What is a Doula?

The word doula comes from the ancient Greek, meaning "a woman who serves".  A doula is a certified professional who provides continuous emotional, physical, and educational support to the mother/birthing person, & their partner, before, during and after labor.


Rootead Doula Collective

We are a unique, community-based doula program that is designed to assist clients and their families in achieving the most positive and healthy birthing experience possible. We are committed to building a culturally competent, anti-racist, birth justice movement. We believe that every birthing person who wants a doula should have one and are working toward making that a reality in Kalamazoo.  

Rootead Birth Doulas meet with you 2-3 times prenatally.  These visits help us get to know you, your birth team and your preferences for the birth. We attend the birth starting in active labor and will stay with you for the duration of the labor. We come to visit at least twice after baby is born, to help establish breastfeeding if desired, help facilitate bonding, and support you as you settle into your new family dynamic. We can assist you both at the hospital and at home, as well as planned Cesarean births. We are here to support you and your whole family through the unique and magical process of birth.

Rootead Postpartum Doulas offer support to families immediately after the birth of their babies, through the first year of life. We want to recreate the village support system, where all new parents are embraced and uplifted in the first months after birth. Our goal is to help facilitate new families bonding with their babies, establishing their rhythms and enjoying life together. We can help with diapering, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, baby-wearing, movement and exercise, social gatherings with other new families, meals, light housework, connecting to community resources, and much more.

We are collaborative partners with Cradle Kalamazoo, working to eliminate the infant mortality disparity in our community. 

Do you need a Doula? Click here

¿Necesitas una Doula? Haz clic aquí


feel free to message us for ADDITIONAL information  


kama mitchell


Kama Tai Mitchell is a healer, mama, yogi, doula and dancer.  She has spent most of her life claiming and sharing body awareness.  A practitioner and teacher of Para Yoga, Kama has also had numerous trainings with many master dance teachers of the African Diaspora.  She encourages women to own their bodies and their birth experience.  Kama is a strong activist in birth justice, racial equality and mental health awareness.  She co-founded and is co-executive director of the nonprofit Rootead, which supports women of color, especially mothers.  She is certified in belly binding through the Zulu Birth Project and has training in reflexology and massage.  Kama loves nature (especially the ocean), babies and all forms of art.


Heather Mitchell

Heather Mitchell Doula Headshot.jpg

Heather Mitchell is a Birth Doula and a Childbirth Educator.  She is also a professional dance teacher and a mother of three.  Heather’s knowledge of body awareness informs her doula practice, and she believes in the significant role of mobilizing the pelvis during child birth.  She believes that all birthing people should have access to a doula if they choose.  Heather is the Education Director of Rootead


Rosibel Kersjes

Rosibel is a Massage Therapist and Esthetician with seven years of experience and extensive education.  She has attended Dancing for Birth Workshop. She holds a certificate of Advanced Holistic Doula with Matrona, and has completed the Mamasutra Doula Arts training. Rosibel has attended multiple births including a home birth.  Her goal is to empower mothers and partners through education, so they can make informed decisions and create a birth plan that fits their needs.  During labor, Rosibel uses her healing touch along with her calming presence to make the birthing person feel comfortable, relaxed and safe. Rosibel is certified in Pediatric First Aid and CPR, and speaks Spanish fluently.  She loves to dance, and believes in the power of dance in assisting in the process of labor and delivery. She has training in breastfeeding, aromatherapy and belly binding.




As a wife and proud mommy of five, Adiah is excited to embark on the journey of birth work. Having four natural hospital births of her own has fueled her desire to support other moms in their experience of bringing their miracles into the world. Adiah is grounded in her faith and is a natural born giver who is always willing to  encourage and meet the needs of others. Adiah has been described by many as mothering, fun, loving, wise, caring, detailed, nurturing, and maternal. Adiah welcomes the opportunity to support expectant mothers during the birthing process.


ChéRee Thomas

Chéree Thomas (she, her, her’s) is a passionate social justice advocate. She is a mother of four and a GiGi J. She has had births with the aide of an epidural and without.  Chéree has expertise in providing services to domestic and sexual assault survivors and those who support them.  She provides training on diversity and inclusion and effective communication. She has a certification in diversity management, Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Women and Disability studies and a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Multicultural and Diversity studies. Chéree’s hobbies include writing, bike riding and photography. Chéree  is birth doula.


Ashley Espinosa

Ashley Espinosa is a DONA certified Birth Doula and has been supporting families during the postpartum period since 2006.  Ashley is a founding member of three non-profits that are still in operation and has been employed by both large and small non-profit operations.  Her experience includes nonprofit administration and management, broad spectrum training in home birth midwifery, newborn care and family health and wellness.  She graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Western Michigan University in 2008 and then graduated from The House of Matrona, a home-birth midwifery program in 2012.  Ashley is also a Registered Nurse currently employed at Borgess Hospital.  Ashley is continually learning about caring for mothers and families in the postpartum period and is committed to sharing what she learns, especially to traditionally underserved populations.  Ashley is currently in nursing school in pursuit of becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife.  Ashley is currently a Postpartum Doula and Family Education Director for Rootead. 


Amalia Anbessa


Amalia has been immersed in natural birth philosophy since conception, surrounded by faith in our bodies, and grounded in the roots of sacred birthing culture.  She is calming, committed, and a grounded Birth and Postpartum Doula. Amalia speaks Spanish fluently, loves gardening, nature and mothering her two children. Amalia offers postpartum herbal sitz baths, as well as homegrown and hand harvested herbal remedies.  She has experience postpartum with twins, plant based nutrition, and Zulu style belly binding. She has completed the Mamasutra Doula Arts training. Amalia gives deep gratitude to her family and our ancestors. Amalia is currently the Doula Collective Coordinator for Rootead.


Sarah E MacLean


Sarah has always been in love with babies, birthing, pregnancy and the emotional and mental journey that Mothers and their families experience. Sarah is a nurturing caregiver, nanny, partner and mother to a large furry family.  Her life is naturally motivated by her love of nature and her passion for the healing touch.  She has a big heart with so much love and compassion for others.  Sarah is very involved in the Performing Arts and a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community.  Sarah is a Birth Doula.