Abby very deeply believes that our experiences of birth - as a parent, a woman, a birth partner, and a baby - all have an everlasting impact on who we are and who we are to become. Birth shapes our lives in many ways, and she believes that a positive birth experience is a positive impact on society at large.
Influenced by her many years of contact and improvisational dance, Abby's style as a doula draws on somatic intelligence, spacial awareness, and accessing intuition. Her awareness of space and sensitivity to her surroundings has served her not only in the dance studio, but also in the laboring woman's space. Prenatally she assists couples to prepare for labor by arming them with a comprehensive toolbox of labor comfort measures and techniques, in addition to providing a variety of resources and information on evidence-based practices. During labor she helps couples to draw on their strengths and to tap into their into their bodies and their innate physical intelligence. Abby shape shifts as needed to fill in any gaps, whether that be with information, resources, touch, gentle suggestions, reassurance, or simply being present.
Attending each birth with a beginners mind, Abby draws on a myriad of birth experiences, ranging from hospitals, birthing centers, and homes, to births that are natural, low-intervention, medicated, and high risk, to births that are planned, spontaneous, induced, VBAC, or via C-section.
She has births at many of the hospitals and birthing centers in the NYC area, as well as home births, and has worked seamlessly with a variety of care providers and the families and friends of birthing couples. As a mother of two, Abby has been through birth herself, in addition to attending about 150 births in the NYC area. She provides labor support from a place of compassionate understanding and nonjudgmental respect for all fellow birthing mothers/parents and families, regardless of their birth preferences and choices. Her goal is to support you in the way that works best for you, as you prepare during pregnancy for labor, birth, and motherhood/parenthood. She is a strong advocate for breastfeeding and postpartum healing, and will work with you to make the "4th trimester" as smooth as possible.
Abby is a DONA-certified birth doula, certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, Certified Breastfeeding Counselor (CBC), certified Birth Assistant (a midwife's assistant in a home birth setting), and a HypnoBirthing Doula. She currently works closely with a small group of esteemed doulas who regularly meet and support each other as back ups, as well as to share resources and learn from one other. Some of her birth work education includes midwife assistant training, breastfeeding training, Spinning Babies, massage and comfort measures for labor, Rebozo certification, legal rights in childbirth, Hypnobirthing techniques, essential oils for pregnancy and birth, and postpartum mood disorder screening. Recently, she has begun a lactation internship with both an experienced private NYC Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) as well as at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, to develop her lactation support skills and expertise in breastfeeding. Additionally, this fall she will begin to pursue a Masters in Midwifery.
As a certified Holistic Health Coach, Abby graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has studied Thai Yoga Bodywork, both of which greatly inform her work as a doula. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied dance and early childhood education.
Before becoming a doula, Abby was a dancer, a freelance curriculum developer for health/wellness companies, and the Education Manager at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She also spent many years babysitting, teaching dance to kids, and working in childcare.
When she's not doula-ing, you can find Abby riding her bike around Brooklyn with her two boys, hanging out in Prospect Park, going to the beach, cooking, and maybe seeing dance or practicing yoga. On her rare vacations, she loves to get out and camp, traveling north in the summer and south in the winter! She was born in and grew up in Massachusetts, minus some time abroad, and has been living in (various parts of) Brooklyn for the past 17 years.
Education and Trainings
2 0 1 9
April: Epidurals and Cesarean Births, with Rebecca Dekker of Evidence Based Birth
May: Began Lactation Mentoring with Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC
May: Nutrition + Love, iLactation Online Conference with iLactation
July: Began Lactation Internship at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens
2 0 1 8
April: Traditional Postpartum Doula Training, with Valerie Lynn
May: Hand Expression Go Milk Yourself Method, with Francie Webb/The Milkin' Mama
June: Integrative Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP) with Karen Strange
October: Postpartum Mental Health Workshop with Olivia Bergeron
2 0 1 7
April: Supporting Families with Multiples, with CEA/MNY
April: 4th Trimester Workshop, with Elynne Skove
May: HypnoBirthing Techniques Certification for Doulas with Paula Ajil
October: Epidural Webinar with Rebecca Dekker of Evidence Based Birth
November: Midwife Assistant Training at The Farm of Ina May Gaskin
2 0 1 6
February: Essential Oils for Pregnancy and Birth
March: Optimal Fetal Positioning, with Tammy Ryan of Spinning Babies
April: Certified Breastfeeding Counselor (CBC) Training with Lea Todaro, IBCLC
November: Induction Master Class, with Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN of Evidence Based Birth
November: Felt Your Floor, with Lindsey Vestal, Pelvic Floor Specialist
2 0 1 5
April: Is It Baby Blues or Something More?: Screening for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, with Sarah Best of the Seleni Institute
April: What to Know About VBAC & Cesarean Birth, with Choices in Childbirth
May: Hypnobirthing for Birth Professionals, with Chanti Smith
June: Advanced Doula Training on Supporting High Risk Pregnancies, with Co-founders of Carriage House Birth
August: Bloodborne Pathogens Course Certificate for Placenta Encapsulators (Recertification)
December: Received Placenta Arts Specialist Certification (APPAC) from APPA
December: Comforting Touch for Doulas Workshop, with Yiska Obadia
2 0 1 4
January: Babywearing for Newborns at Wild Was Mama (formerly Caribou Baby)
March: OSHA Certificate in Bloodborne Pathogens for Doulas and Placenta Encapsulators
April: Joined as a Birth Doula with Carriage House Birth
June: Stand on Your Rights: Demystifying Legal Rights in Childbirth with Cristen Pascucci of Birth Monopoly
July: Certification approved as a DONA International Birth Doula: CD(DONA)
August: I attended my first birth as a doula!
September: Breastfeeding 101 Course at the Brooklyn Birthing Center
September: Rebozo Training with Gena Kirby
May - Graduated from the Advanced Immersion Program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
May - Graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and certified as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
May - Bachelor's Degree in Dance and Education from Sarah Lawrence College