My role is to educate and support mothers who feel that their body might need some assistance with relaxing and resetting. I am the mother of three children and have very different post-birth experiences. It wasn’t until my third delivery and my training as a yoga teacher where I realized what was actually happening with the body during delivery that influenced how mothers would heal from the delivery. I have a MA in Counseling, am certified in 3 styles of yoga, and trained in an energetic balancing practice. I support mothers by educating them on the physiological process of childbirth (in a fun way J), and then supporting them with exercises and practices that will shift the body back into the rest and digest mode post-delivery. We will discuss the importance of diet and nutrition during post-birth and you will also learn exercises that will support your body with resetting. These exercises will include breathing exercises that strengthen the lungs- breathing is the key to a relaxed body, as well as guided relaxations, and light stretching and strengthening (when the body is ready). I also provide energetic balancing sessions. Energetic balancing sessions provide an opportunity for the mothers and/or partner to talk through their experiences and then receive what I call an energetic message. Services can be offered in home, via Skype or by phone.
May you be well and relaxed as a mother!
Elizabeth Shelley is a New York City-based birth doula as well as a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist and a licensed family health practitioner. Elizabeth became a doula when her dearest sister was pregnant with her first child and Elizabeth did not want her sister to ever feel alone with fear, anxiety, pain, or worries. She wanted to ensure that her sister was emotionally, physically, and informationally supported throughout her pregnancy, labor, and postpartum journey. It is with the same devotion that Elizabeth aims to help prepare her clients for labor, facilitate informed decision-making throughout pregnancy, reduce anxiety related to childbirth, promote a positive birth experience, attend to her laboring client, and foster bonding between mother and infant.
I believe massage therapy is a craft that supports holistic health and increases our quality of life. I am committed to high quality massage therapy and client-centered work that promotes multifaceted well-being and is perceptive to my client’s therapeutic goals. To reinforce this, I draw upon experience in customizing healing sessions and massages through the implementation of Reiki, Swedish and Eastern techniques in addition to extensive knowledge of the body and mind and how their relationship is affected by illness, emotions, and daily living.
I am a graduate of the Swedish Institute in NY where I trained in massage therapy. I've been studying holistic healing, nutrition, mindfulness, Reiki and other healing techniques for over a decade, mostly in the Dominican Republic where I lived for 3 years after graduating Wesleyan University. My professional experience with massage therapy is mostly with small companies, yoga studios, spas, and private clientele. You can depend on relaxing and effective sessions that will leave you feeling balanced and empowered.
Using therapeutic and holistic approaches to achieve optimum health and well-being is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Together we can embrace awareness, breathe into relaxation, and tap into our inner wisdom to maintain the balance we all deserve.
Sophia O’Shaughnessy is a DONA-trained birth doula. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Sophia moved to New York to pursue a career in opera, though, after the birth of her son, she became passionate about pregnancy and birth. Sophia gave birth naturally at the birthing center at Mt. Sinai West. Inspired by her own positive experience, she is dedicated to helping women have their own fulfilling birth experiences. She believes that birth can be a transformative, empowering experience for every mother. She is an enthusiastic advocate for women to make their own informed choices in birth, and is committed to giving non-judgmental, loving support to women during such a beautiful time in their lives.
I happily offer my doula services to families: of any parental configuration, with extended family near or far, who have singleton babies or multiples, with babies who have special needs, who come together through adoption, and who give birth in a hospital, birth center, at home, or, heck, in a parking lot. There are plenty of doulas out there, and they’re probably all pretty darn great. (Because ladies who dig the whole vibe of a human beginning their time on this planet are generally very cool.) So a bit about me: I can naturally connect to most humans - tiny or large - in a particularly calm, empathetic, nurturing way. I was once an occupational therapist so, a) bodily fluids don't frighten me, and b) I am used to - and feel honored to - be a transitory part of people’s lives during BIG times. I also love to make things which means you might get complimentary cute burp cloths, garden bouquets, or batches of granola. I have three children (10, 7 and 4) and a hubby, Jon, who teaches upper school science. Plus, Penny my adorable chocolate lab.
My training was completed with DONA International and I am involved in continuing education courses on birth and breastfeeding regularly.
My journey to birth work was relatively unconventional as I came from an academic perspective. I am an attorney and I first became exposed to the world of birth work while searching for a topic for an academic article for my law school journal, the Columbia Journal of Race and Law. I ended up researching, writing, and publishing an article titled Midwives and Pregnant Women of Color: Why We Need to Understand Intersectional Changes in Midwifery to Reclaim Home Birth. After that experience, I was hooked on birth and felt called to train as a doula in order to support and provide vital information to women and families. I truly believe that women have a fundamental right to evidence-based information surrounding reproductive health, pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period and I feel a deep passion for helping women to find and digest this information, feel empowered and emotionally supported, and assert their agency in these and all areas in life.
Since my doula training, I have begun work as a Labor and Employment attorney in Manhattan but take every opportunity I can to offer informational support to expecting parents and to act as a back-up doula and attend births as my schedule allows.
I live on the Upper West Side but I am originally from the Bay Area in California. I come from a mixed-race and multi-cultural family. My mother was born in Jamaica, moved to England as a teenager, and came to California in her 20s where she met my father, who was born and raised in California. I have one older sibling who identifies as trans man (female to male) and also lives in the Bay Area.
Valencia Andrews is a DONA-trained birth doula, providing services in Westchester County and the Greater New York City area. Her path to birth work was inspired by supporting many close friends and family during their labor and delivery experiences. It was these formative experiences that guided Valencia during her early training, informing her current approach as a doula, of being centered on wholehearted attentiveness and providing a calm presence, while giving non-judgmental, physical, emotional and spiritual support to pregnant persons.
Valencia believes in the immense power of having a positive labor and birth experience and its long-lasting impact on the mother, child, family and mother’s community. She expresses her creativity and commitment to the health of women and babies through her services, and is devoted to embracing the birth vision and tending to the unique needs of each laboring person.