Our Team

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Jenn Fontaine - Co-Owner, LCCE, FACCE, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), PCD(DONA) CLC, CLE, CHBE, WSGB Instructor

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 and accredited Lamaze Program Director.

In 2016 Jenn was given the honour of being inducted as an FACCE (Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators), a fitting recognition of her significant contribution to childbirth education and her effort to promote safe and healthy birth through evidence-based practice.

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, launching the I.T.S. Birth accredited Lamaze Training Program in 2016.  Jenn is a sought after instructor, she’s traveled all over North America, and even to Australia to teach and help new doulas find their own path.

She currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her wonderful husband, her four amazing kids and two drooling bulldogs. She is undergoing treatment for her coffee addiction but there are doubts as to its success.

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Candice Katz - Co-Owner

I have always had an interest and love for pregnancy and childbirth. My husband and I welcomed our first baby, a girl in 2003. I thought I knew everything there was to know about giving birth. It wasn't until after the birth of our second baby, that I learned who a doula is and what they do. 

During the birth of our second baby, a boy in 2004 a student midwife provided me with some much needed emotional support. She was amazing!! That experience sparked my interest in midwifery. When I looked into what a midwife was, I came across the word doula. Once I learned what a doula was, I knew that's what I wanted to do. 

For my next 3 babies, I was fortunate enough to have a midwife and I hired a doula. The physical and emotional support I received from my doula during those births helped me realize my own strengths. I am amazed and in awe of the birth process and what our bodies can do. I continue to learn from each birth as well as from my fellow doulas in the birth community. 

I feel blessed and honoured to work with families during such an incredible time in their lives.


Ang Falk- CD(DONA)Birth/Postpartum Doula, Instructor 

A seasoned Birth & Postpartum Doula, and Child Birth Educator, Ang joined Birth Roots in 2003. In awe of the raw power and strength of a laboring woman, she went on to experience this herself during her own 3 births. Angela is honored to support woman embark on discovering their own inner strength and abilities during pregnancy, birth, postnatal and beyond.


Bodi Milljour - Birth Doula

I took my first Doula Training in early 2003, and have been attending births ever since. Being called to witness the birth of a new family is a great honour, and I am humbled to be asked to share this moment with people.


Liliane Régnier - CD(DONA), Birth Doula, Instructor, Speaks French

I've been working as a bilingual, DONA certified Birth doula for 13 years. I'm also a Lamaze Childbirth Educator. I have two daughters 16 and 13 years old whose births have played a huge role in my decision to work in the Birthing community.So passionate about women supporting women!


Linda Thorlakson - CD(DONA), LCCE, Birth/Postpartum Doula, Instructor

Originally, it was a passion for supporting breastfeeding that brought me to Birth Roots 9 years ago. This evolved into a desire to support and empower people with their individual goals as they navigate birth, feeding and the postnatal period through research based information and physical supports.


Charmaine Stansel- LCCE, Instructor

My name is Charmaine and I am the mother of five amazing kids! Each of their births gave our family joy and lasting memories. In 2016 and 2017 I attended both the DONA International Birth Doula course and the Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator program. I am also a certified CPST.


Cassidy Reimer - Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula


Karli Peters - CD(DONA) Birth Doula

My journey as a birth doula began in October 2015. Since then, I have become a Certified Birth Doula and a Certified Car Seat Technician (CPST). I love working closely with families and birthing teams during the prenatal period and beyond; supporting families with questions they may have and empowering them to make choices for their own birth journey. I am honored to be included in such a big part of the families story. 

Your birth, your choice. I am there for you!


Courtney Penner- Birth/Postpartum Doula

Birth is one of the most vulnerable, powerful and transformational experiences I have ever gone through. After the birth of my two children, I knew I wanted to journey with other women in the creation of their own birth story.  I became a doula in 2017 and started with Birth Roots in the fall of 2018. My passion is creating a safe space for women to recognize their incredible strength and freedom to find their own voice both during and after birth.


Kayla Cardinal - Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator

Kayla is a childbirth educator and doula. She received her training in Winnipeg, MB through Lamaze International and DONA International. She practices as a birth educator and birth doula in Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba. Although new to the birthing community, Kayla comes with 8 years of experience as a psychotherapist and clinical social worker in health care. She understands the importance of holistic wellness, including physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well being.

Kayla believes in a mother's internal strength and intuition of her and baby's needs. She works with mothers, fathers, and families to educate, support, advocate, and ensure comfort throughout the pregnancy and birthing experience.

"I am there to support your every need and make sure you and baby are comfortable and well cared for. It would be an honor to be part of your birth experience". - Kayla Cardinal


Sonya Jantz - Postpartum Doula

For almost 10 years, I have had the pleasure and honour of supporting moms after the birth of their baby. Since becoming a mom, I fully understand the importance and necessity for moms to feel well supported and cared for during the postnatal period. My role is to ease the transition into parenthood or parenting multiple children so their experience can move beyond surviving to thriving.

Sharon Vidal - Postpartum Doula

I have had the honour and pleasure of supporting new moms for almost 6 years now.  Since becoming a mom myself, and having friends and family becoming new parents, I have realized how vital it is for new moms to have support in that postnatal period.  Having someone who can encourage, train, support and love in a non judgemental way is crucial in allowing a new mom to bond with her baby and feel confident and secure as a mother.


Susan Toews - CD(DONA) Birth Doula, Instructor

My desire and ultimate goal is to help make the birth experience a memory that everyone involved will always cherish. I believe this is obtained firstly through building a great relationship with each mom and her partner. By sharing my knowledge about birth, assisting with comfort measures, and working together with the medical staff we create an incredible experience together. 


Stephanie Hiebert- CD(DONA) Birth Doula

I have been a doula since 2013. It is my passion and privilege to walk alongside women and their partners as they journey through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. I love helping woman find their options and choices and supporting whatever they choose as they birth their babies!


Brianna Darbel - CD(DONA) Birth Doula

Brianna discovered her passion for birth after her first child was born. She completed her doula training in 2013 and practiced independently before joining Birth Roots in 2015. She has three young children, a wonderful husband, and a big, loud, lovable dog!"


Jacqueline Benne - CD(DONA) Birth Doula, CLE

I am the mother of four amazing children. My passion for birth has continued to grow with each of my own experiences. Birth is a process that combines the mind, body and spirit. It is always an honour and privilege to be part of such an intimate experience.


Melissa Friesen - CD(DONA), Birth Doula, Instructor

I took my DONA training in October of 2013. Since then I have supported many women and families through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I am a wife and mother of three amazing children. We love living in the country and running our mini hobby farm outside of Steinbach.  


Tami Tozeland - Certified Hypnotherapist

I began my journey with Birth Roots in 2004 as a birth doula. As my passion for supporting childbearing families expanded, I increased my knowledge and experience into the areas of childbirth education, HypnoBirthing, and birth doula training and mentoring. I have loved every minute with the doulas and families I supported and learned from. As my interests expanded beyond birth, my life long learning journey lead me to pursue my masters in social work. As a clinical social worker, I can continue to work with people in the capacity of therapist. I have been a certified Hypnotherapist for many years and have worked in this capacity with Birth Roots clients. As I complete my masters degree I am becoming competent in many other cognitive therapy models and am excited to journey with my clients toward improved mental health whether birth related or not. I am honoured to continue working with Birth Roots as a therapist after I graduate in the winter of 2019.


Lynette Beard- IBCLC

I became a registered nurse 10 years ago and have been working with moms and babies ever since. Working on the high risk postpartum unit at St. Boniface Hospital gave me many of the skills I have today to work through complicated breastfeeding issues. I became an IBCLC in 2012 and started doing private home visits in 2016. My passion is serving mothers and seeing them find joy in breastfeeding their baby. 


Community Partners

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Meg Valdmanis-Miller, Founder of Shift Career Coaching

Meg holds an MA in Sociology and is a Certified Career Strategist with over a decade of experience coaching professionals in career transitions, researching family & career trends, and facilitating career development education. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, she’s raising her family as a proud mom of two while creating career support for families locally and across the country.

As a Career Strategist for Parents, Meg supports the full scope of career development along with impactful topics such as maternity/parental leave transitions, return to work coaching, re-entering the workforce, career exploration, resume writing, job search, and more.

Her greatest measure of success is hearing a client say, “I love being a parent and I love my job!” Meg believes there are endless possibilities for combining family and career, and works with parents to find their ideal balance.

Meg welcomes you to join her in building a community of support for today’s parents. Visit shiftcareercoaching.com to learn more.   


Our Founders

The founders of Birth Roots Doula Collective Inc., Tara Laba, Deanna Momtchilov, Julia P. Allen, and Cassandra Hardman met in a doula training course in Winnipeg in 1999. They formed Birth Roots Doula Collective Inc. in June of 2000 with a dream to make Birth Doula services available to as many Winnipeg women as possible. 
Over time, Cassandra and Julia both left Birth Roots to pursue other interests. Several other women partnered with Deanna and Tara at different times - Sonia Lavictoire, Tami Tozeland and Tammy Young. All of these amazing women left their impact on the growing collective. 

In 18 years Birth Roots has grown into a thriving business offering multiple childbirth related services. We are honoured to have had many incredible birth and postpartum doulas, massage therapists, prenatal instructors, yoga teachers, and other professionals work with our collective. 

As the last of the original founders, Tara and Deanna now feel ready to move on from Birth Roots to support our families in other ways. We are pleased to have Jenn Fontaine and Candice Katz ready to take the reins and continue to bring high quality services to MB birthing families.