Heather Schwarz, LM CPM
As a midwife I have the honor and privilege of participating in the creation of family. The intimate transformation that occurs in the lives of women and their partners is an amazing life journey. As Elizabeth Stone said, “Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
I am a seeker of information and knowledge, and as such, my education and experience in birth has been diverse. I trained to become a birth doula at the Seattle Midwifery School (now Bastyr College) DONA program in 2000. This training was designed by Penny Simpkin (a birth doula pioneer). After this program I worked as a birth doula in the hospital for years before having a home birth of my own. That pregnancy and birth opened my eyes to what a truly gentle and empowered birth could look like inspiring my journey forward. I became a Childbirth Educator through ALACE International (a training designed by midwives). I also added to my knowledge by taking workshops with Birthing From Within, Elizabeth Davis (author of Heart and Hands) and others. Along my journey to become a midwife I have had the privilege to study with many wonderful, knowledgable and experienced midwives in a birth center and home birth setting. I graduated from the National Midwifery Institute, received my Certified Professional Midwife and my California Midwifery license shortly after.
Additionally, I created a Birth Doula Training for Nine Moons Prenatal and co-created a Birth & Postpartum Doula Training for The Sanctuary Birth & Family Wellness Center. I also co-created a program called Enhanced Pregnancy with Kimberly Durdin. This program was designed to provide families, especially low income families with an option to receive collaborative informed midwifery care along side of their obstetric care or to provide them with an option to birth at home with a midwife. All families deserve respectful, informed and supportive care and as such, I continue to seek ways to support the empowerment of new and expectant families.
Kimberly Durdin IBCLC, SMW
Kimberly Durdin is a Los Angeles based IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), Doula, Childbirth Educator and Student Midwife. She received her calling to support birthing and breastfeeding families shortly after having her first child.
Kimberly worked as a LC for the Watts Healthcare Corporation 5 site WIC Program after moving to Los Angeles, training staff, oversee breastfeeding peer counselors, and provided one-on-one lactation care for families throughout South LA. In 2009, she joined The Sanctuary Birth & Family Wellness Center, as the Director of Lactation Services and created The Sanctuary New Moms Group, taught childbirth education classes for out-of-hospital birthing families and created a program for hospital birthing families entitled Enhanced Pregnancy. Kim has been a lactation consultant for twelve years, and mentors IBCLC candidates.
Kimberly now attends births as a Student Midwife and Doula, expanding her role as a birth and breastfeeding advocate, speaker and organizer. She has recently signed on to be the “Expecting and New Parent Expert” at WellBaby Center which hosts her weekly Mom’s support group The Mama Tent.
When not working with the families of Los Angeles, Kimberly enjoys spending quality time with her husband, her six children ages 3 to 23, and her 2 year old grandson. She holds the vision in her life and in her work, that all families deserve access to the highest quality of respectful and supportive care from providers as well as the community, during the childbearing years.