As a wife, the mother of 2, aunt to 6, and part of a huge tribe of fellow mothers, I have been in your shoes and know how overwhelming it is to be faced with a seemingly endless amount of conflicting advice from birth through every aspect of parenting.
I am a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and Certified Paediatric Gentle Sleep Coach. I have helped thousands of expectant parents throughout Durham Region and beyond prepare for a confident birth, facilitated postpartum support groups, and coached countless families to get better sleep without resorting to cry it out methods.
My motto is "serve first" in every aspect of my business. You will never find me telling a client what to do, but rather explore the options and find what works for them and feels right, looks right, and sounds right.
My core values rest on integrity, and I believe that all families deserve unbiased access to all of their options, so they can make good informed decisions. I love building confident, empowered families through impactful education and exploration. If you desire practical, hands on skills and support backed by evidence, then you can trust you are in good hands with me. I have been told that my energetic and practical style brings out the best in couples, and their children. This is because of my unique blend of training, and experiences as an educator, facilitator, coach and as a parent.
Since 2000 when I founded Learning Bound Inc., I have continually expanded to serve families offering evidenced based, gentle, hands on solutions. Beginning my career in education, I worked with close to 1000 families, delivering top quality tutoring and education coaching. Later, after my children were born to further serve the community, I became certified as a Lamaze® Childbirth Educator. I pride myself on creating fun, interactive group and private Lamaze® classes. Aside from receiving birth announcements (Yes, I love getting those squishy faced birth announcements), the most common email I received after my clients had their babies was about sleep. In January 2014 I certified as a Gentle Sleep Coach, and continue to works with amazing families every day, helping them coach their wee ones to better sleep in a way that feels good and supported. Whether you take a prenatal class with me, attend a support group I facilitate or hire me to coach you through your sleep challenges, you will find that I will always help you find that inner wisdom and intuitive knowing that every single one of us has. Sometimes we just need a little help sifting through the mountain of "information" and "learning" to find it.
Education and Training
After exploring the world, and studying in France, I came back to Canada and finished my Bachelors degree in Psychology at Trent University.
I am a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, and a trained Birth Doula though I no longer work as a doula and joke that I am retired from that work (for now). I live with my husband and two children near Toronto, in Oshawa, Ontario. I work throughout Durham Region and the Greater Toronto Area as well as globally thanks to online video conferencing.
Want to know more about my training? Read on.
Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator Training
The Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) credential is internationally respected and the only childbirth educator program that has passed rigorous standards set by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
The Lamaze certification program has been designed to meet the highest professional standards, with quality education offerings that help candidates develop as skilled, trusted LCCE educators.
These six competencies represent a comprehensive set of values and skills that LCCE educators foster and consistently demonstrate.
LCCE Educator Competencies:
- Promotes the childbearing experience as a normal, natural, and healthy process which profoundly affects women and their families.
- Assists women and their families to discover and to use strategies to facilitate normal, natural, and healthy pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and early parenting.
- Helps women and their families to understand how complications and interventions influence the normal course of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early postpartum.
- Provides information and support that encourages attachment between babies and their families.
- Assists women and their families to make informed decisions for childbearing.
- Acts as an advocate to promote, support, and protect natural, safe and healthy birth.
- Designs, teaches, and evaluates a course in Lamaze preparation that increases a woman’s confidence and ability to give birth.
Gentle Sleep Coach Training Summary
The Gentle Sleep Coach Program is the first and most extensive professional sleep coach training and certification program available. The program involves over 80 hours of training with a faculty panel that includes 2 medical doctors, a psychologist, an attorney, lactation counselor, postpartum doulas and a family therapist. Each coach must pass an exam and participate in case supervision with Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. “the Sleep Lady”) who has been helping tired parents for over 20 years. Clinical supervision and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach. Some of my training topics included:
– Basic counseling and child development
– Sleep science and behavioral modification techniques to help parents of children age 0 to 6 years old.
– Secure attachment theory
– Support for the breastfeeding mother
The training also consisted of lectures from top specialists, including:
– Postpartum Depression from Dr. Shoshana Bennett, author and leading specialist on Postpartum Depression
– Medical Conditions and Sleep Apnea in Children led by Dr. Lewis Kass, Director of Children’s Sleep Center
– GERD and Sleep led by Dr. Anthony Loizides, pediatric gastroenterologist
4-5 Month Old Training Summary
(For those who have completed this training, this is to be added after the GSC Program Summary)
The GSC Program also includes an exclusive advanced training series specifically focused on how to gently work with babies 4 and 5 months of age. This program, which I have also completed, consists of over 40 hours of instruction and mentorship.
Some of the curriculum training topics include:-In depth knowledge of the delicate nature of infants under 6 months of age and how to consider all elements of their well-being.-Current evidence-based guidelines and instruction on how to evaluate the 4-6-month-old child and family and determine if the child is ready for sleep coaching.-Gentle sleep solutions and strategies that are effective and developmentally appropriate for the younger baby.This specialty training is designed to give coaches the knowledge, education and all the tools and resources they need to successfully work with families of babies 4-6 months of age in a safe, healthy and developmentally appropriate manner.
Infant Mental Health Promotion Training, 2017
Infant mental health is the social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of infants and young children.
Infant mental health practice refers to the promotion of optimal development and well-being in infants (prenatal to age three) and their families, the prevention of difficulties, and intervention when infants are at-risk or have identified problems. The goal of infant mental health services is to ensure optimal child outcomes in terms of a sense of security and self-esteem, and the ability to form satisfying relationships, to engage with the world, to learn, to cope and problem solve, and to continue positive development throughout life. Infant mental health services strive to promote stable and supportive families and communities.