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Hi there! - I'm Susan. Welcome to my site.
Bringing a child into the world is a huge life transition. It is a very exciting time in life, but it can also be a little confusing and a little scary. Having trusted guidance and support makes a big difference.
Seeking out education and support helped me to trust myself as a mother, to trust my babies, and encouraged me to make decisions that were right for my family. In modern American society, there are many gaps in the educational and support structures in our cultural and medical care systems. So, I am also keenly aware of what I didn't know at the time, what was left out of my education, and the supports I didn't have, but wish I did. As an educator, counselor, and mentor I can offer you support, guidance, and encouragement as well as help fill in some of the gaps. I can help you understand what your options are so that you can make choices that are right for your situation and that enable you to support your goals.
I very much believe in the power and wisdom of the natural processes inherent in pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. These underlying mechanisms evolved over hundreds of thousands of years both to help you as a parent and also to ensure the health and well-being of your child. Understanding, respecting, and working with these natural mechanisms has incredible value. This doesn't mean everything has to be "perfect," or have an absolute outcome. These natural processes are simply very important guideposts that are there to help you with the most essential component -- your relationship with your child. Your baby is an amazing human being who is coming to connect with you. My goal as an educator and counselor is to serve this goal of love and connection.
It means a lot to me to offer you knowledge and support so you can flourish in your parenting role. I want to help you feel as grounded and secure as possible in your ever-evolving role as a parent. You are the ultimate expert of your baby and your family. Parenting is a big job. You are going to do great!
Education, Certifications. and Training:
Mentor for PPNE program students with the Association of Pre-and-Perinatal Psychology and Health
Pre-and-Perinatal Educator through the Association of Pre-and-Perinatal Psychology and Health (2018)
Certified Lactation Educator and Counselor through UC San Diego (2017)
Childbirth Educator and Doula through the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth (a.k.a The Bradley Method®) (2010)
Accredited La Leche League Leader (since 2001)
Continuing education from a variety of professional sources for pregnancy, nutrition, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting over the past 17 years. Some of the amazing professionals who have influenced my learning and teaching:
Dr. Jack Newman, Dr. Nils Bergman, Dr. Raylene Phillips, Dr. James McKenna, Dr. Alison Hazelbaker, Kitty Franz RN, Chele Marmot, Dr. Peter Levine, Susan McCutcheon, Dr. Paul Thomas, Dr. Terry Wahls, Bill Sears MD and Martha Sears RN, Dr. Chamberlin, Dr. Verny, Kate White and everyone at APPPAH,
BA UC Irvine, Theater Arts and Psychology
On a personal note...
My husband and I have been together for 35 years. We met at UCLA; I transferred and graduated from from UC Irvine with a degree in Theater Arts and Psychology. I took the library shuttle up to UCLA each weekend and my man would drive me back on Sunday nights - great memories! We have two wonderful daughters - ages 24 and 19. My first child was an unmedicated birth at the hospital with an obstetrician. Our second child was born at home with midwives. Each birth was completely different and each taught me different lessons. I breastfed my kids for way beyond one year. I will cherish those memories of our relationships forever.
Becoming a mother profoundly changed me. It awakened a passion and understanding within me that I could never have known without the experience of having my daughters enter my life. I believe parents are the most important influence and advocate in their children's lives. Having children made me a rebel and question many aspects of life and culture in ways I didn't expect.
~ I am passionate about pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding
~ I adore babies and young children
~ Becoming a mother has been the most meaningful experience of my life and I love being with my family
~ I am an avid reader and learner
~ I live for going to conferences and continuing education seminars
~ I constantly challenge myself to expand and learn more
~ I enjoy cooking and eating good food
~ I am a horrible camper and a not-so-great hiker, but I love being in nature
~ Yosemite is one our favorite family spots!
~ I love dancing and yoga
~ I'm a leftie
~ I love teaching and helping people!
My family- light of my life!
Yosemite - Our favorite place!
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