Launched in 2016, Your Downtown Doula is your Toronto source for pregnancy health and wellness! Looking for a prenatal class that ensures you are prepared for birth? Curious about a doula but unsure about if you really need one? Questions about pregnancy, birth or postpartum care? You’ve come to the right place!
Our Birth Doula Team
All of our birth doulas are licensed Naturopathic Doctors. Click each image to learn more about each Naturopathic Doctor.
Our Lactation Support Team
All of our lactation experts are licensed Naturopathic Doctors. Click each image to learn more about each Naturopathic Doctor.
Behind the Scenes
You'll likely interact with Keri over the course of your time with us, she is a wiz at insurance and we could not do what we do without her. Click to learn more about her.
Our Back up Team
We've got you covered. Our designated team of back up doulas means there's always someone on call for you. Click their photos to learn more about them.
We asked our team why they chose this work. Here's what they had to say:
I am in constant awe of the human body, and the families I work with. After I had attended a few births and seen parents struggle with lactation, I decided I needed to learn more about it. Our medical system is so broken when it comes to supporting breastfeeding. Parents are often left confused or under supported and then feel like they've failed when they struggle to feed their babies. To me, supporting feeding goals is the start of families having confidence as parents- it's one of the very first parenting decisions we make! If we start off confidently and trusting our instincts, that really sets the whole tone of how we raise our children. I want every family to feel empowered to do what's right for them.
Co-founder Dr. Sarah Winward, ND IBCLC
I’m in constant awe of the ability women have to grow and birth life. I felt growing up though that the celebration of this gift and passed-down knowledge around pregnancy in general had become scarce in my environment. In the past, we saw our sister, cousins, friends give birth, it wasn’t ‘scary’ or ‘foreign’. If not for my naturopathic training, I felt like my environment would have frightened me as opposed to prepared me for labour. Like Sarah, I felt inspired after taking a Naturopathic Doula course and began volunteering with the Hearts and Hands Doula Group at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. I then heard about HypnoBirthing and after shadowing a few instructors I knew it would benefit future parents, so I wanted to be able to offer it. I’m passionate about this as through the work I do, I see the change happening! I see more and more parents wanting empowered births and I want to take part in helping people feel confident, calm and happy with their birth experiences.
CO-FOUNDER DR. Olivia Chubey, ND
It sounds funny, but I evolved into a doula. After a few years of general practice as an ND, my clinical focus shifted into fertility. Then I became pregnant. And the funny thing was, even though I was helping women become pregnant, it wasn’t until after I got pregnant myself that I first thought about labour and birth. I learned about HypnoBirthing from a patient which lead to my husband and I taking the classes. As a result, I had 2 very positive home births for our daughters. Soon after the first birth, I became a certified instructor and though the years I have immensely enjoyed teaching hundreds of parents and empowering women to have prepared and confident births. Inevitably, parents started asking me to attend their births, making it a natural next step for me to become trained as a doula. Being a doula is amazing! Whether it is a new mom, experienced mom, single or twins, VBAC, natural, epidural, induction or c-section, you are there to help coax out the power that resides in each and every woman. Through my own births and through the years as a doula, I’ve come to realize that what we do as doulas is important work. It’s important for each mom and each family we work with. And collectively, it’s important work for changing the landscape and culture of birth for women and their babies.
Co-founder Dr. EeVon Ling, ND
There is so much revolving pregnancy and birth that can be stressful and downright confusing. This is essentially what prompted me to take the Naturopathic Doula course which opened my eyes to how we as women can take back the power in pregnancy and labour. In reality, birth is a completely natural aspect of life which the female body is equipped to handle. As a naturopathic doula, let me take on the stresses of birth and labour as they come up, while you focus on and enjoy your pregnancy journey!
Dr. Arlene Dubier, ND
I was born and raised in the Philippines, where conventional medicine dominated the tone for healthcare. Lives were saved, yes, but consequently, the approach to obstetrics was generally cold and rushed. The idea of pregnancy, birth, and labor was usually laced with dread and fear. I wanted to help change how we see these natural, normal, and incredible phases of our journey. I believe that providing naturopathic and integrative care in preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum can also be a great way to helping expecting people and their families achieve their best health.
Dr. Kim Abog, ND
Two of my focuses in healthcare include women’s health and pediatrics. Becoming a birth doula and being able to care for moms during their pregnancy, birth, and both her and baby beyond birth, seemed like it was such a great combination of these two passions. I believe pregnancy is so beautiful, and I wanted to expand my role in supporting it. I have grown up being afraid of birth, as I know most people to be. I generally hear people say that they want babies, but are terrified of actually going through labour and birthing babies. What I want to do is remove the fear from birth and remind people that this is what our bodies were made to do. Everything we need for birthing is within us, we just sometimes need a little support and guidance to find it.
Dr. Alisa Murli, ND
I have seen far too many times the gaps and challenges that women face during the time of pregnancy, labour and birth. This experience stays with us forever, so why not make it the most positive one? Pain management is one of my biggest focuses and I use techniques and naturopathic tools to allow women to cope. Let’s take on this adventure together as your body is worthy of the best care and was built for birth!
Dr. Yasmin Amini, ND
It was my difficult and emotional journey into motherhood which has led me down this professional path. I was a new mom, going through all the new mom adjustments and I felt completely unprepared. Months later, I asked myself ‘What saved me through my postnatal anxiety?' It was the support of a loving family and the healing powers of breastfeeding!
Along with providing the ideal nourishment for my babies, breastfeeding allowed me to connect and bond with my children. It also provided me with the much-needed hormones to help my anxiety and it made me sit and relax, and be present to experience each moment with my baby. I decided that my focus on postnatal care MUST also include lactation support.
Dr. Melanie Jacobson, ND IBCLC
During my academic pursuits to become a naturopathic doctor, I was “graciously” thrown into motherhood with minimal expectations. I learned rather quickly that breastfeeding was no easy task. Neither was juggling school, parenthood, and re-defining personal autonomy while navigating through an influx of postpartum hormones. The chaos of parenthood was worsened when I was unable to provide sustenance for my child. The torment was too much. With an amazing doula, the expertise of brilliant lactation consultants and a supportive family, I persevered and was able to find a solution that worked for my family. This solution pulled me out of a dark and defeated place into a realm of confidence and empowerment. During this redefining experience, I became motivated to help new parents find their solution and confidence.
Dr. Sophia Sokolowski, ND
Your Downtown Doula
We are a collective of naturopathic doctors who provide doula support and expert care during pregnancy birth and postpartum. From bump to baby, we're with you every step of the way.
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