Andrea Shandri, M.Ed, CD(DONA), CCCE, SBD, Owner

Andrea is owner and operator of Iowa Doula Agency. Having been a doula for over five years, Andrea is an experienced professional in the birth community. She has witnessed the progressive evolution of the birth community here in Central Iowa and she is proud to be a part of its continued growth.

The growth of Iowa Doula Agency has come in part due to the professional and polished attributes that Andrea understood the community could gain. For doulas, the agency is a structured business model that helps to not only grow their support skills, but also their business skills. For clients, the multi-tiered organization offers benefits that take into account financial and desired-support considerations. For other professionals and care providers, the agency offers a reputable and professional business with which to partner; they know that if an Iowa Doula Agency doula is attending one of their births, they can be assured there is a Scope of Practice and Limitations that will be adhered to.

Andrea and her husband of eight years, Dustin, currently live in Beaverdale with their three little girls: Lauren, Quinn, and Eve. Although constantly on the run, Andrea enjoys constantly learning by obtaining new certifications, creating and implementing new business opportunities, and serving her clients as the only doula-birth photographer in the area.

Laura Lacina, Office Assistant

I was originally skeptical of doulas and the work they do. But during my own pregnancy, my husband and I learned more about how helpful hey can be during birth and labor. That was proved over and over during our birth experience! Our doula was present the whole time. She was available to comfort not only me, but my husband, and be the extra person in the room that made us feel like we were being heard.

After the birth of our son, I was approached with the idea of working with Iowa Doula Agency. I had become such a cheerleader for this organization that it was difficult to say no. These women have such drive, passion and love for what they do and the families they work with. It’s an incredibly close group that cares so deeply

I was born and raised in Des Moines, and after attending college at Northwest Missouri State University and living elsewhere for a few years, I believe there’s no better place than Central Iowa. I live with my husband, Randy, and our son, Silas, in Ankeny.

Joel Hall, DadTalks Leader

My name is Joel Hall and I am excited to be a part of the Iowa Doula Agency team!  My wife Angela and I have been blessed with four children.  Natalie is five, Charlotte is three, and our twins, Greta and Cooper, are almost two years old.  We have lived in Ankeny since 2010 where I served as a police officer for six years.  In 2015, I made a professional transition to join Guide Financial Group as a financial advisor. My new role, from our office in Urbandale, allows me to continue my commitment to assisting those around me, now though from a financial guidance standpoint. I continue my passion for law enforcement by working part-time as an officer with the Polk City Police Department.

Both my professional roles allow me to impact the lives of those in and around my community. As my own family grew, so did my strong passion for helping and encouraging young families, particularly fathers.  I enjoy helping new dads prepare for their personal role in the lives of their children and within their family unit.  My relaxed, yet straight-forward personality allows me to share my own experiences, good and bad, to encourage new dads as they navigate the journey ahead. I hope to be an approachable outside resource at the Iowa Doula Agency for men and create a positive image of the potential fathers have to truly impact their partners and children.

Angela Swieter, RN, BSN, IBCLC, ICD, ICPE, ICPD, Lactation Consultant

I am a wife of 40 years and a mother to three home-grown children. We have eight grandchildren.

I have worked as a nurse with parents and babies since 1977 and became an International Certified Postnatal Educator (ICPE) and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2003. I am internationally certified as a birth doula and a postpartum doula and have also been certified through the Happiest Baby on the Block. I am an active member of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Polk County and serve as the Membership Outreach Coordinator for the Iowa Breastfeeding Coalition (IBC). I wrote the “Cures from the Cupboard” column for the IBC newsletter 2011-2013. I served on the Board for the International Childbirth Education Association for 4 yeears (2010 – 2014) and write occasionally for their e-newsletter. I have been teaching parents since 1988 and offer CEUs for healthcare professionals Every fall I offer a Basking Babies Fall Conference. 

For fun, my husband and I like to camp in our camper trailer, or our slide-in camper if we are pulling the boat to go fishing. Photography is something I enjoy (you will see some of my work on this website) and is especially fun now that we have such beautiful grandbabies! We love getting together with our grown children and grandchildren!!. I spend many of my days in the summer and fall preserving food from our acreage: asparagus, beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, peaches, pears, plums, apples, and berries.  We raise our own chickens (for both meat and eggs) and our beef and pork. I like to make all our household bar and laundry soap and on nice spring,summer, and fall days will even hang clothes on the line to dry (including homemade cloth diapers when my babies were young)!!!

It is truly a pleasure to serve as a Birth Doula, Lactation Consultant, Educator, Nurse and Postpartum Doula offering support and education to health professionals and to Iowa familes for birth, breastfeeding, baby and beyond.

Mandi Hardy, Ph.D, LMHC, Postpartum Therapist

I am a licensed as a mental health counselor (LMHC) with training in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). I began working in the mental health field in 2005, after completing my masters in psychological counseling from Monmouth University.  From 2009 until 2011, I took some leave to re-enter graduate school and work towards a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Iowa State University.  My doctoral studies and post-graduate work focus on childbirth, child development, parenting, and the intersectionality of these three.  I am also a birth doula and child birth educator.  I was certified as a birth doula through DONA, Intl. in 2008 and a childbirth educator with ICEA in 2010.  Additionally, I have worked with several state, national, and international birth and human rights advocacy organizations over the years promoting improvement to our maternity care systems.

Kristen Mead, CD(DONA), Regional Coordinator- East


Kristen has been working as a birth and postpartum doula in the Cedar Rapids area since October of 2007. She loves to provide support for families of all kinds: from first time mothers to a “seasoned” Mom and their partner, to helping the extended support team of grandparents and younger children. As a former ICAN leader, Kristen also specializes in VBACs and family-centered Cesarean births. Kristen believes in evidenced-based education as the first step in an empowered birth and supports all women in their birth plans. Kristen is also the owner of Baby Time, in Cedar Rapids, and enjoys teaching a wide variety of classes and interacting with moms and their families. Besides being a doula, providing a nurturing and positive space for new families to grow is one of her favorite parts of her career. Kristen lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband and children.

As Regional Coordinator, she helps manage efforts with organizing Meet the Doulas! events and sponsorship activities in Eastern Iowa.