Board of Directors
The Tampa Bay Birth Network is run by volunteers. Meet our board of directors!
Jillian is a birth doula and photographer/owner of Secondhand Exposure Photography. She loves being able to empower and support women through the birth process. As a photographer, she aims to capture emotion and create beautiful images through maternity, birth, and family photography. Jillian also has a podcast + portrait project, Working Birth, that explores the work of birth professionals. She studied Psychology at Saint Mary’s College, IN, and has presented her research on what influences women’s attitudes towards childbirth at the American Psychological Association’s national conference. She is passionate about birth advocacy and supporting all types of families.
Yamel Belen, RN
Yamel is a Registered Nurse and a doula, owner of One Love Doula Services. Yamel sees her role as one to provide emotional support as well as guidance through the pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. One Love Doula Services was born out of pure respect and compassion for the process of pregnancy and birth. Her intent is to continue to hold many hands, provide feedback and resources in order to aid in well informed decision making and most of all to do this with One Love.
A Registered Nurse with years of experience in Pediatric case management, geriatric care, home health services and skilled nursing. Yamel began her journey in birth work when she was 10 years old and her mother started laboring at home and was experiencing complications. She vividly remembers bringing her mother to a comfortable position, holding her hand and talking her through some contractions until emergency services arrived to the families second floor Brooklyn home. After the experience, Yamel knew she was meant to help mothers and families through the life changing event of bringing a baby earth side, however she also realized she wanted to provide this service at a more personal level outside of her nursing career. Additionally, Yamel has personal experience in the area of pregnancy and childbirth, her and her husband have five children ages: 19, 16, 11, 3 and one all natural births and the last two born at home. With a family of this size its a never ending event planning situation which Yamel very much enjoys doing outside of her RN and doula work.
Gladis Rubio, IBCLC
Gladis is an Internationlly Board Certified Lactation Consultant, owner of Crunch Natural Parenting, and co-founder of The Fourth Trimester. She has assisted and supported over a thousand women with breastfeeding related concerns, taught classes, and held support groups at the local health departments, libraries, and at the Hispanic Outreach Center in Clearwater, FL. Gladis studied Anthropology at The University of South Florida with a focus on Maternal and Child Health and has presented original research on the topic of birth culture in both Tampa, FL and New Orleans, LA at the American Anthropological Association’s annual convention. Additionally, as the mother of four wonderful children, Gladis has personally experienced a range of birthing situations and is a supporter of the rights of childbearing women everywhere.
Hannah obtained an MS in Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Women’s Health from USF where she worked on obstetric research and was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. She is passionate about maternal-child health and promoting evidence-based practices in healthcare. Hannah is especially interested in supporting LGBTQ+ families in the Tampa Bay area and co-nursing moms within that community.
Emily Bronson, LCCE, CD(DONA), CLC
Social Media Officer
Emily is a birth doula, a Lamaze certified childbirth educator, a lactation counselor and owner of Birth Sister Childbirth Services. She has worked with families since 2010 and is a passionate advocate of safe and healthy evidence-based and patient-centered maternity care. She has Master’s degrees in Anthropology and Public Health, works in maternal and neonatal healthcare quality improvement and volunteers with the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Task Force. Emily believes birth and breastfeeding are normal and natural and that, through education and support, women are able to make informed decisions that are best for their body, their birth and their baby.
Melinda is a Full Spectrum Doula and Childbirth Educator specializing in teen pregnancy, young parents and abortion support. She strongly believes every family deserves to be supported and empowered regardless of age, gender classification and ethnicity. She is a mother to 2 boys and a teen-birth advocate supporting families in Central Florida since 2005. Melinda is the Founder of lovebirth, LLC and Project Teenbirth, Inc. Her story has been featured in Rewire, NotAnotherTeenMommy.com, #noteenshame.tumbler.com and Young Parent Anthology.
Strategist, Web & Graphics Officer
Victoria is an experienced nonprofit professional with a passion for helping women discover their choices when it comes to pregnancy, birth and healthcare. At age eight, Victoria attended the home birth of her youngest sister and the experience taught her the power of a woman’s body. She was even able to cut her sister’s umbilical cord! As an adult, Victoria has been on a personal mission to promote natural pregnancy and childbirth and empower women to take control of their own healthcare. She is honored to be a part of TBBN which creates a welcoming space for women to connect with the amazing birth professionals in our community!
Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Most of my friends and Clients know me by Zul. I’m a trained Midwife
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I have the honor to be the mom of two wonderful souls that have come to my life to teach me what life is about , to teach me the meaning of love and humbleness.
I was transform by the birth experience of my first daughter Isabela 14 years ago. Which led me in a birth universe journey. After that moment I know I wanted to be part of supporting families any way I could. I became a Certified Lactation Educator, A Birth and Postpartum Doula .
I lived in Mexico with a traditional Midwife an experience that led me to become a Midwife myself.