Thanks for dropping by! I’d like to tell you about me and my journey to teaching about birth.
I used to be a Rockstar.
(In my own mind, anyway).
I am now an accomplished mother to four children and mostly doting wife of 17 years to my other half, Chris. We met in Chicago after I moved there to pursue my bachelor’s degree in music and eventually joined the workforce because making it as a rockstar didn’t work out for me. (Maybe there’s still a chance?) Our love story began on Kedzie Blvd. in Logan Square when I would walk past Chris’ condo on my way to and from work. He made a habit of sitting on the porch, playing guitar with his dog by his side and waiting for me to pass just to say, “Hi!” I’m grateful for his patience as I avoided talking to him during my man-hater stage of life. Eventually, he won me over and we married in 2002, and became pregnant with our first child 7 months later.
Then I became a Mom.
We had a standard hospital birth (epidural, pitocin, etc.) with our oldest and did all the things that were expected of us. By the time we became pregnant with our second child, we had moved to Michigan and I had made the decision to pursue a natural birth. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was met with resistance by my care providers and had to make some decisions to avoid conflict during birth. My postpartum time in the hospital was a little challenging, as well. (The nurses were bold enough to tell me that I’d be a good candidate for a homebirth). When it came time for baby number three, you can guess what we chose to do. I interviewed several midwives, did extensive research on the safety and evidence surrounding homebirth and helped my birth team understand the reasons behind my decisions. They were extremely supportive and we had a beautiful home waterbirth. Not long after, I decided to become a birth worker.
Then I became a Birth Pro.
I am certified through CAPPA and have been teaching childbirth education and attending births since 2010. I strongly advocate for birthing families through inter-professional education, activism, and community outreach. I was an Evidence Based Birth® Instructor from 2015 through 2020 and have been a Certified Health Coach since 2016 through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. I founded the Livingston County Birth Circle in 2013 to meet the needs of my community. I am also a founder of The Intact Network; I believe bodily autonomy is a human right for every body, big and small.
I have been teaching classes to expecting couples for over 10 years and have spoken throughout Southeast Michigan to families on a variety of topics surrounding pregnancy, birth, postpartum and newborn care. Over the years, I have mentored and guided other birth professionals in navigating the maternity system with their clients to get the best care available. I have found great purpose and enjoyment in supporting families during their pregnancy, birth, postpartum period and helping them navigate the early months of parenthood. I would love to support you, too.
My Birth Philosophy
I have been called, “Earth Mama Jenn” because of my natural ways. I like to eat close to the earth, though I still enjoy a donut (or two) from time to time. We have a kitchen garden and backyard chickens, and prefer to shop at the local organic food co-op and health food stores. I relate my birth philosophy to my lifestyle choice in that I believe our bodies were created as nature intended and under normal circumstances need very little intervention to bring forth “fruit”.
My passion for birth came after a life-changing birth experience of my own with my third born. I felt called to share my passion with other parents-to-be. Over the years, I’ve learned that something we all have in common is the desire for a positive birth experience. This means something different for every mother. My heartfelt wish is for you to come away from your birth experience with gratitude, and a sense of satisfaction knowing that you were supported and respected. I’d be honored to join you on YOUR journey.