Ashley Sova, CLEbaby

Kelly Gentile

Kelly is a yoga instructor, dog-lover, and a social media guru with a background in public relations and building brands. She was called to birth work through her yoga practice, where she has come to a place of self-acceptance and self-compassion. She is excited to help empower and instill these same values in her clients as she supports them through one of the most vulnerable and joyful experiences of their lives. Kelly was born in Youngstown, and now resides in Cleveland Heights where she walks everywhere with her pups.

Get to Know Kelly

What do you enjoy most about birth and postpartum doula work?

Birth and postpartum is such an incredibly vulnerable experience for a mother. One filled with uncertainty, fear, pain, judgement (and of course, joy, love, and life.) But those feelings, normal feelings, are some of the most difficult in a mother’s life. What is about to happen? Can I do this? I don’t even feel like myself. I haven’t showered in days. I don’t want to breastfeed. Am I a terrible person? I can’t go back to work. I have to go back to work. The list goes on… The point is that every mother in this world deserves the emotional and physical support of a doula in this defining time of her life. To encourage her to confront her challenges with fearlessness, help her foster the self-discovery and self-acceptance that she needs to labor, deliver, and care for her child. Help her to exercise compassion with her body and what it’s accomplished. Feel empowered. And find gratitude in the experience, in the face of any adversity along the way. I’ve spent my entire life prepping for birth work. Supporting and connecting emotionally and physically to the most ferocious sex on the planet (who run the world?) through the most defining experience of her life.

What’s something unique about you?

I love animals so at any given time my boyfriend and I will have a foster dog (along with our three dogs and one cat) from one of the many amazing animal rescue organizations in Cleveland. I also love to organize drives for the pups and spend a lot of time asking for money, towels, treats, toys… all for our furry friends.

What’s the hardest life challenge you’ve faced, and how did you respond?

I’ve had the unfortunate experience of my mom being sick a few times in my adult life (and she, many times before I was even a thought in her mind.) When I was 25, she had a valve replaced in her heart and at 28, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a full mastectomy. The transition to taking care of your parents is so incredibly difficult and emotional. It’s almost as if it’s just not the right order of things, at least not yet. But I am a caretaker in the best ways I know how, and that is what I did. I went to the appointments and weighed the options, I researched the best supplies for home, I ordered weeks of catering, I attended the surgeries and stayed at the hospital. And I drove to nail appointments so that she could feel just a little better about things. But she’s triumphed through every single surgery and bump in the road on the way. She really is superwoman, and I am so lucky to have her.

Give an example of a time when you instilled confidence in a new mother.

I’m at the age where all of my friends are becoming moms. Watching this transformation has been a true privilege. I’ve seen the first-time-mom hardships a lot. The “Wait, so we just leave with this baby now? You’re (nurse) not coming with us?” And the best advice I give is that they were literally MADE for this. Wonderfully made for this. It’s in their DNA, it’s in their blood and it’s in their heart. Every fiber of them is woman, capable of anything and absolutely made to be a mother. They can do it, plus, they already are!

Favorite CLE restaurant?

Barrio

Favorite CLE personality?

This is SO hard. All great things come from Cleveland, right? OK. Dean Martin (let’s pay respect where it’s due!),Tom Hanks, Steve Harvey (Have you SEEN Little Big Shots?), Terrance Howard (EMPIRE!), Bone Thugs (had to!), Dorothy Dandridge (Epic.)

Kelly’s Credentials

Education

  • MA, Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication
  • BS, Communications; Advertising

Certifications, Trainings, & Workshops

  • DONA, Trained Doula, Birth
  • Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), 200 hours

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