Student Midwife - Doula - Mother
My Start in Birth Work
When I was pregnant with my first child I realized how little I actually knew about birth, and the psychological processes involved. I took a deep dive into the history, traditions, and common misconceptions surrounding birth. The more I learned the more fascinating it became. My passion quickly grew into a calling. I have always wanted to help people through my work. I have seen the effects of trauma on children in my previous work and found myself so saddened by how many birthing people and babies experience challenging situations in pregnancy, the birth process, and those first moments of life. Our society can do better and that's where I come in.
My goal is to help educate birthing people on first the natural process at play in birth and then provide help navigating the many medical options available to people at this time in our society. I want to help you to have an empowered birth experience. This may mean it looks exactly as you expected but more often than not, it's like nothing we could have imagined. I want birthing people and their families to feel like they know what to expect in every scenario and to have a basic understanding of their options so they can make informed decisions on everything from home birth to planned c-sections.
I want to give you and your partner techniques to help plan for labor and birth, and increase comfort in labor through, exercise, breathing techniques, acupressure, body positioning, environment, and knowledge.
What I cannot do is make decisions for you or your family, but I can help by giving you assistance accessing and finding the most up-to-date information. I will listen to you and remind you and your birth team of your preferences. I will help support you and your family through the birth experience.
I also find it very important to mention that I support all people and family structures however you define them, all birthing people are important and respectful culturally competent care should be available to all communities, BIPOC, LGBTQIA, poly, monogamous, teens, single people, the unmarried, those considering adoption. I am sure I have not covered all the possible scenarios and ways people identify and for that, I apologize but know you belong here. I am also not going to pretend that I am competent in all cultural aspects of those I live near, but I am happy to support any ceremonies or rituals during this rite of passage if I am invited. I am also happy to help you find someone who is a better cultural or racial match.
I was born and raised in Vermont. I have always been drawn to education and helping people become their best selves. In 2008 I accepted a job with Eckerd Youth Alternatives in Benson, Vermont. Where I worked with adjudicated youth ages 13-18 in a program that focused on a holistic approach to education, physical well-being, group participation, and personal accountability.
In 2011, I joined NOLS in Lander, Wyoming, and became a Senior Instructor leading one-week to three-month-long expeditions in backpacking, canyoneering, canoeing, backcountry skiing, and snowboarding from Alaska to New York. At NOLS I have worked with students from all over the world and have led trips specifically for the US Naval Academy, US Merchant Marines, Archer School for Girls, Summer Search, and Gateway Partnership students. My outdoor education also led me to The Athenian School, in the San Francisco Bay area where I worked for 8 years. First as a Field Instructor, and from 2015- 2020 as a Course Director for the school and twice a year oversaw the infield operations for 45 students and 10 instructors on month-long hiking courses in the High Sierras and Death Valley.
I have also had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors for the NOLS Instructor Association, a labor organization representing over 1,100 faculty and staff, and served briefly as President in 2020. I served as a Founding Board Member of a start-up independent middle/high school in Vermont that opened in the fall of 2020.
I currently split my time between Palmer, Alaska, and Ludlow, Vermont.
While working for Eckerd, NOLS and Athenian I was a guide, an educator, and a motivator. Often during these experiences, people were in a new and challenging situations. I helped them learn to tolerate and even celebrate the adversity of the most challenging days of their life. Like birth, carrying a pack that weighs half your body weight up a remote mountainside challenges you mentally and physically. I have developed techniques through personal experience and helping others to manage physical and emotional challenges and even be able to enjoy these times.
Training, Seminars, and Certifications:
Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) - American Academy of Pediatrics
Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS) - American Heart Association
DONA International Birth Doula Workshop - Tara Campbell, CD, BDT, LCCE
DONA International Breastfeeding Workshop for Professionals - Mary Rastauskas, RN, IBCLC
Wilderness First Responder - SOLO
Infant, Child, and Adult CPR and AED - American Red Cross
Spinning Babies® 2021 World Confluence October 22-24, 2021