Discovering Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting has transformed my clinical practice as a midwife. Early on, I struggled to help connect my patients with childbirth and newborn care classes that explore both the practicalities as well as the profound emotional shifts during the childbearing year. Our 20-minute appointments rarely felt long enough to fully dive into the profound emotional transformations happening during pregnancy.
At their 6-week postpartum visit, people would often tell me, “I feel like I learned a lot about how to cope with labor pain, but then I got home with a baby and realized I hadn’t thought through the enormous changes that come after. I was not prepared for the emotional resilience needed to weather these first six weeks!”
Then I discovered the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, who developed the now well-researched Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. This eight-week series introduces participants to core mindfulness practices in a secular manner, making them accessible to anyone. After completing the MBSR series and experiencing a shift in my own life, I knew I wanted to find a way to continue this work as a midwife.
Eventually I came across nurse-midwife Nancy Bardacke‘s book, Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond. This one book finally made all the connections that I was looking for. MBCP is modeled after the curricular structure of MBSR and Nancy has worked extensively with Jon Kabat-Zinn to maintain fidelity to MBSR course content and structure. I spent 2018-2019 doing a year-long MBCP teacher training with Nancy and other faculty, while continuing to deepen my own personal mindfulness practice. In the summer of 2020, Ariel and I both will be completing Level 2 of our training.
I am so thrilled to finally be able to offer MBCP classes and parenting groups to the Portland community. It is my great joy and privilege to share this work with you.
I have worked as a full-scope midwife both in private practice and at Planned Parenthood. Currently I practice as a per diem midwife with the Salem Health Family Birth Center. Before I was a midwife, I worked for several years as a full spectrum doula and also had a previous career as a Montessori elementary guide. Supporting families through transitions has been at the core of my work for over ten years.
I am involved at both the national level and Oregon affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, leading diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, developing mentorship programs for students of color, and leading trainings in anti-racism and implicit bias in midwifery care.
When I am not in clinic or at a conference, I can be found at home with my family. Like many fellow Oregon midwives, I enjoy cooking, reading, hiking, knitting, and yoga. I also maintain my own daily mindfulness practice and sit zazen at Dharma Rain Zen Center, which continues to transform my personal and professional development.