Richmond Birth Collective

February 17, 2016

 

At the begining of this year Joyful Birth Services took a very exciting leap of growth when I secured permanant office and HypnoBirthing class space.  I have three very talented suitemates that are equally passionate about supporting growing families.  We maintain separate businesses in one location that offers a collection of impressive birth and wellness services.  I want to introduce my suitemates now.  They have graciously taken the time for some Q and A about themselves and their services.

 

Adrianna Ross is a Cetified Professional Midwife and Traditional Herbalist.  I met Adrianna at the same time we signed our lease together.  The only thing that I knew about her was that the she lived in Virginia previously and that she was a midwife.  So logic would suggest she must be cool :)  Many local birth professionals have since made it a point to let me know how great she is.  I feel very fortunate that circumstance has brought us together.

 

 

 

1. Describe yourself

I am a mother, midwife and traditional herbalist. I love spending time with my people, gardening, cooking, wild crafting and hiking.  I feel at home in the woods and am always up for adventure.  I am not great at laundry but can roast a delicious chicken.

 

2. Describe your work

As a midwife I feel compelled to help women find their own power. It is such an honor to serve women during the childbearing year and beyond.  I provide complete prenatal, birth, postpartum and well woman care for women choosing home birth.  This includes all standard laboratory tests and even ultrasounds, if desired.  However, in addition to providing standard obstetric care, the midwifery model also honors the wisdom and intuition of mothers.  As a result we get to know each other on a whole different level.  Spending at least one hour during prenatals we explore the emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of pregnancy, birth and motherhood.  My work focuses on supporting women through healthy communication and lifestyle choices.  It is my responsibility to present evidence based information so that women can make the best choice for their unique situation.

 

Herbalism is just an extension of supporting overall wellness.  As a traditional herbalist and midwife my focus is on women and children.  There are many ways in which plant medicine can gently support our bodies and encourage well being.

 

3. When and how did you feel called to do this?

I have been supported by midwives for all of my children.  After giving birth to my son in 2003, I felt compelled in every essence of my being to become a midwife.

 

4. Describe your training

My training has been intentionally diverse.  I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to practice as an herbalist and midwife and therefore sought practitioners that could provide such an education. My family and I were also interested in exploring an off grid lifestyle, so we moved to rural Vermont where I completed an intensive multi-year apprenticeship with a midwife and herbalist.  I also studied under naturopathic physicians, nurse midwives and direct entry midwives and worked in multiple birth centers and home birth practices across the country.  I attended the Institute of Holistic Midwifery and in 2014 was licensed to practice as a Certified Professional Midwife under the North American Registry of Midwives.

 

5.  What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

The protocols by which Certified Professional Midwives practice are different from state to state.  Having practiced and trained in multiple states I feel like I have a unique perspective as to the state of midwifery across the country.  In Virginia specifically, my practice is limited by lawmakers.  I am therefore not able to fully practice  according to my training and licensure.

 

6. What is the most rewarding aspect of your work.

Seeing the look on a mother's face when she receives her baby and owns her birth!

 

7. Where do you see your business in 5 years?

Thriving in Richmond VA and training other midwives and herbalists.

 

Please check out Adrianna's webite: http://www.communitybirthservices.com/

 

 

 

Kate Noon is Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Lactation Counselor, and Legislative Advocate.  She is most well-known for organizing support to strengthen breastfeeding laws.  I met Kate a few years back when she allowed me to photograph her breastfeeding and have come to admire her ability to mobilize a community and promote positive cultural changes.

 

 

 

1. Describe yourself

I am a mother, a breastfeeding supporter, a Certified Lactation Counselor, and a social worker with a background in advocacy and activism.  I am involved in both state and local efforts to promote and normalize breastfeeding and strengthen breastfeeding laws and protections. I am a member of the Virginia Breastfeeding Taskforce and serve on the Virginia Breastfeeding Advisory Committee as a representative of the Virginia Chapter of National Association of Social Workers. I serve on the Richmond Health Action Alliance and collaborate on the RVA Breastfeeds campaign. For the last three years, I have been the local organizer for the Richmond Miracle Milk Stroll, a Best for Babes initiative to increase awareness about the life-saving benefits of breastmilk and formal donor milk programs. I am passionate about maternal and child health in Virginia, as well as global public health issues. I currently work as Program Director for a local non-profit and serve as Board Chair for Midwives for Haiti. I am very excited to have recently launched breastfeed.love to increase my ability to serve breastfeeding families in my community.

 

2. Describe your work

My work at breastfeed.love focuses on breastfeeding education, support, and advocacy. My breastfeeding class curriculum provides facts about evidence-based maternity care practices, infant feeding, making and maintaining milk, common concerns, and much more. My classes are designed to establish a non-judgmental and respectful environment that is inclusive of everyone’s differing viewpoints and experiences.

In terms of support, I am offering full-term/natural-term groups for mothers with babies ages 12+ months. Attending local breastfeeding support groups was a key factor in my own success in breastfeeding my own two children for over 7.5 years combined. Mother-to-mother breastfeeding groups provide emotional support, encouragement, education, and help with solving problems. My goal with facilitating peer support is to connect local mothers, increase chances of successfully reaching personal breastfeeding goals, and contribute to improved mental health, increased confidence, and self-esteem.

Advocacy, grassroots organizing, and legislative action are important tools for positively changing breastfeeding culture and increasing breastfeeding rates. I founded the VA Alliance for Breastfeeding Laws in order to strengthen breastfeeding protections in Virginia. I led local lobbying efforts for the successful 2015 Right to Breastfeed in Public law and continue to work towards improved laws related to workplace pumping, workplace anti-discrimination, paid parental leave, and other family-friendly issues relevant to the childbearing and breastfeeding years. Breastfeeding advocacy is my passion. Having first-hand experience with creating breastfeeding law, I am in a unique position to educate mothers and families about breastfeeding rights and to help mothers self-advocate and connect with additional resources in the event they experience barriers to exercising their breastfeeding rights.

 

 

3. Describe your training

I received my Masters in Social Work at VCU and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker through the Virginia Department of Health Professions. I am trained as a Certified Lactation Counselor through the Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding, and as a birth doula through toLabor. I also hold a certificate in Perinatal Mood Disorders from Postpartum Support International, and a certificate in Aging Studies from the Medical College of Virginia at VCU.

 

 

4. What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

The most rewarding aspect of my work is connecting with others who share my passion for breastfeeding. Through my work in recent years, I have had the honor of working closely with breastfeeding supporters, breastfeeding mothers, and breastfeeding professionals in the Richmond area and across VA. Living in our modern world of social media has also enabled me to connect with breastfeeding supporters across the country – CA, TX, ID, MI, MD to name a few – who are working towards improving breastfeeding rights, rates, and outcomes in their respective areas. I love meeting new people and supporting mothers and families on their breastfeeding journeys, recognizing that each path is unique.

 

 

5. Where do you see your business in 5 years?

Over the next five years, I hope to successfully lobby for improved state and federal laws related to breastfeeding and childbearing that will better support women, children, and families. I intend to complete a program for Certificate in Global Health through Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and continuing to work towards improving public health outcomes through breastfeeding education and awareness campaigns.

 

Please check out Kate's website: http://www.breastfeed.love/

 

 

Linda Zaffram is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and therapist specializing in maternal mental health and perinatal mood disorders.  I first met Linda a couple of year ago when I attended a training on postpartum mental health that she provides for birth professionals.  I have since come to admire Linda's passion for generating awareness around postpartum mood disorders and her wilingness to extend herself to both her clients and other professionals.

 

 

 

1. Describe yourself

I am a mother, significant other, daughter, sister, friend, therapist, doula and photographer.  I am passionate about life. I love to travel, meditate, exercise, garden, read and spend time with others.  I am a complete extravert wherein I love being around others. I love to learn and would be a lifelong student if I could afford it.  My dream is to get my PhD...one day. I would like to maybe teach at a University as I love teaching students.  One of my goals is to write an autobiography of my life. I have the chapters already crafted I just need to begin writing.

 

 

2. Describe your work

I am a licensed clinical social worker, breastfeeding support counselor, doula and photographer.  Each of these roles I enjoy equally.  Therapy is my first love though.  I provide individual, couples, family and group therapy. My services include: birth story healing, breastfeeding support counseling, in home therapy, outpatient therapy, group therapy, doula services, photography services,  services for professionals and speaking engagements. My areas of specialty in my practice are depression, anxiety, panic disorder, PTSD, OCD, trauma and abuse histories, stress management, relationship issues and coping skills, perinatal mood disorders, maternal mental health, grief/loss, perinatal loss, birth trauma, transition into parenthood and motherless children.

 

3. When and how did you feel called to do this?

As young child I knew I wanted to help people when I grew up and decided to become a licensed clinical social worker to fulfill this passion. I chose social work because of its core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence. My own life experiences, struggles and transitions; growing up in poverty in New York; moving to Virginia at the age of 12 years old; working full time while attending college for both degrees; my miscarriage and births of my own children; my own transition into parenthood and many other life events have brought me to my journey today.  I absolutely love being a therapist and would do it all again if I had the choice.  

 

4. Describe your training

I have my Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University and hold a Virginia license from the Virginia Department of Health Professionals.  I have sought out additional training to include: Certification in Level I & II Eye Movement & Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); Certification to provide Clinical Supervision for Social Workers; Certificate of completion in Birth Story Listening through Birthing from Within; Breastfeeding Support Counselor through the Elizabeth Project/Lamaze International; Stillbirthday trained through Stillbirthday; Trained in Trauma, PTSD and Grief through IATP; Certificate of Completion in Perinatal Mood Disorders through PSI; Certificate of Completion in Maternal Mental Health through PSI; Compassionate Bereavement Care Certified Provider Specialist in the Art of Traumatic Grief Counseling through the MISS Foundation; Working towards Certification in Non-Profit Management through VCU; Professional Doula through toLabor and working towards certification and Trained in Acupressure for birth attendants by Keith Bell, NCCAOM, Licensed Acupunturist

 

5.  What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

As a therapist the most challenging aspect of my work is often the larger system. Mental health is often undervalued and underfunded.  Funding always is an issue and budget cuts are typically taken from already overburdened systems and resources. Inconsistency of care, lack of knowledge and lack of follow up for mental health clients is an issue.  Many clients have little access to resources as there are often wait lists for months; especially for psychotropic medication management.  Even with Obamacare, people often have large co-pays or large deductibles they have to meet before services are paid for wherein they are unable to receive care for financial constraints.  Access to quality mental health care should be accessible for all regardless of income.

 

6. What is the most rewarding aspect of your work.

The most rewarding aspect of my work is the insurmountable amount of resiliency people have and their capacity for growth and change despite their circumstances. I am grateful to be able to sit with and hold clients in their sacred space, to be able to share their most intimate details about themselves in a safe and loving environment and to be chosen to do that with someone is a honor. Being able to help people make changes in their lives and improve their quality of life is very rewarding.

 

7. Where do you see your business in 5 years?

My hope for my business in 5 years to to grow my practice with more psychotherapists, students and psychotropic medication management. There is such a need for wrap around services in mental health and I hope to be able to provide that in one place.

 

Please check out Linda's website: http://www.healingcirclecounseling.com/

 

Thanks for reading about my suitemates and the collective of services that we offer.  We would love to meet you in person at our open house this Saturday February 20th 4:00-7:00 at our new location: 8401 Mayland Drive Suite C, RVA 23294  We will have local artists, a henna lady and Adrianna is cooking, mostly food that she raised herself!

 


 

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