Meet the birth doulas

Our doulas are all trained and mentored by Birth Kalamazoo's owner, Jessica English. We look for doulas with this sort of magical combination of hands-on skills and the the ability to connect deeply with families. Our doulas come to us with a great foundation, but they also benefit from intensive mentoring, advanced education and dedicated support as they grow in this work. We're all professionals, and we're deeply committed to helping you have a positive, centered birth experience. If there's a doula whose bio calls to you, please ask to connect with her! Otherwise, Jessica and our office coordinator Sarah are great doula matchmakers. Let us know a little about your personality and what you'd like for your birth, and we can get you connected to a doula for an interview.

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JESSICA ENGLISH, OWNER

AdvCD/BDT(DONA), PCD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE
Jessica is the owner and founder of Birth Kalamazoo. She is an advanced certified birth doula, certified postpartum doula, and certified childbirth educator. Jessica has advanced training in using the rebozo during birth, preventing and treating birth trauma, Spinning Babies, VBAC and cesarean prevention, pregnancy and birth after infertility, the use of TENS for pain relief in labor, cultural humility, and health equity. In her sister business, Heart Soul Birth Pros, Jessica trains new doulas for DONA International and new childbirth educators for Lamaze International. She's also a frequent speaker at national conferences and is hired often by hospitals and nursing organizations to train nurses in hands-on labor support skills. As a doula, she loves helping women find strength that they didn't even know they had. When she's not taking care of families or training birth professionals, Jessica is also a hockey mom (x2) and she loves spending time on the water with her husband Keith and their boys. Learn more about Jessica.

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TERESA YOUNGBLOOD, CERTIFIED BIRTH DOULA

CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), CLC, SBD
Teresa's background as a registered nurse and a VBAC mom informs all of her work with families. In addition to her birth work, she is also a certified postpartum doula and especially loves the continuity of care when she can provide both services for families. Teresa has special training in grief and loss and is certified as a Stillbirthday Birth and Bereavement doula. She is also trained to use the rebozo for birth and postpartum. Teresa runs Birth Kalamazoo's VBAC & Cesarean Support group, where women gather quarterly to talk about their cesarean birth experiences and VBAC plans. She also offers breastfeeding support to new families as a Certified Lactation Counselor. Her favorite part of being a doula is seeing a woman become confident in herself as she makes the best choices for herself and her family. When she's not with clients, Teresa stays busy as the mom of five and turning the food her family grows into delicious meals. She has been a birth doula since 2015 and is dual certified as a birth and postpartum doula with DONA International.

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DESIREÉ HORROCKS, BIRTH DOULA

Desireé found her love of birth and breastfeeding after the birth of her first baby in 2011. She has worked as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor through the WIC program and is committed to working to help end the disparities in care for under-served and under-resourced families. She trained as a birth doula in 2018 and as a postpartum doula in 2021. As a Black doula and mother, addressing the Black maternal health crisis is a passion and a calling for her. Desireé is thrilled to support all birthing parents to have the right birth for them, on their terms. When she’s not attending births, Desireé can be found cooking, listening to podcasts, and making forts with her children. She's finishing up the requirements for her certification with DONA International.
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JESSIE REYES, CERTIFIED BIRTH DOULA

CD(DONA)
When Jessie gave birth to her son Forest, she had great support from her mom and her husband. Even so, it felt like someone was missing — someone who knew how to navigate the ins and outs of birth, and who could have helped her achieve her goals. She knows now that the missing ingredient was a doula! At a birth, she especially loves the moments when she can bring calm, quiet energy if things get chaotic. In addition to her role as a birth and postpartum doula, Jessie has worked in nonprofit services for almost a decade. She loves to sing and crochet, as well as gardening, camping and road tripping with her family. Jessie is a certified birth doula with DONA International.

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NICOLE VAMVAKAS, CERTIFIED BIRTH DOULA

CD(DONA), LCCE
Nicole has always been drawn to work that allows her to walk alongside someone and empower them through a significant time in their life. Her experiences as a teacher, a coach, and also as the mom of two all add to her doula skills. She uses careful observation, clear communication and relational intuition in order to provide the right support at the right time. As a doula, Nicole loves witnessing each unique birth story and the ways birth connects to the deepest parts of the birth giver. She teaches Birth Kalamazoo's express childbirth class, a two-Saturday option to help families prepare for birth. Beyond birth work, some of her favorite things are knitting, running, traveling and spending time in nature with her family. Nicole is a certified birth doula with DONA International and a Lamaze certified childbirth educator.

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CHRISTY KINCAID, CERTIFIED BIRTH DOULA

CD(DONA)
Christy found her way to birth work after her own experiences with infertility, adoption, pregnancy and giving birth with a doula. She has a special passion for working with families who have walked similar paths. Every birth is beautiful and unique, and she appreciates how amazing it is to bring a life into the world. Christy trained as birth doula in 2017 and she is now certified with DONA International. She also has a master’s degree in business administration. In addition to her doula work, Christy works at the Air Zoo and enjoys crafting, sewing, and playing outside with her three kids.

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ALISON SEE, CERTIFIED BIRTH DOULA

CD(DONA)
When she was pregnant with her first baby, Alison became captivated by pregnancy and birth. After two wonderful births (one in a birth center and one at home), she wanted to share the skills and knowledge that had helped her on her journeys. In addition to the joy of welcoming new life, Alison also experienced the loss of her mother during her second pregnancy. She's especially dedicated to holding space for others who may be experiencing grief or trauma. She's beyond excited to support all birthing parents, their partners, and families through this transformative moment in life. Alison transitioned into birth work from a career as a lighting designer. She is also a prenatal and postpartum yoga teacher, and she loves sharing yoga techniques with her clients. Alison is also a certified HypnoBirthing instructor and teaches private classes through Birth Kalamazoo. When she's not supporting families, she enjoys spending time on the water and reliving childhood through the eyes of her son and daughter. Alison is a certified birth doula with DONA International and working to finish her postpartum certification as well.
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REBEKAH OLSON, CERTIFIED BIRTH DOULA

CD(DONA)
Rebekah discovered her love of birth at a young age, when she supported her first birth at 18 years old. She went on to a career as a medical assistant, knowing one day she would leave the clinical role and take on a supportive one. Since her doula training with DONA International in 2021, she’s never looked back. Rebekah believes each birth is sacred, and she feels honored to be able to hold space and support people during their journey. She has advanced training in use of the TENS unit for birthing parents. When she’s not doing birth work, Rebekah can be found cooking, gardening and exploring the outdoors with her children. She is a certified birth doula with DONA International.

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IZZY HARPER, CERTIFIED BIRTH DOULA

CD(DONA), PCD(DONA)
Izzy has been fascinated with birth since she was a little girl, but she didn’t find out about doulas until after she had her own babies. She loves supporting clients through the hardest parts of labor, reminding them that they can do it (even when they feel like they can’t) and then seeing the joy and relief when they touch their babies for the first time. Helping people is in her nature, and she has a special heart for serving under-resourced families and parents who have experienced infertility. She is trained to support families in using a TENS unit during labor. Izzy has a degree in the history of science and has worked for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She is also a certified postpartum doula. Outside of birth work, she spends most of her time with her three little ones. She’s a long-distance runner and reports that she’s obsessed with coffee (a helpful obsession for doulas up all night). Izzy is a certified birth doula through DONA International.

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ASHLEY WHITT, BIRTH DOULA

Ashley’s passion for birth began as a teenager and strengthened on her own journey into motherhood. Having experienced both a cesarean and a VBAC herself, she understands how to navigate and support the complexities of all births. Ashley has a background as an instructor and in customer service, and she’s working toward a degree in biology and food and nutrition science. She has a deep commitment to addressing disparities for Black and Brown families, as well as a special place in her heart for her fellow military parents. Ashley is trained as both a birth and postpartum doula and loves supporting families with that continuity of care. Trained in 2023, she is finalizing her birth doula certification with DONA International.

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DEINEIRA SMITH, BIRTH DOULA

Deineira’s journey to becoming a doula was sparked by her own profound experience giving birth to her daughter, Elowen. She felt the power of love and support from her own doula and her husband, and that ignited a fierce passion inside her to help other parents on their birthing journeys. Deinera is an experienced photographer with a specialty in working with families. Guided by the fundamental principles of empathy, respect and advocacy, she works to help her clients feel heard, deeply understood, and empowered to make informed choices about their births. Deineira loves to read and is a member of several book clubs. She is working to complete her final certification requirements with DONA International.

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HANNAH POLOMCAK, BIRTH DOULA

Hannah has always had a love for all things birth. She gave birth herself without a doula twice, then describes her third birth with doula support as truly life changing — leaving her feeling held, loved, supported, and safe. Hannah has a heart for anyone grieving during pregnancy or after giving birth, informed by her training and her own experience having lost a child. She has a reputation as a strong, calm, and peaceful presence for families. Currently pursuing birth doula certification with DONA International, Hannah also plans to train as a postpartum doula. In her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her husband, son and daughter — hiking, camping, and exploring all the great beaches Lake Michigan has to offer.

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SARAH CUFFE, OFFICE COORDINATOR

Sarah came to Birth Kalamazoo as a childbirth education student and doula client, and today she supports doulas and families as the group’s office coordinator and a postpartum doula. Working from home while she cares for her little ones, she loves seeing the doula calendar fill up each month and envisioning all of the Southwest Michigan families that are benefitting from support. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and she volunteers with the Kalamazoo Babywearers. She loves to read, cook, visit local coffee shops, and spend time in nature.