Birthsmarter lives in the space where biology meets society, wisdom meets data, and empathy meets activism.
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. When, 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.
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.
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 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 recently 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 son, Milo.
Elizabeth Pérez is a mother, multidisciplinary designer and educator interested in the confluence of motherhood, world-building, and the possibilities of design. She began her journey in 2014 as a birth and postpartum doula, lactation counselor and yoga instructor. After the birth of her son, Elizabeth trained with CEA/MNY as a childbirth educator and became Birth Smarter’s first lead educator in 2019. During this time, she continued her education at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in New York where she received her graduate degree. Elizabeth works as a Content Designer and Strategist and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.
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
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.
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.
Postpartum support facilitator + CHILDBIRTH EDUCATOR
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.
SAM DAWSON TANDY
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.
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.
Originally from Canada, Erin has called NYC home for over a decade. Like many others in the city during the pandemic and limited in her field with the theatre industry shut, Erin saught out a new creative outlet and birth work presented itself like a light in the dark. 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 after 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.
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.
happy parents supported since 2019
Classes and events hosted to families in over 41 states and 5 countries
Families that have utilized our Pay-What-You-Can Program ensuring our education and community are accessible to all
5-Star google reviews
OUR CORE VALUES
WE <3 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.