Meet The Founders

 
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NAIMA BECKLES, LCCE, CD, CBC

Co-Founder, Childbirth Educator, Advanced Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor

When I was pregnant with my first son, I discovered a world of amazing supportive people—doulas, childbirth educators, and care providers who helped me navigate birthing, feeding, and caring for my babies. I thought, "Why doesn’t every pregnant person have access to this information and support?" Labor is hard work. It’s easier to embrace that safely when you’re confident and relaxed.

I'm a very pragmatic person. I think of doula services as "birth project management" and love teaching down-to-earth childbirth education classes at City Births in Midtown Manhattan. I'm also a big fan of Pilates!

Fun fact: I used to be a middle school teacher.

Education

  • Lamaze certified Childbirth Educator
  • DONA certified Doula
  • DONA certified Lactation Counselor
  • Training in acupressure, and massage for labor support

Specialties:

  • Postpartum support
  • Twins
  • IVF conceived births
  • Supporting clients who’ve experienced loss
  • Women over 40
  • Single mothers
 
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MICHELE ARRIETA, LCCE, CD, CBC

Co-Founder, CHILDBIRTH EDUCATOR, Advanced DOULA, Breastfeeding Counselor

I learned what a doula is by being thrown into the deep end. The first birth I attended was my good friend’s very long homebirth. But helping women’s reproduction runs in my family! I comes from a long line of women's healthcare providers and advocates: my dad runs a women’s health clinic and my grandfather was an OB-GYN. I use my theatrical and comedy background to make my classes a fun, informative, and memorable experience. My wife and I have an adopted child (AKA the squishiest tub of baby dough).

My intention as a doula and breastfeeding counselor is to stay tuned into your emotional state throughout the process, while trusting your intuition and body’s wisdom. 

Education

  • Lamaze certified Childbirth Educator
  • DONA certified Birth Doula
  • Certified Breastfeeding Counselor

Specialties:

  • Queer Childbirth Education
  • Adoption
  • Inducing Lactation
 

Meet the Team

 
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ALICIA SUAREZ

Childbirth Educator

My childbirth classes are geared to help pregnant people and their partners approach labor with confidence while designing a peaceful, healthy and safe environment to welcome in their babies.  I use my vast experience as a birth doula to help participants cope and understand labor. My work is greatly influenced by my studies in Body-Mind Centering®, as well as my background in anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, and embryology education. 

Education

  • Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator
  • DONA Certified Doula
  • Certified Breastfeeding Counselor

Specialties:

  • Pre- and post-natal yoga therapy
 
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DANI KATZ

Childbirth Educator, Advanced Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor

I grew up in the suburbs outside of New York and moved to the city to complete a degree in nutrition at Hunter College. I have been teaching various types of yoga for the past 5 years and after so many pregnant students started coming to my classes, I finally decided to become a Prenatal Yoga Instructor. This opened up a whole new world of birthing to me. Being in the presence of birth feels so natural and right. I am deeply called to serve women in this capacity. I utilize yoga and breath work during births, and can also use medicinal-grade essential oils during births (if desired!). My goal is to hold a calm and blissful space for babies to be born into.

Fun fact: I also play the trombone!

Education

  • BA in Nutrition from Hunter College
  • Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor
  • Certified Aromatherapist

Specialties:

  • Queer families
  • Prenatal yoga + breath work
  • Aromatherapy
 
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 Ekua Ansah Samules, MPH

Advanced Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor

I have worked with a range of private providers and non-profit organizations, serving pregnant and parenting women, youth, and families for over 15 years. I have attended dozens of births while building a Harlem-based community doula program. I am a wife and mother of 3 teenagers.

Fun fact: I love to cook, clean, and give massages!

Specialties:

  • Breastfeeding support
  • Postpartum meal-prep
 
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KAELEIGH TERRILL

Advanced Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor

I believe in the strength of women and want to support them to feel empowered and connected to themselves and their bodies. I was inspired to become a doula after learning how disempowered so many women feel during their pregnancies and births.

Fun fact: On the side, I host a podcast and run a community garden on the Lower East Side teaching kids how to grow their own food.

Specialties:

  • Twins
  • Sexual assault and trauma support
  • Queer Families
 
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MARY PLESS

Intermediate Doula

I inherited a passion for birth and the maternal-child bond from my mother, who is a much loved and appreciated nurse and lactation consultant. I grew up visiting the nurseries in the hospitals where she worked, and sat in on the breastfeeding groups that she ran.  Birth and postpartum support have always been on my horizon.

I love the diversity of doula support and working with expecting and new parents.  I'm dedicated to providing encouragement and meeting parents where they are in their hopes and expectations for labor and the postpartum experience. 

Fun fact: I love snuggling with my cheeky Australian cattle dog!

Education

  • DONA certified Birth Doula
  • Certified Breastfeeding Counselor

Specialties:

  • Queer families
  • Twins
 
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MARY A. Whitlock

Intermediate Doula

I'm a birth doula, postpartum doula and a certified health & wellness coach. Born, raised, and living in New York City, I understand and embrace the overwhelming demands and stresses that city life puts on families. In 2017 I took massive action and left my position as a Fashion Design Director to seize my purpose. I am inspired and passionate about providing families with the resources, empathetic support and nurturing to maintain a balanced life. I am deeply grateful to all of my teachers, including Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Dr. Vijaya Krishnan, for the life experiences that have brought me to this very moment.

Fun fact: I completed an internship at the Healthy Mother & Natural Birth Sanctum in Hyderabad, India.

Education

  • DONA trained Postpartum Doula (under Debra Pascali-Bonaro)

Specialties:

  • Health & wellness coaching
  • Ayurvedic cooking 
  • Traditional postpartum care
 
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LAURA MAX HOLDER

Beginner Birth Doula

It fills my heart to the brim to be allowed the opportunity to support women and families during one of the most transformative and beautiful experiences we encounter as human beings, that of pregnancy and childbirth. If life has taught me anything, it is that people perform better when in loving and fully supportive environments and it brings me joy knowing that I am a part of such support. 

I have a 10-year-old daughter, and I know first hand how isolating and traumatic pregnancy and childbirth can be. As your Doula, I am committed to empowering you and your birth plan while providing comfort, patience and my full support!

Fun fact: I enjoy creating all-natural products, writing short stories, photography and cooking delicious vegetarian and pescatarian meals!