Nice things people say

I’d like to recommend Cori Pleune (née Sisenwein). She was our doula and is amazing! Very warm and supportive as well as professional and experienced. She arrived at our home in the middle of a heavy rainstorm and stayed by my side until after the birth of our baby. We had a wonderful experience with her- she loves her work and it shows!

Jessica Sowards, mom to Leo

In the very beginning I was unconvinced of our need for a doula. But after witnessing Sarah Kaylor coach my wife (and me) through more than 30-hours of labor, most of which was at home, I am now a true believer. Aside from being a font of practical information on everything from anatomical matters to hospital logistics, she brings intangible gifts that you won’t see on a resume, such as wise intuition. Sarah is an old soul and I was glad she was at my wife’s side during the crucial hours. She demonstrated a real commitment to our vision and played a crucial role in helping my wife successfully deliver our second child via VBAC. I give Sarah my highest recommendation.

Jason, father to Harry

I have to second the recommendation for Cori, she was at the birth of my son 5 weeks ago and I am not sure I could have gotten through it without her. I was induced and took 2 days to get into labor and had a very rough delivery and Cori was the one constant presence that made me feel like I could deliver without having a section. She brought calm to what felt like chaos, and an enourmous amount of positive energy and knowledge which helped me and my husband navigate alot of hospital interventions. Cori was simply amazing. I never knew how much I needed a doula until after I had one. I would also be happy to be a reference for her or her partner Sarah. She is a long time Park Slope resident and I know she would be happy to meet anyone for a consult who is even thinking about hiring a doula.

Harlene, Mom to Reuben

There really aren’t enough words in the English vocabulary to adequately describe what the presence of Sarah Kaylor meant for me, my sweetheart and our daughter. During what she describes as the longest labor she has attended, she was incredibly patient, loving, helpful, knowledgable and reassuring. We kept trying to apologize to her for: a) taking so long b) the fact that she camped out and slept on the cold, hard linoleum floor at the hospital and c) for taking so long! 😉

She would have none of that. Her cheerfulness and sense of humour made the experience so much easier. I couldn’t have imagined her not being there. I couldn’t recommend her more highly.

Lillian, mother to Lucia

I’d like to recommend Cori Pleune (née Sisenwein) to anyone who is considering a birth doula. She attended my daughter’s birth a few months ago and was a huge part of it being an amazing experience. She was very kind, patient and supportive had great stamina to help see us through many hours of labor. It’s hard for me to imagine what it would have been like to not have had her there because she was such an integral part of it all.

Sandy, mother of Sadie

I can’t imagine two more kind, empathetic, and supportive advocates than Cori and Sarah. They came quickly as soon as we asked them to. They dealt with each situation calmly and confidently. Their encouragement and help contributed to the feeling of safety that permeated the whole process. It was a pleasure and a joy to have them present at our baby’s birth.

Wendy and Danny, mother and father to Benjamin (born at home)

Meeting with Cori and Sarah before the birth was not only reassuring during a time of unknown for us, but it was extremely informative. Their guidance always led us to the right places. Their suggestions about where to take our birthing class, as well as everything else including questions they raised for us to answer about the labor environment, helped us feel completely prepared in a time when we weren’t feeling most confident.

Whenever we reminisce about our birth experience and the early days with baby, we always remember that we couldn’t have done it without them. Having Cori there in the hospital not only helped me in labor but it took the pressure off my partner, which allowed him to have the experience too. Having her there immediately following the birth to encourage me to have my baby latch on was the most valuable advice and support I think I could have received. That as well as other advice and encouragement she gave me during the following days led to such ease in breastfeeding. Nursing continues to be a source of amazing joy for me.

Finally, having Cori with us as our postpartum doula was the perfect transition for us. It was an important part of my process as a new mother to not only have her as a support for the new experiences, but also to help me process the birth experience which she shared with us. The information she passed on to us was always informative, yet it was the manner in which she delivered it that was most impacting. Cori always took care to make suggestions after seeing what we were doing and needed. Cori helped me to lay down the groundwork for us to be able to make decisions and nurture our baby after she was gone.

Pamela, mother to Jonah

When I was pregnant with our first daughter, Claire, my husband and I searched for a doula who could help us with the birth and also help us with the baby post-partum. We interviewed a few people, but as soon as we met Cori and Sarah we knew we had found the team for us. They were warm, encouraging, understanding, but also very knowledgeable and reassuringly experienced. Sarah was our labor and post-partum doula. The birth did not end up going as we had originally hoped, as I had to be induced and had an epidural, but it was still wonderful to have Sarah’s experienced voice and hands on deck. After Claire was born, Sarah came to our apartment for a few hours at a time two or three days a week for several weeks to help me recover, help with breastfeeding, help me learn the tasks of motherhood, and generally just help. She did laundry, held the baby, did some cooking and shopping, helped with positioning for breastfeeding, and helped calm our first-time parent jitters. I still cut Claire’s fingernails the way that Sarah taught me to, with the same pair of nail scissors. To this day, and Claire is now 13 months old, I haven’t seen someone hold her with the ease that Sarah did. I was very sorry that the doula relationship didn’t go on longer! I would recommend the Cori/Sarah team to anyone. They were wonderful.

Julie, mother to Claire

Our story has a happy ending. The current state of baby bliss in our house is due to the help and support of many – family, friends, doctors and the wonderful support we received from our Doulas, Cori and Sarah. We know we are not alone in having a heartbreaking past with pregnancy, nor a frightening and insecure experience with subsequent attempts. It was the calm, supportive understanding of Cori and Sarah when they came to visit and listened to our story that caused us to not hesitate one moment in choosing them as our Doulas. It was our desire to have this delivery be a genuine, relaxed and lucid experience – I wanted someone to coach me through labor without drugs. Someone to be an advocate for us while laboring in the hospital, there to translate hospital jargon and advise us when we should consider alternatives to the advice being given. Essentially, it was important someone simply just be there to support me and Paul…with no other hospital responsibilities.

I am happy to report it was a resounding success. On the night I was in labor, Cori was at our house within an hour of our request that she come. She coached perfectly – gently through early labor and transition and powerfully through the late stages and pushing. She believed in me when the doctors suggested an epidural and as a result, we were able to accomplish our goal! We had a wonderful experience and are the proud parents of a happy, healthy little girl. If you are considering hiring a Doula, we strongly encourage you to hire Cori and Sarah!

Renee, mother to Ruby

Before I gave birth I was convinced I didn’t need a doula. I told a friend I was worried about the cost, that it seemed like a waste of money. She’d given birth naturally twice ON PITOCIN! She said, “believe me, when you’re in this, you’ll be willing to sell your house to have that doula there.” Her tone convinced me. I was also worried I would be uncomfortable with a near stranger’s presence. But I hired Sarah Kaylor (she came recommended). I do not even like to let my mind rest on the thought: what if I’d had to go through that without her? It makes me quake, still, even though I’ve forgotten the feeling of the pain. Sarah was an absolutely perfect combination of recessive and active. She found the exact spot on my lower back and pushed it exactly the right way during my contractions. She immediately cottoned on to this strange, obsessive need I had to replay a short segment of the Maternal Fitness birthing tape over and over on huge headphones timed exactly to the contractions – quite difficult because my water broke and almost instantly they were minutes apart. She would fast forward and rewind for me, or efficiently get my husband to do it (we laugh now at how unimportant he was compared to her). She let me get in the bath even though my water broke, then gently got me out knowing it increased the risk of infection, without my wanting to kill her. She took the forty five minute car ride to St. Roosevelt’s pushing my back the whole way, helping me low like a cow instead of screaming hysterically (this really helps and actually wasn’t an obnoxious suggestion). She was practically, good at explaining medical procedures and things like how meconium causes problems, and not hippie-dippie, but just new age enough to be soothing. I had a pretty ideal birth, drug free, at the birthing center, labored entirely at home and started pushing ten minutes after arriving at the hospital, seven hours total. But it still hurt like a m*****rf**ker and seemed like the hardest thing I’d ever endured and was terrifing. WithoutSarah I don’t know if I could have done it and I know it wouldn’t have gone as well. I would have panicked. I thought I knew and had studied everything, but once it started happening I realized I knew nothing, nothing, and neither did my husband. She saved our asses.

Miranda, mother of Wolfgang

If anyone out there is pregnant or planning to be pregnant, Jessica, Charlie and I would recommend you at least think about getting a doula. If you decide you want a doula (and you live in NYC), it would be impossible for us to more highly recommend two people than we recommend Sarah and Cori.

Cori & Sarah work as a team, coming together to your home to meet with you a month or so before labor/birth. When your labor comes, whichever one of them is “up next” comes and assists at your birth. We got Sarah. Now, imagine this job. We called Sarah throughout the day on Thursday while Jessica’s contractions were ten minutes apart and Sarah offered suggestions on how to cope, move things forward, etc. At around 7:00 PM, Jessica decided she wanted Sarah onsite, and within an hour Sarah was in our apartment, ready to stay with us until Charlie’s birth.

So, Sarah comes into our apartment at 8:00 PM and finds us both in the bathroom. Jessica’s in the tub (where she would stay for almost five hours) and I’m laying on the floor next to her. Sarah pulls up a seat on the toilet, pulls out a natural electrolyte drink for Jessica, and within minutes has helped Jessica deal with the growing contractions by offering a clear breathing suggestion (slow down the exhales and make them deeper) that Jessica used throughout the rest of her labor.

Sarah’s manner throughout the entire 14 hours she was with us (straight through the night, from home to hospital) was so unbelievably calm, supportive and nurturing that Jessica described the experience as laboring with her husband and a dear friend. She’d met Sarah exactly twice before, but she felt as though she’d known her for many years.

So, let this post be our public thanks to Sarah (and Cori) and our sincere hope that many more women get to have their support at their labors.

Jessica and Joshua, mother and father to Charlie

Cori is amazing!
Cori is amazing!
Cori is amazing!
Cori is amazing!
Cori is amazing!

Thank u so much lovely doulas for making this the most incredible day in our lives xoxo

Matthew and Tara, father and mother to Lupo

Cori was our attending doula and she was worth every cent! She and Sarah Kaylor work together as a team and, depending on the time of your birth you could get either one. We felt equally comfortable and supported by either one. They are strong, knowledgeable, great resources, kind and considerate. They asked what would help me get through the birth: I mentioned talking, laughing, singing and Cori happily obliged in every category and more. Lastly, I know money/budget is always an issue. We decided to pay for a doula and forgo a private room. I am so happy we made that decision (though definitely bring ear plugs!). Some doulas are more expensive because of their experience, and I felt that giving birth in a traditional hospital I wanted a doula that could tell me from experience what I could expect at that hospital, that she feel confident enough to be strong with the doctors and nurses, who might rally for a c-section. In the end, we were right to pay more for their experience. On a routine checkup on my due date, my water broke and my OB/GYN wanted to admit me to the hospital asap. My husband and I spoke with Cori and she gave us the right words to convince the hospital that I would be okay laboring at home for a certain period of time. After getting checked in and out, signing a waiver and promising I would be back within 12 hours of the water breaking- I was let go. Hooray!

Karen, mother to Cedar

Meeting Cori & Sarah was like finding two long lost friends. They changed the course of my prenatal care and the birth of my daughter by giving voice to what I already knew inside. If I hadn’t met them, I probably would have gone along with what is considered “normal” in our society and had a hospital birth, even though everything in me wanted something different. Instead, they encouraged me to follow my instincts and I had the most glorious homebirth imaginable. Their calm, nurturing voices coached me through my labor and I felt supported every step of the way…physically, emotionally, and spiritually. When I talk to other people about my birth experience, I refer to Cori & Sarah as ‘my angels’ for that’s what they are to me. I can never thank them enough.

Sarah, mother to Morgaine

Working with Cori and Sarah was a pleasure from our first meeting. They were both encouraging and most helpful in the months leading up to delivery by providing resources from books to health practitioners. They were committed to supporting my husband and me in having a meaningful birth experience. The actual labor and delivery was magnificent and beautiful. Cori was my doula and she provided calm, confident coaching. The OB and nurses reported that they enjoyed working with her. The experience was just what I was intending and hoping for, and our daughter is now 4 months old. We will certainly call on them again for baby #2!.

Jill, mother to Sarah

When people ask us about our birthing experience, we always say that we were very lucky to have an easy labor and delivery (we were fortunate enough to do it all naturally). The truth is, our “luck” was due more to the fact that we had Cori and Sarah’s help in preparing for the birth. When the time came, Cori understood our preferences and provided a level of physical and emotional support to both of us that exceeded our expectations. We felt that we were surrounded by a protective bubble, especially when we were at the hospital. She worked seamlessly with our midwife to create a calm, positive, panic-free environment. We were able to focus as a couple on the birth because we were confident that Cori would take care of the rest.

Elizabeth and Chris, mother and father to Nora