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My sweet baby, Jasmine – all grown up!

When I was a child, my mother would wake me in the middle of the night when one of our cats was in labor.  I remember being entranced with the whole process, sitting silently with that mama as she birthed her babies.  I’m sure this was what planted the seed for me – a self-professed birth junkie.  At 11 I said, “I want to be a midwife when I grow up” after my first exposure to homebirth through our family friends.  This was yet another of the many seeds that were planted over the years.

 

Since then, my journey has progressed through many avenues.  I attended Desert Institute of the Healing Arts for Massage Therapy and began to steer my practice toward helping women.  When I became pregnant with my daughter Jasmine in 1996, I read all that I could about pregnancy and birth, as many women do.  I chose to have a homebirth with a midwife.  From that life changing, profound experience, my passion for gentle birth was born and I began devoting my life to helping to create peaceful birth experience for mamas, babies, and new families. 

 

When I went back to doing massage after my baby moon, I dedicated my practice to women in the childbearing year after training with Claire Marie Miller/Nurturing The Mother and Theresa Kirkpatrick Ramsey/Baby’s First Massage.  Soon, many of my clients began to ask me to attend their births.  I trained as a birth doula through DONA in 1998 and just could not get enough of watching the faces of the mothers as these babies emerged.  Through the years, I have trained as a Birthing From Within mentor with Pam England, yoga instructor specializing in the prenatal and postpartum yoga, Heart and Hands Midwifery Intensives, lactation trainings, positioning workshops, herbology, homeopathy, and reflexology.  In 2003, I returned to Arizona to complete my BA in Women and Sexuality from Prescott College, which included women, gender and sexuality studies; counseling and communication; midwifery studies; and social activism (specifically for midwifery and birth).   This only fueled my passion for peaceful birth and guided me toward completing my midwifery studies.

Over the past 15 years, I have assisted several amazing homebirth midwives including the majority of my apprenticeship with Yelena Kolodji, CNM, two months interning with CNN Hero Robin Lim at Yayasan Bumi Sehat, a high volume birth center in Bali, Indonesia and have attended around 550 births in various capacities.  I stay current in my certifications for Adult CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation.  I am a founding member of BABI, a resource and support organization for expectant and new parents, and co-founder of the South Bay Homebirth Collective.  I am a graduate of National Midwifery Institute, licensed by the Medical Board of California and certified as a midwife by North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), as well as a member of Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), California Association of Midwives (CAM), Bay Area Birth Information (BABI), and Birth Network of Santa Cruz.  I am currently practicing full-scope holistic midwifery in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

When I’m not palpating bellies or smelling newborn babies, you can find me cooking or eating some kind of amazing food, hanging out with my honey and/or teenaged daughter, traveling to far off places, spending time with my awesome blue heeler, or crocheting, knitting, weaving, or quilting.

I look forward to working with your family and helping you to create a peaceful birth experience.

Love,
Rowen

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