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The Illuminating Doula Team

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


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.

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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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.

Douglas Chu, LMT

Licensed Massage Therapist

Postpartum Massage

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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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.

Adé Williams 

Certified Postpartum Doula, PCD(DONA),

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Adé is a compassionate postpartum doula with a heart as warm as a cozy hearth.  They are a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and they leverage this expertise to comfort and reassure birthing individuals and their families.  They are nurturing and empathetic and create a supportive environment for postpartum journeys.


As a postpartum doula, they encourage self-regulation and relaxation.  With gentle care and understanding, Adé promotes agency and empowerment by sharing knowledge and validating individual experiences.  

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Brittany Watson

Certified Postpartum Doula

Brittany is excited to begin working with your family!  For the past ten years, she has worked with children of all ages privately as well as in educational and clinical environments.


She is a nurturing person with compassion and empathy for anyone she comes into contact with. She understands the importance of a child’s early developmental years and will provide any support that is needed.


Brittany is currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Development and Speech Therapy.

Me'chel "Inka" Paysinger

Certified Postpartum Doula

Inka has a background and education in early childhood education and development. She has worked with children for over 30 years as an educator, nanny, and doula. When working with infants and families, she is there to give you the tools, support, and knowledge to successfully navigate the early stages of parenthood.


People describe Inka as warm, loving, reliable, caring and compassionate. Her maturity and loving spirit allows parents to feel at ease in her care.

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Julia Rosenthal, DPT

Pelvic Floor & Orthopedic Physical Therapist

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)

Certified Pelvic Health Practitioner (PRPC)

Dr. Julia Rosenthal is a pelvic floor and orthopedic physical therapist and founder of Empower Physical Therapy in DUMBO, NYC. Julia’s approach centers around empowering clients with the tools and knowledge they need to manage their symptoms. She integrates physical therapy techniques with strength training and and performance coaching to help her clients build resilience in their minds and bodies.

When it comes to working with pregnant and postpartum people, Julia is a strong believer in helping people feel as healthy, mobile, and strong as possible through this stage of life that is full of changes. She draws on her pelvic health expertise to help people understand the changes their bodies are going through, how to navigate them, and how to best prepare for what's ahead including both birth and parenthood. 

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