It's almost impossible to articulate exactly how indispensible Meema was for our family. She helped us navigate an unexpected week in the NICU (including helping me establish a good breastmilk supply after my hospital discharge) and assisted my husband and I as we transitioned home from a highly monitored environment. We were grateful for Meema's help in newborn care, babywearing, and helping us establish safe sleep environments. Meema was a gentle guide who intuited our strengths as parents; we never felt that we were doing something "her" way but rather that she was helping us learn our son. Additionally, it was Meema who helped me overcome some enormous breastfeeding challenges - both with her own knowledge and experience as well as with referrals to the right providers. Five months into nursing, I can honestly say I wouldn't be breastfeeding comfortably now without Meema's early support. She helped us feel confident and capable in that first month and really set the tone for us as parents. My husband felt equally supported and included due to Meema's work, and he credits her with helping us establish a "team" approach to parenting. We were consistently shocked at just how much Meema helped us accomplish in each session (she somehow covers SO much ground in just three hours, it's truly amazing). Meema made our transition into parenthood so much smoother, less anxious, and more gratifying than we could have expected. We are so very grateful! - Caprice A.
Meema recently worked with my family as a postpartum doula following the birth of my first daughter, who arrived via cesarean. Meema's knowledge, patience, sensitivity, and respect for the family as a whole truly sets her apart. She has a realness and connectivity about her that is so grounding, especially at a time when you/your family is perhaps at its most vulnerable and emotional state. I often found myself talking to Meema on the couch, taking in her stories and guidance on multiple challenges connected to breastfeeding, navigating family dynamics, baby wearing, and all the early education of learning how to nurture and care for my newborn. Meema is a gem and I cherish the time we had with her as our postpartum doula. - Rochelle W.
Meema was so helpful and kind in the weeks following our daughter's birth - from the day we arrived home from the hospital to a four month follow up, we were always learning new things to try out to improve our baby's eating, sleeping and thriving. Meema helped with nursing and pumping, breast care/health, swaddling, baby wearing, bath time, soothing techniques and sleep training. I was particularly touched that Meema never had ultimatums or rigid thinking - instead was keyed into our daughter and our experience. This played out in particular when we were thinking out trying the CIO method at 4 months to improve everyone's sleeping. Meema (and our pediatrician) noted that S. seemed tired. We had been missing her cues to nap and were putting her down late (which meant a lot of unhappiness for everyone). Meema suggested we preemptively get her in the crib before she was overtired (and to make her bedtime earlier) and lo and behold our daughter fell asleep all by herself most of the day for naps and miraculously slept through the night! We've had a lot of luck since starting this practice, including our daughter finally being able to link sleep cycles for naps! No more 35 minutes - now it ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Long story short, Meema was helpful during one of the most intense periods of our lives! We are grateful! - Shannon G.
I would highly recommend Meema to absolutely anyone with a new baby. The tools she gave us were instrumental in helping me cope through the first six weeks postpartum. We spent most of our time troubleshooting breastfeeding, and I know I wouldn't have been as successful at breastfeeding without her help. She also taught us how to wear our (very small premature) baby, which was a complete game changer. Because we could wear her, we were able to confidently leave the house much easier, which improved my mood and my general sense of well being. She made sure we both felt confident using a wrap to wear the baby, because she was too small to use any structured carriers. Regarding breastfeeding, I was also facing specific challenges with a preemie, transitioning from pumping to breastfeeding, and she helped me every step along the way. She gave better and more individualized guidance than I was able to get at breastfeeding support groups, and it was incredibly helpful to have that ongoing individualized support. We were gifted hours with Meema, and it was the most important gift we got! - Molly K.
Before my [Back to Work Pumping] consultation with Meema, I was completely lost when it came to preparing to go back to work. I hadn't even taken my breast pump out of the package and didn't know how it worked. Over the course of two hours, Meema not only taught me how to use the pump, but also techniques on how to get the best results. Then, she helped me feed my first bottle to my baby. The most valuable part of our meeting, however, was the back-to-work plan she created for me. It contained detailed information on when to start pumping and how often, resources and guidance on supply and yield, and a sample pumping schedule. Meema was so encouraging and supportive during our time together. After our consultation, I felt so much better equipped to make that transition back to work. - Lauren R.
Meema Spadola was referred to me by a friend, after we had adopted a baby girl. We had done little research about parenting a newborn and felt that a doula would be a good place to start. Meema was a pleasure to work with and incredibly knowledgeable about everything baby related. She has a warm demeanor and made me feel more comfortable about being a new mother by giving me helpful tips and offering practical suggestions to make my life easier and my baby healthy and happy. The information she shared had a foundation in research and offered a holistic approach to caring for my baby. The first meeting I had with her, she came to my house for 3 hours and went over everything I needed to know about caring for my baby; feeding, cleaning bottles, carriers, stuff we had and needed, dressing my baby, sleeping for both my baby and I, taking care of myself physically and emotionally. I had started trying to breastfeed using an SNS tube and Meema had helpful advice for me regarding being an adoptive mother and breastfeeding. She gave me another feeding tube for the baby that was lower maintenance than the one I had. She also helped me get started pumping. She even lent me a carrier to try out for a few weeks. I ran into her on the street and she took the time to help me adjust it so I was supporting the baby correctly. Meema was more helpful than any book I read... She is truly a gem and I highly recommend her to any new parent. - Kara L.
Meema's positive, calming, and confident energy was incredibly welcome during my babe's "fourth trimester". Before the birth, I had no idea how helpful it would be to have someone model strategies in person - in my home - when I was sleep deprived, recovering from c-section, and new to parenthood. Each time she came over, in addition to making sure I was eating and drinking enough, I took away a useful strategy that added to my feeling more competent as a new mom. - Bridget A.
As an anxious first-time mom, I was so grateful to have Meema to work with! Professional, knowledgeable, accommodating, calm, responsive, flexible, and a fantastic resource, she always took my concerns seriously and helped me to create a custom approach to how to care for my newborn. I especially appreciated her guidance with breast feeding, a back to work plan, and baby wearing. Mostly it was (and still is!) so helpful to have someone so experienced to be able reach out to with any and all anxieties/questions. Thank you, Meema! - Sydney M.
Meema was an incredible help to us in our first few weeks at home! She assisted with many things big and small from breastfeeding technique to setting up and using the breast pump, and showing us how to care for our newborn (ie baby 101 activities, using baby carriers, and employing various soothing techniques for a crying baby). She promptly pointed us to useful resources on topics we had questions about. Meema was VERY efficient in her use of time. She typically came for a few hours at a time, which was perfect and made the most of those hours. She also helped me devise a pumping plan for going back to work and helped with any questions I had on this subject. She did simple things around the house without being asked, like laundry or doing dishes, which seem small but at the time were an enormous help. All in all, we would highly recommend her to any new parents! Having a teacher, a helping hand, and source of reassurance that you and your baby are moving in the right direction was extremely beneficial and helpful during this rewarding but stressful time. - Jenny M.
I worked with Meema Spadola after the birth of my second child. She was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and reassuring. She got me through a painful first two weeks of nursing and was very supportive during those first few weeks when everything feels a bit upside down and overwhelming. Our time together was always productive - she made delicious meals and even brought our plants back to health! I can't recommend Meema enough! - Dana K.
Meema was a much needed source of confidence and calm during the most overwhelming time our life. She guided us during the early days of caring for our newborn, giving us the skills necessary to begin to trust in our own instincts as parents. This type of support has remained invaluable as, rather than relying on any method or rules, we've learned to listen to ourselves and our daughter and figure out what's best for our family at each fork in the road. We're constantly telling all of our friends who are also new parents, "well, Meema said..."! We continue to profusely thank the friends who told us that we had to hire her, and we will tell others the same. - Elisabeth S.
Meema came over to my home in a time when I felt most vulnerable and needing help. Meema was patient, present and helpful with the many questions I had as a breastfeeding mom. After our session she went above and beyond in answering more questions to the issues I was having…. I would highly recommend her services as she is a kind and steady force in the all new time of motherhood. - Deborah B.
Meema is simply amazing!! She truly cared for our little baby from the bottom of her heart and it showed! She also really cared about us as new parents so much. The nurses at the hospital were good at coaching me through the lactation process but it was a whole new ballgame once we got home. Meema was key in helping me acclimate to breastfeeding at home, she taught me how to get comfy and prop myself with pillows. Without her help I would've had a long road of getting the hang of breastfeeding, her tips were so valuable. She's also an amazing cook. She would come over in the mornings cook us delicious eggs and then take the baby so I could shower and wash up. I'm so glad we decided to have her around to help us during that 1st month. Even though my mother was nearby it was great to have someone with so much recent experience to help us find our footing. You won't regret hiring Meema, she's a smart and sweet parenting educator! - Pali K.
Meema was an invaluable resource when our son was born. She assisted with breastfeeding, taught us many aspects of caregiving for him, and was generally a positive and kind presence in a time of huge transition. She was a major asset to the whole family and made becoming parents for the first time a bit less scary! We were very lucky to have her services and I would highly recommend her to other new parents. - Megan W.
We loved Meema! Being expats from Europe with a newborn baby and no family nearby to help out those first few weeks, Meema was a lifesaver. She made sure we had something healthy to eat and got some extra hours of sleep when we were too occupied with our newest family member to take care of ourselves. She helped with the baby and around the house. She listened to my new mama doubts and offered solid and reassuring advice. But most of all, she helped me with a very difficult start to breastfeeding. Without Meema (and her correct diagnosis of a tongue- and lip tie and referral to a specialist) I'm sure I would've given up within a week or two. Even now, a few months later, I still text her from time to time for advice and she always replies within a few hours. Meema's great! - Anke M.
I cannot say enough good things about my experience with Meema. I hired her months before I gave birth because of all the fears I had about breastfeeding and having a newborn. The moment she walked into my apartment, everything changed. She was so calm and nurturing. She made me feel so at ease. She immediately helped me into the most comfortable breastfeeding position (I still use that position) and talked me through baby’s first cries and expressions. She was so full of information. She was and still is my Yoda. I honestly don't know what I would have done without her help and encouragement. - Tara C.
Meema was a godsend! I don't know what I would have done without her the first 2 weeks after my daughter was born. She was even involved before the birth, frequently checking in with me and sending me great resources and supportive good vibes. Meema is so knowledgeable in every area of caring for an infant. She walked us through bathing, diaper changing, baby wearing etc. She was such a huge help with breastfeeding, an area that can be fraught with challenges. She was such a warm and supportive presence, helping to make 2 newby parents feel way more competent and confident. She clearly loves what she does and does it with passion and compassion. - Marisa A.
My wife and I had to stay in the hospital for several days after our daughter's birth, during which time she had difficulty latching and nursing. The hospital lactation consultants were minimally present, and often provided conflicting information. When Meema came to visit us in the hospital, she felt like the first sane, compassionate and calming person we'd talked to in days! She listened genuinely and carefully to our concerns, provided excellent concrete suggestions, and most importantly conveyed confidence and perspective. Meema also helped us feel empowered to make the decisions that made the most sense for our daughter and our family. We remain so grateful!! - Sarah B.
Welcoming a stranger into your home at one of the most special and vulnerable times in your life can be difficult. Meema was our postpartum doula following the birth of our first child and after our initial interview we knew she was going to alleviate any anxiety we harbored. Meema seamlessly came into our home a few days postpartum after a traumatic visit to the neonatal ER on day two back home. She immediately had a grasp of the situation upon entering our apartment and sprung effortlessly into action. We were so relieved, feeling that Meema not only knew what we needed at that moment, but understood what we were going through emotionally and physically. The days following she checked in regarding how we were doing and on her next visit she continued facilitating our transition into our new roles as parents, caring equally for our daughter as well as us. She is proactive without being overbearing, she takes charge in a gentle way, is incredibly knowledgable and shares her knowledge without being preachy. We were sad to see her go on her last day, but felt confident about all that she taught us so we could continue on our own. We would highly recommend Meema with no reservations. Look no further! - Vanessa J.
Meema is amazing. Neither of us had family nearby so we decided that booking Meema might be good in case it was a complicated delivery or there were problems with breastfeeding... We didn't have big issues with either, but found it was so great to have Meema anyway. She's happy to impart her years of baby wisdom - assuring you that the random little stuff you stress about is normal-- or just happy to wash the dishes and cook you a meal while you spend time with the little one. Having spoken with friends who didn't use a doula, and hearing how their first few weeks went, we realised just how helpful it really was to have her around! - Conor D.
Meema was incredible! I can't say enough great things about our experience with her. We hired Meema as a postpartum doula and she was there exactly when we needed her. Meema helped us to get settled when we arrived back home - teaching us/me how to pump, use the moby wrap and best practices for everything from feeding to changing to nursing. When we had our routine more firmed up, Meema was super helpful just getting through those first couple of weeks - dishes, walking our dog, etc. Most of all, Meema was a great cheerleader- I always felt so great after she left for the day. Meema is great! - Anne L.
Meema was an amazing support in my postpartum days, first five years ago when my older daughter was born, and more recently again when my second one arrived. Knowing what an amazing resource and support she was with my eldest, Meema was the first person I reached out to when faced with some tricky nursing issues the second time. She helped me navigate these challenges with calm, knowledgeable, supportive care, giving me solutions to both big and small issues. When it turned out my daughter had a "tongue tie," she knew of all the local doctors I could speak with, pointed me to informative websites, and followed up with me daily after I saw the doctor, even reaching out to other professionals to provide me with additional information. She also helped me with small things, like teaching me the best way to tie a Moby, and getting me something to eat from the kitchen. Any question about newborn care I could think of, she had an answer to-- which isn't to say she told me what to think or do, she simply gave me all the information I could possibly need to draw my own conclusions. Meema is a truly lovely person who truly cares and really knows her stuff -- I couldn't recommend her more highly! - Christine L.
Meema is amazing. During the stressful and unusual situation following the birth of my daughter, Meema was a calming, knowledgeable, and vital support for me. The day after we came home from the hospital, Hurricane Sandy hit and we were evacuated for five weeks. Because we couldn't go home, I was a stressed and scared new mother, with none of the resources I had prepared and anticipated having after the birth. Meema was wonderful - she immediately answered questions by phone and email while we were out of town, providing key advice and research (about breastfeeding, thrush, healing right after birth). Back in New York, Meema has guided me through pumping, sleep schedules, and developing a new identity as a mom, amidst all the crazy and contradictory advice you are exposed to at this vulnerable time. She is smart, funny, interesting, and kind-- I appreciated her knowledge, but also enjoyed her company. She is a terrific doula and I still call to get her advice! – Lauren W.
Wow, how can I limit my praise for Meema to under 1800 characters? In short, she made me feel competent, comfortable, and supported. She was more than a doula-- she was my therapist, my cheerleader, my lactation consultant-- she was my FRIEND when I needed one most. I looked forward to our Tuesdays together because it meant that *I* got babied for a little while! My favorite memory of Meema was drifting off to sleep (with a belly full of nutritious food that she prepared!!) listening to her sing softly to my baby. When I awoke, the laundry was folded, the dishwasher was emptied, kitchen was spotless, and the baby was sleeping soundly. I am eternally grateful: because of Meema's advice and aid, my transition into motherhood was not only smooth, it was an absolute JOY. – Eli J.
I can't recommend Meema highly enough. Right after the birth, she took care of me, making sure I was fed and rested so I could focus on caring for my new son. Her experience as a lactation counselor helped me get through a rocky start-- tongue tie, thrush etc. She also helped me navigate pumping in anticipation of my return to work. As an added bonus, she helped unlock the mystery of the Moby wrap. I never would have tried it on my own, but she lent me hers and I LOVED it. I'm now a Moby-evangelist thanks to Meema. – Kristen V.
My partner and I were lucky enough to work with Meema after the birth of our son. Being two dads, we were unsure if working with a post-partum doula was the right choice for us, but we liked Meema so much when we met her that we decided to work with her on the spot. We could not have made a better choice or found more competent and relevant support during the first few weeks of our parenthood.
Meema is smart and savvy, full of common sense, compassion, energy, and great good humor. Non-judgmental and free of dogmatism, Meema is flexible in her thinking and her approach. She generously shared the wisdom and practical tips she has gleaned from her own professional and personal experience and she listened to our concerns with an open mind and a can-do attitude. She watched and listened to our newborn with the most extraordinary and loving attention and helped tune us in to his earliest communications. Meema authoritatively answered the many questions we had about the breast milk our heroic gestational carrier was pumping and shipping to us, and she made gentle but significant adjustments to our bottle-feeding style. She provided us with effective soothing strategies and taught us to bathe, swaddle, and carry our son with greater confidence.
Meema will also cook, straighten, do laundry, run errands -- whatever new parents need to get on their feet with confidence and enthusiasm. The confidence and encouragement Meema imparted to us during those early weeks of parenthood was the single most valuable support we received. We cannot recommend her more highly, for any family of any configuration. - Art H. & Matthew P.
Meema was invaluable in assisting us during those first few murky weeks following the birth of our daughter. As first time parents, we were a bit nervous and apprehensive about everything. With Meema's guidance and support, we grew in our confidence as well as in our abilities to competently care for our baby. Some of the things that Meema helped us with include: bathing the baby, swaddling, baby wearing (she even lent me a wrap for a few weeks to try out to see if I liked it), infant massage, pumping and storing breastmilk, advice for sleeping/napping, growth spurts, etc. I had an extremely difficult time breastfeeding for the first month after my daughter was born. I got through that difficult time with the help of Meema. She not only offered me her knowledge and advice/tips, but she was an invaluable support during this difficult time. Though we only hired her for 16 hours, Meema went above and beyond- always checking in with me; sending me tons of emails offering her support and encouragement as well as lists of helpful books and resources. I have a wonderful, pain-free breastfeeding relationship with my daughter today— and that is no doubt in part due to Meema's unwavering support and encouragement.
In addition to helping with the baby, she also made me food, did loads of laundry, straightened out my kitchen and made me sitz baths. She even accompanied me to doctors visits and cared for the baby while I was with the doctor. She was also flexible and would intuitively cut a session short if she saw that it would be more beneficial for me to get some rest.
Meema is wonderful with babies as well as new parents. You can tell that she loves what she does. Her guidance and support have made my husband and I feel more confident as parents. I can't imagine getting through those first few weeks without her. We will forever be grateful for all that she has done. I would HIGHLY recommend Meema as a postpartum doula!! – Heather P.
I cannot say enough good things about Meema. I used her after the birth of my daughter and the advice and support she provided was invaluable. Meema is incredibly kind, trustworthy, great with babies, and easy to talk to. She provides fantastic advice to new moms -- from recommending slings to helping with nursing and feeding issues. For example, Meema helped me help my daughter get a good latch and taught me different breastfeeding positions. She gave me advice about storage of milk and how many ounces my daughter should be getting with each feeding. She recommended a bra for hands-free pumping, which my husband commented was the best advice I had received from anyone as that was a real game changer in quality of life.
Meema also was incredibly supportive and an unbelievable listener. I had a very difficult and traumatic delivery with a lot of complications afterwards and a daughter who was a slow weight-gainer. Meema listened and gave me the support I needed to get through a very difficult period. Meema helped with all aspects of my home when not tending to the baby or me -- cleaning the kitchen, preparing food, doing laundry, organizing the baby's room (I delivered early so there was still a lot to do in the nursery). She is incredibly efficient and wants to help out in any way she can. Probably the biggest compliment that I can give Meema is that I left my daughter alone with her when my daughter was just a few weeks old. Meema was the first person outside my family to take care of my daughter alone. I felt totally comfortable having Meema watch my daughter and in fact, when I was leaving the apartment, Meema asked if I wanted her to call me with updates and I responded, “ No, I know she's in good hands." And she was.
In short, any new mom would be lucky to have Meema as her doula. - Melissa P.
Meema Spadola is THE BEST post-partum doula in the world! For the rest of my life, I will remember how useful she was in these first few days post-pregnancy that are otherwise filled with so much uncertainty and discomfort. On Meema's first visit - within 4 hours, she’d gone through our fridge and made us fresh smoothies, given me a foot massage (specific to nursing), showed us how to use a Moby wrap and ergo carrier, given me great tips for engorgement (my milk had just come in), examined/adjusted my latch, sterilized the breast pump parts and taught me to use it as back-up, ordered me a nursing bra from Yummy Mummy, boiled me an herbal sitz bath tincture, and more things that I am probably not remembering right now. She was dynamo. The best part is that she did all these things without even being asked. She is incredibly pro-active and knowledgeable. She acts on her initiative without ever being pushy - just extremely considerate and helpful. After her visits, we felt empowered and relaxed. I’d grab her for at least a 16 hour slot – the best money you’ll ever spend. I cannot recommend her enough for postpartum doula work. Without exaggeration, she was truly a life-saver. By the end of the 16 hour block – you and your partner have learned everything you need about looking after a newborn (and the new mommy!). – Raphaela N.
Meema Spadola offered such great support with my second child. I was needing a "refresher course" on breastfeeding, and wanted to make sure my newborn was latching correctly. She was very patient, listened intently and was observant; her instructions were clear and advice invaluable. By day 6, my baby was latching well and nursing like a champ; my nipples had healed and were in good shape--no cuts or scabs like with my first child--I owe it all to Meema. Meema is someone who'll go the extra mile in helping you establish a good foundation for newborn care--from providing you with books, to supplying you with lists of specialists, to making home visits at night to give you a pep talk. After meeting with Meema I felt better informed, empowered, and more confident in my parenting skills. I will happily and whole-heartedly recommend Meema to anyone who wants to know more about starting off on the right foot with a new child. -April C.
Meema helped us out for 6 full weeks after our daughter was born. She was wonderful -- I can't imagine that time without her. Neither my partner nor I had any infant care experience and Meema helped us develop our instincts and the skills we needed to care for our daughter in a very gentle and respectful way -- she was never condescending. She cooked nutritious, healthy & delicious food which helped bring my strength back after giving birth. She knows so much about breast-feeding and was able to offer advice and put us in touch with others who could offer advice when we faced challenges in that area. She was a wise and empathetic sounding board for discussing some of the challenges of early parenthood. She helped out in every way imaginable -- besides using her skills in the kitchen & around infant care and breast-feeding, she helped compile our papers for my partner's second-parent adoption of our daughter, and even came with us to vote in the 2008 presidential election when our daughter was 3 weeks old and fussy. In the months after she stopped helping us out in our home, Meema stayed in touch and offered wisdom about various issues that arose, especially around infant sleep. Neither my partner nor I have family in the area; before our child was born, we had no idea we would need Meema as much as we did. As it turned out, we felt that connecting with her a few weeks before our daughter was born was one of the smartest things we ever did. Meema is skilled, kind, smart, sincere, and lots of fun to have around. We consider her a very special friend to our family. -Jen & Jack