We had the good fortune of connecting with LaToya Turner-Stephens, CHD, MBA and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi LaToya, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m originally from a small town in Mississippi. My grandmother was a Midwife. She actually assisted with the birth of my brother; at the time my mom was a teen mom.

My background and upbringing consisted of me being around birth since I was a little girl.

In my teen years, like many people in their teens, I told myself birth wasn’t my calling. But after many years of fighting it, I decided to pursue it and it became my passion.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started Guiding Lyte Doula Services with a mission to guide others to the “birthing lyte”. I want women to have an amazing birthing experience, while knowing and understanding that no one has to birth in fear. With the nation’s Maternal Mortality rate steadily increasing, it naturally subjects many parents to birth in fear. Fear shouldn’t be an option during your birth. Your birthing experience should be a positive one that you want to share with everyone that you encounter.

I feel what sets me apart from other Doulas is my passion and drive to reach all. My approach whether it’s for birthing services or for postpartum services is always from a Holistic standpoint. I like to utilize essential oils, aromatherapy, crystals, as well as natural methods to assist with your birth and your recovery. I also currently have a program where I service teen moms who can’t afford to have a Doula. With this program, I give advice on nutrition, exercise, and natural methods to assist with the birth. I also have a program where I assist parents with feminine products and/or pampers for their babies in the event they’re unable to obtain these items.

I’m super excited about the growth of my Doula business. Within a year, I’ve been able to provide services to many families; in addition to me being able to network with so many individuals within the birthing world (other Doulas, Mental Health Therapists, as well as Pelvic Floor Therapists). With my business growing, I’m able to share with others all of the services I provide in addition to partnering with others.

Was it easy? Absolutely not! Covid first entered into the states when I first launched my business. At first business was booming but when the hospital restrictions took place it slowed down business for me. However, I didn’t allow that to discourage me. I continued to network and share my resources on my social media handles to allow others to know what services I offered. I introduced the Virtual Services to expand my services to those near and far.

The hardest lesson I’ve learned along the way is that I CAN’T HELP EVERYONE and TAKE TIME TO REST. Often times as a Doula, you may have multiple potential clients reaching out to you for services. Of course you don’t want to turn individuals away, but from a realistic standpoint if you’re not able to service them, you have to let them know. Because what happens in the end is you’ve completely burned yourself out and now you’re no longer able to service them at your fullest potential.

There are two things that come to mind regarding what I would want the world to know about me and my brand. Well at least these are the two that I feel are extremely important. I want to be remembered for being a kind, compassionate, and loving person and I want to be remembered for helping others and making their birthing and/or postpartum period an amazing experience for them and their family.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would definitely start at the Botanical Gardens. I’m obsessed with the Botanical Gardens. It gives me so much peace of mind whenever I visit. For food and drinks, I love authentic Mexican food (thanks to California) Mojitos are much needed for me after a long week. I love the High Museum here in Atlanta as well because art speaks to me.

Of course my best friend would want to visit a tattoo shop because she’s obsessed with tattoos also lol.

Lastly, we would have to end the week with visiting Ponce City Market because who doesn’t love going to Ponce City Market 🙂

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I have to give a big shoutout to the Matriarch of the family, my grandmother Maxie B. Turner-Pratt. For without her influence, I would not be in the birthing world.

Whapio from The Matrona the most amazing, loving, sweetest teacher I know. She’s beyond humble in her calling and the world sooooo needs her!

My Mentor-Djifa, who owns A Womban’s Place, is beyond amazing. She’s kool, down to earth, knowledgeable, and is an amazing Doula who always goes above and beyond to make sure that her mentees have all of the knowledge they need; as well as her clients.

Website: https://guidinglytedoula.wixsite.com/website/services

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/guiding_lyte/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guidinglytedoula/services

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.