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About Sierra Childbirth Institute

Sierra Childbirth Institute was founded in 2003 by longtime birth professional, Janine Maitri. Named after the majestic Sierra mountains, where Janine relocated to from the Bay Area, SCI was a continuation of an education and resource center for birthing families that she founded in Palo Alto in 1994, now called Blossom Birth Services.

Artwork by Nazim

Art is Heart & Heart is LOVE by Nazim

Janine has been a Birthworker since 1982 when she became passionate about helping to change the way birth happens in our country. She started her work as a childbirth educator, birth assistant and birth advocate and has witnessed and participated in the evolution of the doula profession since it’s beginning. Janine has been on a mission to raise awareness about ancient wisdom and the instinctual nature of birth for 40 years.

After being a traveling doula trainer for 20 years, Janine moved to the Sacramento Valley in 2019 to open a brick-and-mortar school in the Arden area. With a skilled team of teachers and caring staff, Sierra Childbirth Institute provides doula training workshops and continuing education to aspiring and established birth professionals worldwide.

Do you have questions about becoming a birth professional? Are you looking for a doula or childbirth educator? Send us a message. We look forward to hearing from you.

Meet Your Instructors

Sierra Childbirth Institute’s instructors all have decades of experience in the topics they teach, including doula support, childbirth education, postpartum care, breastfeeding education and support, and business development. The birth and postpartum doula workshops and many SCI continuing education classes are approved for DONA International doula certification and continuing education credits.

Janine Maitri


Janine Maitri

Janine Maitri (she/her/hers), is a Birth Doula Trainer, Birth Educator, Speaker, Prenatal Counselor, Life Coach and Birth Professional Mentor. She is also the founder, visionary, and CEO of Sierra Childbirth Institute.

Janine brings 40 years of experience to her teaching. She’s witnessed and participated in the evolution of the doula profession since it began, worked with thousands of families during their childbearing years, and she’s assisted at over 1,000 births. Janine has been training people in the Art of Childbirth Assisting since the early 1980s when doulas were known as Childbirth Assistants or Labor Companions. She’s been a DONA-approved birth doula trainer for 25+ years and has trained thousands of new doulas. Janine is passionate about helping doulas excel as respected and valued professionals on the maternity health care team.

With over three decades of experience as a doula and educator, Janine brings a solid skill set to the classes and workshops she teaches, helping to prepare students for successful careers in the childbirth field. When students leave the workshops, they frequently share that they now feel more inspired, confident, and prepared to begin their work as Birth Professionals.

Kathrin Augar (she/her)


Kathrin Auger
I started my training as a pediatric RN in Switzerland in 1993 where I worked on the NICU at one of the leading university hospitals in Switzerland for several years before moving to the USA. During my years on the NICU I expanded my training in infant massage, baby wearing, reflexology, kinesthesia (conscious handling of the newborn), lactation, homeopathy, and flower essences which broaden my expertise tremendously. My work also included the supervision of pediatric nurses and midwife interns.

My years of conventional medical training fed my desire to step outside the typical medical model and go deeper into more personal care during pregnancy and the birth and postpartum period. After my move to the United States (Los Angeles) in 2002 I got certified as a birth doula in 2003 and as a postpartum doula in 2004 through DONA International.

I was the director of postpartum services at the Chapman Family Center from 2005 till 2008 which included assistant teaching of birth and postpartum doulas as well as running the postpartum doula agency.

In 2007 I became a DONA International approved postpartum doula trainer.

The Bastyr University in San Diego welcomed me to their faculty in 2013 as a postpartum doula trainer until they closed their doors in 2015.

In short, my passion about all things pregnancy and postpartum knows no bounds and I strongly believe in a culture where birth is just, inclusive and free of fear.

I live with my husband in Los Angeles and gave birth to our son in 2006 via surgery and in 2007 to our second son at home.

Brooklyn Gonzales


Brooklyn Gonzales
Brooklynn is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Registered Nurse with almost a decade of experience in women’s health. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at California State University, Long Beach, with a strong focus on pursuing Women’s Health and Lactation.

Her extensive background includes Labor & Delivery and high-risk Antepartum units, as well as Mother-Baby care. With 7 years of experience in high-risk Labor and Delivery units, Brooklynn has honed her skills in managing complex pregnancies and deliveries before transitioning to Mother-Baby units to provide bedside breastfeeding support for new mothers.

As the owner of Milk-Fed Lactation, Brooklynn offers out-patient breastfeeding support. She takes a holistic approach, viewing the mother-baby days as competent and supporting them accordingly. When she’s not helping mothers, Brooklynn enjoys spending time with her three kids and traveling.