As a professionally trained Hypnobabies instructor and leader of a non-profit Cesarean and VBAC support group, I've been supporting families with evidence-based information in the Chicagoland area for a few years. Through this journey, I've been honored to attend over a dozen births, mostly students from my Hypnobabies Classes.
Like many workers in the birth field, my own births inspired me to become involved. It took a few years for me to decide which passion I wanted to follow. After my first birth in 2011, I became involved with breastfeeding support groups, babywearing clubs, cloth diapering groups, and of course ICAN of Chicago.
After my home birth VBAC in 2014, I became even more driven to be a professional part of this world. I decided to focus on all aspects of birth. After a lot of research and careful consideration, I found Hypnobabies. I was blown away by the program and the people involved with it and it really felt like I had met "my match". I was in love with the completeness of the program, how everything included was supported by research (rather than "this is how we've always done things"), and that it did include information on interventions, so parents had the knowledge to make informed decisions on their care if the unexpected happens.
So in 2014, I founded ICAN of South Suburban Chicago to be a resource for C-section and VBAC moms, and I also certified as a Hypnobabies Hypno-doula. In 2015, I went to New Orleans for the Hypnobabies Instructor training and quickly after began offering this amazing class. Since research and continuing education is important to me, each year I join workshops or take classes to keep furthering my knowledge. In 2016, I attended a Spinning Babies workshop, trained with Darren Maddock on how to help improve my connection with fathers, and took a course on how labor medications affect breastfeeding. In 2017, I took the Evidence Based Birth class on due dates and advanced maternal age, and I also trained as a Stillbirth Birth and Bereavement Doula, giving me a real certification to attend births. Even though I had already been attending a few births, it was important to me that I certified with a well known doula organization.
In 2018, I became pregnant with my 3rd daughter. That pregnancy was very taxing on me, physically and emotionally. We had an uncomplicated home birth in March 2019, but I decided to take off more time to heal from my pregnancy and to enjoy my family.
I had planned on returning to work in 2020, but obviously many things changed that year. As it stands, if this website remains published, I have hopes of someday returning to teaching classes. At this time, Hypnobabies is entirely virtual. I respect their decision to do so, and it has indeed kept many families safe from becoming sick due to other people coming into contact with COVID-19. However, I think this important milestone requires the intimacy of personal connection and have decided to wait to offer classes until such time as private or semi-private classes are allowed again.
It is my vision to see all families, both mothers and partners, happy and eager to share how much they enjoyed their birth, no matter which path it took. I do believe that all birth can be empowering, whether it's natural in a hospital, induced, cesarean, or at home. What's important to me is that every family knows their options and have respectful care that enables them to make the choice that is best for them. I am here to be your advocate, your wealth of knowledge, your comfort support, your guiding hand, and your friend.