was worried I wouldn't have the supply. Joyce helped me nurse the baby within the first hour - she got the baby to latch, made sure we got a solid feed and showed me some game-changing feeding positions. I'm 8 wk pp and am exclusively breastfeeding thanks to her!
Highly recommend Joyce, absolutely loved her!
This was my second time using Joyce. She was present during my first pregnancy and a true advocate for my care, as well as a sense of security and comfort. So obviously, she was one of the first people we called when we found out we were pregnant. I had a c-section and still used a doula. Don't feel like you only need a natural delivery to use Joyce. She is well-rounded and genuinely passionate about childbirth and women's health. My husband loved having Joyce around and felt great having someone else there to support him during this process. She helped with the baby latching on and made breastfeeding easy for me. I also appreciate the foot rubs she gave me after childbirth, which were comforting and relaxing. I would highly recommend Joyce. She is a treasure!!
I can't say enough positive things about Joyce or imagine my pregnancy and the birth of my first child without her. She was with my husband and me every step of the way - explaining what was happening, helping to advocate for me when I couldn't, and using every tool in her toolkit to help me through labor. She worked together with the doctors or nurses in a supportive, collaborative fashion and made sure that both my husband and I understood what was going on and the risks/benefits of each intervention in a nonjudgemental fashion based in facts. When my son was finally born but had respiratory issues, she reassured me based on her years of experience and kept me calm. When my milk took 5 days to come in and I had trouble breastfeeding, again -- she shared every tool and bit of helpful advice she could. She is truly an angel and I am forever grateful for all she did for my family. I wish all women could experience feeling as supported, loved and safe on their pregnancy and birth journey as Joyce did for me.
Joyce is such a humble, supportive and loving doula. She was there for me for the second time with my baby boy as a homebirth while going through a tough time. She didn't doubt a second to go over the mile to be there for me, giving me extra love and support when needed and space when needed. I have no words on how grateful I am for her genuine care and knowledge. I highly recommend her. She has been there for me with my two children. Our family loves you Joyce!
My experience with Joyce was nothing short of amazing! I found Joyce late in my pregnancy and she was incredibly responsive and accommodating given the short notice. As a second time mom, I also had a specific vision for how I wanted my pregnancy to go and Joyce not only understood right away what I wanted and needed, but also contributed her extensive knowledge and experience to expand that vision. She was also tremendously helpful with local referrals and recommendations for anything and everything I needed before and after delivery. Joyce was incredibly supportive in leading up to the birth, answering all of my questions and calming down my anxiety as we got closer. She was proactive in our communication in early labor and came over as soon as I said I was ready. She was my rock throughout the entire delivery, from early labor to after the baby was delivered. While you can't plan how the birth is going to go, my delivery really did go to plan with Joyce orchestrating each moment and what needed to happen next. She also supported my husband, advocated for me and the baby at the hospital based on my preferences, and acted as a translator for me when I couldn't understand what the hospital staff was telling me. She has a way of explaining what's happening in such a clear and calm way that I felt completely safe and confident with her beside me. I really could not say enough about how amazing it was to work with Joyce and I am forever grateful for having her with me in this very personal and key moment in my life. She will forever hold a special place in my heart ??
There aren't enough wonderful things to say about working with Joyce. She is so talented at and passionate about what she does and helped us to find our confidence in pregnancy/birth and as parents. She helped us bring our first baby into the world. This pregnancy came after a recent miscarriage, I dealt with a lot of anxiety and she gave me tools and mantras and was always on call to help. She helped us form a birth plan that was exactly what worked best for our family and she saw that it was carried out. While in labor, she provided endless relief and comfort when I was most scared and in pain. She is the person you want in the room with you when you are bringing a baby into the world.
We are so grateful to have worked with Joyce as our doula. She respected and championed our choices. She was not there to dictate our journey, but rather to guide us through it with grace and professionalism. In the months leading up to the births, Joyce helped us prepare a birth plan that resonated with our needs and desires. During the births themselves, Joyce's support was nothing short of invaluable. Her ability to instill a sense of calm and reassurance in the midst of such a profound experience was truly a gift. We wholeheartedly recommend Joyce to anyone seeking a doula.
My husband and I had an incredible time working with Joyce Havinga-Droop as my birth doula. This was our first birth and from the start of our working relationship, Joyce provided us with so much information and resources. She was responsive to our needs and incredibly supportive - meeting with us both on zoom and in person. Joyce listened intently to our wishes and did a tremendous job guiding us in our decision making re our birth plan etc.. During the birth itself she was such a grounding force - guiding us at every critical decision-making-juncture. Her hands-on work during the height of my contractions was a gamechanger. Finally, Joyce had encouraged me to express colostrum in the final weeks of my pregnancy and bring the frozen syringes to the hospital should they be needed. For a host of reasons not worth going into in this testimonial, my husband and I had to make a fast decision post labor about how to feed our daughter in the NICU - the options presented to us were formula or donor milk. Because of Joyce we had a third option - my harvested colostrum. We used that to feed our daughter until I was able to breastfeed her a few hours post birth. We highly recommend Joyce - if we have a second child, we won't hesitate in asking her to be our doula again.
Working with Joyce was an incredible experience. From each prenatal visit to our labor, delivery, and postpartum visits, we always felt like we were in great hands with her. She is professional, knowledgeable, and nurturing, and she helped us have the positive birth experience we always wanted. Leading up to our daughter's birth, she educated and guided us to understand exactly the type of birth experience we wanted to have and for our upcoming lives as parents. During our labor and delivery, she was right by our side and not only set up a peaceful environment but coached, comforted, and cared for us effortlessly. She even documented when our daughter finally entered the world, and we are so grateful for that! After we got home, she helped us deal with the new challenges of parenthood and caring for our daughter. She was only ever a text or phone call away, always thoughtfully responding with helpful information. We really have no words good enough to describe our experience with Joyce and we are forever thankful for her work and presence at the most special time in our lives. We will never forget our beautiful birth experience and her role in helping us achieve that. Thank you, Joyce!
Joyce was amazing from the very beginning. My husband and I knew we wanted to hire her as soon as our initial consultation ended. She is extremely knowledgeable about birthing babies, she also has wonderful insight on many things after birth. We got our pediatrician recommendation from Joyce.
Not only is she super supportive but working with her and meeting with her was always very empowering for me. She believes deeply in the physiological birth and the process; she believes deeply in each person's ability to birth their baby the way they wish to. And she will be right beside you to make sure no one gets in the way of that. I wanted an unmedicated birth, and as a first timer I was a bit nervous about all of it. Every time we'd meet with her I always felt so good about the upcoming birth and my abilities. For our meetings Joyce showed up with a bag of visual graphics, pamphlets on breastfeeding, dirty diapers, a book of affirmations for me, syringes for colostrum harvesting, calendula oil, magnesium. I felt so supported, prepared and cared for. Joyce got in my bed with me while I labored in bed at home before going to the hospital; she squeezed my hips while I sat facing the back of the toilet; she sat in the back of the car with me on the way to the hospital; she was quick to tell the woman in the ER I did not want to be touched. If we decide to have another baby we already know that we will be hiring Joyce.
My husband and I met with Joyce at the strong recommendation of my twin sister, who had benefitted from her services during her own birthing experience. Within minutes of speaking to her, we knew we wanted Joyce to attend the birth of our daughter.
Joyce was there every step of the way. She helped me figure out my desired outcomes for labor and how to attain them while still remaining flexible and resilient in the face of unpredicted events along the way. She checked on me often once pre- and early labor started. She spent hours by my side while I labored at home before heading to the hospital. I trusted her guidance all the way through.
Joyce has a calm, nurturing, confident energy that soothed me throughout this process. She is everything I wanted in a doula, and I highly recommend her to anyone searching for the same.
Joyce was absolutely incredible, couldn't recommend her more. She went above and beyond in every possible way, and was such an invaluable resource throughout not just the birth, but also my pregnancy and the initial postpartum weeks.
I feel like it's rare to find people who care this deeply about what they do and are equally as knowledgeable and experienced. If you're considering a doula and considering Joyce, go for it! You'll be so happy you did, I promise.
Joyce was wonderful to have as my doula during my home birth. I spoke with Joyce very early on in my pregnancy and wish I had gone with her from the beginning. I asked her if she was still available at 8 months pregnant and eventhough it was very late in the process and she had an overseas flight booked the day after my due date, it all worked out!
She was professional, accommodating, and checked in on me often over the next two months. Even post birth she was helpful with finding a dentist that allowed me to be in the room for my daughter’s revision. She is a wealth of knowledge and has a great community to connect you with.
I wish I had worked with her from the start. She changed my view of what a birth doula would be since the first experience I had with my son was not favorable. I am very grateful for Joyce, her support during my birth, not leaving my side, and trying to make me as comfortable as I could be.
I highly recommend working with Joyce and having her be a part of your birth team.
It's so hard to adequately articulate how vital Joyce was during my pregnancy, at birth and following.
Joyce brings the vital information about childbirth, your body and access to so many resources through her tried and true recommendations (ex: prenatal massages, lactation consultants, apps to download, gestational diabetes resources). But it doesn't stop there, Joyce hosts mom groups, CPR classes and will always make time for any question and concern.
During my labor Joyce knew everything to do to keep me comfortable and confident. I had a hospital birth and Joyce and made sure my wishes were followed. She remembered the things (like taking home my placenta) that I would have forgotten about. She stayed up all night and never waivered. When I was EXHAUSTED after 30+ hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing she helped me get through those final pushes when I thought I couldn't, (and when the doctor and nurses kept sharing anxiety invoking time checks). I truly believe I wouldn't have had the birth I wanted (natural, unmedicated) without Joyce.
And while I have an amazing support system, the support, knowledge and expertise Joyce brings to the table are things my very amazing support system would not have known to do/suggest.
Her support doesn't end right after birth. She showed me how to bathe my baby and instilled confidence in me as a first time mom that my intuitions were to be trusted. She answered my panicked calls from the hospital five weeks following my (normal, healthy, natural) birth when I had to have leftover debris removed from my uterus.
I wouldn't have been as prepared or had my birth the way I wanted without Joyce. Having her support and advice, (when it sometimes feels your instincts tell you one thing and doctors tell you another) is PRICELESS.
I can't recommend Joyce enough! We decided to work with her for my second pregnancy, we were planning for a VBAC and I knew I needed extra support. She was absolutely wonderful. She provided us with so much insight and guidance leading up to the birth. She was instrumental in me achieving my VBAC- I couldn't have done it without her. I felt so much more confident and comfortable with her by my side. She was able to advocate for me in the hospital. My husband and I are so grateful for her! I would absolutely recommend her services to anyone interested.
I wanted to be fully prepared for my birthing experience, but had many questions and uncertainities as this was my first pregnancy. Joyce provided helpful information and support throughout my journey that went well beyond the foundational knowledge I gained from my prenatal visits and books. I felt incredibly prepared and calm going into the birthing center. And when it became clear that my delivery was going to detour significantly from my ingoing birth wishes, Joyce's knowledge, comfort, and support were invaluable for both my husband and me. Postpartum Joyce also played a role in connecting me with lactation support which ended up being critical in quickly addressing latch issues early on and tips to address the engorgement I experienced during that time.
Joyce is 100% the reason I had such a positive first birth experience. Her connections, guidance, and candor ensured a smooth delivery. The hospital staff all had wonderful things to say about her as well. I'd hire her for a second pregnancy without hesitation.
We would highly recommend Joyce. She is a nonjudgmental, effective advocate of whatever the mom / couple is trying to achieve with their birth experience. Her manner — warm but direct — was a great fit for us. Joyce’s extensive experience, both working locally and living and working in other countries, comes through in the perspective and advice she brings.
From a practical perspective: Joyce has tons of tips and tools (everything from exercises to salves to online resources) to navigate absolutely any pregnancy or baby-related question. Also, Joyce brings a fantastic network in NYC/Westchester area — clinicians like midwives and pediatricians, pelvic floor therapists, lactation consultants, etc. etc. These were invaluable resources to us. Joyce is also a convener, through her “Positive Birth” weekly group that she organizes for new and expectant moms. The two postpartum visits (and check-ins via text/phone) that Joyce offered were also extremely helpful.
In all, Joyce was great to work with and a fantastic complement to our obstetrician. She played a big role in helping us articulate our goals for — and then achieve — a really positive unmedicated hospital birth experience.
I credit Joyce with helping me have the most positive birth experience that I could have imagined. I began my journey very nervously as a first time mother and from our first meeting Joyce was sensitive and matter of fact, putting me at ease. She was an amazing resource with knowledge that could only come from her years of experience. Quick with recommendations of all kinds, she was always available, and quick to text back, whether I had an urgent question or something that could wait. Joyce was extremely well-respected by all of my care providers, and in labor and birth she worked seamlessly with my midwives and the hospital staff. Joyce provided constant, trusted support, both physically and emotionally.
What I deeply appreciated about having Joyce as my doula was her compassion, support, and patience. She was a powerful advocate for me at the hospital and helped keep us calm and informed about our options when things didn't go according to plan. Joyce is knowledgeable and experienced, and as a result has a wealth of information that she will caringly share with you throughout pregnancy, labor, and post-partum. I cannot recommend Joyce enough.
I truly cannot thank our doula, Joyce Havinga-Droop @birthambassador, enough for holding our hands through my pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum period.
I felt divinely guided to Joyce, and wow did my spirit angels send me an earthly-birthing angel to guide our path. Her knowledge and wisdom helped us prepare for our little one’s arrival; my heart truly fills with gratitude when I reflect on her gentle, nurturing touch throughout my 20 hours of labor, her wise guidance about position changes to help progress labor along, her calming presence for my husband as medical questions arose, her continual encouragement that “I got this” (especially during the most intense moments), and the images she so beautifully captured of our son emerging into the world and my stunning placenta that nurtured him.
I don’t know what we would have done without Joyce as our guide! I am now a strong advocate that every woman deserves to have their own “Joyce” by their side as they navigate the vulnerable and courageous process of giving birth
Joyce, Thank you for being you, and for bringing such passion to the process of birthing sweet children into the world. Our son will grow up knowing his “Auntie Joyce” is a rockstar and that we are forever grateful for you. ??
I truly cannot thank our doula, Joyce Havinga-Droop @birthambassador, enough for holding our hands through my pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum period.
I felt divinely guided to Joyce, and wow did my spirit angels send me an earthly-birthing angel to guide our path. Her knowledge and wisdom helped us prepare for our little one’s arrival; my heart truly fills with gratitude when I reflect on her gentle, nurturing touch throughout my 20 hours of labor, her wise guidance about position changes to help progress labor along, her calming presence for my husband as medical questions arose, her continual encouragement that “I got this” (especially during the most intense moments), and the images she so beautifully captured of our son emerging into the world and my stunning placenta that nurtured him.
I don’t know what we would have done without Joyce as our guide! I am now a strong advocate that every woman deserves to have their own “Joyce” by their side as they navigate the vulnerable and courageous process of giving birth
Joyce, Thank you for being you, and for bringing such passion to the process of birthing sweet children into the world. Our son will grow up knowing his “Auntie Joyce” is a rockstar and that we are forever grateful for you. ??
Joyce was my doula for my last three births (2015, 2019, and 2021), and I cannot imagine having another baby without her! In all three of my births, which were at home with midwives, Joyce was an incredible source of knowledge, support, and love for me, my husband, and our older children. Her experience and knowledge is vast. Most importantly, she has a deep respect for the mother's autonomy and independence. During labor itself, she was an invaluable resource. She is the most calm person I've ever met, and her calmness and strength during labor made me & my husband feel safe and truly supported in all ways. She knows all the tricks for different aspects of labor, and can be very hands-on if you need her to -- but she also knew when I needed space and solitude, and supported that as well. Postpartum, she knew just what to do to support me and my family. Joyce has become a very special person in my life over the years, and I wish every mother could have Joyce as a doula.
I had Joyce as my birth doula and the amazing support she provided, totally made my birth experience wonderful. The emotional support she provided helped me make some really strong decisions needed during my birth. The midwives wanted to monitor me for preeclampsia around 39 weeks & they wanted me to stay in the hospital & get induced. Joyce helped me ask the right questions that gave me the peace of mind that I needed to go through the induction when it was absolutely necessary, not when they were pushing me to, before it was needed. She also provided amazing support to my husband through the 28 hour induction process!
Through out my pregnancy, texting with her was amazing - as she directed me to resources & people that REALLY helped me be comfortable during my third trimester.
Her post-partum support was great too, as she taught us some tricks that really helped with the baby.
All in all - totally recommend Joyce!
Doula Joyce was the best decision my husband and I made and we were so lucky to have found her. I would recommend her to anyone. This was my first delivery and Joyce was a pillar of unwavering support. She was an incredible resource preparing my husband and I for our first child and made herself available for any questions we had during pregnancy and postpartum. Joyce connected me with other providers I needed (chiropractor and pelvic floor therapist) and recommended herbs and tinctures to help prepare and support my body.
I had an amazing connection with her during my three days of labor / delivery. She is smart, calming, confident, and extremely compassionate... exactly what you want during this extraordinary time. Joyce always respected our needs and requests. I leaned on her (physically & mentally) throughout my long and intense labor. She always made sure I was nourished, recommended different positions to help me and baby, and even guided me through my first nursing session. Joyce gives you all the care, knowledge, and empowerment you need to for your own beautiful birthing journey.
Our postpartum sessions were so important for myself and for my recovery, including the support group she provides for all moms.
I hope all women can experience the love, support, and care Joyce provided for me and my family.
Joyce was amazing to have be my side as our birth doula. She is so experienced and well researched in all areas related to pregnancy and birth and babies! She is truly very passionate as well. With Joyce by my side I had a beautiful and calm hospital birth (Phelps hospital with Fullcircle midwives) with no pains meds (and bonus no stitches needed either !). Joyce helped me feel in control and confident in my body's ability to birth my sweet baby boy. I wish I had a Joyce for all areas of my life :-)
Having Joyce as my doula was one of the best decisions I could have ever made for myself and my newborn. During my pregnancy, she provided me with evidence-based knowledge, support, and connected me with a birth community that I would have not known about otherwise. During my birth experience, she provided me with physical and emotional support that helped me tremendously through my unexpected c-section and recovery. In the postpartum period, I have contacted her with questions and for advice, as she is someone I trust completely with my health and well-being. I would recommend Joyce to any pregnant person who is seeking a doula who is compassionate, experienced, intelligent, and kind. I absolutely love Joyce and consider her a friend and confidant that extends far greater than just the role I hired her for as my doula! <3
Empowered. That one word describes how I felt with Joyce as my doula. Before the big day, Joyce helped me understand what happens during the Labor and Delivery. She gave me many resources that helped me prepare as much as I could. I had PROM at week 37 weeks and 3 days. During the labor, Joyce was a calming and knowledgeable member of my birth team. When things got complicated and I had to get an unplanned c-section, Joyce helped me understand what was happening and helped me manage all the emotions that come with that change. After the delivery, she helped me process all that happened. If we have a second child I will definitely have Joyce as my doula again.
I worked with Joyce as a first-time mother. I was giving birth in a hospital setting and felt patients don't always get the time they deserve when working with a traditional OB practice that's inundated with patients. Having Joyce along the way was very helpful because she was incredibly knowledgeable about the birthing process -- from exercises to optimize baby positioning, to various medical interventions explained, to newborn care, she was a great resource all around. She was very professional and prompt in answering texts/emails/calls, and was a trusted advisor who respects the kind of birth you want (whether at home, in hospital, with epidural, without, breastfeeding, or bottle feeding etc). During my delivery, she kept me comfortable with massages and ensured that the nurses tended to us which allowed my husband to rest as well. She genuinely loves moms and babies and I would recommend her to be anyone's birth doula in a heartbeat.
It was my best decision to hire a Doula for the birth of my second son, it was an even a better decision to choose Joyce! I can't say enough how thankful I am for her support in my VBAC commitment. She is very educated and knowledgeable and always hands on. I was amazed by her responsiveness and her ability to be there for me when I needed her. I would not have been able to have my VBAC without her guidance during my preparation. Joyce was so warm, kind and was a perfect person to have by my side during such an important journey. She was fantastic in working with not only me but my husband as well. Thank you so much Joyce! We are forever Thankful for such an amazing experience.
We are so grateful to have had Joyce as part of our birth team! She was resourceful and grounding from prenatal appointments through the delivery and postpartum. I love how hands on and proactive she was through the labor and delivery process. She acknowledges that there is no one size fits all approach, and as such is an open ear to listen and adjust and work with you through your birthing journey. I've also been SO grateful for her support and connection through postpartum recovery--she's a wealth of knowledge and connection to resources and families in the area. Go with Joyce you won't regret it! <3
Joyce was an absolute rockstar from the moment I spoke with her. I met Joyce very late into my second pregnancy. I was just shy of 37 weeks and found myself without a care provider that I could trust to bring my baby into this world. My previous practice had led me on to believe they would support a VBAC but then pulled the whole bait and switch on me during my 36 week appointment, when I met with a very rude OBGYN I had not met with before from this small practice. He insulted my ability to have a VBAC and basically laughed at my reasoning for attempting one. I left this appointment feeling defeated and sad. From the moment I met with Joyce, she turned that defeated feeling into empowerment. She encouraged me to have the birth that I wanted and helped me find another provider that would support my VBAC. At 37 weeks, with the care and support of Joyce, I found a wonderful and local midwife group who agreed to take me on. It should also be said that not only was I attempting a VBAC but I had my own medical complications which made my case high-risk, so I was so thankful to have gone from a practice with no support to one that believed in me and wanted me to achieve this VBAC. When the time came, Joyce helped me labor at my home (something I never imagined I could have done!) and when we arrived at the hospital, I was in full on labor without any pain medication what so ever. I really never thought I would have been able to make it to this stage and experience a natural labor. Joyce and my husband were by my side for what turned out to be a more complicated labor than anticipated, and while the end result was not what I hoped for, I would have never been able to experience and learn to advocate for myself without Joyce. The empowerment feeling I got from that labor was what I needed to overcome my fears and gain the confidence as a woman. I am forever grateful that Joyce came along with me in this journey. She is so knowledgeable and one of a kind.
I had the most amazing birth experience with Joyce as my doula. I can't say enough great things about the support she provided before and during birth, and postpartum. I highly recommend anyone having a baby to work with Joyce!
My first birth four years ago in NYC left me feeling like I missed something. I had prepared for a natural birth and ended up with unnecessary medical interventions. For my second baby I was determined to try again, I was so glad I found Joyce! She was warm, caring, listened to me and treated my desires/preferences with great care and respect. What impressed me most was her deep knowledge and experience, her understanding of the anatomy of birth, how pelvis works, common issues and how to prevent them, etc. It was clear that Joyce was well equipped to face any situation in the birth room, and I could trust her to advocate for me. My second unmedicated birth with Joyce was a true healing experience and left me feeling strong and empowered.
Joyce provided invaluable advice in preparation for birth. The tips and exercises Joyce shared got the baby into an ideal position, which made my birth go faster and smoother. She recommended products for the aches/pains of late pregnancy that were very effective. She was so extremely patient with me as I kept sending her "is this it?" texts at 2 am during those last weeks. I felt that she was really in this with me, and we were a team.
Joyce has also been very helpful postpartum. She recommended remedies for my own healing as well as baby, answered many questions. She was there when postpartum hormones sent me on an emotional rollercoaster. She made me feel it was all normal and put my mind at ease. Women's bodies are amazing, and thanks to doulas like Joyce that we can discover our own capabilities and tap into the ancient wisdom of birth. Joyce believed in me when I did not, and stood by my side, and that's the best kind of birth support anyone can hope for.
Joyce was my birth doula for my second child and was integral to my successful VBAC. After a traumatic emergency c-section with my first child, I was hoping to have a more positive experience with my second child. To that end, I interviewed many doulas and was extremely impressed by Joyce--she has vast knowledge of prenatal care and how to navigate the medical system, she has a wealth of experience with pregnancies and labors of all kinds, she offered just the right balance of practicality and compassion, and she maintained a level of professionalism throughout--always pointing me towards evidence-based care and quality research. I chose her and I have been grateful for that choice every day since.
As soon as she began to guide me, she put me on a path of self-empowerment and holistic health. She offered me many practical tools to be in the right physical shape, as well as a strong mental state for the labor that I hoped to achieve. As I got closer to my due date, I experienced polyhydramnios and I was pressured by my doctor to schedule another cesarean. Joyce helped me navigate every conversation and choice so that I was informed and empowered, while keeping me and my baby safe. (During this time, my family reached out to another doula for a second opinion and once she found out that I was in the care of Joyce, she said I was in very good hands--this anecdote shows how well respected she is in the doula community.)
In the end, Joyce held my hand--both figuratively and literally--through an induction, my waters being broken, contractions, and the vaginal birth of my baby girl. Joyce came through for me in every way. She gave me the knowledge and courage to change my birthing story from one of trauma to one of empowerment and pride I also know that even if I would have needed a cesarean again, Joyce would have helped me mentally and physically process it all and transform it into a much more positive experience. I highly recommend her.
I am so greatful that we had Joyce as our doula. Not only was she comforting, kind, and a lovely person, but she was SO knowledgeable about everything birth related. She held my hand and walked me through every minute of our delivery. I can't thank her enough for allowing my husband and I to enjoy the process without fear or distress. Leading up to our delivery, she taught us about the importance of Spinning Babies and maternal health. I will always have fond memories of our birth story and Joyce played a integral part in it. I will 100 percent call her back when we have another!
We are so grateful that we found Joyce to support us in my pregnancy and the birth of our daughter. We met around week 24 of my pregnancy, when I was feeling anxious about birth and full of questions. I felt an instant connection with her calm presence as she used her tremendous knowledge to reassure and help us to understand our available decisions through pregnancy and delivery.
Meeting her was a true turning point for us for the better. She helped me become much more engaged with my body and in control. She met with us twice before delivery and was available for countless texts and emails in between helping address things that came up. She always had an answer or a recommendation - including great body workers in my area - and time to talk through a decision. Her answers always felt like they weren't just based on her own experience, but built from the experience of women around the world and through history. She took time to get to know me, but also my husband and us as a couple. This really helped my him open up and become more engaged in the pregnancy and birth prep. All this support alone would have made the decision to work with Joyce worthwhile, but then came the birth.
I was able to have a natural birth without an epidural, something I never thought I was capable of doing. I could not have done it without Joyce. From the moment she arrived at the hospital in the middle of the night, and in the middle of a pandemic (she always took extreme care), she was by my side, encouraging me, massaging my back, and reminding me of my power. I don't think she took her hands off my back until the baby was born. The next days her visit and availability for calls and texts helped ease my new mother worries and help heal my body.
I am so grateful to Joyce and cannot recommend her enough. She is the warm, knowledgeable, stable presence that I dearly wish every pregnant woman and new mother had by her side.
From Liz (mother)
Joyce is a compassionate, gentle, and all around wonderful person in addition to an exceptional and knowledgeable doula. I could not have imagined a better fit for myself. My pregnancy was a true journey and I decided to work with a doula at around the 20 week mark, when I had a very different birth plan from what I eventually decided upon. I felt as though Joyce intuited where I would land and she shared various resources without any agenda or expectation so that I was able to reach my own decision in time with my husband. Joyce was always available when I needed her in the prenatal and postpartum periods via phone or text and I never felt rushed during our calls or visits. In prelabor and labor, she helped me to stay calm and centered as it progressed (or didn’t progress!) and provided physical comfort. If we have another child, I’ll feel lucky to have Joyce with us again.
From Joe (husband/birth partner)
Going into the birth journey as a husband and birth partner, I knew that my primary role was to protect my wife and unborn child and to help out with whatever they might need. Knowing that a doula’s role is to provide support for the mom, I was fully prepared to be an afterthought. Joyce made it clear very early on that it was also in her interest to help me be a good helper - through education about the process/anatomy of labor, making sure I knew how to take care of myself (getting rest when possible, not forgetting to eat if it’s a long labor, etc.), and even a crash course in diaper changing and how to wear a Solly baby wrap. While she primarily focused on making sure Liz had everything she needed, I felt supported as well. Her abundant knowledge and warm disposition were invaluable to Liz, our daughter, and myself during the entire process, and I enjoyed getting to know her as well.
Pregnancy, labor and delivery are not easy things. From the moment we hired Joyce, I felt at ease and prepared. Having Joyce on our team made me feel like I could do all of these things over and over again. My husband was questioning whether we needed a doula at all, since he’s pretty hands on. The support she provided him during labor gave him the strength to be the best possible partner I could have asked for. He felt calm and confident with her there.
Some of the tips she has given us both prenatal and postpartum have been so helpful. I wish every woman having a baby could have a Joyce with her during pregnancy and labor and be empowered by her knowledge, encouragement, and extremely calming nature.
I wanted a VBAC for my second delivery and I honestly could not have done it without her. The suggestions she made during pregnancy and especially labor were the reasons I was able to accomplish my goal. Not only was Joyce a great doula, we also just sincerely enjoy her company and personality.
We hired Joyce to help us welcome our first baby in October of 2020. We expected that a doula would be beneficial for me as a first time mom but we were pleasantly surprised to realize that she was also instrumental in supporting my husband which allowed him to be an even better birth partner to me. I had a natural, unmedicated 24.5hr long labor with a successful home birth for my son and we could not have done it without Joyce's expertise and support. She made us feel calm, provided plenty of tips/support for improving comfort, and was a constant reassuring presence throughout the entire process. She also captured a priceless photo of the instant my son was born and for that I am forever grateful. I can't imagine we could have done this unmedicated long labor successfully if it wasn't for Joyce. Highly recommend her services to everyone expecting, you have no idea how helpful a doula is until you've had one!
Hiring Joyce was one of the best decisions I made for my pregnancy and delivery! She was a constant source of advice, support, and resources to help me prepare. I was planning a homebirth and — in the final month of pregnancy — it was recommended that I be induced in the hospital, which was a difficult decision for my husband and I. Joyce provided us with invaluable emotional support amid the unexpected changes.
During my actual labor, I was impressed not only by Joyce’s attentiveness and focus but by her ability to provide us support while still giving us our own space. She participated in a way that was only helpful, carefully evaluating our needs and wishes throughout the entire process. She not only honored my birth plan but used her expertise to interpret our wishes for the small details and events that you can’t plan for — delivering on everything we wanted in a doula and more. She made helpful suggestions, provided explanations, and gave gentle reminders that helped me have the unmedicated, vaginal delivery I had hoped for, despite the less than perfect circumstances. I feel forever indebted to Joyce for my delivery and would choose her over and over again!
Joyce was by far the best doula I ever had, and I've had 3!!!! She REALLY listened to what I said I wanted during our prenatal visits together, and then, she delivered on every count PLUS even went above and beyond that, during my birth! She really blew me away and exceeded my expectations. Throughout my labor, she never left my side... and she was completely dialed-in and in-tune with my needs at every turn. Her attentiveness, focus, and gentle, supportive presence was my everything. Plus, she made suggestions that single-handedly changed the course of my birth for the better! She is so knowledgeable and attentive -- the perfect doula to have in your corner! Anyone would be lucky to have Joyce at their birth. I could not recommend her highly enough!!!
My family had an amazing experience with our doula, Joyce Havinga-Droop. Joyce has a superb sense of people matched with indispensable knowledge.
Joyce provided community throughout my pregnancy fostering friendships and a place where people can share information. When the pandemic hit she went above and beyond creating weekly zoom meetings to keep us all connected.
Joyce made herself available to talk on the phone to me about concerns, and offered healthy solutions based in research. This was invaluable as I recognized that I wanted to make changes to my extremely demanding lifestyle. This is nowhere in her job description, but doing everything to help, is the kind of person she is.
When my husband and I met with Joyce she genuinely wanted to know what we wanted for birth and was on a mission to ensure that we saw our visions come to reality.
We were lucky to have a healthy and natural birth, however, labor is still painful even when everything goes well. As a first time parent, I did not know what I was getting into. Joyce taught me several ways to cope with pain from pressure points, to postures, to breath, etc. She also had a way of making pain go away through physical touch, which she also taught to my husband. In my opinion she is a profound healer. It was wonderful to celebrate the birth of our son with her as part of our team.
Joyce supported the dynamic between my husband and I, and it is invaluable to have someone who really believes in you, your marriage, and your new young family. She is extremely knowledgeable about babies, birth, relationships, postpartum, community building and there was not one question I asked that wasn’t answered with expertise. She never pushed an agenda but listened to help us learn what was best for us. We recommend Joyce without hesitation and she was critical to our journey of growing our family.
My husband and I met Joyce when I was pregnant with my first child and even though she wasn't our official doula, she provided so much help and support during and after pregnancy that we highly appreciated. Joyce has always been very quick to respond to all our inquiries and provided with the most useful information and resources. She helped us with spinning babies exercises, CPR and baby basics workshops, baby feeding and sleep training. She also runs small group meetings at her house where I met women in a similar situation as mine and we all connected very well and even became friends. Joyce truly cares about women's issues, specifically around healthy pregnancy, delivery and postpartum period, that every woman (and man) can benefit from her knowledge and many years of experience of being a doula and working with families. She continues to be a useful resource for us and if we ever get pregnant again with a second baby, we will definitely hire her as our doula.
Joyce was my birth doula for my first pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though doulas were not allowed in the hospital at the time I gave birth, my husband and I still feel so lucky and thankful that Joyce was there to support us and guide us throughout my pregnancy.
I was having a lot of anxiety with the increased risk and uncertainty during the pandemic. Joyce was able to get the latest information from her doula network. She also held weekly virtual support groups where I could learn from other expecting/new moms. I felt a lot more informed and less overwhelmed thanks to Joyce.
Joyce is very knowledgeable, loving and calming. She was always very fast to respond whenever I had questions. She helped us to make educated decisions every step of the way. Under her guide, my baby got in a very ideal position for birth and my labor went fast and smoothly. I spent most of my labor at home with Joyce as I wished, and my baby was born only one hour after we got to the hospital. After my baby was born, Joyce was still very helpful and gave me a lot of advice on healing and breastfeeding.
We would highly recommend Joyce to any expecting parents that are considering to hire a doula.
My wife and I welcomed our firstborn this July, and Joyce was phenomenal preparing us and guiding us during his birth. She was knowledgeable, professional, and incredibly resourceful for not just all things baby but also related to COVID-19 and the hospitals.
Joyce gave us a real good mix of her own practical advice from her experience, and also listened to our questions and got back to us very promptly. We both learned a lot from her, and she was absolutely amazing during our son's birth, too.
For me as a dad, she was great in helping me understand ways I could meaningfully contribute to the pregnancy and birth process, and she was great with coaching me on ways to Facilitate our son's birth, and all the care the past few weeks afterward. I would definitely recommend her to anybody who is even considering a Doula! Top notch.
Her virtual meetings and community building activities before were also great. It was really valuable connecting with other future parents.
Joyce was my doula for my first and second pregnancy. What Joyce offers goes beyond the moment of a baby arriving into the world. Joyce’s support in the weeks leading up to labor, during labor, during delivery and the weeks after delivery is priceless! Every pregnancy is different and Joyce knew exactly how to mold her expertise to each scenario perfectly. My family is truly very lucky and blessed to have found Joyce, as she has helped and supported us in the most important days of our lives.
Thank you so much for being my doula during my pregnancy with my third baby. I could not have asked for a more loving , educated and calm person to be my side. You have taught me so much about pregnancy/birth but more importantly about life and my well being. Staying in the moment is my biggest take away especially during this time of crisis in our country with the Corona virus taking place. You went above and beyond to research new and safe ways to move through this pregnancy and constantly gave me a source of calmness and support through the hectic days.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and I’m so lucky to have a new friend in my life.
My wife Erin and I took a child birth class with Joyce which we took as an opportunity to "interview" her for the position. We had initially planned to interview multiple doulas. After meeting Joyce and feeling the connection we knew that she would be with us the day our son was born. Her experience, wisdom and general comforting nature made us feel like we had known her for years, that's just the kind of person she is.
Joyce was kind enough to come to our house for visits which was really cool as we were able to digest everything in the comfort of our own home. It was memorable and invaluable time in our lives as we were learning all of this new information that would aid us in the most intense event we've ever experienced together. She made everything fun, understandable and enjoyable for us. The prospect of having a natural birth had all of a sudden become a little less daunting, and we attribute that to Joyce.
Once the outbreak began in the US, Joyce seemlessly transitioned us into digitally finishing up our preparation for child birth. The hospitals in NY didn't allow any doulas or family into the delivery room, and with limited help of the midwives due to the crisis we were feeling a little overwhelmed. For ten hours Joyce stayed with us digitally on a zoom call and guided us through all of the valuable techniques she taught us at home to help Erin's labor progress and achieve the natural birth she so greatly desired.
Joyce helped us with postpartum calls and even aided Erin in some brestfeeding hurdles. She offers the most diverse scope of what you can achieve from enlisting a birth advocate. We have really connected with her and will be looking to her again for the birth of our next child. She truly cares about the people she serves, and goes above and beyond for them. it's so apparent. I would urge anyone looking for a doula in our area to connect with Joyce.
Joyce was absolutely wonderful and an integral part of our birthing experience. My husband and I went back and forth for a couple of months considering if we wanted a doula and if we wanted to incur the additional expense. We did some research and found that studies have shown healthier babies and fewer complications during birth when there is a doula present. So we decided to meet doulas and from the moment we met Joyce we were happy with our decision. Our baby was cozy and I ended up having to get induced a few days after my due date. I was really disappointed that I needed to get induced. Having Joyce with us throughout the birthing process made all the difference and far exceeded our expectations. She supported us, kept us calm, educated us and made it an enjoyable experience. After birth she was available and incredibly helpful to answer our questions. We tried to limit them but we were first time parents with lots of questions and she was incredibly kind in offering advice. We would not hesitate to have Joyce with us at future births or referring her to friends and family. My husband and I are so grateful that Joyce was with us during the birth of our baby!
When I was pregnant with my third baby, my husband and I did not intend to have a doula. We had not used one for our other two. Fast forward to the end of this last pregnancy and my husband was diagnosed with the flu. The doctors wanted to induce, but said he could not be in the labor and delivery area until he was symptom free to ensure the health of all. Obviously, this was disheartening information to receive, but we totally understood. I scrambled trying to think of who to ask to help me through such an important moment in my life and my OBGYN recommended I connect with Joyce. I spoke with Joyce over the phone and we had an immediate connection. She acknowledged that while my situation was certainly unique, she would be available to us in any way we needed. Over the course of the week, we spoke on the phone and texted often. I found the research based information and techniques she provided me to prolong the pregnancy, so that I could try to hold off the induction so my husband could be there, incredibly helpful. Joyce was my voice of reason and my biggest supporter during that stressful time. Thanks to Joyce, not only did I keep my sanity, but her advice and information allowed for enough time to pass so that my husband could recuperate and be present for the birth of our third and final baby! We are very grateful for her kindness, warmth and expertise. Hopefully one day, we will have the pleasure of meeting Joyce in person since she was a blessing to us and a special part of our daughter’s birth.
I reached out to Joyce hoping to use natural pain relief techniques and labor at home as long as possible before an unmedicated, hospital birth. But as is often the case, none of this was to be for me. I ended up being induced and ultimately having a cesarean. Joyce was fantastic through everything - helping us to understand what was going on and cope with each part of the labor, whether it was dealing with pain or understanding what the monitors were doing. It was great to have a cool and experienced head in the room. Also, it was wonderful to have one person there for just us for the whole time because the nurses and doctors changed with the shifts.
Joyce is very knowledge about natural AND medicated birth, and was able to explain everything that was going on. While you have to make all the decisions, she will make sure you are aware of as much as she can. Also, my husband found her immensely helpful too. She would do things like remind him to eat and drink. I had originally wanted intermittent monitoring but this was not an option when being induced and she helped me to still move around while being attached to the monitors. She knows her way around hospitals too.
She also met with us several times before and after the birth, providing lots of suggestions on various areas - even assisting with breastfeeding. I cannot recommend Joyce enough. I would advise everyone to have a doula no matter what type of labor you are planning. For most people, the doctors and nurses just won't give you the attention that you deserve during labor (it's just how the hospital system is). She will help you to advocate for yourself and understand everything that is going on. I could have been one of those moms who felt like an utter failure for not having the natural birth I "planned" (haha), but Joyce helped me feel safe and empowered throughout the birth.
We cannot say enough great things about Joyce. We loved her the moment we interviewed her. To begin, she is impeccably specific and detailed in the services she offers. As nervous future parents, she did a great job of putting us at ease; came to our home and patiently walked us through what to expect during the labor and birthing process. She gave us numerous exercise and body movement regiments to help get the baby in the right position during labor. Additionally, she periodically sent us research and academic papers that addressed different aspects of pregnancy actions and outcomes. She left us with plenty of books and DVDs for us to be more knowledgeable. She was always reachable by phone and email to answer any questions we had. During the labor and postpartum phase, our plans changed and Joyce was very accommodating with that and she stayed with us all through; very practical in her advice. I felt very empowered in my decision making thanks to her. My husband loved the fact that I had support while he dashed out to get food, shower/change clothes etc. Really helped baby latch on and checked up on us once we got home which we really appreciated. She also was a good reference source for us. To sum it up, it felt like having a friend, sister, mum, advisor all in one! Would definitely call Joyce again for baby number two.
I couldn't have been happier having Doula Joyce with me on the day I went into labor. With little to no verbal communication exchanged between the two of us, Joyce knew what I needed, when I needed it, and applied the most calming techniques to my body i.e. hip shakes, pressure points, hair brushing, cold compresses, etc. I would look up at her in moments of doubt and she gave me a look in return that boosted my confidence. My birth experience at home was pure, sacred, safe, and incredibly positive and it would have been less so without Doula Joyce. The quality of Joyce's support was exactly what was needed for both my husband and I. She continues to be part of my "village" during my post-partum weeks and I'm so grateful for her knowledge and guidance.
I will never forget Joyce and her wonderful, positive contributions to my growing family.
I hired Joyce as my doula at 35 weeks with my second child because I was hoping to have an unmedicated vbac in a hospital setting and I didn't feel supported by my OB. I was feeling overwhelmed and fearful before our first meeting. Joyce was warm and reassuring and I felt comfortable with her from our first email exchange. In our first meeting, she gave me the information, statistics, resources, and most importantly, the confidence, to trust my body. She guided me in moments of doubt before and during labor. Without her experience and care, I would not have had the positive birth experience I was so wanting.
Since the birth of my beautiful son, I have felt so happy. I love my body for what it has done. In our postpartum visits, Joyce has taught me how to rest, bond with my baby, and heal. I attribute her advice to my health and wellness today. I have also learned how to ask for help and advocate for myself. I hear Joyce's voice in my head sometimes - and she's always cheering me on and giving me good advice. I would recommend her to anyone! She's a beautiful person, she loves what she does, and she is very good at it!
We have no words to express how grateful we are with Joyce, our doula, for being part of our intimate most sacred event in our lives. Joyce was supportive and open since the beginning , providing us with information, her experience and non judgedamental warmth. She was part of our journey during my pregnancy and was in the here and now during delivery. We love her so much and we wouldn’t have no one else with us!!!!
I was 3 days in labor and Joyce came over to support us. Staying in with me during contractions and guiding my husband on how to be there for me and also know he wasn’t alone. Joyce was prepared with oils, homepathy, candles, encouragement signs and all sorta of soothing tools. She slept with us, ate with us and went to hospital when ready.
Joyce is just a pleasure, professional and at the sane time a strong motherly wise presence that makes you feel grounded, reapected and loved! Thank you Joyce for an amazing experience!!!!!!
With LOVE, Stuart, Magdalena and Cora ??
I first heard about Joyce thru a friend who’s delivery she had assisted with. I actually live in West New York, NJ which is somewhat out her traveling zone. After explaining to her that she was strongly referred to me, she considered it after realizing the I wasn’t far from her after all. I was grateful for this because my doula search was getting stressful. And working with someone who helped a good friend of mine out already, made me feel so much at ease and comfortable. During our first few phone conversations and face time interviews, I had a great first impression. She has a great head on her shoulders and a calming demeanor. I knew she was the one! Over the next few months she helped me prepare for what to expect during childbirth and understood how important it was to me to wait out my labor at home for as long as possible, along with other birth plan preferences. She gave me great advise when I finally went into labor and came over as soon as I needed her to. Things went exactly as planned with zero unplanned interventions. I cannot recommend Joyce enough to you. Shes a phenomenal doula who was also there for me for all my post partum needs and questions. Whenever i was uncertain about something I knew i could call her and ask for her lactation and baby advise. If you are considering to hire her as your doula, she will not disappoint.
Joyce was a lovely addition to our birth team, she was caring and attentive. She helped my husband and I navigate the whole process. I truly believe she was instrumental in me having a vaginal birth. The doctor at the hospital was pushing for a c-section but Joyce worked with me and the hospital staff to do everything we could for a vaginal birth. I would highly recommend Joyce, she is a lovely person that reads situations with thought and purpose. Birth does not always go to plan but having someone in your corner that is knowledgable is priceless.
As parents to be we hired Joyce to be our birth doula and looking back we feel so very blessed that we did. She helped us prepare for labor and was there for us whenever we needed her in the weeks leading up to the birth.
Once the contractions started, her backup Silvie Falschlunger came to our house to help us out, she is also an amazing doula. Silvie helped us stay relaxed in our home by assuring everything went well and by helping us with different positions.
When we arrived at the hospital Joyce took over and helped me walk into the maternity ward. The midwife checked me and I was 9cm already. During the following 3 hours Joyce stayed with us. She helped us with our discussions with the hospital staff. She massaged my back the whole time between contractions, which felt amazing. She was really there for us while our wonderful little girl was being born.
Afterwards she visited us two times at home while we were recovering and enjoying our time as a family. We could ask her all kinds of questions, which was really helpful. And we would talk about the birth and how it all went.
Joyce is really good at what she does. She takes into account the wishes of her clients and is fully there for them. And beside that, she's just a very nice person to be around. We love you Joyce!
I decided to become a single mother on my own. Although I have the support of my family, I felt having a doula would make my birthing experience more relaxed and give me the additional individual support that I knew I would need. After my interview with Joyce, I knew I had found the right doula for me. Joyce instantly made me feel at ease. She listened to my wants and concerns for what I had envisioned for my birth plan She took the time to answer all my questions and had all the appropriate materials/videos/visuals to help me understand what my pregnancy would be like up until giving birth and during the birth process. She made herself available before and after giving birth.
Joyce is a warm caring person who was with me every step of the way the day I delivered. I had a very long and difficult labor and Joyce was the perfect doula to be the liaison between the doctors and me. She kept my family and me updated on everything the doctors were doing throughout the labor, always having my best interest in mind. I am truly thankful Joyce was a part of my special day and would recommend her without a doubt.
I very much enjoyed working with Joyce. She is knowledgeable, supportive, patient and reliable. She really made a positive difference in my pregnancy and labor experience. She remains a valuable source of information for me even post pregnancy.
It has taken me a little bit of time to write this recommendation mostly because I knew it would be difficult to sum up Joyce’s work in words. So I will be honest and say there are no combination of words that can accurately explain Joyce’s ability to make an impact on one of the most important days of your life.
Joyce has expertise, compassion, understanding and dedication. She knew exactly when I needed her actively by my side and when I needed my private moments with my husband. I honestly hesitated at the idea of bringing in an “stranger” into a very private experience. I not only gained a son into our family after birth, I gained Joyce as a family member too that I wholeheartedly trust. You cannot go wrong with having Joyce be you, your partners and baby’s support!
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.
= Available. Calendar last updated: 12-10-2023