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Vision, inspiration and equitable maternal health options for underserved communities.

BirthWise beginnings

Toni Curtis

Toni Curtis is a certified birth doula and childbirth educator. Her work in maternal support began in 1996 when she volunteered as a peer educator while in high school. In addition to teaching classes about safe sex practices, she supported teen mothers who needed prenatal care, labor and delivery support and postpartum care. For years, she continued to stand with and advocate for young mothers who were underrepresented and in many cases, simply not heard.

Since the birth of her own children, Toni has been on a mission to equip herself with the knowledge that she now shares with her clients and fellow doulas. After suffering years of infertility and being told by doctors that there was nothing they could do to resolve it, she realized that there were others like her who did not have adequate support during such an emotional time. When she did finally become pregnant with her first child, her birth experience was less than ideal. She begged the medical staff to help her get up when she felt her daughter stuck on her pelvic bone, but was met with opposition. Even as she sought assistance to breastfeed her newborn, she was not given the support that she needed to thrive.

As a result, Toni took a deep dive into learning and began studying to aid in her own postpartum experience. She has spent a great deal of time researching the history of black maternal health in the United States and worldwide  and has since obtained multiple certificates and certifications  related to diversity, women’s health and perinatal health. Her education spans across topics from advanced fertility nutrition to training for postpartum mood disorders.

Recently, her wealth of knowledge and passion for this work has led her to become a mentor to doulas across the country. She encourages her fellow birth workers to support and encourage their clients so that they can have the births they desire. Toni has seen firsthand the heartbreak and stress women can experience when not adequately supported. She is passionate about her work and prides herself on being patient, empathetic, kind and always willing to learn. Her mission is to educate, support, advocate and even make policy changes surrounding implicit and cultural bias about equitable maternal care.

Toni believes that representation and cultural awareness are vital to changing the exorbitant black maternal mortality rates. She currently serves as chairperson on the DONA International DEI subcommittee, Black Mother and Baby. For her clients, she provides evidence-based care that is tailored to the unique set of conditions that each mom and family presents. They make their own decisions about their care, but she sees it as her responsibility to equip them with the tools they need to make informed decisions. Her aim is to provide a safe, transformative birth experience for everyone.

When she is not taking a class or supporting moms, Toni enjoys spending her time with her husband and their two children. She enjoys learning about different cultures, watching Japanese anime and most recently, taking roller skating classes so she can refresh her skills.

Education & Training

Current Accreditations
Pending Accreditations
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