With over 60 years of experience, the BYD team has the skills, the know how, and the passion to support you in labor just the way you want.
Ursula Sabia Sukinik, CD, CMA
Owner and CEO of Birth You Desire
To see Ursula’s availability and client reviews, CLICK HERE.
Ursula is a senior birth worker having personally worked over 2,500 couples since 1999. She is passionate about educating, encouraging and supporting women and their families throughout their pregnancy, birth and postpartum periods so that they can have quality outcomes and experiences.
Through education she presents opportunities to have a better birth experience by addressing your concerns and fears. She will guide you through making educated choices based on evidence-based medicine in order to avoid unnecessary complications and their consequential repercussions. And yet she can be fluid and in the moment, adapting to the ever changing needs of the mother and her partner in labor. As an effective communicator, she can help facilitate communication with your provider and team no matter how unique your situation may be. As an expert problem solver, she can work with the team for an empowered birth.
Ursula entered the field with the birth of her own children. It was the support that she received that was essential to her growth as a new mother. Her births inspired her to be committed and present for other women and their families for over eighteen years. As a doula, she will honor your birth, your choices, and your journey while working with you and your partner as a guide so that you can have the Birth You Desire®.
Some of Ursula’s professional certifications: Certified Doula, Certified Doula Trainer, Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Midwives Assistant, Certified Aromatherapist, Traditional Mexican Rebozo Instructor, Birth Ball Instructor, Certified Cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR, Certified Neonatal Resuscitation NNRP, Spinning Babies, Homeopathy for Midwives, TENS, as well as all the trainings cited below.
Atara Klein, CMA, CD
Birth Doula, Certified Medical Assistant
To see Atara’s availability and client reviews, CLICK HERE.
Atara is dual a Certified Birth Doula, through both DONA International as well as L’Chaim Childbirth Education Services. Atara has extensive training and experience as a doula, having assisted with over 200 births. She began her career volunteering initially as a doula for Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and she also has performed an internship in the NICU and Labor and Delivery Units of St. Joseph’s Hospital. She has worked with children with special needs, and she worked full time for two years as a Certified Medical Assistant in a prominent GYN office in Pikesville, Maryland.
Atara is not only highly trained and experienced as a doula, she is passionate about it. She loves educating families and helping them through the process of Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond. She expresses her philosophy as a doula with her classic warmth and love for her clients as follows: “My goal is to support mothers and families and to make sure – to the best of my ability – that they have the birth experience that they want and deserve. The birth experience is magical. I believe that each pregnancy and birth is beautiful no matter what path it takes, as long as Mom is the one who makes the informed decisions that lead down the path of her choice. I am there to inform, to educate, and to accompany every mom down that beautiful path of choice.”
Atara has advanced trainings in: Neonatal resuscitation, CPR, Spinning Babies, Rebozo, Lactation support, etc.
Bridget Ballenger CD, AAHCC
Doula, Placenta Encapsulator
To see Bridget’s availability and client reviews, CLICK HERE.
Always considered a trusted resource by her friends and family members having babies, Carole’s path to becoming a professional doula began when she assisted at the delivery of her own granddaughter in 2015. After witnessing the immense value of a doula’s support and guidance, Carole was inspired to help other women achieve a positive and safe birth experience. She is dedicated to providing continuous presence, physical comfort, advocacy, and emotional support for birthing women as they bring a new life into the world.
Currently completing her doula certification through Birth Arts International, Carole’s experience already includes several DC metro area hospitals and birthing centers. She supports each couple in developing their personal birth plan and in making medical choices during the labor and delivery process. Clients often describe Carole as sincere, knowledgeable, caring, non-judgmental, and sensitive to the needs of both the mother and her partner.
Carole holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where she studied with Dr. Ivar Lovaas, innovator of the Early Intensive Behavior Intervention program used to treat autistic children. After graduate studies in Heath Administration, she became director of the Easter Seals Center for Developmentally Disabled Children in Memphis, Tennessee. Carole has two adult daughters; both were hospital-based natural childbirths – one with hypnosis – and each breastfed for nearly two years.
In addition to offering professional labor support, Carole is also a trained Newborn Care Specialist with special expertise in breastfeeding. When she’s not caring for birthing women, Carole’s passions include real estate, tennis, cooking, and enjoying time with her precious granddaughter.
Lynn Converse, CMA
Certified Medical Assistant
To see Lynn’s availability and client reviews, CLICK HERE.
Lynn’s career as a doula began in the medical field. In 1996 she became a Certified Medical Assistant and worked in Internal Medicine for 10 years, Nephrology for five years and three years in OB/GYN.
During the course of her experiences she has excelled in developing her hands on approach with her patients. Her expertise and gentle spirit have always given patients the confidence to face challenges head on. While working with midwives at her last position, she was exposed to a new word when she was asked to document who the patient and her “doula” were. Not knowing what a doula was or did, she did some research, she was intrigued. As time passed in the OB/GYN office, patients began inviting Lynn to attend their births. Not as a part of the medical staff but as a calming supportive presence for woman-to-woman support. From the first birth she attended (in addition to the mother’s doula) she knew she had found her calling. Having given birth to a daughter and a son without labor support, she saw the great advantages of having a woman with the knowledge of both the labor process and an understanding of medical decisions that are made in labor.
She began her path to become a labor doula through DONA training. She has been a labor doula, guiding women into the journey of motherhood since 2012. She believes each of the 150 births she has supported is unique and supports each mother in her personal birth choices.
Lynn has advanced trainings in: aromatherapy and TENS.
Mary Beth Harris, CD, BA
Doula, Midwife Assistant
To see Mary Beth’s availability and client reviews, CLICK HERE.
About Mary Beth:
Mary Beth Harris has been helping pregnant women and families since 2004. She has worked with over 700 couples and attended more than 300 of their births. She brings to births her a life’s passion. Which is that birth is sacred. And mothers deserve to be listened to and supported during this life-changing event and treated with kindness, respect and compassionate care.
After the birth of her daughter in 2003, she began teaching The Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth. Soon she found that the natural complement to educating pregnant women and their partners was to support them on the day of their birth. She has doula-ed at many of the area hospitals around the DMV. In 2009 she began augmenting her skills as a Midwife Assistant at a freestanding birth center in Alexandria, VA, as well as with a few local home birth midwives. In 2014, she and her family welcomed a son! Both of her children were born with midwives, and both were breastfed for two years. When she’s not at a birth, her days are filled with serving in her church community, running, CrossFit and yoga, cooking and entertaining, and coaching volleyball in the fall.
Special skills and certifications include: Neonatal Resuscitation for the Health Care Provider, CPR for the Health Care Provider, Spinning Babies, Rebozo, Birth Ball, Essential Oils, Herbs and Homeopathy for Pregnancy and Birth, Breastfeeding and more.
Vynessa Pantano, LMT
Doula, Massage Therapist
To see Vynessa’s availability and client reviews, CLICK HERE.
About Vynessa: Currently on maternity leave
Vynessa chose to become a Doula after the birth of the first of her three daughters. While Vynessa has always had a passion for women’s health and well-being, the experience of her first birth – and her Doula’s support – led her to become a Doula in order to support other birthing parents and their partners along their desired birth journey. Being a Doula is the perfect avenue through which Vynessa can channel her strength, intuition, and passion for taking care of women, children, and families.
Like all massage therapists, Vynessa has an excellent, hands-on approach with her clients. Her knowledge and strong but gentle energy gives couples the confidence to face their challenges head on. In her role as a Doula, Vynessa assists the birthing parents in making informed choices and preparing for different outcomes while offering non-judgemental support. She places an emphasis on helping the partner know how to support the birthing parent in labor. By helping birth to be an optimal experience for both the birthing mother and her partner, Vynessa believes she is positively contributing to an experience that will affect the whole family for a lifetime. She will support women in all birth locations and is comfortable with both natural spontaneous births and medically managed births.
Vynessa has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany, has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for more than 20 years, and has worked as a Radiation Oncology Medical Assistant at Georgetown Hospital. She is comfortable with both traditional and complementary approaches to medicine. Vynessa has advanced trainings in: Massage, Acupressure, Reiki, Spinning Babies, healing touch, TENS, essential oils, and many other techniques.
- Attachment Style Parenting
- Domestic Violence
- Homeopathy for Midwives
- Neonatal Resuscitation
- Optimal Fetal Alignment
- Perinatal Mental Health
- Spinning Babies
- TENS units
- VBAC support
- Vaginal Breech Births
- Loss and Grief