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.

Sarah Leitch

Experienced 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.

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 MacIsaac

Apprentice Doula

Hi! My name is Sarah, and I am a birth and postpartum doula. I have always been passionate about babies, and I have always felt the need and satisfaction of helping people. When I discovered the world of Doula work, I knew immediately that was it for me! Up until my transition to doula work I had worked mainly in the hospitality industry but always knew something was missing. I’m so glad my life’s journey let me into this path.

Growing up with a very large family around me there was always a time when there were new babies and I have always been drawn to supporting them in any way that I possibly could. Now I’m able to support families, just like mine, in a compassionate and non-judgemental way. I enjoy helping families embark on this beautiful journey in their lives and really help them create wonderful memories around it so they can look back and smile.

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. 

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! 

Madeleine Alderson

Apprentice Doula

You’ll feel as though you have an old friend or auntie at your birth with Madeleine’s caring hands with their hands-on approach. Madeleine (they, she) can guide you in breathing techniques to bring ease to your birth as she is yoga alliance certified. Madeleine is DONA trained and has attended a wide spectrum of births over the years, including unmedicated at home, surgical, high risk, multiples and more. She is a queer birth helper who’s spirit name is “Gentle Water Rippling”. Her practice is rooted in radical care and reproductive justice for all folks. She supports birthing folks and families while being grounded in culture, trauma-informed care and a true Auntie approach. They have training with a TENS machine for birth, carries birth year teachings for Ojibwe and Cree nations, and training in how to support people who have experienced sexual trauma. Previously, she worked with children for over 10 years, supporting children and families. Their passions include her homestead where she has bees, chickens, a large garden and her little family of 4. 

 

Kristin Underwood

Apprentice Doula

Birth to me is an experience of beginning a new life cycle; beautiful, challenging, vulnerable, powerful, and courageous. With the opportunity for us to prepare for brave, informed births, I believe that we could eliminate fear and insecurities in our children, ultimately leading to healthier, empowered individuals who have confidence with a strong sense of self throughout the journey of their life.

As a doula I love helping parents feel comfortable, prepared, and empowered throughout all stages of their birth.  Reminding individuals of their true self is a great place where I like to begin; looking at, understanding, and working through fears you may have. I like to integrate my experience and practice of kundalini yoga to show you new ways of healing, relaxing and breathing. My hope is that this will lead you to have a more fulfilling pregnancy experience for you and your newborn baby.

Sat Nam

Johanna Krusinski

Apprentice Doula

I am a mother of two wild, creative, beautiful children.  I am from Brooklyn, New York and took the leap and moved to Canada with my family in May of 2021.  In NYC, I started my doula journey after having amazing doula support for both of my birthing experiences.  Having a doula showed me the many benefits of doula support and sparked my passion for doula work.  

 

I am a DONA-International trained doula based in Toronto.  I bring an open-minded, non-judgemental approach which allows me to help empower each and every birthing person I support.  I strive to reduce fear around birth in a way that is both nurturing and encouraging. 

Tara Mahoney

Apprentice Doula

I like to think of the emotional space in which I meet people as a soft pillow that is continuously fluffed, patted down, and maintained. This is done through open dialogue, questions, tenderness, and good faith. Clients in my care feel well-supported by my intuitive ability to anctipate, confirm, and meet their emotional needs. You will feel confident and relaxed in my care.

I am a certified pre and postnatal yoga teacher and have been teaching pre and postnatal yoga since 2017. I have also been a 200-hr Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor since 2016, and since 2019 I have taught different styles of mindful movement with a focus on mind-body connection. I am passionate about the role of the doula in birth, and I want to help bring that to those who want it.