EMILY AND FONG
My partner and I had a wonderful experience with Sarah as our doula. She came to our home quickly after we called and never left my side throughout the labor. She was supportive emotionally and physically through the contractions, with getting into different positions and with vocalization. She made me constantly stay hydrated and focused on what my body needed to do. She came by a few days later and held our healthy baby boy and we discussed breastfeeding and neighborhood support and resources. My partner was there the entire time as well (at the Brooklyn Birthing Center) so I had a lot of support but I know that he appreciated the additional warmth and encouragement from someone trained in the field. Sarah is genuine and kind and I couldn't have chosen a better doula for us.
AMANDA AND BRENDAN
Sarah is an amazing doula! We knew that we wanted her to be present for the birth of our daughter at our first meeting. She was a tremendous support for us in the weeks before the birth, during labor and postpartum. She was very knowledgable and provided us with resources to assist in how we would shape our birth plan. She was also very helpful in assisting us to make decisions during labor and letting us know what was going on. This definitely helped us feel a whole lot better during some important decisions. In addition, her calm presence and her helpful suggestions were extremely valuable. She is very warm, nurturing and compassionate. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a doula.
JENNIFER AND DAVID
Working with Sarah as our doula was a wonderful experience. Sarah exudes warmth and genuine caring and I always felt that she was completely available and supportive of anything I needed. Having her in the hospital during labor and delivery was invaluable and I've been telling all my friends and family how helpful she was. My husband said having her there helped him feel more secure and comfortable knowing there was someone knowledgeable with us the whole time looking out for me. Sarah helped me through labor giving foot and leg massages, reminding me to breathe through contractions, and most importantly helping me accept and deal with some of the overwhelming physical sensations of labor. She was especially crucial during pushing and kept encouraging me and offering positive feedback with each contraction. Her postpartum visit also helped us to work through some early breastfeeding issues with our daughter. I would recommend Sarah unreservedly to anyone looking for a doula.
KATIE AND KENNY
My husband and I went to a doula meet-and-greet event when I was about 4 months pregnant. To be honest, I wasn't even completely sure what a doula was or why we needed one! Our doctor had just strongly recommended one so we figured, let's go see what this is all about! We spoke with a few doulas and it was very obvious as soon as we sat down with Sarah that she was the right fit for us. She is very down to earth, intelligent, calm, non-judgmental and caring. I had a lot of women in my life telling me all these horror stories about childbirth and Sarah helped me realize that it doesn't have to be like that!
A few weeks before our due date, Sarah came to our home to discuss what we wanted from our birth experience, what her role would be and helped us with our birth plan. She answered all my silly questions (What should I wear!?) and we also went over a few positions we could use during labor in various locations throughout our apartment. She had a lot of great little tips to share like herbal teas to drink to prepare your body for labor and things to bring in our hospital bag that we hadn't thought of. She was available to us by phone & email 24/7 leading up to our sons birth and always responded very promptly.
During labor, Sarah helped me with breathing, positions, keeping hydrated, and helped me feel safe, calm and positive. She made sure the doctors and nurses were aware of my birth preferences and advocated on my behalf when my doctor a little got out of line. When it came time to push, Sarah wiped my face, neck and chest down with cold water and I'll never forget how amazing that felt. It made all the difference when I was at a point in my labor that was super emotional and exhausting. After the baby was born, Sarah helped me to start breastfeeding and took photos for us. A few days after we were home, Sarah came by for a visit and we talked through my birth experience and she made sure breastfeeding was going well.
I don't even want to imagine what my labor experience would have been like without Sarah! I cannot recommend her enough!
JESSICA AND CP
We approached the idea of working with a Doula with a very blank slate, not knowing much about what was to come our way with the pregnancy. We had hope that our Doula would be an invaluable resource for us as we journeyed through the experience of being pregnant and preparing for our child. Working with Sarah, we quickly learned that a Doula can be far more than solely a resource. Sarah was definitely an incredible sounding-board for us. Her insight and advice on a wide range of topics lead us to her recommendation of a powerful book by Ina May Gaskin that was by far the best advice we got during this journey. It helped to make the entire process comfortable, manageable, enjoyable and satisfying. Other great qualities of Sarah's are her interpersonal skills as a listener, and her organizational skills as a planner. All of our conversations, in person and email, were given her full attention and addressed in a careful and thoughtful manner. Prior to the birth of our son, I felt stress free, prepared and ready to go all because of Sarah's wise ideas, calm manner and caring approach as we were able to handle every step of the experience due to our meticulous pre-delivery planning. When it was time for our son to arrive, Sarah was an integral part of my labor (all 34 hours!), helping me manage with invaluable massage and positions to get things going (and getting the baby to turn without any interference!), all the while letting my husband and I take the lead. The journey to and in the hospital was, in hindsight, something that I was not prepared for, but Sarah saved us again and again with technical ins and outs, comforts that we would have overlooked and guiding me and keeping me calm all of the hundreds of times that I asked if we were getting close to meeting our baby! Through all of this teamwork, I was able to have the natural childbirth I wanted without the help of any drugs or inducements to assist the delivery. We can confidently say that hiring Sarah was the backbone to managing the mental preparedness of our pregnancy and birth!
ROSE AND CHRIS
Even before we conceived, we knew that we could either afford a doula or a childbirth education course. We chose a the former because at least we had the foresight to recognize the utility of an extra labor support person, especially since we live far away from our families. After interviewing several potential candidates, Sarah was the obvious choice. Her background in social work make her a natural when it comes to communicating with clients. She is professional, intelligent, well-informed, and deeply compassionate. Following our first meeting, we were both energized with a renewed sense of confidence and felt fortunate to potentially have her as a member of our birth team.
As our due date approached, Sarah proved a reliable presence available nearly 24/7 via phone, e-mail and at our in-person meetings, where she would stay for however long it took to go over our concerns (sometimes as many as three hours). She shared a wealth of knowledge and tactics for managing labor and planning for delivery, answered even our most trivial questions, and assuaged our fears. We shared resources and she sought additional guidance from mentors at the NYC Doula Collective when necessary. Once our doctors became concerned about our child's growth and ordered weekly ultrasounds, she was able to turn off the alarmist thought process that was going through our heads by reminding us that the additional monitoring proved that our medical team had our best interests at heart.
Despite all our preparation, our son's birth was unconventional and involved a delivery team of EMTs and the backseat of car. Nevertheless, Sarah remained calm, cool, and collected, maintaining involvement throughout the entirety of the situation, from giving the best lower back massage imaginable, identifying the signs of transition and the emergence of the amniotic sac, taking charge of the situation by directing the driver to pull over, staying on the line with the 911 operator while my spouse corralled the paramedics, and ensuring that my husband was still able to witness the birth of our son, while standing alongside the vehicle as traffic whizzed by. She advocated strongly for our preferences with both the emergency medical personnel who arrived on the scene and the doctors/nurses at a hospital where we never intended to be. Before leaving my bedside that evening, Sarah insisted on picking up a real meal for us to enjoy as a new family. She demonstrated a profound ability to anticipate our needs and wishes without us ever having to voice them.
The time that elapsed between being discharged from the hospital and my six week postpartum checkup seemed like an eternity. I felt abandoned by my doctors and did not quite know how to process everything that had transpired. Being able to sit down with Sarah and my husband to piece together the events of that week eased any emotional turmoil that I was experiencing. By the end of our debriefing exercise, I was at long last feeling empowered by our birth story and proud of myself as a newly minted mother.
My husband and I are comforted by the thought that there are people of Sarah's caliber in this world. The service that she provided for our family was invaluable and our gratitude is immeasurable.
Sarah was incredibly generous and kind, at a moment of weakness and vulnerability when I was trying to manage newborn twins and their three and a half year old brother. She offered to spend 12 hours in our home, doing whatever I needed—be it holding babies, preparing bottles, making and serving snacks, folding laundry, playing with my oldest son, or helping me get to and from the pediatrician. Her gentle, quiet manner was a balm for all of us, and she always tried to find the bright side of what was a hard, exhausting phase! Also, she really appreciated our boys and complimented them often. She was so easy to have around, and I don’t say that about many people! Most of all, my husband and I found her empathetic, agreeable, non-judgmental and open to learning how we wanted to do things with our children.
ELENA AND HAROLD
Words can't begin to describe how fortunate we felt having Sarah present at the birth of our son. Sarah was always available to answer any questions or concerns my husband and I had leading up to the big day. I felt prepared and empowered going in knowing she would be there to assist. During my labor she was attentive, empathic, supportive and her energy and strength in the delivery room never wavered. She kept me hydrated, reminded me of my breathing, offered words of encouragement and guided me through each contraction. Her attentiveness to my progress kept me focused and determined which played such an important role in keeping with our birth plan. Postpartum, she remains in contact, checking in to see how our son is doing, how I'm doing. She will always be an important part of the story of how our son came into the world.
FARAH AND BRADLEY
I met Sarah when I was 19 weeks pregnant, a first time mother and a newcomer to New York. She immediately put me at ease and talked me through any concerns I had. When I found out that I would most likely have to have a c-section because my daughter was in the breech position, I was really disappointed. I had my heart set on a natural birth. But despite this, Sarah's positive energy was infectious. I was actually very excited about the day when I'd meet my daughter! She did her own research and provided me with invaluable information on how to make the best of the c-section, she helped my husband and I prepare for the day of the birth with a list of what to expect and she was in the hospital advocating for me every step of the way. I would highly recommend Sarah to any mother who wants to keep their spirits high throughout their pregnancy!
KATIE AND MARIO
We were so fortunate to have Sarah as our doula. She is, quite simply, phenomenal! We met her early in our pregnancy and knew immediately that we wanted to work with her. Sarah is warm, positive, reassuring, responsive, encouraging, resourceful, dependable, a talented listener, professional, super knowledgeable...there just aren't enough adjectives!
Back labor was a curveball I was not expecting and, understandably, not thrilled about. We called Sarah and she coached me through the pain over the phone and headed over shortly after. She supported me as I labored at home and then in the hospital. She had incredible stamina, sticking with us through what turned into a bit of a marathon. And she has a magical bag filled with all the things you wouldn't think to pack in your hospital bag--barf bags (gross, but necessary), straws, massage oil, and hand-held fan (amazing!). I will never forget and forever be grateful for how she kept me hydrated, gave me the most amazing lower-back massages, breathed with me, and placed cool compresses on my head. Sarah was also very conscious about ensuring that my husband felt involved. I think she has a real gift for reading people and knowing exactly how much support they need and making sure that, at the end of the day, this incredibly special moment is a family affair.
We really can't say enough good things about Sarah! We already know we'll be seeking her out again if/when we have another baby.
KATHLEEN AND CHARLIE
Sarah Lewin exceeded my every expectation. Through preparation, skill and a calming and exceedingly pleasant demeanor Sarah has cemented my opinion regarding the invaluable service doulas provide.
After the birth of our first child seven years earlier, I knew I wanted a doula for support the next time around. After many years of trying, we were blessed to be pregnant with twins. I had arranged for a doula through the NYC Doula Collective. I first spoke with Sarah on the phone and her soothing, steady manner was immediately apparent. It was a great first contact. She spent a great deal of time allaying my concerns and prompting questions I hadn’t even thought of.
When she arrived at the hospital with her huge duffel bag, I have to admit I was a bit startled – how long was this going to take?! Her magic bag had everything possible and I knew she was prepared to stay as long as necessary. She was exceptionally calm and reassuring while encouraging me to make
the decisions. She helped minimize cramps, back and leg pain and, of course, contractions. The knot in my back that had been there for months was gently massaged away. She got me up out of bed and much more relaxed. I was able to hold off on an epidural until the very end. When I was finally ready to head to the O.R. (because of twins) and could take only one person, I left my husband behind without even thinking about it (he did come in later). Sarah was again very calming at the delivery, asking the doctors and nurses questions and helping me relax to the greatest extent possible. She stayed for my whole recovery period and then some. After several days at home, she came for a visit to check in and see how we were all doing. A year later and we are still in touch so she can follow how the twins are learning and growing.
Sarah has our full hearted recommendation for anyone considering a doula at the birth of their child(ren). She is fabulous and her love for what she does comes through in spades.
VY AND MICHAEL
We can’t imagine our birthing experience without Sarah. From our very first meeting she was warm, informative, patient, and professional. Throughout the pregnancy she was available to promptly answer all of our questions, both big and small. On the day we went into labor, things moved extremely quickly and Sarah sprung into action – guiding us through each step of the process with her reassurance and advocacy. Childbirth can be a scary thing to experience for the first time. No matter how many birthing classes you attend beforehand and how prepared you think you are, things can move quickly, unexpected circumstances can arise, and your birth plan can quickly go out the window. Sarah was an oasis of calm in a fast-moving situation. She explained everything that was happening to us as it happened, helped guide us through important decisions along the way, and made sure that I was safe, comfortable, and calm and that my husband knew what was going on. She struck the perfect balance between advocating for a natural birth and deferring to the judgment of our medical team when appropriate. In fact, she was so great at working with our ob-gyn and nurses that our ob-gyn, who is wary of doulas, asked if she could refer Sarah to her other patients. We were able to have the safe and natural birth with minimal intervention we hoped for in large part because of Sarah. We highly recommend her!