Hi, I'm Leah, a Doula, Childbirth Educator, Yoga Teacher and the Founder of Birth Is Beautiful.
On a personal note: bringing peace and calm to families during pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood is my passion and expertise. Call it what you will - baby whisperer, a calling. I have been drawn to children and families since I was 10 years old. At that time, I began my journey providing sole-care babysitting services for a local family’s four children (a newborn, two toddlers, and a preschooler). I have since supported families in over 250 home including families in England, France, and Switzerland. In recent years, my career as a childcare provider and, in many ways, a family wellness coach (specializing with 0-6 years old) transitioned into my current roles as a Doula and Childbirth Educator.
In May 2014 I attended my very first labour and birth doula workshop with CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association). Ever since, my life has increasingly revolved around birth and becoming a better birth professional. A brief overview of my trainings and education includes: training at The Farm Midwifery Centre (home of Ina May Gaskin and “Spiritual Midwifery,” in Tennessee), breastfeeding workshops, hospital childbirth workshops, ProDoula Certified Childbirth Educator (PDCCE), kids yoga training with Power Yoga Canada, holistic well being workshops, countless hours of independent study and continued learning.
I have had the pleasure of supporting 22 families prenatally and through labour and delivery. With six more babies on the way (so far), I am enjoying having birth work as my primary focus. I have attended two home births and two births at the Toronto Birth Centre. I have also supported deliveries at Mississauga Hospital, Credit Valley Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital, Sunnybrook Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, North York General, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Markham Stouffville Hospital. At this time, I accept up to six births/Estimated Due Dates per month and have a reliable back-up doula ready.
My personal interests include singing in choir, practicing Buddhism, playing piano, gardening, holistic wellness, yoga, meditation, and travelling. I plan to pursue midwifery in the future. I aim to live harmoniously with nature and our modern world and strive to respect the environment in everything I do. Creating Birth Is Beautiful and our amazing community here in Toronto has been a labour of love for me and I am grateful that I get to do what I do(ula)! I look forward to growing even more towards bright futures for families, babies and for all!
This is Valerie, our family French Teacher.
Valerie was raised in a French speaking household, and is a lover of French language and culture. Married with 2 children - a 15 year old step-son and 5 year old daughter - Valerie enjoys sharing the gift of French with her children. She has spoken to her 5 year old in French since birth and was thrilled when the first words coming out of her daughter's mouth were in French – “balle” and “bonbon”!
With an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in French Language and Literature and extensive work experience in French that spans both the Public and Private sectors, Valerie is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to French. She currently tutors grade school and High School level French and runs private and group French “circles” for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Ericka is our professional Photographer.
Her gentle energy is perfect for helping people feel comfortable and capturing moments in pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Ericka has a young son and understands the delicacy of childbearing years. She also holds a degree in Communications.
Ericka believes that photos should be personal and genuine. She's all about capturing the true moments that families will remember and cherish for a lifetime.
Follow her on Instagram for cute photos: @littlemomentsto
Alex is Birth Is Beautiful's nutrition-motivated postpartum doula and placenta encapsulator.
A certified nutritionist, placenta arts specialist, and postpartum doula, Alex offers Toronto families a range of specialty offerings to enhance their prenatal and postnatal experiences. You'll be sure to find Alex riding the streets of Toronto on her bike, and that's how she'll arrive at your doorstep, ready to assist you on your journey.
Alex's baby wearing, attachment parenting, food handling, and anti-oppression trainings are just a part of what makes her a unique Toronto-based doula. Whether it's helping you fill your freezer with delicious and healthy meals for postpartum, teaching you how to wear your baby in a wrap, or helping you ward off the baby blues with your very own nutrient rich placenta pills, Alex has a way of enhancing your journey!