About Gaylea
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Roots Childbirth founder, Gaylea (pronounced Gay-Lee) McDougal, this is who she is...


After undergraduate school at the University of Knoxville, I studied nursing on a master’s level at Vanderbilt University while enrolled in the Women’s Health Nurse Practioner’s Program, (a Masters Preparation program that includes clinical work in Psych, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Rehabilitation and Medical-Surgical settings). After working in a variety of medical settings, I realized that my true passion was not the medicalization of childbirth, but rather the educational, support, advocacy and nurturing aspect. I started my Doula practice in 2006 during the pregnancy of my 3rd son and became a certified labor doula through Doulas of North America (DONA). In 2009, with a dear friend and fellow colleague, I co-created Alpha Childbirth, a unique Christ-centered childbirth series. This was the first of its kind in middle Tennessee and we were humbled to serve hundreds of families with this curriculum for over 5 years. At the end of 2013, I took what I had learned from Alpha, and listening to the needs of the community, created Roots Childbirth, a faith AND evidence-based childbirth curriculum that also embraces sustainability and the importance of community invlovement across the lifespan. The Roots community includes an organic vegetable CSA, many events and workshops and homeschool enrichment classes. I am also the author of “Watering Dandelions,” a devotional that utilizes the Fruits of the Spirit to navigate through pregnancy and childbirth. I have attended hundreds of births in a variety of settings including every hospital in Middle Tennessee. I have experience with homebirths, water births, multiples, VBACS (vaginal birth after cesarean), VBAC2, breech, and non-medicated births. In 2013 I was nominated for the "Women Impacting the Community" award given by the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce in the area of Healthcare for my work in childbirth advocacy, bringing awareness for safer childbirth practices into my community and providing resources for sustainable wellness. In 2016, after 5 years of traditional training and a very intensive apprenticeship, I finished the requirements set forth by NARM (North American Registry of Midwives) and passed my state licensing exam to receive the credential of CPM (Certified Professional Midiwfe). I now run a very busy Midwifery and Womens Health Practice in Gallatin, TN. 

As the daughter of the late Steve Sanders (former Gospel star and baritone singer for the Oak Ridge Boys), I also have the music “bug” and in my spare time I enjoy singing, song writing, listening to live music and mentoring young artists with music development. I am the co-owner of 40/XL Publishing/BMI and have earned 7 producer credits for Gospel and Country albums. 

I have been married to Scott, my high school love, for almost 22 years and together we have 3 boys ages 21, 19 and 9 (the last 2 were born safely and peacefully at home). I enjoy homeschooling our youngest son, long-distance running, composting, organic gardening, helping my husband with our chickens & bees and watching college football. Mostly, I'm just raising my little family on our little farm, trying to leave the smallest footprint as possible on our planet. Let me know how I can help you!  ~Gaylea

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