2016 Instructors

Want to see the COMPLETE list of instructors or see class topics & times?  Click here to see the agenda!

Looking for keynote speakers?  See their information here!


2016 Empower Your Birth instructors

headshotLindsey Seger, a cesarean and VBAC mom, has been serving as Co-Leader and Chapter Leader of ICAN of Nashville for five years. She joined the Board of Directors as Vice President in 2014. In addition to ICAN, Lindsey supports couples as a childbirth instructor. Most of her free time is spent chasing after her two boys and laughing with her husband. When the opportunity presents itself, she enjoys a good card game, a long book, or a cup of hot tea.  Visit the Nashville chapter of the International Ceserean Awareness Network onlineVisit the Facebook page.

Nashville headshot-5

Heidi Duncan has been serving expecting mothers since 2001.  As an educator she seeks to dispel myths and impart truth, while as a doula she assists families in applying that truth during their personal birth experience.  She has encouraged countless aspiring birth professionals along the way and launched two community birth networks. Currently, when not attending births, she enjoys adorning momma bellies with henna, teaching Positive & Prepared Childbirth classes and Evidence Based Birth® workshops, and helping other doulas via HEART Birth Business Meetups.  www.expectingnewlife.com

BarbaraFBshotBarbara Nicholson, M.Ed. received a Masters degree in Education from Stephen F. Austin State University and professionally she taught children with Learning Disabilities grades 1-6. In 1981 she became a La Leche League breastfeeding support group facilitator, and in 1994 co-founded Attachment Parenting International, a non-profit parent education organization where she served as President of the Board of Directors for 15 years. She is the co-author of Attached at the Heart and a parenting curriculum based on the book. Her passion is to educate and support parents in creating secure, loving attachments with their children.

Mary Anne Richardson

Since August, 1994, Mary Anne Richardson, CPM-TN, EMT-IV, RN has been in the field of birth. During that time she has trained and worked in hospital settings, and in the homes of clients. She has assisted in over 300 births and personally delivered (caught) 300 babies, weighing from 1 1/2 pounds to 11 3/4 pounds.  Her experience with birth includes management of: breech, twins, VBACs, and hemorrhage. She has dealt with placenta previa, placenta abruption, retained placenta, cord wraps, and velamentous insertion of the cord.  She is the sole midwife at Tender Beginnings.  Although she has wonderful support from the Tender Beginnings staff,  she must attend all the births.  Therefore, she limits the amount of clients that she will accept to assure quality care.

becca-tenderbeginningsDuring her OB rotation in nursing school Becca became fascinated with the miracle of childbirth. To the surprise of her teachers and classmates, upon graduation, she took a job on a vascular floor as a registered nurse. After a couple of years in adult nursing Becca had an opportunity to work in a level II NICU caring for premature babies. She was able to attend many high-risk births with the NICU birthing team. This was a huge catalyst in rekindling her interest with not only the birthing process but with the laboring woman as well. May of 2010 she was able to begin pursuing her dream of becoming a midwife with Tender Beginnings. Since then she has also had the privilege of having two of her own water births, experiencing firsthand the joy of having a babies at home. She is excited to return to assisting Mary Anne with home births in the pursuit of becoming a midwife herself.

Rebecca Ruiz

Babywearing International Inc.

Baby wearing International Inc., is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with benefits for both child and caregiver, through education and support.

Meetings are led by Volunteer Babywearing Educators and are open to the public.

GigiGiGi Rose was born and raised in West Virginia, but has called Nashville home for twenty five years. Ms. Rose has a long history working in non-profit organizations including Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement and Tennessee Office for Refugees before moving to the Trauma Injury Prevention Program at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Her extensive experience in program development, education, and community outreach has proven to be an asset to the Kohl’s Safe Home and Safe Play Program as it provides safety education to expectant and new moms, grandparents, children, and childcare providers. In her spare time Ms Rose is an avid writer and proud mom to her son Nicholas, a Hillsboro High School Junior.

Staci BishopStaci Bishop, CD, HCHD has been a Nashville birth & postpartum doula since 2012 and is the owner of nurturing YOU naturally. Her passion is helping women understand their options and become empowered to make the choices that are the best fit for their family. As a Cesarean mom herself, the driving force that motivated her to become a doula, she knows first hand how to guide moms through this experience and the healing process. Staci also enjoys educating women on how to avoid a primary cesarean and has supported many women through successful VBAC births. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, and all things summer! www.nurturingYOUnaturally.com

Dottie+Headshots_Web_Res-8Hi. I’m Dottie. Pleased to meet you! I’m a wife and artist living in Murfreesboro,TN  with my awesome husband and kitty cats. I spend most of my creative energies on photography, but love experimenting and working with all sorts of artistic tools and methods such as sketching, painting, and writing. Art is my way to spread love in the world! And love changes the world…makes it better. Create / Art / Love is a creativity workshop dedicated to practicing mindfulness and promoting self-care through the arts. Engaging your, mind, body, & soul, creatively is just one of many ways to practice mindful living and self-care. Materials such as colored pencils, oil pastels, charcoal pencils, markers, and collage supplies will be provided along with a notebook and some reading materials you can take home with you. There is no artistic experience required for this workshop! This session is all about creating a safe space for you to tune into and authentically express the creativity that is already inside of you. Take this as an opportunity to breathe in love, and exhale peace.

Megan NOVAMegan Fleeman sought an education in childbirth and women’s health after being inspired by several of her friends’ journeys into motherhood- many of whom regretted their experiences due to lack of education and prenatal preparation.  Feeling compelled by the need for birth workers in Nashville, but especially in developing countries, she trained as a labor and postpartum doula, as well as childbirth educator, and later began apprenticing as a home birth midwife. Megan believes that parents can make excellent decisions for their growing family when they are informed through empowering education, and finds great joy in offering compassionate services to women during their most precious and vulnerable moments in life.  

Jessica CaldwellJessica Caldwell is a certified labor doula that has been serving the Nashville area since her certification in 2009. She began attending births as a mother’s helper at the age of 14, but it was her own journey into motherhood that led her to eventually seek a career in birth work. In 2008, Jessica launched the Nashville chapter of the International cesarean awareness network, (ICAN) which she co-lead for four years, offering support and resources to cesarean and VBAC hopeful mothers.

​Jessica is a mother of 6, and brings a variety of personal experience into her work having had a cesarean with her preemie twins, and then 4 successful VBAC’s; one in a hospital and the last three at home. Her experiences as a doula and a mother have lead her to begin pursuing formal midwifery training. Jessica is currently enrolled in the Via Vita School of Midwifery.


Working PictureAnn Marie found a passion in birth after her first labor ended in a cesarean. She became a research junkie and had a successful hospital VBAC with her second birth. Rather than ‘waste’ all that information, she decided to share with local mothers by starting Second Heartbeat to share research, statistics and teach a VBAC birth class. She has since welcomed a third child by hospital VBAC.

She has been a Co-Leader for ICAN of Nashville for two years. This is her third year assisting as a coordinator for the Empower Your Birth conference.


Jessie Hawkins is a clinical and public health researcher, an aromatherapy educator, and author of over a dozen natural health books. She’s the founder of the Vintage Remedies Learning Center where families from all over the world come to learn about herbalism and aromatherapy, and she founded the fully authorized postsecondary institution Franklin Institute of Wellness where aspiring herbalists and aromatherapists come to earn recognized academic credentials in integrative health. She’s currently completing her PhD in Health by conducting clinical trials with essential oils; you can learn more about her research at VintageRemedies.com


I’m Kate Cropp a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). I have a Master of Science in Nursing and have been practicing Lactation as an NP IBCLC since 2003 with 2 additional years in training (and a year in orthopedics). I began serving moms as a Labor & Delivery nurse, working in hospital maternity/NICU lactation for 7 years. For the last 8 years, I’ve been practicing as an NP IBCLC Lactation Consultant in the community. I also teach childbirth classes as a Hypnobabies Certified Hypnosis Instructor.

I’m blessed to be mama to 4 beautiful children and have been a nursing mom for 11.5 years straight! We have 2 cats and are currently dog-free.

My specialities in lactation are with basic and high risk situations such as *maternal endocrine/fertility issues,
*breast reduction surgery,
*low milk production,
*preemie/NICU babies,
*oral-motor dysfunction such as cleft palate & tongue/lip ties,
*herbs and medications to boost production/letdown, and
*working mother classes and
*natural fertility assistance

You can learn more about me, my colleagues, and our services at: Kate@nashvillebirthandbabies.com Www.NashvilleBirthAndBabies.com



Jennifer Derryberry Mann, Studio Director of Blooma Nashville, is a mama, prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher, and women’s circle facilitator. She incorporates training as a doula, a rebozo instructor, and yoga nidra meditation guide into her work with women on their sacred journey into motherhood. Jenni opened the doors to Blooma Nashville in 2014, believing that women deserve a beautiful, warm welcome into pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. At Blooma, Jenni teaches Prenatal Yoga, BYOBaby Mama-Baby Yoga, Little Crawlers & Movers Yoga, the Blooma Birth Intensive class, Blooma Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, and leads seasonal circles for women and mothers. Learn more about how yoga can support you and your family through pregnancy, postpartum, and early parenting at www.BloomaNashville.com.



11781887_10205509648358878_8844199203810936127_n11143081_1063631456983540_286676758702557192_nMarcie Hadley and Katie Hadley began their journeys as doulas in 2010 through DONA, Int. attending training as a mother/daughter team. Marcie and Katie are passionate about serving women through the transformative journey of pregnancy and birth. They especially enjoy working with couples serving partners as they support the the expectant and laboring mom. Their desire is to provide encouragement throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum recovery through education, physical, emotional, and spiritual support.
Marcie serves as a birth doula, CD(DONA), Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator (CAPPA trained), and is an aspiring midwifery student.  She also provides sibbling doula services.
Katie serves as a birth doula CD(DONA), and as a Childbirth Educator (CAPPA trained), and supports couples through postpartum recovery.

Samantha Kitchenman became a registered nurse in 2006. While working on a cardiac
step-down unit, she soon learned that she loved educating others. She began teaching
CPR in 2009. That decision led her to discovering her passion: educating, preparing,
and empowering others through health and safety education. For the past seven years,
she has trained hundreds of people in CPR/AED and First Aid. As a mother of two
daughters, she understands parents’ concerns about being prepared for emergencies.
You can read more about her business, Music City Health & Safety, at




To express your interest in instructing a class, please CLICK HERE.


April 13, 2015 - 10:23 am

Abhi - I only WISH I could say I had been to 2 c’s as a doula. I think I attended 6 in 2007. I had a very drpseseing year. There was a workshop in Portland about dealing with birth trauma as a doula I only wish it would have worked out for me to go. I have had a hard time navigating my own personal feelings with what the client needs me to say to her. I have seen necessary surgeries, questionable ones, and downright ridiculous, steam-roller ones, and to tell you the truth, they all leave you feeling a bit melancholy. We all want the best experience for our clients because we know that is so important, and yet, it does not always happen.[]

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