Katherine Anderson, Childbirth Educator and Birth Doula

I am a native of Northern California and have lived in Dobbs Ferry, NY with my husband, violinist Calvin Wiersma, for the last 22 years. We have the privilege of being parents to two delightful children Rebecca (19) and Gabriel (16) who continue to amaze us each day. In addition to my work as a childbirth educator and a birth doula, I am a violist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City.

The birth of my daughter and becoming a mom was transformative. Part of what made the experience so powerful was the amazing childbirth classes I took, the support from my husband and my friend who attended my birth and the continuous belief from my midwives that birth is a normal physiological process. After giving birth I knew in my heart that I wanted to offer support and to help guide expectant couples in the incredibly powerful journey of pregnancy, labor, and birth.

I believe that when women are allowed to trust in the innate wisdom of their bodies,giving birth and becoming a parent can be an experience that is both empowering and life changing.

I began my childbirth education training in 2000, with CEA/MNY, Childbirth Educators Association of Metropolitan New York, an organization of childbirth educators and advocates committed to family-centered maternity care. My teaching philosophy is based on those years of training with CEA/MNY, a philosophy that supports childbirth as a normal, natural, physiological process and encourages women and their partners to recognize their ability to cope successfully with the challenges of labor and birth.

In 2002 I did my birth doula training with Doulas of North American (DONA). The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and her partner before, during and for a few hours after birth. It is my belief that when women are surrounded by people who trust in and are patient with the birth process, know that labor is challenging but not impossible, are there to listen and respond to the woman and her needs, and can give guidance to her partner, her journey during labor and birth can be a much more positive, transformative experience.

My beliefs about pregnancy and birth are inspired not only by my formal training but also by the works of Sheila Kitzinger, Dr. Michel Odent, Ina May Gaskin, Gayle Peterson, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Janet Schwab (my midwife), Janet Donat (my childbirth educator) and Connie Sultana (my doula instructor). My work as a childbirth educator and a doula is incredibly enriching as I am constantly learning from and being inspired by the amazing women and their partners who have taken my classes and with whom I have had the privilege to support as a doula.