Meet Our Instructors
Patty Brennan, Director/Owner of the Center for the Childbearing Year has been an advocate for childbearing families for nearly 35 years as a childbirth educator, doula, midwife and program visionary. She is the founder of two nonprofit community-based volunteer doula programs in Michigan. Patty is the author of The Doula Business Guide; The Doula Business Guide Workbook; Vaccines & Informed Choice; Guide to Homeopathic Remedies for the Birth Bag; and Whole Family Recipes for the Childbearing Year & Beyond. She is an approved birth and postpartum doula trainer through DONA International and is the primary instructor for the Center’s professional training and business development programs. In addition, Patty is the creator of the Center’s comprehensive selection of multi-media online childbirth classes.
Barbara Robertson, MA, IBCLC, has been involved in education for over twenty years and holds a Masters degree in Education. After her children were born, Barbara became a La Leche League leader and board-certified lactation consultant. She established The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor (located onsite at the Center) in early 2008 and serves as its director. Barbara teaches breastfeeding classes for parents, runs support groups, trains professionals and is in private practice as a lactation consultant. She loves working with mothers and babies, helping them with breastfeeding problems in whatever way she can. Barbara teaches our Breastfeeding Basics class for expectant parents and our Breastfeeding Basics for Doulas professional training.
Krista Dragun, mother of two, is a certified childbirth educator and a Birthing From Within mentor. She attended her first birth as a doula in 2002 and started teaching expectant parents in 2007. She feels fortunate to be able to help guide families through their journey, not only as a childbirth educator and mentor, but also as a birth and postpartum doula. Krista teaches our Childbirth Preparation classes and assists with birth doula trainings.
Whitney Kolongowski attended Birthwise Midwifery School in 2003 and became a Licensed Midwife in Texas as well as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). She has attended births in Maine, Oregon, Texas, Michigan and Senegal. After giving birth to her first child, Whitney decided to focus her time on raising her (now three) children. She is thrilled to be in the birthing community again teaching childbirth education classes and assisting families as a doula. Whitney is a certified instructor through Dancing For Birth and teaches our Dancing For Birth pre/postnatal fitness classes. She also teaches Childbirth Preparation classes at the Center.
Toni Auker is the mother of two and a birth doula. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology and women’s studies from Eastern Michigan University, but it wasn’t until her son was born in 2011 that she discovered her true passion. She trained to become a doula and childbirth educator at the Center and has attended births ranging from natural home birth to planned cesarean delivery. Toni teaches our Childbirth Preparation and Newborn Care classes and hosts our Doula Share Circle and Meet the Doulas events.
Eliza Wilson-Powers became a certified childbirth educator through International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) following completion of graduate work in Anthropology that focused on childbirth and reproduction. She is also a birth doula. As the mother of one daughter, Eliza feels deeply privileged to be part of the birth process with parents and babies alike. She teaches our Childbirth Preparation classes.