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Rachel Hinds : Doula Corps Alumni

posted Sep 24, 2017, 6:53 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Sep 24, 2017, 7:06 PM ]

Clarissa Baxter : Doula Corps Alumni

posted Sep 24, 2017, 6:31 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Sep 24, 2017, 6:40 PM ]

Clarissa was born and raised in the beautiful desert of Tempe, Arizona. She comes from a family of 7 children being the youngest of 4 girls and 1 boy. When her sisters began having children she loved caring for them during their pregnancies and hearing about how their bodies were changing and growing. 

In high school she did some extra college credits and became a certified nurse assistant. After a few college classes she fell in love and got married. Her and her husband have 4 children. After the birth of her 4th child she she decided to go back to school to become a certified labor and birth doula. Shortly after certification in 2017 she applied to midwifery school to fulfill her life-long dream of becoming a certified professional midwife. 

Clarissa studies at Midwives college of Utah and is currently living in Nampa, Idaho. She loves volunteering her time to help women who would otherwise not be able to afford doula care. She believes birth can be beautiful and peaceful with the right knowledge and support team.

Jinny Pagle: Doula Associate

posted Sep 8, 2016, 10:10 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Sep 24, 2017, 7:15 PM ]

Raised in Southern California and now a Bay Area convert, Jinny has worked in birth and postpartum support since 2011. She lives with her husband and two children, 5 and 2, in Richmond, East Bay. Now a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, and Newborn Care Specialist, Jinny loves to help families transition through this precious time of life. In her free time she enjoys hiking and camping with her family, gardening, and raising chickens. Future goals include studying to become a Certified Professional Midwife and a beekeeper.

Jinny is currently on sabbatical from birth doula work and is enjoying some much needed time with her family and working towards her goal of becoming a Certified Professional Midwife.

Alli Mitchell : Intern & Doula-In-Training

posted Jul 27, 2016, 6:37 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Jul 16, 2017, 9:44 PM ]

My name is Alli Mitchell and I am a trained birth and post-partum doula. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, California and participated in DONA and Doulas International training there. Peruvian culture has always been a significant part of my life because my mother was born in Peru. In ancient Peruvian culture, Mama Quilla was the Goddess of the moon and defender of women. For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about providing support to and being an advocate for women. I chose to become a doula because pregnancy, labor, birth, and motherhood span time and culture. These experiences I believe, are the most profound life events that a woman could have.

I am currently a nursing student working towards my ultimate dream of becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife. To share in the experience of birth and to know that I can provide support, comfort, and education is my greatest honor and pleasure.

Latrell Harris, MA : Doula-In-Training

posted Jul 3, 2016, 9:10 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Oct 24, 2016, 5:06 PM ]

Latrell hails from the Bay Area, California. She is currently working towards her Doula Certification and is a Medical Assistant at a local pediatric office where she's has learned many hands on skills for easing pain and muscle tension throughout the cycle of pregnancy and postpartum. Prior to beginning her doula pathway, Latrell was a Certified Nursing Assistant making her a perfect addition to our Whatadoula family as she is both kind and skilled at caring for women when they need it most. Latrell wants to be a midwife and has a 6 year old son of her own; making for a perfect combination of experience and passion to help parents welcome their newborns into the world.

Ana Rapoport, MSN, CNM, WHNP : Director of Doulas & Childbirth Education

posted May 15, 2016, 2:06 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Oct 12, 2016, 9:06 PM ]

Ana Rapoport began practicing as a doula in 2010 after completing her bachelors in Nutrition Science at UC Davis in California. She actively practiced as a doula for three years together with a partner. During this time, she also volunteered as a doula at the San Francisco General Hospital and worked as an educator and contract specialist at the American Red Cross. In 2013 Ana decided to pursue a bachelor’s of nursing degree and moved to New York City to attend Columbia University. Upon completion, she returned to California and accepted a job as a nurse at the American Red Cross and began to work on her master’s degree to become a certified nurse midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner through a program out of Georgetown University. Upon completion of her master’s degree, Ana hopes to work in a hospital as a midwife, continue to be an educator in the field of women’s health, and integrate her passion for yoga and a healthy lifestyle into her work.

We are very proud to announce that Ana has begun working as a midwife at nearby Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek, CA!!!  We look forward to seeing her at future Whatadoula client deliveries catching babies for our families.

Sara Linnarduci : Doula & Student Midwife

posted May 15, 2016, 1:48 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Sep 8, 2016, 10:19 PM ]

In 2010 I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Spanish with a strong conviction that the work I did had to be in service of the world. I worked at nonprofits and NGO’s in conjunction with the United Nations to advance the rights of indigenous women by advocating for complete stewardship of their land so that their wisdom would be acknowledged and codified as the best practices for the earth they knew so well. After working for a year I decided to take a long bike trip and flew from NJ to Seattle, WA and from there, rode my bike to San Diego. Along the way I met midwives, doulas and people involved with the birthing movement and felt like I had found what I was looking for. At the end of my trip I decided to relocate to the Bay Area for it’s robust birthing opportunities. I was trained by Cornerstone Doula Trainings as a labor and postpartum doula and began volunteering my services at San Francisco General Hospital, The 
Teenage Pregnancy Program and The Birth Justice Project. 

I see my work as another venue for women to use their wisdom of the terrain they have tended to their whole lives; their bodies. My doula work is an opportunity for strong interpersonal connections and, within society, as a social justice movement. I approach doula work with a strong focus on anatomy and physiology with a strong reverence for the unknowable, undefinable aspects of the birthing process. I’m so excited to join Whatadoula and provide doula care for women and their families in the Bay Area.

Since leaving Whatadoula, Sara has been immersed in her work as Program Coordinator for the Mothers and Infants Nurturing Together (Mint) Program in San Francisco, CA.  It is a program for federally incarcerated pregnant folks to leave the prison they are in when they are 7 months pregnant and go live in a halfway house through their pregnancy and 3 months postpartum.  I am fully committed to the abolition of the Prison Industrial Complex I have approached this job as a harm reduction to the violence that is inherent to life in prison.  I have honed my skills as a lactation support person and gained tons of expertise with newborn babies via this amazing work.  Through the MINT program I have had the chance to really see what continuity of care has the potential to look like, and I"ve had the honor of being the primary support person for a lot of the folks in the program.  I has been incredible to learn about supporting a new parent to find their intuitive parenting skills, support breastfeeding and other ways of nourishing babies. 

Next move for Sara will be beginning her midwifery career at Maternidad La Luz in El Paso, TX!  We are so very proud of Sara and all her accomplishments.

Vivian Wanjugu Mwangi : Postpartum Doula

posted Nov 21, 2015, 12:15 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Sep 24, 2017, 6:34 PM ]

My name is Vivian Wanjugu Mwangi. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. I am a middle, third born, child in a family of five. Being the middle child, I believe, it has made me diligent, proactive and mindful of others. 

After High school I went to live in Germany and work as an au pair. This was a wonderful experience! I got the chance to travel the world, interact with people from different cultures and an opportunity to work for a family with a new born baby who was only a month old. I worked for the same family, until the baby was 2 years old and this experience grew my love and care for children. I feel it is a privilege to be in the process of molding and shaping and influencing the mind and life of a child. I believe the life of a baby is a big responsibility and being a part of that has become my passion. This passion to see children grow to be all that they were intended to be but also relieve parents of the worry about taking care of their children as they hold a job has motivated me to work with families with younger and younger babies.

I continued working as a nanny in Nairobi after I returned to Kenya in 2005. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with a family starting with their 1 year old baby. As the family grew and had two more children I had a part in helping raise the three children over the 9 years I was with them. The experience taught me endurance and child care skills and I am forever grateful to the family for the experience that I gained during my tenure. Around the same time that my Green card petition was approved by the American Embassy the family relocated because of a work transfer. It was sad to part ways, but fortunately we kept in touch.

After moving to the United States in 2015, I immediately started working with an adorable 6 month old little girl during which time I've had the opportunity to train as a Postpartum Doula with Cornerstone Doulas and become certified in Heart Saver CPR and AED from American Heart Association. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work as a postpartum doula as it will give me the opportunity to help, assist, guide, support, educate and encourage new parents as they get to know their new babies. 

Dani Hummel-Sass : Doula Alumni

posted Nov 19, 2015, 10:50 AM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated May 15, 2016, 1:42 PM ]

riginally from the East Coast, I am a student midwife and doula living in San Francisco’s Richmond District with my partner and our two and a half year old daughter. I took the long and winding road to birth work and midwifery‐‐by way of biology, classical voice performance, interior design and architectural history. Obviously midwifery was my next step, right?

I was awakened to birth work and midwifery when we were pregnant; I realized that women needed more choices at this incredible juncture in their lives. I am studying midwifery at the National Midwifery Institute and have had eight months of apprenticeship with a birth center/home birth practice. During this apprenticeship I participated as midwife's apprentice in home and birth center births and attended hospital births (both vaginal and cesarean section) with the patient to act as representative of the midwife and liaison for the patient. Currently, I decided to focus on my academic requirements for school rather than an apprenticeship, so I continue my course work while I work as a doula with the amazing team at Whatadoula.

I have experience working with teen moms, an underserved and amazingly deserving population that I hope to continue working with throughout my professional career. As a member of the LGBTQ community here in the Bay Area, I also have experience with alternative methods of conception and alternative family constellations. My most firm belief is that families should be able to birth how, where and when they want to and that a doula should support and trust the decisions of the family.

Dani continues to work towards her goal of becoming a midwife while living in Ohio with her wife and their two children.
Image Credit: Rachel Hummel‐Sass

Ilana Pearlman, RN, CNM, WHNP : Director of Doulas & Childbirth Education

posted Nov 3, 2015, 12:00 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Apr 27, 2016, 9:28 PM ]

Ilana grew up on the coast in Half Moon Bay, California and has worked with children and families for over fifteen years.  In 2011 Ilana completed Heart & Hands Midwifery Intensive and Advanced training to gain homebirth midwifery skills, with the hope of incorporating the holistic model of homebirth-midwifery care into hospitals. Ilana is a Registered Nurse and received her Women's Health Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwife credentials from the University of California San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital in 2015. She currently lives in Berkeley with her husband and son. 

Ilana's long-term goals include opening a low-intervention wellness center capable of accommodating modern technology (i.e. anesthesia), providing international midwifery education (with an emphasis in Belize), and working on public policy and legislation surrounding midwives, insurance, and licensure. Ilana also has a passion for working in hospice and palliative care nursing, with a deep appreciation for the the entire life cycle.

Ilana is also the mother of a curious and sweet boy, Ezra. "I labored at home with the support of my family and doula for 20 hours before heading to the hospital where my wonderful provider told me to 'reach down and grab my baby... so I did! Even though my son had to have a small monitor attached to him to check his heart rate while I was pushing, I was still able to deliver him myself, right to my chest... this is a perfect example of a combination of minimal interventions and a woman's wishes being respected. My birth experience was definitely empowering and inspired me to help women have similar experiences with me as a Certified Nurse Midwife, whether they are delivering in the hospital, birth center, or at home."

We are very proud to announce that Ilana has begun working as a midwife at nearby Alta Bates in Berkeley, CA!!!  We look forward to seeing her at future Whatadoula client deliveries catching babies for our families.

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