mindfulness teacher // educator
“Something I have learned from 40 years of being with so many families during their childbirth experience, is that no two labors are the same. It would be impossible to prepare someone fully for all the possibilities. I believe it is more useful to teach the skills to respond to whatever presents itself in labor or in life with wisdom and compassion.”
My path to becoming a midwife started during undergraduate studies with work as a women’s health educator at a free clinic in the early 1970’s in Austin, Texas.
That work, combined with my studies in psychology and social welfare studies impressed on me the importance of the empowerment of women and would become a guiding influence on my later choice to become a midwife. Prior to completing midwifery training in 1984, I was a labor and delivery nurse and childbirth educator in Texas, Vermont and New York. I have worked in both birth centers and hospital settings. Both of my children were born at home with a midwife. Prior to retirement I worked for 40 years providing full scope midwifery care to under-resourced women and families in New York City at the North Central Bronx Hospital, and in New Haven, Connecticut at the Fair Haven Community Health Center. I also provided part-time midwifery services in a private Obstetrics practice and at Yale New Haven Hospital and for the last 30 years have served as a Clinical Preceptor introducing many graduate students at Yale University School of Nursing to the practice of midwifery.
My own experience of MBSR came at a time when I was drowning in the attempt to balance the demands of being a mother, a wife, a householder and a full time midwife. The effects of stress were taking a toll on me and my family when I was introduced to the MBSR program. The skills I learned in this class were life changing and gave me tools for coping with what Jon Kabat-Zinn calls the “full catastrophe”. Mindfulness practices have been a part of my life for 25 years. My ongoing daily practice is an anchor for me and brings a measure of wellbeing that is ever evolving.
When I first read about Nancy Bardacke’s adaptation of the MBSR program for childbirth education I immediately saw the potential benefits to the families I served, and wished I had these skills earlier in my own parenting journey. I began training with Nancy in 2015 and began incorporating some of the elements of MBCP into the prenatal care groups I facilitated and was able to see how useful these practices are for childbearing families.
As I studied the MBCP program with Nancy, I also began MBSR teacher training through the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Brown University. I have now completed the requirements to be a qualified teacher of MBSR.
Master of Science: Nursing, 1984
Columbia University School of Nursing – New York, NY
Bachelor of Science: Nursing, 1977 University of Texas – Austin, Texas
Bachelor of Arts: Psychology/Social Welfare Studies, 1975 University of Texas – Austin, Texas
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Fundamentals: University of Massachusetts Medical School – November 2016
MBSR Teacher Advancement Intensive: Mindfulness Center Brown University School of Public Health, Providence RI – October 2019
MBCP Level 1A, Winter 2015
MBCP level 1B, Fall 2015
MBCP Level 2, Spring 2020