Laura DePasquale, CD(DONA) Photo

Laura DePasquale, CD(DONA)

Holistic Beginnings,LLC

Chatham, NJ Service range 65 miles Will travel to Manhattan.

201-988-6625

http://www.holisticbeginnings.org

Birth Fee

$1800 to $2000

Postpartum Rate

$40 to $50

Birth Fee

$1800 to $2000

Postpartum Rate

$40 to $50


Birth Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Birth Doula

Postpartum Doula Certifications

  • DONA International - Certified Postpartum Doula

Birth Doula Experience

26 years and 905 births attended

Postpartum Doula Experience

13 years and 35 families served


Doula Training

  • DONA International, December 1996

Type of practice: Other

Clients per month: 1 to 4 births and 2 postpartum families

Attends hospital births? All Hospitals

Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Approved Doula for Our Birth Center in Morristown

Attends home births? Some Home Births


College Education

BA/BS


Special Services Offered

  • Aromatherapy
  • Childbirth education services
  • Parenting consulting
  • TENS units rental

Relevant volunteer or advocacy work

-DONA International NJ State Ambassador -DONA Certification Review Committee

Fee Details

Fees higher in NYC

Chatham, NJ Service range 65 miles Will travel to Manhattan.

Certifications for Laura DePasquale, CD(DONA)

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Certification

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Client Testimonials for Laura DePasquale, CD(DONA)

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Cindy Zolnowski

4/15/2020

I first met with Laura because I had a doula with my first baby in Texas and wanted the support with my second baby’s birth in NJ. What I didn’t realize at the time is how she would help me find the right OB/GYN practice for me, a loving group of midwives, a team of therapists to help with positioning and relieve pain, and ultimately a safe place for me to give birth during a unforeseen global pandemic. I’m sitting here holding my sweet baby girl in tears thanking God for Laura because I know my outcome would be completely different if she didn’t come into my life. I am truly grateful for her, for coaching me through thinking about a more positive birth experience with my second child, providing emotional support and knowledge to guide my preparation for birth, giving me guidance on how to navigate childbirth having a previous orthopedic condition, and making sure my husband and I were strong together. She connected me with an amazing myofascial therapist and chiropractor to help with the pain of carrying a baby with a hip condition and to ensure proper positioning of my body in alignment with my babies for a quicker, less painful birth. My first child was born in 25 hours, I pushed for over 3 hours. With Laura and her team of amazing practitioners, I was in active labor for 3 hours and I pushed for 20 minutes. I recommend Laura to anyone, especially those dealing with emotional/physical stress and pain from previous births and medical history.

Stephanie

3/12/2020

I'm a very happy mother of a 3 month old! I gave birth in December 2019 with the support and care of Laura. She was absolutely amazing to me and my husband. She met with us before giving birth to connect and educate us on the birthing process. I was extremely NERVOUS to give birth and Laura empowered me and believed in me the WHOLE way through. My labor experience began at night and I remember vividly seeing Laura right at the hospital doors waiting to continue the labor party! She knew the ins/outs of Morristown Hospital - like where to get the ginger ale which I needed to stay hydrated. She knew which birthing rooms had a labor tub (which is what I wanted). She coached me through each contraction and rubbed my hips (for hours)! I labored for 16 hours and pushed for 4 hours. Our baby was not ready to come out so in the end we did opt for a c-section. Laura looked me in the eyes and congratulated me for doing such a wonderful job and even though I was getting a c-section (which I was down about - grateful for it but just was not expecting it) she kept saying what I great job I did and was doing. Laura will be there day or night for you and I wish new mommies and 2nd/3rd time mommies the opportunity to work with Laura. I can't thank her enough.

Stephanie

3/12/2020

I'm a very happy mother of a 3 month old! I gave birth in December 2019 with the support and care of Laura. She was absolutely amazing to me and my husband. She met with us before giving birth to connect and educate us on the birthing process. I was extremely NERVOUS to give birth and Laura empowered me and believed in me the WHOLE way through. My labor experience began at night and I remember vididly seeing Laura right at the hospital doors waiting to continue the labor party! She knew the ins/outs of Morristown Hospital - like where to get the ginger ale which I needed to stay hydrated. She knew which birthing rooms had a labor tub (which is what I wanted). She coached me through each contraction and rubbed my hips (for hours)! I labored for 16 hours and pushed for 4 hours. Our baby was not ready to come out so in the end we did opt for a c-section. Laura looked me in the eyes and congratulated me for doing such a wonderful job and even though I was getting a c-section (which I was down about - grateful for it but just was not expecting it) she kept saying what I great job I did and was doing. Laura will be there day or night for you and I wish new mommies and 2nd/3rd time mommies the opportunity to work with Laura. I can't thank her enough.

Kelly Egan

2/10/2020

My husband and I couldn't be more thankful to have hired Laura to be our Doula for the birth of our first child.  I felt such an immediate connection with her from the beginning and hiring her to be a part of our birth experience proved to be one of the most invaluable decisions that we made.  It was very easy to see that Laura is a skilled, passionate, and extensively knowledgable professional who loves what she does.  Her emphasis on having the insight and confidence to advocate for yourself helped me to make the crucial decision to switch caregivers at 20 weeks, and it ended up being the best decision for both me and my baby.  Her childbirth class was incredibly informative and my husband and I both felt so comfortable, confident, and prepared for the birth of our first baby as a result. During labor, I felt fully supported, empowered, and taken care of because of Laura's presence and expertise. She was just as caring and helpful to my husband, making sure that he was always in the best position to support and comfort me every step of the way. Ultimately, our birth experience is a wonderful memory that we will always treasure, and we hope that we are fortunate enough to have Laura be a part of our next birth.

Liz

10/14/2019

Laura was very helpful in preparation and during the labor.  My husband and I felt very comfotable working with her.  She looked out for me and my babiy's well being and used many techniques to keep me calm during the labor.  I highly recommend her!!!

Erika

9/30/2019

I truly cannot imagine what my son’s birth would have been like had I not had Laura by my side. From the first meeting, I felt an instant connection with Laura. She has the perfect balance of sharing her knowledge while still listening to and understanding your personal needs. My husband and I also took a 6-week birthing class that she instructed. The classes were very well taught and we would especially recommend them to all first time parents. As prepared as we felt from the classes - nothing could replace Laura in the delivery room. She was dedicated to assuring that I was comfortable in the most uncomfortable time of my life. I was having little progress while pushing and was facing the possibility of a c-section. Laura recommended repositioning me several times and I attribute being able to have a vaginal birth to her expertise. My birthing experience was long and at times scary but we would do it all over again as long as we could have Laura there. We would highly recommend her services. Thank you Laura!!

Christine

9/25/2019

My husband and I are sincerely thankful to have had Laura on our birth team. She is an extremely knowledgeable birth educator and will ensure that you are well prepared for child birth before the day comes. As a doula, she was truly helpful in the delivery room - suggesting different things to ease labor pains - helping me achieve a pitocin induced, but otherwise natural water birth to our 8 lb 13 oz baby boy. I will always remember her ice cold compresses and recovery drink! Thanks Laura ♥?

Mary Kate O’Boyle

9/6/2019

I recommend Laura’s birth preparation class and doula services. With Laura, I achieved what I had previously believed to be impossible: a positive, empowering 100% unmedicated birth with my first child. I sought out Laura’s class because my goal was to avoid a cesarean. I had several friends who had c-sections with their first child despite their wishes to have a natural birth. The key component that was missing from their preparation was serious preparation for an unmedicated birth. Laura taught us powerful relaxation techniques and gave us an understanding of labor and delivery that helped guide us through the experience of labor. She helped us see the importance of having a coach or doula help serve a guide and advocate. 

Laura helped me understand that birth could be so much more than just a medical procedure, but an empowering experience that unites you and your partner.

My labor had several challenges despite the fact that I was full-term and low-risk. First, was the presence of meconium when my water was artificially broken. Then my son’s heart rate was declining during contractions. Laura helped ensure that my voice was heard as we made each medial decisions in response to these challenges. My son was born on his due date, so it was surprising there was meconium.  But utilizing the strategies I learned about in Laura’s class, I remained calm and collected during each bump in the road. At one point, I was 8 cms dialated and making jokes with the nurses! That is how powerful the relaxation techniques Laura helped us learn are.

I will forever be grateful to Laura for preparing me for my first birth experience. When life brings difficult moments in the future, I will look back at these memories and recall that there’s nothing I can’t handle because I did THAT. Thank you, Laura! You are a gift to the world, and I am incredibly blessed to know you. Thank you for doing what you do.

Assunta Mclane

10/20/2018

I don’t know where to begin but to say I am beyond grateful to have met Laura and to have chosen her as my doula.I knew from the very beginning Laura would be the woman I would want along side me as we prepared for the birth of our little girl.My husband and I took birthing classes with Laura which were so helpful. The classes were informative and it also gave us a peace of mind. I wanted an all natural birth but there were times along the way that I would doubt myself.Laura would remind me that “we women are strong and we can do this”. This was so true and it became the statement that would play over and over in mind the day we went into labor. I was 11 days late and had to be induced.We got to the hospital and had a room with no tub and no wireless monitors. Unbeknownst to me my husband had already spoken to Laura who instructed him to have us moved and get me on wireless monitors.One call to Laura and she was on her way. I felt such relief once Laura arrived. She had me on the medicine ball walking around dancing with my husband playing music in the tub, and more.I don’t always express what I’m thinking but this didn’t stop Laura from knowing exactly what to do to help me.My labor stalled and Laura knew exactly what to do to help move things along. Laura never once expressed concern. During one of the most crucial moments of my laborI was ready to give up Laura leaned over as I was in the tub, hugged me and reminded me that “we women are strong and I can do this”.I felt this incredible strength come over me and I knew we were going to get through it. I couldn’t wait to hold my baby girl.I could truly go on forever.If you have read this far, thank you, but most importantly I can promise you that you will be making the best decision of your life by calling Laura. Laura has been chosen by God to do exactly what she is doing. She empowers women and is incredibly supportive of their partners. Best of Luck!

Catherine I. Pontoriero

5/22/2018

Laura attended the unmedicated, natural birth of our son in September 2017, and I could not have done it without her.  Prior to the birth of our son, I had never been admitted to a hospital and was extremely nervous.  Laura educated my husband and I on what to expect, discussed what my fears were, and reviewed methods to overcome those fears.  This was extremely helpful and caused me to feel ready and excited for the birth!  During the birth, she was with us the entire time at the hospital.  Her familiarity with the doctors and nurses at Morristown Medical Center, and their familiarity with her put us at ease.  A few of the many wonderful things that Laura did to comfort me during labor were: applying pressure to my back; telling me when to change positions and when to get in and our of the tub; playing soothing music; and diffusing essential oils.  I felt empowered and strong.  I have Laura to thank for helping me feel this way and providing me with a positive birth experience. 

Lindsey Drakes

5/20/2018

Many of our friends had used Laura at their births and said they could not have done it without her. I now understand why. my husband and I took her classes on breastfeeding and natural childbirth. These classes eased my fears of birth and made me feel very educated going into the hospital on what to expect and what to ask for etc. All the techniques she had taught in class helped me through labor. My childbirth experience however was not how I had planned. I had read all the books and felt very prepared for a natural childbirth, hoping to do a waterbirth. However, my little guy did not have the same plans on entering this world :). I labored for 30 + hours after an induction. I had no Progress and eventually needed a csection to meet my 11lb son (we had no idea he was going to be that big :)). The day was not how I had planned or expected. Laura however was a literal lifesaver. She helped me with positions and helped me to feel like I did everything possible to have him naturally. She helped me keep my composure and most of all made me feel safe. She was a rock for my husband and I through the entire labor and even came into the OR with us to photograph my sons birth. I cannot imagine how the entire process would have gone without Laura’s calm presence and knowledge. We cannot Recommend her enough, she is now a big part of our story and of our family. 

Lesya Krivina

3/16/2018

Loved my birth experience with Laura! She was so nurturing and attentive. Even my mother would not have been of such help as Laura. I wanted to have a VBAC without an epidural and I had it. And Laura helped me tremendously to achieve it! Laura created an atmosphere of a spa salon out of my delivery room. Essential oil’s diffuser, low lights, relaxing music… I just closed my eyes and relaxed during my contractions. When I needed, she massaged my hands, covered me with blankets, helped me with ice cubes, and advised on what was coming next. Right at the beginning of my active labor, Laura said to me “You can do it, repeat after me, “I can do it”. This helped me so much to get the right set of mind from the start. I am very grateful that I had Laura with me. Laura is the best!

Stephanie Blash

1/3/2018

Where do I start? I felt at ease with Laura from the first telephone conversation we had. When I told my husband I wanted to hire a doula he was skeptical; he didn't understand why we would need one. After meeting with Laura, however, we both knew we wanted her at our child's birth. We also took Laura's natural childbirth class in preparation for the big day and it was incredibly useful. It was so important to me to have a natural, unmedicated childbirth and I believe that Laura was a very big part of the reason I was successful. I would recommend her to anyone- she is kind, knowledgeable and a calming presence. I went into labor in the evening and labored for ~8 hours at home before heading to the hospital; Laura was at the hospital waiting for us at 2am. Postpartum, she was able to help guide me to resources for breastfeeding which is also the reason why I am still exclusively breastfeeding my daughter at 6 months old. I will without a doubt hire her again should I plan to have more children.

Annabel Benito

11/28/2017

There is something so special about Laura‘s ability to make you feel completely confident and comfortable going into your birthing experience. I was fortunate enough to have her as my doula and also take her natural childbirth class. She was everything we could’ve asked for and more on the big day. Any time I would feel scared or in an immense anount of pain, just her presence made me feel like “this is totally normal, it’s going to be ok”. Almost like having your mother there when you’re sick, to hold your hand or to stroke your hair. My mother passed a few years ago, so having that sort of support in the room was so important to me. And I am forever grateful. When I look at my perfect six month old son, and reflect on my birthing experience, I am always in awe of how intense and amazing it was. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Laura, always and forever. 

Jack Boyle

9/19/2017

Laura is a gifted person. It just so happens that she's chosen to use those gifts to become the World’s Best Doula. My wife and I felt VERY fortuate to have Laura be the person guiding us through the tornado of stress that is pregnancy and childbirth. I shudder to think what it might have been like without her. In the days following the birth of our daughter, my wife and I were left asking ourselves two questions: 1-How the heck do we take care of this child? and 2-Does this mean we don’t get to hang out with Laura anymore? Trust me, it will only take a few minutes into your first meeting with Laura for you and your spouse to give each other that quicklook that silently says “YES, WE NEED HER WITH US.” Laura will almost immediately assuage your nervousness and stress and replace it with some sort of euphoric chill, and you’ll walk out focused on nothing but how lucky you are to be having a baby. How does she do it? 1-She’s really really smart. 2-She’s really really mellow (unless your nurse or doctor is pressuring you into doing something you’re not comfortable with, in which case she is a determination personified). 3-She really loves and respects all the expectant Moms she helps, and ONLY wants what is best for you and your baby. 4-SHE’S DONE THIS LITERALLY ALMOST 1000 TIMES BEFORE! 1000! As for our specific birthing experience with Laura, I COULD go on and on about how fantastic she was, and how we couldn’t have done it without her but for the purposes of this review, I don’t need to. As far as I’m concerned, all you need to know is that, in the minutes following the birth of your healthy and beautiful child, after you’re done hugging your spouse and kissing your child on the head, you will give Laura a hug so big that you’ll surprise yourself, and she’ll hug you that big right back...So yea, give her a call and congrats!

Gwyneth Connell and Scott Ross

6/27/2017

tl;dr - Having Laura as our birth doula was the single best decision we made with regard to the birth of our daughter.

Our relationship with Laura started with private birth classes - our schedule didn't work with the dates of her group classes, but she was able to accommodate us, and the cost was not that much more! She had wonderful recommendations for books to read, exercises to do, and other ways for both of us to prepare for the birth. The classes felt totally individualized - a conversation among the three of us, not just a lecture.

Having Laura as our advocate in the hospital was priceless. It was 13 days after my due date, so I'd scheduled an induction, but started contractions that morning; I wanted an unmedicated birth and the contractions gave me hope I might not need the induction after all. My doctor suggested I come in as scheduled to see how things were progressing. Though my doctors (Summit Medical Group) had approved my birth plan, once I got to the hospital (Morristown), you wouldn't have thought they had ever seen it before, as they tried to pressure me into intervention after intervention, despite the fact that my labor was progressing fine on its own. Talking with Laura gave us the courage to push back, to decline interventions, and to postpone the induction till morning. When the nurse woke me at 4am (the time we'd negotiated), I was 7cm dilated - enough to avoid the induction altogether! I texted Laura, and she was in my hospital room an hour later. She knew what to ask for - the birth ball, the wireless monitor - and walked the halls with me as my contractions got stronger and closer together. She kept me laughing, kept me moving and changing positions, and kept me focused on the task my body knew how to do. She took photos while I was in labor that I'm so grateful to have. At 11am, I gave birth to a healthy 9lb3oz girl - the way I had wanted to. Thank you, Laura, for helping to make that happen!

Erin Hamilton

4/7/2017

Laura was my instructor to become certified as a DONA Doula. Laura's passion for birth was truly empowering and beautiful! She made my 'silly' questions seem valued and gave me the confidence I needed to get myself out into the world of Doulas! I am forever grateful for a weekend experience that will resonate with me for the rest of my life.

Luke Zak

3/17/2017

We have been very fortunate to have Laura DePasquale as our doula for our two children’s births – the 2nd only a few weeks ago. She is a wonderful doula.

During her birthing classes, Laura was so warm, compassionate, empathetic, experienced, authentic and honest, that my initial uncertainty about having a doula was quickly allayed.

Laura clearly explains the philosophy of natural birthing and strategies to try achieve such a birth. Her guidance certainly helped my wife and me to navigate the many decisions during the birth and how to interact with the doctor and hospital respectfully and with sound considered judgment. I am convinced that for the second birth we avoided a c-section because of Laura's guiding principles.

Both births were very long and the labor was painful and arduous but overall, happy experiences. I will forever be grateful for, and in awe of, the effort my wife put in to deliver our babies. Laura's support, knowledge and understanding was essential to the whole process.

When we fell pregnant the second time there was no question as to whether we would ask Laura to join us again. And to top it all off, as we live some significant distance from the hospital, Laura offered for us to come and stay overnight at her home during early labor as she lived very close to the hospital we were using. Talk about going above and beyond! This meant my wife could labor in relative comfort and move over to the hospital at just the right time.  Truly thankful!

I know that Laura was in regular contact with my wife during the pregnancies, in the last weeks and days before the birth and consistently during labor. She also follows up a couple of times after birth and can give advice on lactation as well. Both our kids had tongue ties so Laura’s advice helped there too.

We cannot now imagine the birth of our children without Laura present. She's been a happy part of it all for us.

Sarafina Mugavero

3/16/2017

My husband and I first met Laura when we took her childbirth classes before our 1st child. Her classes were the right balance of presenting research-based information and nurturing encouragement.  We formed a connection with her immediately and asked her to be our doula. She often reached out by text as the date approached and let me know she was there should I have any questions or concerns. When my water broke and I called Laura, she was coming off a 30-hr birth and was there for me regardless. I assured her I was fine, but she kept tabs on my labor which ended up being unexpectedly fast and arrived at the hospital before my midwife. My daughter was breech and I needed an emergency C-section. Laura was an emotional support to my husband and mother-in-law and stayed to make sure I was doing well after the surgery. She also helped me process my feelings about the birth at our postpartum visit and beyond. Fast-forward 2 years and we were expecting again. We didn't have to think twice to hire Laura again and she was just as excited as we were to help us achieve a VBAC. The day came when I started having erratic contractions but I didn't think things would be moving swiftly. Laura didn't leave that to chance and made sure she was nearby just in case I would call her. She ended up being right when my water broke and my contactions were suddenly 3 minutes apart. We all raced to the hospital and she arrived just as I began pushing. As soon as I saw her, I felt a weight of fear leave my body. Her presence is reassuring and I have total trust in her intuition. Among all the voices yelling directions at me, I was able to zero in on her calm, even voice coaching me on my breathing. She knew how much this birth meant to us and was with us every step of the way. We finally had the natural, unmedicated birth we had wanted and another healthy daughter. There is no one more dedicated than Laura. She is an educator and empowers women and their partners. 

Carey Finn

3/15/2017

In the second paragraph of my review I'm going to give the reasons that I would not hire Laura again.  The third paragraph will contain the postives aspects of her Doula services.  

After being in labor for 24 hours, I called Laura at 5am between contractions (I am a single mother and therefore didn't have a husband there to make the call for me).  She was clearly annoyed that I called and woke her up at 5am.  She also stated (verbatim) after I told her I was in pain and stuck at 3 centimters dilated; "well, you don't sound like you're in pain".  I was, as you can imagine, a bit shocked and didn't quite know how to process her reaction.  I was in between contractions when I made the call and obviously wasn't in a lot of pain right at that moment.  I was exhausted and asked her to please come in.  It took Laura 3 HOURS to get there.  Her actual drive was an hour at best (she wasn't competing with traffic; I delivered on Memorial day). She obviously went back to bed.  By the time she got there, I was 4 centimeters dilated and the anesthesiologist was prepping to give me the epidural.  The look on Laura's face when she arrived was clear.  She knew she messed up.

Some of the postivies about my experience with Laura were the following;  she played wonderful music which allowed me to drift off to sleep.  She brought an eye mask which felt wonderful!  She gave me a foot massage.  She took amazing photos during the actual delivery.  She provided instruction to my friend Esther, who relayed everything Laura said to the doctors.  She visited with me a couple times before and also after the birth to check up on me.

I hope this information helps you to make an informed decision.  When I think back on my labor, I wonder how my experience would have been different had she reacted accordingly when I needed her most.  

Kira Peikoff

3/5/2017

I am so grateful I had Laura there during the birth of my son (my first child). Her calming presence gave me the confidence to attempt a natural birth, even though when I first got pregnant I was certain I wouldn't be able to handle the pain and would need an epidural right away. But having Laura by my side to offer encourgement, massage, aromatherapy, and advice about positiong and breathing made a world of difference for both me and my husband. She is tireless, cheerful, and extremely experienced -- exactly the combination of traits you would want in a doula. Ultimately, I did get an epidural after a number of hours of very painful labor, but because I waited so long, the rest of the process went smoothly and quickly, since I was by then almost ready to push. I am sure that if Laura had not been there, I would have given up a LOT sooner, and potentially run into issues like my labor slowing down because of the epidural. As a side note, Laura is totally nonjudgmental about whether you choose drugs, which also made me feel comfortable with her because the last thing a birthing mom needs is someone pushy. Instead, Laura was a wonderful and much-needed companion at my labor, and I wouldn't hesitate to hire her if I have a second child. I know my husband feels the exact same way. The whole birth process was intimidating for him too, and she managed to relieve some of his tension and pressure while not at all overtaking his role as my primary birth partner. 

Joanna Haupt

2/26/2017

My husband and I found that having Laura as our doula was a very rewarding experience. She helped guide us through the entire birth process.  My labor was relatively short, but I pushed for a long time.  Laura was very encouraging and level-headed. She knew when to let things happen naturally and when she thought she could share her experience and wisdom.  At one point she pulled my husband aside and suggested a different course of action that wasn't necessarily our first choice, but when my husband discussed it with me we ageeed with Laura and it was definitely the right decision.  After my son's birth she has continued to be a valuable resource for post-partum advice. My husband and I would highly recommend Laura as a doula.

Samantha Park

2/10/2017

Working with Laura was an amazing experience! As a first time mom, I was very nervous about giving birth. The best thing I did to feel more prepared was to take Laura's birth class. We met with a small group of expectant parents each week for nine weeks at Laura's house. At each class, Laura walked us through the birth process and what to expect at every stage. We even spent one session doing a "birth rehearsal" so we could practice the techniques she taught us. My husband and I loved these classes - we felt empowered by the information, and it was also something productive to do during those last weeks of pregnancy and waiting for our baby to arrive. Because we went to Laura's home each week, we felt so comfortable with her. When the day finally came and I went into labor, Laura came to my house at 2am and helped me stay calm and at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. In my birth plan, I wasn't fully committed to going without medication - I wanted to see how things went - but with Laura's coaching during labor, I felt so strong and in control that I ended up not wanting an epidural. Laura was an incredible advocate for me and got my doctor to let me go off the fetal monitor for some periods and use the shower - this typically wasn't permitted in my hospital. She and my husband coached me through each contraction and I was able to sleep / even talk and smile in between! I ended up needing a c-section because my baby was facing forward, but I felt truly supported by my whole birth team who allowed me to try everything before making the call for the emergency c. Although it didn't go as planned, my birth experience was transformative. Laura helped me discover how strong I could be and how much I was capable of. It marked the transition for me to becoming a mother.  I highly recommend Laura as a doula and could not be happier to have found her. 

Chamonix Marsh

2/7/2017

I have had the wonderful privilege of attending multiple births of my sisters' and friends' babies where Laura was entrusted as their doula, so when the time came for me there wasn't a doubt in my mind that I wanted her as my doula at my baby's birth, as well. I could always see what a calming and supportive environment she always brought at the previous births I had attended with her and now having gone through labor with Laura by my side, I can definitely say how thankful I was to have had her. My labour and delivery experience was even better than I had anticipated, and even when there was the possibility for a few hiccups Laura kept things moving smoothly, ensuring I was informed at all times, and truly comforting and encouraging each step along the way.

My husband and I also attended her classes, which was worth every penny! Going into labour feeling prepared, informed, and without fear is so important, and I truly feel her classes were so beneficial in all those aspects. She made me feel excited to give birth, not dread it, as is such a popular feeling nowadays associated with labour. I felt empowered by the information I had learned there.

Anyone can see that this is not just a job to Laura...this is her passion! She has such a love for what she does and it shows in how she is there for you every step of the way. When her names comes up in conversation with my family, you can almost see in our smiles that warm fuzzy feeling we all have for her...she's like family and we all say how we can't wait for another baby to come along just so we get to see Laura again soon!

Leann Pinto

2/1/2017

I’m an attorney, but I would not go to Court and represent myself. So when I finally had time to think about giving birth, I thought how the hell can I do this without someone there to represent me! Especially because I wanted absolutely no medical interventions, including an unmedicated labor. I did not think it was fair to make my husband have to deal me screaming in pain and watching the staff at the hospital to ensure my wishes were met. Hence the frantic doula search began. I happened upon Laura and she contacted me almost immediately. We chatted and I knew even without meeting her that she was our woman! We were able to attend her childbirth classes, which I also highly recommend. When I finally started having real contractions, Laura came to the house and helped me through them until it was time to head to the hospital. Her techniques were so useful that I was fully dilated upon arriving to the delivery suite and my daughter was born about 40 minutes later! All in, having Laura as our Doula was a great investment and helped me feel confident that I could achieve the delivery that I wanted. Hire her…you will not regret it.

Kathryn Pomeroy

1/29/2017

We love having Laura as our doula! We are expecting our second and would not want any other experience than having her as part of our plan. Laura is highly professional, extremely knowledgable, kind, and trustworthy.  She came highly recommended by my sister who had Laura as her doula. Laura has such a calm, caring, and positive way about her. Grateful our paths crossed!

Rebecca Pitts

1/29/2017

Laura came highly recommended to us by a lactation consultant. My husband and I decided to take Laura's birthing class becuase I wanted an all natural birth with no drugs. She is very knowlegable; we learned so much about the birth process and what to do/what to avoid and enjoyed hearing about what other couples in our group were experiencing. I ended up having to have a c-section because my amniotic fluid was dangerously low (after several ultrasounds over a weeek) and my son was breech. Laura asked if we would still want her present at the hospital, which we did. Laura made the whole c-section experience as good as it could have been. She knew the nurse who prepped me and made some suggestions that made the whole experience a little easier for me. After the birth, Laura was able to be in the recovery room with us and helped get the breasfeeding started. I highly recommend Laura and will hire her again for our next child!

Courtney Baryiewski

1/24/2017

I can't believe I'm JUST getting around to writing this but both my husband and I find ourselves reliving the birth of our daughter (9 months ago now) often, and we always say that Laura was a such a pillar in our natural birth experience. When we first met Laura and took her classes (I highly suggest taking these if you're first time parents-to-be!) we knew we wanted to use her as our birth doula. Laura has such a calming & sweet disposition that it only takes seconds to feel comfortable around her! The day I was in labor I was obviously anxious & hearing Laura's voice on the phone instantly calmed me down. My husband was able to help me labor at home through phone conversations with Laura until she arrived at our house. She let me decide when I was ready to go to the hospital and when I was admitted and the nurse said "you are 6 cm dilated" we all did a big "HOORAY!" I had already felt like I accomplished my first goal of laboring at home for as long as possible. Having Laura by my side for the entire birth just reassured me that I was strong enough to bring my daughter into the world the way I wanted to - and I did. Laura never tells you what to do, she offers encouragement, helps with relaxation and gives you a hand to hold if you need it. I know my birth experience would not have been the same without her. Laura also follows up with a postpartum visit and I was able to call her with breastfeeding questions just days after being home with the baby. We are so appreciative of Laura and all she has given us. You will not regret hiring Laura. If anything, take her classes - you will be amazed at how much you learn. Education is key in having a natural birth experience. Thank you Laura. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Serena DePhillis

11/20/2016

My husband and I were late to the game with getting a doula (I was 34 weeks).  After reseraching on doula match, we were really impressed with Laura's reviews.  After mentioning to my midwife that we were considering a doula, she mentioned Laura right away, without realizing that we were already considering her.  

My husband's biggest fear was that I would go into labor on a Friday night after a long week at work and he would be so drained from work that he would be a horrible support system.  Sure enough, early Saturday morning at 1230 am I woke him up telling him I was in labor.  We called Laura right away, and you would never know that we woke her just up.  She was so calm and reasuring and reminded us of the tips she had tought us during our sessions with her.  Within an hour the contractions were 2 minutes apart. Laura offered to come to our house, but the midwife recommended we come to the hospital at this point.  We live 5 minutes from the hospital, and we only beat Laura by 10 minutes.  

During the whole labor, she was calm and supportive.  I was able to use the shower, tub and yoga ball during the course of the labor, all the while calm music and aromatherapy were in use. Laura used a heat pad and massage to help me through the contractions and kept reminding me to drink drink drink so as to not get dehydrated (I had no IV).  My husband loved that she kept him involved and instructed him what to do (massage her shoulders  now, offer her a drink, etc) as he was too tired and stressed to think straight.

After our son was born at 544am, Laura was right there helping him to latch correctly. I also loved that she came to our house for a post partum follow up, and further helped us with breastfeeding.  I can't imagine what our birth expereince would have been like without Laura and I highly recommend her, particularly if you want a natural birth. 

Heather Sumba

8/18/2016

I found Holistic Beginnings while searching for a doula. Laura had great reviews and we decided to take her childbirth classes to get to know her better. We had such a great experience that we did not hesitate to ask her to be our doula. I found everything very straightforward–you sign a contract with her, make a deposit, and the balance is due a few weeks prior to your due date.

I went into labor 12 days late! Laura was very reassuring and we stayed in touch leading up to and following my due date. On the night I finally went into labor, my husband called her and she offered her support, shared some reminders from class and asked us to check back in with her when my contractions progressed. We managed to get some rest as she suggested and called her very early the next morning when we started to get nervous. Laura was at our house within the hour. She assessed the situation and assured us that all was ok and that we still had time. She helped us both relax and suggested different positions, tools, etc. to help manage the pain. She also helped keep my husband calm and focused.

At the hospital, Laura stayed with us the entire time–she offered support, encouragement and gave me advice when I needed it. Her presence was very calming and comforting. She also streamed relaxing music in the delivery room for us (something I hadn’t thought of!) and took delivery photos for us (which we had authorized in advance). My birth experience was amazing–I had a completely natural birth and I would not change a thing. I was able to use the tub and labored in the water. We have Laura to thank– her classes gave us the information and tools we needed to make informed decisions, and my husband and I both felt so much more relaxed and confident having her by our side to guide us. She is also very well respected within the community. I highly recommend Laura to anyone considering a natural childbirth–you won’t regret it!

Martin Skrivanich

4/14/2016

My husband and I were recommended to Laura by several friends who had used her.  I have never heard so many positive reviews about someone, she is loved and valued by many birthing mothers.  We knew we wanted to go the Natural route and heard she would provide the support to get us there if it was possible.  We took her classes which were very informative and provided the right amount of information without overwhelming you. From the moment she showed up at the hospital we felt relaxed knowing she was there.  Laura had all her tools to help me during labour and used them in such a calm, kind, gentle way. She was so supportive throught out the whole labour and very positive and reassuring. Everything I learned went out the window once the contractions really kicked in and thats when Laura really saved me.  She was by my side very softly reminding me how to relax between contractions, breath, take a drink to stay hydrated etc.  She didnt miss a beat and gave me the strength to make it though.  My husband also appreciated having her by his side, she could guide him as well on how to comfort me and rub me etc. I can honestly look back at my birth and only have positive memories of it, surrounded by an AWESOME support team.   From experience I can honestly say Laura is the best Doula! Last year I was in the room while my sister was in labour, she used a differenct Doula.......It was a very UNfortunate experience for her, this Doula did not even come close to the support that Laura provided and her birth plan was not taken seriously. My sister was with me during my birth and she saw first hand how amazing Laura is, now that she is pregnant again she has hired Laura becasue she knows the support she will have. At the end not only do we have a great memory of our birth but we have gained a friend, Laura!

 

Mai Amara

10/15/2015

I found Laura on DoulaMatch.com after we moved to the NJ area. Laura not only supported us as a family, she was empowering! She was definitely a major factor in us having a natural, non-medicated, memorable birth in a hospital.

Although we didn’t take a class with Laura, she made sure that we connect and build the trust needed to go through this special and intimate event. We had a couple additional quick meetings just to get to know each other; her extensive experience and knowledge was evident as she helped me and my husband prepare for the delivery.

On the day of the delivery Laura was there as soon as we needed her. She knew how to deal with us and our family in the gentlest way and yet was professional and got down to business when needed. Once we were in the hospital she supported us through the whole process. I cannot say enough good things about our experience and would definitely recommend Laura to any expecting mom.

Carolina P de Z

10/5/2015

I cannot recommend Laura enough. I took her childbirth classes and hired her as my doula after meeting her for the first time despite my husband's skepticism to hire one as he felt like it was an unnecessary expense. However, after meeting Laura he also agreed that she was a good match for us. Her classes were amazing and she opened our eyes to all the possible interventions that hospitals do. Because of her teachings, we both felt that we were truly informed to make our own decisions and what we considered was best for our daughter. 

For my birth, I had to be induced as was leaking amniotic fluid without any contractions. I was devastated as I really wanted to labour at home but we decided to follow the doctor's advice to stay in the hospital. 

Laura came to the hospital straight away that day, took me for a walk and chat and helped me deal with my fears and expectations. She immediately made me feel better and at ease and I was able to embrace a new idea of what my labour would be like which relaxed me immensely. I was induced that evening and my contractions started at 2am the next day. Laura arrived early in the morning and she was such a calming presence from the beginning. She helped me throughout the whole process, knowing perfectly well what to say or offer (a shower, a drink, mint, a walk!). Her intuition and ability to know what to do impressed both me and my husband. I ended up having an 18 hour labour and there's no doubt in me that I got through it in a calmed way because of Laura. My daughter was born that day at 10.30pm and Laura was by my side the whole time, waiting patiently and helping me with positioning myself better for dilation. THanks to her tips and positioning, I ended up dilating from 5 to 10cm in 2 hours and pushed out my baby in 20 mins! 

We will always be forever grateful to Laura and can only say: if you're thinking of having a doula at your birth: look no further, she's the one you want!

Fernanda White

6/22/2015

I cannot recommend Laura highly enough for her services as an educator and a doula. We took Laura's class after hearing she was the best around and knew immediately after meeting her for the first time that we wanted her to be our doula. Laura is just one of those people that you immediately feel at ease with by her warmth and down-to-earth personality, but also have tremendous respect for her depth of knowledge in her field and her level of experience. It really gives you another sense of confidence to have her on your side rooting for you and walking you through this exciting yet frightening experience in your life.

What I am most thankful to Laura for is the way she facilitated the experience that my husband and I had together during our daughter's birth. Laura was the strong, yet silent, presence in the room. She guided my husband to do exactly what I needed him to do. I can't imagine how it would've been had she not been there to make sure everyone was doing everything to make me more comfortable and to encourage my husband when I needed him to be there for me or to take a step back. It was seamless and even magic at times. My husband credits her with making our labor a beautiful time together...and I have to say he is not easily impressed! Till this day we use some of her relaxing tools (hello hot rice sock!).

I am now expecting my second child, but unfortunately, living accross the country. I have half a mind to fly Laura to be here by our side. She even took the time recently, almost two years after my daughter's birth, to talk me through some of the options I now have. I couldn't be more appreciative. 

Tara Moore

5/30/2015

My husband and I learned so much from Laura's childbirth classes and felt so comfortable with her knowledge and her positive energy that we knew we wanted her to be our doula. Laura was so wonderful: she eased our fears, answered our questions, and was very supportive and professional. Laura took the time to get to know us beforehand, so she really understood the type of birth experience we wanted. She is a great listener and was very in tune with my needs at all times. Laura was so calm and encouraging. Laura is a very special person; I am so thankful she was there for our son's birth!

Beth Hughes

5/23/2015

Laura played a very large role in the birth of my first child: my husband and I took Laura's 9 week birthing class, she participated in my daughter's birth as our doula, and she was hired to work with us postpartum.
After taking her birthing class, my husband and I knew that we needed her as part of our birth team.  We felt that her calming presence and extensive experience would give us the best possible chance of having our child the way we wanted to. As I met with Laura to talk through my birth plan, she offered opinions without being judgmental and honored what was important to us. We grew extremely comfortable that Laura would be our advocate when we were unsure of what was best, our cheerleader when everyone else needed a break, and our voice of reason when things got overwhelming.  
Laura arrived at our house while I was in labor, and helped determine when we needed to head to the hospital. Once there, she helped me to settle into labor in my room, and it became clear that she had a strong rapport with the my midwife and the nurses.
Throughout labor, Laura offered advice on different positions that might help move things along, and massaged my lower back, with each contraction I endured, for close to 10 hours. She encouraged my husband to take much needed breaks from the physical and emotional stress he was under, and she held my hand when I doubted myself. Her presence and guidance gave us the confidence to push through when things got really tough. She showed the perfect blend of empathy and encouragement, and I my husband and I attribute much of the success of our daughter's birth to Laura.
Postpartum, Laura helped me with breastfeeding, took care of the baby when I needed a break, did laundry, prepared meals,  and made sure that I was fed and rested. 
Laura exceeded all of our expectations.  My husband and I agree that if we have a second child, we will absolutely hire Laura to be by our side again.

Tabitha Walsh

4/25/2015

Fortunately for me, I knew exactly who I wanted bt my side other than my husband at my birth. That was definitely Laura. When you imagine your birth at first you may not think about having a doula. The thought honestly might not have popped into my head, but Laura has been apart of my life for many years now because my sister in law used her for all 3 of her children and I know at least 8 other babies she has delivered and every single person couldn't not say enough about her so I knew I had to have her by my side when I was giving birth to my baby girl.

I was the crazy girl who used castor oil only a couple days after I was due, but like all women at 40 weeks, I WAS DONE. Laura, even though she thought I was insane :) was there for me through it all. I went into labor at about 1 am on a Sunday night. I contacted Laura the next morning saying I was having contractions and they weren't too intense so I still had them under control. Fast forward to Tuesday night, that's when everything got pretty intense and I statted to feel pressure and like I needed to head to the hospital. I called my midwives and let them know I was coming and I didn't expect to be very far along so I told Laura I would go in but she didn't have to come right then. Just by hearing my voice Laura knew it was time so we got to the hospital and she was waiting outside and helped me get to my room and I just felt a sense of calm knowing she was by my side. Turns out I was 8 centimeters when I got to the hospital! Then things got really fun. Laura out music on for me and did her thing. She was incredible. It's almost impossible to explain the love I have for her now. She knew exactly where I needed to be touched and if I needed to be and what to say to ease my mind and get me the birth I had imagined and wanted. I truly dont know how it would have went without her, but I will never find out because I will use her for the every child I have. I was truly honored to have her there. 

Kelly Lerner Sanders

2/26/2015

My daughter had an amazing birth because of Laura. We took Laura’s birth class on the strong recommendation from close friends. They implored us to hire her as our doula because of their great experience. We didn't have a lot of “discretionary” funds but we scraped together the money because we felt so comfortable with her and wanted an expert by our side.  Importanly, even if Laura charged triple her fee she would be worth it! During class and our private interview, she took the time to discern our vision for the birth. Listening compassionately to our fears and concerns, she helped us clarify what we defined as a successful birth. Laura was always available to answer questions. When I went into labor, I was anxious, but not scared, because I had the knowledge gleaned from Laura’s class and the certainty of Laura’s assistance. When I told Laura that I was in active labor, Laura told me she was on her way and I immediately felt relieved. One of our concerns was when to leave for the hospital. We felt immediately supported and safe when Laura arrived and we departed for hospital at the right time. Laura was calm, supportive, and reassuring throughout my labor. She was able to speak for me when I was unable to speak for myself. She was a calm and controlled force during what felt like chaos and confusion. Laura is the consummate professional–supportive, compassionate, knowledgeable and non-judgmental. Having Laura at my side was akin to having my own personal tour guide in a foreign land. She was able to translate what was happening to my body into a language both my and I husband easily understood. Laura’s presence brought me confidence in my own abilities and the strength to go on when I was fatigued. She empowered my husband to support me in ways that I needed. Laura was the glue that held my birth team together, and, without her, my daughter’s birth would not be the beautiful memory we carry today.

Christian Schembre

2/14/2015

I have been at my 2 sister's births with Laura, and have had her at my own births-in all 7 births together! I cannot imagine ever giving birth without her loving, experienced presence there. After having her at my three births, I can say Laura has given me so much knowledge and calm of mind, maybe I could birth without her, but I would NEVER want to! Not in a million years.

I met Laura at my sister's birth. It was a peaceful birth experience, and I clearly saw how well prepared emotionally and physically my sister was for a natural calm birth, there was no question I'd be going for the same. When I got pregnant with my first, we called Laura right away and signed up for her class. It was a wonderful experience. She is an amazing teacher, was balanced, informative and above all empowering! As a mother with chronic health problems, she strengthened me so much and helped me believe in my natural ability to give birth. The birth of our first child went beautifully. When I got pregnant with our second, 3 years later, we decided to take the childbirth classes again and I'm glad I was able to do that. Even though I was busy with one child at home already, it was nice to give those few hrs a week to just that pregnancy. Again, the birth experience with Laura was just great. With my third-besides our very close family-the first phone call is to Laura to share the good news! She was at the third birth also, and again it was a peaceful, natural birth. She is wonderful with the postpartum visits. Its a nice time to reflect on your birth, and talk over what it means being a mother whether its the first, second or third time+.

Laura has the experience to give you peace of mind. She has so much knowledge. She knows the local hospitals, midwives, OBs very well. But she also has a quiet calm strength, which is the most important quality in a doula. I am privleged to call her a mentor and friend.

 

 

Georgette Brackett

2/2/2015

I first heard of Laura approximately 11 years ago. My oldest sister was pregnant with her second baby and hoping to have a successful VBAC. (She did not have a doula for her first baby.) Laura attended the birth as her labor doula and provided all the help my sister needed to reach her goal. Laura subsequently attended two more births with my oldest sister and two more births for my other sister, as well.  (Five births  total.) Through the years, I heard nothing but the upmost praise for Laura and the aid she provided during labor.  Needless to say, when it was finally my turn, there was no doubt in my mind that I also wanted Laura to be my doula. After telling my family that my husband and I were expecting our first child, I immediately called Laura to let her know the good news and to make sure she would be available to attend our baby's birth - Thankfully and to my delight, she was. 

I can wholeheartedly say now that all of the wonderful things I had heard about Laura for so long were entirely true. Everything she did - from massage to providing encouraging words to coaching through contractions and so much more - proved to be invaluable. To know that someone with so much knowledge and experience was by my side every step of the way provided me a tremendous sense of reassurance and peace. I knew I was in good hands. But what really makes Laura so special is the kindness and compassion she extends. Laura is perfectly in tune with a mother's hopes, excitement, and anxieties leading up to and during labor. She is always quick to provide the right words to not only keep you focused on your goal, but to remind you to celebrate the journey along the way. Even though she has attended countless births, she still treats your birth as being special. She genuinely wants you to have the most beautiful birthing experience possible and will do whatever is in her power to help you achieve that. Thank you so much, Laura! You're the best!!!

Katie Kabel

1/18/2015

We hired Laura to help us achieve our VBAC.  I had never labored with my son because he was breech, and wanted to do everything in my power to have a successful vaginal delivery.  While initially I wasn't nervous about entering into labor, the closer I got to D ( delivery) day the more anxious I got.  She was so great at brining my anxiety levels down and helping me feel calm about the approaching day.  She also guided me to ask my doctors important questions that helped to establish my expectations for my experience and create a birth plan that everyone was comfortable with.  

She was also such a great help in easing my husband's anxiety's about the experience.  He said " I don't know what I would have done without her".  It's really difficult for a husband to see his wife go through so much pain, and she was able to keep him calm and assure him that everything was fine... which in turn helped him support me more leading up to the big day and during labor.

While I had hoped and prepared for an unmedicated birth; eventually I did choose to have an epidural.  She never made me feel uncomfortable with my decision to do so.  And in the end, we both agreed that everything happens for a reason, and that it probably saved me from a second c-section.  

We are both so happy to have shared our birth experience with Laura.  She will always be a part of that special day.

Katie and Steve

nicole beloch

12/20/2014

Everyone has an image of what they expect from their perfect childbirth. My vision was an unmediated birth with no interventions. After learning about Laura's childbirth class from Avalon Midwives, I knew it was the perfect class for my husband and I. During one of Laura's classes we learned what a doula was (a word I'd never heard of) and after we left class that night my husband and I both said, "we want Laura!" My labor started just as Laura explained many do, right around bedtime. The following morning my contractions were getting intense but I did just as Laura said, deny you are in labor for as long as possible. by mid afternoon my husband started to get worried bc my contractions were 4-5 mins apart and we still hadn't called Laura to come to the house. Laura had called every so often to check on us to see if we wanted her to come oVer. I kept telling my husband I was fine. Laura at one point asked to speak w me and when she heard my voice she said, "I better come over." When she got to my house, she said "let's go for a walk', and then "lets get you in the shower." She knew exactly what was needed to get my labor to progress.While I was in the shower, Laura could tell by my moans that it was time to go to the hospital. I was 6cm upon arrival! after 2 hours of being at the hosp it was time to push. Laura knew exactly what I needed (ice, cold cloths, words of encouragement) when my labor was Unbarable. It's as if she knew exactly what to do/say w/o me saying anything. I wanted to give up so many times but didn't bc of Laura. Even as I pushed she calmed me down and told me how to push more effectively. My angel was out w just 1 hour of pushing.She even called repeatedly after my birth bc she knew I needed to talk (many bf'ing issues). My husband and I both know this perfect birth would have NEVER happened w/o Laura. She will be at all of our future births and will be recommended to everyone we know. I can't express how grateful we are to her. 

Michele Hipp

11/12/2014

Laura is awesome and I know I would not have had a succesful VBA2C without her by my side! I never considered a doula becuase I thought I would be able to achieve my natural birth with just the help of my midwives and husband. After taking a childbirth class I really felt that a doula might be very helpful in achieving my goal of a VBA2C. I contacted Laura at 36 weeks pregnant and even though we were so late in the pregnancy she made the time to ge in visits to us. She was the comforting female presence everybody wants by their side in pain or suffering. She encourageed me with a calm voice with the response "but you are doing it" everytime I said "I cannot do this". She reminded me to breathe everytime I tensed up and screamed through a contraction. She even took care of my husband by telling him it was ok to take breaks and get a drink or a short walk. She never left my side for the enitre 9 (overnight) hours at the hospital. I know, without a doubt I would have given up with out her there. I cannot recommend her enough as a doula!! My husband and I were so grateful she was there! We are so glad we met her and have her in our memories from our sons birth

Christina Beaudry

10/13/2014

After having two c-sections and pregnant with baby number 3 I wanted to have a natural birth without medical interventions more than anything.  A friend had recently given birth (an amazing VBAC) and she highly recomended Laura as a doula.  I made the call and I knew immediately that Laura was exactly the person to help me achieve my VBA2C.  It was late in my pregnancy but Laura met with my husband and I and gave us invaluable guidance.  In very little time I felt very prepared for a natural birth.  I met with several of Laura's referrals (amazing professionals!!), I read one book that she suggested and practiced the techniques she gave me.  During active labor I stayed in touch with Laura and followed all of her advice.  I was calm, focused and very relaxed during my labor.  Laura was there when I needed her.  She is nurturing, positive and intuitive.  I never asked for a cold towel or ice chip because she was there and knew what I needed in the moment.  I had an amazing birth and I'm in love with my birthing experience.  I thank you Laura for surrounding me with your positive energy!

Irina Guberuk

10/1/2014

Selecting Laura as my doula was the best descion! I called her at 37 weeks pregnant with twins and begged her to take me on even though she had a very busy month.  I was hoping for a twin VBAC and needed someone experienced, knowledgeable and supportive to help with a vaginal twin birth. She was the BEST for the task! She fit me into her schedule, made time to get to know my husband and I quickly and was there every step of the way. During labor, she helped through the pain of contractions and was very encoraging. Thanks to Laura, I had a successful twin VBAC with no complications. The birth was quick and both kids were born a few minutes apart.  My husband, who was not sure that we even needed a doula, was so thankful and thrilled to have her with us on our birthing journey.  When you are with Laura, you are in good, experienced and caring hands. Not only is she the best at what she does, she also has a wealth of recommendations and referrals. The lactation consultant she recommended has helped immensly with latching both children on and feeding in tandem.  Laura - thank you for all that you do!! You are amazing!

Emily Krueger

9/19/2014

My experience with Laura was exceptional. From the very first phone call, her positivity and enthusiasm was contagious. I was introduced to the idea of a doula through a friend and did some research before making the decision that I wanted a doula at my birth. It's funny, though, I didn't find Laura through a doula network - I found her through her role as an educator. It was the childbirth classes that brought me in, but I immediately knew she was the perfect person to go through the birth with my husband and I. Soup to nuts, Laura is a powerhouse. Her knowledge is extensive and her experience allows her to follow her intuition to provide customized service to each of the families with whom she works. My birth didn’t go as planned (medically), and Laura was there, supporting me and holding my hand. She gave me the space I needed to process my fears and the support I needed to know that I wasn’t crazy. Thank goodness she was there because she helped ease my fears about the unplanned C-Section. She held my hand and guided my husband to support me in the operating room (I insisted that she be in the OR with us). Post-partum, the support was amazing. Laura visited and provided suggestions and support when needed. Any woman who hires her should count her lucky stars - I know that I did.

rena carlton

9/6/2014

Laura was my doula for my second and third deliveries and I credit her for the positive feelings associated weith both of those births.  Her presence in the room was calming and reassuring, her knowledge and encouragement truly motivational. Laura respected my decisions and validated my emotions, which to me was key in having a successful natural delivery.  She provided a safe and loving environment where I felt comfortable discussing my options and thoughts.  I highly recommend having a doula, especially Laura, to anyone who asks. 

Amy Troendly Buck

7/1/2014

Hiring Laura as our doula was quite possibly one of the best decisions I made during my entire pregnancy.  My goal was to have as few interventions during our birth as possible, and through her strength and encouragement I was able to labor longer and harder than I could have with just the support of my husband.  He did everything he could to be prepared, but there is nothing he could do to compare to having an expert who has seen every situation, and been through many herself as a mother, by your side.  The birth of our son ended up being a complicated one that included a posterior LARGE baby.  She was able to get me to 10 cm and through 5 hours of pushing! Laura is not only a great support to have on hand, but she was also an amazing teacher in her childbirth class leading up to the big event.  I am so grateful for having found her, and that I was able to have her as such a vital member of our team.  I will definitley hire her again if we have another child.

Amanda Boyd

6/22/2014

My husband wasn't sold on using a doula. He wasn't sure we would need one. However, after meeting Laura and taking her class, he was relieved that she was going to be there to guide us through the birth of our first child.

Asking Laura to be my doula for the birth of our son was one of the best decisions we made. Her help and support exceeded my expectations, not only during labor and delivery, but throughout my pregnancy, including postpartum.

My goal of having a natural (drug free) birth suddenly felt unattainable after learning that I needed to be induced due to low amniotic fluid. I knew from Laura's class that it could make natural labor more challenging. I can confidently say I would not have been able to withstand the erratic and intense contractions from pitocin without an epidural without Laura's support.

Her calm and comforting presence centered me during labor. She was beyond prepared and always knew just what I needed, whether it was a mint, cold wash cloth or (my favorite) a lower back massage. At one point, I even slept inbetween contractions. That never would have happened without Laura!

Laura's passion, knowledge, warmth, and caring nature are just some of the qualities that make her a wonderful person and doula. It is hard for me to put into words how grateful I am for all of her support and guidance. She is truly a gem and I recommend her wholeheartedly, without hesitation.

Talita Costello

6/9/2014

Being a doula and childbirth educator is truly Laura's calling in life. Her childbirth classes were informative and also a lot fun. After taking her classes, I felt ready for natural childbirth and my husband felt prepared to be my coach. As a doula, Laura was super supportive before, during and after labor. She and my husband were communicating during early labor so I didn't have to worry about a thing other than laboring. Laura was such a breath of fresh air at the hospital as my husband and I were starting to get tired from laboring all day. She helped me get into more comfortable positions to ease the intensity and to help move things along. She and my husband were massaging my back and legs the entire time! When things were getting tough she kept me calm and reminded me to think about my baby and that soon I would be holding her in my arms. That helped so much. When I was finished she wiped my forehead, gave me a drink and applied lip gloss to my dried lips. So compassionate and nurturing. I would recommend her in a heartbeat.

Rena Shapiro

6/8/2014

I cannot imagine my birth without Laura. This was my 3rd birth and my second VBAC. She was everything a doula should be - kind, understanding, amazing at keeping me calm, and always just what to say. I loved the preparation classes with her and my husband - but she was just incredible when it came time for labor. She knew just what to do, what positions to try, and how to get things moving for me during my labor. I had a tough labor and Laura was simply amazing through it all. My favorite part about Laura was how she would gently touch my forehead during the most painful contractions so that I remembered to relax. She also recognized before the doctor even realized it that my baby had shifted positions and was facing posterior. And the best reward - I have this incredible baby that I birthed - and will remind me each day I look at him how I was able to accomplish this miracle - thanks to Laura's help!!

My first VBAC was almost accidental - I had so wanted a natural birth with baby #1 that when I got to the hospital for baby #2, I was so calm and relaxed (because I was anticipating a c-section) that I was actually able to have a VBAC! However, when I got to about 20 weeks with my third baby, I started to panic because I was so nervous I'd be back in the same boat that I had been in with baby #1, so wanting a natural birth, that I would freak out and end up with a c-section. That's when I realized I needed a doula to help me through this. And not just any Doula - I needed the best possible Doula who has seen everything and was ready for anything. Laura was that for me - and as a VBAC I had to fight off a few doctors in the process again - but it was all worth it. Having her by my side made me feel like I could do it - and I sure did it! Thanks Laura!!

Heather Gillis

3/5/2014

When I reached out to Laura, I was hoping to attempt a VBAC but wasn't entirely convinced that I could do it.  I had also had a bad experience with another doula during my previous birth (which ended up a C-Section), so I was unsure whether I should even try working with another doula.  I am so glad I did - Laura was exactly what I hoped a doula would be, and I would not hesitate to recommend her. 

Laura was wonderful with helping prepare to have the best possible outcome, spent time talking to me about working through any possible physical or emotional issues that might stand in my way and talked me and my husband through the ins and outs of what to expect with labor.  She made an effort to get to know us before the birth, so that we would feel comfortable together in labor.  When I did go into labor, in the middle of the night, Laura was right there when I asked her to come and she immediately helped with relaxation and encouragement.  She was compassionate and warm and supportive and calm, and knew just what to say to help me through the tough contractions.  She had a great relationship with the midwife and I really felt like I had a great team helping me through the birth.  Laura was with me every minute, and she had amazing intuition for what would be the best kind of support for me at the moment.  When I was cold, she got warm blankets or suggested my husband get in bed with me.  When the going got tough, she suggested trying to labor in the tub for a while.  She held my hand when I needed that and calmed me down when I needed that.  I'm so grateful to Laura for playing such a huge part in my successful unmedicated VBAC.  She is the best!

Dana Babeu

12/30/2013

My husband and I first met Laura  2 years ago through her childbirth education class. We both loved her instantly and after a few classes decided we wanted her to be with us during the birth as well.  It was one of the best decisions we could have made because we ended up with a very different birth experience than anyone had anticpated. All indicators had pointed to a quick, easy labor and I was extremely determined to have an unmedicated birth.  However, after 17 1/2 hours of laboring naturally, I was faced with a very difficult decision due to extreme pain from my sciatic nerve.  The pain had worsened over the course of my pregnancy but became unbearable during labor when the baby dropped down to a position which caused unrelenting stimulation of the nerve. Laura tried everything to make me comfortable -  the tub, shower, massage, compresses - but it was her calm and assured presence that kept me from totally losing control.  She even made sure my husband took a few breaks and had something to eat and drink with the assurance that she would not leave me alone while he was gone. At some point the midwife and nurses grew concerned for the baby's safety and lack of labor progression, and although I was devastated at the time, I knew I had to try the epidural to try and avoid a C-section.  I will never forget how Laura leaned over me and took my hand and told me it was ok, that I had tried my hardest and that we just needed to get the baby out safely.  Six hours later my daughter was born, beautiful and healthy.  Laura called over the next few days to check on us in the hospital. She knew how important my birth plan had been to me and never once trivialized its significance.  Her insights, strength and support not only helped me through a difficult birth, but also in coming to terms with my experience in the weeks that followed. I recommend her so highly!

Karen Kerbrat

12/9/2013

My husband and I attended Laura's childbirth classes two years ago when we were expecting our first daughter. Her classes were extremely informative and fun.  We looked forward to going each week!  It was during her class that we learned of a birth doula.  She attended my daughter's birth and was amazing.  I got to the hospital only minutes before being fully dilated and her presence was extremely calming during a quick and very intense labor. She gave me the reassurance and confidence that I could birth unmedicated.  When I became pregnant again earlier this year, there was no question...I wanted Laura at this birth as well.  There was no way I would birth without her!  I had a wonderful birth experience with her when my second daughter was born a few weeks ago.  She was with me every minute and through her encouraging and kind words gave me the confidence that I could have a second unmedicated birth.  My husband and I love her and feel that she is a member of our family. 

Alexis Fiala

10/26/2013

Laura was our doula for the birth of our second baby. I wanted an unmedicated childbirth and Laura was highly recommended by a friend. She was simply amazing. From the moment she arrived at our house until an hour after our baby was born, she never left my side. Laura taught me how to work through my contractions so they became surprisingly bearable. Her calm, warm, and confident presence helped my husband and I to truly trust in her. Our 3 year old daughter loved her too. I labored mostly at home and had our baby very shortly after we got to the hospital. She created an environment than was fun and relaxed rather than stressful.  I'm so proud of myself for having the unmediated birth that I wanted. I think that Laura's belief in me led me to believe in myself- and for that I will be forever grateful. We just love her!

Stacey Gunderman

10/7/2013

Whenever anyone asks my husband or I about our birth experience, we immediately start gushing about what a wonderful and positive experience we had and I know we owe a lot of that positiveness to Laura. We were so blessed to not only have Laura as our doula, but as our childbirth instructor as well. Her knowledge, patience and truly loving support were immeasurable in our successful natural childbirth. All that we had learned from Laura leading up to the birth and her reassuring presence during the birth (both over the phone and in person) helped to keep us calm, focused and relaxed even when our birth went from a rather long, slow early labor to a precipitous active labor and delivery. My husband also felt extremely comfortable with Laura and was able to call her and tell her my progression when my water broke at home and I was no longer able to speak during contractions. No words can every truly express all my gratitude for Laura's role in our birth. I recommend her with all my highest regards and cannot wait for the time to come when I am able to use her services again with our second child.

Kristin DellaVolpe

9/25/2013

Laura is truly amazing! I can't imagine attempting a natural chldbirth without a doula, and I am quite sure that Laura is one of the best. She is kind and nurturing as well as confident and supportive.

After experiencing a tough labor experience with my first child (with another doula--not Laura), Laura assured me that she would never leave my side during the labor and that we would not end up in triage at the hospital (both of which were problems with my first labor). She helped me feel safe and calm. She was nonjudgemental when i said I might need an epidural, which somehow took pressure off of me.

I had back labor and my baby's head wouldn't turn. In addition to performing pelvic squeezes to help ease the pain and try to create space for the baby to turn (Laura is strong!), she came up with the most ingenious trick that saved me hours of labor. She had me put one leg up on an uneven stool and when I spent 1 contraction in this position, the baby's head instantly turned and I was able to quickly push out our baby. Not the midwife nor the nurse knew this trick. This trick would have saved me hours and hours of labor (and an epidural) with my first baby... In the end, I had the medication-free natural childbirth that I hoped for. I owe so much gratitude to Laura. I am in awe of her experience and grace under pressure.

When she came to visit us after the birth, she made my older daughter feel like the star of the show. And, of course, she was able to answer all of our baby care questions.

I could go on and on. Laura is amazing and I can't say enough about her!

 

Sarah Gioe

8/9/2013

Labor can feel pretty intimidating, so it was a big relief for me to know that I would have Laura by my side during that time. She had been our childbirth educator, so when I did go into labor, I felt nervous but well-prepared. As labor progressed, she gave good suggestions of things to do and later helped me transition into active labor. I was happy that I labored mostly at home and was only in the hospital for four hours before giving birth. It was a huge help to have another set of hands once we got to the hospital and nice that she was familiar with the hospital, the staff, and my midwives. Her presence gave my husband and me peace of mind. I would absolutely recommend her...and I would choose to have a doula a second time as well!

Suzanne Scott

7/25/2013

Laura was simply amazing! Her birthing class was fun, funny, and informative, and having her with me in the hours before my beautiful son arrived was priceless. She was a calm and joyful guide during my much-faster-than-anticipated labor. She helped me focus on what I needed to do to bring my baby into this world without interventions and without pain medications – and I did it! She is one of the major reasons that the memory of my labor and delivery is so sweet and fills me with pride. With her help, I met my goal of having an unmedicated birth, and my normally intense husband remained cool, calm and helpful. If you’re looking for doula, or just a personal and engaging birthing class, I wholeheartedly recommend Laura.

Dina Castro-Lindner

7/2/2013

Laura assisted us with 2 unmediated natural births. One included a water birth. I could not imagine birthing without her.

When choosing a doula, I only needed one phone conversation to know that Laura was the one for us. She is extremely knowledgeable, passionate and down right fun. All of these features combined provided both myself and my husband the strength to take control of our birthing experiences.

Laura has mentally and physically support me through two challenging pregnancies, a posterior baby and a footling breech baby (which was manually flipped via version). With all of these challenges came 2 easy and fast births but not without concern. She comforted me and talked me through my worries. Because my first was posterior, Laura worked with me and did certain manipulations that actually rotated the baby! it was amazing. It made the birth 10 times easier with her in the right position. Simply AMAZING!

You will love Laura's fabulous bag, actually a suitcase, of tricks to help ease some of the toughest contractions. I really can't say enough good things about Laura. She is simply so special to me and my family.

 

 

Jocelyn Nicholson

6/28/2013

Laura Depasquale has attended both of our children's births as a doula and I truly believe it was a huge part in making the experience as wonderful as it was. After taking her birth education classes, I saw how experienced, knowledgable and calm she was and I wanted her present. She was able to read me so well and her support made my husband and I feel so confident that we could have the natural childbirth we wanted and planned for. I think it's a primal and natural desire for a woman in labor to want to feel supported and understood and Laura definitely has the intuition and experience to deliver (excuse the pun). As I told her in a wave of endorphins after the birth, 'I love you!' But it wasn't just in the moment, I truly believe I couldn't have done two natural childbirths without her there. If we ever decide to have more children, I would plan it around Laura's schedule so she could be there. We're so pleased we followed our friends recommendation of using Laura. She's the best!

Robin Vlamis

6/27/2013

I had Laura as my doula for both of my children and was thrilled with her assistance in their natural deliveries. Laura provides a consistently calm and reassuring presence and is there for you every step of the way. For my first birth she came to my home in the middle of the night to help when labor got rough, and then followed us to the hospital. She never left my side (the doctors and nurses aren't there much!) and I felt so much more at ease with her there. She was familiar with the hospital staff, procedures, monitors, equipment, etc, which was very helpful. My husband was also thankful for her presence. Husbands can be great support systems, but let's face it - most of them have NO clue what it's like to give birth, so they can only provide so much help. Laura also stayed with me immediately following my son's birth when I had to be stitched up (oww!) and my husband followed our newborn to the nursing station for some minor breathing problems. I highly recommend Laura as your doula, especially if you are looking for a natural childbirth. She is truly a professional and you will not be disappointed!

Beth Sciaino

6/26/2013

My desire to give birth naturally originated because I wanted to avoid repeat cesarean sections, common in NJ. I was thrilled to find in Laura DePasquale both a childbirth educator and a doula. Six years ago my husband and I took her childbirth class with 3 other couples. It was great to do this with a small group of first time parents. Both my husband and I were incredibly prepared through the class, the readings, meditation practice, and more. Many of my friends haven't had such preparation and as a result key decisions have been entirely in the hands of their doctors, leading to more interventions. Laura's class helped me feel confident in my role in the birth process, including my ability to make important decisions and my knowledge of how a woman's body helps birth her child. For me, it was a natural choice to hire Laura to serve as our birth doula for our daughter six years ago, and again for our son born earlier this year. I appreciated developing a relationship with Laura through her classes. If you don't have this opportunity, she is very gifted at making connections with people and you'll feel like you've always known her! Knowing that Laura would be present for the birth process gave me the confidence to claim the natural births I desired. The support she offered my husband and me was always very intuitive and welcome. People don't realize that nurses and the doctor are not with you all the time in the delivery room, they are monitoring you from afar. To have someone with us who could help explain what's going on, or help find a more comfortable position, or provide massage that gets you through the intensity of contractions, was absolutely priceless. I know that Laura's expertise and interpersonal gifts directly contributed to my ability to have two exhilirating natural childbirths. Laura is incredibly dedicated to her clients. She is a true blessing to women and their partners in childbirth.

Johanna Parisi

6/26/2013

Laura was everything my husband and I needed during one of the scarriest, beautiful and hardest times in our life. She is extremely educated and is very supportive during crisis situations. All though our birth did not go as planned and ended in a Csection she was there by our side through out and especially afterwards. I suffered from some post pardum anxiety and she really helped me pull through.  Also, my husband truly appreciated having someone we trusted along the way and through out the process.  We love Laura and would highly reccomend her as a doula!

kara wilson

6/26/2013

I would highly recommend Laura for anyone seeking a positive, natural birth experience. She is very kind, thoughtful & professional. As soon as she entered my room, I instantly felt at peace, calm and ready for what lie ahead. Laura is very knowledgeable about comfort measures & has a great deal of experience. We are expecting our 2nd child in December and, thankfully, Laura will be by my side!

Lauren Beach

6/22/2013

I would highly recommend Laura as a doula. She is very knowledgeable and educated us on topics of concern for pregnancy, labor, delivery and post delivery. She is easily accessible and always answered our phone calls or returned our calls promptly when we had questions or concerns. During delivery Laura was very supportive and was by our side at our home and then in the hospital to help guide us through this challenging time. My husband appreciated being able to look to her for reassurance that he was doing everything he could to help. She stayed with me when my husband had to leave with the baby for testing and held my hand and comforted me during the after birth. She was also very helpful in getting our daughter to start nursing. We really credit Laura for the successful natural delivery of our 10 lb 2 ounce baby girl. We will definitely use Laura again for the delivery of our second child.

Birth Availability for Laura DePasquale, CD(DONA)

= Available. Calendar last updated: 05-26-2020

Postpartum Availability for Laura DePasquale, CD(DONA)

= Available. Calendar last updated: 05-26-2020