Education for new and
 Expecting Parents
Andrea Lee, Founder and Program Coordinator: Childbirth Preparation and Infant Care:

Andrea is a Childbirth Educator and Labor Support Companion based in New York City. She resides on the Upper East Side with her husband and six-year-old son.   After the birth of her son, she began speaking with other women about their birth experience and soon realized that many felt powerless during their labor. It was then that she realized she wanted to be with and help guide expectant women and their partners in the amazing journey of pregnancy, labor and birth.

In addition to being a CCE Andrea is also one of the founding members of Bowery Babes, a 501(c)3, not-for-profit parenting group, which is dedicated to supporting parents from pregnancy through the early years of parenting and beyond; and to enrich New York City as a place to raise a family. She has also served on the board of directors of Bowery Babes for a number of years, coordinating many classes and fundraising efforts.  Previously Andrea worked for a large investment bank in midtown Manhattan.

Andrea is certified through The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), a professional organization that supports educators and health care professionals who believe in freedom of choice based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care.

Vanessa J. Anton, Childbirth Educator, Infant Care and Breastfeeding and Infant CPR
Vanessa has worked with families as a doula, as a childbirth educator and as a parenting educator for over 15 years.  After completing her medical training in the emergency care field she embarked on making CPR more accessible to families and started Common Sense CPR ten years ago.  She lives in Forest Hills with her seventeen year old son named Zen, her personal chef/partner named Geoff, and her three dogs. Instructor is a certified Common Sense CPR Instructor certified to teach CPR & First Aid through The American Heart Association and The American Red Cross. As well as a Child Passenger Safety Technician.

Meredith Fein Lichtenberg, Newborn Care & Breastfeeding and Childbirth Prepartion:

Meredith is an internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultatant (IBCLC)  a  Certified Childbirth Educator (CCE-CEA/MNY), parenting educator and non-fiction writer. She has served on the Board of Directors of the  Childbirth Education Assocation of Metropolitan New York since 2004. In addition to teaching at City Births, Meredith has taught at Realbirth, Tribeca Workshop, Tribeca Parenting, and Gumbo, as well as privately all over Manhattan.  She privately mentors students who are becoming doulas and childbirth educators. 

Her essays about parenting have appeared in  Brain Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers; The Mom Egg; Huffington Post and elsewhere.  Her focus is women’s changing identities through the childbirth years.

Meredith received her B.A., magna cum laude, from The University of Pennsylvania, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an editor of the Law Review.  She left the private practice of law in 2002 to begin working with new mothers.  

Meredith currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and children.

Andrea Scannell - Infant Care and Breastfeeding, CLC:

Andrea worked throughout her early years in NY as a nanny and baby nurse when she wasn’t singing and acting. Her love of working with children and families led her to get a Masters degree in education. She taught kindergarten and third grade for 8 years.

After her daughter was born, she developed a new understanding of the value of support in parenting. We are at our most vulnerable at the moment we become parents. She was lucky enough to have an amazing support system around her when she became a mother. Born out of a desire to provide this support to other new and expectant parents, she became a CLC, postpartum doula and infant care specialist.  Andrea considers herself incredibly fortunate to have found two passionate careers: she still sings in cabaret and concerts in NY and Europe and teaches and works with new families to help them get off to a great start.  Andrea resides in Astoria, Queens with her husband and 4-year-old daughter where she runs several weekly support groups for new moms.

Naima Beckles, Childbirth Preparation, Infant Care and Breastfeeding:

Naima is a Certified Childbirth Educator, a birth doula, and a postpartum doula. Naima taught in public middle and high schools for many years before entering the field of childbirth. She brings her love of teaching, creative spirit, and warm presence to City Births and hopes to inspire families to make their best informed decisions around pregnancy, labor and early parenting. Naima lives in Harlem with her family.

Eleni Petraki, Childbirth with Hypnosis

Eleni has led a diverse career that truly connects the mind with the body and spirit. Starting with a Bachelor's Degree from the State School of Athens in Greece she was a professional dancer as well as an instructor in ballet and modern dance. Resulting from the physical toll a dancer endures she discovered Shiatsu and Zero Balancing as a way of therapy. Intrigued and excited by these forms of non-traditional healing she soon found her true calling and transitioned from a life of dance to a career in body management through strength and flexibility training resulting in certifications in Shiatsu (Ohashi Institute), Zero Balancing Bodywork, Yoga (Atmananda Yoga Sequence and Road to OM) and Pilates (Body-Tonic Gymnasium). Continually seeking ways to help people not only physically but mentally as well, she is also certified in Hypnotherapy (National Guild of Hypnotists) and has helped many clients with issues ranging from smoking addiction to allaying fears and keeping clients focused on their goals. Concurrent to these forms of therapy she has always had a strong interest in the art of Astrology (School of Evolutionary Astrology By Jeffrey Green). Understanding that it is not 'fortune telling' she has helped many people by offering them an objective view of who they are, who they can be and the possibilities that exist. An individual’s life path is not predetermined but rather it is guided through informed decision making.

Georgia Papadopoulus - Infant Care and Breastfeeding:

Georgia is a Certified Lactation Consultant and Infant Care Specialist. After struggling with breastfeeding after the birth of her first child, Georgia recognized the importance of new moms having a support system to get through the challenges associated with parenthood. Joining a new moms group after the having her second child Georgia, was fortunate to be with other Moms, which provided her the comfort and guidance she needed in a non-judgmental environment. The support which this group provided was not only critical in helping her balance life with an infant and a toddler, but also instilled a desire to offer the same support to other mothers.  One day a friend planted a seed in Georgia to fulfill this desire by receiving her certification as a Certified Lactation Counselor and postpartum doula.   She brings to City Births her knowledge of breastfeeding and infant care, along with her life experiences as a mother of three.

Georgia lives on the Upper East Side with her husband and three children.  She enjoys cooking, teaching herself to play guitar, and volunteering her time to her church community and a social outreach program focused on single mothers.   

Leigh Kader - Childbirth Preparation and Certified Doula:

Originally from Ohio and raised in the splendor of northern New Mexico, Leigh has called New York City home since attending Barnard College (last century!). Propelled by the birth of her first child in 2008 to explore a career change, she is a trained childbirth educator with the Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York and a certified birth doula with the Doulas of North America .

Experienced at supporting laboring women in a variety of birthing facilities from hospital and birthing center to home births, Leigh appreciates that childbirth is an intensely personal experience that each family defines differently. Her goal is to help women and their partners attain as positive a birth experience as possible.  Leigh currently teaches group childbirth preparation, and is an active doula living in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. Leigh also enjoys jogging in Prospect Park and catching up on ten-year-old television series.

Hilary Baxendale - Childbirth Preparation, Infant Care and Breastfeeding, CLC:

Hilary has been working with families and newborns in the New York area since 2004. As a Childbirth Educator she teaches childbirth preparation, newborn care and breastfeeding classes. She is also a Certified Lactation Counselor, visiting new moms in NYC and lower Westchester.

Hilary graduated from Simmons College, where her interest in early childhood development began. But it was after the birth of her first child that she decided to pursue her love of empowering parents to welcome and care for their new babies with knowledge, confidence and a good dose of humor. 

Hilary is the mother to two young sons and lives in Hastings-on-Hudson with her family.

Alicia Suárez - Comfort Measures for Labor and Birth

Alicia is a DONA certified birth doula, a certified Breastfeeding Counselor, and a DONA trained postpartum doula. She has years of experience as a yoga therapist, specializing in pre and postnatal yoga and is skilled in the use of breathing, positioning, acupressure and Rebozo techniques for labor and delivery. She has worked with women giving birth at home, birth centers, and hospitals all around the NYC area. Believing in the female's body’s innate ability to birth she respects and supports the rights of childbearing women to make the decisions that work best for themselves and their families. 


Alicia's work is greatly influenced by her studies in Body-Mind Centering®, as well as her background in anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, and embryology education. Her knowledge and understanding of the female anatomy has been further enriched by her participation in several cadaver dissection labs.


Alicia holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. She is fully bilingual and at ease communicating in both English and Spanish. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two cats.