Open Circle’s Mission & Bios

Our Mission:

To provide quality education, advocacy, and mindfulness-based wellness services to perinatal families throughout Rhode Island.  To foster respectful, attentive, and compassionate engagement with families, which can lead to empowered leadership of their own care, increased health for the family and broader society, and  the reduction of maternal and fetal morbidity, mortality, mental and emotional disturbances, poor parenting skills, and the resulting negative effects on infant and child health and development.

To provide families with access to mindfulness-based self-care practices, complementary and alternative therapies, education, and referrals that:

  • encourage empowered and responsible self and family care
  • support families throughout every stage and transition in the perinatal period
  • fill existing holes in perinatal healthcare, and professional and communal
  • support networks to prevent families from “falling through the cracks.”

To recognize that the perinatal period is a powerful time of potential in the life of a family, and that through shared physiological, emotional and social experiences, it has the potential to decrease social and cultural barriers between individuals and communities.  Open Circle programs actively enroll and serve a mixed demographic, with an intent to build bridges and deepen human connection between diverse individuals and communities. 

To recognize the importance of providing care that is respectful, aware of and sensitive to religious, cultural, sexual and gender orientation and socio-economic differences.

To effectively serve diverse populations with increased access to care and culturally aware programs, Open Circle recognizes the important of working with instructors, therapists and support staff that are representative of the populations being served.  Toward this goal, Open Circle works to actively welcome diversity in it’s professional partners and has the future goal of hosting or providing trainings to engage and train individuals with diverse backgrounds to treat and teach clients and students from and within their own communities.

To uphold a commitment to serve ALL families, regardless of the ability to pay for services. Program costs are income-based, utilizing established guidelines and social programming, to allow all mothers and families access education, wellness therapies, and advocacy.  Programs are currently funded by means of direct payment for services, and many in time additionally be funded by insurance reimbursement, scholarships, grants, and donations.

To work in close partnership student’s and client’s medical professionals and institutions, and utilize the best available evidence-based practices in therapeutic and educational offerings. To support participation in research studies seeking to evaluate the effectiveness of holistic therapies, classes and support groups.


Director Bio:

Open Circle Founder and Director Kaeli Sutton has worked with over 2000 mothers and families over the past 12 years, first at Motion Center and now at Open Circle. Trained in multiple pregnancy and postpartum health and support modalities (see licenses and certifications below), her most significant learning has come through her direct experience as a woman and mother, her close observation and celebration of the many mothers, infants and families she has had the honor to work with, and through her ongoing independent study of the culture of birth in America. Kaeli is committed to supporting women and families through the sometimes difficult, sometimes delightful and always life changing journey of parenthood.

In addition to her work at Open Circle, Kaeli currently serves as head yoga-consultant in a National Institute of Health funded study investigating effects of educational classes or prenatal yoga on women experiencing mood disorders in pregnancy. She is an outspoken community advocate and activist, working to bring respectful, family-centered maternity care into all Rhode Island Hospitals with labor and delivery units. Most recently, she has collaborated with local and national birth and family advocates while heading the Coalition to Save Memorial Birthing Center and currently sits on two Women and Infant’s Hospital working groups, focusing on improving the provision of family centered care at WIH.

Kaeli regularly engages in professional continuing education and conferences to further her knowledge of how to respectfully and skillfully care for women, babies and families. She holds the following licenses and certifications:

  • Rhode Island licensed Massage Therapist since 2001 (MT01979)
  • Advanced certification in Prenatal, Labor and Postnatal Massage (2005, Carole Osborne-Sheets)
  • Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (e-RPYT)
  • Birth + Postpartum Doula (ToLabor (2009); International Center of Traditional Childbearing (2016)
  • Childbirth Educator since 2006 (Certified in 2016 with Commonsense Childbirth)
  • Certified Lactation Counselor (2016 – Healthy Children Project)
  • Certified Happiest Baby on the Block Educator (2013)
  • Infant Massage Instructor trained 2014 (International Association of Infant Massage; certification pending)


Our Partner Professionals:

Open Circle works in partnership with several independent professionals to improve access to a variety of holistic modalities at our center. Some of the individuals who provide their services at are center are:

Doula Support, Group Facilitator, Blessingways, Photography
Lisa Gendron | Agroterra Birth

Massage Therapy, Yoga, Movement , Doula Support + Childbirth Education:
Jessica Rosene DeBrito

Maria Vanson

Pregnancy and Mother’s Groups:
Lisa Gendron
Jacqueline Procopio

Breastfeeding and Sleep Education and Support
Jenn Fantasia

MamaPrana ™ World Dance and Yoga:
Satta Jallah is a certified yoga instructor and doula, dedicated to the support of mothers and committed to reproductive justice and promoting healthy living. Satta has extensive experience in dance from the around the world, particularly dances of the African diaspora. She is the founder of Holistic Roots Movement, where the mission is to empower women to reclaim their health through different holistic modalities such as yoga, dance, energy therapy, and natural beauty education.

Babywearing Support:
Shaylene Costa
is a wife, mother of two girls and works in her “survival job” as a medical assistant. She originally found baby wearing through researching her African roots. Originally learning through trial and error, and then mentored by other mothers (and occasionally fathers!), she has worn her daughters and various nieces and nephews for over three years. A “buckle girl” at heart, with a specialty in soft-structured carriers, Shaylene continues to broaden her knowledge of different carriers and became a KangaMamas-RI co-leader in 2016.

Belly Dance for Pregnancy:
Crystal Pavlides is a mother of two boys and has been dancing her whole life. Having studied ballet, jazz, tap, modern dance and ballroom, she discovered belly dance in college and never stopped. She has performed all over RI and MA. In class, Crystal combines the numerous belly traditions she has studied, letting connection to the music and her own body inspire her teaching. Crystal enjoys sharing the health and sense of freedom that comes out of dancing with her students.