Choices in Childbirth


Board of Directors

Alexandra Hochman, Esq., President is an attorney who worked in Family Court in New York City until 2008. She received her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2001 where she developed a passion for public interest law. Starting with her work as a battered women’s advocate and continuing into child protective law and foster care cases, Alexandra has focused her career on the safety of women and children, most recently working as a Law Clerk for a Family Court Judge who handles child abuse and foster care cases.  Alexandra resides in Connecticut with her husband and three children. Her first son was born in 2005; her daughter was born in 2007 and youngest son born in 2009, the last two born at home. 

Sheila Kamara Hay, Treasurer is a writer, editor, and Ecstatic Birth advocate who is committed to spreading the word that childbirth is not just something to endure, but can be a powerful experience that women can ENJOY. She is the founder of Ecstatic Birth ( an organization that brings together visionaries and revolutionaries in the fields of birth, female health, and sensuality, to empower women and their care providers with information and practices to tap into all the pleasure- mind, body, and soul- available in childbirth. As a mother of three, Sheila has experienced first hand the range of birth experiences from the traumatic to the ecstatic and has advised and inspired countless women in the creation/ reclamation of their births. Sheila has been working firsthand with leading women in the fields of birth and pleasure, including Dr. Christiane Northrup, and Regena Thomashauer of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. She has an MA in Cultural Sociology from Columbia University and a BA from Yale. She lives in NYC with her husband and three children.

Catherine Stewart-Lindley, Secretary is a DONA Certified Doula, Certified Health Coach, Certified Lactation Counselor, and has sat on the board of CEA/MNY (Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York). Catherine has been working with families and assisting births for almost twenty years as a labor support doula, childbirth educator, lactation counselor, birth photographer and founder of Labor of Love Childbirth Services. Additionally Catherine counsels families during and also well beyond the perinatal period. She has been referred to as a “birth whisperer,” “holistic encyclopedia” and “good angel of birth” not just by clients but by other birth practitioners like Family Practitioners, Midwives and OBs. She is the mother of a precious daughter and lives in New York City.

Dana Huber has spent her career working to elevate women’s health on state, national and global agendas.  As a Senior Associate at Rabin Martin (a public health consulting firm), she currently collaborates with clients and partners to develop comprehensive programs to improve maternal health in the U.S. Before joining Rabin Martin, Dana supported the Gender, HIV/AIDS and Security program at the Social Science Research Council, where her work focused on the relationships between gender-based violence, health and human security.  Dana is a community outreach volunteer for the American Italian Cancer Foundation’s Mobile No-Cost Mammogram Program, a member of the Planned Parenthood of New York City Action Fund Activist Council’s Sex Ed Advocacy group and a CoreAlign Generative Fellow. Dana has a BA in International Development Studies and Political Science from UCLA, an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago and an MPH in Healthy Policy and Management from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Samantha Hillstrom is a DONA International birth doula, childbirth educator (CEA/MNY), and the Director of Communications for a department within a New York City medical school. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York and is the founder of Lavender Labor and Birth Services. Samantha moved from TV production to reproduction when she decided to leave her career as an Associate Producer and Audience Producer at CNN to pursue her lifelong interest in childbirth. She is an active doula and teaches evidence-based, family-centered, cooperative childbirth education in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Samantha also started the only LGBTQ-specific childbirth education class aimed at providing a supportive and positive space for LGBTQ parents-to-be. Samantha graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Cum Laude.

Ricki Lake, Honorary Board Member added to her award winning work as iconic actress in her teens (Hairspray, Cry-Baby for John Waters), Emmy Award winning television host/producer, feature film and indie movie star, with her highly praised 2008 feature film documentary, The Business of Being Born.  As an outspoken advocate of home birth since the birth of her second son, Owen, Ricki developed, financed and appeared in The Business of Being Born with partner filmmaker Abby Epstein.  With unanimous praise from all quarters, including The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, The Business of Being Born has inspired a groundswell of interest in the topic nationally and internationally.  Her book based on the The Business of Being Born entitled Your Best Birth will be published in Spring 2009.  Additionally, Ricki’s advocacy in health, fitness and wellness has led to her tackling the area of childhood obesity and she is currently developing a multi-media project that deals with this topic.  Ricki and her two sons live in Los Angeles, California.


Tiffany and Fiona, moments old © Mary Catherine Hamelin