I am a midwife, advocate, and educator promoting a full scope and spectrum of midwifery practice to support holistic, comprehensive reproductive care. I promote home-based care for fertility management and reproduction as the locus of normal, and support individual choices for care providers and locations of care. I believe in radical trust in the powers of our bodies and in the wisdom holistic care. Through a deep understanding of physiology and deep compassion for personal complexity, I help others gather the information they need to take steps in their lives and reproductive health in ways that honor their values and support their desired experiences.
I was the first child born to my mother, who remembers desiring a homebirth during her pregnancy with me, but ended up delivering in the hospital. My mother labored with me while hiking in the Oakland Hills, CA, and stayed away from the hospital so long that I was delivered only 45 minutes after she finally arrived for check-in. When I was a young child my brothers were born at home with midwives in the Bay Area, leaving an impression and assurance in me that childbirth was a normal, family event and that homebirth was inherently safe.
My path to midwifery came through a deep commitment to education on reproductive health. I studied sex education and fertility awareness in my college years, writing and sharing about natural alternatives to birth control options, and returning to teach comprehensive sex-ed at my old high school. This work led to enriching efforts to understand holistic support for abortion care and pregnancy loss, and later for holistic support for pregnancies and birth.
I was trained through the apprenticeship model of midwifery education, fortified by a structured education with National Midwifery Institute, Inc., a correspondence-based midwifery program accredited through the Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council (MEAC). My academic coursework was rigorous and comprehensive, grounded in the practical and theoretical applications of modern, evidence-based midwifery. My clinical, apprenticeship-based education spanned four years with experience as a student in a small homebirth practice and a busy birth center practice in the Seattle Area, WA and extensive work with local midwives in Mali and Guinea, West Africa. I am grateful for the diversity of opportunities available to me throughout my education and the support from my community in pursuing them wholeheartedly. In 2017 I completed the International Pre-Registration Program at Ryerson University in Toronto, ON as a bridging program to practice midwifery in Ontario, Canada.
I hold certification as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) with the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) since 2015. Maintenance of the CPM credential includes maintaining continuing education, neonatal resuscitation certification, and adult CPR certification. CPMs also participate in Peer Review and are subject to formalized grievance procedures with NARM should any issues of safety, incompetence, or other problems arise during the course of care. I have also been practicing as a Registered Midwife (RM) with the College of Midwives of Ontario (CMO) since 2017.
Woven throughout my studies in fertility, midwifery, and childbearing was a deep study into holistic care for pregnancy loss and abortion. Too many of my clients had experienced previous abortions or losses without adequate support and I could see the affects in later pregnancies. I have experienced four losses of my own, grounding me in a deep reverence for the power of the body, and a deep void of education and care around abortion, miscarriage, and stillbirth. The specialized focus of my midwifery study is supporting at-home, holistic options for people experiencing pregnancy loss of all kinds, and writing and teaching on the topic with other midwives and reproductive health care workers. I have maintained a private practice of clients seeking gentle, supported, home-based care for their abortions, miscarriages, and other losses.
I volunteered as a writer and editor for SQUAT Birth Journal, a radical birth and midwifery publication, from 2013-2017. I helped organize and attend many midwifery conferences both domestic and abroad and have appreciated the wealth of information gleaned from midwives all over the world. I believe I bring an understanding of pregnancy, loss, birth, maternity care, and midwifery practice from a global perspective, and am dedicated to supporting reproductive health on a local and global scale as a safe, supportive, and healing option for many individuals and families.
I have worked as a trainer, educator, and volunteer for many full spectrum doula organizations, including Full Spectrum Doulas in Seattle, the former Boston Doula Project (now Boston Abortion Support Collective) in Boston, the Bay Area Doula Project (guest speaker), and the Home Hospice Association Infant and Pregnancy Loss Doula Training.
In efforts to further midwifery education in North America, I am also a Registered Preceptor with the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), and now serve as the Clinical Director for National Midwifery Institute (NMI), the midwifery school I attended. In this role, I help students and preceptors work together, and support the development of NMI students’ clinical education. Prior to serving as Clinical Director, I also assisted in curriculum overhaul with the Educational Directors, resulting in every module being brought up-to-date in 2018.
I also work on confidential Community Based Participatory Research Grants in the USA regarding home-based abortion care, and updating internal and public knowledge on these practices in the present day.
I have been honored to contribute to the growing field of midwifery education and reproductive health advocacy at events across North America. My expertise is typically in pregnancy loss, abortion, at-home abortion, miscarriage management, midwifery scope of practice, cervical self-exam, herbs for reproductive health, social critique of reproductive health movements, full spectrum doula support, and more.
I have given presentations for/with such organizations/events as Full Spectrum Doulas Abortion Doula Training, Boston Doula Project, Bay Area Doula Project, SQUATFest, Yonifest, McMaster Midwifery Student Association, Home Hospice Association Infant and Pregnancy Loss Doula Training, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Indie Birth Midwifery School, New Brunswick Womyn’s Summit, and others. I have presented posters at the National Abortion Federation Annual Meetings. I have also been featured on the Fertility Friday Podcast.
Please see my Workshop Offerings for more details on community programming.
What is a Midwife?
Midwives are primarily known for their expertise and historical position as providers for families during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and the immediate postpartum. Midwives are trusted all over the world as caregivers for the tender, joyful, and occasionally complicated times of conception, birth, and postpartum.
Midwives are most known for monitoring healthy pregnancies, treating for complications, helping facilitate healthy births and empower confident, capable new parents, babies, and families. If at any point during the course of care a client or baby develops complications that could benefit from specialized medical attention, midwives facilitate consultation and medical care. Our care typically lasts from conception to about 6 weeks postpartum.
Midwives have also historically done so much more. We were trusted in helping families and individuals understand sexuality, fertility and conception and bring in a pregnancy when they desire to. We helped individuals and families understand their full range of options when they decided they can no longer carry a pregnancy for whatever reason. We managed miscarriage and stillbirth. We managed complications after birth for parents and baby. We touched the heart and soul of those engaged in care, and with compassion, deep awareness and understanding, witnessed the most profound moments of people’s lives and interactions with their own bodily power.
Midwifery care is an ancient tradition in almost every society in the world. It is at once a science and an art. Our care is just as much founded in an understanding of physiology and the range of normal as it is in counseling, celebration, ritual, and honoring profound fertility experiences. Midwifery care encourages individuals and families to get in touch with their intuitive knowing of how to grow and care for their bodies and babies, alongside trained and skilled professionals invested in the health and wellbeing of all involved every step of the way.
When working with a midwife, individuals and families are expected to be active decision-makers in their own care. Informed choice is a major tenant of midwifery care and is emphasized every step of the way. Evidence is presented for a decision making process before any intervention or recommendation, allowing families to read present and past research, relevant information, risks, benefits, side effects, and the option of doing nothing. Full consent and choice is sought before ever touching an individual, accessing their medical records, or sharing any information with any other professionals.
Regulation of midwifery as a structured and certified profession is a new development in history, and one which has brought benefits and challenges to both midwives and families. One of its biggest challenges is in upholding and reminding the individuals and families in our care that the power in a midwifery relationship always lies centrally and profoundly in the hands of the clients, not the midwives or the midwife’s regulating body. Midwifery at its core is about building healthy individuals and families, who are the caretakers of their own healthcare, with our gentle assistance.
In North America, the major midwifery regulating bodies and organizations I work under include:
I am also a part of the following professional membership organizations: