We're a group of pretty smart and extremely thoughtful parents, doulas, and birth educators providing practical wisdom and guidance to you: pretty smart and extremely thoughtful families. Birthsmarter is unique in being deeply rooted in education theory and mindful pedagogy, and we know that education is more than the transfer of knowledge from one person to another. We are here to model critical, creative, and compassionate thinking; to help you develop a framework for interpreting what the "experts" have to say and navigating a system that is built on binary thinking.
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, real life happened (here's her birth story) and she realized something was missing. Ashley went back to the drawing board and questioned everything she learned becoming a doula, a childbirth educator, and a parent herself. Birthsmarter is the result: In a world where it is difficult to keep sight of what is most important, Birthsmarter aims to call your attention to The Pregnant Opportunity: a critical time when we can improve birth for families and elevate families through birth.
Birthsmarter lives in the space where biology meets society, wisdom meets data, and empathy meets activism. We believe that transparency is the key to birth, babies, and business. It is always worth investing in parents, and together, we can change the world. Our unique birth and parenting classes offer expecting parents and their support team the information and practice that will enable them to think critically and improvise during high-stakes moments. Our continuing education workshops empower health and wellness professionals to become trusted pillars of their perinatal community. We’re shaping the future, one birth at a time.
Ashley is a certified cooperative childbirth educator, birth and postpartum doula, and lactation counselor. She is the founder of Birthsmarter, which provides relevant and inclusive education for expectant parents living in NYC and virtually, across the world. With over a decade of experience supporting new parents, Ashley provides one-on-one support, group classes, lectures, and distance learning for the perinatal population and the professionals who serve them. After the birth of her first child in 2014, Ashley became driven to understand birth physiology on a deeper level. Better for it, she coined The Three Actions™; the core of Birthsmarter’s curriculum. Her fresh perspective on pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting is now sought after by individuals, brands, and media outlets. Ashley sits on the board of CEA/MNY and ProNatal Fitness.
Director of Education
Caprice is a certified yoga instructor, birth doula, childbirth educator, and lactation counselor. For the last decade, Caprice has focused on perinatal yoga as a senior teacher and co-lead of Teacher Training at the Prenatal Yoga Center. A former dancer, Caprice approaches birthwork and education from a functional movement perspective. Originally from Arizona, she is based in Brooklyn, NY where she lives with her husband and son.
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.
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 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.
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
Bre is a certified birth and postpartum doula and also specializes in birth films and photography. She graduated with a degree in graphic design and has been in the design field for over 13 years. In addition to creative work, Bre is passionate about being an advocate for individuals and holding space to allow them to experience their own unique birth journey, no matter what that looks like. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.
BIRTHSMARTER'S CORE VALUES
WE ❤️ GOOD SCIENCE.
Do we teach “evidence-based” classes at Birthsmarter? YES! However, we have some beef with the term and want to raise the bar. We don’t believe the parenting-pendulum should swing, ad nauseam, based on the latest study. GOOD SCIENCE places current research in the context of evolution, biology, and history. We balance the latest findings with critical thinking and common sense in order to make recommendations about how to get you and your family off to the best start.
WE TEACH TO MOVE YOU FORWARD.
The way we see it: you’re sitting on A Pregnant Opportunity. When done well, preparing for birth and parenting invites you to try on habits that can positively affect your personal growth and development, across all facets of life. All of our classes plant seeds to move you toward a healthier body, a balanced mind, and a resilient relationship.
WE CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARN.
Between driver’s ed and professional development seminars, we’ve all been trained to cautiously approach obligatory learning. Here’s the thing: with all this birth stuff, your actions can greatly influence your outcomes. In order to make informed decisions when it matters, we need you to be able to retain and recall critical information. So we present curated information alongside the HOW and the WHY, and we do it without PowerPoint. Also, we really value your time. It’s not worth it for us if class is super boring either.
WE MODEL BEST PRACTICE.
Childbirth, parenting, and for-profit businesses are inextricably linked in today’s world. We believe a future exists where success in business does not come at the expense of human labor or environmental protection. We are proud to advocate for small and large social, political, and economic changes that will improve the lives of families and protect the future of our planet. We know that the best way forward is to practice what we preach. As a business, we are dedicated to treating employees with respect and dignity, paying for and valuing peoples’ time. We are working to build a culture of mutual respect and participation between and among our employees.