Catrice Harris is a wife, mother, and grandmother, who has been supporting families with childbirth education, labor and birth, and lactation support since 1992. Her initial lactation training was through The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and City of Houston WIC Programs. Childbirth education came next as she began teaching Lamaze classes to expectant families, birth moms, and adopting parents. In 2012, began working as a birth and postpartum doula, becoming certifed through DONA and ICEA. As a recipient of the BIRTH midwifery scholarship for a woman of color, she is now enrolled in the National College of Midwifery, with the goal of graduating as a Certifed Professional Midwife (CPM) this summer. She teaches parenting education classes at the Woman’s Hospital of Texas and is apprenticing with Stephanie Palacio at Bay Area Community Birth Center. Having supported almost 300 women with the birth of their babies, she is truly grateful that this work found her!
Vero Pertuso is originally from Venezuela, where she went to college and graduated as a clinical psychologist. When she moved to the United States, she wanted to combine all her psychology knowledge with her passion for the birth and maternity world, so she began her journey to become a birth worker. That was the best decision she has ever made, she said. Currently she is certifed as a wellness and health fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum coach and a birth and postpartum doula. In 2018 she started her own practice, BREATHE Body•Mind•Spirit, in which she helps, guides, and empowers people through and at any stage of the entire journey of pregnancy and postpartum, both in English and in Spanish. She cannot be more passionate, driven, and committed to her work, or how she calls it, her mission in this life. Vero is in love, engaged, and soon to be married this year. She loves to cook and eat, to laugh out loud, and to be outdoors.
Melissa Nealy is a homeschooling mother of three wonderful children, two of whom were born at home. She has a fantastic husband, Dan, who facilitates the pursuit of her passions, three guinea pigs, four cats, one mealworm, and various insects her children have decided are pets (who live in the backyard mostly). She is a doula, an International Board Certifed Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and a student midwife. Her first career was as an elementary music teacher; she found her passion for birth work a year prior to conceiving her first child and stayed home after her oldest daughter was born. She became a La Leche League leader and continued to seek out education about all things birth. Melissa has loved getting to know the other amazing people who came together to present this play.
Kelley Ellis is a labor/birth doula who previously spent 17 years in the offshore oil and gas industry as a structural engineer. She is married to her Sunday School sweetheart and they have three boys, two born by cesarean and the third was a successful vaginal birth after two cesareans (VBA2C). When her career in the oil industry evaporated, she turned her knowledge and passion gained through her own birth experiences into a new more rewarding career and doesn’t miss the corporate world at all. In her spare time, Kelley trains Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and shuttles her boys around to various sports and school events.