sunnyside doula


Erica St. Lawrence

RN, Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Breastfeeding Counselor

About

Erica St. Lawrence is an experienced birth and postpartum doula, a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor and a pediatric R.N. who has spent the last 12 years caring for hundreds of NYC families both in the hospital and at home. Erica’s experience as a doula and her deep knowledge of physiology informs her belief that women intuitively know how to birth and can have a transformative birth experience with the help of a supportive team, no matter the path they take to get there. Erica loves working with families at all stages, helping you feel knowledgeable about your options and confident in your ability to birth and nurture your babies in a way that makes sense to you. With her practical, non-judgemental, evidence-based and warm-hearted approach, Erica is passionate about helping you welcome your child into your life and easing your transition into parenthood.

When she is not supporting new families in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, Erica happily resides in Sunnyside, Queens where she spends her time voraciously reading, honing her cooking and knitting skills and biking as much as possible.

 

Education and Certifications

Trained and Experienced in

Doula Continuing Education

Birth

I deeply believe that you deserve knowledgeable, evidence-based, compassionate care no matter how you choose to labor and birth.  I support all types of births: at home or in the hospital, medicated or unmedicated, cesarean births, breech presentations, high risk pregnancies and VBACs. I will work closely with you to help you welcome your baby into the world feeling confident, cared for and respected.

Birth Doula Services Include:

One initial consultation to discuss your plans, get to know each other and decide if we are a good fit.

If you decide to hire me after our initial meeting, I will:

Postpartum

Whether it’s a one-time consultation to answer questions about breastfeeding or a longer working relationship to ease your transition into parenthood, I am dedicated to providing practical, nonjudgmental and warm-hearted care that is tailored to your family’s needs. Helping you navigate the ins and outs of life as a new parent,  I will assist your family in finding a rhythm that makes sense to you. Your newborn will change from moment to moment. I want you to have the skills, self-assurance and support you need to enjoy those moments.  

As your postpartum doula, some of the ways I can support you are:

Additionally, with my 10 years of pediatric nursing experience, I am uniquely qualified to provide postpartum doula support to families who need help easing their transition to home after a NICU stay or whose little ones have more complicated medical needs.

The postpartum care I provide can be individualized to fit your family’s needs. Please contact me to discuss more details about how we can work together to give you the postpartum care you deserve.

Testimonials

Erica is indispensable.  Coach, advocate, pacer, interpreter, chief operating officer, sage and always calm guide along the what-the-hell-is-happening-now journey of childbirth.  She listened thoughtfully to our (half-formed) ideas about how we wanted our birth to go and had a real conversation with us.  Far more important, she seemed to intuit without any real effort what we would need and the questions we didn’t even know to ask, from our meeting weeks before the due date through the postpartum visit.  When showtime came, Erica reassured us continuously, with patience, candor, and genuine care — and shared our joy at little Graeme’s arrival many hours of labor later.  She is precisely the person you want for this strange, intense, and beautiful event.  

–Caroline and Matt

 

I can’t even put into words the amount of gratitude we have for Erica St. Lawrence.  She took care of our family for the first five weeks after our son, Isaac, was born.  She was kind, gentle and nonjudgmental. She knew exactly what we needed — even when we didn’t know what we needed ourselves. Not only was I thankful for help with daily tasks, self-care, ways to soothe and play with Isaac, and with breastfeeding, but I was also so thankful for her,  just to be there with me during this time.  She listened to my fears and helped to calm them.  She made me feel more confident in myself as a mother and a caregiver.  She made me feel like family and made me feel supported.  I am forever grateful for her presence in our lives.  We love Erica!

— Erin and Derek

 

Erica is an amazing doula.  I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to fulfill my goal of having a natural birth without her guidance and support. She helped me stay focused, calmed my nerves and helped my husband be there for me through my entire labor and delivery.  We feel forever indebted to her for a truly amazing experience with the birth of our daughter, Mia.  I especially felt it was helpful to have her experience as an RN to navigate the ins and outs of a hospital birth.  We would very highly recommend her to anyone considering having a doula as part of their birthing team.

— Emily and Zvi

 

Erica made a huge difference in my labor and birth experience.  When I was pregnant she eased a lot of my concerns.  I felt more confident about the whole process knowing that she would be there to support me and my husband.  When the time came, she had a lot of suggestions for how to make me comfortable and suggestions for how my husband could help.  It really took both of them to take care of me during labor. 

Erica’s experience in the medical field was extremely helpful.  Not only was she able to translate medical terms and procedures for my husband and I, she also knows all kinds of fun medical facts about pregnancy, labor, birth, breastfeeding and babies!  It was extremely helpful to have an educated and experienced person on our side.

I tried to do natural labor and birth and I got to 6 cm, but I was in too much pain to continue without medication.  Erica encouraged me to do what I needed to in order to feel comfortable, and she helped me feel good about this decision.  She made me feel strong instead of weak.  I found out I was in back labor, and after trying to push, I needed a C-section.  I was so upset about having to have a C-section, I cried until I heard my baby’s cry for the first time.  Erica talked me through this process and listened to my feelings before the C-section, after the C-section, and then at our postpartum visit. After the surgery, Erica helped me with breastfeeding my son, she showed me how to hold him and position myself, and how to get him to latch properly. I really feel like Erica’s care for me and my baby is genuine.  I hope she’s ready for baby #2 in a couple years! Thank you so much Erica!

— Nikki and Craig

 

When we brought our newborn home three days after a traumatic labor and an emergency C-section, we were both completely overwhelmed. Kate was exhausted and in pain from the surgery and having trouble establishing breastfeeding with our baby. Our birth doula gave us Erica’s name as a postpartum doula and lactation counselor. She visited us in our home two days later and instantly put us at our ease with her reassuring, friendly presence. We focused primarily on breastfeeding, but she also worked with us both on babywearing and helped Kate become more comfortable carrying the baby safely in her arms in her shaky postoperative state. We especially appreciated the way Erica explained some of the scientific context for our baby’s needs and behavior, and we were impressed with how well she communicated those things to us, using phrases that have stuck with us ever since. She answered all of our many questions with patience, insight, and humor. By the time she left, we both felt so much more confident in our ability to take care of our little one. That night, we gave him his final bottle of formula, and at five months, he’s been exclusively breastfed ever since and is thriving. We are so glad that we hired Erica in that all-important transitional time in our lives, and we would recommend her postpartum doula services to anyone.

— Kate and Mirabai

 

Working with Erica was such a fantastic part of my pregnancy and birth experience. Before the delivery, she was incredibly responsive and available when I had questions throughout doctor visits and testing, helping me know what to expect and letting me know what my options were. Her complete comfort in the hospital setting was so calming to me — her longtime experience as a nurse made her a terrific liaison with the the medical staff, and she conveyed all the information to me in ways that I could understand. I was induced one week early due to preeclampsia — not the birth I’d envisioned! — and the moment I saw myself spiraling into panic, Erica swooped in to keep me incredibly calm and informed. She helped me feel that I really had some agency in my experience, even though it didn’t happen the way I’d anticipated, and I felt prepared for and included in every step of the induction process. She helped transform what could have been a really scary experience into a completely magical, empowering one. She will always be a beloved part of our family!

— Chelsea and Mike

 

Erica was the fifth doula we met and we both immediately felt that she was right for us. She is relaxed but professional, unassuming but very competent. Her nursing background allowed her to explain technicalities at a level of detail that we would not have expected from a doula before meeting her. We felt that she was very good at reading us, so that she was able to guide us smoothly through the whole process of pregnancy, labor and postpartum. 

During pregnancy, Erica was constantly available to answer our numerous questions and fears and she became an incredible source of reliable and relatable information and resources during those intense weeks. 

On D-Day, Erica was able to delay our trip to the hospital by several hours, which we found to be very positive. At home, she acted like a coach and “human pain-reliever” while at the hospital having her by our side felt like having a private nurse. Not only did she explain everything in much more detail than some of the hospital nurses, she also cared deeply and was very vocal about our wishes and needs during that long process. At no point did we feel that she was being invasive or directive. On the contrary, we felt very fortunate that she stayed with us long after our son was born and went above and beyond to make sure that everything and everyone was fine before leaving our family.

Erica’s postpartum support was also precious as she was there again to answer our numerous questions and act as a true source of comfort and wisdom. 

We really felt that we were being joined in this adventure by a knowledgeable friend rather than by someone we had hired. We were incredibly happy and grateful that Erica was with us on the most special day of our lives and even though we feel that we’d now be able to handle another pregnancy on our own, we can’t really imagine her not being there! 

— Veronica and Christian

Contact

Contact Info

ericastl.doula@gmail.com

New York City