I have always chosen my career fields because ever since I was little I have had a desire to have my work make a difference in the lives of others. We all choose how we will spend our time, and we all have to work! I always wanted my career to be one where I was creating and effecting positive change. This led me to psychology, and then further to social work, and eventually to birth work as a doula.
After witnessing several pain-free births with Hypnobabies, I became inspired to become an instructor, and was also certified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist. I always wished that my own childbirth classes had taught me real tools – tools that I could practice beforehand, like you would train for a marathon. Hypnobabies provides this and also does a great job with actually preparing couples for birth, helping families to become informed and learn how to advocate for themselves and navigate the birth experience.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do the work I do. Supporting the birth of new life, helping a family welcome their child with peace and encouragement is sacred, and I am honored to be part of this work.
I would like to begin by telling you what my passion is. My passion is to help You experience 'CHILDBIRTH' as one of the most amazing and spiritual 'RITES' of your life.
I have always loved the idea of helping others. What greater joy is there then the satisfaction of knowing you helped another human being. As a young girl my mother's cousin was a nurse and she was my role model and I wanted to be just like her and become a RN.
However, that was not in my divine plan. I did the next best thing and became a volunteer in a nursing home. I loved working with elderly patients. Between the ages of 19 and 35 I worked as a medical assistant, a surgical assistant and a gastroenterology assistant. I also had the opportunity to teach young women how to be medical assistants. At the age of 20, I was already married for one year and having my first child (one of three).
Looking back, I can safely say, that all three of my childbirth experiences were nightmares. The minute I walked through the hospital doors, I lost control of my own body. I didn't have any choices in the type of anesthesia I wanted, nobody asked me if I wanted an enema, or bruises on my arm because an intern couldn't find a vein. I had no family support, husband's weren't allowed in the labor rooms or for that matter into the delivery room. I remember someone yelling at me to look in the mirror above me to see my baby being born. Yeah right, they took my glasses away, all I saw was a lot of fuzzy images. Then, once again, somebody forgot to ask me if I wanted an episiotomy, after I was discharged, my new best friend, became a rubber doughnut to sit on. I had to drag it around with me everywhere I went. That went on for about two months, and to think, I had this same nightmare two more times. I kept thinking, "what could be done to make this spiritual event more comfortable and joyful?" Then, life went on.
When my youngest son turned four years of age, I went back to work and continued my career as a medical assistant. After a few years, I began to feel that there was something missing. There was something else I was supposed to accomplish, so I decided to go to school. I had a long hard road ahead of me. I was in school for seven years. I graduated from California State University at Sacramento with a Masters degree in Social Work.
In 1994, I earned my License in Clinical Social Work and my dream was to be part of a Women's Clinic. Instead, I started working for Sacramento County Child Protective Services. I worked with abused women and children, attempting to keep their families intact. After a few years I switched focus and started working in Adoptions and Post Adoptions Services. In 2001, I once again, switched my focus and began working with Adult Protective Services. During those six years, I started longing to go back to my original dream working for a Women's Clinic.
In 2004, I became a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and a Holistic Practitioner, I started my own practice named Avalon Hypnotherapy helping women with medical issues such as, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, stress and the list goes on. In November of 2006 my life changed again. I found Kerry Tuschhoff and her wonderful Hypnobabies Program. When I was accepted into her program, I knew that this is what I had been longing for all those years. What a joy to learn that there really are choices for women and childbirth. It was a long road, but I can truly say that I am home.
Jillian Van Ness | CMT #62868, Watsu® Practitioner, CIMT, CPMT
My name is Jillian Van Ness and as a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT), Infant Massage Teacher (CIMT), Pediatric Massage Therapist (CPMT), and Watsu® Aquatic Massage Practitioner, I am here to help you and those you love most to live your happiest, healthiest lives. I love working with expecting and new mothers, couples, and infants/children both in the warm-water pool and on land, and am excited to offer Sacramento-area families unique opportunities to receive relaxation, pain relief, emotional support, and tools to empower well-being.
In addition to teaching Infant Massage, I serve a diverse clientele in my aquatic massage practice out of a warm-water pool in Davis, and volunteer weekly with the Special Needs Aquatics Program (SNAP Kids) in Berkeley, as well as the Pediatric Palliative Aquatics Program at George Mark House in San Leandro. I am a proud member of Capital City Doulas
Please contact me with any additional questions or to get on the class list for upcoming sessions!
Kaelyn Crenshaw | SBD DOULA, CMT, CIMT
Kaelyn has been a working professional in the Sacramento community since the year 2010. Her goal is to help as many people possible in her community with health, life and births. She considers herself a lifelong student always wanting to expand her knowledge in different ways from massage and energy work to lactation and birthing techniques.
Michele Nizza | CD(DONA), CMT, CLEC (UCSD), LCCE, FACCE
I founded Mum's the Word in January 2001.
My vision--to provide prenatal, birth, postpartum and breastfeeding support for mothers and families in my hometown of Monterey, California—was driven by my desire for expectant parents to have a solid foundation on which to build their families. The strength of this desire has since led me to expand my vision to include families outside of Monterey so that my information, resources, and support are made available to all those who seek it.
Throughout my life, I have had a wide range of interests that traverse many spectrums. Though I graduated from Sacramento State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and had a career as a Managing Editor at a well-known publishing company, I became interested in pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding while pregnant with my first child.
Inspired by my own experience as an expectant mother, I immersed myself in study, determined to learn all I could about the changes that were occurring within me so as to fully prepare myself for motherhood and all of its resulting joys and challenges. In June of 2000, barely a year after the birth of my daughter, I—seeking to further cultivate my knowledge—became involved with a local doula organization, Doulas of Monterey County. Motivated by my growing passion for the field, I undertook DONA International's doula training and started my business as a Birth and Postpartum Doula in January 2001—all while continuing my full-time work in the publishing field.
Nearly a year later, in December 2001, I was laid off from my publishing job. I decided to capitalize on the loss of my job by pursuing my birthing interests full-time. It was then that I was able to take massage therapy classes, becoming a Certified Massage Therapist, and attend a breastfeeding counseling training course to further expand my knowledge of touch and healing and enhance my ability to serve expectant mothers.
It is through discovering my niche, my passion, and my joy that I am able to realize my purpose: to educate expectant parents by providing them with all of the necessary information and resources so that they can make informed decisions about what is right for their families, no matter their status or financial ability.
I have always loved teaching and music and young children, so it comes naturally to me to teach music to young children. While I had played piano and sung in choirs for most of my life, it wasn't until my first baby was born in 2003 that I was blessed to discover the international early childhood music program called “Music Together." I was thrilled to find a program that combined my love of music with my young child's needs, so I wasted no time in becoming certified to teach the program. Since then, I've had three more babies, and I've enjoyed sharing music with all of them using the "Music Together" program.
Music Together combines the enthusiasm and wonder of young children with developmentally appropriate activities in a musically rich environment. Parents and children make music together as they sing, play instruments, dance, and create musical memories in a safe and non-perfomance-based atmosphere. Plus, the parent/child bond is strengthened as parents learn ways to use music in their parenting through fun and engaging songs to sing for and with their children.
Best of all, Music Together classes are for the entire family! The program is designed for multi-age classes of children ages 0-5, and older children often enjoy attending classes with their younger siblings. Fathers and mothers enjoy participating in classes together with their children, and grandparents and babysitters can attend classes with children, too. While adults are expected to follow along with whatever the teacher is doing, there are no expectations of behavior for the kids. I know that kids can have a wide range of personalities ranging from shy and quiet to bold and outgoing, and I enjoy having all kinds of personalities in my classes. It is especially fulfilling for me to help parents learn to recognize and encourage musical behaviors in their children.
Music is a uniquely human trait, and all people are born with the ability to be musical. I love seeing the joy on children's faces as they see the people they love singing to them and making music with them. I would love to share that same joy with you and your children in a Music Together class very soon! If you're not sure if music class will work for your child, you are welcome to try out a class for free and experience it for yourself. I am confident that once you experience the joy of family music in a Music Together class, you'll want to experience it again and again throughout your child's early years!
If you have questions about the Music Together program, you can contact me at SingAndMakeMusicMT@gmail.com or visit www.SingAndMakeMusic.net
Are you are a childbirth educator or have passion for teaching any other pregnancy, birth or postpartum related classes?
Contact Sacramento Baby Space to see if we could be a good fit!
Photo coming soon.