Whether you’ve taken a training with DTI or are just now getting started with your doula journey, you may not know some of the core members of our educational team.
Over the years, we’ve worked with a spectrum of educators and facilitators to make our trainings possible, and this year, we’re proud to introduce our founding educators — the five doulas who will be leading all of our coursework and live, online trainings in 2021.
ABOUT JENNY: 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 and began offering Hypnobabies classes. Not long after, the path to being a doula became evident.
Supporting students at their births was an easy fit, but it felt like just the beginning of the story. Shortly after attending her first birth, Jenny discovered Doula Trainings International and pursued their Birth and Postpartum certification. The importance of compassionate care for all birthing people drives Jenny’s passion to spread the word about DTI’s unique training model, not only within her city of D.C. but across the U.S.
She lives in northern Virginia with her husband of 16 years, daughter Avery, son Liam and their American foxhound puppy, Birdie.
WHERE JENNY WILL BE TEACHING IN 2021: Jenny will be leading our online post-partum doula training on February 1 and October 4, as well as our online childbirth educator trainings on April 12, June 7 and December 8.
ABOUT JESSICA: 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!
WHERE JESSICA WILL BE TEACHING IN 2021: Jessica will be leading our online birth doula training on April 5, as well as our online full-spectrum doula trainings on May 3, September 13 and November 8.
ABOUT TAYLOR: Taylor began doula work after the VBAC birth of her second child. She is passionate about supporting families to make autonomous decisions for their birth and postpartum experiences. She believes strongly that doulas need doulas to thrive and is so excited to be working with training and certifying doulas as they begin their journeys into this important work. Taylor is the leader of her local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) chapter and the co-founder of New Mama Project, an online community of support for the postpartum transition.
WHERE TAYLOR WILL BE TEACHING IN 2021: Taylor will be leading an online full-spectrum doula trainings on February 22, as well as an online post-partum doula training on April 26, an online childbirth educator training on July 19 and a digital birth doula training on August 9.
ABOUT ASH: 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!
WHERE ASH WILL BE TEACHING IN 2021: Ash will be teaching online full-spectrum doula trainings on March 22, June 21 and December 6.
ABOUT MALIKA: 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.
WHERE MALIKA WILL BE TEACHING IN 2021: Malika will be leading our online full-spectrum doula trainings on January 25, April 12 and July 19, as well as an online childbirth educator training on September 13 and a digital birth doula training on November 1.