Before she truly understood, Madeline (mad-uh-lin) introduced herself to a group of peers and said “my name is Madeline and I’ll be a midwife.” A day later, after a visit to a birth center and a new tattoo, Madeline made a potent and intrinsic agreement to answer the call. Since then, she has followed this guidance and finds herself at the seat of truly humbling and huge work. Madeline is sister to a younger brother with profoundly special needs and a younger sister who is Korean-American. Madeline is a passionate advocate, bright student, and gentle educator. She is a birth worker in many ways: understood through her own birth - a scheduled cesarean, her mother's reproductive doubling (she has two, gorgeous uteruses!) and commitment to childbirth education and counseling, and an approach to sexual and reproductive wellness that began as cool curiosity and sweet discovery of the body and its capacity as a wide-eyed child. She is ever inspired and simply in awe of birth and bodies in all forms. Madeline supports individuals and families on their journey as a full spectrum witness, facilitates sharing and gathering in circles, and studies midwifery in a dynamic and community-oriented capacity. She is spunky, thoughtful, discerning, and sensitive. She is holistically minded and creative. Madeline wondered about becoming a pediatrician or an obstetrician, though most often dreamt of being a dancer and a farmer. At 18, she found herself shadowing the NICU at a New York hospital. Madeline continued her education in public health and wellness through the lens of international cultures and affairs, uncovering and resituating her spirituality and reverence for the Earth along the way. She had the unique privilege to study grassroots health promotion, cultural art and language, and spirituality and wellness in many beautiful places. As a white, cis-gendered, socioeconomically advantaged individual, Madeline holds reproductive justice at the core of her practice and commits to dismantling the systems that have excluded, oppressed, and marginalized others. She recognizes that her work is never done when it comes to shifting the dynamic and participating in space that is equitable and reparative. She loves all animals, well-cooked lentils, and warm water therapy.
Birth in peace, privacy, love, gentleness, and warmth is potent medicine for us all. Birth is supported and held deeply by the rhythms in nature to which our bodies are miraculously attuned and responsive. I will support you prenatally, during labor and birth, and in postpartum. I offer physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual support along your journey, unique to your ways of being and birthing. I will be present for you, your family, and your community to witness and celebrate the beautiful and gentle birth experience that unfolds.
Before Labor: Prenatal visits are an opportunity for us to converse and connect about your pregnancy and birth wishes. This is gentle birth preparation through awareness cultivation & research, comfort technique & practice, body awareness & balancing exercises, postpartum plans & anticipations, et cetera. The number of times we meet is your decision; my service includes 2 visits. Additional visits may be arranged; these services are detailed in Prenatal Wellness.
During Labor: I will arrive to support your labor when you are ready. We will be in soft communication until then; when you are ready for my support, please call (especially in the middle of the night!). I ask that you give me 1 hour to ready myself. I will stay with you for the duration of your labor, offering comfort, reassurance, ideas, encouragement, grounding, tools, love, remembrance, privacy, and safe space. I will take personal moments to maintain my energy and be present whenever possible, as you wish and pending unexpected circumstances.
After Labor: I will stay with you for a bit right after birth to see you and your family are comfortable, settled, and beginning to bond. I will offer breastfeeding support, as requested and if needed. We will have 2 visits after birth, when you request, process the birth experience and tend to your postpartum healing and transition. Additional visits may be arranged; these services are detailed in Postpartum Care.
$1100 sliding scale – cash, check, or bank transfer (payment plans and trade arrangements available). In gratitude, your commitment and contribution facilitates low to no-cost services to community members who are among the most marginalized, oppressed, and under resourced.
Pregnancy is the beginning of a journey that involves surrender, intuition, advocacy, power, and vulnerability. Preparing the body and easing the mind are foundational to prenatal wellness. The body goes through remarkable growth as it nourishes and carries the baby you will soon birth. During the prenatal time and even pre-conception, our feelings, experiences, and values play an important role in how we birth and how we raise children. This is an initial step towards our rite of passage, our wellbeing as we grow new life, our babies’ first experience of life on Earth and ultimately, our birth and beyond.
The time after birth is another step forward in this unique rite of passage and, simply, an adjustment to a new way of being in and experiencing the world. As pregnancy is a time of growth and expansion, birth a time of openness and surrender, the postpartum time represents integration and acceptance. This adjustment can be gentle, sincere, and well-supported. Physical healing, emotional undulations, breastfeeding beginning, newborn needs, and the tuning in to who you are becoming are part of a vital and vibrant adjustment. Seeking community, resources, and extra support is normal and necessary. This time sets the foundation for lifelong health and wholeness of our selves, our babies, our families, our communities, our Earth and so on and so forth.
"What value and respect do we give to our bodies? What uses do we have for them? What relation do we see, if any, between body and mind, or body and soul? What connections or responsibilities do we maintain between our bodies & the earth? These are religious questions, obviously, for our bodies are part of the Creation, and they involve us in all the issues of mystery. But the questions are also agricultural, for no matter how urban our life, our bodies live by farming; we come from the earth and return to it, and so we live in agriculture as we live in flesh. While we live our bodies are moving particles of the earth, joined inextricably both to the soil and to the bodies of other living creatures."
-Wendell Berry by way of Samantha Zipporah
Lunar People are people who seek solace, inspiration, and healing via the natural rhythms of the body, the Earth, and the Universe. Lunar People may or may not identify as women. Lunar People may desire increased understanding of a female body, deeper connection to feminine energies, or have curiosity for more unity and balance, power and pleasure, creativity and expression in their lives. These semi-seasonal gatherings vary in content but remain rooted in respect, trust, and reverence for the natural world and our place in it. We read books, host clothes swaps, organize care packs for homeless women who bleed, practice embodiment, watch films, and have conversations about topics that include: reproductive justice, gender and identity, menstruation and the lunar cycle, fertility awareness method, self-care, gentle gynecology, and and conscious conception.
Images from Judy Chicago's Birth Project 1980-1985.