Meet Our Team

patty brennan


Patty is the owner and visionary force behind Lifespan Doulas. For 40 years, she has been a doula, midwife, educator, author, nonprofit executive, and entrepreneur.  Patty has personally trained approximately 2500 people to become doulas. She was a DONA International certified birth and postpartum doula trainer from 2002 to 2021, and has earned the NEDA Proficiency Badge from the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance.

As the founder/executive director of two community-based nonprofit doula programs in Michigan, Patty has helped makes doulas widely available in her home state, especially for low-income families. She is the author of The Doula Business Guide: How to Create a Successful Birth, Postpartum or End-of-Life Doula Business and The Doula Business Guide Workbook.

Patty has been educating and supporting families to become their own best advocates and successfully navigate healthcare systems since 1983. She became interested in end-of-life issues after supporting two sets of parents through their final days, witnessing the remarkable similarities between birth and death, and what it means to hold space for these major life transitions. Patty developed and launched the end-of-life doula training in 2016.

Barbara Robertson


Barbara holds master’s degree in education and is an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. She is co-owner of Lacta Learning, a state-of-the-art professional lactation training company. Barbara founded The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor in 2008 where she teaches breastfeeding classes for parents, runs support groups, and is in private practice as a lactation consultant. Barbara is the creator of our Breastfeeding Basics and Breastfeeding Support Skills for Doulas professional trainings.

eliza wilson powers


Eliza is a certified DONA International birth doula and ICEA-certified childbirth educator. She serves as Project Coordinator for the Southeast Michigan Doula Project. Eliza coordinates the Lifespan certification program and provides administrative assistance.