Prenatal, Postnatal, Parent & Me Yoga Teacher, Doula & Childbirth Educator
My journey into the world of childbirth began when I was pregnant with my first child in 2014. A spark lit up inside me and I couldn’t get my hands on enough books about pregnancy and childbirth.
One book that changed my pregnancy was Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh. I had never thought twice about birth before that – I had an OB and just expected to go to the hospital and birth like my friends and family had birthed.
I happened to live in LA at the time, which was an amazing place for being pregnant because we had beautiful birthing centers like The Sanctuary and birth sanctuaries with childbirth classes and & every like childbirth related at Bini Birth. Gurmukh had a yoga studio in Hollywood called Golden Bridge and I enrolled in her prenatal yoga teacher training program (Khalsa Way). It was probably the best decision I could’ve made while pregnant as I was surrounded by women involved in all aspects of birth (OBs, midwives, yoga teachers, massage therapists etc) and we learned a lot about childbirth. I continued my Kundalini yoga training and became a Level 1 KRI certified teacher with the 200 Hour Program at Yoga Yoga Austin, where I lived in 2015-2016.
I have been teaching prenatal/postnatal yoga since 2014 at Twisted Monkey Yoga Studio in Rockledge, PA. (I grew up in NE Philadelphia so would come back for Christmas and summer breaks to teach). I began teaching Parent & Me Yoga in 2016 (my practice growing as my son ages).
In 2015, I still wanted to know as much as I could about childbirth so enrolled in the International Childbirth Educator Association’s (ICEA) program to be a childbirth educator.
I also started summarizing baby books so that I could absorb the information better and so that I could share with those who didn’t have the time or resources to read all of the baby books out there. My goal was to summarize one book a month, but that changed once my son became mobile and once I started studying to be a childbirth educator, which is a 2 year self study program, so bear with me. That’s also what sparked the name for the website, BabyCliffNotes.
In 2016, I attended DONA International’s doula training so I could help other moms achieve the birth they wanted; I will finish my training in 2017 and will be available to attend births.
I also started to post my prenatal yoga videos on YouTube for those who didn’t have access to it in their own communities (they aren’t perfect but at least they are out there!).
The postnatal classes at Twisted Monkey will be separate from prenatal in 2017 and will be more of a new mom’s support group. After I had my first child in LA, my midwife would hold weekly new parent support groups and it was a great space to 1) take baby to a baby-friendly environment 2) meet other parents 3) discuss new parent topics.
So I’m excited to bring that to the Philadelphia area!
Everyone should be able to have the birth they want. I agree with ICEA’s views that every woman should be able to have a family centered physiologic birth:
Physiologic birth is evidence-based and based on optimal care for mothers and babies.
Expectant parents can optimize their chances for a physiologic birth by becoming educated in childbirth education classes with the latest research (Zwelling, 2008). Women need to be aware of the benefits to mothers and babies of physiologic birth as well as the risks of interventions.
Childbirth educators may act as advocates for and promote the research on physiologic birth in their classes, hospital in-service education, conferences/meetings and through social media. Our teaching should not only reflect current evidence-based information but also the concept of best practice. Informed decision making must be at the forefront of our presentation of physiologic childbirth. The goals of prenatal (childbirth) education are to build women’s confidence in their own ability to give birth, to provide knowledge about normal birth, and to help women develop individualized birth plans that provide a road map for keeping birth as normal as possible even if complications occur (Kavanagh, et al., 2012).
Providing positive sources of media information, such as television shows or web information, can assist expectant parents in their quest for knowledge.
If you’d like me involved in any part of your pregnancy, labor or birth, or you have some birth topics for me to check out, contact me in the About Me section.