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We consider ourselves lucky to have had two amazing birth experiences with both our daughters and we attribute a huge part of that to the fact that we had Joni on our team.  We had a hospital birth both times, but wanted the experience to be as intimidate as possible and with little or no interventions and Joni was a fabulous liaison between us and the hospital staff.  She helped us in numerous ways prior to labor and delivery, answering our questions, discussing all possibilities and helping us discover what was important to us and why. Joni was an advocate, cheerleader, mother, sister, friend and just good energy to have around.  She had so many tricks up her sleeve that when one thing wasn't working during my labor, she would switch it up and encourage me to try something else.  I really felt like she was in tune with me and could tell when I needed to stand up, take a walk, squat down, be on the ball, get a massage, low like a cow, get in the tub... all that crazy/amazing stuff that somehow makes sense in labor and results in a baby :-)  She helped my partner Jon be involved in the delivery and was such a reassuring presence when we were in the thick of things.  She had my back all the way in having an unmedicated birth and never wavered for a second in helping me believe I could do it.  That said - I would have felt no judgement had I opted for pain meds.  She has done many births ad different hospitals and has a real rapport with the staff. Several of my friends have used Joni and everyone has been so grateful that they made the decision to hire her.  She also encapsulated my placenta from my second birth (... is that too much information?? :) which helped make my baby moon such a special time and gave me the emotional stability and energy I needed to care for TWO daughters!  ~ Kathryn & Jon

 

 

Joni was part of the best experience of our lives.  Words can't really do justice to how thrilled and awed and shocked we are at how well Evie's birth went.  It was as perfect and miraculous as we ever could have hoped for.  My first baby was born by c-section and I was hoping and planning for a vaginal, unmedicated birth this time, which is exactly what I got!  My labor progressed quickly and I was beginning to panic.  But when Joni showed up, she helped me regain my focus.  And thankfully, Joni remembered that we wanted photos and videos because I was so focused on doing the work I was not able to see just how calm and quiet the delivery room really was until I saw it on film.  Joni was part of the best experience of our lives.  Thank you, Joni  ~  Kelly & Koy

 

 

We had the pleasure of working with Joni for the birth of our second child and she absolutely exceeded all of our expectations. Our first child was delivered via C-Section and it was our goal with our second to not only have a vaginal delivery but to also deliver without the use of any pain medications. We were blessed to succeed with both of these goals but I can say with relative certainty that we would not have managed without medication if we did not have Joni at our side.  From the moment we met Joni, we found her be knowledgeable and professional, warm, funny and down to earth. During our preparation meeting she provided us with many valuable tools, tips and resources and helped to create and write our birth plan. When we went into labor, Joni was a total professional. She was immediately available and arrived precisely when she said she would. At the hospital she worked seamlessly with the nurses and our doctor/midwife – one of the nurses even commented to us after the birth that Joni was extremely tactful in her interactions and communication with hospital staff (as compared to many other doulas).  During our labor, Joni had a seemingly never ending “bag of tricks” - literally and figuratively - and she helped us explore labor positions and activities that were of tremendous help to ease pain. In summary, we had a wonderful experience with Joni and wholeheartedly recommend her to anyone looking for a birth doula. ~  Bridget & Josh

 

 

We knew from the moment we met Joni that we liked her.  She was friendly, warm and had a comforting presence.  She guided us toward finding an amazing OB and helped advise us on various questions we had throughout our pregnancy.  At our birth, we learned that not only was she a likable person, but an INCREDIBLE doula.  There wasn't a complaint I had that went unattended.  Labor pain was relieved by her incredible massage and acupressure, exhaustion was lifted by her encouragement, and stress was relieved by her relaxation techniques and calming affirmations. We were ultimately impressed that she even knew  how to wake a sleeping baby in utero in order to get a better heartbeat reading on the monitor to appease the nurses!  Her knowledge and skill made our birth an enjoyable, memorable experience. We are so grateful she was there with us. ~ Allegra & Adam

 

 

From the moment I spoke to Joni on the phone I knew she was the doula for us.  It wasn’t just her lovable personality, but also her philosophy about birth.  During my search for a doula I met some very experienced but also very strong-mindeddoulas that had a specific notion of what birth should look like.  This being my first birth, and not knowing what to expect, these rigid views were very difficult to swallow.  Joni was like a welcome breath of fresh air.  She respected that births are unpredictable and that not every birth is created equal,  As for the birth, she was PHENOMENAL.  Without her we would have undoubtedly ended up in a hospital way too early and had too many interventions.  My goal - to go as far as possible without any pain medication. She has so many tricks up her sleeve - the double hip squeeze (my all time favorite), use of various labor positions to manage pain, massage, use of the birthing ball, imagery, humor, and so much more! These techniques, coupled with her kind, calm, loving attitude made my experience simply amazing.  I look back on my birth with a sense of fondness and gratitude that is attributable to Joni.  As for my husband, the doctor who thought doulas were only “an extra person” at the birth? Well, he’s a convert who calls Joni was the best decision we made during the birth of our first precious child.  We are so grateful for you, Joni!  ~Sumi and Allen

 

 

Finding a doula was a last minute decision for us, one I had gone back and forth over for months.  But after talking with lots of friends I decided it was a good choice me. I am sooooo glad I did, I was very fortunate that with such last minute planning Joni was able to accommodate my birth. From the time of my first contractions we were in contact on the phone until I decided I needed to have her here. When she arrived I had already decided that I needed to go to the hospital. Fortunately she encouraged me to give it a little more time and helped me to labor at home for several more hours. I was not set on a non-medicated birth, but did want to avoid meds as long as possible. Joni helped me get through countless contractions and was so encouraging. After 9 hours of contractions at home, I was exhausted and we went to the hospital prepared with a birth plan that Joni had helped us to refine. Joni sat with my husband and me for the next 14 hours and helped me though all the issues I dealt with once admitted and given the epidural. She took photos and video of my son entering the world and stayed with us for as long as I needed her to after the birth. My 2.5 year old daughter also felt very comfortable with Joni and for weeks after, would pretend she was calling “her friend Joni.”  ~ JoAnne & Brian

 

 

This was our third birth, but first using a Doula, so this was all very new to us. I interviewed three doula's before meeting with Joni. Five minutes into our lunch date, I felt like I had known her for years.  I instantly trusted her and knew I wanted her to be our doula. I knew she would have my and my baby’s best interests at heart throughout the whole process. I could call Joni at anytime with any questions and not feel silly. At the onset of my labor, she figured out that my baby was posterior (sunny side up) after I shared with her that I was progressing very slowly and that I was having back pain. She came to my house and helped me get into positions that would encourage my baby to move into a better position for birth.  Joni is a kind, gentle and loving person whom I was very fortunate to have shared my birth with. Thank you Joni for your incredible service but mostly for being you!   ~ Samantha & Rick

 

 

I pretty much knew I was going to have a medicated birth -- I think I contemplated going naturalfor about two minutes at some point during my pregnancy.  I think it's valuable for women who are leaning that way to know a doula is amazingly helpful to have, even if you're planning on getting an epidural.  I mean, it's not like your contractions start and they just give it to you  I had hours and hours of painful labor before I was dilated enough for it be safe for me to get one.  And then we had a scare where the doctor told us this was going wrong and that was going wrong and Dan I were so exhausted and out of it and it was so helpful to have Joni there to slow everything down and make sure that we understood what was going on. And then when it was time to push, Joni was an amazing coach.  She also took photos and a video of Charlie entering the world and then stayed by my side when Dan was with Charlie in the NICU (by the way... Charlie is fine!)  I needed Joni before, during and after and I don't think that's something a lot of moms-to-be realize when they're planning on getting an epidural.  Unmedicated or medicated, it would be Joni that I would want by my side.  ~ Sara and Dan

 

 

Having Joni as a Doula was a wonderful experience from the very beginning.  She was supportive and informative throughout the entire process.  As a single and first time parent I had a lot of questions and concerns and she was always available to address them.  To support me through my long, long labor, Joni used not only her calming presence, but a myriad of tools and tricks, including wonderful massages! She got along really well with my mom and had an already-established relationship with my midwife ~ and worked in perfect tandem with her.  Having someone with you that's experienced and dedicated to making your birth experience as special and comfortable as possible is truly the best decision you will ever make.  ~ Shelby   

 

 

Hearing Joni’s soothing voice made my contractions manageable and her skillful pressure point technique was just amazing.  She held my hand through the contractions and encouraged me with words that helped me visualize my baby coming down the birth canal. When the doctor wanted to break my water, I was so glad Joni was there to explain the benefits and the risks of doing it at that time so that my husband and I could make an informed decision.  She was a wealth of information and she seemed to know exactly how the hospital systems worked.  The last fifteen minutes of pushing were the toughest part of my labor.  There were a lot of medical staff in our room and a lot of noise and chaos which was distracting me.  But Joni whispered in my ear to close my eyes, block out all of the noise and to focus on my baby. Her words of encouragement guided me through each contraction and the pushing. With Joni’s help, my husband and I had exactly the birth we had hoped for.  We couldn’t have done it without her. ~ Lily and James      

 

 

 Our labor started in the middle of the night and it was so comforting to have Joni show up right away.  We had an amazing birthing experience and honestly, it would not have been the same without Joni. On top of helping us achieve our hopes for our birth, she brought it to the next level with her massages, candlelit showers, music, and countless other ways to help us through the challenges. And then we got to relive the best parts again through her awesome video compilation. We couldn't be happier.  Joni, can we reserve you 3 years in advance for our next one?  ~  Johanna & Brad 

 

 

Prior to Joni's arrival at our house, I was struggling to breathe.  As soon as Joni arrived, she helped me to find my breath.  What's more, she guided me to find my own strength.  As a result, I gave birth to my daughter from a place of power, feeling very connected to all the brave and strong women around the world. Thank you Joni for making childbirth such a positive experience for me, my husband and our daughter.  ~ Meg and Jeff

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"She had so many tricks up her sleeve that when one thing wasn't working during my labor, she would switch it up and encourage me to try some-thing else. I really felt like she was in tune with me...."

 

 

"At the hospital she worked seamlessly with the nurses and our doctor/midwife – one of the nurses even commented to us after the birth that Joni was extremely tactful in her interactions and communication with hospital staff..."

 

 

"When Joni arrived I had already decided that I needed to go to the hospital. Fortunately she encouraged me to give it a little more time and helped me to labor at home for several more hours. She was so encouraging..."

 

 

At the onset of my labor, she figured out that my baby was posterior (sunny side up). She came to my house and helped me get into positions to encourage my baby to

get into a better position for birth..."

 

 

"When the doctor wanted to break my water, I was so glad Joni was there to explain the benefits and the risks of so that my husband and I could make an informed decision.  She was a wealth of information and seemed to know exactly how the hospital systems worked..."

 

 

"I think it's valuable for women who are leaning that way  to know a doula is amazingly helpful to have, even if you're planning on getting an epidural..."

"Prior to Joni's arrival at our house, I was struggling to breathe.  As soon as Joni arrived, she helped me to find my breath.  What's more, she guided me to find my own strength..."

 

 

"My first baby was born by c-section and I was hoping and planning for a vaginal, unmedicated birth this time, and that's exactly what I got!"

 

 

 

"As a single and first time parent I had a lot of questions and concerns and she was always available to address them. She had an already-established relationship with my midwife and worked in perfect tandem with her..."

 

 

"On top of helping us achieve our hopes for our birth, Joni brought it   to the next level with her massages, candlelit showers, music, and countless other ways to help us through the challenges..."

 

 

"As for my husband, the doctor who thought doulas were only “an extra person” at the birth? Well, he’s a convert who calls Joni was the best decision we made during the birth of our first precious child..."

 

 

"There wasn't a complaint I had that went unattended. Pain was relieved by her incredible massage and acupressure, exhaustion was lifted by her encouragement, and stress was relieved by her relaxation techniques and calming affirmations..."

 

 

Joni Lucarelli, Birth Doula, Placenta Encapsulator

justjoni2@gmail.com  |  626.390.0085