When I was 13 years old I watched in awe as my older sister gave birth at a birth center with the support of midwives. As I sat at the end of the bed with a perfect vantage point I witnessed the most miraculous thing I could imagine. The perfection of the birthing body and the whole process inspired me not only in my own birth experiences but also as I realized who I was becoming in my own life. The moment so profoundly inspired me that it would eventually shape not just my perspective on birth, but my career path as well.
My own birth experiences, so greatly varied, have impacted my midwifery practice to the core. From my desired birth at a birth center, that ended with a hospital transport. Forcing me to experience the all too common cascade of interventions. Epidural, episiotomy, forceps, post-birth separation, no skin to skin contact, delayed breastfeeding, etc. At the time I couldn’t understand as someone who was young and healthy how I ended up in the hospital. As painful and difficult as this experience was, I am grateful that my personal perspective is able to guide me as I support families birthing in and out of the hospital system.
Eight and eleven years later, I had two beautiful home births. The care I received during this time was transformative. The time they took with me at each appointment to answer every question and concern, the support they gave me when I felt shaky in my relationship, the confidence that they had for me even when I didn’t that my body could do this…that I could do this…was invaluable. Every experience, every appointment, added to my deep and committed values about how birthing people should be treated, regardless of their provider.
With these experiences, I was nudged further down the path of birth work. In 2006, I co-founded and operated The Sanctuary Birth & Family Wellness Center. This was a culmination of her years of experience as a natural birth advocate, educator and environmentalist. The Sanctuary was the first of its kind; a full spectrum center where midwives, doctors and other holistic practitioners collaborated to provide thousands of Los Angeles families care during the prenatal and postpartum periods. At the heart of this innovative center was the vision to “Transform the way birth is managed and perceived in this country”.
At the end of it all, with as many beautiful acknowledgements we received for the community we created, I realized I was longing for the small intimate, hands off, traditional midwifery practice that had supported me during my pregnancies and I longed to practice this way with my own clients. We closed the center in 2015, allowing me to pursue yet another long held dream of becoming a midwife myself and starting a small home birth practice. Studying under both Dr. Fischbein (LA’s only home birth obstetrician) and many skilled midwives, I was fortunate to learn the art of midwifery in addition to the unique skill of delivering Breech, Twins and VBACs.
Currently I support families on their journey as a home birth midwife, childbirth educator, placenta encapsulator, and a natural birth and family consultant. At the heart of all of my work is a deeply rooted belief in the brilliant design of our bodies and the symbiotic relationship between baby and parent. I continue to strive to support the sacredness that honoring birth as a rite of passage and resurrecting lost traditions can bring to our high tech low touch lives.