About Us

Everything you need to know

Established in 1974, OCEA is a not for profit organization. We provide Prenatal Classes, the Bringing Baby Home class, CPR and Infant Massage for families expecting in Ottawa, Canada.

Our philosophy is consistent with the International Childbirth Education Association “Freedom of Choice Based on a Knowledge of Alternatives”. In addition,  OCEA follows The Six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices.   Collectively, the OCEA teachers hold certification and training through Lamaze International, DONA, CAPPA, IAIM, La Leche League and Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada (CPSAC) and Bonapace. Our instructors stay current by attending yearly conferences, networking with area professionals and attending births regularly.

Our Teachers

Erin Shaheen

Erin Shaheen

Erin began her work career as a Social Service Worker in 1993 and has been teaching with the OCEA since 2000. She is a birth conference junky and recently returned to complete a Masters in Education for Healthcare Professionals. She is the proud mother of four amazing young adults including twins and a handful of furbabies www.erinshaheen.ca

Brandie Lekovic

Brandie Lekovic

Brandie has provided prenatal education, personal coaching and counselling, breastfeeding support, and nutritional recommendations to new parents for 2 decades. She is mama to two boys and passionately promotes positive, empowering birth experiences, believing that births have the power to move us as individuals. She is a DONA-trained practicing doula (since 1999), CAPPA Lactation educator, childbirth educator, IAIM infant massage instructor, and former prenatal nutrition program facilitator.

Lilly Bianchi

Lilly Bianchi

Lilly has been working with parents-to-be and new families for over 30 years. She started out as a birth doula and then became a midwife after graduating from McMaster University. After leaving midwifery practice she transitioned into childbirth education, postpartum doula care and new parent coaching. Lilly taught prenatal classes for a few years at the Ottawa Hospital, and then in 2019, she joined the Ottawa Childbirth Education Association in 2012, and has been very happy to part of a wonderful family of teachers ever since. Lilly also teaches our Grandparent’s class and thoroughly enjoys working with grandparents-to-be. When she isn’t teaching, Lilly works individually with families both virtually and in person as a new parent coach and postpartum doula. Having learned so much over the years from supporting people through the incredible transition into parenthood, Lilly has also become a personal growth coach and helps people navigate all sorts of life transitions. She can be found at http://lillybianchi.ca . Lilly lives with her wonderful partner in Aylmer, Quebec, and has two beautiful, smart and creative adult children.

Misty Pratt

Misty Pratt

Misty has been a DONA certified birth doula since 2011, and has been teaching prenatal classes since 2012. She began teaching with OCEA in 2015. Misty is a health researcher with the Ottawa Hospital, and is passionate about evidence-based medicine. She is mama to two young girls, and in her spare time, she manages a blog called Kids in the Capital https://www.kidsinthecapital.ca/

Julia Wykes

Julia Wykes

Julia's interest in pregnancy and birth began during a volunteer placement at a refugee camp in West Africa, where she witnessed the incredible skills of both volunteer physicians and local midwives. She completed her Masters in Social Anthropology with a focus on feminist theory and mythology surrounding birth. After training as a midwife in Scotland and working in Central America and remote communities in Nunavut, she settled in her hometown of Ottawa and worked as a midwife before starting her own family. She is the proud mama of two young boys, and a little girl.