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Anna Basoff

The Birthing Dream Team

Holy Name OB/GYN - Anna Basoff

As soon-to-be first-time parents, Anna and Dan Basoff had a lot of questions about what to expect during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Regular appointments with their OB/GYN, Dr. Payal Shah, provided many answers. Touring Holy Name’s BirthPlace did, too. But the couple still wondered if there were other things they should know or ask.

During an infant CPR course at The Nesting Place in Ridgewood, a center for pregnant and postpartum women, the couple learned more about the process that lay ahead. The center’s owner spoke about the need for emotional support for both parents. Anna and Dan realized they had not thought of this or who that might be for them. During their visit they learned about the important role of a doula: to provide both physical and emotional support during the birth process.

“Dan and I are both pharmacists,” said Anna. “We have clinical backgrounds, but we were both misinformed about doula services. We learned additional questions to ask our OB/GYN and got more clarity on when we may each need additional emotional support.”

Doulas also advocate for their patients, share information that may lead to reduced intervention rates and a positive birth experience, and provide postpartum care as well.

Through The Nesting Place, Anna and Dan met Beth, a certified doula. Beth helped them understand what contractions may feel like and reinforced that she’s there to advocate for both parents during the birthing process.

Anna and Dan realized this was the missing piece to their birthing plan and asked Beth to join them on their journey. Dr. Shah was happy to hear it.

“When Anna and Dan shared they were going to have a doula come to the hospital with them, I supported their decision,” said Dr. Shah. “I want all of my patients to be comfortable and the more at ease they are, the smoother the entire birthing process becomes.”

A couple months later, the time had come for Anna to give birth. Once Anna, Dan, and Beth arrived at Holy Name, Anna was induced and labor progressed. Anna credits Beth with providing a comforting presence: Beth provided Anna with breathing techniques and positioning suggestions to help manage pain and make the labor process more comfortable.

A few hours later, however, Anna's labor stopped progressing. Her care team determined that a C-section would be necessary. Beth was able to assuage any fears and concerns both parents had before the operation, and was even in the operating room with them during the procedure. Anna gave birth to a healthy baby boy, and Beth stayed with Anna as her doctor completed the C-section and she moved into recovery.

“As a doula, I’m able to provide continuous support,” said Beth. “When we moved from the labor room to the OR, I was a constant. New clinicians came to help Anna’s OB/GYN, but I was the consistent presence who could provide Anna and Dan with reassurance.”

Anna said she is forever grateful for the positive experience she had: “We chose to deliver at Holy Name for our amazing OB/GYN and the caring nursing staff, but having a doula with us just gave us an additional level of dedicated care – it was the perfect team!”

Learn more about Anna Basoff's obstetrician.