“I went to Keya’s prenatal yoga class every weekend from about 22 weeks until I gave birth. It was a fantastic way to give myself some time to focus on myself and my baby, keep my body healthy, prepare for the birth and, a bonus, meet other soon to be moms. Keya is a fantastic teacher, has the most amazing energy and is wonderfully inclusive. I felt really lucky to have found her – her class made my pregnancy so enjoyable and I actually went to her Baby and Me Yoga class the second I was cleared by the doctor. My husband and I also attended her birthing Partners At Om PLAYSHOP, which was a few hours of breathing, stretching, massage techniques for both of us to use during the labor process. We both found it really fun, and incredibly helpful. No one can prepare you for birth, but we used the techniques and it allowed us to stay calm, centered and focused during what could be a very stressful time. Can’t say enough positive things about Keya and her class, and I am excited to see her every week during my next pregnancy.”
“I first met Keya at prenatal yoga class. Keya’s class became a place I felt special as an expectant mom by being surrounded by other pregnant women with Keya helping us find our breath and our strength. I loved Keya’s calming presence and loving spirit. After one of her classes she offered a two session birthing prep class for couples. I signed up. The class was great and made us want Keya’s support even more. I began to realize and visualize what a doula was and I knew that while I wanted to give birth in a hospital and was open to an epidural and intervention, I also knew having a calming, encouraging presence like Keya would help my birth experience and boy was I right! I’m glad I trusted my initial instinct because pregnancy is so unknown and you wonder if you will end up with a c-section. But I learned that you have to trust your instincts and your body. Thanks to a wonderful doctor, nurse and Keya I was able to have a birth experience I am proud of. I did get to the hospital only 1 cm dilated so there was some tension, stress and anxiety and five options to get my labor started. But once it was started and once Keya arrived her energy changed the mood in the room and my husband and I were able to trust we would see our daughter soon and I feel I was able to get her out much quicker thanks to this confidence. Everything Keya did was a warm and welcoming pleasant surprise that relaxed me and allowed me to labor easily. I could tell even the baby was moving and understanding and trusting.
I am filled with gratitude to Keya for supporting me and my husband and my baby girl through her delivery. I would not hesitate to recommend her, Keya Nkonoki is worth her weight in gold.”
“Keya is simply magical. I’ve taken her yoga class and was so impressed by her presence and her knowledge of the pregnant body that I asked her to be my doula. Keya was always very professional – always quick to respond with all the information that we needed. Our pre birth meetings were super helpful and Keya was full of resources. Not only did she give us a list of things to consider but she hyperlinked everything to Amazon so that it was easy for us to get anything that would be helpful. In addition – she gave us some simple resources to read and give us more information if we needed it. During the birth we had to change gears several times and at each stage she helped me and my husband adjust and refocus. Keya served as a calm and steady presence through what was a very long and difficult birth. When it was time to deliver she helped me understand all that was going on around me and gave me full support. She also came by postpartum and gave me much needed advice on breastfeeding and a range of other things. Working with Keya was one of the best decisions my husband and I made – she is exactly the kind of person you want standing by your side as your little one makes their way into the world!”
“Keya Merah Nkonoki is the most knowledgeable, loving pregnancy and postpartum yoga teacher I’ve encountered. Being a mother two times over, her instincts with pregnancy yoga are incredible. As a result of my yoga practice with Keya during my pregnancy, my baby’s natural birth was quick, smooth and without complications. I highly recommend Keya Merah Nkonoki!”
“Keya is excellent at providing detailed explanations about what to expect during pregnancy, labor, and after labor. It was so refreshing to have her as my doula because she obviously tailors services based on each family’s needs. Not to mention I found her yoga classes to be invaluable as she teaches with such care and wisdom. Keya is very confident, observant, and I feel she reads people well. It also helps that she has two children of her own and was so open to share what has and has not worked for her. During the birth, I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Keya! In fact, I vividly remember one moment when she stepped off to the side and I yelled ‘Keya, where are you!’ lol – labor was intense and there were moments I didn’t think I’d be able to continue. But there she was with that superwoman shirt, breathing and chanting with me, helping me ‘breathe my baby down’ and helping me understand I could do it. I remember another moment when we all first arrived at the birth center. I was sitting in the car waiting for a contraction to pass. Keya came up and greeted me in such a gentle way, it made me feel at ease. As intense as things became, I never felt like she was unsure of what to do. She’s extremely confident, yet humble and I believe that builds trust and confidence in clients. It’s obvious that Keya not only loves what she does but that she’s found her gift. And I thank her for blessing us mamas with that gift! After the birth of our beautiful baby boy, Keya observed my breastfeed latch and provided many helpful tips. I felt pretty clueless days after giving birth, so her follow-up after birth, the visit, the placenta pill delivery, and the phone calls really made me feel good. Each and every visit, phone conversation, and text exchange was so pleasant and enjoyable for me. I always felt comfortable sharing my challenges and happy moments with Keya. I never felt like I was just a ‘client’, but instead a good friend or family member. All of my questions and needs were met and she definitely exceeded my expectations of what I thought a doula would do (i.e., detailed overview of vaccines, actually practicing comfort measures, providing in-depth explanations, providing your amazon registry, recommending classes, following-up). If we decide to have another little one, Keya is my only choice!”
“Thanks to Keya Merah Nkonoki, I have a healthy, happy yoga baby. Now that my son Sage is two years old, his favorite thing right now is going into down-dog (using his head with booty straight up in the air) and arching into backbends with glee! During my 2nd and 3rd trimesters, I took prenatal yoga with Keya after work throughout my pregnancy. I loved how she always brought a different spiritual message to each class, but the same rock centered energy. She even brought us gratitude rocks at one class, and I still have mine that says “free”… As luck (or the universe) would have it, I got to have Keya at my side, helping me with yoga stretches and breathing, all throughout three long days of my Labor! She was assisting my doula. Everyone in my family was so impressed by Keya’s grounded energy and sweet light she brought into our home and my birth process. She let me squeeze her hand, lean into her with each surge (contraction), do lunges in our courtyard – whatever it took to keep things moving and flowing… My beautiful, healthy son Sage and I are eternally grateful. It was a blessing for me to be able to gift Keya with a private Sacred Infant Massage session in her home when her son Jai 3 was just two weeks old. Namaste…”
“I took prenatal yoga with Keya and had her help me after the birth of my baby as a postpartum doula. Keya is a fantastic yoga teacher and is always sharing tips/movements/poses to help during labor. I used a lot of what she talked about during my labor. Keya is also a wonderful postpartum doula. It was great to have her help. I don’t know how I would have made it through those first few weeks without it!”
“I’ll write a more in depth review when I have more time but wanted to say that Keya is absolutely gifted as a doula. She stepped in at the last minute (literally when I was having contractions) when our doula couldn’t make it, and I was thrilled she could come as I’d loved her prenatal yoga classes. She was there for us every step of the way through what turned into a three day labor. She kept us from heading to the hospital way too early with calming pain relief techniques at home, and her calm confidence and nonjudgemental, very supportive nature were so comforting to us and made for a harmonious birth team at the hospital. She had no shortage of solutions for helping me through the pain and her yoga and rebozo techniques were lifesavers. We were so grateful to have her there for us. I strongly recommend her as a doula and prenatal yoga teacher- she’s highly professional and her expertise is balanced with compassion and support. She’s a natural caregiver and helped us avoid a c-section and find inner strength we didn’t know we had.”
“One of the best things about my pregnancy experience was all the yoga and workshops that I did with Keya. I am so thankful for Keya’s support and guidance, and especially for her amazing prenatal yoga classes, which truly prepared my mind and body throughout my pregnancy! My doctors and nurses kept complimenting me and my husband for how calm and prepared we were for managing pain and for pushing. It was so much more peaceful and relaxed than I ever could have imagined because I kept remembering all the advice to breathe and to keep my shoulders and jaw relaxed. Ultimately the contractions were relentless and were back to back, so I did the epidural, but all that pelvic floor work paid off because it took less than an hour to push. Pretty good for a first time mama!I’m also so glad we took the opportunity to arrange a private pregnant Partner At Om PLAYSHOP because it was such a special experience. My husband and I both had so much fun despite it being my husband’s first time ever doing yoga. Keya walked us through so many techniques, but I especially loved the rebozo scarf. We had a fun time practicing exercises we could do together, but the tips for managing early labor helped us tremendously when it came time for the real deal. The breathing exercises got me through some pretty intense contractions! The best part by far was how my husband and I got to connect during the workshop. It got us started on a dialogue about what we need from each other and it truly helped us to be a team during labor. Thank you so much, Keya!”
“Keya is a great doula! Thorough, patient and a good balance between professional and warm, empowering and advisory. She explained things in a rational way and always showed up just a minute or two early. She was a skilled advocate for me at the hospital. She was kind, composed and assertive when making requests and communicating my needs. I appreciated that I could also go to her yoga classes and have a more holistic relationship. After the birth, she visited me bearing lactation cookies and juice. She visited again a couple of weeks later to teach me and my husband infant massage. It was generous and we are grateful to have met her.”
“Question: Can this playshop substitute lamaze class?” — Answer: You definitely want to take a child-birth education class to learn the nuts and bolts of labor, however, many of these classes don’t have time to focus on comfort measures for labor in the way we do in our workshop.