Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you massage pregnant people in their first trimester?
While the state of New York allows massage therapists to provide prenatal bodywork in the first trimester, I opt to have clients wait. Most miscarriages happen in the first trimester, and while massage is completely safe to receive, I tend to err on the side of caution, especially with pregnancy.
Q: What position will I be in during my prenatal massage? Can I lay on my stomach?
As a perinatal massage specialist, I consistently guide my clients into the safest and most supportive positions for bodywork - this means you will be in a side lying position supported by lots of comfy pillows, most likely how you’re sleeping in bed! Being prone (on your stomach) increases your risk for Diastasis Recti, nausea and heartburn or acid reflux, and even takes your pelvis out of alignment - baby too. I do not have a massage table with a belly hole, as it is not the safest option.
Q: Can I use my own oils or lotions during my massage?
Due to insurance regulations, I will only be able to apply topical agents that I have on hand and have carefully vetted as safe, pure and appropriate for the skin barrier. At this time, I am massaging with organic, cold-pressed unscented Jojoba oil. It is hypoallergenic and very similar to the skin's natural sebum.
If you have specific allergies or skin concerns, please let HH know at the time of booking.
Q: When can I expect a reply to my email inquiry?
HH replies to all forms of communications during business hours Tu-Fri 10 am - 5:15 pm and Sat 9:30 am - 3:30 pm and typically within 24 hours of inquiry.
Q: Does HH offer in-home massage services?
While HH offered in-home sessions at elevated rates from 2013 - 2022, these services are no longer offered as of May 1, 2022. All bodywork appointments are exclusively offered at the White Plains studio.
Q: Are your services covered by insurance?
I do not accept insurance for any service currently, including lactation services.
Q: Is there a phone number to call to book an appointment?
All appointments must be booked online in order to capture a valid credit card as well as have the required intake form completed prior to session start time. There is no phone number publicly listed for HH. All communications may be conducted by email.
Q: How many births do you take per month?
I will personally take on a maximum of two doula clients due in the same month, so long as the on-call windows do not overlap, and typically support my doula partner as the back-up for a maximum of two additiontal births per month.
Q: Which hospitals do you support births at?
My personal favorites are NYP Hudson Valley in Peekskill, White Plains Hospital & Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco, though I will support births at most hospitals in Westchester. For a list of hospitals or practices I do not recommend or will not support births at, please email me to schedule a consultation.
Q: Will you attend my midwife supported home birth?
Absolutely! I attend home births supported by a midwife exclusively in Westchester County. However, I do not work with families planning a "free-birth" aka a birth without any medical professional (midwife) present for liability purposes.
Q: Will you support my birth if I have an epidural?
Of course!! There is a common misconception that doulas only support unmedicated home births. I will attend most birthing locations, including a home birth attended by a nurse midwife, and support any birth you have - inlcuding a scheduled c-section. There is never any judgement.
Q: I want a postpartum massage, but I’m not sure what to do with my baby while I relax!
No problem! I happen to have a knack for baby wearing while massaging. So, both you and your little one will be well cared for and pampered. Many clients bring their newborns and infants with them to my studio for their massage appointments,
Q: How do you determine your rates?
All rates (birth, postpartum, massage and lactation support) have been carefully chosen based on experience, advanced certifications and many hours of continuing education. My rates are comparable for Westchester County, NY.
Q: Is a doula like a midwife?
A midwife in New York State is a registered nurse (RN) who has had additional trainings in labor and delivery, who replaces an ob/gyn. A doula is a non-medical support person who is experienced and specially trained in the perinatal phase of life. Doulas work in hospitals, home births and birthing centers, with both midwives and obstetricians. We are hired by the client/parent directly, working for you, not your provider.
Q: My partner will be at the birth with me. Do I really need a doula if they are present?
A doula will never replace your partner as your primary support person but will support both of you. ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) recommends all pregnant people hire a doula. Together, your doula, partner and provider will serve you and ensure you have a fully supported, positive and safe birthing experience.
Q: How do I book you for my birth/postpartum?
Click on the Contact tab and send me a message! Please include your location, EDD, birthing location and a bit about yourself and overall birth or postpartum goals. Together we will determine availability and set up a complementary 20-minute consultation on Zoom.
Q: What is the ‘tier system’?
This system is often used by doula collectives or agencies, rather than solo practices or partnerships. The system is based solely on hands on experience, which determines a set rate for birth support. Being that Harding Hatchlings is a solo practice (with additional hire to back-up doulas), the tier system does not apply.
Q: How long will you stay with me postpartum?
My postpartum doula contracts are typically just for the first 12 weeks of life, or 3 months postpartum. My goal is to work myself out of a job and foster maximum confidence and knowledge in the new parents and family unit. If necessary, and when availability allows, my clients and I may collectively choose to work together longer, or sign a new contract for nanny/babysitting work.
Q: What does a postpartum doula do?
Postpartum doula's are trained in the normal course of the postpartum period and specialize in newborn care. As your doula I might:
Prepare small meals for the family
Provide newborn education by showing you how to bathe, feed or care for baby
Assist in light household chores (wash dishes or laundry, prepare bottles, tidy the nursery, etc.)
Provide up-to-date evidence based information about newborn sleep, infant feeding and lactation
Offer Sibling support
Doula's companion new families through education, support and comfort. A doula is a walking/talking resource who can provide referrals to trusted practitioners and answer questions you may have regarding your newborn or postpartum period.
Q: How many times can I reschedule my appointment?
Each appointment may be rescheduled a maximum of one time. Repeat rescheduling requests will require payment at time of booking for all future appointments. Appointments canceled or rescheduled within 48 hours of session start time will be charged the full fee as listed on the website.
Q: Can I reschedule my appointment last minute in order to avoid the cancellation fee?
Because HH is a small, woman owned and woman run, by appointment only business, last minute rescheduling requests are treated as last minute cancellations if HH is unable to successfully rebook the time slot to its entirety. Please familiarize yourself with the cancellation and rescheduling policies, as they are strictly enforced.
Q: Will the 48 hour cancellation/rescheduling fee be waived if I am sick?
Because HH is a small, by appointment only business, your appointment time is reserved specifically for you, and the cancellation and rescheduling policies are strictly enforced regardless of the reason for cancellation or rescheduling. The cancellation/rescheduling fee will not be waived if you are sick.