Maggie Bolton, CNM
I trained as a nurse midwife in San Francisco after apprenticing with a home birth midwife in Louisiana for 3 years. I have always been fascinated and humbled with how people prepare for the birth process and wondered if there was a way for people to approach this transition both with a level of preparedness and also a real sense of acceptance for how this process might unfold. I believe that there is a way to prepare that allows for a sense of curiosity, flexibility with outcome, and kindness for oneself throughout the process.
I trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in 2003 as a research participant at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at UCSF while I was in midwifery school. Then I met Nancy Bardacke, a nurse-midwife who was finding a way to teach mindfulness for childbirth and parenting preparation and took her 9 week course in 2004(as a midwifery student, not as a pregnant person). I set my intention then to work towards teaching this to expectant parents. My mindfulness practice has been the parachute that I use in my professional life, in my parenting, and in my relationships. I have been attending births since 2000, and have been a practicing nurse midwife since 2005. I find this transition to parenting incredibly fascinating and have a real desire to guide people through it with a sense of gentleness for the process and for themselves.
I live in Ballard with my very supportive husband, daughter and son. I spend my time finding balance between work and play! We love bike rides to the beach, reading and cooking healthy food.
Becca Calhoun, MPH
I trained as a doula at Seattle Midwifery School in 1998, then started teaching childbirth education a few years later in 2002. My interest in health promotion and research led me to get my Master degree in Public Health from the UW in 2006. As part of my MPH, I received certificates in Maternal and Child Health and International Health. Since receiving my MPH, I have worked half time at the UW in public health research while continuing my work with expectant couples. I currently work on two research projects, both of which involve adapting mindfulness programs to meet the needs of specific populations.
Early in my career, I worked with programs serving abused and neglected children who were in the child welfare system. This work led me to realize that I really wanted to focus my energy on prevention - supporting families early in the child's life. I'd also had an on-going interest in pregnancy and birth, so becoming a doula seemed like a perfect way to bring together those interests with my desire to support families. As I've grown in my career, I have held onto that basic desire to serve families in the incredible life transition of pregnancy and early parenting.
I came to mindfulness meditation through my own experience of being pregnant and birthing my son. I continued to study mindfulness over the next several years and found it tremendously helpful in my parenting and in managing my own stress. It occurred to me that I would love to bring these mindfulness practices, that I found so helpful, to the expectant parents I was working with. With this in mind, I trained under Nancy Bardacke, developer of Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting. I am happy to be offering these classes in the Seattle area and find teaching to be very rewarding.
I live in the Columbia City neighborhood with my partner and our son, who has definitely taught me a tremendous amount about staying in the present moment. I spend my home time reading, playing lego and gardening.