My name is Tonya. I've been a professional Doula, Birth Coach and Childbirth Education teacher based in Sacramento since 2002. I provide education, home visits and support for pregnancy, birth and post partum. Please get in touch to set up an initial consultation.
I look forward to meeting you!
Lessons in Support
I have always been inspired by the strength of women and the miracle of birth. It has the power to change a person deeply, like nothing else can. Everyone deserves to have someone walk alongside them during the journey of pregnancy, supporting them in making educated choices for themselves, and who reminds them that they can trust their intuition, instincts and the wisdom of their body during this deeply transformative rite of passage. I’m here to provide unbiased information and non judgmental support.
I am an herbalist, doula and midwife specializing in women's health, pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I have five of my own children, 2 born in the hospital and 3 born at home in the water. As I birthed my babies, I learned so much about myself and the birth process each time. I am truly in awe at the intricacy of the hormones and physiology of birth, which works so perfectly in a calm safe environment where a woman can trust the process and give in to the birth force. In this life changing moment a mother/father is born, filled with a vast love they have never known before. It is also a time that the birthing person learns how strong they are, leading to the confidence needed to parent this new child. Likewise, the child has their own experience that leaves a lasting imprint deep in their soul. This has also informed my own birth concepts and desire to help limit trauma women, parents and babies can face birthing in this technocratic birth culture that sends so many opposing messages, and steals so much empowerment.
My personal birth stories, and those of the families I have served, have helped to form who I am as a mother, woman and birth partner. I am fully convinced of the amazing power of a woman's body to orchestrate and give life. In most cases, a healthy person can give birth naturally without any problems if the birth process is uninterrupted by fear, unnecessary interruptions and procedures. I know, from personal experience, how important compassionate support is in pregnancy, labor and the postpartum time. Not only does one have a better chance of positive outcomes, but there is an overall positive feeling surrounding the birth experience when one feels heard, empowered to trust their intuition and decisions, regardless of outcomes and whether the experience veered away from their plans.
I learned and used HypnoBirthing for my births, and went on to learn Gentle Birth, which combines the deep relaxation of HypnoBirthing with intentional mindfulness and practical skills that give you a variety of tools to chose from in labor. I am knowledgeable in most natural labor methods, including Birthing From Within, Lamaze, HypnoBabies and The Bradley Method. I completed midwifery school in 2020 and have learned even more deeply the wisdom of the body in pregnancy and birth, knowing what is normal and how to recognize when things are veering outside of normal. This range of personal experience has given me good perspective into the birth process, and a solid grounding in natural birth and the body's ability to birth without complication in an undisturbed environment.
Birth is an intimate time for parents, and I aim to protect their space in the birth room, so they can more easily flow along the path which labor presents. The partner is an integral part of the process and is also in need of support. They can often feel a sense of helplessness in response to watching their beloved manage the intensity of labor. My goal is to empower them as they support the laboring parent, offering them ideas to more effectively help, give them relief when they need a break to eat or rest, and peace of mind to know there is experienced support who will assure them of what is normal and will help make informed decisions within the birth experience.
I am also keenly aware the place education can serve in a positive birth experience, after all, Knowledge is Power! I love to educate clients on how the body works in labor, important coping skills for natural birth, information about tests and procedures, and direct you to resources so you can take ownership of your education, decisions and birth experience. I also provide in-depth Childbirth Education classes outside of my birth services for those who desire deeper education and understanding of their body and birth. I also provide coaching for new birth workers.
Overall, I do my best to empower families as they journey through this amazing life changing event, and help to navigate the many twists and turns that the path birthing can take, with dignity and personal power. I will uphold the desires for birth, as an objective supportive partner, completely trusting you to make the best decisions for yourself.
This rite of passage brings a new level of power and trust in your intuition and instincts that will permeate your life and ability to trust your decisions for yourself and your child that cannot be overemphasized! This also includes the sacred bonding time, which will set the foundation for the emotional health of both parent and child going forward. As your birth keeper, I will work to keep your sacred space and help you have a beautiful, healthy birth and bonding experience. Blessings and happy birthing!
Education and Background
Indie Birth Midwifery School
Traditional Midwifery Education, Graduated April 2020
Full spectrum Midwifery Certification in the Wise Woman model of care. Areas of study completed: The Divine Feminine, Writing 101, Midwifery Herstory, Plant Medicine, Cultural Competency, Hormonal Balance and Fertility, Self Care and Mindfulness, Birth Models, Pregnancy Nutrition, Midwifery Counseling Skills, Wise Woman Prenatal Care, Placentation and Early Fetal Development, Healing Arts and the New Midwifery Paradigm, Introduction to Alternative Therapies, Research Methods, Anatomy and Physiology of Labor, Midwifery Skills Workshop, Midwifery and Mental Health, Diagnostic Testing for Midwives, Multidimensional Midwifery in the Prenatal Period, Apprenticeship and the Art of Being At Births, Full Spectrum Miscarriage and Loss for Midwives, The Journey Through the Pelvis and Exploration of Dystocias, Recognizing and Handeling the Rare Complication of Postpartum Hemorrhage, Complex Birth Theory and Technique, The Babies Transition Earthside, Lactation Science and Breastfeeding Support, The 4th Trimester: Supporting the Postpartum Time as a Modern Midwife, When Birth Doesn't Go as Planned, Foundations in Childbirth Education, Business Skills.
Doula Training & Mentorship
Sierra Childbirth Institute, 2020
Co-teaching up-and-coming birth workers the art of Doula work and Childbirth Education workshops in Sacramento, CA, teaching the art and passion of serving the birthing community. I am also a one-on-one Doula mentor and coach.
Continuing Lactation Education Workshop, 7/2020
Breastfeeding Skills for the Birth Professional
Anatomy and physiology of the lactating breast
Best practice in supporting breastfeeding in the first hour after birth
Preventing problems with proper positioning and latch
Understanding infant feeding cues
Prenatal and mother/baby assessment
Identification and management of common breastfeeding problems
When to refer to a doctor or lactation specialist
Spinning Babies Workshop
Birth Practitioner Training, July 2018
This training in Spinning Babies has allowed me to understand more deeply the techniques of helping a baby to move into an optimal position for birth. These techniques can be used before birth and in the birth process.
DONA Doula Training
Doula Workshop Training, June 2012
Doulas of North America Birth Doula training and childbirth education workshop.
Hypnobirthing training workshop, January 2003
Training in Hypnobirthing technique for childbirth in the Mongan method. This training was invaluable for understanding the mind, and it's relationship to the birthing process, and birthing without pain.
Introduction to Childbirth
School of Childbirth, January 2023
This is a description of your certification. Describe the degree, certification or training listed. Displaying your training and certification shows your visitors you’re an experienced and trustworthy service-provider, which can help potential clients feel more confident about working with you.
Neonatal Resuscitation Certified Card Holder
Providing training and coaching to new and upcoming doulas at Sierra Childbirth Institute.
The Birth Center, 2020-2021
Providing doula support and birth assistance to the midwives at The Birth Center.