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.

My name is Samantha Harris, known to most as Sam, and birth work is my purpose. I am a Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Lactation Support Counselor, Registered Yoga Teacher, and digital artist, as well as founder of The Budding Belly, LLC.

I was called to birth work after years in the mental health health field, as well as  advocating for social and reproductive justice in both grassroots campaigns and my personal life. Working as a Doula allows me to combine my passions for supporting the wellbeing of people in my community, combatting systemic injustices, and centering mindful family care. I value your trust deeply and honor your choices, acknowledging and respecting your own expertise on your body and baby.

My role in the Birth and Postpartum space is to provide emotional, spiritual, physical, and informational support to families. I make every effort to encourage clients’ educated decision-making, uplift the birthing person and their loved ones, as well as advocate for their birthing choices. In partnership with parents, I help illustrate what they desire for their birth and postpartum experiences – what I refer to as your Birth & Postpartum Vision. This Vision is crafted through a mindful combination of evidence-based techniques, effective comfort measures, and cultural practices to foster a positive birth and postpartum environment for the birther and their entire family.

In addition to birth and postpartum work, I am an experienced child care professional with experience in multiple settings, from private household to therapeutic foster care. I have practiced counseling, provided coaching and training for communication, life, parenting, and organizational skills, and worked with a wide spectrum of clients from various backgrounds. I am fiercely affirming in my practice, and value all of the incredibly unique attributes that make you, you. I hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies, with a work history focused on trauma-informed care and a holistic approach to family wellness. In my free time, I also enjoy practicing and teaching yoga, creating art, cooking delicious foods, and spending time in nature.


My name is Ildi Sebestyén. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, an educator, and dedicated labor support person who believes everyone deserves support during the perinatal phase of their lives. I dedicate my services to support others through knowledge, care and compassion. As a birth doula and childbirth educator, I support individuals and families throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and immediate postpartum.

I believe that everyone should receive evidence-based, non-biased information to be able to self-advocate and chose the care they desire for the best possible perinatal experience.

I will make 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, I am 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, I have a unique appreciation of cultural, linguistic and spiritual nuances.

I am a PALS certified birth doula. I completed my DONA International approved birth doula training in 2013 in New York City.  I was part of one of the first hospital doula programs in the nation, the Swedish Doula Program, in Seattle WA. I currently live in Mamaroneck, NY with my husband and two daughters. I love 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!