Boss Lady and Childbirth Maven, Deena Blumenfeld, has her own page because, well, she’s the boss and that’s how it goes. She’s hand-picked the most wonderful teachers and doulas to work with at Shining Light. Meet them here!
Deena’s right hand, doula partner and ever awesome friend
Amanda Shelapinsky strongly believes that women should be supported holistically throughout the entire childbearing year. She is passionate about informed decision-making and self-determination in the delivery room and beyond. She is confident that no matter what curve-balls your labor and postpartum period will throw at you, there is a way to remain confident and in control. Amanda’s cheerful and optimistic personality helps to contribute to a peaceful and nurturing environment, both at home and in medicalized settings.
Amanda is a registered nurse, working in the NICU at Magee-Womens Hospital of Pittsburgh. Prior to that, she worked on the general pediatric floor at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. This has allowed her to support and educate diverse families during one of the most stressful experiences that parents can have. As part of her work in the NICU, Amanda has developed a class that she will be teaching on soothing fussy infants to brand new parents who are staying in Magee’s new Parent Partnership Unit that will be opening this fall.
Amanda is a DONA-certified birth doula and a Lamaze certified Childbirth Educator who has been serving families in the Pittsburgh area for 5 years. Amanda has extensive experience supporting early breastfeeding, especially in premature infants. She has begun the official training to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant this year and expects to complete this certification in 2018.
When she is not attending to the needs of expecting families, Amanda is practicing yoga, taking her dog to the park, and cooking big unhealthy homemade meals. She lives in Brentwood with her partner, John, who doesn’t mind her unorthodox schedule and constant talk about uteruses.
Teachers and Staff
Karen Faulk has been a DONA certified doula since 2012, and a Lamaze-certified Childbirth Educator since 2014. She provides childbirth education and birth doula services in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. She is also a cultural anthropologist, specializing in issues of justice and human rights, and has periodically lived and done research in Latin America for over two decades. Throughout both her doula and her anthropological work, she is interested in the importance of attention to social and cultural competency in maternity care.
Marilyn Scott has been a yoga practitioner for nearly two decades. She completed Yoga Matrika’s 200 Hour Teacher Training with Sharon Fennimore in 2011. In November 2014, with a six week old baby in her arms, Marilyn participated in Shining Light’s Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training. Her upbeat and adventurous personality shines through in the energizing flow practices she leads. When she’s not on her mat, Marilyn is a full-time mom to an energetic and precocious daughter, enjoys travel and exploring outdoors, running, and living by the mantra “While I can, I will.”
Ngozi D. Tibbs holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Maternal Child Health and is a candidate for a Master of Public Health- 2014. She is married to her college sweetheart and they are the proud parents of five children. Ngozi is a Certified Birth Doula through DONA International, Certified Childbirth Educator through Lamaze International, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and La Leche League Leader through La Leche League International.
Ngozi attended her first birth in 1999 and knew from that day, she had found her calling. She has served as both a private and community based doula in addition to currently serving as a childbirth educator and lactation consultant at a local hospital. She describes her teaching style as interactive and engaging. Often known to share her wonderful personal birth stories (including her fifth child’s birth in the car), she believes the best way to approach birth and breastfeeding is through informed eyes with lots of support and yes, even humor. She looks forward to sharing in your journey as you navigate through the sacred experience of new parenthood.
Alexis Tuckfelt taught for Pittsburgh Public Schools for over 13 years and is certified in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She’s used American Sign Language (ASL) in her teachings with hearing children in preschool through second grade.
After the birth of her first daughter, she took a professional development sabbatical to receive her ASL certification, so she could become more fluent. In the process, she taught both of her daughters to sign as babies, which allowed them to communicate when they were preverbal. Seeing their strong communication skills now is a true testament to the power of signing with your baby.
She has taught Baby Sign Language for four years, presented at a La Leche League conference, shared signing skills with Mom’s groups and give lessons at the pre-school at her daughter’s school. Sign Language is a gift! Happy Signing!
Natalie Stewart combines her love of yoga and art in the most creative thing we ever do– birth. Since the age of 14, she has consistently turned to her personal practice of breath and movement as a way to cope with stress. Her devotion to maintaining physical and emotional balance, has provided her with the perfect doula toolkit to support a birthing mother. She has explored yoga, Nonviolent Communication, Thai Massage, Foot Massage, Ayurvedic Nutrition and Marma Therapy, and spent over six months in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Zen monasteries and Vipassana centers practicing meditation and mindfulness. In addition, her intuitive and creative eye is able to capture the intangible moments of birth through photography, video, or other creative media.
Her certifications include 200 hr Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training, Budding Yogis Kids Yoga, Thai, Foot and Oil Massage Old Medicine Hospital Chiang Mai, Manju Jois Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series Teacher Training, Yoga of Recovery Sivananda Ashram, and she is working towards her 750 hour Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor certification. She completed a DONA International Workshop (2011) but is not yet certified.
Apart from the studio and the mat, she loves being anywhere near water with her three year old Welsh Corgi, Kibo, and is looking forward to watching her garden grow.
Grace has been a student and instructor of alternative healing arts for over 25 years and continues to pursue her education to assist individuals to rediscover their journey in a variety of ways. She is a licensed massage therapist with certifications and training in reflexology, manual lymphatic drainage, cupping, pre-natal, infant, healthy breast, chair, Thai and La Stone massage.
Her experiences as a Bach flower essence practitioner, Bon meditation instructor, Reiki master and labyrinth facilitator have helped guide her to further working with families and mothers in particular and she completed her HypnoBirthing infant massage instructor training, doula training and most recently she began a midwife assistant program to help women and their families be healthier and happier.
A mother of two daughters, Grace plans to complete her DONA certification for her work as a doula by 2019, if not sooner. She can be found online at timespaceonehealingarts.com