We are a program of Ostara Initiative, Inc. You can find out more about our parent organization by clicking on the button.
Our Alabama Team
Chauntel Norris is Co-Director for the Alabama Prison Birth Project and the Co-Founder of Baobab Birth Collective. She is a leading expert in lactation during incarceration. She is a native of Birmingham, AL, and attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she earned her B.A. in African American Studies & her B.S. in Psychology. Chauntel is a DONA trained Birth & Postartum Doula, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and a Certified Lactation Counselor. She is an active member of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, a community transformer for Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, and serves on the board for the Alabama Breastfeeding Committee.
Dr. Tiffany Taft
Group Facilitator and Doula
Tiffany Taft is the founder of Sacred Soul Wellness LLC, an Integrative Health & Wellness Center located in Montgomery, AL. She is a mind-body therapist, doula, and somatic bodyworker focused on evidence-based education, research, and services that support natural holistic healing for those experiencing chronic
pain or rehabilitative concerns. She is a native of Montgomery and holds degrees in Healthcare Administration, IT, and Cyber Security. In 2004 she made a career transition into Holistic Wellness and has since become licensed and certified in a full spectrum of evidence-based complementary and alternative, integrative health therapies and energy work. As a birthworker she provides support in the areas of childbirth education, prenatal massage, prenatal yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Tiffany is a DONA-trained birth doula and has completed training as a Pregnancy and Infant Loss (P.A.I.L.) advocate and fertility advocate for those seeking support in holistic ways to navigate their fertility journey. Her passion is supporting women in their womb wellness and holding sacred space for their healing from past and current traumas around their pelvic floor, birth, and advocating for their social and reproductive justice and rights while learning to navigate the roads of political policy in and around birth work.
Her current community commitments and engagement include services with The Department of Veteran Affairs, The Veteran’s Wellness Center, supporting local families in the River Region and surrounding cities as a Community Doula, a Prison Doula as a part of the Alabama Prison Project, Alabama Ambassador for Healthy Birthday, Inc. and Count the Kicks addressing infant mortality and stillbirth prevention, and as a stakeholder member for a special project in collaboration with The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and Iowa Department of Public Health. Finally, Tiffany is committed to Maternal/Fetal health, mindfulness, healing justice, and advocacy.
Ashley Lovell is C0-Director for the Alabama Prison Birth Project. She is a Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educator, a DONA-certified birth doula, and a peer breastfeeding counselor. She received her B.S. and M.S. from Clemson University and Auburn University respectively in wildlife sciences, but eventually left her 17-year career in natural resources to focus on professional birth work. As a doula for 10 years, Ashley is specifically trained in bereavement/loss birth support and supporting survivors of trauma through birth.
Group Facilitator and Doula
Gabrielle Daniels is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and has a broad background in research, public health, public education, theology, and birthwork. Currently, Gabrielle serves her community and the Alabama Prison Birth Project as a Birth and Postpartum Doula and Childbirth Educator. Gabrielle received her Bachelors of Science from Iowa State University in 2010 and her Master of Public Health from the Yale School of Public Health in 2016. Her public health interests focused on social determinants of health and research-based program interventions, with specific attention to the needs of women, children, and families. In 2017, she went on to complete a Masters-Fellowship from Duke Divinity School, concentrating in Theology, Medicine, and Culture, where she focused on issues of race and historical memory work, and exploring bioethical issues using Christ-centered theological and justice paradigms. As a birthworker, Gabrielle has trained with DONA International, Indie Birth, and Kyleigh Banks of Birthworker Academy, apprenticed with doula mentor Traci Weafer, and is dedicated to continuous learning to serve mom-and-baby dyads in their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences. Her faith, work, and background continue to inform her efforts to serve the needs of vulnerable populations both domestically and abroad.
BS, BD, LEC, MiLC
Group Facilitator and Doula
Adiliah Smith is a proud alumna of Alabama State University where she earned degrees in Biology & Secondary Education minoring in Mathematics. Beginning her career in secondary education as a classroom teacher, she shifted to maternal health a decade later. She is the owner of Village Maternal Services in Montgomery, Alabama, where she serves as a maternal health consultant, doula and lactation specialist. Her work is noted across many local organizations. She is also the creator of the support group Mama’s Village MGM, a space centering the maternal experiences of Black women across Alabama’s river region and Black Belt, nearly 400 women strong. Among her efforts she has organized Montgomery’s “Community Mommy Shower” to connect new and expectant mothers to resources and providers to improve maternal health outcomes. In 2022, Adiliah was inducted into Alabama State University's “50 under 50,” an honor given to alumni making impacts in their careers and community. She serves as a member of the Breastfeeding Task Force at Baptist Medical Center South, the Governor’s Initiative Breastfeeding Work Group with the Alabama Department of Public Health, and The Wellness Coalition’s REACH Advisory Committee. Adiliah also volunteers with R.O.S.E. (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere), and she is a member of Doulas of North America International (DONA) and Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA).
Colleen Bell, PhD
St. Paul, MN
St. Paul, MN
Florence Holland, Ed.D
Richard Rice, J.D.
*Two of our Board Members are justice-impacted.
The Alabama Prison Birth Project
To improve the health of newborns birthed by women in custody while strengthening maternal bonds and maternal self-efficacy.
In September 2015, Clayton Wheat of Corizon Correctional Health (now YesCare) asked Ashley Lovell, an East Alabama doula and childbirth educator, if she could provide childbirth classes to the women in custody at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women who were pregnant. He also reached out to the Minnesota Prison Doula Project to explore options for bringing gender responsive, trauma informed care to these women.
At the end of 2015, Alabama Prison Birth Project was incorporated under the name East Alabama Birth Village and became a 501c3. We brought childbirth education and support to Tutwiler once per month, along with providing other birth-related services in East Alabama. In early 2017, the organization's board voted to focus solely on prison birth support and changed the non-profit's name to The Alabama Prison Birth Project.
In December 2018, the APBP board voted to approve an acquisition by Ostara Initiative, Inc., the home of the Minnesota Prison Doula Project, to create long-term stability and sustainability for our work in Alabama and elsewhere. The acquisition was completed on June 30, 2019, and APBP became a program of Ostara Initiative, Inc.
All mothers giving birth in Alabama's criminal justice system will have healthy births and will not be separated from their newborns, ensuring normal child development and promoting positive maternal change within.