I hired Robin to assist me and my husband with the birth of our fifth child at Greenwich Hospital. We had our first two children with a midwife and doula in Brooklyn and the following births involved international moves, unknown hospitals and doctors, and epidurals…including one that went awry with baby #4. I knew that I wanted to return to a natural childbirth process (even with an OB, even at Greenwich!) and that having a doula was critical to that process. We are experienced birthers and parents, yet we deeply appreciate and value the presence of a knowledgable, calm, supportive person in labor—and that was Robin. Her energy is warm, present, non-judgmental and open.She wants to do whatever you think will work for you, and she comes with a full range of pain management techniques, calming words, effective laboring positions, and ways to engage you and your birth partner to achieve the best birth possible under whatever circumstances present themselves. I was over a week past due and finally went into Greenwich to have my water broken (my choice). While we thought labor would begin immediately, contractions were not coming regularly. I was highly discouraged after two hours and Robin and my husband helped me see that having a very low dose of pitocin would kick-start my labor. There was never any pressure or judgment, just encouragement and support. When labor did come on quickly, I stayed on my birth ball, listened to positive birth affirmations (I had done months of meditation and visualization preparing for this birth…the commitment paid off.), vocalized, and focused on breathing. Robin was at my side, helping me, helping my husband to help me (heat packs, cold compresses, etc. I went from 5cm to delivery in about 40 minutes and Robin never left my side. I remember so clearly how I gripped her hand through the intense few pushes that brought our 9lb, 10oz baby into the world! Robin helped us have a truly beautiful birth experience.
– Ann Meade Trahan (Larchmont, NY)
“We got very lucky when we found Robin! I gave birth at Greenwich Hospital but was considering other options due to fear. I wanted to have a natural birth so, hearing about the high c-section rate there scared me. I decided that because I had a healthy, risk free pregnancy, and a doula, I was going to give birth at Greenwich and trust that I made the right choice. Robin was the only doula in the area that supported my decision to birth at Greenwich Hospital. She had a really positive outlook, was realistic about possibilities but not narrow minded. We talked about my desire to have a natural birth and how I was not attached to that if I changed my mind. Robin was so reassuring; reminding me that she is there as my advocate. It was midnight when I went into labor and Robin came to my house shortly thereafter. My husband, Robin and I all got along as if we had known each other forever. Robin’s confidence and warm presence put me at ease. Robin supported me by my side all 31 hours of my labor plus the time after to help with nursing. She knew her bounderies and never quit her efforts to comfort me. My husband and I can’t say enough about how incredible Robin was as our doula. She has a special gift. Any woman would be lucky to have Robin by her side helping with the most extraordinary time in a woman’s life.”
– Cynthia Wolff (Cos Cob, CT)
“Robin is a fantastic, patient, saintly woman who helped me through 28 hours of labor. She supported me in any way I needed: from walking the halls of Greenwich Hospital for 9 hours of natural labor, to helping me endure endless back labor while strapped to monitors. She was a champ. There was nothing she didn’t think of or prepare me for. When I was facing an unavoidable intervention, she encouraged me to listen to my body that clearly needed rest to achieve a vaginal delivery. Once I got the epidural and the pitocin drip began, my body responded like a rocket moving from 3cm to 10cm in 4 hours, even while I slept. When I woke, it was time to push, and Robin was there with me every step of the way. She calmed me: Robin held my hand, stroked my hair, and encouraged me to keep going without ever yelling “push” (like the doctor who I just ignored). I listened to Robin’s instructions to curl around my baby and then my baby was out. The doctor asked me to reach down and grab my baby (which I didn’t get at the time) and it was Robin who passed my baby to me for initial skin to skin. Robin helped my husband begin to bond with our daughter while I recovered and took a shower. She didn’t go until we were ready to be alone. Robin clearly loves babies and supporting families (not just women!). I could not recommend her highly enough to support you through your birth process!”
– Meredith Stanford (Larchmont, NY)
“I was not even considering hiring a doula, when at 34 weeks, I decided to switch my OB. Frantic to find a new doctor, I blindly called doulas in the area hoping one could recommend a new OB. From the moment I began speaking with Robin I was impressed. I hung up the phone calm, with a new plan and a recommendation for an OB practice I love. I ended up calling back because in one conversation with Robin I became a believer in doulas. I had a long labor (over 24 hours) and ultimately needed an unplanned c-section. That being said, I had an extremely positive birth experience because of Robin’s techniques, guidance and respect for my husband and my wishes. I was able to delay medication and handle labor when the medication stopped being effective because of Robin’s coaching. When I ultimately decided it was time to consent to a c-section I had no doubt it was necessary and felt no regret. Robin was there the entire time, encouraging me, making sure that I understood what was going on and that I was comfortable with my decisions. I felt empowered, even when events (and the pain) started picking up. Afterward, my OB and L&D nurse checked on me in recovery and told me how impressed they were with Robin and asked for her information to pass on to patients. I have no doubt that Robin would be a source of comfort and strength no matter what type of birth is planned and what surprises labor actually brings.”
– Shannon Mrazik (Chappaqua, NY)
NEW YORK-PRESBYTERIAN/HUDSON VALLEY HOSPITAL:
“To say that Robin was a life saver is hardly an exaggeration. She was truly an anchor during the VBAC birth of our daughter. The experience was so intensely physical, there is no way I could have kept my emotional side in balance without her calming presence and all of the experience she brought with her. Robin has a gift and every mother deserves someone like her on their big day.”
– Genaleigh Moss (New Windsor, NY)
“I decided I wanted to have doula support in order to help achieve a natural birth (if possible) and avoid unnecessary medical intervention. Being over 40, I was worried about all the tests and monitoring leading to induction and potentially a c-section.
When my husband and I met Robin, we loved her enthusiasm for childbirth in general and well versed knowledge of the latest medical studies and research. It was obvious that she loves what she does and makes sure to learn everything she can on the subject of birth, rather than subscribing to a particular niche element. We also loved her calm demeanor and hoped that would help us navigate the uncharted territory of labor and birth with ease and confidence.
When I finally went into active labor after a week of start and stop contractions, Robin came over and gently took the helm. I honestly don’t know how I could have done it without her. Her presence eased my husband’s anxieties and gave me something to focus on. She guided me through contraction after contraction—from massage, rocking my hips, instructing me to get in the shower, sit on the toilet, etc.—until finally it was time to go to the hospital. When we arrived, I was already 8 cm dilated! Robin and my husband were the dream team—holding me and cheering me through the entire event. I am truly grateful that we had Robin to help us achieve a wonderful and completely natural childbirth, at 43 years old to boot.”
– Melanie Carnsew (Ossining, NY)
“Robin was my birth doula, and I had the greatest experience laboring and birth with her. I had a successful VBAC! She always respected my wishes, and was sweet and patient. I’m so glad I met her. I totally recommend Robin.
– Monica Crespo Kim (Chappaqua, NY)
NORTHERN WESTCHESTER HOSPITAL:
I had a wonderful experience with Robin Jones-Tropiano as my birth doula. I did not use a doula for either of my previous births, both of which involved pitocin augmentation. Despite taking standard childbirth and hypno birthing classes and attempting to use those techniques in labor, I never progressed beyond 4cm in either labor before feeling overwhelmed by fear and pain and requesting an epidural. For my third and last baby I was hopeful that more active labor support would help me progress without intervention. My pregnancy was monitored for growth restriction, and there was always a possibility of the pregnancy ending in an induction where I would have required pitocin and constant monitoring. I sought a doula who would provide non-judgmental support in this circumstance, and I appreciated Robin’s pragmatic approach.
I was relieved to go into labor naturally and be able to labor at home for as long as possible. Robin was calm and encouraging throughout my labor, both at home and in the hospital. She helped me find positions keep my baby moving down and gently reminded me to keep my energy up by eating and drinking. When we arrived at the hospital, I was 5cm and felt great. As I progressed further and began to panic, Robin provided more active support and kept me calm and confident about continuing labor without an epidural. I was amazed when I reached 8.5cm and felt totally prepared to finish my labor naturally.
Robin continued to provide wonderful support as I labored in this state for another four hours without progressing further. I was aware that my medical team began to talk about a c-section and I opted to get an epidural in order to relax and hopefully avoid surgery. Robin was totally supportive of this, and I was able to deliver soon after getting the epidural. I feel very satisfied with my birth experience. I know I put my very best effort into laboring naturally and I couldn’t have done it without Robin!
– Leslie Wallace Pilcher (Katonah, NY)
Robin was a light during the darkest and scariest week of my life. We initially hired Robin to be our doula during the birth of our first child. Robin responded kindly to my random questions during the pregnancy, the kind of questions and worries I didn’t want to bother my midwife with. After a healthy pregnancy, I suddenly started bleeding heavily while at home. I called and texted both Robin and my midwife and they told me to rush to the hospital. Unfortunately, I had suffered a placental abruption and was seriously hemorrhaging. My son was without oxygen so they need to perform an immediate, emergency c-section. My road to recovery was BRUTAL. I spent five days in the hospital recovering while was son was in a NICU at a different hospital.
During that week, Robin was a godsend! She visited me every day, talking to me and comforting me. She massaged my feet and hands. For the first shower, she came in with me as it was difficult for me to stand on my own. Most importantly, she taught me how to hand-express milk from my breasts, as I was separated from my baby. My son was exclusively fed breast milk and then breast-fed in the NICU and much credit for that is due to Robin for getting my milk going and encouraging me to pump when it was both physically and emotionally difficult. Robin continued to visit me at home and helped us adjust to our new lives. Before our son came home from the hospital, and I felt exhausted and in pain, a relative came to visit who I had no interest in seeing. Robin came over and chatted with him the whole time so I could rest! I still owe her for that one 🙂 While my son’s birth was far from traditional and worlds away from what we were expecting, Robin was a source of love, warmth and support that I am, and will be, forever grateful for. I cannot recommend her highly enough!
– Lilli Weitz (Chicago, IL)
“I knew I wanted Robin to be my doula when I met her in person. She was calm and caring, but also confident — qualities I knew would be essential for me and my husband during my pregnancy and labor. Robin was constantly available for support throughout my pregnancy, answering questions and pointing me toward resources. When I found out I was Strep B positive I became discouraged but Robin was very reassuring that, though the game plan needed to change, we could still achieve my goal of an non-medicated birth. When my OB began talking induction when I went past my due date, Robin suggested I also try acupuncture and gave me a name. My water broke naturally at the acupuncturist’s office after the second appointment. Robin was by my side throughout labor and, when I opted for an epidural, she assured me that she believed I could finish non-medicated but stayed supportive and non-judgmental. My most treasured moment with Robin was also my first treasured moment with my daughter- when Robin helped her to latch for the first time moments after she was born.”– Barbara Zahirsky Soroka (Yonkers, NY)
Robin’s ability to listen deeply, tailor her work to meet our needs, and gentle guidance made her a tremendously effective consultant. On the day of delivery, Robin brought great energy, awesome pain management strategies, thoughtfulness, and a tremendous endurance that made it easy to lean on her. We felt reassured and comfortable because she was there shepherding us through the process. I am so grateful!
– Sara Kranzler (White Plains, NY)
“Robin provided invaluable support to me during the final weeks of my pregnancy (when we hired her), on my baby’s birth day and afterwards. Although my baby’s positioning and/or my own anatomy ultimately rendered a natural childbirth impossible, Robin supported me as I labored actively for close to 20 hours without pain medication, and during which time I attempted to push my baby out for 12 hours.Robin provided both physical and emotional support: she worked with my husband to physically support my body while I relentlessly pushed through each surge, provided light massage when appropriate and fed me juice and spoonfuls of honey to keep my energy levels up. Robin’s emotional support enabled me to feel in complete control of my entire birthing experience: her verbal encouragement kept me focused and made me feel safe and her presence gave me confidence to admit when it was time to change course after attempting all possible laboring positions and strategies. I am so grateful she was a part of the very intimate experience of bringing my daughter into the world and I recommend Robin as a resource to anyone seeking an extra layer of support during her own birthing experience.”
– Amy Silverstein Galinka (White Plains, NY)
HOMEBIRTH with Accredited Midwives*
I knew that I wanted a very special home birth experience, to call upon my body to labor naturally with limited interference, only loving support from my husband and a circle of other women who have blazed the trail before me. Robin was one of those very special women who labored with me, guided and reassured me during every step of the way. She provided the soothing presence I needed and worked tirelessly with my midwives to keep me strong, energized and confident throughout each stage of labor. While my birth story began as textbook labor, it quite unexpectedly turned into an epic tale of unbelievable events, determination, and finally the safe arrival of my son via cesarean. Although he did not come out the way I had wished, I am deeply grateful to have experienced 22 hours of natural labor with Robin’s invaluable support as my labor sherpa.
– Blakeley Lowry, Bedford, NY
“Robin encouraged me to get into a position where I felt that the baby could descend at optimum speed and direction to where it needed to go. She offered me timely options when she could see I may need a change in scene or position. Her guiding presence was felt in her sturdy hands and uplifting voice, encouraging me that I could indeed go deeper into the growing pressure, and that I had this!”
– Anna Wroclawski, Somers, NY
*I’d be happy to refer you to midwives who practice in NY & CT at home births, birth centers, and hospitals