About Teri

Teri Nava-Anderson Teri Nava-Anderson is the founder of Harmony Doula and co-founder of the Modesto Doula Group and Harmony Doula Group with Susan Jessee and Jennifer Kara.

With 30 years as an educator, mentor, and researcher, and 12 years as a doula, Teri is an experienced and enthusiastic perinatal professional. She has a passionate commitment to educating and preparing pregnant people and their supporters for the year surrounding birth. She leads the childbirth and lactation education series for the Harmony Doula Group, teaches doula skills to nursing students at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts, and both coordinates and teaches a community-centered (also called community-based) birth and postpartum doula training program at the Welcome Home Community Birth Center in Sacramento and Homestead Natural Birth Center in Modesto.

Teri is certified as a Birth and Postpartum Doula (DONA International), Lactation and Childbirth Educator (ICEA), and Midwife's Assistant. She is also a Certified Professional Aromatherapist and holds a PhD from Stanford University. She is a VBAC specialist with additional training in acupressure, rebozo use, pelvic floor balancing, Spinning Babies (optimal baby and maternal positioning), mindfulness, hypnosis for childbirth (both Hypnobirthing / Mongan Method and Hypnobabies), and placenta processing. As a trauma-informed care birth plan consultant, she was trained and mentored by industry leaders Penny Simkin, Phyllis Klaus, and Selena Shelley.

Teri is an established, active member of the doula community, dedicated to the advancement of the doula profession. She currently volunteers as both the Western Pacific US Regional Director and Chair of the Continuing Education Committee for DONA International, as well as the Board President of the Mt. Diablo Doula Community, and as a peer support group leader for the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) and La Leche League (LLL).

My Birth Philosophy:

I believe in the innate nature of a person’s body to bring forth a baby. I also believe strongly in the power of education. As a doula, it is my responsibility to provide the best evidence-based information available to my clients so that they, in turn, can make informed choices that best serve their needs. My work as a doula compliments my work as a historian and archaeologist. Birthing people, whether in the modern age or the distant past, are all connected and empowered by their shared experience.

I believe that every person has the right to understand their body and the labor process -- to know what each stage and phase of labor entails, what it might feel like, and what their choices are. The old adage that knowledge is power is as true in the birthing process as it is in other aspects of life. Yet, for most first timers, the only exposure to the labor process they have had comes from movies and television, in which the birthing person is rarely depicted as anything other than distressed and in intense pain. Giving birth is hard work, to be sure, but the better prepared one is physically and emotionally, the easier it can be. Most everyone fears the unknown, but fear is not beneficial to a laboring person. Few people would ever consider running a 10K marathon without training their body and mind for the event, yet people are often expected to meet the challenge of labor with little or no advance preparation. I advocate strongly that people take an extended preparation course, whether they have chosen relaxation and breathing as their primary techniques for managing the pain or discomfort of labor, or whether they have decided to use medication.

As a parent of two, I have learned from experience that a person in labor deserves to be nurtured, to be heard and respected, and to be free to surrender themselves to the birthing experience. If they want to be loud, they should be loud; if they want to be quiet, they should be quiet. For most people, giving birth will be unlike any experience they have ever had and it may completely change the way they view themselves and the world. As a doula, I am therefore honored any time a person has allowed me to share that journey with them.

pregnancy photography at the beach