Meet Our Team:
Maya Guruswami, ND, Founder of Bliss Birth & Wellness Center
Maya’s heartfelt mission is to bridge the gap between birth out-of-hospital and birth in-hospital. “Why not have all the benefits and luxuries of out-of-hospital birth and still have the support of obstetricians who honor your choice to birth out-of-hospital and naturally?” She asked. The professionalism that Bliss Birth & Wellness Center has fostered respect from the hospital-based birthing community and Maya’s dream has come true. Maya’s vision is to offer safe and professional care without compromising any of the loving and personalized attention that is inherent to birth center maternity care.
Maya transformed a run-down residential house into a beautiful birthing sanctuary. She warmly welcomes all families for tours at the birth center and is passionate about educating families about their various birth options so that everyone finds the best choice for them.
As a Naturopathic Physician, Maya is trained to offer individualized care starting with the gentlest most effective therapies first. She is unable to practice medicine in Florida because licensure for Naturopathic Physicians was sunsetted in 1959. Opening a birth center was suggested to her by her midwives after the birth of her second daughter and has become a powerful way to affect positive change in the healthcare system. She advocates strongly that all healthcare should follow naturopathic philosophy:
- First do no harm.
- Support the body’s inherent self-healing ability.
- Identify and treat the root cause.
- Doctor/Midwife as teacher.
- Treat the whole person.
- Prevention is the best medicine.
In 2004, Maya received her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine– a 4-year degree. She also holds degrees from McGill University in Anatomy & Cell Biology, and Pharmacology. During her career she has worked as a family medicine doctor with specialties in nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and homeopathy. In Florida, she has taught as an associate professor at Everglades University.
Maya and her husband Brad are both passionate advocates of natural birth; they welcomed both of their daughters into this world gently with beautiful water births.
Michelle Turshon-Schramm, MSN, CNM
Michelle’s passion is helping women to have an empowering natural birthing experience. She enjoys the bond that she always develops with the families she helps. She believes that birth is a special experience in life, grounded in the power and strength of a woman’s body, and also in the grace of God.
Michelle has ten years’ experience as a midwife, and 25 years’ experience in labor and delivery. She received her bachelor’s degree (BSN) from Ohio State University in 2008, graduating magna cum laude. She received her MSN from the University of Cincinnati in 2012, graduating summa cum laude. She is a mother of three grown children and recently has become a grandma. She enjoys hanging out with her dogs, singing, hiking, camping, and gardening.
Barbara Harper, RN, CLD, CCCE
Barbara Harper is passionate about birth. Her personal mission has always been, to change the way we welcome babies into the world. She is recognized all over the world as expert on waterbirth and gentle birth. Her long career started as an obstetric and pediatric nurse in the 70s and early 80s, then continued as a homebirth midwife, childbirth educator, midwifery instructor, doula trainer and a Blissborn Birth Hypnosis instructor.
Barbara has published two books and dozens of articles. Her best-selling 2005 book and DVD, “Gentle Birth Choices,” has inspired hundreds of thousands of parents and professionals alike. Her professional workshops, and waterbirth and hypnosis trainings have been hosted by hospitals, medical schools and midwifery schools in 75 countries. Barbara founded Waterbirth International in 1988, to provide couples and professionals with research-based information and training. Barbara moved to Boca in 2009 from Portland, Oregon, and was happy to be here to ride out Covid and provide Blissborn Classes for Parents online and in person at Bliss Birth and Wellness Center.
She is the mother of three grown children (two born at home in water) and has two grandsons, one in college and one in pre-school. She mentors midwives, volunteers for her synagogue and Boca Helping Hands, and is currently writing two new books and editing a collaborative book project.
Dr. Vythiya Tum, MD
Dr. Vythiya Tum has been practicing obstetrics in West Palm Beach for over 40 years. He has a passion for offering mothers and families the very best obstetrical care. Even after forty years, Dr. Tum continues to practice part time with Dr. Ruel Stoessel, because he still enjoys taking care of expecting mothers. He is privileged at Good Samaritan Medical Center and St. Mary's Medical Center and is highly respected by the staff of both hospitals.
Walking down the hospital halls, Dr. Tum is warmly greeted by everyone. We at Bliss are grateful to Dr. Tum for sharing his expertise and wisdom with our center midwives and staff. He comes in once a week to review medical records and meet with our patients.
Dr. Katie Usher, DPT
Katie has been practicing physical therapy since she graduated from the University of Miami with her doctorate in 2015. Her passion for pelvic floor physical therapy grew as she worked with pregnant and postpartum women in the outpatient setting, and also after many personal experiences where loved ones were not given the care they needed after difficult births.
Katie is part of a movement that strives to make pelvic physical therapy the standard of care for women before and after birth. This would optimize the birth experience and improve the health and wellness for women postpartum. Katie is the owner and founder of Mula Bandha Physical Therapy and Wellness.
Mary Beliz, Birth Photographer
Mary is birth photographer who has an amazing ability to capture "the story" with her photos. She focuses on pregnancy, birth, and family photography and incorporates a photojournalism approach. Before she indulged in her passion for the birth field she was a notable photographer in the Miami fashion industry. At Bliss we affectionately call Mary, by "Marjie". She offers a great birth package and is happy to be on-call for your birth. Marjie lives locally with her husband and three children. https://marybelizphotos.com/
Jessica Miree, RN, CPLD, CPPD
I hold a Master of Healthcare Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the illustrious North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with 10+ years of nursing experience. I became a certified labor and postpartum doula and breastfeeding professional because providing emotional support is my passion. I am a forever student but educating others comes naturally and wanting the best for others is second nature.
My educational background coupled with my personal experiences as a mother further enhances my ability to nurture and holistically support you.
Outside of nursing and birth work, the highlight of my days is always the time I spend with my husband and daughter. I also enjoy a good book, teaching pregnancy and postpartum fitness classes and, of course, the beaches of sunny Florida. I am honored to hold space for you
in birthing your baby your way. Let’s DOULA this!
MaryAnn Smith, MSN, ARNP, CNM
MaryAnn Smith has been a midwife for nearly 40 years. Now retired, she remains an ARNP (Nurse Practitioner) and is a mentor and advisor to our birth center and midwives.
Although she has worked in many different settings - home, hospitals, clinics - birth centers have always been her favorite place to practice. She and her husband operated The Birth Center of Gainesville for nearly 20 years. The Birth Center of Gainesville was one of the first birth centers in the US and helped lay the framework for more birth centers to thrive. She now enjoys consulting with birth centers and ensuring that the tradition continues and flourishes in a safe, professional, holistic way.