Meet Our ProDoula Trainers

See below for a full bio


Randy Patterson

ProDoula CEO

Randy Patterson began her career in the birthing world in 1997 at the birth cottage at Hudson Valley hospital. There, she worked as a birth assistant (Doula) and later cross-trained as a peri-natal technician on the OB unit of the hospital. In 2003 she opened her independent doula business. In 2008 she joined forces with Debbie Aglietti; as co-owners of Northeast Doulas, they grew the business, their team and an awareness about Doulas. Randy’s passion is in helping women find strength and power in themselves – through their own experiences of birth or as a woman, mother or Doula. Throughout her life Randy has been a natural leader – a source of strength, inspiration and knowledge to those around her. With these skills, Randy leads the Training and Development Department of ProDoula – she imparts the company’s value on honesty, integrity, communication and accountability in the coursework, trainings and certification process. Randy recognizes that when someone is ready to become a doula, they need ongoing support that is nonjudgmental and compassionate. Randy is a trusted ally and loyal mentor to those who seek out ProDoula.


Kristyn Blocher

ProDoula Director of Training & Development, Labor, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula, Placenta Prep, Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

Kristyn Blocher began her doula career in 2007, offering specialized support to Olympia area families, as a solo doula. During her initial years as a doula, Kristyn established herself as a well respected doula who is known as steady and easy going; providing a comforting presence during pregnancy, birth, and the early postpartum months. Her reliability, professional skills and ability to meet each family where they are, are highly valued by the community that she serves. Kristyn holds multiple certifications as a Labor and Postpartum Doula, and is also a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist. In 2014, she was invited to become a part of The Training and Development Team at ProDoula, and is proud to train new labor and postpartum doulas as they begin their exciting journey to birth work. New doulas appreciate her patient and available mentorship. Kristyn resides in Olympia, Washington with her two children and is raising them to value the rule that they can have anything they want in life, if they are willing to do what is takes to have it.


Julie Six

Labor & Postpartum Doula Trainer

With a love babies and a fascination for pregnancy and birth, it’s no coincidence that Julie has worked her way into a leadership position in the birth community.

Giving birth to her first child in an African country in 2004 with incredible support by her side, made her realize that it was time to tuck her degree in Communications and Public Relations away and pursue a career supporting birthing families.

Upon returning to the U.S., Julie trained to become a doula. In 2007 she became certified with Childbirth International and DONA International and opened her doula business. That business has now grown into “The Birth Haven,” Lexington, Kentucky’s premier doula agency.

Julie went on to earn her Childbirth Education Certification and to serve on the DONA board of directors, before finding her home with ProDoula in 2015. “After years as a certified doula, I left my ProDoula training so impressed by their approach. It was a package of skills I’d never had before, and just as important; it gave a sense of freedom! In that single training, I found a release from the weight of feeling like I needed to ‘save’ my clients, and learned how to give those experiences back to women using authentic, nonjudgmental support.”

With two successful businesses, Julie lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, their 3 kids and dog, Truman. As a member of the ProDoula Training & Development Team, Julie loves to ignite and invigorate others about what the life and business of being a doula can truly be!


Angela Horn

Labor, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula and Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

A certified birth doula with DONA International from 1999-2015, Angela has served hundreds of families in birth. She has worked hard to cultivate a positive perception of doulas as professionals in the Tucson, Arizona community and she has earned the trust and respect of many families, providers, nurses and other birth professionals.

Dissatisfied with her original doula certification organization and the disregard for their members, Angela pursued certification elsewhere. That is when she found her home with ProDoula. “I finally found an organization that is professional, responsive and offers all encompassing training to labor and postpartum doulas and childbirth educators and I am here to stay.”

In her role as a dual certified labor doula and childbirth educator with ProDoula as well as CAPPA, Angela is also a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor through Central Arizona College. Angela has a wealth of experience in supporting a diverse group of families and has served clients from various backgrounds and cultures and those who have had many different types of pregnancy, birth and parenting experiences. Angela relies on the knowledge she gained from these experiences when training new doulas

As a professional doula, Angela has run the well-known Tucson group doula practice, Desert Doulas since 2006 and co-founded Tucson’s first doula agency, Tucson Doulas in 2015.

As a national speaker, Angela has felt drawn to supporting other doulas along the way and is a proud member of the ProDoula Training & Development Team.


Leanne Palmerston

Labor, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula and Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

Leanne attended her first birth when she was just 14 years old. She was mesmerized by the experience and 20 years later, supported her sisters in their own births.
When a friend introduced the idea to her that being a doula was an actual profession, Leanne quickly became trained, certified and opened her first doula business. Leanne believes that birth can be an empowering experience when a woman has the knowledge she desires and unwavering support and is proud to play a role in that.

Today Leanne is the co-owner of Hamilton Family Doulas, the first and only doula agency in her area.

Her love for nurturing families through the challenges of birth and new parenting, makes her a popular prenatal teacher who also teaches new midwives to help women cope in labour and birth.

As a proud member of the ProDoula Training & Development Team Leanne uses her enthusiasm, love of mentoring and a decade of experience as a doula to help new doulas become great doulas.

Leanne lives in Hamilton, Ontario with her best friend Sean who also happens to be her husband and their 2 sons.


Colleen Downey

Labor, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula and Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

Colleen Downey, owner of Indianapolis Doulas, is a strong and steady presence to all who know her. Colleen started her career as a doula in 2011 with a passion for helping to empower women and has not looked back. She has spent the past 5 years of her career thriving as a professional labor and postpartum doula.

In late 2014 Colleen attended her first ProDoula training and within 24 hours established the groundwork for a business partnership and a foundation for a doula agency. She now co-owns Indianapolis Doulas LLC, a full service doula agency serving families in the Indianapolis Metro area.

As a member of the ProDoula Training & Development Team, Colleen believes fiercely in her students, and it shows. Those who attend Colleen’s trainings leave feeling fully confident and capable in their skills and knowledge as a doula. However, it doesn’t end there. Colleen loves the connections she builds with her students and the continued mentorship she offers is surpassed by none.

Colleen is a lifelong resident of Indiana, and when she is not running her business, working with clients, or training doulas, she enjoys hiking with her family, watching funny tv shows, and cooking delicious meals.


Alex Weinberger

Labor, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula and Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

From a very early age, Alex was drawn to pregnancy, birth, and babies. Watching friends evolve on their journeys as parents inspired her to explore the world of birth work. That is when she discovered her life’s work as a doula and childbirth educator.

After taking a DONA International approved doula training in 2010, Alex set about building her first doula agency. In January 2015, Alex took her first of many ProDoula trainings, and in doing so, she found her home.

On the business advice of Randy Patterson, Alex undertook a thorough rebrand and renaming of her agency to what is now Toronto Family Doulas, a thriving and growing doula business.

ProDoula’s philosophy of elevating the doula profession and providing compassionate, judgment-free support resonated with Alex and it drew her closer to the organization.

Now, along with her passion for working with families, Alex has found a new passion; bringing her knowledge, and the ProDoula message, to new and experienced doulas alike. As a member of the Training and Development Team, Alex brings her uniquely Canadian perspective and a dedication to seeing doulas succeed.


Samantha Griffin

Labor and Postpartum & Infant Care Doula Trainer

After attending her very first birth, Samantha knew that she was on the right
path as a birth worker. However, it wasn’t until a ProDoula training in 2016
when she saw that she could make a life and a career as a doula.

Samantha loves her role as an entrepreneur and doula. While serving others
she is also building a legacy for her own family. Sam’s journey to becoming a
professional doula has been life changing, and as a member of ProDoula’s
Training and Development Team, she is passionate about helping others
achieve the same.

Samantha comes to you from the suburbs of Washington, DC, where she lives
with her family.


Becky Durnin

Labor, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula Trainer

After struggling to build a doula business for a length of time, Becky was
introduced to ProDoula in 2015 and brought ProDoula trainings to Ireland in
2016. Upon implementing the systems outlined by ProDoula she quickly
became one of the most sought after and successful Doulas in Ireland.

Being highly impressed by the practical skills and professional standards laid
out by ProDoula, Becky is proud to be a member of their Training &
Development Team. By training doulas, Becky is able to help elevate the role
of doulas and improve the birth and postpartum experiences for families
worldwide.

Becky comes to you from Dublin, Ireland where she lives with her husband, 2
daughters and Jack, her 7 year old Pomeranian.


Aisha Fanning

Labor & Postpartum Doula and Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

In 2011, while researching how best she could support a friend, Aisha
stumbled upon the role of a postpartum doula. Instantly she knew that
Certified Doula would be her new title.

As a newer member of the ProDoula Training and Development team, Aisha
brings diversity and hopes that her love for doula work transcribes to
supporting genuine doulas to be their genuine selves. “Anyone can do this
work, but it takes passion, heart, and skill to make it succeed!”

Aisha pronounces her name Aye-EE- sha, and resides in the ‘Entertainment
Capital of the World’…Las Vegas! As a woman of Faith, Military spouse, and
mother of 4, Aisha’s life motto is “Hakuna Matata”.


Katie Brenner

Labor and Postpartum & Infant Care Doula Trainer

After a 10 year career in social work and the birth of her first child, Katie was drawn to make a career shift in the families she supported. In 2013 she began her work as a birth professional and was eager to give her clients the best support she could provide as a childbirth educator and doula.  

After certifying with several other organizations which were often biased towards a particular birth outcome and parenting choices, Katie found ProDoula in 2015. She was immediately drawn to ProDoula’s standards of professionalism, dedication to non-judgemental support for families and mentorship for sustainable business practices.

“I left my first ProDoula trainings confident that I had tools to support any client in any of their birth and parenting choices. ProDoula builds the strong foundation that I wished I had when I started out.”

Today Katie is co-owner of Doulas of Cincinnati.  Her experience of running a successful solo practice, opening the first doula agency in her community, and merging her agency with another successful solo doula has positioned her as a natural mentor. She has served over 150+ families as a certified Childbirth Educator, Labor and Postpartum & Infant Care Doula, and Postpartum Placenta Specialist.

As a member of the Training and Development Team she uses her knowledge gained from working with diverse families and her business experiences to help train new doulas. Katie is patient, approachable, and facilitates meaningful opportunities for learning and growth. She focuses on exceptional service delivery and is committed to elevating the profession of doulas.

Katie lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two sons, a cat and some chickens.


Kelly Rutan

Postpartum & Infant Care Doula and Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

After a not-so- fulfilling career as a litigation lawyer and a rocky postpartum time with her own two children, Kelly stumbled across the role of doula when she supported a friend through a very challenging postpartum struggle in 2014. This was the spark she needed to find her calling as a postpartum doula. After certifying through another doula organization, Kelly found ProDoula in 2015 and knew immediately she was home.

Kelly has devoted thousands and thousands of hours of postpartum doula support to her clients and understands that there is no greater gift than providing true non-judgmental support to new families as they find the path that is right for them. This is why she is drawn to ProDoula, an organization that makes professional, non-judgmental support part of its core beliefs. She is thrilled to join the ProDoula Training and Development Team where she can play a crucial role in training and educating doulas to carry that mission of nonjudgmental support out into the world.

Today Kelly is the co-owner of Doulas of Raleigh, a full-service doula agency providing
exceptional, unbiased support for families in North Carolina. She lives in Cary, North Carolina with her husband, two children, her incredible three-legged dog, Frannie, and her less-than- incredible-but- still-adorable cat, Clover.


Celeste Kraft

Labor and Postpartum & Infant Care Doula Trainer

Celeste’s journey to birth work began when she went through her Obstetrics rotation of nursing school back in 1992.  Pregnant with her first child at the time, she had a vested interest in the experience of the patients she worked with and had an innate feeling that birth could be different than what she was observing.  This led her to the medical library (before the internet existed!) where she read all the research she could find on childbirth practices.  She was so empowered by the birth of her first son a couple months later, that friends and acquaintances alike began seeking her out for information and support during their own pregnancy, birth, and parenting journeys.  She went through doula training four years later when she learned that she could put her passion into practice.  

Celeste worked for Community Hospitals of Indianapolis (CHI) from the start of their doula program in 1997 through 2004.  During this time, she also maintained a private doula practice and began teaching hospital and private childbirth classes in 1998. Originally from the Detroit area, Celeste returned with her family to Michigan in 2006.  

In 2015, Celeste trained with ProDoula and is proud to be certified as both a Birth Doula and Postpartum & Infant Care Doula.  She enjoys encouraging and mentoring new doulas and was a trainer for a community-based doula program in Detroit.  Celeste and her husband have had several opportunities to coordinate medical teams to Nicaragua where she helps in women’s health education.  Locally, she loves volunteering as an ESL instructor for middle eastern immigrant and refugee women.  She is also honored to serve on the first national Advisory Board for ProDoula.   

Celeste tries to spend time every day reading, singing, and (weather permitting) either hiking or cycling.  But her absolute favorite thing to do is spend time with her family which includes her husband, their four sons, and their new daughter-in-love.  

As a member of the ProDoula Training & Development Team, Celeste is honored to have the opportunity to influence a new generation of doulas as they discover their ability to not only improve birth, but also positively impact their families, their clients, their communities, and the world!  


Jessica Dill

Labor, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula and Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

After the birth of her 5th  child in 2010, Jessica knew there had to be something more. Some type of person who supported families through this crazy journey, that’s when she found out what a “doula” was and never looked back.

She attended her first training with DONA in 2012, then went on to train with 4 other training organizations. It wasn’t until she found ProDoula in 2016 that she knew she was home! She finally left a training feeling confident and surrounded by people who believed as strongly as she did in nonjudgmental support for everyone and that this could be a career.

Jessica launched Doulas of Greater Lafayette in 2017, west central Indiana’s first and only doula agency. Her true passion is supporting parents through every type of birth and with every parenting style, as well as helping new doulas on their journey to do the same. As a natural leader, her strength is continually referred to as contagious and she loves watching others find the strength in themselves she saw all along.

Jessica is certified with ProDoula in Labor, Postpartum and Infant Care, and Childbirth Education. She is also a trained Newborn Care Specialist, Lactation Counselor, Certified Personal Trainer, and is the state representative for a national non-profit.

She lives on a small farm with her husband, 5 children, huskies, barn cats, and ever-growing number of chickens.


Lila Aviles

Postpartum & Infant Care Doula Trainer

As a little girl in Cuba, Lila knew she wanted to always be in a position where she could support, care and nurture others. After being transplanted to South Florida at the age of 12, she was exposed to the healthcare field for the first time while going to her mother’s job after school at a medical office.

Following her passions, in high school she did her community hours in after care teaching younger students, and found an amazing volunteer opportunity at the local hospital’s labor and delivery floor, which introduced her to pregnancy and birth.

Lila did not know as she assisted her first birth for a friend at the age of 24 there was a title for the role she was filling. It wasn’t until the birth of her daughter when she realized the power women can feel when they are able to take control of their choices and feel supported along the way.

In 2015, she finally found where she belonged as a doula in ProDoula, and attended her first two trainings. Lila is thankful each day for having found an organization that speaks to her soul, while holding the highest of standards for the profession.  

With her successful agency “Mainstay Doulas & Co.” she runs with her partner, Lila is happy to support new and growing families in all stages.  

As a trainer of the ProDoula Training & Development Team, Lila hopes to bring her unique personality and perspective as a Hispanic woman to all areas of the globe as she spreads ProDoula’s message of compassionate, judgement-free support.

Lila currently resides in South Florida where she manages her zoo, consisting of: one dog, two cats, 14 chickens, a fish tank, one little boy and girl, and a husband.


Staci Plonsky

Labor and Postpartum & Infant Care Doula Trainer

Staci Plonsky understands the value of nonjudgmental support. Following the (very different) births of her three children, Staci realized she had developed a passion for birth work. She became a doula and childbirth educator in 2010. She attended her first ProDoula training in 2013, which inspired her to begin working full time as a labor and postpartum doula. Her clients provide rave reviews, talking about her positive words, enthusiasm, and gentleness.

Staci is passionate about teaching doulas not only how to attune and support their clients enthusiastically and wholeheartedly, but also to build a sustainable business that will last for years to come. She loves to mentor doulas so that they can continue to develop their skills and provide excellent support to their clients.

Staci lives with her husband and three children in Central Florida, where she enjoys horseback riding and relaxing at the beach.


Emily Johnson

Labor and Postpartum & Infant Care Doula Trainer

Emily has been captivated by pregnancy and childbirth since she was a little girl. Her Barbies were always pregnant (wearing handmade maternity jumpers) and she had perfected a pillow baby bump by age 9! As she grew older, Emily read every book she could find about pregnancy and childbirth and, in one of those books, discovered the role of a doula.

She began working as a doula part-time in 2009, and following the birth of her first child four years later, quit her day job and jumped headfirst into doula work full-time. As a DONA certified birth doula, Emily ran a successful, fully-booked, solo doula practice for the following 2.5 years. In 2015, pregnant again and on the verge of burnout, she was added to a ProDoula run facebook group. She knew, right away, that she had found her home. The focus on unbiased support for all goals and choices, coupled with sage business advice was exactly what she needed to push forward.

In August of 2015, Emily took her first ProDoula training. In March of the following year, she launched her flourishing doula agency, Doulas of Cincinnati. Through mentorship of the doulas in her agency and in her local community, Emily discovered her passion for motivating others to achieve their personal and professional goals. As a member of the ProDoula Training and Development Team, Emily is proud to share her almost nine years of experience and enthusiasm for this profession with doulas across the country!

Emily lives in Kentucky with her husband, Jay, two daughters, June & Magnolia, and two dogs, Ollie & Odin.


Lois Perks

Labor Doula Trainer

The journey to doula work for Lois has included working with a homebirth midwife, becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, 4 years of Army nursing, and 7 years of working in an OBGYN office. And then a friend asked Lois to be her doula when she had her first baby. Since then, supporting families as they grow has been a passion for Lois.

In 2012, Lois was certified as a birth doula through DONA International. She became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator in 2014, and in 2015 became a ProDoula member and took all the business trainings as fast as she could.

That was the launch point for furthering her doula career as a ProDoula CD Labor, CCE, and Pre-certified PPS and P&ICD. Lois is excited to be part of the ProDoula Training and Development Team, and looks forward to sharing her passion and knowledge of supporting couples through childbirth with new doulas.

Lois owns DC Doulas in beautiful Washington DC, where she and her husband Steve take their leash-trained cats, Rhodey and Topper, on walks around the neighborhood.


Lacey Bauer

Labor Doula and Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

Lacey is a passionate and driven member in the doula industry. Her path to the world of birth began when she was a high school teacher in Philadelphia. Her nonjudgmental support afforded her students a safe haven from their own network of peers and family members who weren’t ready to provide the same environment.  Lacey’s natural affinity for guiding and comforting families continues to flourish in her career as a professionally certified doula and serves as a basis for and reminder of the importance of support from an unbiased person during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period.

She completed her first doula training in 2012 and has since served hundreds of families both as a Certified Labor Doula and Postpartum and Infant Care Doula. She moved on to join ProDoula in 2014 where she found that her personal philosophies on passion, success, and sustainability in the profession closely aligned with the organization’s own teachings.

Riverside Regional Medical Center invited Lacey to be a keynote speaker at their “Birth Really Matters” Conference in 2014 and also worked closely with the administration of other hospitals over the years. This helped forge positive relationships between her agency and the local medical system’s providers. She continues to nurture those relationships to the benefit of her clients.

Lacey proudly owns Hampton Roads Doulas in Virginia and Doulas of Los Angeles in California. She lives in quiet Rescue, Virginia with her husband, Mike, and their dog, Rita, and two-spirited Lionhead rabbits.


Jennifer Del Sol

Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer

Jenn has been supporting families in different realms for the past 10 years. It wasn’t until the birth and breastfeeding experience with her own daughter that pushed her into supporting families in the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience. 

Before becoming a doula, she jumped into the birth world as a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor with University of California San Diego where she later completed all of her education and prerequisites to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant candidate. It was only during her education she learned about what a doula was. She knew that the non-judgmental support that accompanied the role of being a doula would be the perfect complement to her expertise in lactation. She became a doula in 2014 with DONA but found her home with ProDoula just a year later in 2015. 

Her love for the doula profession grew immensely, as did her practice as a solo doula to co-owner of Mainstay Doulas & Co. where she supports her clients as a Birth Doula, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula, and Lactation Specialist. 

Because ProDoula has been instrumental in shaping the doula, business woman, and person she is, she is excited to take on a leadership position as an Infant Feeding Specialist Trainer. It is her goal to provide each birth professional she trains with the tools and attunement skills to support families through feeding their baby and help them feel comfortable and confident in every decision. 

 

When Jenn is not working, she is having fun with her husband, Pedro, and chasing around her two children, Cosette and Sebastian, and their Italian Greyhound, Apollo.