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about me.

Shanti is often described by her peers as genuine, reliable, nurturing & supportive. These are also the qualities that make her a great doula. Her belief is that all women deserve a pregnancy & birthing experience rooted in education, advocacy, equity and holistic wellness. She is a certified full spectrum doula and childbirth educator through Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings. She studied Maternal & Child Health Education at Howard University.

 

Shanti currently works as a Family Engagement Specialist at the Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia. ​She has supported hospital births as well as birth centers and assists both medicated and unmedicated births. When she isn’t working, Shanti is an avid traveller and loves the arts. She also enjoys being a dog mom, spending time with loved ones and staying active with yoga & dance. She is a fluent Spanish speaker and is currently learning French. 

my story.

early years

I first became intrigued by pregnancy & childbirth at age 9, the same age I became an aunt. I remember the uncertainty & anticipation while her mom was in labor. I wasn’t allowed in the actual labor & delivery room but seeing the pictures later on made me wish I was. I became instantly curious & fascinated by the entire process that it took to grow & birth my niece. 

During the first year of her existence, I spent a lot of time taking care of my niece. This not only taught me responsibility at a young age, but also made me feel trusted & needed. I changed her diapers, fed her, bathed her and assisted in her cognitive & creative development. Little did I know at the time, Doula Shanti was developing. By the time I got to college, I had 2 nieces and 2 nephews total. I now have 3 of each.

education

During my time at Howard University, I majored in Maternal & Child Health Education. I slowly became obsessed with my coursework and enjoyed learning to the point where it didn’t feel like work. This was something that I needed and wanted to feel in my future profession but had no idea how to achieve that with my major. One day during my sophomore year, my college advisor mentioned how she was training to be a doula. I asked her what it was and the seed was planted. I did a little research, bought a book and even discovered that one of my favorite music artists, Erykah Badu is a doula. Still, I allowed my imposter syndrome to convince me to put that dream on a shelf. I told myself I would wait until I became a mother myself to pursue it.

Shortly after graduating, I became a high school Spanish teacher (yes, I am fluent). Not only did it feel like work, but I was constantly burnt out while being underpaid and barely having time to enjoy life or pursue my passions. I didn’t think or speak much about birth work during my time as a teacher. So after almost 4 years, I quit. When Year 4 started, I began looking into affordable doula certification programs that highlighted minority experiences.

present day

That’s when I discovered BADT (Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings). I enrolled and started the courses while I was still teaching. In December of 2021, shortly after a coworker asked me to be her doula, I decided to transition from the classroom. I decided to focus all of my energy on my coursework and first client.

By March 2021 I had obtained a second client and assisted my first birth on Earth Day in a birth center. My first client gave birth in July 2022 at a hospital and I was there every step of the way. I recently completed both my doula and childbirth educator certification trainings. I have now supported many families postpartum as well as during labor. Although I am still not a mother yet, I find peace in knowing that when my time comes, I’ll have plenty of education and experience to help me feel empowered and better prepared. That is how I want every parent and family that I serve to feel.

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“Shanti was very helpful from day one. My husband and I were a bit late seeking out a doula but found a perfect match with her. We ended up being 2 weeks over our due date; shanti came through to assist with bringing equipment, positions, and massages to get baby boy out in perfect timing. Thanks so much Shanti!”

Carissa | Philadelphia, PA | Birth Support

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