Meet Our Doulas
Felicia Roche, President
Felicia has been a Certified Doula through DONA International since 1998. She has been a DONA Approved Birth Doula Trainer since 2002 and has trained hundreds of doulas in this time. Women travel from all over the world to attend her trainings.
In June of 2006 she became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. She created Bay Area Birth Education in 2016 to offer evidence based, relevant and positive childbirth classes to the birthing population. The classes have proven a huge benefit to the participants.
In January of 2000 Felicia was trained by the City of Berkeley as a Lactation Counselor to work with participants in the WIC program and encourage successful breastfeeding. She is also trained as a Newborn Massage Instructor from Baby’s First Massage.
Felicia has assisted over 1100 families during their labors and births and continues to make a difference for women at their births on a weekly basis. She has had the honor of serving as doula for several couples up to three times! She has successfully built strong professional alliances with many care providers and nurses at local hospitals.
Felicia also created the Working Women in Labor and In the Doula Spirit – two years in the making. Woven together with beautiful music, captivating photography and insightful interviews with couples and birthing leaders, the videos artfully illustrate the positive role that doulas play in birth.
She is the founder of Working Woman Productions and has created the Doula Client Contact Files (a file system for doulas to better organize and chart client information) which many new doulas build their doula business skills on.
In 2004, the Learning Annex in San Francisco contracted Felicia to teach a course titled “How to Start a Career as a Birth Doula.” The course was so successful that in the spring of 2005 Felicia presented the same topic for the Learning Annex in Sacramento.
She previously served as the executive director and publications coordinator for Birthways, a non-profit childbirth and pregnancy resources and referral center in the Bay Area.
Before finding her calling as a doula Felicia served for many years as a rape crisis counselor, joining women in trauma and guiding them through a heightened and volatile process. She was also a sex educator and lifeskills coach for Planned Parenthood, working with inner-city school kids.
Click on the tiers below to meet our wonderful team of doulas. Our Birth Doulas are divided into tiers based on experience level. We will continue to add bios as our team grows.
Hi, I’m Aleyda, a native, Afro-Latina born and raised in the Bay Area. I’m a college student majoring in Nursing, who’s end goal is to obtain a DNP in Midwifery. One of the reasons I became a Doula is because reproductive health is very important to me; at the age of 18, I found out I had ovarian cysts. This is what truly started my journey, which has led me to obtain an AA in Biology (Emphasis in Allied Health) and dive into the study of how important the womb of a woman truly is. When I found out I had cysts I felt alone, not only because I was physically alone in that hospital room but because I had no prior knowledge of my diagnosis. I’m a Doula because this is truly a calling; I’m here to support, encourage, and empower because this is not a time when any woman should feel alone or feel as though she lacks strength; women are powerful and should always be reminded of that.
What drew me to this work?
I came upon this calling after having my daughter Deliana Grace. They say your life changes after having children and it couldn’t be more true for me. I had a normal low risk pregnancy. My OBGYN (who I had been seeing for years) did not take the time to explain to me what to expect during my pregnancy. I had no idea what was to come from all the office visits and blood tests. I even thought I was going to have an ultrasound every visit. I didn’t find out until the end of my 2nd trimester that she would not be delivering my baby but the midwives at Kaiser would be doing it. I was shocked and and upset that I was going to have a stranger deliver my baby. Had my doctor taken the time to talk with me and walk me through what to expect I don’t think I would have reacted that way. Even though I read lots of books and took all the classes, I still felt lost and uncertain. I (like a lot of women) was not taught about birth and was very naive to the process and everything it entails.
After my pregnancy and birth experience I wanted to help other women through the only avenue I had at that time, my job at a call center as a Healthcare Advocacy specialist. I knew that position was not the path I wanted to continue taking. It became more obvious when I spoke to expectant mothers my whole demeanor would change. I would speak softer and check in with them, see how they are doing and feeling. I went beyond normal call requirements by explaining what to expect during their visits, provide them with resources, books, websites etc to help them prepare. I would end the calls in a warm loving way and remind them to relax, stay positive and remember we have been doing this for thousands of years and she was going to do great. I didn’t know it then but I was already embodying my inner Doula. I would feel uplifted and wonderful making that woman feel better and more prepared during this life changing process. I am all about living my passion and had to see if there was some way for me to do this type of work and make it into a career.
I then researched and then found out more about Doula’s what they are and what they do. I dove right in and signed up for the Doula trainings right away. After I completed my Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula trainings I was hooked! I knew deep in my soul this is what I want to do and I have been going forward ever since.
Hi there. My name is Jennifer. My first experience providing childbirth support took place in 1995, when a friend asked me to be her birth coach for the delivery of her first child. It was a profound experience to witness this miracle and to see firsthand the incredible strength and fortitude required of the birthing mother.
Now more than ever, I am called to embark on this new chapter of my life, in the service of women as they welcome their newborn children into their families. I am currently working towards my certification as a Birth Doula with DONA (Doulas of North America).
In my spare time, I love to travel, play and hear live music, bake with my teenage daughter, and host game nights for my family & friends.
More bios to be added soon.
Akilah has been a birth doula since 2017 and has had the privilege of being trained by Felicia Roche. As a birth doula, Akilah strongly believes that her purpose as a doula is to help women have a safe, memorable and empowering experience. She also understands that a birth is a key life experience a mother will remember for the rest of her life. Therefore, Akilah desires to ensure that every family she assists has the birth experience they are seeking.
Akilah has a passion for all things maternal, with emphasis on lactation, which has motivated her to pursue a Certificate as a Certificated Lactation Counselor (also nursing her children for 55+ months) and a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Instructor.
When Akilah is not assisting a birthing family, she enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband and three amazing children.
Kathleen has enjoyed offering birth doula services for families since 2014 in the SF Bay Area.
As a certified DONA doula, Kathleen makes it her personal goal to offer Information education, non-medical comfort techniques, and most importantly compassionate coaching.
Kathleen started her path to becoming a doula 1999 working at Kaiser Permanente ob/gyn clinic in Hayward Ca as a Certified Medical Assistant. The last two years of Her 17 year career she worked closely with Perinatlogists in their high risk clinic.
Kathleen started her training as a Certified DONA Doula 2014
Felica Roche was her teacher and mentor.
Doula training with Contra Costa Health Services and volunteer doula.
Certified breastfeeding educator
Kathleen has experience with mothers who have had traumatic pasts and traumatic pregnancies.
Kathleen resides in Novato California
She is actively learning religious studies as to understand traditions during labor and delivery.
Gillian was trained as a doula and placenta encapsulator by Felicia Roche through Working Woman. Her experience with post-natal care was through both her experience with her two children (14, 9) and as lay educator and group leader through Mother’s Support Network in Sacramento. Gillian loves that birth and bonding is best explained through science and best experienced through love. In her spare time, she attends as much live theater as she can and reads as many books as possible.
There are no tiers for Postpartum Doulas as there are with Birth Doulas. We will continue to add bios as our team grows.