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meet the birth boot camp leadership

Meet the Birth Boot Camp Leadership

Today, we want to introduce you to the people behind Birth Boot Camp. While our company has both doula and instructor programs, we are one, run by a cohesive group of women. This team works together to accomplish our purpose; to help people have amazing births and help birth workers have amazing businesses.

For ease of function, our team is grouped as:

  • Birth Boot Camp Headquarters, which runs the day-to-day operations for all programs, and,
  • Birth Boot Camp Advisory Board, which provides advice, continuing education, and expert resources for all Birth Boot Camp programs.

We are so excited for you to meet the Birth Boot Camp leadership teams!

The Headquarters Team

Running day-to-day operations, developing curriculum for students, training materials for instructors and doulas, and providing daily support for all those that join the Birth Boot Camp family, is the Headquarters Team. These women live and breathe Birth Boot Camp.

Meet the birth boot camp leadership

Donna Ryan, Founder and CEO

With the un-medicated birth of her second baby in 1999, Donna was transformed! Giving birth naturally began a journey and desire to help other women have empowering births.

Since 2003, she has had the honor of working with and teaching hundreds of couples through childbirth education classes. Advocacy is also a part of Donna’s passion. She is the co-founder of the Tarrant County Birth Network, Fort Worth, Texas, growing it to be the largest chapter of BirthNetwork National. On a personal level, she has given birth to four beautiful babies in a variety of settings, with three types of care providers and in four different positions! On the side, she writes a blog called Banned From Baby Showers.

She is incredibly humbled by the opportunity to work with an amazing group of women to bring Birth Boot Camp curriculum to the world. 

This video features Donna and Sarah (introduced below) talking about why Birth Boot Camp values both doulas and childbirth education so much.

Sarah Clark, Curriculum Development

Sarah Clark has long been passionate about the joy and beauty involved in birth. After taking a birth class before her first child was born, she felt the need to share the knowledge that had helped her achieve an amazing birth with other women. She has taught birth classes since 2008.

A writer, Sarah is probably best known for her active work on her birth and mothering blog, Mama Birth. She has been published in several birth related magazines, one book, and was a regular contributor on the Mothering Magazine blog.

As part of Birth Boot Camp Headquarters, Sarah helps train teachers on the art of communicating birth knowledge and helps develop content for teachers and students.

She makes her home in beautiful Northern California with her four children and husband.

April Francom, Instructor Certification Coordinator

April Francom has been passionate about motherhood since before her first natural birth in 1999. With a Bachelor’s degree in Education, April brings over 16 years of experience to Birth Boot Camp from various educational pursuits. April has given countless hours of service to her local birth network and twice organized a community Birth Fair, helping to raise thousands of dollars. 

She enjoys working with those who desire to become Birth Boot Camp Instructors; guiding them along the path to certification. When you sign up to become a Birth Boot Camp instructor, you will get to know April!

Alisa Spear, Administrator

Alisa Spear is a mother of four children and, in many ways, was the impetus behind Birth Boot Camp. A college friend of Donna’s, Alisa’s excitement and joy over her the birth of her first child, is what led Donna on her journey to discover just how birth could be so amazing.

As part of Birth Boot Camp Headquarters, Alisa’s work as administrator helps with the daily functioning of this growing company. We all rely on her guidance and support.

Hailie Wolfe, Doula Certification Coordinator and Social Media

Hailie Wolfe is a mother to five children and is married to her favorite person, Micah. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies at Wayland Baptist University in 2009. As a former elementary special education teacher, she loves helping others reach their fullest potential. After having her first unmedicated birth, she became passionate about childbirth education and her career shifted into birth work. She teaches Birth Boot Camp to help other women reach their natural childbirth goals and is also a certified doula offering hands-on labor support to women in Abilene, TX.

Hailie has many roles at Birth Boot Camp, but we’ll focus on two. Hailie works as our doula certification coordinator, helping all our doula trainees from across the country as they work through certification. She is also a doula trainer herself in the Abilene, TX area.

Secondly, we noticed early on that Hailie had a gift for social media and design. She creates so many gorgeous graphics for us and shares them far and wide. When you hear about Birth Boot Camp, Hailie was likely behind it somehow!

Alexa Gumm, Lead Doula Trainer

Alexa Gumm has been married to Joe since 1997 and is mother to their four little ladies. In 1999 she earned a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Texas Christian University. Since her first daughter’s home birth in 2001 she has felt obligated to share the beauty and innate strength of women that occurs in natural birth and in 2010 became a certified birth doula.

One of her favorite places to be is assisting families during the births of their precious babies. In 2011, she was invited to join a powerhouse group of women as a Chapter Leader with the Tarrant County Birth Network in Fort Worth, Texas. Her role included recruiting sponsors for community birth events and media relations. A natural born networker, these skills perfectly complement her position as lead doula trainer for Birth Boot Camp.

She trains doulas, doula trainers, and has a busy practice as a doula herself. Alexa is also one of our certified Birth Boot Camp Instructors.

This video about Alexa kind of says it all.

The Birth Boot Camp Advisory Board

In addition to those that run the day-to-day operations at Birth Boot Camp, we also have an advisory board. These are professionals in related fields who offer their thoughts and advice as needed. Because childbirth education and doula services are broad fields that cover many things, such as nutrition, exercise, breastfeeding, massage, and more, we like having experts from those fields to turn to. They are available to our instructors and doulas as they have questions, and they help us as we write curriculum and create materials. They are truly an integral part of helping our programs stay current and accurate. We love these ladies!

meet the Birth Boot Camp leadership team

Mellanie Sheppard, IBCLC

Mellanie Sheppard is a lactation consultant in private practice with more than 12 years experience working with breastfeeding families. She is an avid proponent of educating expectant families on Mother-Friendly Childbirth and a co-founder and leader of the Tarrant County Birth Network.

A leader in her field, Mellanie frequently presents at conferences and events on topics including breastfeeding the special needs infant, the effects of induction of labor on breastfeeding, and how birth and breastfeeding are inter-connected. Mellanie is the breastfeeding expert featured on our comprehensive breastfeeding download, Breastfeeding: The Ultimate MRE, which comes complimentary with every full-length birth class and can also be purchased separately.

Mellanie also plays a role in preparing our doulas to support the first nursing session and is always willing and able to answer questions for our Birth Boot Camp instructors and doulas as well as provide continuing education.

Katie Dudley, HHC, CPT, CES, PES

Katie is passionate about natural health and wellness. She enjoys educating and empowering others to take control of their own health. She believes women can have an amazing pregnancy and birth and is the keystone behind all Birth Boot Camp nutrition, wellness, and exercise materials.

Katie earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia with a focus in Child and Family Development and Educational Psychology. Following her love of fitness and nutrition, a trainer since 2005, she is a Certified Corrective Exercise and Performance Enhancement Specialist and a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. Katie currently has a private Holistic Health Coaching Practice, Cornerstone Integrative Fitness and Wellness, where she works with women and families all over the country. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family.

Kristen Hosaka, DC

Dr. Kristen Hosaka, Chiropractor, has been combining her knowledge of chiropractic with her love for birth since she graduated Cum Laude from Parker College of Chiropractic in 2002. She is Webster Certified for pregnancy chiropractic care. She regularly adjusts women during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum, as well as infants and children.

Having had positional issues with her first two babies, she is always seeking to help others attain optimum health and easier births for both themselves and their babies through chiropractic care which she experienced first hand with her third birth.

Dr. Hosaka provides incredible support for all our Birth Boot Camp team, answering questions, speaking at our conferences, and contributing to online classes and written materials.

You can even get a taste of her knowledge in this awesome video.

Hannah Reasoner, LMT

Hannah Reasoner’s dedication to pregnancy, childbirth, and the amazing journey of motherhood is apparent as soon as you meet her. With education and training in the areas of Massage Therapy, Acupressure, Birth and Postpartum Doula Services, Holistic Nutrition, Fertility, and Childbirth, Hannah has cared for and served the many needs of pregnant women and growing families since 2005.

She has contributed to our online classes, written materials, and ongoing support for our instructors and doulas.

Melody Morrow, CPM, LM

Melody loves babies and birth. Since 1998 she has attended over 1,100 births and assisted in the training of over 70 midwifery students. She is devoted to preventative, respectful care for mothers, babies, and their families. Melody works in Texas at Edenway Birth Center as the administrator and senior consulting midwife.

She is enthusiastic about her calling and loves to help empower families as they become informed and educated about their choices during their maternity and birth experiences. Now a mother of two, Melody’s vast experience and knowledge of midwifery care has seen throughout our programs.

Ceci Massa, Videographer

Ceci is an acclaimed birth photographer and videographer working in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. She provides all of the videography for Birth Boot Camp. She leads birth photography/videography workshops in conjunction with other leaders in her field through Birth Stories 101. A former chapter leader in her local birth network, Ceci has been advocating for Mother-friendly care since the birth of her first child.

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