About Us

Toni Auker, LCCE


Birth Doula, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Babywearing Consultant

When I graduated with a degree in psychology and women’s studies, I had no idea what I would do with it. I knew that I wanted to work with families, but never seemed to find the right fit. After the birth of my first son in 2011, everything changed. I became passionate about pregnancy and helping women feel empowered in their birth experiences. I attended birth doula training and I immediately knew that I had found what I was looking for.
Since 2011, I have taken classes to teach babywearing, began teaching childbirth classes, and continue to attend as many births as I can. As a birth doula, I aim to give you informational, emotional, and physical support so that you can feel in control during your birth. It is your birth, and I am lucky to be a small part of the story.

Contact Toni:  734/730-2909 or toni@treetowndoulas.com

Learn more about Toni

Cynthia Gabriel, Ph.D.


Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator, Medical Anthropologist

I love birth! I started attending births in 1998 in California before I had my own children. Since then, I’ve attended births in Russia, Canada, and across the United States, at home, at birth centers, and in hospitals. Along the way, I gave birth to three children of my own. In addition to attending births, I’ve interviewed over 200 women who had achieved natural hospital births and wrote the book “Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds.” With a PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Post-Doctorate Fellowship from the University of Michigan, I have conducted research on a variety of childbearing issues. My current projects are about Muslim-America women’s birth experiences in U.S. hospitals and African-American birth choices.

Contact Cynthia: 734/929-7317 or Cynthia@treetowndoulas.com

Learn more about Cynthia

Erica (McLeod) Dierkens, IBCLC


Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Postpartum Doula, Wearable Baby Carrier Educator, Breastfeeding Educator

I have four children. Four amazing, spunky, once soft-squishy, now solid children. I vividly remember how each one of them arrived earth-side, and how each one of them nursed. Fortunately, I was not alone in this great and true labor of love; I had support from my midwives, partner, family, and friends. Of special importance was a breastfeeding support person who boosted my confidence, and gave me strength when I needed it most.

I humbly ask your permission to join you on your journey through birth and afterwards. My aim is to support you, to boost your confidence, and give you strength through any breastfeeding or parenting hurdles. Many people joke that a postpartum doula works herself out of a job, and they are correct.

Since the birth of my first child in 2007, I have been wearing babies in carriers, taken classes on how to use wearable baby carriers, and became a leader of a local babywearing group. I have been working as a breastfeeding counselor and educator for nine years and have had the privilege of providing support to thousands of women. I attended my postpartum doula training in 2014 (while seven months pregnant with my fourth child), received my CLC in 2015 and my IBCLC in 2021. I am fluent in American Sign Language.

As an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and postpartum doula, I will make myself available to meet your needs whether it be in person, on the phone, in text or email, however you feel comfortable reaching out.

Contact Erica: 734/913-0794 or Erica@treetowndoulas.com

Liz Thomas


Postpartum Doula, Babywearing Educator, Group Support Facilitator

My drive for supporting new families began after the birth of my first child, when I experienced the nuanced difference between medical prenatal care, and the personalized prenatal care of a Michigan homebirth midwife. Learning to appreciate the strength of both approaches gives me a balanced perspective for parents to share their birthing story, to help them process and adapt to the changes within their household, and emerge empowered, well rested, and able to embrace new parenthood. 
My background includes founding the Canton Babywearers support group in 2014 after I saw the need for local peer support. I focused our group outreach on identifying local leaders and reducing barriers of location and economic availability of baby carriers in the area. 
In 2019, I completed my Postpartum Doula training through DONA with Patty Brennan at the Center for the Childbearing Year. I also participate in classes of craniosacral therapy for newborns (an approach that can help with breastfeeding) with an established Ann Arbor practitioner. In the past, I have worked at Indigo Forest, a family natural health store, learning about natural ways to support postpartum recovery, and I have attended breastfeeding support groups there and with La Leche in Livonia for years.
To me, postpartum care is both supporting the mother-baby dyad and using my training and experience to guide the family in adjusting to their new dynamic. For the birthing parent, this means breastfeeding support and troubleshooting, helping connect to support groups, and daily postpartum care like healing herbal baths, making meals, and getting naps while I care for the baby.
For the family, this can mean household chores, sibling care, figuring out a system where everyone feels included and supported in their relationship with the new baby, and extensive babywearing support.
I love watching my families transition from what is sometimes awkward new parenthood, to bloom into their new lives with their baby. It's an honor to be of service during this precious time for your family. 

Contact Liz: 773/983-4841 or liz@treetowndoulas.com

Erica Businski


Birth Doula, Body Ready Method Pro, Movement Teacher / Doula

My goal is your EMPOWERMENT. As a birth doula, I provide evidence based information to best answer questions as well as physical and emotional support. I am a body nerd. Our bodies are an interconnected system and I am fascinated by all the changes a body goes through to create new life. As a doula I support you through labor positions and hands on techniques. I can also help you know and use your body through my movement work.
I've been pregnant 6 times and birthed 4 humans. Each little human, myself, pregnancy and birth was different. I've birthed at hospital and home, with varying attendants and levels of medical intervention. Since the birth of my first child in 2006, I've immersed myself in childrearing... studying what it is to be human through the little and big people around me. I've led groups for babywearing and taught elimination communication. I supported chestfeeding parents as a La Leche League leader. I'm a movement teacher specializing in core and pelvic floor health and feeling at home in your body.
The best support I can give is to hold safe space for you and your loved ones and meet each human where they are right now. I help everyone to be present in the moment to best take part in the magic of childbirth. This is YOUR birth. Supporting YOU doing the hard work of birth is an honor and a joy. All humans deserve love and all birthing bodies deserve support.

Contact Erica: 734/637-5531 or ericab@treetowndoulas.com

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