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.

Janella James

Apprentice Doula

I am a trained labor and birth doula and a paramedic.

My goal is to provide women with a safe and memorable experience during child birth. I’ve always had a passion for women’s health and to have the opportunity to empower them during birth would be a pleasure.

With my job experience, I will bring a level tactical thinking and timely problem solving combined with patience and compassion. I understand that birth is a very raw, intimate, and emotional process and I am ready to help couples through this journey.

Nikita Shahamat

Apprentice Doula

Nikita is a passionate birth and postpartum doula trained with DONA International. She brings her experience in meditation and emotional support to allow a sense of calm and focus to wash over your precious moments. 

Nikita allows parents to be their true selves without judgment and encourages them to speak their mind and hearts when dealing with life changing moments such as pregnancy and birth. Helping families is her passion.

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.

Andrea Rublee

Apprentice Doula

My name is Andrea Rublee and my journey to become a Doula began over 26 years ago. I was asked to be a support in labour and delivery for a friend. At that time I discovered I was 10 weeks pregnant with my first child. This was my first of many experiences of childbirth. Before the birth of my son, I had been able to assist in three other unique births.

All my life I felt a sense of purpose when able to help others, moreso when assisting mother’s during labour and birth. As a mother of four children who has had traumatic delivery experiences, there was a compelling need to understand and accept the fact that I could not deliver my children as envisioned.

In 2016,  my eldest son passed away, three months after the birth of my last child. The loss shattered me for years. After a traumatic lived experience 18 months ago, there was a turning point. I learned there was a reason these experiences happened to me; to once again restore my purpose in helping others. I have chosen to embark on this journey of life and ultimately of love.

Chimaya Brooks

Apprentice Doula

My doula origin story started with my third baby. During this pregnancy, I was in a holistic nutrition course and learning so much about wellness and wellbeing. I felt nurtured and excited about my birth. This being my third child, I felt as though I was prepared enough and actually the labour was not all what I had expected. It was my first unmedicated birth and I felt unsettled and unprepared.

I realized that there should be a care position to assist alongside all the other team members. Someone who can hold space for the new feelings I was experiencing, someone to help me move physically through labour and even help in the early days at home This is when I began looking into what a doula is and it fit perfectly with my vision. I now focus on marrying birthwork with wellness and self care. The best part for me in this role, is reaffirming families in their own decisions around their birth and parenting journey.

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.

Maria Solis

Apprentice Doula

My name is Maria and I am an apprentice Birth Doula with the Birth Doula Program.

I have been trained by DONA International as a Birth Doula and am a Childbirth Educator. I look forward to empowering families in the community to have a positive birth experience.

I am a mother of two living in Toronto and I was born in Uruguay, a tiny country of only 3 million people, located in South America. I speak English, Spanish and French.

I am a birth rights and disability inclusion advocate with a background in communications and public relations.

I look forward to empowering, educating and supporting people through this exciting part of their lives. Remember you are strong, powerful and capable of anything you desire!