A few months ago, we opened applications on a course that our team has been working on over the last year our first-ever DTI doula teacher training program. Through the program, future-forward doulas, like-minded organizations and birth world thought leaders will have the ability to teach licensed DTI Full Spectrum and Birth and Postpartum stand-alone doula courses, as well as access our curriculum and educators.
As of last week, we officially began training our first cohort of doulas in this program—and today, we are so excited to introduce them to you.
Meet our first-ever cohort of DTI Doula Educators in training.
1.) Valencia Potts-Taylor, CD,LMT
About Valencia: 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 Bs (birth, baby and body) while helping families find their voice. I have two wild souls in which I experienced two high-risk pregnancies with that led to c-sections. I feel that the emotional toll I experienced with my pregnancies allows me to connect and ultimately understand my clients on a deeper level. I thrive on providing the best care educationally, emotionally and physically.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: After entering the birth world, I noticed that not many people in my area knew what a doula was. Being able to guide, educate and inspire my community has been an amazing journey.
Training area: LANSING, IL
2.) Keisha Zackery, MSL
About Keisha: I am Keisha Zackery. My husband and I have two amazing children, Mark and 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 and anxiety disorders. My life’s mission is to serve others.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: As a doula operating solely, I am only able to work with a limited amount of families. However, a group of doulas carrying out this work and providing service allows for a greater impact in the birth world. Ensuring that all families have the support they want and need is what is most important. I want to teach doulas because it is the perfect combination of my passion to help others be successful and to create a birth world that is inclusive and provides support to all families.
Training area: INDIANAPOLIS, IN
3.) Rachel Myers, CBE
About Rachel: My name is Rachel Myers, I am a Doula, Childbirth Educator, Midwives Assistant and now Doula Trainer! I was born and raised in Southern California and my husband and I are raising our kids, dogs, chickens and tortoise here on our small urban farm in Santa Clarita. I am also co-owner of a Childbirth Education Center called, The Birth Co-op. Assisting birthing people and supporting them as birth stories unfold is incredibly powerful work. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to be chosen to do so. Clients become family and other birth workers become the glue you need to stay grounded. It is emotionally and spiritually fulfilling work and I feel blessed to be a doula.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: Helping new doulas create a strong foundation and giving them footing to grow is a total honor. As a birth worker, there is not one single thing that I have done that has been on my own. From friends that you run things by, process births with, count on as backups and can call on a moment’s notice to run the craziest stuff by, you need to find your people. I am excited and honor to be that person for others.
Training area: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
4.) Ana Rodney, CD
About Ana: 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.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: Black birthing mothers deserve access to support that they trust and identify with. Doulas serve as advocates who could potentially save lives in the face of the Black Maternal Health Crisis. I want to teach others doulas the power of sacred space, divine advocacy, and the strength of empowered support.
Training area: BALTIMORE, MD AND WESTERN MARYLAND
5.) Trachell Trice
About Trachell: 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.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: During this journey, I have taught many workshops and classes to women of color. Many of them approach me after events and ask me for doula mentorship. I believe they see themselves in me. Not because of the color of my skin, but because I come from the culture. Black women do not just need people that not only look like them, but they need people who grew up like them in this work. I want to attract those groups of women and let them know that there is a place for us in this space, as well.
Training area: AUSTIN, TX
6.) Cindy Calvano, M.S.Ed, CPDT, CD, BMCE, CBS, LLLL
About Cindy: 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.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: Teaching other birth professionals—it’s one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I love mentoring, and I learn just as much from my students as they learn from me. I want them to feel on fire when they realize that they can do this. They can support birthing folks and their families, and do it ethically, responsibly, sustainably, with an eye toward inclusivity, reproductive justice, love and professionalism. That’s magic. That’s the community I want to be a part of.
Training area: NEW JERSEY
7.) Tiek Johnson
About Tiek: 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.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: Growing up I didn’t see doulas in my community. I want to normalize having physical and emotional support is something that we absolutely deserve and should have not only in birth and postpartum but all aspects of life’s transitions.
Training area: AUSTIN, TX
8.) Francie Webb, CD (DTI)
About Francie: 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.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: I am a doula because I had a doula! Her care changed my whole life. I can’t wait to support more badass humans as they help parents feel more heard and more empowered.
Training Area: NYC AND THE TRISTATE AREA
9.) Amelia Mattocks, MPH, MCHES, CD
About Amelia (she/her): 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.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: Every birthing body deserves doula care, both before and after the birth of their baby. And, most folks in our community can’t pay for a doula, and insurance and Medicaid don’t cover the cost. I want to help train others doulas in my community so that we have more people who are trained in reproductive justice, human rights, and racial equity. The more doulas who are trained using these principles, then the more likely we are to build a birth community that is committed to reaching everyone who needs a doula.
Training Area: GREENSBORO, NC AND SURROUNDING AREAS IN NC
10.) Amanda Reyna, CD, CCBE (DTI)
About Amanda: 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 assistance 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.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: I’ve had many people reach out to talk about becoming a doula, and they train with “cheaper” options and fizzle out because they aren’t provided with the appropriate tools and support, and someone who’s keeping it real for them. I want to be in a community where I can easily refer to another doula without hesitation. And, I believe in the mission that DTI has put forth in the larger birth-worker space. I look forward to supporting others on their learning journeys with DTI.
Training area: SAN ANTONIO, TX AND SOUTH TEXAS
11.) Jasmine Rose
About Jasmine: 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.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: I want to teach other doulas because I believe in this work and the ripple effect that a supported and empowered birth experience can have on the individual and the collective. I believe that my life experiences hold something valuable to share with the doula community. I am honored and so excited to hold space for the growth and learning to come for all of us!
Training Area: EUGENE + PORTLAND, OREGON
12.) Taylor Huntley, Birth Companion, LE
About Taylor: Taylor Huntley is a Black millennial mother, a wife, a birth-worker, 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.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: I want to support and nurture the growth of education around safe and sacred birthing practices because sharing knowledge and evidence based information is empowering. This is my community offering. This work is mandatory.
Training area: AUSTIN, TX
13.) Megan Rowell, LMBT
About Megan: Megan Rowell is a birth doula, massage therapist and mother. She opened her bodywork practice in 2013 in Durham, NC and is committed to creating safe space for her clients as a queer-affirming and identified practitioner. After supporting many massage clients through pregnancy and having a doula as an advocate when her birth plan took some sharp turns, Megan decided to become a birth doula. What she finds most compelling about birth work is the opportunity to witness, hold space for, affirm and support people in this life altering transition. When not working, Megan shares a home with her partner, four year old and too many cats. She takes daily walks, gardens and loves playing Bananagrams.
Why I am becoming a DTI Doula Educator: Much like being a doula, teaching doulas is an opportunity to support others in a moment of learning and transition. Naturally warm and curious, facilitation is a role that I am drawn to. I believe that the people interested in doing birth work are intuitive, compassionate and grounded. Getting to support this kind of person in gaining practical knowledge and skills to become a doula would be an honor.
Training Area: NORTH CAROLINA
Soon, you’ll be able to train with these doulas all over the country! Stay tuned for that announcement.
Want to become a doula?
In case you missed it, we offer trainings, support and a professional community for aspiring doulas and birth workers. You can take online courses with us on childbirth education and reproductive health. You can also certify as Childbirth Educator or a birth, postpartum or full-spectrum doula with us through in-person and virtual trainings. Explore our training calendar here to learn more about what we have coming up and feel free to reach out whenever at firstname.lastname@example.org.