Birthsmarter lives in the space where biology meets society, wisdom meets data, and empathy meets activism.
Our Birth Story
When our founder, Ashley Brichter, gave birth for the first time in 2014, she had experience with hundreds of families as a doula and birth educator. She already knew everything traditional birth classes were teaching. She felt like she'd done everything right. Then — like so many — her birth did not “go as planned.” Ashley went back to the drawing board. She questioned everything she learned becoming a doula, a childbirth educator, and a parent herself.
Birthsmarter is the result.
Birthsmarter was born with a single monthly birth class in Brooklyn, NY in mid-2019 and has grown into a virtual platform reaching families all over the country. In a world where it can be difficult to keep sight of what is truly important, Birthsmarter is here to model critical, creative, and compassionate thinking, to help you develop a framework for interpreting “expert” advice, and to support you while navigating a system that is built on binary thinking.
Our Core Values
We pride ourselves in being the most unbiased, inclusive, and accessible pregnancy and parenting community in the United States. We consider the following principles in everything we do.
🍼 Being Unbiased
means that we know there is no hierarchy of birth outcomes or parenting choices. That means we do not promote unmedicated births over medicated births or sleep-training over bed-sharing. At Birthsmarter, we believe that families should have the highest quality of education and support to meet them where they are. This means we do not give blanket advice or tell people what to do. We do not make assumptions or lecture on best practices. We share evidence-based resources, community anecdotes, and personal experience while recognizing that one size will never fit all! We want to make sure people feel seen, heard, and supported - NEVER pressured or shamed.
🌈 Being Inclusive
means welcoming all individuals and family structures while recognizing that Black, brown, Queer, fat, disabled, and financially limited individuals and families 1. exist and 2. might have unique needs. As one example of our inclusivity efforts, we default to neutral terms such as “pregnant people” or “partners” instead of leaning on gendered terms like “mama.” We recognize racism and implicit bias in the birth community and work to unpack our own biases and limitations as leaders in the field.
💛 Being Accessible
means meeting people where they are! We offer an alternative pricing policy to make sure every family can access Birthsmarter regardless of their economic status; provide closed captioning in virtual classes; offer classes in multiple formats; and have designed a curriculum with an eye for different learning styles.
We're a small group of pretty smart and extremely thoughtful parents/doulas/educators/movement professionals; providing practical wisdom and guidance to you: pretty smart and extremely thoughtful families.
Founder + CEO
Ashley Brichter is a life-long educator, birth worker, consultant, and entrepreneur. In addition to improving maternal health, she is a champion for systemic reforms to improve the lives of families by rebalancing the division of labor at home and funding parental leave, universal health care, and progressive early childhood education. Despite her experience with hundreds of families as a doula, lactation counselor, and birth educator – like so many, her first birth did not “go as planned.” Better for it, she founded Birthsmarter in 2019, which provides unbiased, inclusive, and award-winning practical wisdom and guidance to the next generation of families. Ashley was born and raised in New York City, is a proud Bi-Co graduate, and currently lives in Salt Lake City where she has learned to love camping with her husband and two amazing kids. She is a Certified Fair Play Facilitator, a Tory Burch Fellow, and she sits on the board of ProNatal Fitness.
email@example.com — Instagram: @birthsmarter
Director of Education + Senior Educator, PHX
Caprice is a birth doula, childbirth educator, and certified yoga instructor. A former dancer, Caprice approaches birthwork and education from a functional movement perspective. Previously, she was a senior teacher with and co-led Teacher Training for the Prenatal Yoga Center. She had no interest in teaching group childbirth education until Ashley did some secret judo moves and made Caprice fall in love with the Birthsmarter universe. After a decade of supporting families in New York, she moved back to her hometown of Phoenix, AZ, where she’s relearning how to drive and finally baking in a full-sized kitchen. She’s a super slow hiking partner to her husband, Bradley, and their sons, Milo and Jesse.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Instagram: @sagecaprice
Childbirth Educator, NY / NJ
Jamie had a successful career in VIP Hospitality until the birth of her children. After suffering a variety of physical and mental health issues during her own Pre/Postnatal journeys, Jamie became passionate about helping others positively navigate their own. She’s trained in Group Fitness, Pre & Postnatal Corrective Exercise, and Diastasis Repair with ACE Fitness, ProNatal Fitness, and Fit For Birth and became a doula with Mama Glow. Jamie is a full time trainer at The Lotus Method. She recently moved from NYC to New Jersey with her husband and two boys. She wants a dog more than anything, enjoys mint chocolate chip ice cream, and modeled for American Girl Doll when she was young. She’s thrilled to join Team Birthsmarter to blend her love of creating special memories, movement, and parenthood into one space.
email@example.com — Instagram: @jamiejonesfit
Childbirth Educator, NYC
Born in the UK, Yoko’s formal education was in French before pursuing a career in film production. Yoko Lytle came to birth work after the birth of her sons with a desire to create community and support for the many families embarking on this journey in NYC. Yoko is a Doula Trainings International certified Birth and Postpartum doula and a Certified Lactation Counselor as well as a trained Certified Cooperative Childbirth Educator with CEA-MNY. She has experience and training supporting all types of birth including multiples and high-risk pregnancies. Yoko lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Instagram: @yokodoula
Childbirth Educator, NYC
Tina has spent over 15 years developing and implementing health and wellness programs throughout New York City. In addition to being a childbirth educator she is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist with a focus on Gestational Diabetes. Tina is passionate about health equity, food justice, promoting healthy relationships with food and our bodies, and supporting people in their journeys during pregnancy and into parenthood. Tina is a proud Latina of Puerto Rican descent who speaks Spanish and at times Spanglish. She lives with her husband and two boys in Queens, NY.
email@example.com — Instagram: @blooming_mom_wellness
Childbirth Educator, SLC
Beth Hardy is a birth and postpartum doula and board-certified music therapist. Beth is passionate about all things birth; whether she is helping clients find their power and voice during labor, supporting new families as they navigate the uncharted waters of parenthood, or writing one-of-a-kind Womb Songs for expectant parents. Beth identifies as queer and specializes in working with LGBTQIA+ families. She is the mom of two kids and lives in Salt Lake City, UT.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Instagram: @hearttonesbirth
Sam Dawson Tandy, DPT
Childbirth Educator, SLC
Sam is a pelvic health physical therapist and pregnancy + postpartum specialist. She is passionate about changing the status quo of perinatal care in her community. Her favorite part about her work is teaching others about how their bodies work and giving them the tools to move and live without limitations. She enjoys exploring in the mountains and cooking new recipes. Sam lives with her husband and son in Salt Lake City.
email@example.com — Instagram: @liveembodiedpt
Community + Partnerships
Lauren Lorow is a connector, skilled marketer, fitness professional, and mom of two, with 15+ years experience working in the health and wellness industry. During the birth of her first daughter she felt unprepared and out of control and committed to supporting mothers during and after their pregnancy. Motherhood also served as a catalyst for Lauren to launch her own marketing agency. Drawing from years of experience at organizations like Sweaty Betty, Lauren opened 3L Consulting to support female-founded, health and wellness businesses. Inevitably, in such a “small world,” Lauren found her way to Birthsmarter and is thrilled to combine her passion for supporting the perinatal time period and her professional experience. Lauren recently moved from NYC to Northern Virginia with her husband and two girls. She likes to skip small talk and dive into deep conversations with new people, never says no to an adventure, and will someday hike the Appalachian trail.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Instagram: @birthsmarter
Childbirth Educator, Postpartum Support Group Facilitator, NYC
Anna entered birth work for proximity to a fascinating physiological process and got hooked by the incredible personal transformation that is at the heart of starting and growing a family. She's a birth and postpartum doula and coach and mom to two forces of nature. She's especially eager to transform the narrative around the postpartum time, bringing deep reverence for its inherent monumental changes to her work and to any conversation that might possibly relate to the topic. She's a former professional dancer, turned spontaneous kitchen dance party enthusiast. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
email@example.com — Instagram: @annacarapetyan
Childbirth Educator, NYC
Michelle is a Queens based doula and birth educator with additional training in the areas of trauma informed care, holding space for loss, abortion, queer/trans families, lactation/body feeding, and physiology of labor. She loves working with “older” parents, athletes/movers/performers/artists and members of the LGBTQ+ and poly families community. Prior to birth work, Michelle has worked as a professional baker, circus performer, teaching artist, and landscaper. She lives with her son, 2 cats (who are not friends), and varying number of fish. She’s an avid bike commuter, community gardener, knitter, and bibliophile.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Instagram: @michelle.arvin.doula
Childbirth Educator, NYC
Originally from Canada, Erin has called NYC home now for over a decade. Erin is an Actor and Singer who found birth work and extension of her creative work. She is a birth doula with additional training in Hypnobabies, Lactation, and Grief + Loss. After witnessing her first birth, Erin knew she had a calling to not only share with others what birth was, but truly what a unique and positive experience it can be for each individual. After giving birth to her first born and suffering from severe postpartum depression, Erin became driven to make postpartum doula support and client preparation more informed and compassionate, knowing first hand the crucial importance of what follows the birth experience. Passionate about birth, Erin often ruins dinners with random interjections about placentas and has no real plan to stop or apologize for it.
email@example.com — Instagram: @babiesandart
Childbirth Educator, Edmonton
Chantal is a passionate movement specialist, who focuses on Pre & Postnatal wellness. She is a certified Yoga teacher, postnatal fitness coach, Birthing from Within Childbirth Educator and is currently studying to be a consultant with The Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death. Before transforming her passion of movement and wellness into her full time job, you could find Chantal in front of the camera interviewing the likes of John Travolta and Meryl Streep, producing films for private and public sector companies, and generally running around the globe with a camera crew from Glasgow to Osaka. Currently residing in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two children, Chantal has called many places ‘home’ including London, UK and NYC,NY.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Instagram: @yogaforpregnancyandparenthood
Harmony Stempel is a Brooklyn-based postpartum doula, actor and Mama to her 2 year old, Homer. She has worked for several years helping families find support as they transition into life with a new baby. After she broke her pelvis giving birth, she was compelled to start her own postpartum doula practice as well as developed a keener interest in childbirth education and helping to spread the knowledge of how birthing bodies work. Harmony grew up in the Hudson Valley. In her twenties, she traveled the world with her solo show-to Hong Kong, New Zealand, Amsterdam and Prague-a show about artist muses where she modeled naked while the audience drew her. Her favorite place in Brooklyn is Greenwood Cemetery.
email@example.com — Instagram: @birthsmarter