In a Family Way Postpartum doula 03
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What the Media has said about In a Family Way...


Christine with Talia

Although she had delivered babies, Betsy Scherl, a former Obstetrician who now practices health care law in Manhattan relied on a doula or mother’s helper from Christine Kealy’s agency after Nicholas’s birth. "I could hold a slippery 10 pound newborn and start a resuscitation if a baby was having trouble," she said," But I’d never had experience with bathing or diapering a newborn." She said she was grateful to have her doula, Theo, looking on when she was changing Nicholas’ bandage after his circumcision.

She praised her doula’s cooking and said she was thrilled to have her company when, the day after the January blizzard, she trudged through two feet of snow for Nicolas’s first doctor’s appointment.

"Even though I used to be an Obstetrician," she said. "I just keep looking at this little creature and thinking, ‘Oh, my God.’ I didn’t anticipate how wiped out and disoriented I’d be."
The New York Times

Jan Ford, an accomplished lawyer at an investment bank in New York City felt confident she was ready for motherhood. " I figured, I’m a professional. I handle crises all day; what was there to worry about?" She soon learned. Her "panic attack" actually began toward the end of her two day hospital stay when she realized she’d be discharged in less than two hours without any real knowledge of the most basic baby care. " I simply felt overwhelmed by the enormity of it all," she admits. "I couldn’t believe I was leaving the hospital with this tiny person who I was supposed to take care of. Recognizing they needed help, she and her husband called Christine Kealy, the woman who’d taught their Babycare Workshop and director of In a Family Way. Within hours Christine was at the Ford’s home and had made Jan completely comfortable. She had Jan tucked in bed with food and water at her side, helped her overcome breastfeeding difficulties, taught her tricks for minimizing hemorrhoid discomfort, threw in a load of laundry, rocked the baby to sleep and had a rosemary -scented chicken roasting in the oven. During the next few weeks, she taught Jan and her husband how to change, diaper and bathe the baby, showed up with breakfast in the morning, cooked meals and overall acted as a mentor. "She offered a steady hand, "Jan recalls. "She was a positive presence in a sea of confusion. Christine would tell me I needed socks for the baby, then she’d go out and get the socks! She took care of me completely."
Baby Magazine

New mother are pushed out of the hospitals sooner than ever - sometimes as early as 24 hours after giving birth - which leaves them with a happy little bundle and a bumper crop of questions: How does a breast pump work? Is diaper rash contagious? Enter the doula, a professional angel of mercy whose raison d’etre is to tend to Mom by supporting her and performing any odd tasks that need doing (the word doula is Greek for "mothering the new mother") There are a number of doula agencies around the city but In a Family Way, (124 West 79th St. NYC, 212-877-8112) founded by Christine Kealy, gets unqualified raves from clients
New York Magazine
Best Bets Issue

When Manhattan resident Georgia Breen was expecting her first born, she knew that her relatives lived too far away to come and help, she knew she wanted to breastfeed and she knew she didn’t want a babynurse. "I knew that I wanted to look after my own baby, but I really wanted someone there to be supportive and willing to do the things I couldn’t do"
Another new mother Jacqueline Rivkin was very adamant -at first - about not wanting any help. But after two weeks with her newborn and having a lot of difficulty breastfeeding, her pediatrician suggested she get some assistance: someone to help with the feedings, allow her the time to take a nap or shower and provide expertise to the situation. It was In a Family Way that came to the aid of both new mothers. "My doula did everything from making me a cup of tea to running errands to preparing a meal to putting in a load of laundry - all in a very quiet, sensitive, supportive manner," said Breen, "..and if the baby was crying non-stop and I was at the end of my rope, my doula would always be soothing and offer wonderful advice and restore my sense of perspective." "My doula started coming when my daughter Natasha was two- and -a -half weeks old and she provided a tremendous amount of experience in mothering. I felt like I had an older sister who had been through this before and was going to help me through the problems. She was very non-judgmental, non-obtrusive and very supportive in helping me to get my daughter to breastfeed," assured Rivkin.

New York Family Magazine

When Maureen McClave arrived home from the hospital with her new baby, she was overwhelmed. "I just sat on this couch and cried," she said. In need of a helping hand, McClave and her husband hired Christine Kealy, a professional postpartum doula. Doulas provide emotional support to women throughout pregnancy, during birth and in the postpartum period. They are not medical professionals and they differ from child nurses in that they focus their attention on the mother's needs..."We're saying, 'I know how elated you feel. I know how pressured you feel. I know how inadequate you feel,'" said McClave's doula, Kealy.

Alex Herzan, a social worker with a 2 month-old swears her doula kept her out of the "looney bin", "This is my first baby," said the Upper West Side resident. "I knew nothing about infants - like the (character in Gone With The Wind). Herzan, an only child with elderly parents, knew she needed help in even the basics of diaper-changing and feeding. But she also needed a little pampering herself. She hired a doula for 2 weeks and raves about the benefits. "She didn’t do for me, but showed me, in a non-judgmental was, how to care for Lily." Kathryn Harrold, an actress is a "veteran" with 13 month old Elizabeth. But she shudders whenever she recalls her days fresh home from the hospital. "Newborn poop is really scary," she laughs. "Elizabeth had diarrhea four times in a row. My Doctor said something about her losing electrolytes, and I called my doula in a panic. Her mentor’s advice? "She told me to save the diaper and she’d come right over. Gross, right?" Not only did Christine proclaim the diaper normal, she came armed with an ice cream bar to soothe Mom’s emotional meltdown.
New York Daily News

Birth Angel: Christine Kealy built a rewarding business helping couples navigate the first days of parenthood.

Christine Kealy's clients were stressed out. The couple had hired her to get them organized after their baby was born. But the infant arrived three weeks early, when they were in the midst of packing for a move to their new home. Virtually everything they owned was stowed in boxes when they returned from the hospital with the baby. Kealy knew what to do. She put the couple to bed. Then she set up a bassinet and changing area and roasted a chicken with rosemary, vegetables, and potatoes. When they woke up, they were amazed to discover that the house was filled with the aroma of home cooking. Despite the cardboard cartons that surrounded them, "they realized they were going to be all right," says Kealy. Kealy is one of a growing number of women entrepreneurs who work as doulas, a Greek word for mother's servant. As non-medical workers, they offer postpartum care by providing support with shopping, light cooking, breastfeeding tips, errands, and emotional needs."
Fortune Small Business


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