Meet Your Instructors

Principal NBDA® Instructor

CEO & Founder, NBDA® Leadership Academy

Tracie Collins™

Tracie began her career in the Birth Doula field in 2000 after her second child was born. She has attended over 1500+ births with families birthing in hospitals, birth centers, and home births throughout the SF Bay Area & beyond.

In 2002 Tracie completed Elizabeth Davis' Heart 'N' Hands Midwifery Incentives Program. Upon completion, Tracie was the only student from that class to be selected as an Apprentice Midwife for Sacred Body Midwifery in San Francisco. After her apprenticeship, she worked as a midwife with Sacred Grove Midwifery alongside Asatu Hall.

Tracie comes with an extremely high level of demand, regard, experience, and longevity in the birthing field. She has worked for over two decades in many settings to empower and provide expectant families with the best support possible.

NBDA® Licensed Certified Birth Doula Instructors

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Ashley E. Davis

Ashley is passionate about the needs and goals of her clients, and specialize in bringing peace of mind to her families. Ashley Davis is trusted and epitomizes integrity, energy, hard work and creative services. ashley is a Mother of 4 beautiful Children 3 sons and 1 daughter. After the births of Ashley’s three sons (Aidan, Alexander & Andrew) she had an, epiphany which gave birth to a transformative life experience.

Helping expectant parents navigate pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding after the birth of her first son has been her passion. With over a decade of experience in customer service and birth support she transitioned to working hands-on and serving families as a Full Spectrum Doula. She calmly and confidently guide expectant parents and new doulas on their beautiful Journey's.

NBDA® Birth Doula Instructor

Dr. Juan Michelle Martin

She is a licensed physical therapist, birth doula and women’s wellness coach. She is the owner of JMM Health Solutions, a concierge pelvic health practice in the Atlanta Metro area where she brings over 13 years of clinical experience as a physical therapist. A former international volleyball player, her career in healthcare began as an athletic trainer guiding athletes in their recovery from injury and transition back to playing at New York Institute of Technology where she also graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

Dr. Martin has worked with thousands of patients in her career with a focus on providing holistic and comprehensive pelvic health care. She blends her experience as a birth doula and wellness coach in her practice to ensure that women experience better birth outcomes and she continues to work with several non profits whose mission is to decrease maternal mortality rates in marginalized communities.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Michelle Gabriel-Caldwell, Ph.D

Michelle is the owner of Baby, Please Birth Services :tm: located in NJ. She is a certified Doula and certified Childbirth Educator teaching the Bradley Method :registered:, Evidence Based Birth :registered: and her own Holistic Course expressly for The Birth Center of NJ of which she is also the Doula Coordinator. She currently holds an advisory position on the board of The National Black Doulas Association and is one of their doula mentors. Michelle is an advocate for Poppy Seed Health :registered: where she assists birthing persons virtually. She holds over 15 years of experience in the birth industry; helping over 400 families navigate their birthing spaces, training and mentoring birth professionals and medical staff while ensuring birth justice through state and national initiatives. She serves on non-profit boards and panels. Enhances the platform of black birthing in the USA through blogs and podcasts. Michelle empowers others by offering education, support, and advocacy. She holds degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Presently works full-time for a German Based chemical company.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Rae Johnson-Bundy

I recognize birth as a key life experience that the birthing person will remember forever. I understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs the birthing person and partner will need in labor, I assist them in preparing for and carrying out their plans for their birth. I'm a mother of two grown children. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education. I'm a certified ACE Fitness Instructor and received a certificate in Pre and Post Natal Fitness through ACE and ICEA. I received my Doula certification through DONA International and Childbirth Educator certification through Lamaze. I hold an Instructor certification through Evidence Based Birth and Certified Educator of Infant Massage through IAIM.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Akilah V. Witherspoon

The only daughter of a teacher, Akilah was born into a life of education. From a young age, she has been trained in the art of instruction. After teaching kindergarten for two years in high school, Akilah decided that she WAS NOT going to be a teacher when she grew up. Little did she know, life had different plans for her. Today she “teaches” families about how to prepare for birth and postpartum and to understand the physical process of labor. She also trains new doulas seeking certification and professional development. Ms. Witherspoon has a background in biology and earned her bachelors from Howard University. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant studying Uterine Fibroids. During her time working on that project, she discovered a need to focus on women’s reproductive health, but it was the birth of her daughter that truly started her on her journey towards becoming a doula. After working in the field for some time as a Perinatal Community Health Worker and home visitor, she has learned more about what families need in order to thrive during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. As a Full Spectrum Doula and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), she teaches what she has learned over the years so that more families can have positive birth outcomes.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Brandie Bishop

Greetings. I'm Brandie Bishop, owner of Your Tribe Family Services LLC in metro Atlanta. Since I was a young child serving others has brought me great joy. Early on in my career my primary focus was serving pregnant refugee women from around the world. This work challenged my thoughts on how pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period should be experienced.

These women taught me more than I could ever put in words and ignited my passion for birth work. I have been supporting the births of black, brown, and refugee families for about 7 years now. With my baby girl Joy, who is now a Sophomore in college, as my biggest cheerleader. Her support and encouragement mean the world to me. I thank the Lord for this journey and every lesson that has come.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Rafeal Newport

I am a hippie, science loving, book loving birth nerd from San Jose, CA. I was raised by my mother who was born and raised in the middle of Alabama. My holistic, evidence based and spiritual approach has allowed me to learn from excellent teachers and learn the art of spirituality and healing practices. I trained and apprenticed for 3 years with a Doula who had been practicing for over 25 years and local midwives. I took classes, read books, attended births, volunteered for various birth related organizations and finally I became a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula along with a certification in Childbirth Education. ​In my over 10 years of experience I have worked in hospitals, homebirths, and birth centers. My focus is in centering marginalized families( People of color, LGBTQ+, gender non conforming, single parents, disabled,...) while also supporting all families in their creation and/or expansion.​ Prior to my training in birth work I have been and am currently a certified sex educator, peer counselor, family planning counselor and facilitator. I spent over 10 years in various LGBTQIQA+ youth non-profits beginning when I was 15 years old.

NBDA® Birth, Postpartum Doula & Placenta Encapsulator Instructor

Leah Hairston

Leah Hairston is on a mission to educate and empower Black women with female reproductive systems. As an executive leader, social worker, and full-spectrum doula, she facilitates spaces for healing, equitable access, and justice, reminding women of their inherent power when navigating reproductive wellness experiences.

A perpetual student, Leah earned both a BA and BS from Howard University, a master's from Columbia University, and has completed training with Ancient Song Doula Services, Steamy Chick, Brilliant Birth Academy, and Lactation Education Resources. She infuses her work with justice-focused, trauma-informed, family-centered perspectives to give each client and student the personalized care they inherently deserve.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Sierra Leone Williams

Sierra Leone' Williams Minneapolis, Minnesota born and raised Proud Black Woman. A Mother of five beautiful children whom I love with every bone in my body. My passion is for women, children and families and how to keep them together. I enjoy working with clients, students, diverse populations, youth and community organization to help develop ways to tap into the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

I spent three years as a Doula for Incarcerated women which taught me to bring extra love and light along with me. I believe that as a birthing person you have the power and control to create your own "birth plan" by reminding yourself that "you got this" 7 years Certified Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Mentor, Yoga Instructor, and Motivational Speaker.

NBDA® Licensed Certified Postpartum Doula Instructors

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Rae Johnson-Bundy

I recognize birth as a key life experience that the birthing person will remember forever. I understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs the birthing person and partner will need in labor, I assist them in preparing for and carrying out their plans for their birth. I'm a mother of two grown children. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education. I'm a certified ACE Fitness Instructor and received a certificate in Pre and Post Natal Fitness through ACE and ICEA. I received my Doula certification through DONA International and Childbirth Educator certification through Lamaze. I hold an Instructor certification through Evidence Based Birth and Certified Educator of Infant Massage through IAIM.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Ashley E. Davis

Ashley is passionate about the needs and goals of her clients, and specialize in bringing peace of mind to her families. Ashley Davis is trusted and epitomizes integrity, energy, hard work and creative services. ashley is a Mother of 4 beautiful Children 3 sons and 1 daughter. After the births of Ashley’s three sons (Aidan, Alexander & Andrew) she had an, epiphany which gave birth to a transformative life experience.

Helping expectant parents navigate pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding after the birth of her first son has been her passion. With over a decade of experience in customer service and birth support she transitioned to working hands-on and serving families as a Full Spectrum Doula. She calmly and confidently guide expectant parents and new doulas on their beautiful Journey's.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Akilah V. Witherspoon

The only daughter of a teacher, Akilah was born into a life of education. From a young age, she has been trained in the art of instruction. After teaching kindergarten for two years in high school, Akilah decided that she WAS NOT going to be a teacher when she grew up. Little did she know, life had different plans for her. Today she “teaches” families about how to prepare for birth and postpartum and to understand the physical process of labor. She also trains new doulas seeking certification and professional development. Ms. Witherspoon has a background in biology and earned her bachelors from Howard University. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant studying Uterine Fibroids. During her time working on that project, she discovered a need to focus on women’s reproductive health, but it was the birth of her daughter that truly started her on her journey towards becoming a doula. After working in the field for some time as a Perinatal Community Health Worker and home visitor, she has learned more about what families need in order to thrive during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. As a Full Spectrum Doula and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), she teaches what she has learned over the years so that more families can have positive birth outcomes.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Michelle Gabriel-Caldwell, Ph.D

Michelle is the owner of Baby, Please Birth Services :tm: located in NJ. She is a certified Doula and certified Childbirth Educator teaching the Bradley Method :registered:, Evidence Based Birth :registered: and her own Holistic Course expressly for The Birth Center of NJ of which she is also the Doula Coordinator. She currently holds an advisory position on the board of The National Black Doulas Association and is one of their doula mentors. Michelle is an advocate for Poppy Seed Health :registered: where she assists birthing persons virtually. She holds over 15 years of experience in the birth industry; helping over 400 families navigate their birthing spaces, training and mentoring birth professionals and medical staff while ensuring birth justice through state and national initiatives. She serves on non-profit boards and panels. Enhances the platform of black birthing in the USA through blogs and podcasts. Michelle empowers others by offering education, support, and advocacy. She holds degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Presently works full-time for a German Based chemical company.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Rafeal Newport

I am a hippie, science loving, book loving birth nerd from San Jose, CA. I was raised by my mother who was born and raised in the middle of Alabama. My holistic, evidence based and spiritual approach has allowed me to learn from excellent teachers and learn the art of spirituality and healing practices. I trained and apprenticed for 3 years with a Doula who had been practicing for over 25 years and local midwives. I took classes, read books, attended births, volunteered for various birth related organizations and finally I became a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula along with a certification in Childbirth Education. ​In my over 10 years of experience I have worked in hospitals, homebirths, and birth centers. My focus is in centering marginalized families( People of color, LGBTQ+, gender non conforming, single parents, disabled,...) while also supporting all families in their creation and/or expansion.​ Prior to my training in birth work I have been and am currently a certified sex educator, peer counselor, family planning counselor and facilitator. I spent over 10 years in various LGBTQIQA+ youth non-profits beginning when I was 15 years old.

NBDA® Birth, Postpartum Doula & Placenta Encapsulator Instructor

Leah Hairston

Leah Hairston is on a mission to educate and empower Black women with female reproductive systems. As an executive leader, social worker, and full-spectrum doula, she facilitates spaces for healing, equitable access, and justice, reminding women of their inherent power when navigating reproductive wellness experiences.

A perpetual student, Leah earned both a BA and BS from Howard University, a master's from Columbia University, and has completed training with Ancient Song Doula Services, Steamy Chick, Brilliant Birth Academy, and Lactation Education Resources. She infuses her work with justice-focused, trauma-informed, family-centered perspectives to give each client and student the personalized care they inherently deserve.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Sierra Leone Williams

Sierra Leone' Williams Minneapolis, Minnesota born and raised Proud Black Woman. A Mother of five beautiful children whom I love with every bone in my body. My passion is for women, children and families and how to keep them together. I enjoy working with clients, students, diverse populations, youth and community organization to help develop ways to tap into the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

I spent three years as a Doula for Incarcerated women which taught me to bring extra love and light along with me. I believe that as a birthing person you have the power and control to create your own "birth plan" by reminding yourself that "you got this" 7 years Certified Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Mentor, Yoga Instructor, and Motivational Speaker.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Tanja Greene

With nearly 10+ years of professional experience, Tanja has supported many families in our community around the clock, from daytime support, to overnight, as well as live-in care. Her goal as a doula is to help families get over the feelings of overwhelm that often come with bringing home baby and adjusting to a new normal.

Before becoming a doula and newborn care specialist, Tanja earned her business administration degree and served over a decade in the banking industry where she fostered her love of supporting people and making them feel important. Her experience as a military spouse also played a part in her decision to become a doula.

Tanja says, “My greatest joy is to hold space for the family so that they can concentrate on healing and bonding with their little one. I absolutely love what I do. I believe every family deserves the best care and time to focus on getting – and staying – well and refreshed.”

When she’s not doula-ing, she enjoys substitute teaching, relaxing in her PJs with a cup of coffee, catching an episode of Judge Judy and eating brownies, especially the edges. Tanja resides in Haymarket and is a mother of two awesome, young adult sons and a mini schnauzer.

NBDA® Sex & Intimacy Coach Instructor

Intimacy Coach and Tantra Yoga Instructor

Krystal Taylor

Krystal Taylor is a certified Tantra yoga instructor who specializes in educating and supporting individuals towards sexual wholeness. Krystal has been teaching yoga since 2011 and practicing Tantra since 2015. Her unique coaching approach involves sharing ancient yogic philosophy, ancestral practices, as well as her own sensual yet down to earth techniques. With these tools, clients can learn to use their sexual energy as a way to fuel their spiritual walk instead of working against it.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Rafeal Newport

I am a hippie, science loving, book loving birth nerd from San Jose, CA. I was raised by my mother who was born and raised in the middle of Alabama. My holistic, evidence based and spiritual approach has allowed me to learn from excellent teachers and learn the art of spirituality and healing practices. I trained and apprenticed for 3 years with a Doula who had been practicing for over 25 years and local midwives. I took classes, read books, attended births, volunteered for various birth related organizations and finally I became a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula along with a certification in Childbirth Education. ​In my over 10 years of experience I have worked in hospitals, homebirths, and birth centers. My focus is in centering marginalized families( People of color, LGBTQ+, gender non conforming, single parents, disabled,...) while also supporting all families in their creation and/or expansion.​ Prior to my training in birth work I have been and am currently a certified sex educator, peer counselor, family planning counselor and facilitator. I spent over 10 years in various LGBTQIQA+ youth non-profits beginning when I was 15 years old.

NBDA® Birth Doula Instructor

Dr. Juan Michelle Martin

She is a licensed physical therapist, birth doula and women’s wellness coach. She is the owner of JMM Health Solutions, a concierge pelvic health practice in the Atlanta Metro area where she brings over 13 years of clinical experience as a physical therapist. A former international volleyball player, her career in healthcare began as an athletic trainer guiding athletes in their recovery from injury and transition back to playing at New York Institute of Technology where she also graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

Dr. Martin has worked with thousands of patients in her career with a focus on providing holistic and comprehensive pelvic health care. She blends her experience as a birth doula and wellness coach in her practice to ensure that women experience better birth outcomes and she continues to work with several non profits whose mission is to decrease maternal mortality rates in marginalized communities.

Instructor(s)

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Ashley E. Davis

Ashley is passionate about the needs and goals of her clients, and specialize in bringing peace of mind to her families. Ashley Davis is trusted and epitomizes integrity, energy, hard work and creative services. ashley is a Mother of 4 beautiful Children 3 sons and 1 daughter. After the births of Ashley’s three sons (Aidan, Alexander & Andrew) she had an, epiphany which gave birth to a transformative life experience.

Helping expectant parents navigate pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding after the birth of her first son has been her passion. With over a decade of experience in customer service and birth support she transitioned to working hands-on and serving families as a Full Spectrum Doula. She calmly and confidently guide expectant parents and new doulas on their beautiful Journey's.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Michelle Gabriel-Caldwell, Ph.D

Michelle is the owner of Baby, Please Birth Services :tm: located in NJ. She is a certified Doula and certified Childbirth Educator teaching the Bradley Method :registered:, Evidence Based Birth :registered: and her own Holistic Course expressly for The Birth Center of NJ of which she is also the Doula Coordinator. She currently holds an advisory position on the board of The National Black Doulas Association and is one of their doula mentors. Michelle is an advocate for Poppy Seed Health :registered: where she assists birthing persons virtually. She holds over 15 years of experience in the birth industry; helping over 400 families navigate their birthing spaces, training and mentoring birth professionals and medical staff while ensuring birth justice through state and national initiatives. She serves on non-profit boards and panels. Enhances the platform of black birthing in the USA through blogs and podcasts. Michelle empowers others by offering education, support, and advocacy. She holds degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Presently works full-time for a German Based chemical company.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Akilah V. Witherspoon

The only daughter of a teacher, Akilah was born into a life of education. From a young age, she has been trained in the art of instruction. After teaching kindergarten for two years in high school, Akilah decided that she WAS NOT going to be a teacher when she grew up. Little did she know, life had different plans for her. Today she “teaches” families about how to prepare for birth and postpartum and to understand the physical process of labor. She also trains new doulas seeking certification and professional development. Ms. Witherspoon has a background in biology and earned her bachelors from Howard University. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant studying Uterine Fibroids. During her time working on that project, she discovered a need to focus on women’s reproductive health, but it was the birth of her daughter that truly started her on her journey towards becoming a doula. After working in the field for some time as a Perinatal Community Health Worker and home visitor, she has learned more about what families need in order to thrive during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. As a Full Spectrum Doula and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), she teaches what she has learned over the years so that more families can have positive birth outcomes.

NBDA® Licensed Certified Placenta Encapsulation Instructors

NBDA® Placenta Encapsulation Instructor

Alicia St. Vincent

Alicia is the owner and operator of All Our Babies Doula Service.

My passion is to serve birthing persons, in all communities, to be the doula for their birthing and after journey. Being a Birthing, Postpartum, Lactation Educator well as a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist is my passion and brings me endless joy.

My practice delivers quality evidence-based content, tailored for virtual and/or in person services. I look forward to connecting with you and sharing this wonderful experience.

NBDA® Birth & Postpartum Doula Instructor

Ashley E. Davis

Ashley is passionate about the needs and goals of her clients, and specialize in bringing peace of mind to her families. Ashley Davis is trusted and epitomizes integrity, energy, hard work and creative services. ashley is a Mother of 4 beautiful Children 3 sons and 1 daughter. After the births of Ashley’s three sons (Aidan, Alexander & Andrew) she had an, epiphany which gave birth to a transformative life experience.

Helping expectant parents navigate pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding after the birth of her first son has been her passion. With over a decade of experience in customer service and birth support she transitioned to working hands-on and serving families as a Full Spectrum Doula. She calmly and confidently guide expectant parents and new doulas on their beautiful Journey's.

NBDA® Birth, Postpartum Doula & Placenta Encapsulator Instructor

Leah Hairston

Leah Hairston is on a mission to educate and empower Black women with female reproductive systems. As an executive leader, social worker, and full-spectrum doula, she facilitates spaces for healing, equitable access, and justice, reminding women of their inherent power when navigating reproductive wellness experiences.

A perpetual student, Leah earned both a BA and BS from Howard University, a master's from Columbia University, and has completed training with Ancient Song Doula Services, Steamy Chick, Brilliant Birth Academy, and Lactation Education Resources. She infuses her work with justice-focused, trauma-informed, family-centered perspectives to give each client and student the personalized care they inherently deserve.

Childbirth Educators