Lena Soo Hee Wood, M.Ed, MN, CNM

Lena Wood, MEd, MN, CNM (she/her)
Clinical Training

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2014, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

Master of Nursing (Midwifery), 2016, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

Certified Nurse Midwife, American Midwifery Certification Board

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.

About Lena

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.