Program and its Directors and trainers
The Institute of Childbirth Educators became a Lamaze-Accredited Childbirth Educator Program in 2015. The institute helps those wishing to become Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators by providing the Lamaze Seminar and some optional course preparation so participants can qualify to sit for the Lamaze exam.
Stefanie Antunes – Program Director:
Stefanie Antunes has been a Lamaze® Educator and doula since 2002, after the birth of her second son showed her just how valuable it is to be prepared for birth and to have good support around you.Stefanie is a visionary in the childbirth field. She leads the Discover Birth organization providing a variety of services to expectant parents and training for those wishing to pursue work in the childbirth field. Stefanie is the former President of the Ontario Association of Doulas, Treasurer for DONA International, and sits on many local boards and coalitions to improve our communities. She is a DONA-approved Birth Doula Trainer and founder of The Birth Doula Program at the Scarborough Hospital. Stefanie is a contributing author in the best selling Power of Women United and Bearing Witness: Childbirth Stories Told by Doulas. She is a regular contributing writer and blogger, and has done many interviews online and for TV/radio. She believes that the world can be a better place if parents can have more positive childbirth experiences, allowing them to bond properly with their babies. She works tirelessly to change the world in this aspect…one family at a time
As the proud owner of FITMOM Durham, Jennifer helps women achieve their personal wellness goals and PROMOTES healthy birth experiences for new and expecting moms. With over 10 years in the health & wellness field she brings extensive experience in group facilitation and public speaking, and is skilled in providing enhanced learning and fitness experiences for her clients.
In 2006 she became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and a Lamaze Program Director in 2015. She has been teaching prenatal Lamaze classes since then to families across Durham Region. Her background in Adult Education, Group Facilitation and Public Speaking ensures that your group or private series is fun and informative. She is well known for her sense of humour and past participants often say that attending her classes was the highlight of their week! Jennifer is also a DONA trained Doula. She regularly attends workshops and courses to ensure her knowledge regarding fitness and healthy birth practices for the childbearing mother, is current. In her FREE time, Jennifer, gives back to her community as an active volunteer with the Durham Family YMCA.
Most importantly, she is also known as Mom to two busy, growing boys Ben & Jakob.
Priyanka is a women’s health physiotherapist, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, a Doula and a mother. She is a program trainer who spends her time between Canada and India helping families and birth workers alike. Priyanka has extensive experience providing both doula support as well as childbirth education to families across Canada and India. Her inclusive, dynamic, and engaging classes have clients always asking for MORE. We are thrilled to have Priyanka’s extensive experience and passionate and fun teaching style join our program!
Jennifer Fontaine – Program Trainer:
Jenn has been supporting the families of Winnipeg as a birth doula (attending several hundred births) and childbirth educator (preparing over a thousand new families) since 2002.
Over the years, while supporting families, Jenn has made education a priority. She has achieved DONA International Certification as both a birth & postpartum doula, become a DONA International Birth Doula Trainer, a certified Lamaze Educator
Jenn is passionate about passing along her knowledge to families and other doulas, knowing that she is learning just as much from them! She loves training new doulas and childbirth educators. Jenn is a sought after instructor, she’s traveled all over North America, and even to Australia to teach and help new birth workers find their own path.
She currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her wonderful husband, her four amazing kids and two drooling bulldogs.
Heather Crossan – Program Trainer:
Heather Crossan AdvCD(DONA), PCD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, CLE
Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Heather attended the National Theatre School of Canada before moving to Calgary and transitioning to doula life.
In a continuing effort to increase her skills Heather originally trained as a doula in 2008, becoming a certified birth doula in 2009, a certified postpartum doula in 2010, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator in 2011, and a Certified Lactation Educator in 2012. She is also a DONA-Approved Birth Doula Trainer, a Lamaze Seminar Instructor, and has received the honour of Advanced Doula Status with DONA International (the first doula in Alberta to do so, and only the 4th in Canada). She has had the honour of attending over 500 births.
In addition to serving the Alberta doula community as President of the Calgary Doula Association for 3 years, Heather has also filled the role of Alberta Representative for DONA International (SPAR) for 2 years, while also serving on many committees and advisory boards.
While she has always been passionate about birthing families; she is also extremely passionate about supporting doulas. This led her to develop Doula Essentials Inc., a place where doulas can learn, grow, and succeed. Heather believes that quality education and support is at the forefront of everything we do She is thrilled to partner with Discover Birth to bring excellent training to Alberta, and excellent Childbirth Educators to Alberta families.
Heather lives in Inglewood, Calgary, in an old house with 2 large dogs, and her husband Chris.
Established in 1960, Lamaze International is a not-for-profit organization composed of parents, childbirth educators, healthcare practitioners and other health care professionals whose mission is to advance safe and healthy pregnancy, birth and early parenting through evidence-based education and advocacy. Knowing that access to credible information and research is key to a healthy pregnancy, childbirth and a good start to parenting, Lamaze works to educate women and provide support so they are equipped to effectively
partner with their care provider, navigate their options in care and push for the safest, healthiest birth possible.
Lamaze education and practices are based on the best and most current medical evidence available. The Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices are tried and true ways to teach parents how to have a safe and healthy birth. Our vision is “knowledgeable parents making informed decisions.”