What is a Doula?
A doula can be described as a birth companion, birth coach or post-birth supporter. A birth doula provides assistance and education to a woman before and during labor and birth. A postpartum doula supports the parents after the baby is born (some doulas offer both services). While some doulas offer childbirth education and preparation they also help women and their partners write a birth plan/preferences, and advocate for their clients.A doula is focused and committed to the mom and her wishes, she stays with the mom throughout labor and childbirth. Women who have doulas at their birth usually have shorter labors with fewer complications. Research shows women who have doulas at their birth have a smaller chance of having cesarean, Pitocin and other medical interventions. A doula is there to support your wishes without judgment. She doesn’t have an agenda or a plan, she is there to listen to you and support your agenda.
Meet Our Doulas
Click on our Doulas below to learn how each one is special.
- Alesia LawkinDoula
- Ana Maria AyllonDoula
- Andreina SocorroDoula
- Danina AveryDoula
- Dawna InsuaDoula
- Delmar BautaDoula
- Johanna Vega-BarnetDoula & Teacher
- Jennifer RadnayDoula
- Leigh AnnDoula & Teacher
- Lorel HartleyDoula
- Leslie CourtneyDoula & Teacher
- Nechama RubinsteinDoula
- Olga ProskuryakovaDoula
- Renata RosaDoula
My name is Alesia Lawkin and I am currently a cardiac nurse at the University of Miami Hospital. I’ve recently completed my birth and postpartum doula training through DONA International. I see being a doula as a calling, which is exactly how I feel about nursing. I’ve always known I belonged in healthcare and have always felt the way a woman birth has lost its way a long time ago. I would like to bring it back to what it’s meant to be and liberate women from the unnecessary restraints placed on birthing practices.
Hearing the heartbreaking stories of my own mother and my friend’s birthing experience deepens that desire. A woman should feel supported, confident and empowered during her birth, no matter the way she chooses to deliver. I am on a mission to provide as many women as possible with the birthing experience they desire while strengthening their voice along the way.
Ana Maria Ayllon
My name is Ana Maria Ayllon. I am a certified Doula, and the mother of two beautiful daughters, both born at home; they are my pride and joy. I am a very calm and relaxed person who likes to meditate every day, go to the beach and exercise. I have a deep understanding of pregnancy and birth as a profound physical, emotional, and spiritual experience that can have lifelong effects on your relationship with yourself, with your baby and your partner.
My passion for babies and perfection of a pregnant body shines through my work and is also the reason why I decided to become a Doula. I skillfully honor your body’s innate wisdom while advocating for your personal choices and preferences through this journey. I am a certified Reiki therapist and have training in Aromatherapy. I am fluent in English and Spanish.
Hi! I’m Andre. Two years ago, one of my best friends was pregnant with her 1st child. During that unknown path, she had a Doula by her side. To my friend, her doula remind her of me. She told me all about the Doula work and I just fall in love. I decided to become a Doula for a simple reason: to be there for the mom, baby, and partner. Prenatal, Childbirth and Postnatal period can be as emotional and scary as can be, but with love and informational support, everything can flow. I completed the Birth and Postpartum training with Dona International. I’m excited to work with new families.
Being a doula, childbirth educator, and providing breastfeeding support has brought so much fulfillment into my life. My biggest pursuit as a doula is to educate birthing families and also instill the confidence in them to be able to make decisions that fit best with their lifestyle. I decided to become a doula after my own birth and postpartum doula created such a difference in my own process into motherhood, along with my husband’s.
Serving at all types of births– home, birthing center, and hospitals is extremely enjoyable. They are all unique not only to their location but also to their experience. I am always endeavoring in continuing education, as birth evidence changes and evolves quite often. My job as a birth worker allows me to provide the support parents and babies need in order to ease the transition into the wonderful life of parenthood.
For over a decade, Dawna has served the families of the extended Broward County area, as a birth doula. She is an internationally certified Childbirth Educator, Midwife Student/Assistant, Breastfeeding Counselor and a Mother of a college student. Dawna draws upon her knowledge in childbirth, continuing education, and ongoing training to bring forth a positive birth experience. She comes with great experience and hundreds of birth stories to share.
Dawna is familiar and comfortable with the local hospitals, birthing centers, and Midwives that attend home births. Dawna’s beliefs about birth resonate with birth being a rite of passage and not a medical event, even when medicine is involved. Her deepest passion falls with guiding and supporting our community women who are seeking to have a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean birth. Dawna is a US Army veteran. She spends her time serving our country as a field medic in South Korea.
Emotionally, Dawna connects to her clients and their entire team on a level that provides comfort (even in unexpected situations). She is respectful, professional and non-judgmental of the caregiver you have chosen, the decisions you make, and your space. Dawna approaches each journey with the belief that your birth experience will empower you as a mom and also as a woman. Most importantly to Dawna, she fully understands what transitioning from a woman to a mother is all about. She is a mom too.
Pregnancy and birth are a powerful rite of passage – a profound physical, an emotional and spiritual experience that can have lifelong effects on your relationships with yourself, your baby and your partner. This is a vulnerable time and you may have many questions and fears, receiving so much well-meaning, often conflicting advice. As a doula, I act as an expert guide, blending evidence-based practices with traditional holistic techniques to help you navigate your path.
I have extensive experience in supporting your body’s innate wisdom while advocating for your personal choices and preferences. I use my additional training in subjects like integrative nutrition, mindfulness meditation, herbalism, and optimal fetal positioning to help you enjoy a healthier, easier birth. I am a passionate advocate for expanding options for birthing families, especially in underserved communities. To that end, I am involved in various projects, including reproductive rights advocacy, protecting the legal status of midwifery and mentoring doulas-in-training.
As a community educator, I teach on a variety of topics including holistic reproductive wellness, mindful parenting and newborn care, and LGBTQ+ competency for healthcare providers. I received my doula training from DONA International and am a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist through Lactation Education Resources. I hold a degree in Women + Gender Studies and am currently pursuing an education in Midwifery. I am fluent in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
Johanna Vega-Barnett is the Founder and Director of IHS Group (Integrative Health Sciences Group) in Southeast Florida. IHS is a company dedicated to the cultivation of new integrative perspectives that include effective tools for healthier lifestyles, nutrition, and better overall mental health.
Born in Costa Rica, Johanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and has contributed her expertise to community outreach initiatives with health organizations such as UNICEF, Baptist Health, Halifax, Emory and Hanoa (Haitian American Nursing Organization).
She was responsible for the creation of a countywide program for the WHO (World Health Organization), as well as the PAHO (Pan-American Health Organization) by creating health awareness campaigns in Florida.
As a certified Health and Wellness instructor, Johanna holds a second specialization in Vedic Sciences (Ayurveda-Yoga-Vedanta), with certifications in different complementary healthcare modalities obtained in India and USA.
Johanna is an active member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), The Yoga Alliance Organization, Liddle Kidz Foundation, CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association), and NMSS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society).
In addition to offering personalized consultations, treatments and group classes, she also offers services as a motivational speaker in seminars, workshops and retreats related to physical, mental and spiritual health.
Jennifer believes that something powerful and transformative happens in
childbirth. Your birth experience should be your greatest source of pride,
you should be fully empowered and provided with strong, loving support thru
this magical journey.
She has her Bachelor of Childhood Education, Trained with CAPPA as a Labor
Doula and is also trained as a Holistic Doula.
Jennifer is also a Yogi and teaches prenatal yoga as well as Raja a
meditative flow and advanced vinyasa.
It is this connection to the body, mind, and breath that she strives for
everyone to find for themselves and incorporate into not only their
childbirth labor but their lives… because this is only the beginning of
your wonderful journey of parenthood!
For almost 20 years she has been nurturing her own 3 children, who are now
13, 17 & 19 years old. She loves to live a healthy lifestyle and cook for
everyone around her.
She believes in supporting all birth plans and encourages everyone to be
well educated and informed.
Momaste – The mother in me recognizes and honors the mother in you.
Leigh Ann’s first exposure to yoga came at a Gold’s Gym when she was living in Dallas, Texas. She enjoyed the classes but wasn’t deeply drawn to it. She dabbled with classes off and on throughout her travels around the world and eventually found herself taking several classes a week at a Bikram Studio when she moved to South Florida. At the time, she liked the heat and the discipline of the practice and it really helped her feel strong and grounded. She eventually switched to both heated and non-heated Vinyasa classes…loving the opportunity to flow through the poses and connect deeply with the breath. She completed her 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training in June of 2013 and has been teaching ever since. She guides students through practices that are slow-moving, grounding and healing. She focuses on alignment and breath and being at ease in your body. Leigh Ann is always wanting to learn and grow both as a teacher and a person. She has taken numerous workshops and trained under Jason Crandell, Elena Brower, Cyndi Lee, Dharma Mittra, Seane Corn, Rodney Yee, Sadie Nardini, Tara Stiles, and many other well-known yoga teachers. She teaches Chair Yoga at several local libraries on a weekly basis and recently became a Certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher. Leigh Ann is currently working on her Certification as both a Birth and Postpartum Doula and she feels blessed to be a part of the beautiful Yoga Nest community.
My name is Lorel Hartley. I am married and have three children born 2007, 2010, & 2013. My professional career started in 2005 with my BA degree in Finance and Marketing. I stayed in this work 3 years after my first child was born. My interest in birth ignited when I was pregnant with my second baby 2009/2010. I was planning a home birth and became very passionate about pregnancy and the birth process. I was laid off from my job in 2010 which pushed me to consider birth work more seriously. At first, I helped friends, and then became certified as a Birth Doula by Childbirth International in the beginning of 2012 offering my service to the community. In 2013 I was certified through Hypnobabies as a Hypno-Doula, and in 2015 I became certified through Hypnobirthing.
On September 21st, 2010 I opened Nurturing Notions on Etsy. My offering has evolved over the years. I first started offering items like cloth diapers and mama cloth, and now offer a selection of items both hand dyed and constructed by me. Nowadays, I center my work around family obligations. For this reason, I only take on a limited number of birth clients per year. In my extra time outside of that, I focus on my Etsy shop. I mainly try and keep dyed belly binds sizes small – extra large in stock, as well as doll carriers, kitchen towels, midwife slings, and clothing.
Leslie is a Doula and Yoga Instructor. As a doula and is committed to supporting women through their journey. She completed her DONA training and has 20 years of experience as a yoga teacher trainer and instructor. Coaching people with stress, PTSD, pain management, anxiety, and depression. Leslie loves to inspire, educate and help women become empowered and experience their pregnancy and birth in the most informed way. She uses tools such as prenatal yoga, meditation, essential oils, nutritional guidance, and breath techniques to help women find their own strength and the ability to rise to the occasion of birthing.
My name is Nechama Naomi Rubinstein of Divine Births. I am a mother of 4, a wife, a writer, an educator, and a supporter of women. I consider it an honor and a gift to attend women during their pregnancies and births. I believe that education and support (along with plenty of massages, aromatherapy, breath work, guided meditation, good communication, calm, productive positioning etc) are the keys to an empowering birth experience. My goal is to provide my clients with their most divine birth experience.
My name is Olga Proskuryakova. Originally I am from Russia, I know Russian language and culture. In my native country people believe in women`s power to give birth so this is very natural for me. I became a doula, I feel that this is my passion and I am sure this is my mission also. Came through the birth of my son, I received the whole emotional palette! Of course, I was not free of anxiety and fear of this process, so I understand the value of standing by women during their pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period.
Now my experience, my skills in psychology and physiology help me to encourage women in labor, to take care of them and their partners. It is real happiness to be useful, to give my sincere affection! My job is to support women emotionally and physically and of course, to provide the information of any aspects of the pregnancy, birth and newborn care. I am aware of many technics of relaxation, I do the massage as a pain relief, I can tell you about all the processes which are going on during childbirth and help you to deal with unexpected. I work exclusively for woman and support her with every step on her way to the desired birth. I was trained as a doula in a very famous worldwide organization called CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) in the USA . It is very important for me to improve myself in this field, that is why I attended a lot of others trainings and workshops, read many books and articles.
I am a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor and Childbirth Educator as well. My last achievement was a Midwife Assistant. As a doula I do different kinds of birth- home, birth center and hospitals births; experienced in different types of births (vaginal, cesarean, and vaginal after previous C-section) and familiar with many unexpected situations in labor. And I strongly believe that any childbirth can be sacred and beautiful. To find the right doula for you is like to feel a close connection, it is only possible “from heart to heart”.
I am on call 24/7. I want women to be confident, to believe in their power and to get through the birth satisfied and joyful, I am eager to help them and their families in these unforgettable moments, and to be a part of this marvel. I live out every new childbirth with a woman, it is magic! …
It’s my intention to be a warm, supportive presence, as
parents create a birth they will always remember. To witness a new life
coming into the world is amazing to me. When I had the pleasure to be
invited to a friend’s birth, that fascination only grew stronger. I gave
birth to my son naturally, and three years later, I decided to use that
long-held passion for birth to help others.
I believe that a birthing family deserves the loving and caring environment through this process, and
that information and support contribute to achieving that. When I’m not at a
birth, I love learning new things, reading and going to the beach. I was
born in Brazil and speak English, Portuguese, and Spanish. I support
families in all birth settings – home, birth center, or hospital.