The Short Version
Hi! I’m Anita, and while I love to talk about all sorts of things (mostly related to pregnancy, birth, alternative medicine, and other politically incorrect topics) talking about myself really isn’t my favorite. But I’m told I have to have an “about me” page, so here it is.
I am a trained Doula (over 250 births!), certified Childbirth Educator, certified HypnoBirthing Instructor, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, certified Health Coach and Clinical Hypnotherapist.
My passion is to help moms (and moms-to-be) heal from past traumas using hypnotherapy and other brain science techniques, and to provide a warm, nurturing place where you will find compassion, support, and trustworthy information.
The Whole Story
Okay, now for those interested in all the details of my journey, read on!
I lived most of my life in the Sacramento region of California, with a few years in Alaska back in the late 1970s. I gave birth to my firstborn, a son, in 1976. It was a traumatic birth, as many are. If you want to know more, you can read more about it here.
My second, a daughter, was born in June of 1979, under the midnight sun in Alaska. Though she was my biggest, at 11lb 8oz, she was my shortest labor and easiest birth. For more on that story, click here.
My marriage to their father ended in 1983. In 1986, I remarried, and on Christmas Eve of 1989, I gave birth at home to my youngest son. Though every birth forever changes a woman, it was after giving birth at home that those changes were the most surprising in quality and dramatic in scope. You can read more about that here.
Shortly after his birth, my attending midwife was arrested and charged with practicing medicine without a license, with intent to harm – a felony. I knew the facts of the case, and knew that no felony had been committed. I was mortified as I saw how the media distorted the facts, chilling public opinion toward her. And, I was extremely disillusioned to see the district attorney (who, until then, I thought were “the good guys getting after the bad guys”) flat out lie in their declarations before the court. As a result, I became quite passionate about the rights of individual women to choose their birth environment and attendant, and to do everything possible to remove politics from those choices – or help women maneuver around them.
So I became heavily involved in raising funds for her defense. This was long before the internet was part of our lives. In those days, we did fundraising by sending out mass mailings and phone calls. One of the responses came from an author of books on childbirth, who had recently produced a curriculum called “The Labor Companion Program” – now we call them doulas. I took on the job of promoting that program for the defense fund. After several dozen phone calls to various news outlets and inquirers, I “sold” it to myself, and took the training.
I did a some doula-work after that, but in 1994, stopped to focus on my family, which consisted of two teenagers and a preschooler at the time.
Then in 1998, I was diagnosed with a bone tumor in my right ulna. The doctor said it didn’t LOOK malignant, but he would make no guarantees until he could see it under a microscope. So, the tumor was removed on a Wednesday, and I was sent home to wait for the pathology report that would come on Monday. That gave me over four days to contemplate my mortality while in mind-bending pain. And since this was happening at such a difficult time for me personally, thinking this may all be over soon seemed almost comforting.
Monday came, and the pathology report was reassuring: The doctor called for yearly x-rays for five years, just to make sure, but it looked like I would be fine.
Then, I was almost mad at God. In a little hissy-fit, I rather harrumphed at Him, “So you’re leaving me here…why?” After settling down into a meditative state, the answer came, in a very gentle, yet surprisingly clear way: I would find my calling with childbearing women. Really?? Doula work was, until then, just a hobby. My skill set was in real estate. But…ok.
So, I began midwifery training and assisting a licensed midwife in her home birth practice in late 1998, and in 1999, became a certified childbirth educator.
In the year 2000, I was introduced to HypnoBirthing. I was quite skeptical, but took the training, anyway. Over the next ten years attending births, it became very clear that HypnoBirthing-prepared moms had labors that were generally shorter, less painful (several reported “no pain”), and a much happier postpartum period. And as a bonus, they more commonly described their babies as “peaceful, happy” babies.
I still had contact with many non-HypnoBirthing moms, and had a heavy heart for those who had experienced birth traumas of various types and degrees. I always had to refer them out to other professionals, as individual therapy was out of my scope of practice. If I wanted to help them, the only way to be able to legally do so (I thought), was to get a Master’s Degree. And as yet, I hadn’t even completed my Bachelor’s.
In 2006, I finished my degree in Maternal/Child Health: Lactation Consulting,” and sat the boards to get my IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). Immediately, I became VERY busy helping breastfeeding mothers – which includes a lot of counseling, whether you look for it or not! After taking a closer look at the master’s programs, they just didn’t seem to be what I was looking for. And as I thought about my own marginally-successful experiences with various counselors over the years, as well as the experiences of friends and others I know, it was clear to me that one could be in conventional talk therapy for YEARS, and still not be healed. As a matter of fact, what I saw too often was their “issues” getting talked about so long, that they became their identity! YUCK!
Then I contemplated the success of my HypnoBirthing moms, and looked into hypnotherapy. The effectiveness and efficiency of hypnotherapy and other mind/body science techniques captivated me. So my new resolve became to become a clinical hypnotherapist, which I did in 2013. Out of my insatiable thirst for more, I have added several more mind/body science tools to my tool belt. The issues that I have seen resolved in a very short period of time has surprised even me! THAT is the proper role of a therapist: to help their client heal on the deepest level – not to keep them coming in to a weekly counseling session for years on end.
So now you have a pretty good idea of my philosophy and approach to what I do and why I do it. If what you’ve read here feels right to you, call for a free half-hour consultation. Wherever you are on your journey, I would be honored to help you move toward your personal goal.