Jen Kamel helps perinatal professionals and cesarean parents achieve clarity on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) through her online and in-person educational courses, training programs, and consulting services. As the founder of VBAC Facts® and a nationally recognized consumer advocate, her mission is to increase VBAC access through education, legislation, and amplifying the consumer voice. She speaks at conferences across the country, presents Grand Rounds at hospitals, advises advocates seeking legislative change in their state, and serves as a expert witness in legal proceedings. She envisions a time when every pregnant person seeking VBAC has access to unbiased information, respectful providers, and community support so they can plan the birth of their choosing in the setting they desire.
Lorissa Eichenberger, MA, LMFT, PMH-C, joins us to discuss ways to care for yourself if you are welcoming a little one in the season of COVID.
Mary Love: Clinical Director, Certified Nurse-Midwife, Family Nurse-Practitioner
Mary’s first encounter with a midwife was on the night she was born as she slipped into her mother’s awaiting hands. It was in her early 20s that she heard the call and set out on her own path to become a midwife, first attending workshops and assisting Pamela Hunt and the other midwives at The Farm. She received a bachelor’s degree in Nursing Science from Tennessee State University and her master’s degree in Nursing from Vanderbilt University. In addition to being a Certified Nurse-Midwife at Heart of Houston Birth Center, she is also a Family Nurse Practitioner with experience in pediatric primary, urgent, and emergency care. When not catching babies or thinking of ways to fix a particular problem, Mary enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, and folding laundry. She is married and shares four wonderful children with her husband.
Jessica Gonzales: Facility Director, Doula
Jessica has worked in the field of women’s health for over 20 years. The midwives who mentored her taught her that pregnancy and birth should not be treated as an illness, but embraced as a transformative life event. Her experience includes medical office and lab administration as well as medical business startups. She trained as a midwife’s assistant in Summertown, Tennessee, with the midwives at The Farm. Jessica founded Village Birth and Babies, a full-service doula service for families in the Houston area. Jessica is the mother of two incredible little girls conceived via IVF and Reciprocal IVF. She is committed to reducing the maternal mortality rate in Houston by improving equal access to evidence-based care for people of color.
In honor of Recovery Month, we have as our guests Vanetta Peterson and Chris Ward of Houston’s Sober Recreation Committee. Vanetta and Chris fill us in on the importance of connection in recovery and ways the Sober Recreation Committee is helping those in recovery, and their families, build connections.
Jami Hain, MSN, CNM, is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and owner of Nativiti Family Birth Center. She has been married to the love of her life for 38 years and has two wonderful sons. She has been part of the Houston birth community for almost 20 years and has been a nurse and now a midwife at Nativiti for 18 years. She is fiercely passionate about providing personalized, evidence-based care to women and families in our community and empowering women through education and shared decision-making.
A certified nurse midwife and doctor, Andie has been in the Houston birth community for over 15 years. Her experience includes elementary school nursing, hospital labor and delivery, birth center, and home birth. Andie has been joyfully dating her husband of 19 years since junior high and has five children. Her passions beyond bellies, birth, and breastfeeding are mission work, reading, and movie theater popcorn.
A certified nurse midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner, Jaelin is honored to work with women and their families as they experience pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period. Jaelin followed her passion into midwifery and has been practicing with women and babies since 2010. She has spent the last 36 blissful years married to her high school sweetheart. She has three children and one grandchild. In addition to her passion for women’s health, she loves quilting, spends her spare time running the www.sheis.com website, and is enamored with her granddaughter. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree.
Nneka Hall is the mother of four. She is a whole-woman advocate who provides in-person and virtual support to women through any life phase. She is a maternal/fetal health advocate with a primary focus on infant and maternal mortality within the African American community. In 2014 she founded Quietly United In Loss Together (QUILT) which is a pregnancy and infant loss awareness campaign. She is a certified International Bereavement Specialist, community-centered herbalist, womb health specialist, childbirth educator, and crystal healer.
She is a participant of the United State of Women Summit as a nominated Changemaker. She is featured in the January 2019 “This Is My Brave” short documentary. In March 2019 she received an Advocate of the Year Award from The Boston Public Health Commission’s Community Action Network. Among other accomplishments she won Star Legacy Foundation’s Advocate of the Year Award.
Lisa Feister, Clinical Director of the Center for Recovering Families at the Council on Recovery tells us how to recognize if we or someone we love is in trouble, where to go for help, and what to expect when making that first brave call.
Debbie Hull has been serving expectant Houston families as a doula and childbirth educator for over 21 years. She is a frequent guest host of Whole Mother and is proud to serve on the faculty of Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association as both a Labor Doula and Childbirth Educator Trainer, training the next generation of professional birth workers. She has moved right on up in to this century tech-wise since the pandemic began and has presented over 100 hours of training and classes virtually. Debbie is the mother of two fabulous adults, both formerly breastfed and homeschooled, Emily and Isaac.