Picnic’s Highly Qualified Doulas

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Adriana Liwsky, BA in Psychology, DONA Certified, and ProDoula Certified Doula, CBE, CLC, CMT, CEIM

I became a Doula because I firmly believe in the extraordinary value of supporting and empowering women during the most important time of their lives. I bring evidence-based information, an abundance of comfort measures, the emotional support you need and a wealth of experience. My services are tailored to you and your needs. I make sure you are heard, respected, supported and well guided through your journey to mothering your new baby. Your choices will be honored in a non-judgmental way. It is your birth, your way, your needs. I will be there to support you as well as your partner as she/he supports you. I have been a clinical massage therapist for 21 years. I use massage during labor as a tool to bring comfort and ease intensity to the laboring mother. I am also a Postpartum Doula and a Placenta Encapsulator. My native language is Spanish and I also speak Portuguese and English. * Adriana will not be taking any due dates January 15th to February 20th or March 24th to April 2nd

Celia Leventhal, DONA Trained Doula, MSW

Enchanted by newborns, and fascinated by pregnancy, birth, and the development of new families, I became a doula. I have assisted birthing moms at several Chicago area hospitals, volunteered for Chicago Volunteer Doulas since 2014, and taken the Spinning Babies course. I support moms before and during labor and delivery, with midwives and physicians in many settings, according to the mother’s wishes with safety in mind for mom and baby. I fully support breastfeeding, while recognizing that for some families it is not a workable option. I help women and their partners understand and choose childbirth options that will give them and their babies the best possible beginnings, while acknowledging that each pregnancy and birth is unique and somewhat unpredictable.


Becca and Becca are working as a doula partnership:

Becca Brown, LMT, DONA Trained Doula, NCBTMB Approved Provider

I attended my first birth in 2006, and have since taken several workshops to further my education in pregnancy and childbirth. I have been a volunteer doula for Chicago Volunteer Doulas.  I have attended births at Evanston, West Suburban, Swedish, Prentice and Masonic. I am respectful of each woman's desire to have a medicated or un-medicated birth and provide support in either situation. As an advocate for the parents, I strive to make the birth of your child a positive experience. I became certified in pregnancy massage in 2004. 

Rebecca Nguyen, ToLabor Trained Doula, CBE, LC

I am awed by pregnancy and the way a woman’s body knows how to grow, birth, and nurture a baby through breastfeeding. Birth is hard work and requires the unconditional support of the people present. Through comfort measures, positioning, emotional support and touch, I encourage a birthing mother to feel empowered. At the same time, I help her partner stay calm while remaining involved in the process of the birth of their baby. I believe every woman can labor in the way that is best for her and her baby. As a doula, I am there to support that experience and their choices completely. 


Pam Hoffman, DONA Trained Doula

As a doula I feel my role is to provide emotional and physical support to women prior to, during and after birth. I believe every woman is unique, as is every birth. The birth journey is a time a woman chooses the best options for her and her baby; I support those choices. I have been a doula since the 90's.  I did not know then that supporting friends before, during and after birth had a name, and it is “doula”. I attended DONA training in 2012 and have been a part of birth journeys ever since. I have also worked as a volunteer doula at Chicago Volunteer Doulas. I find the most fulfilling part of being a doula is experiencing the empowerment and the strength of a woman going through the beauty of birth. It is a privilege to be a part of this journey.   


Kate tyo, Childbirth International Certified Doula

*Kate will not be taking any births until the start of 2020.

Kate Tyo has been a Chicagoland doula for 8 years and loves working with women and their families as they welcome a new life into their crew.  Kate's past clients love her for her ability to bring a strong sense of peace and calm into the birth environment as well as her sense of humor. Kate's hope is that every birthing woman will know what her options are and feel supported, listened to, and involved in the process from the prenatal care she receives through her postpartum recovery.  Kate currently focuses her doula services in and around Evanston, attending births at home (yours, not hers!) and at Evanston Northshore Hospital. When she's not busy with birth work, Kate wrangles her three kids with her husband, drinks a lot of coffee, and pretends to Konmari her home. 


Samantha Kellogg, CAPPA Trained Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor

I am a bilingual, full spectrum doula and my goal is to empower, guide, and support your family as you adjust to life with a newborn. Before your family grows by two feet, I will walk with you as you navigate the complexities and challenges of giving birth in America. I will invite you to optimize nutrition in the first forty days postpartum and ask questions to best understand how you envision your birthing day while also encouraging both you and your birth partner(s) to surrender to the unpredictable nature of childbirth. 
Once your little one arrives, my goal is to instill confidence as you learn to balance newborn care with self care. I strongly believe that parents who feel nurtured in the postpartum period become better nurturers. As a passionate breastfeeding advocate, I am committed to facilitating an ease filled nursing journey for you and your baby. Due to unforeseen circumstances, your family may feel called to supplement with donor milk/formula; rest assured, that I will be fully supportive of whatever feeding philosophy you embrace. After all, fed is best! When I'm not holding space for folks in labor and cooking for new parents, I cam be found supporting the community as a Chicago Volunteer Doula, cuddling my cats and picnicking in Lincoln Park.


Nahid Kohistani, Birth Doula trained with Matrona, Postpartum Doula and Healer

Nahid is a well-loved Labor and Postpartum Doula. She has completed her training with Matrona as an Advanced Doula in Holistic Childbirth. She supports all types of birth,and is trained in home births and Spinning Babies techniques. She is also trained in holistic postpartum support and breastfeeding. Her goal when supporting families is to empower women in their journey to motherhood and to honor the choices that they make during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. She encourages the involvement of the partner, and she takes pride in holding space for the laboring family to labor in peace and harmony. Nahid also values sharing her knowledge so families advocate for their own health care and exercise informed consent.

Nahid has always been supporting families and teaching throughout her life. She was a nanny and has cared for children who had special needs. She speaks multiple languages including Dari, Persian, Urdu, Hindi and is currently learning Spanish. She has attended many herbal medicine and horticulture trainings and conferences, is a Qi Gong and Tai Chi practitioner, and practices meditation regularly. She loves to use aspects of her trainings and knowledge to support and guide women in labor by incorporating awareness of movement and breath work as a strategy for comfort and pain management.

Families love Nahid’s excellent and diverse cooking abilities. She is very insightful on the healing, warming, and anti-inflammatory properties of food. They also love her warm nature, positive energy, and calming personality. She is an amazing resource and support in labor, birth and postpartum

Seong Kitsos, Adv Holistic CD, Holistic Postpartum CD

In 2014, shortly after my fourth baby was born, I began my journey as a doula.I trained with DONA and started attending births. I immediately knew I was on the right path. About a year later, I trained and certified with The Matrona and Spinning Babies. I am passionate about supporting people without judgement. I am passionate about home birth and helping spread the word that it is a safe option for most people. I am passionate about recognizing the sacredness of pregnancy and birth, and making sure people feel safe, supported, and respected during this special time. I am passionate about new mothers being supported in the postpartum time. Our culture often disregards the significance of the weeks following birth, but it is a critical time for healing and bonding and I love helping families prepare for and enjoy that time.I am a birth keeper. I hold and protect the sacredness of the space where birth happens. Birth is not a medical event; it is the creation of family, the creation of mothers and fathers, and a transformative event for the birthing person. I help source evidence based research to help you make informed choices and I will ALWAYS respect those choices. I respect the roll of the father/partner as the true guardian of the birth and I am there to support them in this roll. I do NOT empower birthing people- I do not GIVE them their power.I support them and guide them as they find the power that they hold within. When needed I can offer guidance on positions for labor, and natural pain relief methods. In the prenatal time I am there to nurture your trust in yourself, your body, your baby and the process of birth

Sue Gottschall, DONA trained Doula, CLC, CBE (Cesarean Birth Doula Support)

  "As a Cesarean Birth Doula, I support women and their partners in planned Cesareans that are medically necessary.  This includes women who choose to have a second cesarean because of trauma experienced in their first labor and cesarean.  Believing strongly that a cesarean is a childbirth (and not a "section"), I talk with parents about the new Gentle Birth Cesarean and what they might ask for, to make it truly their birth.  
In addition to helping parents prepare for a Cesarean birth, I am available on the day it is scheduled, waiting with parents before it begins, meeting them in recovery, and going with them to the postpartum unit to provide whatever support is needed for the mother and baby.  When the mother wishes it, I can also accompany her in surgery.  
I have been a doula for the past 10 years supporting parents through childbirth and providing postpartum assistance. It has become increasingly important to me to assist mothers and partners experiencing a cesarean birth.  They need as much, if not more, support than parents having a vaginal birth.  As a 4 time cesarean mother myself, I know  intimately the emotions and physical challenges that accompany a cesarean.  If I can make this experience more "birth-like" with the mother at the center of her birth and receiving her baby minutes after delivery, then the cesarean can become '“another way to birth your baby."  


Rachel Crompton, M.Ed, Postpartum Doula

I have always wanted to work with children and have been in awe of human development in the early years. While studying for my degree in child development, it became very clear to me how crucial relationships are to the health and happiness of a baby. If the mother and family are supported and are provided with the tools they need, healthy development of the child is being facilitated. With my love for children, and my dedication to supporting others, it is to no surprise that I found myself pursuing a career as a doula.

I learned about the work of postpartum doulas as I was finishing school and loved that it would allow me to support families using these same principles that I learned at the Erikson Institute. I signed up for a workshop with DONA International and started my journey as a postpartum doula. I am also a certified infant massage educator. I love being able to provide parents with a way to facilitate healthy touch and promote bonding.

When not supporting families, I enjoy traveling to new places, hiking with my husband, reading and being by the water.