Meet Our Team

Stefanie Antunes

Program Founder/Experienced Doula

After the dramatic difference between my first and second birth, I realized just how important our child’s birth is in our lives. Like a wedding, it’s a day worthy of celebration, enjoyment, time/resource investment and lots of preparation.

When I launched this program it was because I wanted every person who wants a doula to have access to one, regardless of her financial situation. I am excited to be a part of this innovative approach to a timeless tradition: providing support to the labouring person through physical and emotional comfort measures. Each birth is unique, and each family deserves to be served in their own special way, a way that is unique to their needs. 

Helena McMann

Mentor/Experienced Doula

Co-Director and mentor of the Birth Doula Program since 2013, I began my Doula career by training and certifying with DONA International. Since then I have certified as Lamaze Childbirth Educator, added Henna Belly Blessings and Mentorship to my resume, along with various birth related workshops and courses to be my best for the families I support. It has been an honour, these past years to have been a part of hundreds of families birth stories, I am always humbled that you have trusted and welcomed me into your most impactful and vulnerable time. Most recently I was a surrogate and that experience will forever have a special place in my heart.

Andrea Paul

Team Leader/Experienced Doula

Andrea has been a practicing doula for nearly a decade and is very passionate about helping families. She creates a calm atmosphere and helps families to navigate their new family dynamic. She loves the variety that birth support offers and how unique each person’s experiences are. Whatever your birth preferences are, Andrea looks forward to supporting your choices. Andrea started her career as a birth doula when she saw a gap in support. As her love for supporting families grew she became a postpartum doula to help families manage and grow their confidence with their new baby(ies). She then became an infant sleep coach, lactation educator, and childbirth educator to continue different aspects of support. Helping families reach their goals is incredibly rewarding.

Jennifer Rogers

Experienced Doula

I am a birth doula, childbirth educator as well as the owner of FITMOM Durham a business that specializes in prenatal & postpartum fitness classes across Durham Region.

I began my career as a Childbirth Educator shortly following the birth of my first son. This decision was the start of what would become a fulfilling passion and purpose. Becoming a parent for the first time, or the fifth time, is an exciting and emotional journey and I am truly honoured when I am invited to accompany a family on their path.

When I think about my role as a Birth Doula I am often compare my role to the symbol of a lighthouse: a strong structure that helps guide you when navigating challenging waters; a beacon of light to remind you of your inner strength and the stability to support you physically and emotionally. I am so excited to be a part of the Birth Doula Program and I look forward to working with you as you prepare to welcome the newest addition to your family!

Nadine Ross

Experienced Doula

My mother introduced me to the beautiful physiology of birth from a very young age, and I have been drawn to it ever since.

My passion for birth was truly ignited with the birth of my third daughter in 2007. After experiencing a negative birth with my second daughter, once I became pregnant again I felt I needed to take control of my experience. I wanted to learn and educate myself as much as I could so I could confidently make the right decisions for me and my baby. I went on to have an amazing and empowering home birth. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to educate women about birth, and help them gain the knowledge and choose the right team to support their wishes and decisions.

“Sometimes you don’t know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” Dr. Seuss

Claire Anne Gallagher

Experienced Doula

I am mother to two amazing, genuine and sensitive grown children, who are parents to my six beautiful growing grandchildren.

Forever, passionate about Birth, my adult life began with a big move to Alberta at the age of seventeen and became a ranch owner. Managing the breeding farm myself, I witnessed the animals’ births and their behavior and calmness in birth. I envisioned the same for myself. Although my birth was a longer process, the serenity and calmness prevailed and my daughter made her entrance earth side naturally, I was elated and filled with an indescribable energy and motherly love and thus my Motherhood journey began.

Now as a Doula I am able to support families looking to make informed birth choices about their own pregnancy and birth.

I am confident, caring, calm, with a very centered heart. I am fascinated with reading and studying anything related to birth and postpartum, and sharing all this with my clients and other doulas too. .

Marcia Horbacio

Experienced Doula

Marcia is a mother of four, grandmother of four and has been a Postpartum doula for 12 years. She is also a Certified Birth doula, a Childbirth Educator and a Certified Sleep Consultant. Her first field of work and study was Business and Adminstration and she now has been studying Psychology and should be graduating in 2022. Marcia holds certifications in Infant Mental Health, The Happiest Baby on the Block, and Child Development and Care.

Marcia has a passion for young families and her mission is to educate and support families in an non-judgmental way. During birth Marcia believes her role is to be by the birthing parent’s side offering comforting touch, comforting silence when needed, and to show a genuine desire to be present with that person.

Tia Cisneros

Experienced Doula

When I had my first daughter I experienced precipitous labor. Although I was listening to my body and knew I was in labor nobody believed me and I was sent home multiple times. It was a very frustrating situation and although my daughter was born healthy, I was left with memories that replayed several times after due to the fast labor and delivery. When I found out I was pregnant with my second I knew I needed more support. I had an amazing experience under the care of my midwives and during my pregnancy, dove into learning as much as I could about coping with precipitous labor knowing I would likely experience it again. Surely it was the case and thankfully it was a more enjoyable memory the second time around.

My experiences made me want to help others ensure they have a positive birthing experience and have that person there for them when things are not your average textbook labor.

Jennifer Lindsay

Apprentice Doula

Sharing my love and passion for all things pregnancy, labour, birth and early motherhood ignites my heart and soul. The births of my two children were so different and beautiful in their own way and taught me that the support of a doula is vital in assisting a birthing person and their support team to feel confident, empowered, and ready to navigate the journey that is childbirth. I like to combine my experience in yoga movement and my background in education to create an experience that is peaceful, builds strength and readiness in mind and body and is rooted in knowledge, understanding and compassion. I firmly believe a birthing person should feel confident, knowledgeable, and supported each step of the way. 

I am a wife and mother to a lovely group of humans and together we like to go camping, hiking, watch movies, sing songs, play games and be silly. Our favourite season is Fall and we are known to frequent apple orchards and bake crisps and pies to excess. 

Jenny Blair

Apprentice Doula

My doula journey began after the birth of my second daughter. After a less than desirable birth experience the first time around, I knew something had to change when I was expecting again. Even though my second daughter’s birth wasn’t completely what I envisioned, the support from my doula was exactly what I needed. Her unwavering support and ability to truly see me changed my perception of birth forever. I knew that I needed to provide others the same compassionate, kind and non-judgemental support that I myself had received. I believe that each individual deserves the opportunity to feel empowered, no matter how they choose to birth.

Six weeks after my daughter’s birth, I became a doula. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Birth Doula Program (the same program that inspired me to join the world of birth work). When I’m not at home with my two children, I’m busy running my photography business either working with families or photographing weddings. I adore family time and enjoy being outside, reading, gardening and doing puzzles with my oldest.

Sarah McKee

Apprentice Doula

I’m Sarah, a DONA trained Birth and Postpartum Doula providing inclusive, non-judgmental care to families in Durham region and the GTA.

My practice is rooted in reproductive justice, anti-racism and anti-oppression. I value diversity and I adore getting to know birthing people and their families, listening deeply to what is most important to you, helping you make informed decisions and supporting your choices without judgment. I believe that the care and guidance we receive when pregnant and birthing should extend to the postpartum period, and that doulas are an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to creating that “village” support our ancestors had long ago.

My pastimes include hiking in the woods with my dog, spending time with my family and friends, making up ridiculous games for my 3 year old, and taking the occasional nap!

Jamie DeFoe

Apprentice Doula

Jamie Lynn Defoe has always had a strong passion for helping others. She graduated from Seneca College with a Social Service Worker diploma and is almost complete her Doula Canada certification as a Labour and Birth Doula. Jamie is a mom to a happy house full of kids/teens and loves every minute!
Jamie wishes to see that her clients fulfill a birth experience which they can feel great about, whatever that looks like for them. She stands by with a calming, supportive hand and voice to walk each person through anxiety or worry and feel empowered and confident in their own choices and decisions. She is honoured to be a part of your journey and takes great pride in being a diligent doula.

Kim Neilson

Apprentice Doula

You matter. Having experienced 3 very different births, it has been striking to me to learn how often the birthing person can be forgotten in the birth process with the focus being on the birthing person’s body. After two cesareans, I decided to do things differently with my third. I surrounded myself with supportive caregivers, who cared about my baby, my pregnant body, AND me as a person. They listened to me, guided me, and comforted me emotionally and physically. I conducted an immense amount of research that supported my birth preferences so that I was able to make decisions with informed consent. In the end, I had a successful, powerful, and healing vaginal birth after two cesareans. In that moment the doula in me was also born.

I want all birthing people to know and feel that they matter through their entire journey. I see no better way to do this than be being a labour doula. I am there for you because you matter.

Kylie Davies

Apprentice Doula

My name is Kylie and I’m a mother of 3. I have always worked in health care from being a nurse’s aide in a U.K hospital to nursing homes for the elderly. My passion has always been for childbirth and supporting those in labour. Having completed my birth doula training through DONA I have all the tools to help support you through a positive birth experience and beyond.

When I’m not running around with my kids, I enjoy hikes on local trails and reading. I also have an abundance of energy that I like to expel by doing aerobics classes either at home or the gym.

Jaiah Howe

Apprentice Doula

My name is Jaiah pronounced J-yuh! I’m an Afro-Indigenous ocean baby. I spend a lot of time hiking through conservation areas and talking to trees, streams, rivers, and natural wonders. I have Scorpio rising, Aries sun & Pisces moon.

I am a sociology major allowing me to create & hold space for black, indigenous, and other POC across the diaspora to heal from the intersections of and beyond systemic, institutional, sexual, generational and karmic cycles & abuse. 

I’m most passionate about being a traditional birthworker/full spectrum doula focused on holistic health & well being, because I believe we need to see ourselves in EVERY room. I am committed to bringing back ancestral knowledge and making birth spiritual again. As a certified master life coach, I help people journey back to themselves and work to support reproductive and human rights.  

Thivya Sivakolundu

Apprentice Doula

My name is Thivya Sivakolundu. I am a new participant in the doula journey and am very passionate and excited about what’s to come. I am currently in my undergraduate degree in biology – health sciences and have been a certified lifeguard and Emergency First Aid instructor for the past 3 years. Taking charge during emergencies and communicating with people of all ages and ethnicity has been a constant practice and an amazing skill that I have acquired with my experiences.

In my free time, I enjoy exploring new interests, taekwondo and bharathanatyam (classical dance), meditating, and running.

As a doula, I have enjoyed and learned hands-on training in childbirth and the care of the birthing person. I am always taking the initiative to be the best version of myself and hope to be apart of your amazing birth stories! 

Sarah Leitch

Apprentice Doula

After experiencing my nephews’ birth and caring for him as an infant, it was then when I learned the true value of a strong support system. I wanted to educate myself about all things baby so I could support my family and friends in their transition to parenthood.

Time passed and, after the birth of my second daughter, I officially started on my journey to become a doula. I completed my training with Bebo Mia and have been continuing my education through self-studies of calm birth methods.

When I’m not listening to podcasts and audio books about birth/babies, I love hanging out with my 2 little girls and my husband. We love going for nature walks, having dance parties in the living room, and getting creative with arts and crafts.

My goal is to instill confidence and the feeling of comfort and safety for a seamless transition into parenthood.

Sarah MacIsaac

Apprentice Doula

Coming soon!

Sarah Rioux

Apprentice Doula

I have a strong passion for helping those around me so that they can feel as though there is always someone to turn to without a feeling of judgement. 

They say, “It takes a village…” and I don’t believe that only starts once the child is born. I think through hearty conversations, laughs, and tears, we set the foundation for the rest of our and our children’s lives. As someone who became a Mom at a young age, it was abundantly apparent how fundamental personalized support is and it is my mission to provide that kind of love and support that I was fortunate enough to receive through some of the programs I existed in. 

It is my goal is to take the burdens from my client and watch them drop their shoulders and take a deep, relaxing breath when I enter the room. I am honoured to have the opportunity to listen and learn from each person, as well as to be able to be the one that gives them the power to stand behind their choices and create a memory that they will hold forever! 

Shawn Starr

Apprentice Doula

My name is Shawn and I have a passion for birth and parenthood.

My life has always pulled me towards careers where my positive attitude and endless energy have served me and my surroundings. My experience with working with kids has taught me that there is no problem too small or worry too big that can’t be solved with some perseverance and the right people to support us.

I am passionate about helping find solutions and information that educates and makes people feel empowered. This calling is was lead me to birth doula work.

My dream is that every person can feel empowered to be the parent they want to be.

Zainab Ismath

Apprentice Doula

I have always been drawn to caregiving roles and feels honoured to be a part of the journey of someone’s transitioning into the next stages of life. After many years of experience supporting those in the hospice palliative state, I grew into exploring the transformative times of parenthood. Funny enough, these two very different life stages are more similar than one would think.

I obtained birth and postpartum doula training through DONA International. I keep up with my First Aid and CPR certification, and am constantly taking additional training in support.

If I am not volunteering in the community, I am writing handwritten letters to be mailed to her loved ones, going on long walks in nature, or trying out a new recipe.

“You can’t pour from an empty cup” – Unknown