Birth Your Way Experts

Jada Shirriel, MS, CLC,
CEO, Healthy Start, Inc.
& Host of the Birth Your Way Summit

Jada Shirriel is Chief Executive Officer of Healthy Start, Inc. a public health organization that focuses on improving maternal and child health and addressing the disparities that lead to infant mortality. As a past participant of the Healthy Start program, Jada is very passionate about addressing black maternal health through education, outreach, research and advocacy. Jada is also owner of J. Shirriel Consulting, which offers an array of services around the theme of capacity, creativity and collaboration. With 17 years of nonprofit, development, public involvement and project management experience, Jada’s niche areas are fundraising and focusing on collaborative processes that lead to community-level change. Read more about Jada here.

Sheila Ramgopal, MD, MA, FACOG

Sheila Ramgopal is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist who has been in Pittsburgh since medical school. They graduated from the University of Pennsylvania for their undergraduate degree and then completed a Masters at Columbia University before medical school. They graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and then completed their OB/GYN residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at Magee-Women’s Hospital. They have been in private and academic practice, and now work full time at Allegheny Reproductive Health Center.  Read more about Sheila here.

Iyanna Bridges,
Trained Doula

 

Iyanna Bridges is a trained birth and postpartum doula. Owner of Iyanna B. Doula Services, an independent doula practice. Iyanna is a birth Doula for Allegheny County Jail Doula program where she practices the philosophy that every woman deserves access to Doula support for her labor and delivery. She also serves as a postpartum doula for HealthyStart , a program which assess new moms for postpartum depression and provides newborn support. Iyanna is the owner and founder of The Birthing Hut, a community organization which provides maternal health advocacy and free to low cost Doula care. The Birthing Hut is also an informational podcast, where full spectrum black maternal health is discussed. To ensure black birthing professionals had a safe space to debrief from traumatic birth experiences, a common space to discuss our community activism endeavors, Iyanna created PGH Black Doula Meet Ups. A dedicated birth worker.

Gerria Coffee, Owner Genesis Birth Services

Birth and Postpartum Doula, Gerria Coffee, is the founder of Genesis Birth Services providing Doula Support, Childbirth Education, Lactation Support and Medicinal Herbs. Gerria acts as an influencer and thought leader, focusing on marginalized communities. She works closely with like-minded organizations as a Partner and sits on the Executive Board for several Nonprofit organizations who share her passion for the black and underserved community in order to shift and uplift culture through education and support. Read more about Gerria here.

Marcela Souza,
former Doula & University of Pittsburgh Department of Pediatrics

Proudly coming from a Brazilian working class family, Marcela has been living in the USA since 2012. In Pittsburgh, Marcela worked with the community of Latinas teaching childbirth classes and providing doula support for Spanish and Portuguese speaking families during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. Marcela’s project won the first Women’s Health Activist Movement Big Idea Challenge in Pittsburgh, which reinforced the attention needed to the maternal health inequities in the city. Dreaming of a world free from all forms of oppression and exploitation, Marcela hopes to contribute to this purpose educating and building a community that can come together in solidarity and struggle as well as to have fun and enjoy life to the fullest, starting from birth.

Renea Green, CLC, IBCLC
Program Manger
Healthy Start Center for Urban Breastfeeding

Renae Green is the Program Manager of the Healthy Start Center for Urban Breastfeeding. Renae’s work and passion in the birth work grew from nursing her own child for 11 months. Her journey began out of her hope to provide direct support for mothers who have limited access to lactation support. She currently studies Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation at Union Institute & University. Renae complete her Certified Lactation Counselor Training in March 2017 and then interned with Bob Monteverde, BSN, RN, IBCLC at West Penn Hospital aiding her on her pathway to receive her IBCLC. Renae is a newly certified IBCLC as of January 1, 2020.

Brandy Rawls,
Certified Doula &
Founder of Oli's Angels

Brandy Gentry is a Pittsburgh native dedicated to serving and empowering women and their families.  Having lost her son Oliver in 2010, Brandy became the first certified birth and bereavement doula in the city of Pittsburgh in 2014.  She continued her work as a doula with UPMC, serving in various capacities during her time there.  In February of 2017, she founded Oli’s Angels, Inc., a nonprofit organization serving low income or at risk women by providing comprehensive birth and bereavement support services.  Recently, Oli’s Angels has collaborated with Duquesne University in bringing birth doula and postpartum services to women in the Allegheny County Jail system.

Jeaonna Hodges,
CD(DONA), CLC

Jeaonna Hodges has been a doula for 14 years. She got her start in the profession after her own traumatic birth experience.  Becoming a doula is her way of ensuring that other women do not endure the pain and trauma that results from less than ideal birthing experiences.

She comes from a long line of “baby catchers”, following in the foot steps of the women of her family. Birth working is in her blood.

As a doula, she has been certified through the premier agency DONA.  She’s also a Certified Lactation Counselor through Healthy Start Center for Urban Breastfeeding. She is currently in school for midwifery.   

Syreeta Gordon,
Founder, Kangaroo Birthing

Syreeta Gordon is the founder of Kangaroo Birthing & Maternity Concierge, author, certified healthy relationship speaker and creator of Pecan Momma Tales mommy blog. She is also a trained DONA international birth doula experienced in the support of expectant and new mothers in providing compassion, love and trust. She has helped mothers emotionally, educationally and physically through their beautiful births. Mrs. Gordon continues to keep up to date on current research and prepare new and expectant mothers and fathers for their journey into parenthood. She continues to build an amazing team to help support, guide, educate and empower families.  Learn more about Syreeta here.

Ta'lor Pinkston,
The Heart Advocate

The Heart Advocate seeks to help women
understand their mental health, commit to
Healing Over Everything and make self-love a
priority by defying fear, self-doubt, insecurity,
shame, blame and guilt.
Ta’lor Pinkston, MSW, is a certified self-love
coach and is dedicated to the heart of every
woman. She is a self-love motivator, an
inspirational speaker, and an advocate for women battling postpartum depression and the body-positive movement. The Heart Advocate provides one-on-one coaching sessions that focus on the 10 Branches of Self-Love, women empowerment and healing. She has a virtual support group for women +femme who are seeking support online in every life transition in womanhood + nmotherhood.  Read more about Ta’lor here.

Jona Dudley,
Doula

The well-being of families have always been my Jona’s passion from the time she was child, so getting into Doula work has just been second nature to her. She’s been a Doula for 4 years and loves seeing the strength of her clients and their loved ones as they wait in anticipation for their bundle. She loves being the bridge birthing education and her client’s navigation their birthing journey.  She’s been a birth worker for a variety of families, from first time parents to rainbow baby moms and dads. Being a Doula isn’t just a job to Jona. It’s a lifestyle .

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