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Andrea Proper

Birth AND postpartum doula, child birth educator, newborn care specialist

Andrea Proper graduated from Towson State University with a degree in Psychology- focusing on communication disorders and child development.  For over a decade Andrea has dedicated her life to birth work, advocating for birth rights, supporting the birth process and since 2009 as a birth doula.  Trained through both ToLabor and DONA as a birth doula, Cappa for child birth education and countless hours of continued education specializing in fetal positioning and birth options. In 2009 Andrea started Proper Doula Care - Professional, Personalized doula support.  She has been supporting expectant families through their birth journeys ever since. In 2013 she opened the doors to The Northern Virginia Birth Services center. The purpose for the center was to offer expectant families a neutral and unbiased environment to find support and education from pregnancy, birth and beyond. This space is now mobile and the classes, training and community support is brought to various locations in and around the D.C., VA and MD area.  Andrea does travel to support families and offer workshops outside of the area upon request.  Whether wanting a home/birth center or hospital birth, natural or pain managed, Andrea offers professional, personalized support in a non-judgmental, inviting and accepting way.    

In addition to providing labor support, Andrea teaches the” Labor review and Infant care  class”, “Birth options/building your plan” and “Happy third trimester” classes at the center and specializes in baby positioning and easing mothers discomfort in Pregnancy. Her hope is to provide support and education to any expectant family seeking it as well as to offer an open environment for birth workers to grow and learn. Andrea is currently seeking her graduate degree in counseling, focusing on postpartum depression and anxiety disorders.  Offering support in the postpartum time is crucial to strengthening the mothers well being and the mother/baby bond.   Andrea believes that if you give a mom and baby a strong start, it strengthens the family, in turn strengthening the community. Making the world a better place one birth at a time.  When not supporting families Andrea spends time with her family and enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures and communities around the globe.


Jennifer Monaghan

Birth Doula

Jennifer Monaghan moved to the Northern Virginia area in 2004 from California and attended George Mason University in Fairfax, earning her degree in Health Systems Management.  Shortly after graduation, she gave birth, doula-assisted to her first son, Patrick and recalls how amazing and empowering the experience was.  A couple years later, she gave birth to her second son, Andrew, and decided to decline doula support thinking midwives would provide adequate support. However, she quickly realized the value birth doulas provide before and during the entire labor process.  As a result, Jennifer began her doula career and founded NOVA Doulas, LLC shortly after Andrew was born.  When she found out she was pregnant with her third child, Chloe, she decided to sell the company and took several years off to focus on her family.  Jennifer trained to be a doula through DONA and Childbirth International (CBI) and has taken a spinning babies course.  Jennifer has worked in professional settings within hospitals and has had a homebirth herself (3rd child).  She is passionate about supporting and empowering families through their birthing process. Jennifer lives in Northern Virginia with her husband of 10 years, Colin and their three children, Patrick, Andrew and Chloe, is an avid reader and health and wellness enthusiast.

When Jennifer isn’t with a doula client she enjoys working out and teaching Freezer Meal Workshop classes.


 

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Erin Hughes

Birth Doula

Erin is a DONA trained birth doula working towards certification with specific training in optimal positioning of baby. She also  has experience with successful VBACs and VBA2Cs.  Prior to her doula training, she earned a BS in biology from the University of Maryland followed by an MS in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.  She worked full-time for over a decade in the legal/regulatory science field.  While this career was rewarding in some ways, it wasn't until her journey into motherhood that she began to realize what she believed to be her true calling.  Her personal experience with birth, coupled with a passion to care for other women, strongly influenced her desire to pursue a career in helping to empower women by providing support, guidance, and advocacy during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.  

Although she and her partner took Bradley Method classes and felt well prepared before the birth of her first daughter, she and her husband were not at all prepared for the 50 hours of labor she experienced before finally giving birth.  They decided to hire a doula for their second daughter's birth, which went faster and much more smoothly than the first.  For that, she gives much credit to her doula who amazed them with her ability to be a quiet, yet strong, constant supportive presence by their side.  Since then, becoming a doula has been on her mind as something she would absolutely love to do and be good at.  The experience Erin gathered during her first birth, including how to cope with prodromal labor, posterior positioning of baby, and use of an epidural, combined with that of her second unmedicated birth, gives her a particular perspective on what works as far as physical and emotional support during labor.  Erin's own birth experiences showed her what an amazing, empowering experience birth is and how strong a woman can be!  

Birth is such a defining moment for the entire family, and evidence shows that when a family receives quality support during this process, the birth outcomes are better and the memories and perceptions of the birth are more satisfying.  Whatever choices you decide to make when it comes to your birth, as your doula, Erin will work hard to offer unbiased support, advocacy, and encouragement to help guide you through the process.  It will be her honor to support your family during this precious time and help ensure the best possible birth experience for you and your baby.  


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Katie Tolbert

HypnobirthinG instructor, Postpartum Placenta Specialist, Certified Doula (HBPD) 

Katie began her career of birth work while working as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Virginia Hospital Center. She welcomed motherhood in 2009, while working full time as a nurse and was first introduced to HypnoBirthing by her midwife. While an unknown philosophy to her at the time, she pursued HypnoBirthing alongside her husband and after the calm birth of her first child, she felt motivated to share her experience and empower other women. After finishing her HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator training, she soared to pursue her gifts of compassion, support and empowering into the birth rooms and homes of mothers everywhere quickly blossoming into a professional, contemporary Doula. Katie combines her nursing knowledge,  her nourishing compassion and her confident skills in empowering mothers and fathers before, during and after the birth of their baby. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband of 13 years, Brian and three children, Victoria, Chase and Natalia.


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Emily Workman

Birth Doula

Emily is the mother of a sweet, sensitive 4 year old son and a silly and precocious 2 year old daughter, both conceived through IVF. She is married to her husband Simon, who she fell fast and hard for as soon as she heard his amazing British accent ten years ago.

She received her birth doula training through DONA International and is passionate about providing support to women and their families from all walks of life. She recognizes that there is a beautiful diversity amongst pregnant women, each with different hopes, expectations, and belief systems surrounding pregnancy and birth. She fervently believes that every woman, no matter if she has an un-medicated birth or a caesarean, at home or a hospital, can benefit from the encouraging, comforting and knowledgeable support that a doula offers.

She is 100% convinced that her labor and births would have been dramatically different had she and her husband had a doula by their side. Through her work, she hopes to minimize the number of women who miss out on this incredible opportunity.

Emily loves to both laugh and cry with her clients. She meets them wherever they are and offers her support in a non-judgmental, trusting, and empowering way.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Duke University and a master’s degree in comparative and international social policy from the University of York in England. She spent years on a mission to help create equality in public education before becoming a birth doula, certain she finally found her true calling in life.

When not thinking about or supporting women in labor and childbirth, she adores participating in spontaneous dance parties with her family.


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Chandler Sampson

Birth doula

Graduating with a degree in Education and English from Louisiana State University, Chandler never would’ve thought her path would lead her to birth support and education. Her journey started when the birth of her first child ended tragically with a stillborn at 26 weeks gestation. After researching support for such a thing, she decided to pursue a job in the birth industry as a doula in support of both healthy and happy pregnancies and births as well as losses and difficult births. She was lucky to have an amazing birth team, which included doctors and a midwife, to help her during her loss. Chandler desires for all women to feel the love and support that she felt during that time, no matter the circumstances. 
 

She is a trained and certified birth doula for more than 4 years. She also has additional trainings as a doula for Bradley Method and hypnobabies comfort measures. She is also a high risk and loss Doula trainer. Certified to train and support other professionals attending losses or difficult births. She believes that birth is one of the most important events of a woman's life and should be treated as such. Believing in the woman’s ability to birth children. while understanding that no two births are ever the same. She feels women deserve to be respected for their choices and supported in those choices. When she is not working as a doula she is cuddling her son and hanging out with her dog and husband in NOVA. 

Typically specializing in high risk and first time moms,  Chandler serves all of Northern Virginia (NOVA) and the DC area with extensive experience in natural, normal low-risk birth to VBACs, C-Sections and high risk pregnancies and loss support. 


Angelica Ortiz

Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, Trained Newborn care specialist

Angie studied health science, specializing in medical assisting at ACT College of Manassas. She is currently pursuing an online bachelor's degree in psychology at Brigham Young University.

Angie has a background in surgical assisting. Her first language is Spanish and she is fluent in English. She understands medical terminology in both languages. Angie received her labor and delivery and postpartum and newborn care trainings from ProDoula.

Angie has always been a nurturer. She, as a child, learned from her mother. She observed her mother's strength, love, calm and happy disposition as she served as a midwife for their family.

Angie wishes she had a doula by her side when she delivered her children. She believes a doula would have a been a tremendous help and support for her and her husband.

Now it is her desire and privilege to serve all the mothers and their families in the area on their amazing journeys into parenthood.

Angie is comfortable working in all types of birth settings (birth center, home birth, hospital). She works with parents of all needs and respects their beliefs and desires with unconditional love and support.

Angie believes that being a doula is not only her passion but her calling in life. When she is not working as a doula, Angie enjoys running, dancing, listening to music, and boating with her family. Angie's family consists of her husband of 27 years, three sons, two daughters, two beautiful grandchildren, and an amazing daughter in law.


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Gabriella Garcia

Birth doula

Gabriella is delighted to join the NOVA Birth Services team and assist couples to transition their baby earthside. Gabriella is originally from Long Island, New York and was brought to DC to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University. She holds a B.A. in Psychology with research encompassing social phenomena, intimate relationships, biases, and personality. Gabriella decided to become a doula in hopes to empower women to recognize the incredible contribution a woman has to humanity by providing clients with evidence-based research regarding pregnancy and birth, proven comfort and support measures, and the reassurance a woman's body was made to grow, support, and birth her baby. Gabriella's number one priority as a doula is to ensure couples are provided with all options available to them so they can make informed choices to ensure the most positive/optimal birth experience for everyone. Additionally, Gabriella believes it is important to nurture the notion that the birth of their baby also means the birth of a mother, father, big brother/sister, and new family dynamic altogether. With an empathetic and mindful approach, Gabriella hopes to assist families in looking back on a positive birth experience.