Manhattan Birth Doulas

Instructors - Experienced Doulas

All of our instructors are experienced Birth Doulas who provide heartfelt, down-to-earth, no-purple-crystals labor support.  You can contact them directly for pricing and availability.  Here's more about them.

Yael Borensztein with a baby she loves. Not sure what the baby thinks.

Yael Borensztein with a baby she loves. Not sure what the baby thinks.

Yael Borensztein is a birth doula, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, home birth assistant and experienced postnatal Registered Nurse serving New York City. She is dedicated to educating and nurturing families with a sense of empowerment and strength throughout their pregnancies and births. Yael feels strongly that it doesn't matter where or how you have your baby, as long as you are informed, confident, and supported in your choices. With her diverse experience as a home birth assistant and as an RN in a local hospital, she has become extremely comfortable with and passionate about supporting women and their families through the entire spectrum of labor, birth and postpartum in every setting. 

 
Jenna Bourgeois and Cruz.  He's much bigger in person.

Jenna Bourgeois and Cruz.  He's much bigger in person.

Jenna Bourgeois completed her initial doula training through DONA International with Debra Pascali-Bonaro in 2012 and then in 2013 went on to become a Certified Holistic Doula with Whapio Diane Bartlett through The Matrona.  This further training reaffirmed her belief in a woman's instinctual knowledge of how to birth her baby and deepened her understanding of how best to accompany a woman without disturbing her process. An aspiring midwife, Jenna went to Bali in 2014 for an Introduction to Midwifery course through The Birth Institute where she lived and worked in a gentle birth clinic alongside local midwives.   In order to help her clients achieve their breastfeeding goals, in 2015 she became a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor with Lea Rivera Todaro of Mami Mia.  Seeing first hand the impact of optimal fetal positioning on a smooth vaginal birth, Jenna also trained with Tammy Ryan of Spinning Babies to be able to better serve pregnant and laboring women. 

 
Sarah Lovell and a baby she befriended after she helped his mom.

Sarah Lovell and a baby she befriended after she helped his mom.

Sarah Lovell is an experienced doula who came to this work with a background in holistic health. Having managed natural health clinics since 2005, Sarah passionately believes in the body’s innate abilities and loves empowering others to have the same faith in themselves. Beyond doula training, she has completed additional courses in breastfeeding support, Acupressure for Pregnancy, Labor & Postpartum as well as Childbirth Education. "Our society bombards us with such negative images of birth, it has been such a blessing for me to be able to tell someone, 'I know you can do this.' and see them do something they never thought they could." 

 
Yiska Obadia-Gedal is making notes about all the amazing ways she helps others.

Yiska Obadia-Gedal is making notes about all the amazing ways she helps others.

Yiska Obadia-Gedal is a NY State licensed acupuncturist, prenatal and therapeutic massage therapist and birth doula. As a massage therapist since 1995 and friend, she attended her first birth in 2001. Awed by the power and beauty of that experience, she attended a doula training program to learn more about the ways she could support mothers and families in the birth process. 

Bringing together her various skill sets has been an integrative experience, enabling Yiska to serve her clients in a variety of ways, inside and outside of birth. Most recently she has been teaching other doulas and partners how to provide the kind of comforting touch she uses during birth to make birthing women feel most deeply supported and soothed.


Manhattan Birth Mentor Program

These doulas are currently matriculated in the Manhattan Birth Mentor Program and are a close part of the Manhattan Birth community.  We think they are terrific! They are all professionally trained as doulas, have taken advanced trainings in a myriad of birth topics, all the courses Manhattan Birth has to offer, and are being personally mentored by our founder, Tanya Wills, as they grow their doula practices. Each has a different level of experience and special skills to offer. We know you will love them as much as we do. You can contact them directly for pricing and availability.

Experienced doulas

have been practicing for one or more years

Erin & her two biggest (little) inspirations.

Erin & her two biggest (little) inspirations.

Erin Brof is a birth and postpartum doula, a holistic childbirth educator and a Certified Lactation Counselor.  She came into this work after becoming a first-time mom and found the childbirth classes she took while pregnant to be very empowering and extremely helpful. While expecting her second daughter, Erin decided to move into the professional world of childbirth. She has worked with pregnant moms and parents of all different backgrounds throughout the city during the past few years at many hospitals in Manhattan & Brooklyn, birth centers and at home.  Erin believes that no matter what type of birth parents envision, her goal is to provide nurturing, non-judgmental support as well as the tools to enable them to participate and make informed decisions throughout the birth and postpartum period. Her postpartum support includes building confidence at home with breastfeeding, newborn care, and adjusting to the new arrival for first time parents or those bringing home a new sibling.  Erin resides in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with her husband, two girls and their sweet pup.

 
Jenny Langbehn and her sweet son, Robby.

Jenny Langbehn and her sweet son, Robby.

Jenny Langbehn is a trained professional birth doula (DONA), certified prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher, and Lamaze certified childbirth educator supporting women and families in Manhattan. Additionally, Jenny is certified in acupressure for pregnancy and labor (N. Olow, LAC), rebozo technique (Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Amathyst Herstens [Kirby Method]), NRP (neonatal resuscitation with Karen Strange, certified in 2015), certified in adult and infant CPR, and has attended conferences and workshops in comfort techniques for labor, birth and peanut ball use, Spinning Babies techniques with Gail Tully, midwifery workshops with Chanti Smith, CPM, Hypnobirthing For Birth Professionals, and most recently was honored to attend the Midwifery Assistant Workshop at The Farm (The Farm Midwives, Tennessee). Jenny’s greatest work to date is her five year-old son, Robby. He appeared quite unexpectedly at 29 weeks, and after 10 harrowing weeks in the NICU, has been doing things unexpectedly (and brilliantly) ever since! Jenny teaches prenatal yoga at the Prenatal Yoga Center and ISHTA Yoga in Manhattan, and is honored to be a part of the birth community in this sometimes difficult to navigate, but wonderful city. 

 

Emilie Rodriguez is a DONA trained birth doula and a Birth Mama trained holistic postpartum doula which addresses mothers' nutritional, physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. She believes every woman should have the birth she desires, the information needed to see it come to fruition, and be an advocate for herself and her family. She believes that giving birth is one of the most sacred, yet normal, experiences in a woman's life and wants to help women see their inner power.

Emilie's interests first started in medicine where she worked as a veterinary technician for years before becoming interested in the influences of culture on women's bodies. Emilie received her BA in Medical Anthropology from the City College of New York, focusing on reproductive health in the United States, particularly pertaining to birth. She did her first ethnography on doula work in Brooklyn, shadowing Chanel Porchia from Ancient Song Doula Services, and then another exploring birth experiences in the US and abroad. She was also a Colin Powell Fellow for Health Justice, advocating with Health Leads in Harlem Hospital's OB/GYN Unit to give low-income families access to resources they needed to stay healthy, as well as writing health policy to advance equality and civil rights at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.  

She always knew she wanted to work with women and children, but did not know in what capacity. It wasn't until she experienced labor and childbirth herself that she realized how transformative and empowering it could be. 

 
Kasia Sanvee 

Kasia Sanvee 

Kasia Sanvee is a DONA International Certified Birth Doula and has supported women of various cultures in the U.S. and Africa in many different settings and throughout a variety of circumstances. She supports all birth choices and provides every pregnant person with non-judgmental, respectful and compassionate care so that they may experience the birth in the way that is truthful and unique to them. Kasia has attended multiple trainings that enriched her doula practice including Spinning Babies, Rebozo, acupressure for labor, massage techniques, essential oils, and many more. Also, having a yogic background, she is happy to share some of the techniques that can be helpful in preparation for labor and parenthood.  During postpartum visits, Kasia offers her expertise in breastfeeding, and as needed or requested: mentoring on RIE, attachment parenting, babywearing, cloth diapering, elimination communication (EC), and more. Kasia speaks English, French and Polish and basic Spanish. She is a mother to a wonderful little girl from whom she learns every day and enjoys life in simple ways, while practicing yoga and discovering the beauty of other cultures through traveling.

 
Grace Veras Sealy

Grace Veras Sealy

Grace Veras Sealy is a birth and postpartum doula, and a certified lactation counselor. She offers labor and birth services for homebirths, birthing center, hospital births, and planned cesareans. Her aim as a birth doula is to support parents in labor and birth so that when they look back on the moment can remember that they felt strong, knowledgeable, respected and joyous. By providing postpartum services she offers continuity of care after the birth and early breastfeeding support. Her approach to postpartum doula care is hinged on helping to building the new parents' confidence while providing practical support to them and their new baby. Grace lives in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.

Newer doulas

are in their first year as doulas

Tory DeVita is excited to be starting her doula practice with Manhattan Birth.

Tory DeVita is excited to be starting her doula practice with Manhattan Birth.

Tory DeVita has always been fascinated by the birth experience and loves helping expectant parents to have the birth experience that they want.  She is DONA trained, and working toward certification.  She is one of five sisters and an aunt to six, with number seven on the way!  Although she is new to the professional doula world, she has been providing birth support for family and friends for years.  She will provide non-judgmental support for you, your partner and your family, and will always treat you with kindness and respect.  She believes that the birth of your child can be empowering, joyful, and transformative.  She graduated from Vassar College in 2005 with a degree in Women’s Studies.  During college she did an internship for midwife, Leslie Cragin CNM, in San Francisco. She has spent years taking care of children as a nanny and a preschool teacher.  She works with clients in Westchester and Rockland counties, as well and the Bronx and Manhattan.  

 
Audrey Jessup at work!

Audrey Jessup at work!

Audrey Jessup is a birth and postpartum doula seeking to empower and celebrate women through this incredible period in their lives. She provides support from pregnancy through the newborn period and has numerous additional trainings in massage techniques/comforting touch, breastfeeding, Spinning Babies, newborn care, and more.  Her goal as a doula is to help parents navigate this challenging time while feeling respected, informed, confident, and joyful.  Whether it is a hospital, birth center or home birth, Audrey emphasizes compassionate care to help expectant parents achieve the birth that they desire. 

In her postnatal work, she strives to build confidence in new parents or growing families with practical tips, tools and resources while smoothing difficult transitions, whether that is a new baby entering the home or a partner returning to work. She provides non-judgmental support and a helping hand based on the individual needs of each particular client.

Audrey is a native Upper West Sider who received her BA in American History from Barnard College at Columbia University.  She is currently living in Williamsburg with her best friend and many plants, and she is thrilled to serve the women of her home city. 

 

Jaye Maynard attended her first birth while in college for her BFA in Theater from the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, Utah, as a 21 year-old, and fell under the birth-spell of life-affirming transformation that is the gift of the work of labor. Since then she has lived life in Los Angeles for over a decade before moving to NYC to obtain her MA at NYU, (in vocal performance) and working on both coasts and across the country as a customized personal assistant: improving and producing lives, and quality of life for many wherever she goes. Now based out of NYC for the most recent decade and a half, she calls Park Slope Brooklyn home with her domestic partner, her cat; Ethel, and his dog; Molly. Her own birth story started in the heartland of the upper Midwest, in the land of Wisco. 

 
Sophia and her son, who started all of this!

Sophia and her son, who started all of this!

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.

 
Maggie with a baby whose birth she attended.

Maggie with a baby whose birth she attended.

Maggie Rosenfeld is a birth doula in Westchester County who provides services in the Tri-State Area. She completed her DONA training and is working toward her certification. For years she has served people as a mental health counselor, crisis counselor, and organizational psychologist. Maggie views life as an ongoing opportunity to express her strengths, creativity and passion through her work. Her desire to use her hands and build intimate relationships has led her to the birth world. She comes from a large family with six adopted siblings and Maggie being the seventh is the youngest. This upbringing allows for a celebration of the diversity each family holds in her eyes. She supports women and their families through the birth journey whether at home, in a birth center or a hospital. Maggie values building lasting bonds with families and supporting them as they make informed and instinctive decisions during pregnancy, birth and postpartum care.