After graduating with a degree in journalism and nearly 10 years in the corporate world, the birth of two babies fueled Jenny’s desire to pursue her own small business as a childbirth educator. In 2012 she founded her company Expecting the Best. Not long after, the path to being a doula became evident and DTI was a clear choice for training.
The importance of compassionate care for all birthing people drives Jenny’s passion to spread the word about DTI’s unique training model, especially within the DC area. In 2020 she co-founded the group practice Hello Tapestry along with a fellow DTI doula, offering doula services across the reproductive health spectrum.
She lives in northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, son, their American foxhound, Birdie, a lovely flock of hens and 7 goats!
Jessica is a LA-based midwife, doula, and childbirth educator. She began her journey as a birth worker in 2012. Her studies in biology and anthropology ignited an awe of the vastness, resilience, and adaptability of humankind, at the micro and macro level. The trainings, her mentors, and ultimately, her first birth as a doula honed her interest in reproductive justice through childbirth education and holistic practices.
Since relocating from North Carolina to California in 2014, her work has evolved. While still focusing on providing evidence-based information for people to make their own informed decisions; she has also been working to bring awareness and aid to health disparities among African-Americans and other marginalized communities. She hopes that her presence in the birth world as a black midwife and doula bridges gaps in maternity care.
Outside of birth work, Jessica spends a lot of time eating, having game nights with friends, and plotting her next adventure!
Julia Underwood lives in southern California with her husband, two children, and dogs. She began birth work in 2012 as a birth doula and childbirth educator. Throughout her career, Julia has witnessed many types of births. As a doula the majority of births she supported were in the hospital, where even a "good" hospital birth could feel absent of the spiritual aspect that should be present when a new human is welcomed into a family. This fueled her desire to provide holistic care for families by pursuing the path of midwifery. Julia began attending Midwives College of Utah in 2018 and plans to complete the program in 2022.
Julia is passionate about bringing awareness to birth disparities for Black birthing people who, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), are nearly four times more likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year postpartum than their White counterparts. Julia’s goal is to provide respectable and compassionate care for Black and marginalized communities in order to close the health gap.
For fun, Julia enjoys working out, playing at the beach, exploring different foods, outdoor festivals, concerts, and travel. Quality time with her family is her first priority.
Malika has been a birth worker since 2008. She spent several years working with the Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support (PALS), providing childbirth education and support to women with limited financial resources. Malika moved to the DC metro Area, in 2011 and began working as The DC Doula. Through her company, she continues to support families in need and to provide evidence based education and resources to her community. With the help of an amazing doula and her husband, Malika peacefully navigated 50 hours of active labor that resulted in the birth of a fantastic little boy. In her spare time, Malika enjoys practicing yoga, studying herbalism, and learning about natural healing. In her other career, Malika obtained Masters degrees in Social Work and Education from Columbia University and Baruch College in New York City.
Ash Spivak is an internationally certified birth doula and co-founder of allbodies, a digital platform for modern health education + support. Her book on birth, Why Did Noone Tell Me This?! will be released by Hachette/Running Press in April 2020.
Previously Ash worked as a consultant for Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein's renowned BOBB Films, which put out The Business of Being Born.
Ash views the birth process as a powerful framework for just about everything- life transitions, the creative process, healing and integrating past trauma- and believes it has the potential to initiate incredible growth when pregnant people have the support they need throughout.
It is her great honor to help "doula" new doulas!
Gem Kocher, CD (DTI) is a non-binary, autistic full spectrum doula. Birth work called them shortly after graduating from Brown University in 2014, and they’ve since accompanied hundreds of families through their pregnancy, birth, postpartum, loss, and gender transition journeys.
Gem’s mission as a doula is to create meaningful change in people’s lives through inclusion, information liberation, and grassroots care work. They are on Earth to hold space for a more radical, more just, more healed world to be born. Gem is fluent in English & German.
In their free time, Gem loves to spend time with their cat, pole dance, practice yin yoga, sing & write songs, and read voraciously about physiology, reproductive justice and altered states.
Danie Crofoot became a full spectrum doula in 2016. It is their mission to strip away the harmful pretenses that surround and mystify sex, reproduction, pregnancy and beyond. In 2019 they began their journey into childbirth education with a goal to reach families in the earlier stages of their pregnancies to create knowledgable, confident parents who know what they want and how to work with their birth team to get it. While they specialize in queer & trans families, they happily work with pregnant people of all backgrounds.
Ana Temple Rodney is a Doula, yoga instructor, Reiki Master, and Holistic Practitioner that serves as the Founder and Executive Director of MOMCares as well as the CEO of The Rising Mama. Both entities are Black woman focused organizations that are centered on holistic healing and wellness. MOMCares provides high risk doula care and postpartum care to mothers recovering from traumatic birth. The Rising Mama provides body positive holistic care to black and brown families. Ana serves on the Mayor's Women's Commission for Baltimore City and is a PMADS consultant for B'more for Healthy Babies. Ana is the Co-chair of the Reproductive Health Equity Alliance of Maryland and advocates for the Black Maternal Health Crisis throughout Maryland.
Cindy (she/her) feels excited and honored to join DTI as an educator. She holds a BS in Dramatic Arts, an M.S.Ed. in Education, and is the founder of Tree of Life Wellness Services, LLC. Cindy has been warmly serving parents and professionals alike for well over a decade. She is Certified as a Professional Doula Trainer, Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Breastfeeding Specialist and she was one of the first to become an Evidence Based Birth® Instructor in 2015. She has been invited to speak at conferences, and give trainings, workshops, and classes around the country.
Cindy is a La Leche League Leader (LLLL) and the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Department Coordinator for LLL GSAN and on the LLL USA EDI Committee and Social Media Team at the national level. She will be sitting the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant exam in September 2020.
Cindy identifies as a cis, queer, poly woman. She considers herself a geeky steampunk, and enjoys traveling, tinkering, crafting, theater, music, herbalism, camping, and attending various sci-fi and fantasy cons. She loves being a member of the Board of Trustees of Ridge and Valley Charter School, and volunteering as the head of EDI for the Community Organized Gathering of Steampunks (C.O.G.S. Foundation). Most of all, Cindy loves her family and enjoys spending time with her partner and their six children.
Amanda is a co-owner and the managing partner of Journey to Motherhood, LLC, a birth and postpartum doula collaborative in San Antonio, Texas. Her work includes providing evidence-based support for birthing people, including full-spectrum reproductive support, childbirth preparation and education, labor and postpartum care, and placenta encapsulation services.
In addition to being a birth worker, Amanda serves on the board of directors for The Lilith Fund, serving the central and southern regions of Texas with direct financial assitance for abortions. Advocating for all aspects of reproductive autonomy has been at the root of her work since before becoming a doula and a parent.
Outside of these roles, Amanda spends time with her family exploring the great outdoors, studying herbalism, relearning the guitar, and reading so many books.
Greetings, all. I am Keisha Zackery. My husband & I have two amazing children, Mark & Mya. I am the proud owner of It Takes a Village Family Support Services created out of my passion to provide support (village) to families during monumental times in their lives based on their vision for their families. I am in total awe of the human experience and capabilities of the body, spirit, and mind. I am a DTI doula trainee. I have completed trainings to assist in providing service surrounding perinatal mood & anxiety disorders. My life’s mission is to serve others.
Francie is a doula, author, teacher, and lactation educator based in NYC. She was called to birth work after her two transformative births. She is the author of Go Milk Yourself: You Have Power. Express It! In addition to supporting parents through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, she teaches hand expression to lactating parents all over the world.
After becoming a massage therapist I felt like still something was missing from my career life - until I became a doula! I love combining and talking about the triple B’s (birth, baby,body) while helping families find their voice. I have two wild souls in which I experienced two high risk pregnancy with that lead to c-sections. I feel that the emotional toll I experienced with my pregnancy allow me to connect and ultimately understand my clients on a deeper level. I thrive on providing the best care educationally, emotionally, and physically.
Taylor Huntley is a Black millennial mother, a wife, a birthworker, a childcare advocate and a community herbalist. By day, she serves pregnant of color at a local nonprofit and by night she is the creative founder of Mama Mangos Care, a platform that supports wellness and ancestral spiritual practices. Her lifework centers around supporting families of color, holistically.
Jasmine is a multi-passioned doula, birth worker and writer. She lives with her family in Oregon where you can find her exploring local coffee shops, chasing waterfalls and meandering through the farmers markets.
Tiek Johnson is a black womxn, a daughter, a mother, a birth worker, and an aspiring IBCLC. She believes that we can solve 90% of the world’s problems if we uplift the Earth and the marginalized folxs on it. Tiek works at Mama Sana Vibrant Woman as the Director of Operations, where she focus on creating a sustainable infrastructure for the organization. One of her core values is uplifting the people around her so that they can feel loved, supported and valued.
I live in Greensboro, NC, and I serve my community and the surrounding areas as a birth and postpartum doula, and a childbirth educator. I have a Masters degree in Public Health Education, and I am a Master Certified Health Education Specialist. After working in various health education settings, including worksite wellness, SNAP-Ed, Community Health Education, and Sex Education, in 2019 I returned to my passion of child and maternal health. Currently, I am also an adjunct instructor at UNC-Greensboro, and I am in the midst of starting the very first state-wide professional doula organization. This new non-profit organization will encompass the pillars of social justice and racial equity to support all doulas and birthing bodies in North Carolina.
My overall journey is to nourish women as a whole mentally and physically. Birth work aligns with that journey because it is the moment that a woman is most vulnerable. As a natural protector, I am there for her when she needs support and to process any and everything. As a yoga teacher, I create safe spaces for her to release blockages and to connect with her baby. As a doula, I am there to mother her when she returns to her childlike innocence. My ultimate goal is to help more black women cultivate and restore their feminine energy because we have never been allowed to bask in it like other cultures.