“There are some things that just can’t be taught in a general class setting. Each mother, each family and each birth location is truly unique. I’m not just teaching a class – I’m having a conversation with a family who will be entering a new chapter in their lives. I’m learning what their goals are and coaching them on what to expect from the moment their labor begins. We want the connection between the physician/midwife, doula, nurses, mother and partner to be an organic one.” – Kayann
Prior to establishing Childbirth Now, Kayann Stephens worked alongside NYC’s leading obstetricians and midwives to support the birth experiences of families throughout the city. With over 17 years of experience in labor and delivery and having managed and assisted over 8,000 births, Kayann now serves as a clinical expert in birth preparation, labor management, and postpartum education.
Kayann started her practice in labor and delivery at Mount Sinai West (formerly St. Luke’s-Roosevelt) in NYC, where she also provided birth education courses at the request of various physicians and midwives. Kayann continued to develop her maternal courses during the seven years she worked managing the nursing unit and maternity suite for NYP-Presbyterian Hospital. During her tenure at Mount Sinai West and NYP, Kayann noticed that many mothers and families had a general understanding of the birthing process. Yet they often felt overwhelmed when faced with the hospital or birthing center’s unexpected yet necessary standard practices.
Using her experience balancing the needs of laboring mothers with the standard practices of OB’s, midwives, and nurses, Kayann incorporates the politics and nuances of various birth settings (including homebirth options) in her childbirth courses. Kayann developed Childbirth Now to become a platform for expecting families to understand childbirth aligned with all parties involved.
In addition to providing private Doula support, Kayann serves as an expert consultant, coach, and maternal health instructor for care providers, L&D staff professionals, and the New York City Department of Health Neighborhood Health Action Centers. In her partnership with the Neighborhood Action Centers, Kayann works toward advancing maternal health equity by providing education and support to vulnerable mothers and families.
“Understanding the unique culture and common practices of the birth location is a crucial part of any maternal education initiative. I want my courses to represent the ‘ins and outs’ of the entire childbirth experience – from pregnancy to labor to postpartum happiness.”