Afshan Abbasi CD(DONA)
Founder, Certified Birth Doula & GentleBirth Instructor
BA. in Family & Child Studies
Homeschooling mother of 4, Owner of A Higher Calling Doula Care
A little bit about myself...
I discovered my passion for the doula world after years of work as an elementary school teacher. I have always loved working with children and always thought that being able to foster a love of learning within these tiny beings was the most rewarding thing I could do.
It was my own birthing experience that led me to doula work. I had 2 cesarean births and 2 VBA2Cs (Vaginal Birth After 2 C-Sections). Regardless of how my children were born into this world (cesarean or vaginal), each birth was beautiful and unique in its own way. I wanted to hold on to that miraculous moment for a lifetime. The instant love and magical feeling that enters the room the moment you birth your baby, is irreplaceable. It was after having my fourth child, that I found my calling. I started being asked for VBAC and natural birth support by family and friends. I realized this is exactly where I want to be, in the birth world. I began researching more ways to support mothers in labor, and discovered that I can fulfill my passion while supporting mothers through the most beautiful moment in their life as a birth doula. I decided to go for a career change, and completed my birth doula training through DONA International.
After spending a lot of time talking to new mothers, I began to see that what we need most during this beautiful time of transition is a village. Sometimes as new mothers we feel lost, not sure where to turn for support. I instantly knew this was my calling. I wanted to strive towards providing mothers a support system to call “their village.” I wanted to create a space where they could find the resources they need to feel supported, and connect to other moms. I began working with other professionals and as I delved deeper and my list grew, I decided to begin Birch & Ivy Doula Care.
Jennifer Leopold LMSW, IBCLC
Jennifer graduated from Binghamton University with a BA in Psychology and earned her Masters of Social Work at Columbia University, with a concentration in Family and Children Services. She has extensive experience working with children and families helping them to overcome trauma and developing tools for their future.
Stephanie Sauer Pasternak CD(DONA), CLC
Stephanie has had a passion for the intricacies of pregnancy and the birth process for many years. Becoming a birth doula and lactation counselor has been a calling that naturally found its place in her life. Having given birth herself 3 times, Stephanie knows intimately of the possible challenges and needs of pregnant and laboring women. It is her mission to fulfill these needs for you knowing that each woman is unique and responds differently to pregnancy and childbirth. As a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Stephanie is able to provide continuous care into the postpartum period to make sure the needs of both mom and baby are met, especially when it comes to breastfeeding.