Below are kind words and stories from individuals and families that I have served as a doula or childbirth educator.
Me, Samra, and baby Ahadu, born spring 2015.
I cannot recommend Krystina enough! We first met Krystina during our Hypnobirthing class, as our instructor. She gave us lots of great tips, information and resources during our time in the class. We decided during that time that we wanted to use a doula for delivery and chose Krystina. She was so kind, caring and there for anything we needed. In the days and weeks leading up to labor, we kept her updated with any progress and she was always informative and supportive. As soon as labor started, she was in continual contact (we could have had her over to the house and she would have been happy to do so, but labor started at 8pm and I wanted her to get some sleep!). With her support and help, we were able to stay at home for all of labor and got to the hospital fully dilated and ready to push. Krystina met us at the hospital and continued to be supportive, helping me through surges and being so incredibly positive. When one position didn’t work the best for me, she suggested another that helped tremendously. She also took some amazing photos of our son being born and took our first family photos. After she left the hospital, our midwife and nurses, who had never worked with Krystina before, said they were very impressed and would be happy to have her in every delivery!
A week or so after our son was born, Krystina came to check up on us and helped us create a placental print, which is so beautiful and I just love. Even now, when my son is almost five months old, she is still available and willing to help with anything we need. As I said before, I cannot recommend Krystina enough!
– Rachael, February 2017
Krystina did a phenomenal job for our family and we are thrilled for all the other families out there that will have her help at their births. I wanted to write this testimonial because it makes me feel good to know that by helping her connect with new clients we’ll be helping others to have a comfortable, supported, meaningful birth experience.
My wife and I found her working style to be a wonderful combination of calm and warm throughout every stage of the process, from pre-meetings to inform us and help us through our first-baby jitters; to her unwavering stamina, positivity and commitment throughout our 30-hour birth ordeal (don’t worry you guys, our circumstances were unusually difficult, your will probably be easier!); to the continued care that was obvious in her follow-up check-ins.
We also loved: Krystina is obviously coming from a religious place in her own life and comes across as personally devout but never, ever even close to judgmental of others– I am sure she will work with tons of wonderful Muslim families in her career but I wanted to particularly recommend her to nonreligious families like us as it might not initially be as obvious to you how skilled she will be at understanding and supporting you. I found her to be evidence-based and scientifically oriented in her approach– both qualities that are extremely important to us. And again, she is able to combine that kind of scientific perspective with warmth.
Finally, we particularly appreciated how Krystina worked with us for weeks with the assumption of a natural childbirth, spending time teaching us techniques, etc., but when the situation changed and it became clear that my wife and/or child might be at any risk because of circumstances beyond our control, Krystina was 100% supportive of our switching to more standard medical methods. That flexibility meant a lot to us and helped us keep from judging ourselves and our change of plans negatively. Highest recommendation!
– Jackie, Greg & Baby Axel, September 2016
We had a wonderful time having Krystina as our doula! She provided wisdom and support throughout the entire process. As this was our first pregnancy, we had lots of questions and we were grateful for the guidance and experience Krystina provided. She met with us a number of times in the weeks leading up to the birth. Krystina brought respectful humor to all over conversations, lightening the mood when stress and anxiety crept in. Additionally, she offered details about her own pregnancy and gave a human face to the experience, a quality that is often lacking in written materials or more formal classes.
From the beginning, Krystina made it clear that she would work to ensure our preferences were met, even when these ran counter to the procedures typically enacted in a hospital. She supported us, giving us information about steps normally taken and offered insights and guidance about which might be avoided.
Our son Henry was born at Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Krystina interacted seamlessly with our nurses and doctors. 24 hours after my water broke, I was still in early labor and needed Pitocin to move into active labor. Eventually, I was exhausted and needed an epidural to let me rest and restore my energy. Though this was not part of our initial plan, Krystina offered care and encouragement, aiding the decisions along the way. After our postpartum visit, she made it clear we could reach out to her postpartum if we had additional questions.
We cannot speak highly enough of the support Krystina offered us. A similar positive and caring attitude should be actively sought out prior to every birth and we recommend her very highly.
– Carol, Tim & Baby Henry, March 2016
We would have not have accomplished our planned natural birth without Krystina. Krystina was simply an amazing support to both myself and my husband during our birth process. We hired her late in the process (about 36ish weeks), and she immediately was an invaluable resource to us. She was always available to answer questions via text, phone, or email, and her knowledge was so useful. She helped us think through all of the options available to us during the birthing process to prepare us for what was to come. Having a hospital birth naturally, Krystina was crucial to ensuring that our wishes were heard by the hospital staff. She was tireless during my labor in helping to adjust my positioning, providing comfort measures, and making sure I ate and drank. Her presence was so calming and added a sense of peace and acceptance of the natural process. She made me feel as though everything was going according to plan, even when I doubted my own abilities. She was also so helpful to my husband in reassuring him that I was doing okay and calming his fears. As an added bonus, she took beautiful photos during the labor and just after birth (and was so respectful to not take photos that showed too much of my body). We now have photos of our family within seconds of birth that I will treasure forever. I cannot recommend Krystina enough, she was fabulous!
– Meredith, Brendan & Baby Henry, February 2016
I am so grateful for the support and experience we have had in our midwife. As we told her tonight, she helped us to be true to ourselves as parents from the very beginning. Along with Krystina Friedlander, her advice and knowledge have been invaluable as we traversed pregnancy, labor, delivery, breastfeeding and parenthood. Xavier doesn’t know it, but in many ways these women have helped shape who he is today! From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
– Lillian, Ethan, & Baby Xavier (Homebirth, March 2015)
Our son is now 2 years old and we still talk about Hypnobirthing and Krystina’s help through our birth. He is calm and focused, mindful and caring. We enjoy long family dinners with our patient little boy. He sings songs to his friends when they’re sad. He is a champion sleeper. Maybe it’s because of Hypnobirthing, maybe not, but it certainly helped me. I wanted a birth without interventions. I got a birth with an IV, thanks to my Group B Strep status, and a vaccum, thanks to our son’s “sunny side up” position. Not exactly “natural” by some measures, but Krystina helped us through it and maintained a peaceful environment the whole time. She guided me through different positions to help with back labor and eventually gave us the confidence to trust the midwives and OB with the vacuum. It wasn’t easy, but it would have been a million times harder without the Hypnobirthing techniques and Krystina’s support.
– Lindsay, Ethan & Finley
Krystina provided emotional and physical support during the birth of my son. She was there, assisting my husband and me in the depth of our labor and birth process. Her touch and gentle guidance was invaluable. Her presence was a light during some of our hardest moments of emotion and sensation. She wasn’t only our doula, but also a friend. I highly recommend having a doula as qualified and supportive as Krystina.
– Vera, Joe, & Baby Asher
A birth story from Shaun, Ian & Baby V
I was in early labor at home for about 20 hours before going to the hospital, where Krystina met us in the labor and delivery ward. She stayed with us through my entire active labor at the hospital – a full 12 hours. During that time she provide aromatherapy and massage techniques to help me relax between contractions, and was a calm, focused presence. When I was going through contractions she was either holding my hand, supporting me, or applying strategic pressure to my back and hips to help relieve pain. She helped me with everything, from using the shower and the bathroom, to helping me try different laboring position, and being a sounding board for my husband. She knew that I wanted to have as natural of a birth as possible and her unconditional support of my choices played a large role in my ability to give birth without pain medication. Having Krystina as my doula was an extremely special experience for both of us and I would highly recommend her to other mothers looking for a doula.
– Allison, Greg & Baby Evelyn
Krystina was the doula for the birth of our daughter in March 2014. We wanted to have as natural and intervention free birth as possible. We were impressed that her services included a ton of education before we even made it to the delivery room. Krystina is very quick in response she came to my place right away when I started labor and was present at hospital before we reached there. Of course, birth plan didn’t go quite as planned! I ended up getting an emergency C-Section. Krystina was supportive in that decision and and her presence was so calming. Krystina is truly passionate about what she does and it shows. I will be sure to recommend her to first time moms.
– Khoula, Atiq & Baby Leena March 2014
I wanted to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for all you have done for us. May Allah showers you with his blessings in this precious month, Rajab and always.
My husband and I learned a lot from your material and the information which you shared with us. To be honest, I was one of those people that thought natural/physiological birth is a waste of energy and even time, that the people who believe in it and plan to have delivery like in grandmas’ era made me laugh! Moreover, I was pretty sure that I would take an epidural during my labor have very modern experience in the best hospital nationwide. But your class blew my mind, indeed! … now I know that our grandmas had much better resolution of giving birth to a human being (perhaps that’s why they had more than five children. Interestingly, they weren’t afraid of pregnancy and delivery). My perspective on this issue has been changed and I owe you for such a big change in my point of view. I still need to get more educated, read and learn before June 25th!
– Zahra, childbirth education student, April 2014
Krystina was very attentive to my needs as my quick labor—3 hours in all—progressed. From the beginning, she offered different means of relaxation. For example, she acquired a ball for me to sit and bounce on. When the contractions became more intense, she massaged by back. She was by my side the entire time, asking me if I needed this or that and providing me with calm and support. She also snapped the first picture of me holding my son, which I will never ever forget.
– Ruheena, Hamza & Baby Ilyas