Our Team

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Barbara Hoft

Founder and owner of Shantala Therapy.


Barbara was always fascinated by babies and pregnant moms and is driven by the passion of making a difference in people’s lives.


She was born and raised in Brazil and there pursued her bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy, along with her Doula certification through ANDO. She learned the Shantala practice during her first year of college, and became specialized on it the following year, working with the massage since. For her thesis, she studied “Shantala Benefits and Improvement of the Bond Between Teenager Moms and their Babies,” and her study was the starting point for a volunteer program that she developed years later in the United States. During college, she opened her company and worked in daycare centers practicing Shantala on infants ages 2 months to 2 years old.



In 2013, Barbara moved to the United States as an Au Pair in what turned out to be one of the richest experiences in her life. She took care of two little girls, one has Down syndrome and, aside from learning a lot about infant and toddler routines, she could practice Shantala and prove all of the benefits that the technique provides.



Barbara is a Certified Doula by DONA and her passion of maternal-infant health lead her to enroll in the Midwifery program at the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery, where she graduates and becomes a Licensed Midwife in 2020. She is doing her clinical internships at Gentle Journey Midwifery in Gainesville and at Tree of Life Birth Center in Orlando. She is also a Certified Infant Massage Teacher by Tina Allen, the founder of Liddle Kidz Foundation.

When not working or studying, Barbara can be found enjoying the company of her beloved husband, traveling and finding new places to recharge their energy. She also loves to cook and spends time at home cuddling with her puppy!