I have always loved babies and been interested in child development and child psychology. I majored in Women’s Studies at University in the US, but took a lot of courses in the education and psychology departments. I started my career as a health educator, helping kids, teens and adults understand their bodies and make healthy decisions. I was interested in health care and felt called to midwifery so I studied in the 3-year direct-entry Seattle Midwifery School where I received a certificate and a Washington state license in midwifery.
While in midwifery school I took the 40-hour lactation consultant course, as breastfeeding was already an interest of mine. I intended to join or run a private midwifery practice and attend out-of-hospital births and water births, but instead I immediately married my husband and moved to Bahrain where homebirth was illegal. I worked for a short time on the ward in a hospital in Bahrain but was frustrated at their high cesarean section rates and the lack of empowerment for the laboring mothers. I then spent several years teaching antenatal classes and doing lactation counseling at another hospital in Bahrain.
I moved to Oman and had 2 girls of my own, the first at home in a birth tub in the US and the second in a hospital in Muscat. Both were natural deliveries, un-medicated and peaceful, and both babies were exclusively breastfed and continued to breastfeed for over 2 years each, all of which were very important accomplishments for me. I loved being a mother but I experienced firsthand how isolating and challenging it can be to raise babies as an expat mother, far from my family and support network.
I had some struggles with nursing and sleeping and had only my own knowledge and my personal library of breastfeeding textbooks to figure it all out. I helped many other expat mothers who went through similar struggles, but chose not to be employed while my girls were small, as I enjoyed having the time to spend with them. When I moved to Dubai in 2009 my girls were both in school for much of the day, so I felt ready to return to work, but was sad to discover that the UAE would not recognize my midwifery license since I had not worked formally for over 2 years. I do not regret the time I took off to spend with my children, to make sure that breastfeeding was successful and to build that secure foundation with them, but I did not realize that I was making such a permanent career decision.
Since I can’t work as a midwife, I have returned to my first calling as an educator. I teach baby massage and breastfeeding classes, and in became licensed as a BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm teacher. I have been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant/Registered Lactation Consultant since. I have also trained as a TummyTime Method instructor, and as a babywearing peer counselor.
When it comes to parenting, I believe that your child will teach you what you need to know to be their parent, and I believe that you are the expert when it comes to your own family. I see many parents who do not have confidence in their instincts and their own expertise. There are so many “experts” out there and so much conflicting advice, finding your own path as a parent gets harder and harder with each generation. My goal is to provide evidence-based information and gentle techniques to foster connection, communication and understanding between babies or toddlers and their parents. My goal is also to empower you to embrace your OWN expertise and confidence in your parenting goals and choices.
I look forwad to seeing you in a class or workshop, in one of our on-line facebook support groups or perhaps in one of the free talks I give around Dubai. Happy parenting!