Jamaa Birth Village Team

Jamaa Birth Village is a volunteer-based organization with a small & mighty core staff. Meet the Women who make Jamaa the warm, serene, community-care space that it is.

Brittany "Tru" Kellman
CPM, CD, CLC

Brittany Tru Kellman

Tru is the founder of Jamaa Birth Village and serves as Executive Director & Lead Midwife. She is a mother and wife, Certified Professional Midwife, Certified Doula & Doula trainer, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, and Author of 2 books. Tru has seen hope restored, thriving pregnancies, healthier births and postpartum periods through her years as a birth advocate and provider. Tru believes in empowered, gentle and culturally engaged care and brings that to the urban core of St. Louis. You'll see her in the community embracing families, connecting with leaders, and at Jamaa providing client led care.

Brittany "Tru" Kellman, CPM, CD, CLC

As a young teen mom, Tru has experienced the disgraceful side of U.S. maternity care. After 2 unnecessary cesarean sections and debilitating postpartum depression, Tru took her health care into her own hands when she became pregnant with her third son. She discovered traditional midwifery care and found a local Certified Professional Midwife to help her deliver her third son at home. She researched and found that her journey was similar for many women of color across the country. Tru felt her calling and dug deeper into traditional midwifery care after her successful and healing home birth.

She began by working with traditional midwives in Ghana in 2013. During her time there, she had a vision for what her own community needed in order to help improve the lives of families of color, and of those that are underserved. In 2015, she launched her community campaign to improve birth, maternal and infant care, and the overall wellness of families in and around St. Louis by launching her non-profit that is today the Jamaa Birth Village.

Tru has been the recipient of the prestigious Corinne Walentik Leadership in Health Award in 2018 through Missouri Foundation for Health. In 2019, Tru became Missouri’s first black Certified Professional Midwife in order to serve families in the provider role and improve birth outcomes. On Juneteenth 2020, Tru opened Missouri's first Equal Access Midwifery Clinic in Ferguson, MO providing wrap-around, comprehensive Midwifery care services through an afrocentric model.

Tru enjoys reading poetry and sci-fi, exploring nature, café’s, libraries & bookstores all over the world.

Heather Kellman
CD

H Kellman

Heather affectionately known as "Kelly", originally from Barbados, is the first point of contact at Jamaa as our Receptionist, supporting moms & families with beginning care & educational services at Jamaa. You'll also see her at classes as an educational assistant and out in the community sharing information about Jamaa Birth Village & programs.

Jen Jester, CPM

Kelly has earned the nickname "the baby whisperer" as she brings a gentle, calm loving light to newborns and children of all ages. She enjoys supporting people in need thorugh compassionate understanding and authentic listening to bring about true change.

By nature Kelly is a skilled wood craftswoman and enjoys fishing, traveling and being in nature as much as possible.

Jen Jester
CPM, CD

J.Jester

Jen Jester is a staff Certified Professional Midwife at Jamaa Birth Village. She has served over 500 St. Louis families over the last 15 years in the St. Louis metro area as a birth Doula and Midwife. As a community Midwife, Jen provides attentive care to women and families at Jamaa Birth Village and supports our lead Midwife at home births as an assistant.

Jen Jester, CPM

Jen understands that few experiences can be as empowering and rewarding as realizing your body's full potential to bring life into the world and honors the sacred and vulnerable space of birth.

Jen is dedicated to serving Tru and the community at JBV, and is committed to providing respectful and skilled midwifery care to the Village.

Dr Nikki Nienhaus Chiropractor

Dr. Nikki Nienhaus
CHIROPRACTOR

Dr. Nikki Nienhaus, CHIROPRACTOR

Dr. Nikki Nienhaus is a licensed Chiropractor. She is dedicated to helping moms and babies have healthier and more comfortable pregnancies, faster and easier labor, postpartum recovery and successful breastfeeding through the use of chiropractic adjustments, cranial sacral therapy, and other hands on healing techniques.

Dr. Nikki hopes to help decrease outcome disparities for birthing families of color in St. Louis, and to increase breastfeeding success for all families through her work at Jamaa.

Grace Haukap Doula

Grace Haukap
MOMS LINE + CERTIFIED DOULA

Grace Haukap, Certified Doula

Grace Haukap is a MOMS Line co-facilitator at Jamaa and has been a birth and postpartum doula for 2 years.

She is dedicated to empowering, educating, supporting and teaching advocacy to pregnant women and new moms. She delights in offering many techniques to encourage the best possible birth outcomes. Grace specializes in all spectrums of births and postpartum care.

S.Sudduth

Simiya Sudduth
Certified Full Spectrum Doula

Brittany "Tru" Kellman, CPM, CD, CLC

she/her and they/them pronouns Simiya is a full spectrum doula, Traditional Usui Reiki Master and 200-hour yoga and meditation teacher with additional certification in prenatal yoga. As a yoga teacher, Simiya specializes in prenatal and postpartum yoga, meditation and mindfulness for pregnancy, birth and parenting. .

Simiya's approach to doula support is rooted in social justice, while being centered upon supporting the mind-body connection through encouraging self-care, mindfulness and holistic nutrition.

Our Wise Woman Council

Benetta Ward

Benetta Ward

Board Chair & Certified Doula

Benetta Ward, MPH

Benetta Marie Ward, MPH is a St. Louis native who has a background and passion in Health Education and Maternal and Child Health. She is a graduate of the greatest HBCU in the Midwest, Lincoln University- Missouri with a Bachlors in Health & Wellness in 2012. She later earned her Masters in Public Health from the University of South Florida- Tampa in 2014.

She recieved her Perinatal Doula certification through Jamaa Birth Village in 2016. Her personal belief and birth philosophy is the power of informed choice. She understands that this can only be achieved with knowledge.

With knowledge, comes empowerment to advocate and make informed decisions. This is what she hopes to encourage through her work with women, children and families. The reproductive process is a sacred journey and no one should have to do it alone or with little knowledge or understanding of what their choices are. To be apart of anyone's journey is a true blessing and she is dedicated and honored to travel that journey through being a doula and also helping support Jamaa Birth Village as being a vital pillar in the community by serving as a board member.

Brittany Ferrell, RN, MPH

Brittany Ferrell, RN

Jamaa Board Co-Chair & Wise Woman Council Member

Brittany Ferrell, RN, MPH

Brittany is a 30-year old community activist, organizer, and nurse from St. Louis, MO. She currently works in high risk obstetrics, and as a Fellow with the Black Futures Lab-- and organization strategically using data and policy to build independent Black political power throughout the nation.

Committed to the overall well-being of all Black people and people of color, Brittany has committed the next two years to Washington University’s Brown School in pursuit of a Master of Public Health. She has an interest in maternal health disparities, reproductive health, and the intersections of race, class, and health.

kim martino sexton

Kim Martino-Sexton

Jamaa Board & Wise Woman Council Member

Kim Martino-Sexton, Educator, Doula

Kim Martino-Sexton is a proud member of the Jamaa Birth Village Wise Woman Council, a MOMS Group co-facilitator and has been a birth professional for 22 years in the St. Louis area.

She is an advocate for maternal mental health, human rights in childbirth, and postpartum justice. Kim is passionate about holding space for women as they explore and grow as mothers and she is looking forward to continuing to support the families of Jamaa.