11.09.22 7 min read

5 New York-Based Maternity Care Specialists You Need to Know

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Listen up, expecting and new moms!

When you consider your maternity care, you probably just think of your trusted OB/GYN. They help you navigate the right tests, potential complications throughout your pregnancy, and labor and delivery. We couldn’t do it without them!

But picture this: what if you had access to prenatal and postpartum care that treated your whole body throughout your pregnancy journey?

Enter: comprehensive maternity care specialists.

At Zaya, we’re working to establish the new standard of maternity care in the U.S – because the old way just isn’t cutting it. In the following post, we’re highlighting 5 providers trained to treat specific areas of focus related to your mental and physical health throughout pregnancy and postpartum.

The best part? They’re covered by your insurance through Zaya. Keep reading.

Stephanie Fino, DPT – Physical Therapy

I have held a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, since 2014 primarily working in an Acute Care Hospital setting. As a mom of three, I have gone through the perinatal care and have found a terrible lack of focus on the preparation and recovery of the perinatal body. Now, I have an incredible passion for the prenatal and postnatal body and the amazing ways it preps for labor and recovers afterwards.

How can Pelvic Floor Therapy help expecting and new moms?

I truly believe that Physical Therapy should be part of the routine care for mothers as early as the first weeks of pregnancy and days of recovery. As a physical therapist, I provide a virtual service but also have a goal to head start a new program at our local hospitals to offer Physical Therapy consultations to postpartum mothers prior to their discharge home. Prenatal and postnatal Physical Therapy can alleviate aches and pain, shorten labor and pushing times, and reduce postpartum complications like diastasis recti abdominis, urinary incontinence, and mental health challenges.

What is your biggest piece of advice for new moms?

My biggest advice for new moms is that they are worth it. It takes strength, courage, and determination to set time aside to prioritize yourself when there is new life care for, and I will continue to advocate for the proper attention that mothers deserve.

Click here to book an appointment with Stephanie, covered by insurance.

Lindsay Banaszak, IBCLC, RDN – Lactation

I developed a passion for nutrition and lactation after my first pregnancy. Because of this, I knew that I wanted to work with women in relation to pregnancy, postpartum and lactation ever since. So, I changed my career path to receive a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, and furthermore I became a Registered and Certified Dietitian Nutritionist as well as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Throughout my private practice career I have worked with women ranging from teenagers to menopausal with a variety of challenges including gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes, PCOS, hypertension, prenatal and postpartum loss, miscarriages, and substance abuse.

How do you help expecting and new moms both as an RDN and IBCLC?

As a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant, I can help assess each woman’s individual nutritional needs throughout the duration of her pregnancy as well as during lactation. I provide expecting and new moms with the tools they need to provide themselves with the most optimal nutrition throughout their pregnancy and beyond. Having experience as being both pregnant and having breastfed, I can sympathize with women on how hard it can be. Sometimes just having the support of someone who has gone through it as well, may be just what a woman needs, and I am here to offer that support.

What is your biggest piece of advice for expecting and new moms?

My biggest piece of advice for expecting and new moms is to listen to your body. If you are tired – sleep. If you are hungry – eat (healthier options typically, but also remember that everything is ok in moderation). When you are feeling energetic – go for a walk or get some exercise. Take time for yourself. You just created a human being and you are doing your best!

Click here to book an appointment with Lindsay, covered by insurance.

Kristal Pilavas, RDN, CBCES – Nutrition

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Counselor and Education Specialist with my own nutrition counseling private practice in Manhattan, NY. Throughout my career, I have worked with clients with a variety of conditions including gestational diabetes, heart disease, weight management, perinatal nutrition, pediatric nutrition, and more. Additionally, I especially enjoy working in the perinatal setting to help expecting and new mothers reach their nutrition goals.

As a dietitian, how do you help expecting and new moms?

As a mom of a very witty four year old, I can understand how the prenatal and postnatal phase is a time where a mother may feel vulnerable. Morning sickness, food aversions, severe exhaustion, and so much more can plague an expecting mother for months on end. Every expecting and new mother should have access to nutrition services as it is such a critical time. Having guidance in one aspect of your life, like nutrition counseling, can help lift some of that burden.

As a dietitian, I work with my clients to visualize and reach their nutrition goals. During each visit I carefully listen to my clients and remain culturally competent. My clients and I work together to build a set of achievable goals that are specific and customized to their needs and lifestyle. I find it is very important to identify individual needs and tailor them to their goals. It really comes down to the small details that make all the difference. I also promote intuitive eating; this means helping clients make peace with food with a non-diet mentality.

What is your advice for new moms?

We all strive to be the best version of ourselves. That best version starts with our health. What draws me most to the prenatal realm of nutrition is the magnitude of influence a mom can have on health. When a mother or parent starts to make positive nutrition changes or shifts, the entire family unit is usually influenced. We lead by example; what our children and family see is what they will mimic. Therefore, as an expecting and new mother, you hold more power than you may realize. My advice would be to harness that power and let it be the motivation to make positive changes for you and your family to live the life you all deserve.

Click here to book an appointment with Kristal, covered by insurance.

Sonia Martin, LCSW – Mental Health Therapy

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 10 years of experience, specializing in anxiety, depression, addiction, identity, sexuality, workplace stress and PTSD. I believe in a client centered and strengths based approach. Together, we cultivate a safe environment where you feel encouraged to talk through things freely. My goal is to assist in identifying stressors and dismantle negative thought patterns that cause mental, emotional and physical distress. Everyone deserves a space to explore themselves, feel validated, and embrace their immense potential to grow.

What is one thing about postpartum mental health you wish moms knew?

Postpartum mental health is not a linear process and it is a continuum.  Standard postpartum care only lasts 6 weeks (the approximate time it takes the body to regulate the hormone fluctuations).  Because the body is going through such immense change and re-regulation, the true awareness of one’s emotions may not be apparent. Many people experience anxiety throughout the first year, each day is new and challenging and this is completely natural!

What is your advice for new moms?

Be kind to yourself.  This may sound simple and it is easy to blame ourselves for not knowing the ‘right’ or ‘best’ thing.  Your instincts are powerful and your community is essential. Get connected to long term support early on in whatever form makes sense for you. Create space for yourself to breathe and recalibrate, even if it is only 1 minute a day.

Click here to book an appointment with Sonia, covered by insurance.

Kristina Chew Di Sanza – Acupuncture

I am an NYC based acupuncturist committed to helping people reach their highest potential and achieve harmonious balance in mind-body-spirit. While I treat a wide variety of pathologies, I have a particular interest in women’s health, anxiety and depression, gastrointestinal disorders, and facial rejuvenation.

How can acupuncture support pregnancy and postpartum mental and physical health?

Acupuncture is a safe, noninvasive, and effective modality for helping with the normal body changes and stress associated with pregnancy and birth. Also, it can be a safe alternative to medication for a wide range of common symptoms that arise during pregnancy and postpartum. During pregnancy, an influx of hormones can trigger mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Acupuncture is great at balancing and recalibrating hormones, supporting the nervous system, and reducing overall stress.

What is your advice for new and expecting moms?

I was blown away by the book the first forty days – the essential art of nourishing the new mother written by Heng Ou. I definitely recommend this read to new and expecting moms. “The First Forty Days revives the lost art of caring for the mother after birth. As modern mothers are pushed to prematurely “bounce back” after delivering their babies. Often, moms are left alone to face the physical and emotional challenges of this new stage of their lives. The first forty days provide a lifeline – a source of connection, nourishment, and guidance.” – Heng Ou, author of the first forty days: the essential art of nourishing the new mother.

If you’re experiencing symptoms like migraines, postpartum stress and anxiety, abdominal pain, trouble breastfeeding, or difficulty losing the pregnancy weight – visit Zaya to find the right provider for you, covered by your insurance.