South America taught me about the magic of birth. In the Spring of 2009, during my last few months in Ecuador, I met Mama Celia Shiguango Chimbo, a shaman midwife of the Kichwa tribe. Mama Celia is the leader of the Asociación de Mujeres Parteras Kichwas del Alto Napo (AMUPAKIN). In English, she is the leader of the Association of the Kichwa Midwives of the Upper Napo.
Mama Celia and her fellow unstoppable Kichwa tribeswomen own a birth center in the amazon of Ecuador that is supported by the Ecuadorian Red Cross. Her birth center, much like the birth centers in the States, is an alternative to the hospital. Though there are acute medical supports if necessary, the birth center pivots around traditional methods such as organic medicinal herbs, chanting, and tinctures from the rainforest. Much of the pushing and birthing is done in the traditional “hanging squat” or “dangle” position. Babies are brought into the world with traditional scents and songs. This was my first introduction to the world of birth. I was fascinated, mystified, and in love.
Not long after that, I returned to the California, very excited to become involved in this fantastical world of birth work. In 2010, I studied with Earth Lande, activist and founder of the National Birth Institute. I began volunteering at San Francisco General Hospital as a doula on the Labor and Delivery ward, and also working with young expectant mothers at the Teenage Parenting and Pregnancy Project. At different times for both jobs I would also be translating between Spanish and English for the mother/family.
In early 2012, I began working with one of my families as a night doula. It brought me such joy, and slowly I made the transition to doing postpartum and infant care full time, which has been a clear path for me. I took my postpartum training with Cornerstone in 2012, and have been extremely excited about working with infants and their new families ever since.
I bring a nonjudgmental attitude, an empathic heart, and a stabilizing force for the new family while it readjusts. I have a true and deep love for birth, children, and new families of all kinds. I have a current background check, infant, child, and adult CPR certifications, and my vaccinations are up to date. I speak Spanish, and will be happy to do so with your family. I have a wide knowledge base, spanning both western and eastern styles, and the use of Indigenous traditional herbs. I will share advice if asked, and listen compassionately if not. I am also trained in Non-Violent Communication, and Collaborative Problem Solving. I am in the Montgomery County area of Maryland, and travel inside the DMV area. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.