Philadelphia, PA Service range 10 miles
$35 to $55
$35 to $55
5 years and 50 births attended
5 years and 41 families served
Type of practice: Solo practice
Clients per month: 1 to 2 births and 2 postpartum families
Postpartum limits/restrictions: Just give me a heads up if you have cat(s) so I can take an allergy med and then I'm all good.
Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Attends birth center births? All Birth Centers
Attends home births? Some Home Births
As long as there is a medical professional there attending the birth, like a midwife I'm happy to attend. (no 'free births)
*Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership who offers trained doulas free of charge to women in Harlem and surrounding northern Manhattan neighborhoods. *Healthy Women Healthy Futures *Nurture Project International helping refugee mothers with safe infant feeding in Greece.
Philadelphia, PA Service range 10 miles
My wife and I read all the books and took all the classes before the birth of our first child. We felt so prepared--and we were. We even stayed calm through the first few hours of contractions. But I don't know what we would have done without Michele once things got going for real. She arrived at our home in the middle of the night, and within minutes transformed a chaotic scene into a peaceful haven. From our home, to the cab, in various hospital waiting rooms and up through delivery, Michele did a phenomenal job of reading every situation and staying a step ahead of my wife's needs. Most importantly, she was by our side when things took a sudden, unexpected turn (unplanned cesarean). In the dizzying rush to the OR, she told us exactly what to expect. Her calm demeanor and precise information prepared us to take on what could have been a frightening turn of events. Michele is warm, funny, and reassuring. Her wise advice and confidence evince years of experience.
Michelle was outstanding. She far exceeded our expectations in every way. Before we elected to hire a doula, we were skeptical that it would be worth it. I thought that between the nurses and the doctors, we’d get all the guidance and support we needed. Having now been through the birthing experience, we have a deep appreciation for everything Michele did for us. She helped my wife find a new doctor – a doctor that she felt much more comfortable with. She was calming, cheerful, supportive, and empathetic throughout labor. She had the presence of mind to capture important moments with pictures and video when everyone else was overwhelmed by the experience. Most importantly, Michele empowered us. She gave us the knowledge and support to make the birthing experience our own. She was our advocate and encouraged us to ask questions, to be informed, and to be active participants in situations where all too often patients are “pushed through a system” unaware of the decisions being made or the options available. We couldn’t be more grateful.
Michele is amazing. I've never known anyone who worked with a doula, so I was a unsure what to expect. I had two concerns first, whether I would feel comfortable with a "stranger" sharing the experience with me and my husband, and second, whether a doula would still be useful if my birth didn't go as planned and I ended up being induced, getting an epidural, or even having a c-section. My first concern was not an issue AT ALL. Michele is so warm and supprotive that I immediately felt like I had known her for years. I felt like me, my husband, and Michele were all on a team and I was so comfortable with her. She made my husband feel so confident and comfortable as well, so he was able to have a huge role and we are both so happy about that. As I got closer to labor and through the delivery itself I realized how silly my second concern was. I saw that Michele provided support throughout the entire process, rather than just being there to help me reach a goal of having a certain kind of delivery. For example, my baby was breech and Michele gave us tons of information about ways to get her to turn and my options if she didnt (she did). I ended up delivering 10 days late and I was very anxious waiting for the baby to arrive and about the possiblity of an induction. Michele gave me information about inductions and the questions I should be asking my doctors. Finally, Michele was in constant contact with us during over 48 hours of labor, and came to my apartment two separate times before we decided it was actually go time. Most importantly, with her support I felt like I was in control of the process. Michele gave us information I needed and was so supportive of each decision I made. Because I felt comfortable and in control the entire labor and delivery I can truly say I had an amazing birth experience.
What can I say, but thank goodness for Michele. She helped me survive 32 hours of labor and believe it or not there were many moments of laughter. She helped me prepare my body for labor and even put 3 yr old back to sleep, so my husband and I could have some alone time. She was a champion, a rock and by our side til our little girl was born. She even snapped some pictures and video that we will forever be grateful for. 6 stars to this wonderful lady who truly helped make our birthing experience one of a kind. We could not have done it without her.
We originally were not planning to work with a doula because I assumed it would only be helpful if I were trying to have a natural birth (with no epidural). But after attending a childbirth class we realized it would be helpful to have someone in the delivery room who was there to support us, since we knew the doctor would not be able to provide the guidance we would need.
After meeting with several highly recommended doulas we decided on Michele, and she turned out to be a perfect fit. Michele was supportive throughout the rest of the pregnancy without ever pushing her ideas or preferences on us. Our daughter was two weeks late, so she helped us balance natural and medical induction options with just waiting it out. And most importantly on the day (days) of labor and delivery she was there cheering us on, providing information and support and a calming presence, and even some comic relief. She helped to remind me of preferences that I forgot about in the heat of the moment, and supported me when my preferences were not possible.
My doctor got caught up in surgery toward the end of my labor/when I started pushing, and I started to get nervous that he wouldn't be back in time (he was!), but Michele kept me focused, assured me that what my body was experiencing was normal, and helped me to communicate with the hospital staff that it was time to push. She even took amazing photos and videos (with our permission) of the first moments after my daughter arrived. Since our daughter was born, Michele has continued to be helpful and responsive when I've had questions about breastfeeding - it really feels like she's still cheering me on!
We can't imagine what the experience would have been like without Michele there, and we highly recommend her to anyone looking for a doula (or even those who are not sure whether a doula will be helpful - the answer is yes!)
I'm not exaggerating when I say that I think Michele and Naima saved my birth experience. I had a rough pregnancy and began to have concerns about the care I was receiving from my provider. With Michele's encouragement I made the choice to switch to a wonderful OBGYN and began to feel more calm about my rocky third trimester, and more in control of the way I was going to give birth. She truly empowered me and felt like a cheerleader in my corner at all times.
I had pre-labor that started and stopped off and on for weeks and she kept me sane through it all, texting me advice, words of encouragement, or even just calling to chat and take my mind off of it. It was like having a friend on-call who always knew exactly what I needed and was prepared to drop anything when the time came, even if it ended up being a false alarm. I never doubted that I could depend on Michele and Naima, and that's a great feeling to have when you're nervous and unsure about everything else.
When the time finally came Michele was very sick, but still kept in touch with me as Naima took over. What can I say about Naima? She is such a lovely person, and a very calming, maternal prescence. It felt like having a mother or sister with me, which is what I really needed, as we don't have any family nearby and it was just me, my husband and my male doctor. I was so happy to have a woman there who understood what I was experiencing and could provide comfort. She probably massaged my back for 8 solid hours, stayed calm through my very vocal last hour of birthing a 10lb baby with no medication, and made me believe that I could get through it. Looking back on my birth experience, Naima was and always will be a very important part of it.
Michele and Naima both hold a special place in my heart for helping me bring my son into the world, learn how to nurse him, and have my own personal feelings cared for. I think we forget how important that part of it is.
We highly recommend Michele! (and her doula partnership with Naima Beckles, who has provided us with postpartum support)
My husband and I hired Michele and Naima late in my pregnancy - just in time for baby Nora's early arrival at 37 weeks! We were only able to meet once before the birth but both my husband and I felt that Michele was a great match for us - a calm presence when she visited our home, a helpful voice on the phone when things accelerated, and an amazing support resource through 12 hours of unproductive labor, the difficult but necessary decision to agree to a c-section, and the chaos of the post-op recovery room and first feeding.
We weren't sure we were going to hire a doula for this, the birth of our first child, and now, thinking back, I'm not quite sure what we would have done without her. She was as much a help to me as she was to my husband, making us feel like we had an ally in the room at all times despite some difficult conversations with hospital staff about what they wanted us to do and how quickly they wanted us to do it. Her breastfeeding training and expertise has also been invaluable - she even came to our home the night we got home from the hospital and helped me tweak technique which made the first week of feedings that much easier. I cannot say enough good things about our experience with Michele, we are forever indebted to her for making Nora's birth easier on everyone.
Its hard to find the words to express how amazing an experience we had with Michele. So much of the process, from choosing the right doula to the day of is a feeling and Michele felt right from the beginning. She has a warm and calming presence, but also one of authority, that my husband and I were very impressed with. The day of, our plan to give birth at the birthing center was in question because I wasn't the required 5cm dialated. Michele talked me through my options, I think she really wanted to make sure I wasn't being pressured to deliver in L&D instead of the birthing center. Michele set straight to work making the room comfortable by turning off the florecent lights, adding electric candles, turned on the playlist of music I had prepared...what a difference it made in the mood of the room. She coached me through my contractions, suggesting new positions-she really moved the process along. My husband and I commented after that we would have just been lost...I'm not sure I wouldn't have just layed in bed for the entire process and I'm fairly certain I would have begged for an epidural. The one thing she said to me that stuck was that this would not break me, I just kept telling myself that, it became a mantra in my head. She made sure my husband was eating and drinking-which he wouldn't have without her prompting-and at one point she suggested he get into bed with me and rest with me between contractions. What a special moment that was-it felt so good to have him there with me in that way and I knew he was being taken care of too. Because of Michele, I made it through my delivery without medication and my family will forever feel a closeness with her because she made this such a positive experience and shared this special moment with us.
Michele and Naima were invaluable to us before, during and after our birth! We love the advantages that their system offers, including backup, double support/knowledge/experience, and a sense of teamwork; it’s like having two fairy godmothers! Michele was assigned to be our birth doula. She was in close contact in the weeks leading to the birth. When my contractions intensified, Michele came to our home. She brought with her an excitement for the birthing process and a positive energy that helped us regenerate. Her massages (especially foot!!) were heavenly, and I could enjoy them despite my contractions! She used reflexology and had a lot of suggestions regarding posture and activities, including dancing and going for a walk outdoors. It’s amazing how Michele added elements of fun, adventure, and curiosity to our individual process. She was also available to support us emotionally and we were able to talk about the psychological aspects of labor. Michele prepared us for the transition to the hospital. Unfortunately, once we got to there I had some uncontrollable complications, and we had to shift directions a few times. Michele was completely aligned with us in our choices, and offered strong support and encouragement. She let us lead in decision-making, and then guided us through. She continued to help with pain management, and offered suggestions and knowledge. Unfortunately, our birth led to a c-section, but Michele continued untiringly to help us. She stayed with us until after the surgery and helped me breastfeed for the first time. This was almost a 24-hour time frame that Michele was by our side!! We were amazed at her dedication..We continue to feel greatly thankful to Michele for her exceptional care. We had the best possible experience with Michele as our doula, and are looking forward to working with her again at some point ;)
We recommend Michele and Naima as a team with our highest regard!
I can't even begin to explain how wonderful Michele was at our labor. I know she would correct me for saying this, but I couldn't have done it without her, at least, not in the way I wanted to. This was my second birth, the first time was in a hospital setting and I had an epidural. Even with the epidural, the pain was terrible. This time, I wanted a natural birth in a birthing center. I was very anxious to say the least about not having an epidural, but this was my goal. I hired Michele, and upon our very first meeting I immediately began to feel more at ease about my upcoming labor. Michele constantly reassured me that everything was going to be fine, and that I could handle it. Michele is kind and generous (she baked us banana bread!!), and made herself entirely available. Each time I contacted her when having Braxton Hicks contractions, she would call me to discuss them, and follow up with me every few hours to ensure I was okay. When I finally did go into labor Michele took care of so much. I wanted to clone her! She knew exactly how to keep me calm and alleviate pain by pressing various acupuncture points. We worked together to get baby in the perfect position for delivery by trying different techniques. Anytime I needed anything (chap stick, hair tie, you name it) Michele was on it. Post labor Michele has been available to answer any breastfeeding questions, postpartum concerns, etc., and she continues to check in with us to make sure everything is okay. At the end of it all, I truly felt that between Michele and my husband I had a birthing “team”, it wasn’t just me!
I would hire Michele again in a heartbeat; I couldn’t imagine having another baby without her! I recommend her to anyone!
From the moment my husband and I met Michele, we knew we wanted her to be our doula. She emanates confidence, happiness, generosity, intelligence, know-how and humor, all at the same time. She made me feel supremely comfortable and I knew I could count on her to guide me through what was to come—this was crucial, since it was my first pregnancy and I was filled with questions. With her informative, direct, and incredibly friendly manner, she made us feel like “We SO got this: and it’s going to be GREAT.”
I later found out I needed to have a c-section because my baby was breech. Without skipping a beat, Michele sent me a list of things to ask my doctor, and suggested strategies to help me have the best experience possible in the OR (which I did). The day of the delivery, she came with us to the hospital and was a godsend. She was always one step ahead of the game—for example (and I’ll always be grateful for this!), at one point she just got up and went to the waiting room to be with my mother and relay what was going on inside. We didn’t have to ask, she just did it. Also, when my c-section was done and my husband came out to the waiting area to tell my mom and Michele about how everything went, Michele grabbed my mom’s iPad and video recorded his telling of the story— priceless! In the midst of all the excitement, Michele was there to make sure everything went smoothly and everyone was happy. At every turn, she struck exactly the tone we needed her to strike — she read every situation with an uncanny ability, and responded with what the situation called for, whether it was a specific task, or simply lightening the mood. This is a quality that is rare to find! From prep, to the delivery, to our postpartum visits, Michele is attuned to the present moment, and harnesses humor and knowledge to free you to immerse yourself and enjoy it for what it is: one of the greatest experiences of your life.
I never considered having a doula partly because I was made to believe that having one was frivolous, and partly because I wasn’t in the financial position to afford one. 8 months into my pregnancy, a friend wanted to give me something that she thought would be helpful. This is how Michele came into my life. As grateful as I was for my friend offering to pay for a doula, this gift was too big to accept! My friend insisted that I chat with Michele anyway and Michele learned that I was eligible to receive her services ffor free via the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership. For one month, I got doula treatment! Frivolous? I think not. Michele provided hands on guidance and reassurance to making the best decisions for our birth plan.
Being in labor was quick - only about 2 hours. Michele arrived at the hospital just as I had to do the major pushing - exactly when I needed her. Her nurturing presence felt like a bowl of warm chicken soup. I felt safe, strong again, and relieved. My partner did, too. And when our precious baby girl arrived, Michele took over camera duties. She also stayed to help me get the little one to latch onto my breast - not an easy feat!
I’d encourage every pregnant woman to consider hiring a doula primarily based on Michele’s follow up visit. I learned what doulas truly are then, and am so thankful. They are your spokesperson. They are your rock. When everyone’s attention is on the baby (as expected), Michele focused on me. And how grateful I was for that. With my emotions running the gamut and my energy tank on low, it was difficult for me to communicate properly with visitors and even with family. Michele allowed me to express my needs and tactfully conveyed them to the full house.
Michele: Energetic but soothing. Knowledgeable & humble. Sensitive, yet not easily intimidated. Strong & flexible. Thank you, Michele. We are so happy that you are a part of our birth story.
Michele was a godsend! She was exactly what my husband and I were looking for in a doula. For me, she provided knowledge, confidence, and support whenever I needed it. She was available by phone, text, or email when I needed her and always got back to me very promptly while making all of my questions feel warranted (even when they might not be). For my husband, she provided him with coaching and comfort when times got tough. It was a relief knowing that Michele was there to provide her expertise and encouragement when we needed to make decisions during my labor. Michele went above and beyond for us when we needed her. Whenever we get the chance, we sing her praise. We will always look back fondly on our experience with Michele.
Michele was the first doula I interviewed and she set the bar high. Warm, friendly and a great story teller, she put me at ease. Your doula is supposed to be your support and it was important to me to feel comforatable, especially physically around her.
As I interviewed other doulas I kept comparing them to Michele so I knew she was the 'one.' I always looked forward to seeing her. I was really excited to give birth, it was wonderful to have someone in my corner who was excited about labor too. Michele was such a great source of information and stories that I found myself considering being a doula one day. We had two home visits before the labor and then continued email/text/phone support as needed.
When the big day came I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to have Michele. My labor was quick and I'd prepared tools to get through a completely natural unmedicated birth, but I couldn't have done it without Michele and my husband.
I transitioned fast and was starting to feel the need to push on the way to the hospital. Michele was invaulble in keeping me calm and giving me suggestions to have avoid having the baby in the car. We made it to the birthing center quickly and two hours later got to meet our baby girl.
The most uncomfortable part of my labor was having to sit still for the 20 minutes for the fetal monitor. Not being able to move through contractions was brutal. Michele was there pressing into my backside relieving tensions where needed. She would notice my needs before I even need to verablize them. When I was pushing she was the first to realize how much tension was in my wrists and applied acupressure to relieve some of the ache in between contractions. After the birth she was perfect in being available. She took photos for us while we welcomed our little girl, got us food and ensured that we were taken care of before leaving us to fall in love with our little one.
Having Michele as my doula was one of the greatest gifts that I received. Being that this was my second birth I was very nervous due to the labors pains I previously experienced. But on the day that my princess finally decided to begin her arrival process, Michele guided me through every single contraction and comforted me the entire time. She didn't leave my side until my princess arrived and the nurse wheeled me in my room. Michele even stayed a little while after to ensure my nursing techniques began and we were comfortable for a nights rest. Michele coached me and helped me to realize the many birthing choices my husband and I had versus what we thought were the norm. She was always available and ALWAYS answered my questions with tons of research. My experience with Michele became a bond that I appreciate and will NEVER forget! !!
Having Michele at my daughters birth was such a blessing! She was absolutely wonderful. She held a calm, centered confidence throughout the process which allowed me to feel safe and held. She followed my lead and really allowed me to have the space to make choices and be in control of my birth process. Initially I thought I would want more alone time while in labor, although i found that I actually wanted Michele close by for most of labor and then birth. She was an amazing grounding force! I had just the birth I wanted and am so grateful I had her support and love through it all!
= Available. Calendar last updated: 12-12-2019
= Available. Calendar last updated: 12-12-2019