The Honored Birth
Kim Mancuso CD(DONA)
DONA International Certified Birth Doula
~ AnnMarie G, December 2022
Kim was an amazing doula and I highly recommend her to anyone looking for support during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Throughout my pregnancy, Kim frequently met with my husband and I. She provided a lot of useful information about L&D and beyond, including breast feeding. I shared with her my anxiety about L&D. She was compassionate and knowledgble, she was able to put my mind at ease and together we developed a birth plan.
When we went to L&D, Kim was so encouraging and supportive. Just as suspected, when we got to the hospital, the doctor tried to convince me to get an epidural, which was not in my birth plan. I second guessed myself and the process. Kim looked me right in the eyes and said, you can do this, you don't need the epidural. We continued the labor process without one. Kim helped me switch laboring positioned every 5-10 contractions. She was by my side the entire time and encouraged me to eat and drink. She was consistent with encouraging mantras such as "You got this," "You are so strong," and "Breathe baby down." Her words gave me an incredible sense of confidence.
In addition, she encouraged me to use my husband as a laboring prop and this helped bring us closer together. He was able to actively participate, and he was also able to provide that encouragement and supportiveness that I needed.
After the baby's birth, Kim checked in on us several times and scheduled a follow-up meeting where we could share notes. She gave us information about baby milestones and continued to help me with breast feeding support and provide resources.
I cannot say enough good things about Kim and I highly highly recommend her. She is the perfect combination of knowledgable and supportive.
~ Daphne O, November 2022
I wish for every birthing person to have Kim by their side. She is pure joy, incredibly wise, understanding, caring, grounding, and an amazing doula.
From day one my partner and I knew we wanted Kim by our side because of her grounding energy and vibrant charm. Kim came highly recommended by our provider at Delaware Valley Midwifery.
My questions throughout this new adventure were all answered by Kim with care and confidence in her evidence based practice. I learned so much from Kim, as did my partner. When I need to be soothed and reassured, Kim was always there, a call away. She helped guide my partner to be a magnificent coach through my labor, teaching us different hands on techniques, cues to look for, and ways to stay connected through labor. We felt very prepared going into to labor with Kim’s diverse array of practices she shared with us, from birth plans to movement exercises.
When the day arrived to bring my little one Earthside, Kim was by my side throughout. Her intuitive instincts guided my partner and I to take time alone together when needed and to step in to coach me through contractions, different movement techniques, and grounding touch. I felt so secure and safe in her care. Kim worked beautifully alongside my midwife, who both helped me deliver a healthy baby girl.
The postpartum care I received from Kim brings tears to my eyes. I was not expecting to have such a difficult time recovering but felt so nourished and cared for by Kim throughout postpartum.
I feel eternally grateful for Kim and her guidance and presence through this transformational journey of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. She is a true gift to this world.
~Yasmeen F, November, 2022
Working with Kim was the best decision I made for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Kim is a well of knowledge and she shares that knowledge thoughtfully and without judgment, ultimately letting you make your own decisions. Her insights led us to switch from an OB practice to a midwife practice, which was much more aligned with my desire for a low-intervention birth. This resulted in more personalized, respectful care, which was key when I received a gestational diabetes diagnosis in the 3rd trimester.
In addition to that recommendation, Kim helped both my husband and I understand what to expect in labor and what postpartum support should look like! We lined up meal trains and visits to help us get food and rest during postpartum.
Leading up to labor Kim loaned us a TENS unit (which I used in early labor), a rebozo, and a birth ball. Aside from all the resources and tools, what I remember most is how much she cares. So much!! She checks in to see how you're feeling, listens carefully, answers any and all questions, and offers support with patience and grace, even while you're deep in labor land. This was so essential for me as I lacked that kind of support in my own family.
I had a relatively fast-moving labor for a first-time mom and Kim was in contact via phone and text from the first contraction. She was waiting when we pulled up to the hospital entrance and was the motivating and centering presence I needed during one of the most intense experiences of my life. Although my memory of labor exists in flashes (thank you nitrous) I vividly remember Kim giving me apple juice to keep my energy up, helping me switch positions to keep labor progressing, and rubbing my feet to refocus me when transition was overwhelming. Her warmth carried both me and my partner through intense labor and helped us truly enjoy those precious early weeks with our baby. I can't thank her enough for giving us those beautiful memories.
~ Sara C, October 2022
Kim Mancuso is an exceptional, experienced doula. She is personable, knowledgeable, empathetic, & very professional. I highly recommend her to anyone seeking a supportive, caring doula.
We "found" Kim through a personal recommendation. Her website was informative & clear, and at our first meeting, we quickly clicked & formed a connection, which is important during the intimate journey of childbirth. Then Kim met with my husband & I numerous times before delivery & suggested helpful books, courses, virtual material, social media sites & other informational sources. This helped me feel knowledgeable about labor & empowered about my choices. She offered useful physical exercises & techniques, & the use of her TENS unit & peanut ball to get me ready for labor. She was also familiar with my obgyn/midwife group & the hospital where our child would be born.
Although I wanted a spontaneous labor & non-medicated vaginal birth, I ended up having an induction at 41 weeks. With Kim’s advice & preparation I was well prepared physically & mentally, resulting in minimal intervention & a good unmedicated vaginal birth. It was a positive, beautiful & intense experience. All the time, Kim was there to rub my back, massage the cramps out of my legs, offer me juice & water, say encouraging & supportive words, count through the contractions, & suggest new positions if one became uncomfortable. She supported my husband & was very respectful of the nurses & midwives.
Kim makes you feel unique. She answers questions, checks in regularly, gives you her full attention, & honors your wishes. This helped us make an informed & evidence-based decision about induction that had a positive outcome. We appreciated working with Kim & are happy to have had her be part of our son’s birth. If you need a doula, go with Kim!
~ Caroline E, March 2022
Choosing Kim as our birth doula was the best decision we made in preparation for the birth of our first baby. After our first visit with her, it was clear we needed her much more than I had realized! Kim radiates positivity especially when talking about birth, and this was absolutely pivotal for me and my husband, who previously only thought of birthing as scary and dangerous. When we realized it didn't have to be --or even feel -- that way, it changed everything. With her comforting words and hands-on support, I felt held and safe, and was able to have the vaginal and unmedicated birth I wanted with minimal intervention (although she will support any birth you hope for!). My birth preferences we discussed together were great preparation, as well as a birth class she suggested we take. Her suggestions of ways to prepare at home were huge as well (stretches and positions for optimal baby positioning, inducing labor, etc). Her presence was also enormously helpful for my husband in quelling some of his anxiety and helping him be my biggest support and cheerleader. Kim also checked in on us frequently during the postpartum period, probably more than she had to-- it's clear she cares deeply about her clients and their well-being. Im especially grateful for the way she taught me to honor myself and my body, and all the amazing things it was doing for my baby, when my mind would slip into worry. Every phone call and visit with her restored faith I had in myself and how I would bring my son into this world. Ultimately, I wouldn't trade my experience for anything, and I will always highly recommend her to anyone seeking a doula for their upcoming birth!
~Susan B, June 2022
I hired Kim early in my pregnancy and I'm so glad i did! It gave me a lot of peace and comfort having her support early on and throughout my pregnancy. Kim made herself available to answer any questions and concerns I had. She really was another person on my care team who understood my wishes and who was checking in on me.
Later in pregnancy Kim came to our house and showed us some techniques to help with early labor. It was another way we built a great relationship before the birth. Some of the positions also felt great in pregnancy too!
The last few weeks of my pregnancy is when I was most grateful to Kim. She listened as I weighed pros and cons of big decisions that I had to make. While always supportive and really listening to my wants and needs, she made suggestions or gave input when I asked.. Finally, I ended up with a c-section, not the birth I had worked for and planned for, but she was right there before and after and I was so grateful to her for it.
Kim kept checking in on us in postpartum and came to visit us too. I am so grateful for her wisdom and guidance through the whole process. I highly recommend her. She's got this wonderful calming presence and she's very knowledgeable about birth. She will be an asset to your birth team.
~ Emily I, December 2021
Kim's warmth and compassion shine through in everything she does. In the months and weeks leading up to birth, Kim not only sent words of encouragement and texts to check in, but also made multiple visits to our home to comprehensively understand our wishes and desires for birth.
As our estimated due date came closer, Kim came by multiple times to do body-balancing exercises, educate us about aromatherapy and learn ahead of time which scents I did or did not enjoy. Additionally, she made sure to demonstrate and teach us about pressure points and other coping mechanisms that proved crucial during labor.
During the birth itself, Kim was an invaluable member of the team. She truly physically and emotionally supported myself and my partner, at times literally holding me up. When things did not go as planned and a hospital transfer was needed, Kim kept the situation calm, supporting us at the hospital through a C-section, providing a much needed emotional backstop to both me and my partner. THEN drove back to our house in the middle of the night to retrieve a number of forgotten items and make sure that our dog got to go outside.
She visited the next day, and again a week later at home. During this second postpartum visit, Kim helped us process, understand, and make peace with our story. We will be forever grateful for Kim's incredible support, and will be the first to recommend her to friends in the area looking for doula support.
~ M. Crawford, December 2021
Kim went way beyond our expectations as a doula! She is a natural. I think she was born to nurture! She ensured that my husband and I felt calm, prepared and informed. Her calming affect was real which was priceless when we were expecting our first born. There were so many questions I had regarding symptoms during pregnancy and she responded so quickly with explanations and advice on how to handle them. If we are blessed with another little one we will be calling Kim Mancuso right away.
~ Kelsey & Marcus L, October 2021
I don't think a short blurb can adequately sum up my praise for how absolutely wonderful Kim is or my gratitude for Kim's involvement in the birth of my daughter... but here's an attempt. Kim completely exceeded my expectations of what a doula could offer during my pregnancy, labor, and postpartum experience.
She is careful, attentive, encouraging, kind, thoughtful, encouraging (I know I said that twice, but it's worth repeating), and simply a wonderful human being. During my third trimester, she offered fantastic suggestions and provided a useful sounding-board as decisions were made related to complications that arose.
During my labor, she was incredible. She seemed to know exactly when to suggest a new position, when to offer a drink, when to encourage me, and when to step back and let things progress. After delivery, her presence was a comfort in the short transition from the labor and delivery room to the mother's room.
Following my daughter's birth, she continued to keep in touch, helping connect me with a lactation consultant, responding joyously to photos as my child grew, and encouraging me. What a blessing to have had Kim as my doula. I'll sing her praises to anyone and everyone. She clearly loves joining women and their partners in the journey of new life, and I've loved having her along for our journey! Thank you, Kim. Thank you.
I really appreciate everything that Kim did. She was the calm presence that we needed for an unfamiliar and, at times, stressful experience. We are first-time parents, and it was helpful to have someone who has walked through it before to guide us through and to talk us through our options. The doctors know a lot, but Kim was able to be personable about what was available to us. She was a rock when we needed it.
~ Gillian D, August 2022
When I found out I was expecting my 3rd child I knew I wanted to attempt a natural labor/birth. With my first two I had used an epidural. A friend suggested we find a doula and so we set about searching for one. It was overwhelming. We found Kim's profile and she seemed like a good fit. We reached out and she unfortunately had travel plans during the 38th-39th week of our pregnancy. We continued to look and were going to skip getting someone, but we wrote back to Kim asking if she could make a referral. The more we talked the more we were sure that Kim was our perfect match. She set up a plan for us using another doula as her back up for the week she would be away. Ultimately she was able to be present at our delivery.
Each time Kim visited us for preparation she made me feel confident that I could follow through on my plan to deliver without pain medication. My biggest concern was my husband. I wasn't sure how I would react to the pain, how intense things would be. With no natural birth experience of my own, we wanted someone in the room who could tell us if what I was experiencing was normal.
I ended up needing to be induced due to the concern that my son was measuring large (almost 9 lbs via ultrasound at 38 weeks). I arrived at the hospital in the morning 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant, already 3-4 cm dilated, and 50% thinned. My biggest fear was that once Pitocin started the labor would progress quickly and I wanted Kim to be there. She happily came early. She braided my hair to keep it out of my face. Due to the induction most of the pain management we had planned for (baths/showers/walking the hallways) was off the table due to the need for continuous monitoring.
Kim provided complete support through the whole experience. She was there when we needed her and seemed to melt into the background when we didn't. We do not plan to have more children, but if we did, we would absolutely call on Kim again. We can't recommend her enough!
~ Sophia Fishbane, June 2021
On June 7, 2021 I gave birth to my son Rhys and it was the most magical day of my life. I was able to experience the unmedicated birth I wanted. And I could not have done this without the help of Kim who empowered me. Kim not only was an advocate and friend throughout my pregnancy and birth she was also a mentor, a caretaker, an educator. She was whatever I needed her to be.
My pregnancy was long and became uncomfortable. Kim was always providing useful suggestions to help with the discomfort at the end of pregnancy. Kim really listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve the birth I dreamed of
Throughout labor she was with me every step of the way. She provided emotional support to my husband as well. Kim seemed to instinctively know what I needed before I ever asked for it. When I was thirsty she was there with water or juice. She was fanning me before I could even say I was hot. She was rubbing my feet when I needed comfort. She was mentally connected to me and my husband throughout the labor process. When I felt I could not go on, kim was encouraging and motivating.
After labor she continued to check in and provided a beautiful timeline of the birth. I am forever grateful to Kim. Thank you Kim for helping me achieve my dream birth. Thank you for listening to my needs. Thank you for empowering me. I could not have gotten through without the support of Kim.
~ Mallory, May 2021
Kim is awesome! You should choose her!
Kim was our doula for our second birth. I had a positive experience with my first birth and I wasn't sure if I wanted to hire a doula for my second. As my due date got closer I realized I did want a doula--I was a little worried about not being able to labor and push in any position I wanted, and I didn't want to have to worry about advocating for myself during labor. It's also just really nice to have an extra person you know and like whose sole purpose is just to help you! AND you don't have to remember all the useful tricks for making labor less terrible.
Kim clicked with my husband and me pretty much immediately and made us both feel comfortable. She's very open to whatever ideas or plans you have for your birth. She also had a TENS unit specifically designed for use in labor and it turned out that was Amazing. I was able to use that and a heating pad (she called the manufacturer ahead of time to figure out if that was safe) and it made all of my labor much more bearable. I also realized if I hadn't hired Kim we might not have made it to the hospital in time! My labor was very fast and if it weren't for some of the stories she had shared of previous births she attended, I don't think I would have known to leave our house when we did. All the pictures she took after the birth were wonderful and I am so happy I have them. She also does a thing later to help cement the memory of the birth, it was nice to go over everything later and talk about it one more time.
Kim is a very positive and encouraging person and she definitely made my birth experience better. She is wonderful :)
~ Rose McCathran, May 2021
It is with great pleasure that I write this recommendation on behalf of Kim Mancuso at The Honored Birth doula service. Kim supports her clients with warmth, 'round-the-clock attentiveness, and enthusiastic, heartfelt empowerment. Her passion for supporting child bearers radiates as she excitedly supports and gets to know them. She explores resources to support the child bearer and their family, specifically tailoring to fulfill their needs. Kim is especially observant of the parents-to-be and their dynamic with each other. She works to strengthen the intimacy between partners during pregnancy and in preparation for the labor and birthing process.
Kim is always open and welcoming in correspondence. She is eager to know what curiosities her clients have so that she may counsel them and provide them with helpful resources. Kim stays atop of the most recent research in the field, enabling her to support healthy pregnancies and birthing experiences. If ever Kim does not know the answer to an inquiry, she will promptly and thoroughly research it with curiosity and zeal. She excitedly shares her discoveries with her clients.
Kim's compassion is eternally strong. She provides a safe space for her clients to express themselves openly and without judgement about any-and-every experience during pregnancy, labor, birthing, and the postpartum period. While she is always open to clients reaching her, she also caringly checks in to see how her clients and their families are doing. She serves her clients and their families in mediums that are most comfortable to them.
Kim will work to help you and your family with the utmost kindness, support, and compassion during this tremendous transition.
~ Paola, March 2021
Kim is an amazing doula! My labor lasted 13 hours and occurred overnight. I was super impressed that Kim was not only awake and there the entire 13 hours but that she was mentally present. Kim is incredibly caring and empathetic. My labor did not go as planned and Kim was there to reassure me and remind me of my strength. I had a rare occurrence where I threw up after every contraction and Kim was there to re-hydrate me. I remember I kept saying "I can't do this", and Kim would always respond by telling me that I was already "doing it". Simple affirmations like that really went a long way. My husband and I are 100% hiring Kim again if we have another baby.
~Tammy, May 2020
After birthing my first child seven years ago with doula support, and knowing how invaluable it was to me and my husband, I definitely wanted doula support again for the birth of my second. Kim's passion for supporting and honoring mothers in pregnancy and birth was what drew me to her. She has a gentle, compassionate style and I always felt fully heard and understood. Kim reveres pregnant people and treated working with me like an honor. As a 38 year old anxiety-prone person birthing during Covid times, I had plenty of anxieties and worries about my abilities to give birth safely, and Kim supported me through the last few months of pregnancy with positive, evidence-based resources and text/voice check-ins as I prepared for labor. Our hospital allowed only one support person (in the time of Covid, May 2020) and I knew immediately that I wanted Kim to support me at the hospital while my husband supported from home and cared for our other child (she is the professional after all, not my husband, ha). That was absolutely the right choice for me. Kim was everything I needed in birth support in the hospital. She intuitively knew what I needed and suggested new methods of coping with labor and helping me progress. She encouraged me and also helped me advocate for myself through the changing conditions of my 42-week induction. The sweetest part was that Kim provided a critical link between my husband and I during labor, texting him and communicating his messages to me to keep us connected even though we were apart. Kim was an amazing and integral part of my child's birth and my birthing experience and I will always recommend her!
Much love and appreciation for the many gifts you've given us :)
~ Jill-Arcangela & Ed, November 2020
It makes perfect sense that Kim Mancuso calls her service The Honored Birth. That is truly a most appropriate title. Kim has a way of making you feel as though she is truly honoring your experience, and we felt honored to have her with us. Kim was just the right balance of controlled and soft. She was warm and calm and highly attentive to my needs.
Kim answered our call very late at night on Halloween. She walked me through my early contractions, my water breaking, and met us at the hospital once we were ready to go. She came prepared, introduced herself to the staff, asked important questions to orient herself to the hospital and the protocols. She set up battery operated candles and lowered the lights. I popped on some soothing music, and we all relaxed while the contractions allowed it. Once I was rested and feeling ready to progress, she offered suggestions and positions to help move things along. My favorite was slow dancing with my love, whom Kim was sure to include and empower from our very first meeting so he felt confident and engaged in the birth.
When the time came to push, Kim remembered me saying that I hated the final minutes when the room was bright and busy and everyone was talking and giving directives. I had told her it feels out of control and hectic, and that I wanted to avoid that frantic feeling. I wanted to stay calm and focused, and above all, I wanted to deliver my baby - a goal I fell short of in my first two pregnancies. Kim was highly attentive to this happening. She worked with the midwife, keeping the noise and directives down; and when I became overwhelmed, she put herself right in my view and somehow made herself the only voice I could hear. She pulled me out of the frenzy and led me through the last couple pushes. Focused and strong, I heard the midwife say, "Reach down and take your baby," Then, with my own two hands, I reached down and brought my baby Earthside. Kim immediately settled into the background, giving Daddy and I space to revel in the moment. She offered support in those first attempts to latch baby on and left when I was settled and ready for her to depart.
Kim truly held space for us. She was educated and gentle, but also strong when I needed her to be. She paid attention to the things I said in our very first meeting and made them her priority during our birth. Her passion for what she does is apparent, and it really was our honor to have her attend our birth.
It felt super comfortable with Kim there. It really felt like we were one single unit. When she needed to step up, she did. When we needed space, she gave it. She had great intuition about that. We felt very supported. Kim was amazing. The whole experience was amazing, but so was Kim. Greatest experience of my life.
~ Sara, September 2019
I cannot recommend Kim enough. She is an absolute treasure. She arrived at the hospital within minutes of us calling her, and stayed with us for over 24 hours. Whenever it looked like I might need to change positions, she was always ready with a suggestion, and at no time did she push too hard.
I honestly had no idea what to expect from labor. I don't know why, but somehow I didn't realize that the thing to fear was the labor, not the actual birth. I went into it with an absolute terror of regular delivery. Kim helped me stay grounded. She was very comforting, and did everything possible to keep me from focussing on my fears. She listened to me drone on and on about my favorite topics, made sure I stayed hydrated, (something I struggle with even on the day to day), and was all around fabulous. Having her there was a huge comfort.
One of the most helpful things about having a doula was knowing that she was just there to help me get through it. Knowing that she had no medical role or personal connection freed me to accept her support without having to keep in mind any hopes or fears she might have, and her support was tremendous. I'm actually not sure I could have made it through an unmedicated induction without her. She walked the halls with me, told me stories, wiped my face during the hardest parts, and would count through the contractions, giving me something other than the pain to focus on. When it got really difficult, remembering that there were 2 other women in the room (my mother-in-law and Kim) who had managed to give birth without medication helped me to believe I could do it too.
Once the baby had come, and we were home, she visited us a few times, and even wrote up a lovely birth story.
Kim is wonderful!
~ Chelsea, August 2020
My biggest fear was not being able to have a natural birth and to have a hospital transfer from my planned home-birth. Everything about my labor did not go to plan and that’s why having a doula was crucial to help support my husband and I through all the unexpected bumps. It was so helpful to have another calm professional who made me feel safe and taken care of.
What, specifically, was the most helpful part of doula support and why?
Offering different laboring positions, helping to keep me hydrated and nourished and an overall sense of calm.
During the pandemic not being able to have anyone else at the hospital was a big concern of mine. So since the state allowed Doulas a few weeks prior to my due date, it was so comforting to have another support by my side. Having a supportive presence during the most stressful time in my life and my husbands was absolutely necessary.
If a best friend was considering a doula, what would you tell them? Is there anything specific you recommend about me?
I would tell them that it would be the best investment for themselves and their partners during labor. It’s hard to think clearly yourself and your partner may be overwhelmed. Kim has a calming presence that is so comforting and she gave me the confidence that I could do it! She offered good contraction position suggestions and was an advocate for me in the hospital.
What was the return on your investment in doula care? What part of doula care was most valuable to you?
My labor took some dark turns and it didn’t go how I imagined at all. With Kim by my side it made the process feel more safe. I was so upset that my mother couldn’t be at the hospital so having Kim there brought a maternal energy that I really needed. She has
good energy, and is knowledgeable and genuine.
~ Kiera, November 2020
My experience working with Kim was beyond any expectations I ever could have had. Where do I even begin? Kim was by my side my entire 72 hour labor (yes, she stayed the entire time!) I had a water birth at home, and Kim stayed the whole time. She supported me mentally, physically, and emotionally during the entire process.
Kim is very professional and worked seamlessly with the rest of my birth team. I do not know how we would have done it without her. She kept me focused during my entire labor and was holding my hand start to finish--literally and figuratively. You cannot put a value on what she did for us during our birth.
It is very obvious that she cares very much about her clients, and she will go out of her way to make sure you are well taken care of.
I HIGHLY recommend Kim to anyone who is looking for a doula for their birth. She is an absolute angel, and I cannot thank her enough for the support, encouragement, and strength she gave me as we welcomed our first baby girl into the world.
~ Allison, December 2020
I feel incredibly grateful to have had Kim with me for second birth. Due to unforeseen circumstances, my original doula could not come and thankfully Kim was able to step in. We had talked a few days before my birth on the phone in case my original doula couldn't make it, but we didn't actually meet until I was being admitted into the hospital. We immediately had a great rapport and I felt very comfortable in her care. My husband and I are naturally anxious people and Kim was able to put us at ease and create a calm atmosphere. Having Kim's support through the contractions with gentle words of encouragement and backrubs were invaluable. She also made sure I was drinking and eating enough and helped me communicate with the hospital staff. I tend to have trouble speaking up for myself and it was really beneficial to have Kim there as an advocate for me. Although my husband was a huge support as well, it was comforting to have someone present who understood the entire birthing process, what I could expect, and what my options were. I ended up requesting an epidural at 7 cm, but I would not have been able to get that far without Kim's support.
I cannot imagine this birth without Kim. I know there is often judgement that women place on themselves to have the right birth, but I felt that Kim was great at supporting me to have the birth that worked best for me. As an aside, I also had fun just talking to Kim and getting to know about her and her family between contractions.