Find a Doula: Meet the Boundless Birth Team in Pittsburgh, PA
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Meet the Doulas

Find a Doula Who is Right for You!

Find a Doula like Emily Christian-Michaels​

Emily Christian-Michaels


Emily found love in the birth community after having her first son, Ellington. She learned first hand that pregnancy and birth does not always fo as planned. But, with the right education, support, and encouragement you can still have the beautiful birthing experience you would like. 

Shortly after having her first son in an unmedicated induction at 37 weeks with the Midwife Center at Mercy hospital, Emily became a trained Childbirth Educator and Doula. Within a month of her training she supported a family in the delivery of their first child and she hasn’t looked back!

In the last three years Emily has supported all types of pregnancies, births and occasionally losses. From scheduled C-section, to natural unmedicated, to planned epidural and everything in between Emily brings her expertise and unique ability to confidently direct the tone of a room and manage both the physical and emotional roller coaster that is labor and delivery.

For Emily, pregnancy and birth are life changing experiences regardless of the type of birth you wish to have. The journey of self-discovery and determination it takes to grow a baby, prepare for a baby and then birth that baby is incomparable to any other life experience. She believes that education and support are the keys to having a satisfying and empowering labor and delivery experience and is eager to help you along your own journey.

Emily lives in the community of Bellevue with her husband Sam, three kids (Ellington, Bowie, and Joni), her dog Didion, and cats, Harper and Truman. In addition to being a doula and childbirth educator, Emily is a dog trainer and owner of a local fitness studio, Joy in Movement.

Anna Sylvester, RN


Anna fell headfirst into birth work in the winter of 2017, after selling a spinning wheel (and a spinning lesson!) to a local birth doula. She was fascinated by the idea of supporting people through such a vulnerable time and had an inkling that she would be good at this sort of job.

Anna received DONA International birth doula training a month later from the incomparable Kathy McGrath, MSW, LSW, FACCE, CD (DONA), and attended her very first birth shortly after that. Since then, she has supported dozens of clients with all sorts of different birth plans – medicated hospital deliveries, unmedicated midwife births, home births, cesarean births, long births, short births, and everything in between.

Two things have become very clear during Anna’s doula career. First, there is nothing more magical than being a part of a baby’s first moments in the world. And second, a person in labor will always need a smart, creative, dedicated care team to ensure that their needs are met and their voice is heard. Every single birth has surprised her, moved her, and reinforced the passion that she has for birth work and families. 

Because she is hungry for knowledge and a glutton for punishment, Anna went back to school in 2021 to become a Labor & Delivery nurse. She graduated in December 2022 and now works at Jefferson Hospital as an RN in Labor, Delivery, and Postpartum. Anna intends to continue her studies and become a Certified Nurse Midwife. 

Anna lives in Bethel Park with her boyfriend Adam and Jake, the resident Bad Cat. When she’s not at the hospital, Anna supports her clients in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum; wears many of the Boundless Birth administrative hats; teaches Childbirth and Breastfeeding education to expecting parents; and is a longtime member of a badass feminist knitting circle. Since that fateful spinning wheel sale, she has acquired several more spinning wheels and a loom or three.

Aimee Bungard


Aimee found herself caught off guard when she went into spontaneous labor with her first baby, Willow, at 25 weeks. The next 82 days in the NICU gave her time to realize there are myriad ways to prepare for birth, physically and mentally, and that even with that preparation there are ways our stories can change instantly.

That navigation shouldn’t be expected to be a lonely or silent journey. Throughout her following pregnancies and losses she shared her experiences in real time, offering support to friends and family along the way in an unofficial capacity. After losing a family member to postpartum depression she felt the calling to be available to any birthing person who had a need for preparation, space holding and transition into the adventure that is newborn life.

In 2020, Aimee completed Doula training through DONA International with Jan Mallak, 2LAS, AdvCD-BDT and works hard to support the Pittsburgh birthing community.

Aimee lives in Clinton with her husband, three children, 2 suessian mutts and 1 very sassy kitty. When she isn’t busy talking about mucus plugs and colostrum you can find her painting and drawing, weeding in her herb garden, hugging trees and eating the yard.

Alyson Thiel, CPD (Cornerstone), CLC


Alyson became a birth doula in 2017 after attending the birth of a dear friend. She has since attended dozens of births and became a certified postpartum doula and lactation counselor. After being pregnant during the beginning of the pandemic and having her child in 2021, she became even more passionate about honoring the transition into parenthood and supporting pregnant people through the tender and often isolating moments of pregnancy and postpartum.

She loves being a doula because it gives her the opportunity to collaborate with birthing people and their families in envisioning their birth and parenthood, to uplift them in advocating for their reproductive and mental health, and to validate their feelings, instincts, and celebrations. Every person deserves a supportive companion through the transformative journey of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Every experience is worthy of respect and validation.

With decades of experience as an artist and art teacher, Alyson values the transformative power of creativity, storytelling, and art, and she loves integrating art into the work that she does with couples and children. She has a deep sensitivity to the emotional needs of others, and enjoys working with siblings of new babies to help nurture their natural curiosity of childbirth.

Outside birth work, Alyson is a paper flower artist and painter, sharing and showing her work in a variety of ways. A self-proclaimed “kitchen witch,” she enjoys making herbal tea and baked goods in her kitchen. Alyson loves playing outside with her son Miles, laughing and relaxing with her wife Siobhan, and traveling to see her friends around the country. 

Rachel Parente


Rachel had two dreams as a little kid: to work with chimpanzees at the Jane Goodall Institute, or
to be a birth worker. She never did make it to Tanzania but spent 2023 taking a 10-week comprehensive doula training course under Masters of Maternity (M.O.M.), where she became a perinatal birth doula and birth educator. She is working towards M.O.M. certification and is also taking a course to become Hypnobirth certified.

Prior to embarking on her journey of birth work, Rachel was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and stage 4 endometriosis. While fighting her care team for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, she became inspired to use her experience to help pregnant people become their own advocates and demand their own justice. Rachel is passionate about the reclamation of the birthing experience and aims to help clients through their pregnancy and birth journey educated, empowered, and without fear or doubt. Birth in all forms – Cesarean section, home birth, and everything in between – has always taken a village. Midwives, doulas, neighbors, family and friends are all critical to the process. Rachel believes in restoring that aspect of community and ensuring clients feel respected, honored, and confident to advocate for their best birth, no matter what that birth looks like or involves.

Rachel lives in Plum with her very clingy rescue dog Frannie and over 20 house plants. Outside of all things pregnancy/ birth/reproductive justice, she enjoys gardening, cooking, crafting, writing poetry and is attached at the hip to her Kindle (and is always looking for book recommendations!)

Katharine Combemale


Katharine has over a decade’s experience in birthwork. She first plunged into attending births at fifteen, working at the maternity ward in Kanad Hospital in Abu Dhabi. During her time in the UAE, she witnessed and assisted mothers, parents, families and caregivers through dozens of births both physiological (natural) and medically managed. It was an enormous privilege to walk with these families and learn from them.

She went on to get her BA from Carnegie Mellon University in Medieval & Renaissance Studies, a self-designed degree where she specialized in Christianity’s impact on traditional faiths, women and queer history, witchcraft and healers, and birth. While studying, Katharine worked at UPMC Shadyside’s leukemia ward as a unit coordinator, then later as lead administrator and patient care advocate to the chief of vascular surgery. She also served as the head of infant-2yo nursery care for her church, and began work in prenatal education, postpartum doula support, and psychological support for parents.

Katharine has worked with birth, with death, with loss and joy, with real people at real moments of walking between worlds. Her own health history has given her great respect for both holistic healing practices like herbs and whole-food nourishment, and for pharmaceutical and clinical medicine used with wisdom and care. She’s happiest at the bridge between the nerdy and the sacred.

Outside of work and study, you’ll find Katharine contra dancing and drinking tea, fermenting and cooking beautiful foods, singing with the Mendelssohn Choir or practicing opera. She enjoys life with her husband on an old farm in Moon Township. She will probably try to give you fresh rosemary & thyme.

We would absolutely love to meet you!