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The Illuminating Doula Team

Our amazing team will provide the support and care you need and deserve.

Sharonda Gardner, M. Ed

Certified Postpartum Doula, PCD(DONA)

Sharonda is a wife, a mother of two busy little humans, and an educator with over 20 years of hands-on experience.  She understands the ups, and sometimes downs, of pregnancy, childbirth and that most precious time of the Postpartum period.  With more than 8 years working with Moms postpartum and having been trained through DONA International, she is passionate about parenting and for the love and care for you and your child.  Believing in the loving bond of a mother and baby, she knows firsthand that these early connections are instrumental in continuous growth and development.  She will be there to support, comfort and guide you on your next journey.


Sharon Ann Taylor-Smalls

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Sharon Ann Taylor-Smalls, is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) who received her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Nursing, as well as a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University in New York City.  An advocate for women’s health care, support and empowerment for over 30 years, she encourages her patients to consider lifestyle changes that will be to their benefit. Her professional interests focus on health education, disease prevention and the reduction of perinatal mortality and morbidity by engaging, spending time with, listening to, and forming strong relationships with the
women she serves. She is the owner/primary provider for Redeemed Creations Midwifery Services,
PLLC, and is a member of the NYC Chapter of ACNM . She is expected to complete her Doctorate in
Nursing Practice from Stony Brook University in Spring of 2022.


Cloe Alvarado

Certified Birth and Postpartum Doula, CD/PCD(DONA)

Cloe Alvarado is a DONA-trained birth & postpartum doula. Her background and education are in early childhood education and development. She has worked with children for over 10 years as an educator, nanny, and doula. When working with families, she is there to give you all the tools, support, and knowledge to successfully navigate labor and the early stages of parenthood.

LaShanda Dandrich

Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

Lashanda Dandrich is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and co-founder of Uptown Village Cooperative.  After the birth of her daughter in 2009, her passion for breastfeeding and supporting mothers and families in the postpartum period blossomed.  She became a trained postpartum doula while pursuing her IBCLC credential.  She has supported familes of all diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds throughout NYC.

Lashanda lives in Harlem with her daughter, Ava.  When she is not busy being a mom and supporting other moms, she enjoys traveling, reading sci-fi, and trying new cuisines.

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Xandréa J., M.A.

Certified Yoga Teacher,

Thai Yoga Massage Bodyworker,

Certified Medical Cannabis Consultant

Xandréa is a Mom, Personal Trainer, Yoga instructor, Thai Yoga massage Bodyworker, Dancing For BirthTM Instructor, Doula, and an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She provides many of these services throughout various communities around NYC.


When she became a mom, she left the world of Mental Health and entered the world of Whole Health. She studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and started a business, Inspiring Whole Health and Healing. Within this business model, Xandréa is able to offer Holistic healing services to children, families and her community.


Currently, Xandréa offers her Holistic Well/Fit services, with an emphasis on the Whole self including, but not limited to, a focus natural movement/flow, fitness, nutrition, and self care. She is always excited to offer her healing touch techniques of Thai Yoga Massage, Pre/Post natal fitness training and Yoga instruction to expectant, new, and veteran parents.

Douglas Chu, LMT

Licensed Massage Therapist

Douglas Chu, LMT, has worked in a variety of high-end venues including Equinox, Waldorf-Astoria, The Surrey, Langham Hotel.  His modalites includes Swedish, Deep Tissue, Medical, Sports and Oncology massage.  Other modalities include Cupping, Raindrop Technique, and craniosacral.

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Jacquelyn Walker-Amissah


Certified Postpartum and

Overnight Doula, PCD(DONA),

Child and Newborn Care Specialist

Jacquelyn is a confident, kind-hearted spirit with a natural passion and tendency toward helping women. Whether first-time mothers or those who are multiple pregnancies in, she has 10+ years of experience both as a nanny and as a postpartum doula serving families and their infants. People describe Jacquelyn as warm, loving, reliable, soothing, caring and compassionate. Her gentle nature and maturity allows parents to feel at ease in her care. Jacquelyn always pours an abundance of love and positivity into every child as if they were her very own.

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