On October 27, you'll be in great hands with this stunning line up of local birth professionals leading our workshop and presentations for the day.
Annemarie Shrouder is an international speaker, consultant, and facilitator on issues of Diversity and Inclusion. She credits her experience growing up in a household with two very different cultures and languages with her insights and perspectives on creating spaces where people feel a sense of belonging. Specializing in racial equity and LGBTQ positive spaces, she facilitates opportunities for people to see more – more of each other, themselves, and the world around them. Annemarie brings her experience as an elementary school teacher, a competitive swimmer, and a mother, plus a Masters degree in Equity Studies from the University of Toronto to her work
Alex James is a nutritionist and postpartum doula. She is of British/western European descent, but is inspired by after-birth care practices in many cultures around the world. Alex believes it’s possible for all birthing people and their families to have an amazing postpartum experience, where they are honoured, celebrated, rested, and well fed. Her postpartum services, along with doula support, include in-home meal prep, belly binding, and placenta encapsulation. When she’s not working with families, you can probably find Alex cycling around the city, cooking, doing yoga, or drinking kombucha.
Corina Tudor is a doula, yoga teacher, childbirth educator, and former archaeologist. Her diverse background, including sexual diversity studies and medical anthropology, paved the path for her perinatal and movement practice. Her work is grounded in both research and intuition, offering a holistic approach to fertility, pregnancy, birth, and beyond. When she's not working, Corina enjoys baking and petting cats.
Dima Alsakka is an Occupational Therapist who is passionate about working with babies and young children. She has over five years of experience of providing consultative Occupational Therapy services in clients’ homes and schools. Her work is based in various areas of childhood development including motor development, sensory regulation, attachment theory, and cognitive developmental theory. Dima has helped many young children develop age-appropriate skills and reach developmental milestones. She has experience in working with children with motor delays, feeding issues, developmental disabilities, and other delays or disorders. She is passionate about working with caregivers to help them feel confident and empowered in their parenting journey.
Emily Claire Blackmoon is a Social Worker who has been providing holistic mental health support for over 10 years. She is of French-Canadian, British and Algonquin-Anishnaabe decent. Combining Gestalt, Indigenous epistemologies, anti-oppressive and feminist perspectives, Emily seeks to create a therapeutic experience that is cathartic, creative, supportive and critical of the impact of colonization and patriarchy. Emily has worked extensively in the Toronto Indigenous community as an individual counselor and case manager for adults and youth, as well as a group facilitator. She has a private practice in the Annex, and is also a member of The Healing Collective on the Danforth.
Esther Epp has specialized in wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise as integral parts of addressing the needs of her clients since 2005. She is an honours graduate of Health Science & Kinesiology at York University, and she earned her designation as a Certified Nutritional Practitioner from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. She is the co-founder of Superfood Babies, where she empowers and educates a community of parents interested in raising healthy kids. Through her private practice, public speaking, and teaching at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, Esther inspires people towards holistic living. She enjoys getting messy in the kitchen with her two kids, practicing yoga, trail riding, and her German Shepherd, Koda.
Jae Steele is an Infant-Parent Specialist and the founder of 4 Trimesters. She earned a Midwifery degree from Ryerson University, and also holds a graduate certificate in Infant and Early Child Mental Health, is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, award-winning cookbook author, and babywearing educator. She is committed to evidence-based health practices and informed choice – sensitively supporting clients in making the decisions they feel are best for their families. Her support is holistic and feminist. She has a particular interest in making parenting more manageable for those with perinatal mood disorders and in less conventional family structures. Jae is of Scottish/western European descent, and mama to a delightful and willful toddler, Juniper.
Janet Walker is an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner and Restorative Exercise Specialist. She combines hands-on treatment with self-care education to help you feel and function better. A graduate of the Canadian College of Osteopathy, Janet has over 20 years of clinical experience. As part of her studies, she researched the effects of prenatal treatment on birthing outcomes. Janet now supports clients from pre-conception to birth and beyond. She offers breastfeeding support and treats infants and children of all ages.
Janette Yeeis an Athletic Therapist and Massage Therapist with over a decade of focus in pregnancy care and postpartum rehabilitation. Specialized programming has been crafted over the years, which includes manual treatment techniques, gentle exercise programming, and education on self-care before and after giving birth. Her mission is to bridge the healthcare gap between the day of delivery and the return to daily activity/exercise/ sport. Janette fills her days by being a proud parent to Yasmine and Baby Isaiah.
Jennifer Lee is a babywearing expert and the founder of Up With Mama Babywearing Services. She trained with the Canadian Babywearing School, and has been supporting families for over four years. When not working full-time in water research, or providing babywearing consultations, Jennifer is passionate about making babywearing accessible. She serves as a board member and volunteer teacher with the non-profit Carry Me Close Babywearers. After having three children, babywearing is still her #1 parenting tool because of the joy, security and confidence it provides caregivers and children. Jennifer is honoured to be accompanying families on their babywearing journey.
Melanie Stevens Sutherland is a physiotherapist with more than 15 years’ experience, and is the Clinical Director of Body Co. Following the birth of her own children, Melanie developed a strong interest in perinatal health. She has taken specialized courses in pelvic floor physiotherapy and functional nutrition. She is passionate about helping parents find strength and confidence in their postpartum bodies following pregnancy and delivery. Melanie has a background in working with active populations at prestigious sport medicine clinics, and is qualified to perform spinal and peripheral manipulation. Her treatments are focused on hands on techniques, comprehensive education and supported by tailored exercise programs and healthy lifestyle modifications.
Naomi Frank birthed a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice, as well as a baby, in 2000. That timing gave rise to an enduring interest in pre/postnatal and family care. She has long been an advocate for the importance of postpartum recovery. In part-time private practice for several years, she encountered the community acupuncture model in 2009. This led to a radical restructure of her practice: she co-founded the Roncesvalles Community Acupuncture Clinic (RCAC) in 2009 and Toronto Community Acupuncture (ToCA) in 2011. She continues to be passionate about making acupuncture accessible to more people and is still awed by its power to facilitate deep healing.
Rachel Schwartzman is a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist and birth doula. She practices naturopathic family medicine and has a special interest in pediatric medicine and women's health, particularly in the area of hormonal health, fertility, pregnancy and prenatal care. Rachel has attended over 200 births in both home and hospital settings. She is also the co-owner of West End Naturopathic Doulas and the Bump to Baby Show. When not working, Rachel spends her time with her three children. She enjoys being active in nature, practicing yoga, playing tennis, and creating healthy meals.
Rhondda Smiley is a birth and postpartum doula fostering connection within growing families. She provides parents with judgement-free support so they can confidently make choices that are right for their family through pregnancy, birth and beyond. Rhondda teaches yoga and meditation across Toronto, providing a safe, enjoyable and grounding practice. A breastfeeding educator published on the esteemed Kellymom.com and former La Leche League Leader, Rhondda has been guiding families internationally in achieving their breastfeeding goals for over a decade. Her work is rooted in the conviction that every parent deserves to feel nourished in body, mind and heart.
Ruth Ruttanis a doula, infant sleep and breastfeeding educator, and the Education Coordinator at Retrofit Pilates, a master instructor for Balanced Body Inc., and a fully certified STOTT Pilates Instructor. Education is at the centre of her approach, believing that knowledge is power and that informing our minds and bodies will help build an extraordinary life experience. Both as a doula and a pilates specialist, Ruth has enjoyed watching many bodies change, stay functional and become powerful humans. Ruth is passionate about creating support, balance and informing parental intuition on the pregnancy to parenthood journey.
Tynan Rhea is a settler with German and Czechoslovakian ancestry. Tynan has a private practice online and in Toronto as a counselor, aromatherapist, and doula specializing in sex, intimacy, and relationships throughout the reproductive years and founder of PostpartumSex.com. Tynan graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Joint Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sexuality, Marriage, & Family. They received their doula training from the Revolutionary Doula Training program and their aromatherapy training with Anarres Apothecary Apprenticeship program. Tynan approaches their practice from sex-positive, trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and feminist frameworks.