Introducing the Montreal Doula Companions

These are professional doulas who donate some of their time to providing doula services to MBC clients. If you are looking to hire a doula, read on and feel free to contact us for more information!  * If you wish to contact any doula directly, please click on their name.

Rivka Cymbalist

Rivka is the director of Montreal Birth Companions. She is a certified doula and a CPM. She teaches doula courses, has a private doula practice, and coordinates the MBC volunteers. Her book on natural birth can be found here.

You can visit her here.

Alina Panteleev

My name is Alina Panteleev and I am a mother of two boys of very different ages, a wife to my most dear friend & spiritual life partner, a birth doula and photographer.

My doula path began with the pregnancy of my second son Noah. After Noah’s most empowering, short and ecstatic home water-birth experience Life naturally shifted and awakened my passion to care for, inform and support other women on this magical, but at times rather challenging journey.

I am passionate about the miracle of birth, humbled by the strength of the female body and inspired by the beauty of motherhood.

I have received training with DONA International and am currently working towards my certification. I specialize as well in Birth Photography and Placenta Encapsulation for more information please feel free to contact:

Phone: 514-526-6902 (with voice mail)

Alynn Doiron

My name is Alynn Doiron, I am Montreal Birth Companions certified birth doula, additionally trained by DONA international. I am humbled to partner with women and their families bringing them education, advocacy, and support. A positive outlook and a soothing demeanor allow me to help mothers, fathers, and their babies in such an exciting time!

I graduated from Concordia University and it’s varsity hockey program and am now an early childhood educator.


Ayda deSouza

My name is Ayda deSouza, I’m a trained doula. I am a mother of four wonderful children. I have given birth in a hospital and birthing center setting.

I believe in supporting women and empowering them to have the birth experience they desire. I do that through prenatal classes, birth and postpartum support. To know more about my services please contact me for a free consultation.

Phone: 514 662 8642

Charmaine (Char)

Charmaine (Char), massage therapist, birth assistant, documentary storyteller.
I believe in holistic healing of mind, body, spirit. I witness birth as three-fold: birth of the baby, birth of a mother, birth into parenthood. I support with your agenda: your birth, your voice, your way.
From formal classrooms to street-wise, hand-held, trench training with gurus, I bring fresh new approaches to ancient wisdoms: aromatherapy, homeopathy, birth massage, compassionate touch, artful-communication and trust. Today, I enjoy a wonderful private birth-assistant practice and a warm place within the MBC team.

Formally trained as a Prenatal Birth Assistant. Adult, Infant, Child CPR-certified. Member of Association of Quebec Doulas (AQAN/QAD). See my Birth Assistance pricing & Pregnancy Education ateliers at

Trained in Swedish, Ayurvedic, Lomi Lomi, Indian-Head, Craniosacral Therapy. My areas of focus are Prenatal & Postnatal massage, Abdominal Toning, Pelvic Drainage, Labor massage, Induction massage, Migraines & Vertigo, Sciatica, Neck, Arm & Shoulder Release, Infant massage, Foot Reflexology, Cancer Care, and Touch & Release™ stress-relief. Member of ACTMD. Offer Massage Therapy Insurance Receipts.

Phone: 514-813-8566 (with voice mail)

Chesley Walsh

I have been training with Rivka’s doula program over the past year and volunteering with the MBC. The more I learn about pregnancy and childbirth, the more excited I am to participate in an individual’s journey! I have also studied herbalism and wildcrafting specific to Montreal.

Phone: 514 661 4013

Elizabeth Triassi

Elizabeth has been creating and facilitating group and individual psych-educational programs at English Montreal School Board (EMSB) for the past 10 years. She has also been hired as a private consultant by organizations that are in need of innovative programming. Elizabeth helps educate parents and individuals about the processes involved in the growth and development of families in our community. As a long term commitment, Elizabeth volunteers as a Doula for Montreal Birth Companions as she derives great fulfillment from providing parent(s) with the opportunity to have a positive start as they embark upon the wonderful journey called parenting.

Enza Iacono

Hi my name is Enza Iacono. I am a mother of a 3 year old little lady and soon to be mommy to a baby boy. I had a Hypno Birth in a hospital setting and I am planning a home birth with a midwife for my second. I am a Special Care Counsellor and I have been working with adults with a disability for the past 10 yrs. I am Montreal Birth Companion certified birth doula. I have been volunteering since September 2013. I am very passionate about empowering women with information needed to meet their needs. Please contact me for more information

Phone: 438-885-8455

Erica Gipson

In addition to her doula practice, Erica is trained as a research scientist, aikidoist and yoga teacher.  Though her roots are in the scientific method, she has found her passion in the holistic approach to healing and self-care.   She remains in constant awe of the ecology of the human experience and the power that lies within each of us.


Geneviève Trudel

Geneviève has been interested in issues of reproductive health, queer health, health access and bodily autonomy for over ten years.  She grew up in Montréal and has been involved in various community health organizations in the area.  She is a Master’s student in Art History, and works at the McGill Faculty of Medicine in their Office of Admissions, Equity and Diversity.  She’s been told she’s a very good listener.  She loves being a doula, loves Montreal Birth Companions, and looks forward to meeting you.

Iris Karry

Iris has been involved with various organizations and projects relating to sexual health, sexuality, gender and women’s health at McGill University and beyond, reaching out to students and non-students alike. As she pursued her Bachelor’s degree in anatomy and cell biology at Mcgill, Iris developed an interest in discovering ways to integrate a biomedical understanding of health with broader economic, political and sociological perspectives. Her volunteer work as a doula has provided new experiences that have shaped a more holistic approach to health.  She plans to pursue a medical degree with hopes of a career in women’s reproductive health.

Janet Torge

Janet Torge, prenatal teacher and doula.

Nothing is more magical or miraculous than the birth of a baby.  And the journey to that OMG moment may be one of the most challenging undertakings of your life.
Every mother has been down the path, and now it’s your turn.  All you need is a little wisdom of the ages to guide you, some medical knowledge if things go slightly off track and support of those who have been there before.

I offer prenatal courses – 4 sessions – for couples who are having their first baby and “top-up” sessions for those who are having a 2nd or 3rd but forgot the basics.  The courses can be with one or two couples depending on due dates.

I offer doula services for hospital-bound couples who would like someone with experience to accompany them through the process.  I will meet with the couple two or three times before the birth, be there through the labour experience and birth, then visit once after the baby is home to make sure breastfeeding is going well and the new family is getting used to being together.

Julie Tytler

I am a native of Scotland but have lived in Montreal for over 14 years. During that time I have taught in elementary, secondary and adult education. I have three daughters aged between four and twenty-four and love to cook, explore, laugh and sail.
I love meeting, educating, and supporting women and their partners during their journey to parenthood. I will be there for you as a companion, a guide and a resource.

Katryna Van Vliet

Katryna has been working with the Montreal Birth Companions for the past year. She is committed to grassroots initiatives and is very happy to be providing direct care to MBC clients in the childbearing year. She feels privileged to bear witness to the strength and intensity of women in labour. She finds she is learning a lot from the women she works with and is excited to continue in this field in the future.

Leah Garfield-Wright

Allo Bonjour Hola! I’ve been involved with MBC since Fall 2013, when I started the doula course with Rivka. I came to it with a general interest in community-based health, and curiosity about this process of pregnancy and/or birth. I have learned a lot about the complexity of forces surrounding a woman that affect her experience of this process. I am engaged with food as a medium of social, environmental, and personal change in my work and community involvement. I bring this knowledge to the doula ‘table’ and also some self-taught understanding of healing plants. One mother and child at a time, earth and one seed at a time…

Melanie Green

I became interested in Doula work after having a VBAC with the help of a midwife. I am passionate about birth and how it can be a very empowering experience for women.  I believe that a knowledgeable, calm and empathetic Doula can help a mother to draw upon her inner strength and have a more positive and personalized birth experience.  I look forward to supporting and encouraging mothers during this amazing and transformative time in their lives.

Michaela Chandler

Hello, my name is Michaela and I am a prenatal and birth doula.  As a doula I am committed to providing women and their partners with evidence-based information that help them make informed decisions and stay active participants throughout their journey into parenthood. I am an advocate for natural birth and believe strongly in women’s ability to have non-interventionist labours. At the same time, I respect and support the individual choices women make when handling their own unique pregnancies and labours. I very much look forward to supporting you through this life-changing event.

Raizie Perton

Hi, my name is Raizie Perton. I’m originally from New York and have lived in 3 countries and many cities eight of those years in Montreal. I’m a mother of 6 ages 14 to 26 and a grandmother of 1.

I have been training with Rivka since September and am also DONA trained. I’ve also taken a workshop in Rebozo training which I find can help a mother in labor with pain and relaxation.

I’ve given birth to my children each in a different hospital with different Doctors. Some births were amazing but one was not. By number 6 I learned to find a voice and speak up for what I wanted in a birth not what the system wanted. I would like to be a mothers voice during her voyage into motherhood, making it a beautiful experience each and everytime.

Phone: 438-932-9843

Sarah Armstrong

Hi!  My name is Sarah Armstrong. I was born in the UK and travelled a lot in Europe, the USA and Africa before settling here in Montreal with my husband and young family. I work in a women’s shelter and have recently  trained as a yoga teacher. Pregnancy and childbirth is such a magical, yet challenging and life-changing journey, through which we learn so much about life and about ourselves. For this reason I became a doula – to support and encourage women as they travel this road.

Phone: 514 370 5361

Sara Vann

In the US I was a divorce and community mediator who turned to healing modalities in the course of my practice. I am a reiki master and craniosacral therapist who  now adapts these techniques to the birthing process. I also do some hypnobirthing techniques and rebirthing for moms and past life regressions. I have been successful inducing births naturally with a mix of Craniosacral therapy and hypnobirthing techniques — kind of like a pre birth session that will help the baby engage and then eliminate the need for artificial oxytocin.

Stephanie Assouline

Hello, my name is Stephanie Assouline. I am a volunteer doula, cranio-sacral therapist and registered nurse who works in the post-partum department at a hospital. I have many different passions but what they all have in common is helping and healing others. There is nothing more precious or life altering than bringing a baby in to the world and I love sharing my knowledge and being of service to women and their families during that special time. I am looking to getting to know you and understand your needs as well as aiding them make the most informed decisions possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for a free consultation and learn more about the services I can offer you.

Svea Block

Svea is a traditional naturopath, classical homeopath and volunteer doula for Montreal Birth Companions. In her private practice she specializes in women and children’s health, and is passionate about natural birthing. Svea’s knowledge of natural healing can be of assistance for mother and baby before, during and after pregnancy.


Tamar Dodenhoff

I am a CAPPA Canada certified labor doula, mother of four, who is presently serving the west end of Montreal as well as off island ( Hudson, Vaudreuil, St. Lazare, and Rigaud areas).
I am dedicated to expectant moms, helping them develop trust and confidence in birthing. It is my goal to support women emotionally and physically, as well as to inform and discuss all their needs.
Besides volunteering for Montreal Birth Companions I have a solo service, EnhancingYourBirth. I offer free consultations.