Elsa Asher, MA, practitioner and specialist in LGBTQ perspectives

Mickey Sperlich is an assistant professor at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, as well as an experienced midwife and researcher who studies the effects of trauma and mental health challenges on women’s childbearing, postpartum experiences and early parenting outcomes. Her book Survivor Moms: Women’s Stories of Birthing, Mothering and Healing after Sexual Abuse, which was awarded “Book of the Year” by the America College of Nurse Midwives in 2008. Sperlich is co-creator of a psychosocial intervention for pregnant survivors of abuse; the Survivor Moms’ Companion, and is dedicated to developing and evaluating trauma-specific approaches to promote healthy parenting and interrupt cycles of violence and psychiatric vulnerability.  

Jennie Joseph, CPM, Founder, Executive Director,

Commonsense Childbirth Inc.

Rebecca holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Barry University and has been studying attachment and trauma since 1997. She is the former Co-Director of Education for The Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Consciously Parenting Project where she creates online resources for parents and offers consultation services. She is the author of 3 parenting books and she is working on her 4th  book, All Relationships Can Heal, will be published in 2019. You can learn more about Rebecca by visiting her website: https://consciouslyparenting.com

Maryl Smith, CPM, LDM, has an active homebirth practice and has been catching babies since 1984. Over the years she has cared for women from over 18 different nations, worked in two free-standing birth centers, taught as adjunct staff at Birthingway College of Midwifery and served in multiple roles in the promotion of midwifery in the state of Oregon. Her passion is supporting trauma survivors during the perinatal experience. Maryl frequently travels the world with her pastor/musician husband working to preserve indigenous spiritual expression in music. Her other activities include adventures with her granddaughters, herb gardening, writing and being active in her local Native American community.

Ann Diamond Weinstein is a Preconception, Prenatal and Early Parenting Specialist. She holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology. The focus of her work is the relationship between prenatal and early postnatal development and experience, and an individual’s health, behavior and relationships over their life span. Dr. Weinstein’s recent book, Prenatal Development and Parents’ Lived Experiences: How Early Events Shape Our Psychophysiology and Relationships (2016), She provides education and consultation to mental health and health professionals, educators, individuals and families. Dr. Weinstein offers trauma-informed educational seminars and video conference study groups on the impacts of maternal prenatal and postnatal psychophysiological states on the developing baby, including those associated with stress, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression. Her focus on the effects of maternal prenatal stress and traumatic stress on pregnancy, birth, the early postpartum period and the origins of the maternal-child relationship illuminates the critical importance of addressing the unique needs of each mother-to-be during their transition to parenting. Dr. Weinstein’s blog, From the Beginning: The Prenatal Origins of the Parent-Child Relationship can be viewed at www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-beginning. Learn more about Dr. Weinstein’s work at www.anndiamondweinstein.com.

Kate White is an award-winning prenatal and perinatal educator and an advanced bodyworker. She is trained in somatic therapies, prenatal and perinatal health, lactation, brain development, infant mental health, and has specialized in mother-baby dyad care using somatic prevention and trauma healing approaches for nearly 20 years. She is a mother of two children, holds a BA and MA in Communication, a Registered Craniosacral Therapist in the Biodynamic Craniosacral method and a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner. Her work combines somatic therapy, birth preparation, recovery from difficult birth, trauma resolution and brain development to help give families with babies and small children the best possible start. She is the Founding Director of Education for the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health and currently co-directs this department, administering an online program for parents and parent professionals, runs a private practice and offers her own seminars through the Center for Prenatal and Perinatal Programs, ppncenter.com.

As President of Lumos Transforms and creator of The Resilience Toolkit, Nkem Ndefo oversees the development and implementation of programs that reduce stress and build resilience for individuals and organizations throughout the US. Certified as nurse midwife with extensive post-graduate training in complementary health modalities and emotional therapies, Nkem has worked as a clinician, educator, and researcher in settings ranging from large-volume hospitals to small community clinics. She founded and operated a full scope midwifery and homebirth practice from 2000-2007 and has maintained a holistic health private practice in Los Angeles since 2001. Nkem worked for California Maternal Quality 
Care Collaborative researching maternal death outcomes, and served on the Los Angeles County Trauma-and Resilience-Informed Systems Change Initiative Workgroup. Currently she advises the Strategic Planning Committee for Trauma Informed Los Angeles. See more on her websites at lumostransforms.com and theresiliencetoolkit.com.

Jennie Birkholz, Principal of Breakwater Light, LLC, 

Jennie Birkholz is the Principle with Breakwater Light, a consulting firm that partners with multi-sector organizations and communities focused on positive social impact. Projects are oriented around community asset mapping, innovative leveraging of those assets and creating powerful networks for change.  She has provided trauma trainings and consultations to churches, hospice networks, early childhood coalitions, schools and community-wide coalitions.As a person with lived experience and someone who worked with persons who experienced trauma, Jennie brings hands-on perspective to the work.  Jennie served in the behavioral health field for over 15 years, supporting substance abuse, mental health, disaster relief and other community services at the executive level.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Masters of Healthcare Administration from Texas State University.  Jennie is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer, and a SAMHSA Trauma-Informed Care trainer.  She is also the creator and leader of the Texas Faith Health Network. For more information see: www.breakwaterlight.com

Ann Diamond Weinstein, PhD author

Health Clarke, CNM, Midwife and midwifery professor at Frontier University, 

Maryl Smith, CPM, midwife of 35 years

Rebecca Thompson Hitt, , MS, MFT author and Executive Director of the Consciously Parenting Project

Mickey Sperlich, PhD Professor and Author

Elsa Asher is a somatics practitioner with a specialty in healing developmental and intergenerational trauma and identifies as a queer, non-binary trans person. They have a master’s degree in Narrative Medicine and multiple certifications in bodywork and somatic therapy. They have trained with leading teachers in their fields, including: Anna Chitty, John Chitty, Ray Castellino, Myrna Martin, Daniel Foor, Rita Charon, Sayantani DasGupta, and Maura Spiegel. Their specialties include the modalities of Prenatal, Birth and Attachment Therapy, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, and Ancestral Lineage Healing and support individuals and families in-person and online. They received kehunah (ordination) as a Hebrew ritualist and facilitate life cycle rituals and rites of passage. They are a professor of Narrative Medicine and teach in both academic and community spaces.  Pronouns: they/them/theirs. Email: elsa@elsaasher.com Phone: 210.413.5029. See websites: elsaasher.com and tendernessforthewin.com.

Nkem Ndefo, Trauma Informed Care, President of Lumos and creator of the Resilience Toolkit, 

Heather Clarke earned her undergraduate degree from State University of New York, Downstate. She obtained a Masters in Nursing with a specialty in Midwifery from Columbia University and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Frontier Nursing University. For most of her career, Dr. Clarke has combined her love of clinical practice with that of teaching nurse-midwifery students. In the past, she has worked as an assistant professor in the nurse-midwifery educational programs at Columbia University and SUNY Downstate. She joined the faculty of Frontier Nursing University in 2012 and now serves as the course coordinator for the professional role of the nurse-midwife. Her focus is on trauma prevention, preconception and disparities, especially on the development of an intergenerational preconception curriculum to help at-risk women learn how to overcome and build resiliency to the social and racial stressors that increase their risk for poor birth outcomes. . She currently serves as a board member of the Association to Advance Black Birth (NAABB) and the Association of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) where she hopes to create a model of care that will address pre and perinatal trauma and experiences that can impact birth outcomes and the development of fetal origins of physical and psychological disease. Listen to her talk about birth and birth psychology: https://youtu.be/jzrqYpfsVR0

Kate White, MA, BCBMT, RCST®, CEIM, SEP 

Founding Director of the Department of Education for APPPAH, 

Director of the Center for Prenatal Programs

Jennie Joseph, a British-trained midwife and women’s health advocate, moved to the United States in 1989 and began a journey which has culminated in the formation of an innovative and evidence-based maternal child health care system, The JJWay®. She is the Executive Director of her own non-profit corporation Commonsense Childbirth Inc. which operates two health centers in Orlando, Florida – a freestanding birth center and a safety-net clinic. Due to the poor birth outcomes experienced by low income, uninsured and women of color she has established her clinics specifically to address their needs and address disparities. Her ‘Easy Access’ Prenatal Care Clinics offer quality maternity healthcare for all, in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole, regardless of their choice of delivery site or ability to pay, and have successfully reduced perinatal disparities. The Birth Place birthing center offers natural birth and water birth options for an out-of-hospital birth experience. Jennie’s school, Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery, trains and certifies midwives, doulas and perinatal paraprofessionals, emphasizing culturally competent and community focused care.