Edited headshot 1I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.  I am a women’s advocate, an activist, and a leader.  I am a teacher, a life-long learner, and a seeker.  I dance to the beat of my own drummer, champion underdogs, and rarely take the easy way out.  I am artsy and craftsy and unconventional.  I am here to make the world a better place.

 

I love working with self-assured women who seek empowerment to make good things happen.

 

I am a passionate advocate for women and their families, and an activist for optimal birth practices.  With 17 years of experience learning and working on birth causes, I am an expert on maternity patient advocacy issues.

 

I am a Past President of BirthNetwork National, a citizen’s organization that provides tools to birth advocates, many of whom are professionals, who are working to raise the awareness and availability of Mother-Friendly care during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding in their communities and nationally.  I began working with BirthNetwork National in 2006 as a Chapter Leader, organizing community educational meetings, film screenings, speakers, breastfeeding tents, Red Tent birth story evenings, and producing and directing staged readings of the play “Birth.”  I was invited onto the Board of Directors as a Regional Representative, and counseled Chapter Leaders on running and growing their chapters and on conflict resolution.  After one year I was nominated to be President-Elect.  As President I presided from 2011 to 2013 over a rapidly growing organization of birth advocates working to improve maternity care through 44 chapters in 29 states.  I work with leadership of other birth-related organizations, such as CIMS, Where’s My Midwife?, ImprovingBirth.org,  and Lamaze.  Because of my work with BirthNetwork National, I am now connected with hundreds of doulas, childbirth educators, midwives, obstetricians, and expectant parents who are working to improve maternity care too.

 

As a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator I provide one-on-one mentoring for pregnant women and have attended births as a doula; an experienced labor support person.  I speak nationally and locally to expectant parents, care providers, birth advocates, organization leaders, and college students on a variety of topics relating to consumer maternity care issues and creating social change.  A particular interest now is reaching out to young women years before they plan to get pregnant so they can know everything they need to know well in advance to have a safe, healthy pregnancy and birth.  I also like to reach out to businesses to raise awareness about the benefits maternity care reform holds for them financially and in terms of employee productivity and wellness.

 

As a mother of three boys, I use my own birth experiences and those of the many other mothers I connect with through this life-transforming rite of passage to inform my work.  Whether I am working one-on-one, or on a national scale, my mission is to help other women have better, safer births. I am dedicated to helping women achieve their highest potential in all areas of their lives, including self, family, home, work, community and spirit by embracing their strength through pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and mothering, and through sharing their experiences to help others.

 

I am continuing my education to better serve families by pursuing Masters degrees in Public Health and Social Work at the University of Connecticut.

 

I was awarded recognition in 2008 as a Midwifery Community Specialist by the American College of Nurse Midwives Region 1, Chapter 2, as “Having been recognized by the midwives of the state as the community expert who best facilitates caring for women in the midwifery model of care.”

Read more about Michal’s personal story HERE.

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