Hello, and welcome to The Budding Belly! Samantha and Ildi are collaborative partners with over 10 years of combined experience, providing support to birthing people in Westchester County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Bergen County.

Samantha Harris's photograph.

Samantha Harris is a Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Lactation Support Counselor, Registered Yoga Teacher, and digital artist, as well as founder of The Budding Belly, LLC.

Sam is a nurturer by nature. She serves her community as a birth & postpartum doula, certified lactation support counselor, and registered yoga teacher.

Sam was called to birth work after years in the mental health health field counseling individuals and families. Birth work combined her passions for supporting the holistic wellbeing of people, combating systemic injustices, and centering mindful family care. Sam works alongside you, illustrating your options, clarifying your questions, and ensuring that you feel informed and supported during pregnancy, birth, and transitioning into parenthood. Sam values your trust deeply and honors your choices, acknowledging and respecting your own expertise on your body and baby.

She employs a mindful combination of evidence-based techniques, effective comfort measures, and compassionate support to create a positive birth environment. She wants you to embrace your power and instincts during your labor and birth, and be there to support you every step of the way.

Sam is passionate about her role in the postpartum space as well, providing emotional, physical, and informational support to families. Sam cushions the transition from pregnancy to parenthood by helping to take care of you, so that you can be the best version of yourself for your baby and family. She will assist you in navigating through all the advice given in those early days, processing your birth experience, and being there to listen and offer helpful suggestions. She is happy to assist with tasks that improve the flow of the household so you can focus on resting and recovering as much as possible.

When your child is born, you are reborn as a parent as well! Sam is there to guide you through the integration of this new self, ensuring that you have all the support and resources you need along the way. Sam prioritizes teaching you important skills with your newborn and aligning with your parenting goals so you can build your fluency as a new parent. Her goal is to help you emerge into parenthood feeling confident and empowered, armed with knowledge and support at every juncture. She believes fiercely in “embracing the bubble” of early postpartum, being the village you need, and helping you find your own unique rhythm with your baby.

When Sam isn’t holding space for parents or holding babies, she is likely spending time outside, drawing, practicing yoga or cooking something delicious!

Ildi Sebestyén dedicates her services to support others through knowledge, care and compassion. As a birth and postpartum doula and childbirth educator, she supports individuals and families throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. She believes that everyone should receive evidence-based, unbiased information to be able to self-advocate and choose the care they desire for the best possible perinatal experience.

She makes sure that your questions are answered, your concerns are alleviated and your pregnancy and birth are treasured for the rest of your life. No matter if it is your first pregnancy or fourth, she is devoted to making it as beautiful as possible.

Having lived and worked in four different countries around the world, and with fluency in three languages, she has a unique appreciation of cultural and linguistic nuances.

Ildi loves working with infants and their parents. She has two daughters and has lived through those daunting first few weeks of being a new parent. Her own experiences opened her eyes as to how much help is needed and that it “takes a village” to adapt to this new role.

When working with postpartum families Ildi focuses on practical tips and tricks, making sure the transition is as seamless as possible. She is a great listener and helps parents to process the birth experience with both the emotional and mental adjustments needed. As a newborn care and lactation educator, Ildi brings invaluable, evidence-based and real-world-experienced information to new families.

She enjoys cooking and baking and is happy to help with light meal preparation to support the new parents’ well-deserved nutritional needs.

She also has experience working with older children and helping them to adjust to their new role as the older sibling.

She appreciates that parenting is a learnt skill and knows that everyone benefits from support along the way.

Ildi has been working as a doula since 2013. She currently lives in Mamaroneck, NY with her husband and two daughters. She loves hiking, cooking and skiing!


Skills and Training:

Certified Birth Doula – DONA (Orgasmic Birth)

Birth Doula – Carriage House Birth

Certified Lactation Support Counselor – Empire Lactation

BS Psychology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies – University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Nutrition for Perinatal Health – The Educated Birth

The Pelvic Floor: A Workshop for Doulas – Sonia Reiter, OTR/L, Pelvic Floor Therapist

Trauma-Informed Care – The New York Foundling & Intermountain Centers for Human Development

LGBTQ+ Competency and Sensitivity – The New York Foundling & Intermountain Centers for Human Development

Anti-Racist Approaches to Mental Health Care – The New York Foundling & Intermountain Centers for Human Development

200hr RYT – Yoga With Carson 

DONA International approved Birth Doula Training – Mother Love Doulas, New York, NY

Introduction to Childbirth Training – Mother Love Doulas, New York, NY

TENS Unit use in pregnancy and labor Workshop – Big Belly Services, Seattle, WA 

Rebozo use in pregnancy, labor and postpartum Workshop – Big Belly Services, Seattle, WA 

B.R.A.S. (Breastfeeding Resources and Skills for Doulas) Workshop – Big Belly Services, Seattle WA 

Rebozo Workshop – Gena Kirby, Seattle WA

VBAC Facts Workshop – Jen Kamel

Supporting Families in Grief with Carrie Kenner – Big Belly Services, Seattle, WA 

Birth into Breastfeeding: A Breastfeeding Webinar – Jennifer Tow and Special Guests Patrick Houser and
Gena Kirby 

REACHE Conference work-study participant 2014

PALS (Puget Sound Labor Support) Doulas Board member

NW Doula Conference (organizer and participant)

Great Starts Childbirth Educator Training

PALS Advance Doula Training – Heidi Koss: Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder

REACHE Conference

PALS Advance Doula Training – Sharon Muza: Working with VBAC clients

NW Doula Conference (Planning Committee Chair)

Swedish Doula Program doula

REACHE Conference 2015, 2016, and 2017

DONA Conference

NW Doula Conference

Undoing Institutionalize Racism Workshop – The People’s Institute Northwest

NW Doula Conference 2017

Kriston Intimate Exercise for the pelvic floor training

Hypnobirthing Workshop for Doulas

Revivify Infant, Child & Adult CPR

Carolina Abortion Fund Doula Training

Let's build your Birth Vision together!