Stefanie Antunes

Director and Lead Doula Trainer

Stefanie Antunes
Stefanie and Julia

Introduction

Stefanie Antunes has been a Lamaze® Educator and doula since 2002, after the birth of her second son showed her just how valuable it is to be prepared for birth and to have good support around you.
 
Stefanie is a visionary in the childbirth field. Her commitment to the profession has been exemplary. She founded Ontario’s first doula agency, helping to obtain insurance for the doula industry, creating the Birth Doula Program, Ontario’s first and only hospital doula program, and more! Stefanie is the director of public relations for the Association of Ontario Doulas, former Public Relations Director and Treasurer for DONA International and sits on many local boards and coalitions to improve our communities. She spent 13 years as a DONA-approved Doula Trainer before coming on board to lead Doula School.
 
Stefanie is a contributing author in the best selling Power of Women United and the book Bearing Witness: Childbirth Stories Told by Doulas. She is a regular contributing writer and blogger, and has done many interviews online and for TV/radio.
 
She was voted Canadian SME Business Woman of the Year 2022 for her contribution as a leader in Canada. She believes that the world can be a better place if parents can have more positive childbirth experiences, allowing them to bond properly with their babies. She works tirelessly to change the world in this aspect…one family at a time.

Background

Stefanie was born and raised in Canada in the Greater Toronto Area to a first generation immigrant Portuguse father and French-Canadian mother. She grew up speaking three languages and added a fourth due to her extensive travel in spanish-speaking countries. Stefanie spent most of her summers in rural Portugal where her family farmed much of their own food and where neighbours often didn’t have running water or electricity. These early years inspired Stefanie to learn how to be both self-sufficient but also to appreciate the value of community, a value she holds dearly to this day.
 
Stefanie excelled in school but always longed to find a job that would inspire her and feel like a “passion”. She was inspired after the birth of her second son demonstrated the value of an empowerd and supported birth. She became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and taught prenatal classes as a ‘hobby’ while she worked in Corporate Canada. But she soon felt pulled to do the work full-time and eventually would give up her corporate work to focus full-time in her doula work. This led to her creating and growing an agency, creating a hospital doula program and becoming a trainer.
 
Together with Julia Forest, Stefanie acquired Doula Training Canada which has expanded to become Doula School International. Stefanie is committed to growing the organization into a truly international certifying organization that recognizes the nuances and differences across cultures while understanding the foundations of birth and postpartum support needs to be universal. She is a constant work in progress, supported by her wonderful community, her now three grown children, three step children and anywhere from one to four dogs depending on which kids are at home.

Courses with Stefanie

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