I came to supporting families with new babies with out really intending to. In fact I started out wanting to be a neuroscientist. The first step away from my academic aspirations was the birth of my oldest child in January of 1992. After a long labor (over 30 hours), I pushed out my son and lifted him onto my belly. It was the most amazing experience of my life and I felt like I had just conquered Mount Everest (my apologies to real mountain climbers). I had done all I could during pregnancy to avoid using medication during labor; reading, taking a private childbirth class, practicing my relaxation exercises and carefully choosing my care provider, because I had read about the risks of medication for the newborn, for the mother and for the labor. What nobody had ever told me was that an unmedicated birth was such an empowering and amazing experience for the mother. I felt strong and amazing and surprised!
The next step away from my academic career was helping my high school friend at the birth of her first child two years later. My friend's baby was pulled from her epidural-numbed body using a vacuum extractor. As her baby was born, she let out a scream that shook me to my core. After the birth she thanked all the attendants and doctors for saving her and her baby. She was elated and satisfied with her birth experience. I, however, went home and cried. I was devastated by the contrast between her birth experience and mine. Only then did I realize how unusual my experience had been, and how valuable it was to my growth as a mother and as a person.
Another two years passed before I started studying to become a childbirth educator and a breastfeeding counselor. But the motivation to help others enjoy the experience I had in childbirth and as a mother started with those two events.
Every childbirth class and every birth teaches me more about the strength in every woman, the power in her body, and the beauty of her relationships with those who support her. Through long, short, slow, fast, VBAC, C-section, medicated, unmedicated and induced: Every birth is unique and beautiful. My passion is to enable each woman to find her inner strength, and to enable her loved ones to support her fully.
I have been teaching childbirth classes and supporting breastfeeding mothers since 1998. I started teaching childbirth classes in a hospital in Minneapolis, MN, and since moving to Birmingham in 1999, I have been teaching privately. In November of 2008, when my children got older, I started attending births as a doula.
I started leading support groups for mothers at The Oasis Women's Counseling Center in 2001 and have been teaching parenting workshops since 2003.
I am the proud mother of four delightful children and the ecstatic wife of one wonderful husband.
Childbirth Classes, Birth Doula, Breastfeeding Consults (pre and postpartum), Parenting Workshops.
Childbirth Educator training; one year course with the Israel Childbirth Education Center (ICEC) in 1996-1997. I became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator in June of 2009.
Breastfeeding training; correspondence course with Breastfeeding Support Consultants (BSC) becoming a Certified Lactation Specialist in September of 2003. Certified Lactation Counselor training with Healthy Children's Center for Breastfeeding, becoming certified as a CLC January 2012.
Doula Training; DONA certified birth doula as of October 2010.
Doula Trainer training: DONA approved Birth Doula trainer since fall 2012.
And of course conferences and workshops and reading.... I am forever learning.