Collective Care + Village
We are a collective of reproductive health and wellness practitioners providing holistic care and support to mamas and birthing persons during their pregnancy and postpartum journeys.
We are also Black mamas.
We understand firsthand what our minds and bodies endure to create and sustain new life.
We understand the power behind centering Black/African and Indigenous traditions in holistic wellness and care during each phase of our pregnancy and birthing experiences.
We also understand the significance of being surrounded by a nurturing village that supports us as we bloom into free motherhood/parenthood.
The Bloom Collective formed in December 2018 when we, a group of Black women birth keepers, were presented with an opportunity to practice in our own physical location in East Baltimore. Committed to doing meaningful work in reproductive justice for up to 15 years, we decided to collaboratively build a communal safe space for aspiring, expecting, and new Black mamas and birthing persons centered around love and care.
Through our work, we aspire to simply be what we needed during our own pregnancy and postpartum journeys. We are proud to walk with you and be part of the village that helps you navigate through one of the most sacred moments of your life.
We believe that when mamas and birthing persons are nurtured into their fullness, our children, families, and communities will flourish.
Stéphanie Etienne, CNM, MPH
Stephanie Etienne is passionate about midwifery as a tool for reproductive justice and empowerment. She has been working to bring holistic care to women and families for over 10 years. She holds a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Yale University. She received a Master of Public Health degree in health behavior and health education from UNC Chapel Hill. She received her nursing and midwifery degrees from Columbia University. She was a drug policy reform advocate and doula prior to becoming a midwife. She has worked as a nurse-midwife in both public institutions and private practice settings. As the proud daughter of Haitian immigrants Ms. Etienne is committed to improving healthcare access in Haiti through education and training. She lives in Baltimore MD with her husband and three children. She is the Board President for the Foundation for the Advancement of Haitian Midwives and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association to Advance Black Birth
Amber Gillian MSW, LCPC, CBS
Amber Gillian is originally from New Jersey, and for the last nine years, Maryland has been her home where she raises my three children. A graduate from State University of New York with a B.S. in Business, Management, and Economics and obtained a M.S. in Applied Psychology, Counseling Psychology from the University of Baltimore.
Amber is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the State of Maryland. She has completed advanced trainings in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders as well as trauma and mindfulness. In her previous career, she worked to help women achieve financial independence, and as a therapist, her passion for working with women and mothers continues to expand. In addition to supporting mothers experiencing difficulties with pregnancy, loss, and parenting, she has worked with youth in foster care, and individuals suffering from a history of trauma and emotional distress.
Her career is focused on raising awareness around mental health challenges, creating communities of supportive individuals, and helping clients gain access to essential resources. Amber utilizes an eclectic approach to healing, which takes into account all parts of a client’s social, emotional, and psychological influences. She will talk about your network of support, the importance of adequate rest and nutrition, self-care, mindfulness, cultivating positive energy, and having goals outside of parenting.
Amber believes that therapy is not about giving advice or providing solutions. But, through participating in group and individual therapy, her clients are equipped with tools, strategies, and education that will help to improve their relationships, enhance communication skills, and reduce feelings of emotional distress.
Tanay Lynn Harris CBS, CPE, PD
Tanay Lynn Harris is the daughter of Alicia, granddaughter of Loretta Mae, great granddaughter of Catherine Lord and Dollie Mae, and great great granddaughter of Melisse Brown. She is passionate about village cultivation and building towards liberation on behalf of mamas, birthing persons, families and community. A seasoned organizer and abolitionist working at the intersection of human rights, racial justice and reproductive justice.
Tanay is a Certified Lactation Specialist, Certified Perinatal Educator with Commonsense Childbirth Institute, Postnatal Doula, trained with Abuela Doulas in the United Kingdom, a researcher and ethnographer centered on Black maternal health, global and community health, reproductive justice and human rights. Tanay has worked with various national and international human rights and racial justice institutions over the past 15 years. She believes that our homes and our ability to center radical joy are the frontline of resistance. Tanay believes that if mamas, birthing persons and families are given space and place to be their most whole selves, we will manifest the strength to build up our children, families and the larger community.
Tanay is a trusted advisor and strategist to countless community-based organizations and businesses. She is an advisory board member of CLLCTIVLY, Board Member of Orita’s Cross Freedom School, the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition, a Kindred Partner of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, and co-Chair of the Maryland Maternal Health Improvement Task Force. Tanay believes that our collective work must be holistic, decolonized, center radical imagination, invest in the community and trust our long view history and genius to make long-lasting change. Tanay is a graduate of Africana Studies at Temple University and the School for Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Reservoir Hill in Baltimore City and enjoys a good cup of coffee, reading, traveling, hiking and spending time with her family and friends.
Desirèe Israel, LCSW-C, CBS
Desirée Israel is a licensed clinical social worker, therapist, herbalist, certified breastfeeding specialist and trained birthworker specializing in perinatal mood disorders and reproductive justice. She is a Co-Founder of the Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for People of Color, a program of Postpartum Support International, created to build capacity among BIPOC perinatal professionals to better support communities of color in perinatal mental health, and a collaborative partner of the Bloom Collective, a liberation focused collaboration of maternal and birthing persons health and wellness practitioners serving Baltimore City. She has over 10 years experience working in child welfare/foster care and 7 years experience specializing in perinatal mental health. Desirée is a Maryland co-coordinator for Postpartum Support International, a committee member of the Maryland Maternal Mortality Review Board and member of the National Perinatal Task Force founded by Jennie Joseph.
Desirée graduated with a BS and MSW from Morgan State University. She is a current PhD student at Widener University where her research interests are perinatal mental health and the Black birthing experience, foster care independent living programs for teen parents, co-parenting relationships of Black unpartnered parents and vicarious trauma in Black birthworkers.
She is devoted to the liberation of ALL Black families of the Diaspora by using African-centered modalities and rituals to achieve holistic wellness.