Meet Our Doulas
Mari-Elena Leckel is extremely passionate about supporting, educating, and empowering families during pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. She was born in New York and is the oldest of three children. Mari became a mother at a young age and met her husband when her daughter was seven years old. With the love and support of her husband and family, and her determination to succeed, she decided to go back to school and went on to graduate from Tufts University with a degree in sociology. Upon receiving her degree, she began working in law enforcement.
Mari and her husband decided in 2009 to expand their family but were challenged by infertility issues. The next few years were filled with a multitude of doctor visits, moments of excitement and also heartbreak. In 2012, she gave birth to her second daughter and because of the tremendous amount of love and support throughout her journey, she wanted to “somehow, give that back.” She completed trainings as a Childbirth Educator, Labor and Postpartum Doula through CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association), Dancing For Birth™ Instructor, Certified Lactation Counselor, Belly Binding Artist and Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Mari is also trained as a Labor and Postpartum & Infant Care Doula through ProDoula. She was the Director of Doula Services for Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness but closed in October of 2017. She and her team wanted to continue to support families during this special time in their lives and that is when Boston Birth Associates was born.
The journey to motherhood is different for everyone but Mari believes every mother and family deserve to be loved, encouraged, educated, and empowered with non-judgmental and unconditional support. Mari considers it an honor and privilege to work with families during such intimate and special moments.
Gayle McGlauflin was born in Winchester, MA and grew up in North Reading. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in teaching from Northeastern University. After completing her degrees, she began teaching elementary school in Boston and later, taught education classes at Northeastern. Gayle is a ProDoula-trained labor & postpartum doula, a Certified Lactation Counselor, a Baby Signs® Independent Certified Instructor, and a licensed Zumba® & Zumba®Kids instructor, and has her perinatal fitness training through AFAA.
In 2011, Gayle and her husband decided they wanted to become parents. There were a few obstacles but in 2012, they welcomed a baby girl and then another in 2014. Gayle struggled with breastfeeding in the early days with both girls but credits two amazing and supportive lactation consultants with helping give her the skills and confidence she needed to continue breastfeeding. It was after working with these two women that Gayle realized she wanted to work with new moms.
Gayle is thrilled and honored to be able to work with parents to educate and empower them to be the best parents to their children.
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Megan O’Neill, CLC, has always held a strong passion for women’s health – especially during pregnancy, childbirth and lactation. Megan received her Certification in Lactation Counseling and is certified by the Academy of Lactation Policy and Procedure. She is also a CAPPA-trained Childbirth Educator. Megan has worked in parenting support and education for the last nine years, and is very excited to help guide and encourage new families during this exciting time. She is a graduate of Merrimack College.
Megan is the mom of two little boys, Declan and Brian. She has three-plus years of breastfeeding experience. Megan understands the intricacies of breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and everything in between. She offers an understanding, non-judgmental view on parenting – striving to make all families feel accepted and supported.
Anna Griffin grew up in Chelmsford, MA with her parents & and two siblings. She is the fourth oldest of 25 grandchildren and has always enjoyed being part of a large family, especially caring for her younger cousins. Anna began working as a nanny for a family of 3 in Bedford at 16 years old while completing a dual enrollment program through Nashoba Valley Technical High School and taking classes at Middlesex Community College in Bedford. She graduated with a certificate in medical occupations, an Associate’s Degree in liberal studies, and became a Certified Nursing Assistant. Anna went on to work for the Hanscom Air Force Base Child Development Center and became a lead teacher in an infant classroom.
With a passion to care for others, in 2011 Anna went back to school to become a massage therapist. She graduated and continued her education by receiving multiple certifications including pre/postnatal massage, labor support and advanced Reiki training. While going through massage school, Anna knew she wanted to incorporate Doula work into her skill set and after giving birth to her daughter in 2015, she completed her postpartum doula training through ProDoula. She looks forward to supporting women and families during this important life transition.
Brooke has been serving families on the North Shore since 2012, both as a labor and postpartum doula and facilitating new mother support groups. She has experience working with first time mothers as well as families with many children, single mothers, working mothers, and mothers who have struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety.
Brooke truly loves what she does, and considers it a great honor to be welcomed into the families she works with during this amazing and life changing time in their lives.
Brooke makes it her mission to make sure the moms she works with do have the support they need so they are able to enjoy the precious once-in-a-lifetime moments with their babies by giving them time to rest, heal, and truly bond with their babies.
Brooke is a postpartum doula through CAPPA and ProDoula, as well as a labor doula through ProDoula. In addition, she has her massage therapy certificate from Spa Tech Institute in Ipswich where she gained experience with prenatal and infant massage. She is a Lactation Educator and has most recently completed her Happiest Baby on the Block Certification.
Myrna strongly believes that each woman should have a satisfying birth experience. Since each birth is as unique as the child that is born, Myrna feels that judgment free support should be provided to help each family navigate the journey of their pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum experience. Providing this support involves honoring the choices and decisions a woman and her partner make as to how they would like their birth and postpartum to be and helping them to achieve a satisfying experience even if labor, birth, postpartum recovery or feeding choices take an unexpected turn. Her philosophy is “It’s your experience, not mine in any way…my role is to support you and help you to be satisfied with the decisions you make and the experience you have, regardless of how many twists and turns there may be along the way.”
The miracle of birth and babies has fascinated Myrna since she was very young. When she found that there was a profession that involved supporting women and their families during this incredible journey she knew that she found where she belonged. Myrna began her work as a birth doula immediately following her DONA International training in 2004. Since that time she has shared her passion by supporting well over 175 families with natural (medication free) birth, vaginal birth assisted by medication, water birth, planned cesarean birth, VBAC, and twin birth. She provides unbiased, non-judgmental emotional, physical and evidence-based informational support to her clients. Her clients have often expressed that her calm demeanor, gentle voice and soothing touch have been exactly what they needed to support them during their labor and birth.
Myrna also provides Birth Counseling for pregnant women who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse and for women who have had a previous traumatic birth experience. Having such events as part of her life history can affect a woman’s relationship with loved ones and care providers, contribute to her fears of labor and birth, and affect her ability to attach to her baby. Myrna has been trained to recognize potential triggers and strategize with the mother/family to reduce their impact on labor, childbirth and the postpartum period
Myrna became a Registered Nurse in May of 2015. She is currently finishing her BSN and upon completion she plans to pursue a degree in Midwifery so that she can serve women as a Certified Nurse Midwife. In her rare moments of spare time, she can be found laughing over a cup of coffee with her friends, curled up with a good book, or working on a sewing, knitting or crocheting project.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]