The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health is a Los Angeles Maternal-Infant Health community-based organization working to engender a more equitable maternity care system and to reduce disparities in maternal & infant health.
Dr. Sayida Peprah, Psy.D., CD – Course Leader & Doula Supervisor, Health Net Community Doula Program
Dr. Sayida Peprah has a Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology with a Multicultural Clinical-Community Emphasis, from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.
Dr. Sayida is a Doula Supervisor on our Health Net Community Doula Program. Sayida is also a Birth Doula, who has worked with women of diverse backgrounds, and is a Board Member Emeritus and Co-Instructor with The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health, teaching cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication and perinatal mood disorder content for the organization’s trainings, and is a Psychological Consultant for the organization’s clients both individual and corporate.
Dr. Peprah’s background, both academically and in the field, afford her unique competence in instructing courses, counseling and consulting, from a multicultural perspective. Dr. Peprah has a strong belief and background in cultural competence and, in effort to expand this, regularly participates in international cultural immersion studies. Previously, she has traveled to Ghana, Mexico, Egypt and India, studying mental health approaches, indigenous culture and local spiritual traditions. Sayida is also a Certified Doula, owner of Conscious Surrender Birthing.
Overall, Dr. Peprah is dedicated to contributing her academic, professional and personal expertise, both in the field, as a clinician, and as an educator and consultant in academic, non-profit, government and corporate sectors. .
Sayida is married and is the mother of two young daughters, both naturally with midwives, one in the hospital and one at home in a birth pool.
Khefri Riley CLEC, CD, CPYT, HBHD – Course Leader & Doula Supervisor, Health Net Community Doula Program
Khefri Riley is a Doula Supervisor with our Health Net Community Doula Program. She is also a course leader for our trainings teaching labor support skills.
Khefri Riley is a Childbirth and Prenatal Yoga Specialist. She brings over 16 years experience as a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Newborn Care and Childbirth Educator and Hypnobabies “hypnodoula”.
Khefri’s foray into the world of babies and families has it’s inspiration from her paternal great-grandmother, an indigenous granny midwife from the deep south. In addition to being a mother to 17 year old son Zen, Khefri has her Pre-Natal Yoga Certification from Golden Bridge Yoga, is a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor from UC San Diego, Certified Itsy Bitsy Yoga Facilitator, Certified Yoga Ed. Instructor, trained miniyogis teacher, trained Hypnobabies Hypno-doula and trained Doula with D.O.N.A (Doulas of North America). Her yoga classes have been featured in People Magazine, NBC & Fox Ch. 11 News. Khefri has attended over 300 births and has taught thousands of mothers, father, and babies the joys of new motherhood and yoga. She is Founder of Urban Goddess Lifestyle in addition to being Postpartum Director and Birth Partner Doula of Los Angeles Birth Partners.
Arianna G. Smith, MSN, CPNP, RNC-OB– Doula Supervisor, Health Net Community Doula Program
Arianna “Ari” Smith is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner with a passion for respectful maternity care. Ari is a Doula Supervisor for our Health Net Community Doula Project.
After graduating from Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing, Arianna began her career in labor and delivery which involved triage, birthing support, operating room nursing and perinatal high risk nursing. The power of walking alongside thousands of women and families during this sacred time became a reality during these early years of labor and delivery. The next chapter in her life included study at University of California, Los Angeles and earning a Masters in Science, Nursing with a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specialty. This further reinforced her love for newborns, and the powerful role of the nurse for the family unit as they embrace new life. While continuing in birth work, Arianna began to feel burdened by the drastic health inequalities which began to surface by way of emerging data and clinical stories. This led her to pursue further research into maternal and infant morbidity and mortality while at the same time enter into the role of full time academia at Azusa Pacific University. The shift from clinical nursing to education has proven to be a wonderful means for Arianna to share a love for respectful maternity care with future nurses and also further her work with birthing justice initiatives. Current initiatives include a review of the literature which focuses on atypical risk factors for African-American women such as chronic stress and lifetime exposure to racism in birth outcomes. Arianna is a current stakeholder for an upcoming project by California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) which seeks to address improving the hospital experiences and outcomes for African-American women in the state of California.
Katrina Nelson, CPD, CD, ICCE, Childbirth Educator, Health Net Community Doula Program
Katrina Nelson is a DONA Certified Doula, and ICEA Certified Childbirth Educator. She is our Childbirth Educator to clients enrolled in the Health Net Community Doula Program. Previously, she conducted childbirth preparation classes for the Pasadena Public Health Department Black Infant Health Program.
Driven by the knowledge that successful birth and postpartum outcomes are greatly enhanced when parents have support and, Katrina provides newborn care, labor support and childbirth preparation classes to families in the greater Los Angeles area, collaborating with parents to develop individualized care solutions specific to their lifestyle, birth plan, and delivery outcomes. Katrina has extensive personal and professional experience working with full-term babies, twins, and preemies. Katrina’s area of care includes hospital and home births, planned and emergency cesareans, high-risk pregnancies, inductions and VBAC.