Jessica Koester Photo

Jessica Koester

Your Best Birth

Website: http://yourbestbirth.org

Phone: (732) 925-3035

Birth Fee: $1300 to $1350

Fee Details: There is a discount for those who take our classes in addition to using our doula services.

Birth Doula Experience: 16 years and 222 births attended

Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Doula Training

Not Specified

Type of Practice: Partnership with 1 other doula

Clients per Month: 1 to 2

Attends hospital births? Some Hospitals
Most of the births I attend are at Jersey Shore, Monmouth Medical or Princeton-Plainsboro. I also attend births at Riverview, Morristown and Overlook.(currently not attending births at JFK)
Attends birth center births? Some Birth Centers
Attends home births? Any Home Birth

Childbirth Education Certifications

  • Lamaze International

Other Relevant Certifications

  • DONA International - Birth Doula Trainer
  • Have attended trainings in: use of TENS unit for labor, Water birth, Rebozo and Spinning Babies.

Specialized training or previous experience

  • Cesarean birth
  • Clients on bed rest
  • Families conceiving with ART and IVF
  • High risk
  • Home Birth
  • Multiples
  • Over 40
  • Prematurity
  • Single parents
  • Twins
  • VBAC
  • Waterbirth

Special Services Offered

  • Birth Pool rental
  • TENS units rental

Languages spoken: English

Service Area Map

Area of practice: Marlboro, NJ
Travel Range: 30 Miles

Certifications for Jessica Koester

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Jessica Koester

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Shanti Mignogna

I can't rave enough about Jessica! I honestly don't know what I would have done without her by my side. I suppose I would have been fine but it probably wouldn't have been the labor and delivery I hoped for. She reassured me, comforted me, and advocated for me. She remained calm and constant throughout the whole day and her presence was so strengthening for me. If you are looking for a doula who has a strong but soothing presence, and who you can truly count on, I can't recommend her enough. I'm looking forward to delivering my next child with Jessica by my side.  

My husband also wanted me to include how on top of everything Jessica was. He said that whenever we were thinking about or wanting something, she was two steps ahead of us and had it ready. He never felt overshadowed by her and in fact it was the opposite. She allowed him to be there for me completely by not having to worry about what else he was supposed to be doing. 

Cherry on top was the beautiful birth story and photos she brought over to my house a few weeks after my daughter was born. So so grateful <3

Posted 4/9/2018

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Michelle Baker

I've had such wonderful experiences with Jessica . We hired her for our first baby's birth and she was instrumental in the entire process. She is extremely knowledgeable and has so much experience, so any little question I had she answered quickly and completely . She has a very calm and reassuring presence, so she always left me feeling confident. She is your advocate so she doesn't expect you to labor any type of way except your own, and she supports you 100%. It's so rare to find a support person with that quality.

My initial concern with whether to hire a doula was related to if she would interfere or displace my husband , but I found quite the opposite- she empowered him, giving him a more active role. As labor progressed and things became really unfamiliar to my husband, Jessica not only reassured us how normal everything was, she took charge and helped me cope. She truly completed our birth team.

We then hired her for our second baby which was an equally beautiful experience and Jessica was equally as instrumental. She contributed to my passion for birth and I just completed my doula training with her and Dorothy. I am so grateful I learned from the best.

I highly recommend Jessica. She will do anything possible to make sure you have the best possible birth experience.

Posted 4/3/2017

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Kimberly Streit

Jessica was amazing.  I had a birth plan that quickly went out the door.  She was knowledgable, calming and extrmely helpful.  Jessica spent hours with us during our extremely long labor.  She provided verbal, physical and emotional support.  She provided support to both myself and my partner the entire time she was at the hospital with us.  She went well beyond our expectations of a doula.  After birth, her support has continued.  We highly recommend Jessica as she was an invaluable part of our birth team!!!

Posted 11/14/2016

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Jennifer Shukaitis

I recently described the birth of my second daughter as “pretty near perfect.” A huge reason for this was because I had Jessica at my side though labor and birth. Her calm demeanor helped me through some of the most intense parts of labor and made me feel calmer, more comfortable, and confident that I could have a positive birth experience. Her easy, judgment-free approach to supporting her moms makes her a joy to work with because I knew that she would support me in whatever decisions I felt I wanted to make before and during labor. My labor went fast, and Jessica arrived at my house to help me through the earlier parts of it, holding my hand and helping me focus on breathing. After I arrived at the hospital and my epidural kicked in, she went out of her way to help me feel calm and comfortable, providing extra pillows, music, communicating to the medical staff, and helping me navigate the hospital room machines and buttons. By the time my baby girl arrived, I felt relaxed and ready! I could not have imagined a better way to welcome her into this world. Jessica was also wonderful during the post-partum period, regularly checking in via phone and in person. She made sure to check up on not only my physical recovery, but on my mental and emotional health as well. During the very trying post-partum period, it was so reassuring to have someone support me in this way. Also, having photos and a birth story (with so many details that I had already forgotten!) is such a wonderful way to keep those amazing memories for years to come! I am so thankful that I had Jessica as my doula so that I can look back fondly on my whole birth experience!

Posted 10/19/2016

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Lili Avery

Jessica is super knowledgeable and has so much experience! She was always letting me know my options.  She was very helpful specially duting active labor. I coild have not made it without her help! 

Posted 10/14/2016

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Naomi Tramontano

Jessica has supported me and my husband through the births of both our children and I can not reccomend her highly enough. As a first time mom, the prenatal counseling she offered through her childbirth class and through a private meeting helped me get clear on what I wanted (and didn't want) during my birth. My practitioner was a very traditional MD and I wanted a very natural, intervention free birth. Listening to Jessica's advice got me the birth I wanted and otherwise would have been talked out of. Her support during both births was nothing short of amazing. She knew when I needed a break, a drink of water, a cool washcloth, to change postitions, to get up - she knew what I needed when I had no idea! I am absolutelty certain that I would not have made it through two unmedicated (induced) births without her. My husband didnt have much of an understanding of what  doula does before our first baby but after her birth he was telling everyone we knew about how important it was that we had Jessica and reccommending her to all the couples we knew having babies. As soon as we found out I was pregnant with our second one of his first reactions was to remind me that I needed to call Jessica because she had to be there! I had a difficult time with my second labor due to the baby's positioning and Jessica saved the day several times with her suggestions, including the suggestion that I push flat on my back (who would have thought?!) which was how my baby finally made it out in a single contraction after almost two hours of non productive pushing. The postnatal followup and support was also great (I didn't realize how much I would need it) and I just love the photos she took and birth story that she wrote for each baby. They are so special to me and revisited often. I am deeply thankful that Jessica was there to support me, my husband and our babies. When she was in the room I knew I had an advocate who could guide me through whatever came our way.

Posted 9/28/2016

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Laura Harding

Jessica was a valuable player on our birthing team and I can't imagine having gone through 3 births, including 2 at home, without her support!! She is EXTREMELY knowledgeable about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. She always impressed me with how much knowledge she possesses off the top of her head!

She is a kind, caring, understanding and nurturing person. So easy to be around and talk to. She always made me feel so relaxed and made my husband feel included every step of the way. She provided excellent emotional and physical support to me during my labor. I'm surprised I didn't crush her poor little hands during the pushing stages at any of my births!! She's tough and resilient, but warm and gentle at the same time. Her good vibes and energy empowered me to get through the hardest parts of my labors.

The birth stories she provided to us are priceless and I treasure them!! She also offered me emotional support during the post-partum period when I was feeling a little down. I always felt better after talking to her.

I can't say enough good things about Jessica and have even referred a few friends to her. Having a doula at my births is one of the best decisions I made for myself and my babies! I would do it all over again and I highly recommend Jessica at Your Best Birth.

Posted 7/11/2016

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Jennifer Yannarelli

Jessica was nothing sort than amazing for the birth of our 3 rd baby. I am not sure that a successful and natural VBAC2 would have been possible without her guidance the weeks before the birth and during labor. she helped me make great choices to ensure VBAC2 regarding DR and my fitness at home.  I was in early labor for around 24 hours and she made me feel safe after calling her in the middle of the night the night before. When labor did progress again at 11 PM she talked me through it and came to my house at 1 Am. My husband and I felt we could trust her and were able to enjoy the moment more. I thought I had a high pain tolerance but without Jessica coaching me from position to position and around the house I am sure that we would have went to hospital 4 hours earlier that we did but she helped take the fear away and to believe I could do this with the pain. The tens unit they provide also helped. She kept me home as long as possible which was my goal because with 2 CSec when you go in yourwill not have the freedom to move around since you ahve to be monitored continuously. By the time we got to the hospital I was 6 centimeters and had the baby wihtin 2 hours. The Dr and nurses at the hospital were great but Jessica helped to be my voice and when I was confused by what they wanted or were asking of me she was there to answer my questions so I could make the right decision. When you are that exhausted it is hard to make these kind of decisions on your own. Even through the pushing in the beginning she saw that I didnt understand the breath holding and guided me through it and than baby came quickly once i was doing it correctly.  Not only that but was there to help my husband with comfort of socks or clean up or anything we needed. She was calm, strong and soothing throughout the whole experience. Having her there with us increased the pleasure of the birth for us immensely. I couldnt recommend her highly enough. 

Posted 11/9/2015

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Erica Balesterri Wortman

Words can't express how AMAZING Jessica was as my doula for the births of both of my sons. We orginially met Jessica during our birthing class 5 years ago & knew we wanted her at our birth. We met with Jessica during my pregnancy and she provided me with fantastic information as to what to expect, how to cope with pain and just being there for us to call if we had any questions. When I went into labor we immediatly contacted Jessica and she was helping my husband determine how far along I was and when/where she should meet us. Jessica came to our home and instantly made me feel at peace during my contractions. Her calming voice would help guide me back into allowing my body to work the way it should. My comfort level with Jessica was so strong that I had her drive me to the hospital vs. driving alone with my husband. She stayed by me every single minute of my birth and guided my husband and mom with little tricks to help comfort me during my labor. Jessica was thereafter to help me with breastfeeding and would even contact me weeks following to see how both me and baby were doing. Jessica visited with us a few weeks later and provided me with an album of pictured captioned throughout my labor and also "My Birth Story" which detailed every moment from our first phone call to her to the arrival of our son. I knew that if I was to get pregnant again, Jessica would be there by my side again. 4 1/2 yrs. later, I contacted Jessica and informed her about my pregnancy and she was just as wonderful as she was the 1st time. I have never met someone as caring, kind, knowledgable and gentle as Jessica. She is the reason I was successful at having two vaginal, unmedicated births. I would not have been able to do it without Jessica by my side. She is like an angel that brings me a sense of calm and confidence within myself. I treasure having met Jessica and having the experience of her at both of my births.

Posted 4/27/2015

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Meghan Chrisner-Keefe

Jessica is an amazing doula. She was so supportive throughout my entire pregnancy and delivery, answering questions, providing guidance, giving feedback, etc.  As this was my 2nd baby, and I was a VBAC hopeful after a very traumatic first birth, I put a lot of time and energy into preparing for my baby's birth. Jessica supported me the entire time and was extremely encouraging. When I went into early labor, Jessica kept in constant contact. When labor advanced, Jessica met us at home in the middle of the night. It was great to have her with us at home to help guide us through the labor process, as she made suggestions of what to do next, when to lay down and rest, when to eat, etc. She ensured that we were always doing something to prepare for the imminent arrival of our baby. Jessica did a wonderful job of always presenting us with our various options and the different benefits and risks of each. It was nice to not have to do the thinking when in labor -- we simply asked her to lay it out for us and we were easily able to make decisions with her knowledge and experience guiding us.  

 

Jessica helped me labor at home long enough to arrive at the hospital in very active labor. When we had some decisions to make, she presented our options to us and helped us discuss the choices and their merits. It was so great to have this support, as my husband and I were both exhausted by this point and really happy to have guidance. Although I haven't touched on it, Jessica was an amazing support for pain relief and to help us position baby properly for delivery. These skills were invaluable, but I know her emotional support and experience were truly the key that helped us have an easy, fast, successful unmedicated VBAC. I know if it were not for Jessica, I would have gone to the hospital sooner and I would have had an epidural, perhaps jeopardizing my vbac. We are so grateful that she was our doula and I will always recommend her to others!

Posted 8/18/2014

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Kristen Brennan O'Grady

After having a challenging experience with the birth of my first child, I was anxious about how things would go the second time around.  After meeting with Jessica for the first time, we instantly knew that this experience would be different.  Regardless of the twists and turns that our little girl took, Jessica was with us every step of the way.  She anticipated moments of the birth process that would cause heightened anxiety and she was ready to walk me through.  Jessica also helped to position my husband as the primary support person, something that was important to us.  I think the most important part of Jessica's presence was her ability to help facilitate communication with my birth team members.  She helped me feel empowered to make decisions and assisted with laying out all the options available to me.  Through it all, she kept our preferences in mind and aided us in staying true to those preferences when the path didn't seem as clear.  Her passion for personalized birth experiences and sensitivity for each mom's well being make Jessica a tremendously effective doula.  I can't imagine what our birth experience would have been without her.  It is with the highest praise that I recommend Jessica. 

Posted 7/29/2014

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Melissa Dirienzo

I am a mom of 3 and Jessica was my doula for my 2nd and 3rd births.I had an unplanned C-section for my 1st birth.My vision was to have an intervention free birth.I took a one day hospital course to prepare for birth and exercised.The 1st time around, I went to the hospital at 1cm and just listened to the doctors rather then to what I wanted.I had my water broken, was given pitocin, got an epidural and when I didn't progress past 4cm, I had a C-section.I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy, but I always questioned if all the interventions led to the C-section.I decided when I got pregnant the 2nd time that I was going to change doctors, try for a vaginal birth and hire a doula.The midwives I use recommended Your Best Birth for childbirth classes and doula services.After taking Jessica and Dorothy's class I felt empowered and informed and like I was in charge this time around. Having my doula there was the added support I needed to really relax and trust in my body and my baby.I released a lot of the fears I was holding onto about my C-section to them.Even when my 2nd birth felt like it was going down the same path, Jessica kept me focused and kept my goal of an intervention free, vaginal birth in sight.My daugther was born after 4 hrs in the hospital, with no interventions.Jess made the hospital room very comfortable and peaceful.She gave me advice on different positions to try when hard labor set in. She assisted my husband so that he knew the best way to be there for me.She helped me with nursing.She took amazing pictures and wrote up a beautiful birth story that I will cherish forever.When I got pregnant with my 3rd child, there was no way I wasn't including Jessica again.It was the best decision I made for my labor and delivery.The questions and 2nd guessing that I did with my 1st birth are gone.Thanks Jessica and Dorothy for giving me the knowlegde, tools, strength & support to trust my body and have the births that I always dreamed of. 

Posted 6/12/2014

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Susan O'Connor

I had an awesome waterbirth experience with Jessica as my doula and would highly recommend her, as well as the classes taught by Jessica and Dorothy. My husband and I first met Jessica when she came to our house for a consultation mid-way through my pregnancy. She was knowledgable and friendly and we easily decided we’d like to have her support. During that first conversation I asked her if she had any clients that used the OBYGN practice I was going to at the time and she hadn’t had any deliveries with them. We were not really happy with their services and were looking for others’ opinions. I also asked about the midwives at Center for Women’s Health in Avon and she spoke highly of them. Based on the positive feedback regarding the midwives we decided to switch care providers. That turned out to be a great decision since they are the only practice that does waterbirth deliveries (which we were interested in having, but had initially ruled out since the OBGYN practice didn’t do them). Having Jessica’s support during my labor and delivery was critical in a few ways. We got to the hospital a little before Jessica early in the morning and told the staff we wanted to use the tub for delivery. However, because of the shift change and the size of the room we were assigned to, our requests for it were not promptly handled. When Jessica arrived she worked with the staff to get it set up in our small room. Had it not been for her polite insistence I don’t think a waterbirth would have happened for me. It was so comforting to have Jessica’s knowledge and support- her suggestions for managing the pain helped a lot. Her calm, positive demeanor was exactly what I needed. One other great thing about using Jessica as our doula was getting photos from during and after labor and delivery and also a lovely birth story write-up. Both are invaluable.

Posted 4/16/2014

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Alison Minkler

We first met Jessica when we took her childbirth classes. We learned so much through the classes and both my husband and I agreed that Jessica would be an excellent choice for our Doula. In the classes we learned that she is extremely knowledgable and is eager to share all that she knows. When we had our first individual appointment with her at our home, we became even more confident that she could help us have the best birth experience possible. She gave some great recommendations and supported us in and guided us thorugh the decisions we were making. Leading up to my due date, and the following 2 weeks before my baby was born, she checked in with me regularly to find out how I was doing and provided further suggestions based on what was going on with me and the baby at the time. I now tell everyone about how perfect my birth experience was and I attribute the positive experience to Jessica. Her confident knowledge of comfort measures and tireless commitment to helping me through were amazing. As the night turned into early morning, Jessica maintained her positive, upbeat demeanor when everyone else in the room was visably exhausted, which was a huge help in keeping me going. I could go on for days saying great things about Jessica. I would highly recommend her to anyone interested in hiring a bith doula. She will surely help guide you through planning for exactly the birth experience that you are hoping for and expertly help you manage the curve balls that will inevitably come your way. She will be my first call should I find out that I am pregnant with another baby.

Posted 4/5/2014

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Amanda Kleinman Sherak

We first hired Jessica in 2010 for the birth of our son.  When he decided to arrive 6 weeks early, I felt so incredibly fortunate to have Jess as labor support for us.  With extra family support out of town, not only did Jessica ease labor and facilitate a wonderful experience, she really cares about her clients and their well being just as if she was a relative.  Her expertise and professionalism meshed so well with the hospital staff.  After he was born, she called on a regular basis to check in on us during his NICU stay, to give support for pumping then breastfeeding.  When we found out that I was expecting again this past summer, I shared the news with Jessica before most of my friends and family.  With all of the "unknowns" that can happen with pregnancy, I KNEW that I wanted Jessica there with us during labor.  Again, she proved to be the voice of experience and reason when I had questions and doubts throughout this experience.  No question was silly, no fear unaddressed.  When she appeared at the hospital while I was in labor with her magical bag she brought me such peace of mind.  She is respected by health care providers which is essential in bridging the gap between a medical model and a holistic frame of mind.  I know in my heart that I had two great birth experiences because I hired Jess- she is knowlegable, flexible, resiliant, kind, professional.

Posted 4/3/2014

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Sally Monterrosa

Jessica was everything I wanted and needed and more as a doula. When we met, I instantly felt safe and secure. She is warm, caring, professional and so knowledgeable. She felt like a friend!  She loves what she does and you can feel it. Having her support pre birth, birth and post birth was awesome. She was so attentive, listened and respected my wishes and needs and was great at guiding me according to how I felt. I am so grateful for her. My birth was a wonderful experience because of her help. Having Jessica by my side made me feel confident and powerful from begining to end. I am forever grateful for her and her support during my unmedicated natural birth. I will def have her by my side for my next pregnancy. I HIGHLY reccomend Jessica for your journey into motherhood. She is amazing!

Posted 3/28/2014

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Tally Helfont

 I cannot even begin to express the level of appreciation and gratitude that we feel for Jessica and the services that she provided us before, during, and after the birth of our son. Her solid, upbeat, and confident disposition coupled with her ability to listen, empathize, and set others at ease were jus a few of the qualities that Jessica possesses. She made my labor experience easier, memorable, and one without fear (despite it being my first time). She seamlessly fit herself into my husband and my dynamic, making us feel like each of us had an integral and important role to play. I would recommend using a doula in general but using Jessica in particular. Jessica, thank you for an amazing experience.

Posted 1/10/2013

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Kerry DiStefano

I have to start by saying that I never imagined just how incredible my birth experience would be with Jessica by my side as my doula. I went into it hoping to have someone knowledgable and supportive to coach me through my labor and delivery, since I was feeling nervous and a bit insecure. I came out of it realizing that I never could have done it without her expertise, calmness, compassion, words of encouragement, guidance, and sense of humor. She kept me and my husband relaxed and confident throughout my labor and delivery. Jessica spent over 17 hours with us and genuinely shared in our euphoria as our beautiful baby boy was born shortly after 1am. She stayed after the birth to assist me in nursing my newborn. All of this would have been way more than enough but Jessica went above and beyond to provide me with the most fantastic photo album and birth story ever. I was in tears reading our birth story and couldn't believe just how many details she included that we would have otherwise forgotten about. I will forever be indebted to her for making the birth of my son the single most amazing experience of my life.

Posted 12/31/2012

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Erin Roneree

Jessica is a wonderful Doula and we LOVED having her for the birth of our first son. I feel like we couldn't have done it without her. It might have gone so differently without her expertise and care. We are having another child and can't wait to use her again! Highly recommend Your Best Birth services to anyone having a baby especially with the unecessarily high intervention and c section rate in the US today.

Posted 8/6/2012

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kitty stillufsen

 
June 8, 2009

Testimony and Recommendation for Jessica Koesterk, Doula


After having gone through over 15 hours of labor and finally a C-section, it would be easy to say that I could not imagine going through that without a doula. But that would just not be accurate...

I could not imagine going through that without Jessica, specifically.

Jessica is a master of her craft. She is professional, supportive, progressive and an advocate for whatever the wishes of her ward... even when the wishes may change unexpectedly mid-way.

During my labor Jessica continued to amaze me with the things she produced from her bag of tricks. Things that I would not had thought of, like peppermints, relaxing music, a heat pad, a birthing ball and chap stick. Jessica did not leave my side the entire time. I leaned against her during the worst of the contractions. She encouraged me, she comforted me, she cheered me on, she monitored me, she knew more about what I was going through when I was going through it than anyone else could have. And even when the final decision had to be made, a C-section, she came into the operating room with me and held my hand and told me just the words I needed to hear... I had been brave and tried everything and had nothing to regret.

I would not hesitate to offer my highest recommendation for Jessica to assist in a birth. She was admired by the nursing staff for her professionalism, and treated with professional courtesy from the doctors and my midwife. Anyone facing the trials of labor would do themselves, and the baby well by hiring Jessica... the most amazing doula.

Yours truly, Kitty Philipp

Posted 1/1/2010

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Nancy and Jonathan Cofield

We signed up for Lamaze class with Jessica because I was afraid of how I would deal with pain from contractions and wanted to know about being healthy during my pregnancy with twins.  We absolutely loved going to Lamaze class- Jessica had a separate workbook and modified exercises for me since I was on bedrest.  She taught my husband and I breathing techniques, meditation, exercises, and what stages my body was going through during that time of pregnancy.  There was constant contact and compassion that Jessica gave us that really put us at ease, knowing that any time of day, Jessica would answer questions or be right at our side to assist us with her expertise.  I wanted a C-section, people told me all deliveries of twins were need of surgery.  Jessica has been a doula of twins and advised us to see an OBGYN who delivered twins naturally.  The OBGYN was just wonderful!! The morning my water broke, I felt totally confident, and knew I could manage my contractions thanks to Jessica's instruction. At 8 centimeters the OBGYN recommended an epidural since Baby B was going to be pulled out by her feet-I would feel too much from the OBGYN doing that manuveur.  Both babies were delivered vaginally with only one small stitch.  Jessica made sure that we had the Best possible birthing experience!!!

Posted 1/1/2010

Birth Availability for Jessica Koester

= Available. Calendar last updated: 10/28/2018 12:14:42 PM