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Our Support Team

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Shannon Johns CD(DONA), CLC, CBE

Birth & Postpartum

NYS Medicaid Provider

As the founder and Owner of Calming Nature Doula Center and Services,

Shannon’s journey to becoming a Doula started well before her official DONA training. Mother to six children, all via natural births, Shannon learned a thing or two about what worked to reduce the perceptions of labor pain. Through her lived experience Shannon began helping the women in her circle as they navigated their own birth experiences. Encouraging and telling them what worked for her during labor could also work for them. It wasn't until 2014 that she officially trained with DONA and became a Certified Birth Doula. In addition to being a Certified Doula, Shannon has also taken numerous other trainings and certification, including becoming a Childbirth Educator and Certified Lactation Counselor, allowing her to present Evidence Based information and education to her community


Not one to ever stop striving for excellence, in 2020, amongst the midst of a pandemic, she founded the Buffalo’s Breastfeeding Sisters Program. In partnership with REACH Buffalo, BBS was established to provide education, support and promotion of breastfeeding in the African American community within the city of Buffalo. The program serves as a peer support program for black women wanting to connect with other black women who are or plan to breastfeed. The goal of this program is to educate and truly support the mothers who would like to breastfeed.


Rachel Tibold

Birth & Postpartum Doula

NYS Medicaid Provider

Rachel is a wife and mother of 5 daughters. She trained as a birth and postpartum doula through DONA International and has attended many birth conferences and workshops. She has experience in home births, hospital births, vaginal, cesarean and multiples. She supports and receives everyone who is birthing, including IVF and Birthing Centers. As a birth and postpartum doula, her goal for your birth journey is to foster an experience that offers you emotional, physical, and informational support, so that you feel empowered to make choices that meet the needs of you and your family. 

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Chinelle Smith

Birth Doula

Peer Lactation Ambassador

NYS Medicaid Provider

Chinelle is a mother of 3 and a nurse by trade. Having spent the last 7+ years working as a nurse in the community and from her own birth experiences, Chinelle was inspired to begin seeking knowledge on doula work. She spent 4 years working with women recovering from substance use disorder and was astonished at the need for support these women don't have access to during pregnancy, birth and post partum.


Chinelle's focus is to bring doula work to those in the underserved community, educate and advocate for doula services, so it becomes as familiar as being a nurse.

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Chermeka Darby, CLC
Birth Doula, Peer Lactation Administrator
NYS Medicaid Provider

Chermeka began her career as a birth doula and lactation counselor in 2019.  She is a wife, mother to four amazing children, and proud Buffalonian committed to serving the birthing community.  


She was drawn to birth work at a young age.  Growing up she was able to see her family embrace a community “it takes a village” model, which encouraged her to use this in her approach with pre- and post natal care.  Being raised around women who openly breastfed made the desire to provide supportive, gentle, evidence based assistance to those lactating and interested in breastfeeding a top priority.  Pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and postpartum support are all areas of passion for her.  She believes that every birthing family should have access to resources that position them to have their ideal birthing experience.


As a DONA trained doula, Chermeka is dedicated to providing nurturing guidance and support, in addition to utilizing evidence based information and methods to assist the families she serves.

Back Up Doulas


Njeri Motley

Birth & Postpartum Doula

NYS Medicaid Provider


Njeri is a Birth Doula as well as a homemaker and provider. She is married and the mother of 6 children, 5 girls and 1 boy. Njeri believes that the power and strength given to woman during childbirth is incomprehensible, honorable and supernatural. Njeri has assisted friends, family and complete strangers in child birthing and her passion in this profession matches her dedication. 

 Njeri's objective is to give her clients the absolute best experience when welcoming their child into the world.


Brenzella Williams

Birth Doula

NYS Medicaid Provider

Brenzella, Della, is the proud mother of 5, grandmother of 17 and great grandmother of 9; she has attended and supported most of their deliveries, and many others. Della has 19 years of hospital experience in Labor and delivery, nursery and postpartum.


It has always been Della's desire to support women in their decision to control as much as they could of their birth plans and births. Over the years she has witnessed the shift as the medical profession has become more and more willing and in agreement that women and their partners should have a more active role in the planning their deliveries. Della now takes on a more supportive role within birth.

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