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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.

Tracy McPhillips

LCCE, PCD/PDT(DONA), CLE (she/her)

Tracy McPhillips

As an educator, I facilitate an inclusive space where people find encouragement, learn from each other and are free to be who they are. Education and support are empowering. Training doulas is an opportunity to reach more families in transition.

I am certified as a Childbirth Educator through Great Starts and Lamaze. I am also a certified Postpartum Doula and an Approved Postpartum Doula Trainer through DONA International, as well as a Certified Lactation Educator with Evergreen Perinatal Education.

I have two remarkable children and a rocking spouse. I love our family camping trips, being with friends and family, learning something every day, and my cup of tea. And the rain. And soup!

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.