Brigitte Arlé CD(DONA), CEIM, RPYT, CLC has always felt that freedom of movement is essential to life and happiness. In 2003, she received a BFA in Dance from Alvin Ailey/ Fordham University. Her dedication to dance and healing arts led her to become a health and fitness professional. Brigitte is certified to teach Pilates Mat & Apparatus. In addition she is a registered yoga teacher that is certified in hatha, therapeutic, yin, prenatal & postpartum, yoga for labor & delivery, and prenatal Thai yoga massage. In 2008, she began teaching prenatal and postpartum Pilates & yoga. Working with women during this special time in their lives really influenced her decision to become a doula.
Since then Brigitte has enjoyed working with the NYCDC, attending births and her time being a member of the board of directors. As a doula, Brigitte has taken various continuing education courses. In 2012, she visited the Farm to receive training in Basic Midwifery Skills with Ina May Gaskin. She has taken courses on Breastfeeding for Doulas, Intermediate Midwifery Skills, TENS for Labor, Aromatherapy, Herbs & Homeopathy for Labor, and is currently an apprentice studying herbalism with Karen Rose. Brigitte is a Certified Lactation Counselor, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, and a Educator of Infant Massage. She enjoys supporting all women on their journey, as they become mothers. Brigitte lives in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Anna Cheechov is a DONA certified birth doula, registered yoga teacher, and mama to one beautiful little girl. She was inspired to become a doula by her own positive experiences of pregnancy, birth, and the early postpartum period. Anna hired a NYC Doula Collective doula herself and now feels blessed to be able to give back to families what was so graciously given to her – continuous, caring support from beginning to end.
She believes every birth is truly unique and is open to supporting families in whatever way they need, regardless of how the birth process unfolds. She has supported many kinds of births in hospitals, birth centers and home, and hopes to hold the space for you to come out of your experience feeling strong, accomplished and confident to start your journey as a new parent.
Anna has been a yoga teacher since 2009, specializing in vinyasa, yin and restorative yoga. She loves to teach breath work, meditation and other relaxation techniques that are helpful both in daily life and also during labor. Before teaching yoga, she studied Business and Philosophy at Sacramento State. Originally from Sacramento, CA, Anna now lives in Brooklyn with her partner, baby girl, and cats.
Heather Kaplan is a DONA certified birth doula, postpartum doula and certified school psychologist. Her personal experiences of birth and motherhood enlightened her to the importance of women feeling nurtured, respected and informed throughout their childbearing year, and how this translates into both immediate and long-term benefits for the entire family. Being a mom is Heather’s most cherished role, and so she feels blessed to support women as they are born into motherhood.
Heather believes that women labor most effectively when they feel safe and relaxed. Therefore, she spends the prenatal period helping women prepare for and feel optimistic about their upcoming birth. She talks to clients about their options and preferences regarding labor, birth and breastfeeding, in order to guide families towards meaningful and empowering birth experiences. Heather draws upon various pain management techniques to help women labor more comfortably, and has trained with Gena Kirby in the art of rebozo and with Gail Tully in “Spinning Babies.”
Heather holds a graduate degree from Fordham University and a dual BA in Psychology and Early Childhood Development from SUNY Buffalo. She makes her home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx with her childhood sweetheart (now husband), their two kids and two cats. In the summertime, they love escaping the city for their home in the Catskill Mountains and visiting the beaches of Cape Cod.
Rachel Luscombe is a DONA certified doula with a background in anthropology and Latin American studies. Rachel’s interest in anthropology has instilled a deep respect and appreciation for understanding different cultural practices and approaches to birth. She brings this awareness to her work as a doula – Rachel understands that the women and families she works with will all have their own views and beliefs on birth, and that the experience will be different for each woman. She is dedicated to compassionately supporting all of her clients in whatever choices they make for their birth. Rachel is working toward becoming a certified nurse-midwife and is currently a nursing student at NYU.
Rachel has spent extended amounts of time abroad. She observed her first birth while shadowing a midwife in Germany, and has also lived in Mexico and Spain. She is a Spanish-English bilingual and speaks basic German. When she’s not at births, Rachel enjoys reading, running and baking.
Karen Reposa is a DONA certified birth doula. She was inspired to become a doula after she attended the birth of her niece and she found the experience of watching her sister transition into motherhood to be incredibly transformative. Karen knows that each family has different expectations of their birth process and different needs from their doula. Her ability to make a personal connection with families creates a trusting relationship that combined with her calm presence sets mothers at ease. She is excited to be able to support women in giving birth the way they choose and to witness women in all of their strength, determination, and growth.
Before becoming a doula, Karen taught at an all women’s adult education program. She also spent 2 years in the Peace Corps working with mothers and students as a health educator. She is honored to continue her work of supporting and empowering women and families as a doula. Karen lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Alicia Suárez strongly believes in the body’s innate intelligence. As such, she respects and supports the rights of childbearing women to make the decisions that work best for themselves and their families.
Alicia’s work is greatly influenced by her studies in Body-Mind Centering®, as well as her background in anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, and embryology education. She is a DONA certified birth doula, a certified Breastfeeding Counselor, and a DONA trained postpartum doula. She has years of experience as a yoga therapist, specializing in prenatal and postpartum yoga, and is skilled in the use of breathing, acupressure and Rebozo techniques for labor and delivery.
Alicia has worked with women giving birth at home, birth centers, and hospitals all around the NYC area. She has supported a wide variety of birth experiences, including unmedicated, medicated, high-risk pregnancies, VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), HBAC (home birth after cesarean), breech presentation, and C-sections. She is also knowledgeable about various approaches to childbirth preparation and has assisted clients utilizing the HypnoBirthing, Bradley, and Lamaze methods. Her experience in different settings and approaches helps facilitate the emergence of choices.
Alicia holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. She is fully bilingual and at ease communicating in both English and Spanish. Currently, she serves on the board of the NYC Doula Collective as the Referral Coordinator.